THE WEEKLY STANDARD’S SCATHING COMMENTARY: The Catholic Church Is Breaking Apart: Here’s Why

THE WEEKLY STANDARD’S SCATHING COMMENTARY

You should read the entire long commentary here:

The Catholic Church Is Breaking Apart. Here’s Why.

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This is a money quote from that long commentary:

The chances of the church’s losing Francis, however, are slim. You cannot impeach a pope. And barring an unexpected return to our Heavenly Father, Francis will remain pope for the foreseeable future. Which leaves four possible pathways, none of which is attractive.
Some conservative Catholics, such as Princeton’s Robert P. George, have suggested that Francis ought to resign—especially if the Viganò letter is corroborated. This is an attractive idea and would align with the cause of justice. Anyone in the church hierarchy who knew, or should have known, about specific abusers in their midst should, at the least, be removed from any position of responsibility. They simply cannot be trusted. If you were to extend this view all the way to the bishop of Rome, there is a certain cleanliness to its logic—a sense that maybe the church could make a clean break and begin to make things right anew.
But it might be a cure worse than the disease.
In the last 600 years, only one pope has abdicated: Benedict XVI, the man who immediately preceded Francis. Two abdications in a millennium are an aberration. But two abdications in a row would have the practical effect of breaking the modern papacy. From here forward, all popes would be expected to resign their office rather than die in harness.
This expectation of resignation would, in turn, create incentives for the pope’s theological adversaries to fight and wound him, in the not-unreasonable hope that if they could make him unpopular, he could be shuffled out of the palace and they could try their luck with a new pontiff. Before you know it, you’d have polling data and opposition research and the papacy would become an expressly political office. No Catholic should yearn for this outcome.
The second option is capitulation. Catholics could shrug and give up. They could let Cardinal Wuerl live his best life and then slink off to a graceful retirement; they could make peace with Cardinal Cupich’s view that the church exists, first and foremost, to deal with global warming, or the minimum wage, or whatever else is trending on Vox.com. They could toe the dirt and accept sacramental same-sex marriages, even if it destroys the theology of the body. After all, times change. Religions change. And if you really trust in the Lord, then no change could come to His church without its being the will of the Father.
The third option is schism. There has been loose talk about schism since the early days of Francis’s pontificate. The conversation became less whimsical at the time of the synod and the dubia. It will become deadly serious if Viganò’s accusations are corroborated and Francis shelters in place. Even so, it remains one of those low-probability, extinction-level events that every Catholic should pray does not come to pass.
The fourth option is resistance. We are only at the current moment because the forces that conspired to elevate Francis refused, for decades, to leave the church, even though their desires were at odds with its teachings.
Despite the fact that the Catholic church rejected their preferences as false, the South American liberation theologists, the German cardinals who wanted to redefine marriage, and the American progressives who never met a social justice cause they didn’t like all hung on. Eventually they organized. And after a generation of orthodox papacy, during which time most American Catholics forgot that there even was a radical side of the faith, they worked together to elect Francis. Organization works, if you’re willing to play the long game and play for keeps.
The bishops who do care about these things could start organizing for the next conclave now, identifying potential candidates and laying the groundwork for the election of the next pope.
Then, when the pendulum eventually swings back—be it next year or 40 years from now—orthodox Catholics could take from these years a very sobering lesson about power. And with neither malice nor mercy drive men such as Cupich, Tobin, and Wuerl into the sea and purge the church of anyone who believes that climate change is a more pressing matter than the abuse of Catholics by the clergy.None of these pathways is attractive; each leads to a church that is at best impoverished and at worst crippled.
Then again, the church survived Caligula, the bubonic plague, the Third Reich,
the Gather hymnal, and the autoharp. It will survive McCarrick, Wuerl, and Francis, too.
But crucibles are rarely pleasant experiences for those inside them and a great many souls may be lost in the transition.
Those men will have much to answer for.
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http://angelqueen.org/2018/09/15/the-weekly-standards-scathing-commentary-the-catholic-church-is-breaking-apart-heres-why/
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