“Whistling past the graveyard” concerning the papacy: current and future

[“Whistling past the graveyard” concerning the papacy: current and future]

Current: Frankenpope: A More Frightening Thesis

Posted by Fr Ray Blake on Saturday, December 16, 2017

I have always avoided direct criticism of Pope Francis preferring to use terms like ‘this present Papacy’, it is a Catholic thing about the profound deference owed to the Vicar of Christ on Earth, American friends are often more strident, so maybe it is a European thing too; never criticising the King, only his ministers. The other thing is we know what comes out of the Vatican but not its actual source.

Damian Thompson’s blog Holy Smoke carries a podcast with him, Dan Hitchens and Ed Condon discussing ‘The Dictator Pope’. Though they agree with many of the author’s “dots”, they join them together differently and therefore dismiss his conclusion.

Condon in particular suggests that Pope Francis rather than being the instigator of violence and corruption is the victim of corrupt Vatican officials, because of his naivete, his inability to be clear and articulate, his isolation from reality and from any who might offer any criticism. The villain-in-chief is the Secretary of State, now Cardinal Parolin.

The thesis of the Dictator Pope is shocking, what is expressed in this little podcast with its image of a weak and out of touch Pope manipulated by bureaucrats in the Vatican and the broader (wealthier) Church and the world is absolutely terrifying. The Dictator Pope offers a far more comforting analysis than the more complex one of Condon and his companions.

After listening to the podcast, I will be interested in your opinions.


Posted by Fr. Allan J. McDonald on Saturday, December 16, 2017

While Pope Francis hasn’t undone the direction of the refinement of the Ordinary Form of the Mass completely, only taken a detour that another pope could merge back into the direction of renewal that Pope Benedict initiated, what would that merge look like when a new pope initiates it?

1. A return to the best of the beauty of vesture for the liturgy, not the bland look of the 1970’s

2. A return to kneeling for Holy Communion

3. A return to ad orientem

If no other restorations take place but these three things for the Ordinary Form of the Mass, which are not in fact forbidden unless the local bishop forbids it, we could easily recovery the renewal that Pope Benedict desired for the Mass.

Of course, ultimately the template of the Ordinariate’s Divine Worship, the Missal is the path for the future and I would say the near future.

The status quo of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass remains under the current pontificate and with the Ordinary Form’s spirituality, reverence and devotion brought closer to it, we could see a pleasant unity between the two without sacrificing the good in both.

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