Ten things to remember if Pope Francis upsets you

Where else are you going to go?

upset-man-by-nuttakit-freedigitalphotos-netThe following comes from a July 15 posting by Fr. Dwight Longenecker on Patheos.com.

Many conservative Catholics are experiencing a range of negative feelings about Pope Francis. When a headline screams that he stated that 2% of Catholic clergy are pedophiles, that he “promises to solve the celibacy problem” that he doesn’t want to convert Evangelicals or that he doesn’t judge a homosexual who “searches for the Lord and has goodwill” they experience confusion, anger, resentment, bewilderment and fear.

Some have given up on Pope Francis. Others say he is “the false prophet” who will accompany the anti Christ in the end times. Others don’t like his dress sense, grumble about his media gaffes and some think they are all intentional and that he is a very shrewd Jesuit who wants to undermine the Catholic faith. The sensationalism doesn’t do any good. These folks should step back and realize they are (in their own way) being just as sensational about Pope Francis as liberals were about Pope Benedict when they called him “God’s Rottweiler” or “Nazi Ratzi” and said he was a closet homosexual and a hater of women.

So if Pope Francis upsets you–and by the way–I’ve had my own moments of head scratching over Francis–here are ten things to remember which help put things in perspective and maintain some balance.

The first thing to remember is that he is the pope. He is not going to change Catholic doctrine or moral teaching. He can’t and he knows that. He may be a “reformer” but there’s only so much he can do. His statement on women priests is an indicator of that: “The door is closed to women’s ordination.”

The second thing to remember is that we have been blessed for the last thirty years with two stellar popes. Most of us don’t remember any other kind of papacy. Both Pope St John Paul II and Benedict XVI have been men of outstanding holiness, intellectual accomplishment, courage and perception, and they were very much bookends. They supported one another. Francis is different, and if he is not their equal in those attributes, he has other strengths. Instead of criticizing him for what he’s not we should be loving him for who he is.

The third thing to remember is that Popes come and go. Each one brings different gifts and different personalities to the papacy. God knows what he’s doing, and if a particular pope challenges your faith…well faith isn’t much good unless it’s challenged. What kind of faith is it it is nothing but certainty and confidence all the time? Think of St Peter walking on the water. That’s faith.

Fourth: is your faith in Jesus Christ and the faith of the church or is it in the pope? Catholics should love the pope, but they should love Jesus more. If one pope comes along who you find difficult to love and understand, take heart. You weren’t supposed to love him that much anyway. It’s okay to love the pope, but those who blame Catholics for idolizing the pope? Well, sometimes they have a point.

Fifth: Check out the times in which we live. With modern social media, every conversation can become a global headline. This is a pope who loves people and relates to them. Here is a pope who connects with people, talks with people, shares with people and embraces people. When this happens there is a multitude of communication risks that take place. The pope says “X” but the person hears “Y” and reports “Z”. Hasn’t this ever happened to you? You’ve had a conversation and it was reported to a third or fourth party and you shriek, “But that’s not what I said!” The only way to avoid this is for the pope to be a silent figurehead in the apostolic palace just waving to people and  never saying anything except in a formal papal statement. Maybe some people think this is what the pope should be, and some popes have been content to be that sort of figurehead. Not Francis.

Six: Media people love to write attention grabbing headlines and they know conflict sells. People love to read the gossip. They love to read the scandal. They love to pick up on the negativities. If a sour person can put a negative and shocking headline on a story he will. That’s life.

We’re foolish to believe the headlines and we’re even more foolish to believe the headlines that do nothing but feed our own negative bias. Example: a liberal who disliked Pope Benedict would gravitate towards headlines that portrayed him as God’s Rottweiler and Nazi Ratzi. They were false but the foolish person swallowed the headline because it reinforced his already existing bias. Do you dislike Francis? Are you gullible enough to pick up the negative headlines about Francis and believe them without listening to the whole story? Do you believe the headline without even reading the whole article? Then it’s your partially your fault.

Seven: Remember Francis is from Argentina. The church scene there is very different from the atmosphere in the USA and Europe. He surprises us in many ways. He surprises right wing conservative American Catholics with what seems to be left leaning economic positions. He surprises liberal Catholics with his emphasis on the devil and the battle against demons. He surprises those in the developed world with his passion for the poor and his ability to turn over some tables. This is part of his gift to the church: that he is an outsider and as such he surprises and disturbs. Isn’t that part of what the gospel should do? Its supposed to make us uncomfortable. Its supposed to make us re-examine our preconceptions, our self righteousness and our certain certainties. Isn’t that what Jesus did to the religious establishment? Sure it’s scary at times. So buckle your seat belt.

Eight: Remember that you don’t have to pay serious attention to every single word that falls from the mouth of the pope. He’s not some sort of divine oracle, and the more he talks informally to people, the more he’s likely to be misunderstood, make gaffes and be mis-reported. It’s okay to shrug your shoulders and let him get on with being pope and for you to get on with your Catholic life of prayer, worship, study, service and the pursuit of sanctity. So be a good Catholic and don’t worry about the pope. Even if he’s a corrupt monster (and we’ve had some popes like that) the church goes on. The gates of hell will not prevail against her–and neither will the odd pope who doesn’t fit your ideal.

Nine: The Catholic Church is universal. It’s a very big family. Not everything or everyone will be to your taste. Speaking of taste–how much of your discomfort with Pope Francis is simply a matter of taste? Have you done your homework, read what he has really said, watched what he has really done? Has any of it actually contradicted formal church teaching? Is any of it heresy? No. Maybe you don’t like Pope Francis and maybe you actually think he’s a lousy pope. Maybe you think he could handle the media better and may be you worry about some of his opinions. So welcome to the muddled mystery that is the Catholic Church. If you want a church to your own liking I guess you better go join a sect because the Catholic Church is never going to be 100% what anybody likes. Somebody once asked me after I became a Catholic whether I “liked the Catholic Church.” I said, “No. I didn’t join the Catholic Church because I liked it. If I was joining a church I liked I’d still be an Anglican. I joined it because it was the true church.”

Ten: Remember, where else are you going to go? A Protestant sect? The Lefebvrists? The Eastern Orthodox? Start your own garage church? Furthermore, what good does it do to get all upset and huffy about the pope?  Are you going to elect a new one? All you will do is get yourself into a lather and for what? Be at peace. Pray about it. Get more involved in spreading the gospel with joy. Roll up your sleeves, get busy in serving the poor, building your parish, sharing your faith and be a Catholic alive in the Spirit and full of optimism, faith and the joy of Christ. If the present pope tries your faith and your patience, well then offer it up. There’s a chance to have a stronger faith in Christ and to grow a bit more patient.

To read the original posting, click here.




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  1. Pope Francis needs to quit talking to the press,
    and start using prepared statements that he can read.
    He then can pass copies out to interested media.

    All these corrections / clarifications issued by his press secretary is nuts.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      While I can agree with most of what Father Longenecker writes, I must say that the Pope needs to be more aware of the good and or damage of what he says can do to the Church. He needs to be more circumspect he what he says!

      May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika and His Church!
      Viva Cristo Rey!
      Yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

    • SandraD says:

      Michael Voris hits the nail on the head, once again. Discerning Catholics must be wary of where and who is spewing inaccurate reports–especially when our most Holy Father, Pope Francis–God’s chosen one–speaks to us.

      • Kristin says:

        Thank you SandraD for pointing folks to Michael Voris. His ChurchMilitant.TV website is a treasure trove for anyone hungry for faithful Catholic teaching and commentary. And yes, be discerning!

      • Anonymous says:

        I thought Jesus was God’s chosen one? I sense a bit of idol worship.

        • juergensen says:

          And Jesus chose Peter. Buy yourself a bible.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            SandraD and Juergensen AMEN TO THAT! Right on and God bless you for being faithful to Christ and His church!

            Excellent article and thank you CCD for printing it! Let this be a reminder to all and remember that the Pope is human too just like you and I!

            Right on and stay faithful and keep your eye’s fixed on Jesus always because this world is wicked and it will try to discredit and destroy Christ’s church, it will try but it won’t succeed. Some may fall for the lies of the evil one, some may even try to discredit Christ and His church but it is only them who are deceiving themselves and others who choose to follow! Remain faithful with fortitude and persevere!

        • No idol worship here, Anonymous. Just appreciating a good resource for faithful information and commentary! Check it out, ChurchMilitant.TV.

  2. ” I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord;
    but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. ” 1 Cor 7:32-34.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      hmmm mel I don’t understand why you posted this? All I can say is that just like priesthood vocations are a sacrament so is marriage! Maybe you were trying to make a point but it may not have been the right one in the right way? Well anyhoo!

      Douay-Rheims Bible Ephesians 5:25
      “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it:”

      • Mel was making the point that if we had married priests they would have a divided loyalty between family and their parish. This has been a discipline in the Church for a thousand years and it has worked very well. The abuse problem would have happened even if we didn’t have this discipline because it was largely the homosexual element that caused it. Most of the victims were boys. I love and support our Holy Father, but he has done some damage to the Church especially with his “who am I to judge” statement.
        So many Catholics have taken this for a softening of the Church’s position on “gay marriage” and homosexuality.

  3. What was wrong with the Pope’s latest interview? A lot.

    • SandraD says:

      “Media people love to write attention grabbing headlines and they know conflict sells”

      • Abeca Christian says:

        SandraD it will your faith and loyalty that will save you in Jesus Christ! God bless you! Your faithfulness is a great example and witness!

  4. I do not like this pope. He seems poorly formed in the faith. I find myself frequently annoyed by his comments. Today, I read he said that those of us who are concerned about illegal immigration are racists. (It’s not the race we’re concerned about, Francis, but the culture.) I think he was a poor choice.

    But you needn’t worry, Fr. Dwight, I have no intention of leaving the Church. There have been popes that have been bad men in past centuries, so I can certainly tolerate an annoying leftist with little depth who seems to follow the current of the world.

    And, please do not admonish me to pray for him. I do every day.

    • The Pope does not understand that most US Citizens are not against:
      orderly LEGAL Immigration;
      but against ILLEGAL Immigration.
      This has nothing to do with race.
      He has been lied to by a few “Democratic” Bishops, who are making big money for their bureaucracies by working for the Obama Administration.
      For the purpose of ILLEGAL immigration, the Obama Administration has given millions of dollars in GRANTS to the USCCB’s CCHD, the CCHD then provides grants to “Catholic Charities”.

      I also wish the Pope would go back and re-study the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” which contains the Doctrine of the Faith requiring immigrants to “obey the law” (not excluding immigration laws), and “assist in carrying civic burdens” not create civic burdens.
      (CCC: 2241)

    • SandraD says:

      Pope Francis…..not Francis. He did not say what you posted…..”people love to spread gossip”.

      • SandraD says:

        God never makes mistakes……so how could Pope Francis be a “poor choice”? Carefull, your comments are very “haughty”.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          SandraD I agree with you, the evil one likes all this division. But you and I know better, we will work towards being like minded in Christ. I pray that even though some may disagree with our Pope, and its OK if they are not offending God, but that they learn to be more meek and humble as they try to reason and work towards unity in order for God’s faithful to move mountain’s with love! This life is not always easy but we must defend our home (which is Christ’s Church and Him) even if sometimes we may be puzzled about something, we must take it up to God personally(privately) through humble prayers. People speak out of fear many of times, they lose hope and they always want a perfect hero. No human is perfect but Christ.

    • Christine says:

      Carol, I understand!! We must accept the personal cross that this papacy has brought to us. God Bless!

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Carol its OK to not always like what we perceive or don’t know personally but what you can do is write to the Pope. It’ll help you release some of those anxieties even if he doesn’t reply. Its good that you pray for our Pope but also ask Jesus to help you pray in the way in which is most pleasing to Him especially when you pray about this Pope.

        Remember King David and Kind Solomon? King David had an innocent man killed off just so he can have his wife. But he was known as someone who was like God’s own heart. He was human and there were circumstances for his disloyalty to God’s ways but he sure won God’s heart when he repented. Kind Solomon had too many wife’s and he also committed idolatry by praying to some of the god’s of one of his wife’s. They weren’t perfect men either.

        Neither was Saint Peter, remember he did deny Christ 3 times. I also recall that St. Peter and St. Paul bumped heads on how to spread the good news of Christ and His church, both men had different styles.

    • Glad I wasn’t the only one annoyed by him talking about an issue he clearly does not have a grasp of. Just gives Obama even more fuel for the fire

  5. Canisius says:

    Ten: Remember, where else are you going to go? A Protestant sect? The Lefebvrists? The Eastern Orthodox? for me its a toss up between the “Lefebvrists” aka SSPX or the Orthodox… Once the Pope starting making big changes (and they are coming) I will be checking out at least for a while..When NARAL-Pro Choice America sends the Pope a great big thank you we are in big trouble

    “Catholic alive in the Spirit and full of optimism” kind of hard to do when your parishes are targeted to be shutdown by Tradition hating Cardinals…and when the Bishops have basically abandoned the flock

    • Don’t check out.
      1) Continue going to Confession, Mass and Holy Communion.
      2) When you support your Parish, designate what you want the money spent for – such as toward the electric bill, so it can’t go to the USCCB through the Diocese.
      3) Make contributions for the poor through: your local St. Vincent de Paul;
      Church in Need; and Caritas International, not anything associated with the USCCB (CCHD or Catholic Charities).
      You can also look into rites other than the Latin.
      (CCC: 1203 The liturgical traditions or rites presently in use in the Church are the Latin (principally the Roman rite, but also the rites of certain local churches, such as the Ambrosian rite, or those of certain religious orders) and the Byzantine, Alexandrian or Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Maronite and Chaldean rites. In “faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council declares that Holy Mother Church holds all lawfully recognized rites to be of equal right and dignity, and that she wishes to preserve them in the future and to foster them in every way.” )

      • The only way you can TRY to keep your money at your local parish is to designate your contribution for the Building Fund or some tangible object. “Electric bill” will just be considered part of general expenses and will be sucked up by the diocese–probably first thing every Monday morning. Post that, your money could be going anywhere and funding anything. But supporting charities who do good work is an excellent option.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Thanks ED, I agree. People should also try the Tridentine Mass or parish if they have one near by, its better to remain faithful. Where there is a will, there is a way. No more excuses remain faithful and persevere with fortitude. Those are also virtuous attributions!

  6. Thank you for printing this article; we need it. The article states that Pope Francis “is not going to change Catholic doctrine or moral teaching.” Look at the damage that Vatican II did to the Mass and to the Church. It didn’t write new doctrine, but it certainly made major changes in the Church, creating mass confusion and causing many people to leave the Church. Considering that Francis is from Argentina, I wonder if he is testing the waters and is slowly leading the Church into liberation theology. Francis is intelligent, but has caused problems almost every time he talks to the media. It might be better if he only read carefully prepared written statements, with no ambiguities. We should pray for him daily and pray for Holy Mother Church.

  7. Steve Phoenix says:

    I am with Canisius on thesis n.10, “Where else are you going to go?”, as a particularly weak argument. It ignores that very large numbers of Hispanics have left the ‘official’ Catholic Church. It ignores that vast numbers of young people age 18-40 have also ‘voted with their feet’, many of them after years of ostensibly ‘Catholic’ education. It seems in denial of the fact that the SSPX now has grown to over 600 priests worldwide and they have a strong vocation pipeline that would be the envy of any order or diocese, as well as a thriving sisters’ order, and are associated with many other trad religious orders—orders the way we once knew them to be in the CC. Just for example one of those groups, the traditional Benedictines of Silver City, NM, now have over 40 traditional monks and will soon be planning new foundations. So if the claim of Francis and his ilk is that they are the ‘only true’ Catholics, and one can’t leave a tossing bark capriciously manned by a confused self-contradicting captain, we know already that thesis to be false.

  8. Pope Francis deserves our support just as we support St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. Please pray for Pope Francis!

  9. I think Fr. Longenecker’s article is right on. When I really look into what this present Holy Father has actually said, I find it is nothing heretical — just that the more liberal media spin on it is.. I find him — well rather Franciscan like, even though he is a Jesuit. That is probably why he took the name Francis.

    • F. Suleau says:

      How well do you know the Jesuits? Sounds like not too much. Pope Francis, in spite of all the just criticism, and to some relief, is probably on the conservative side of the order, which is probably running at an 80/20 deficit at best. The order is largely known since the latter half of the 20th Century to be extraordinarily liberal. This is not even open to dispute. There is currently a canonical lawsuit pending in the Vatican to strip the order’s flagship university, Georgetown, of its official Catholic standing. The order, together with its insurers, has paid a quarter of a billion dollars over the last decade settling abuse suits. Their numbers have dwindled from about 18,000 to under 5,000 today. Many left, by their own admission, once they figured out that a priest’s proper role is not social activism. All the liberation theology rotted a lot of intellects, unfortunately. But lay people really shouldn’t just banter about regarding this, they need to do some personal in depth reading and study to get a handle on the depth of the disintegration of this religious order.

      • Anne T. says:

        The Jesuits I listen to, F. Suleau, are the ones like Servant of God, Fr. John Hardon, now deceased of course; Fr. Joseph Fessio and a few older faithful priests that I have known or know personally.

  10. Linda Maria says:

    The priest who wrote this article (bless him!) is trying to comfort good Catholics, regarding the current situation, with the Papacy. I am a lot older, and my views are very different! I think the world of today lacks professionalism and strong, committed leadership, in a great many professions that people rely on, for daily living! Especially in our Church! Men and women need to be GREAT BIG ADULTS, after they graduate from high school or college, and men ordained as priests, likewise!! Men and women of past generations, were REAL MEN, and REAL WOMEN!! NOT “scared little babies,” of the liberal, immature 1960’s, looking for easy excuses to “please everyone,” and never grow up, never make a firm commitment, never take a strong stand for what is right, never make immature, immoral people angry at them, never take GREAT BIG ADULT RISKS, which may even cost them their careers or their lives– for what is truly right, by God’s standards, not the shabby, “fallen,” corrupt world’s standards!! Let your “yes” for what is right before God, sincerely be “yes,” and let your “no,” for what is truly wrong, before God, be a firm “NO!!” You cannot live any other way– before God!!

  11. SandraD says:

    Bill Donohue comments on remarks recently made by Pope Francis on the immigration crisis facing the United States:

    There are those on the right and the left who have misrepresented what the pope has said about the immigration crisis. Understandably, those on both sides of this issue are unhappy with the pope’s comments, but that is no excuse for distorting them.

    It may not please those on the right to learn that the pope implores Americans to care for children who have crossed the border seeking help. But that is exactly what Catholics are expected to do: to tend to the needs of the dispossessed, regardless of whether they broke the law to get here.

    It may not please those on the left to learn that the pope has never said we should encourage illegal migration, or that the U.S. should adopt an open borders approach. But that is exactly what Catholics are expected to do: respect a nation’s sovereignty.

    It is one thing to condemn racism and xenophobia, which the pope has done, quite another to say that the U.S. should take a laissez-faire attitude toward illegal immigration, which the pope has rejected.

    In his statement on July 14, the pope explicitly said that the international community must press those countries involved to “inform the public of the dangers of the trip north and to promote development of the migrants’ countries of origin.” That is not exactly the equivalent of admonishing Americans that we need to welcome the world to our shores.

    • Your Fellow Catholic says:

      Excellent post SandraD !

    • Canisius says:

      Much to delight of the likes of YFC, the Pope and the rest of Left the US will cease to be nation within 50 years. The Greatest republic in history is slowing destroying itself, Leftist are in control of almost all cultural institutions and doing what they have always dreamed with their hatred of the European/Western Culture. Well you will soon get what you want…

  12. If you don’t like what the Pope is saying, maybe it’s time you rethink your presumptions. Perhaps The Lord is using Pope Francis to save your souls. Pride comes before the fall, and there is no shortage of pride expressed here.

    • Canisius says:

      What makes you think that Our Lord is using Pope Francis at all??? He is constantly attacking the most faithful Catholics with slight and put downs but just stated that he has no interest in converting Evangelicals to the Church… This from the Vicar of Christ on Earth…

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


        You must know that nothing happens without God allowing it to happen. It is our duty as true Catholics to make the best of it so that God’s glory shines!

        May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika and His Church!
        Viva Cristo Rey!
        Yours in Their Hearts,
        Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
        Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc

        • Canisius says:

          Kenneth, I hope you are right…my faith is beginning to falter…just being honest

          • F. Suleau says:

            Canisius – Don’t even suggest that thought to yourself. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. That’s it. Beginning, middle and end. I’m with you brother.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Canisius it’s not your faith. Come on I know that you are a strong gentleman. Just think even our Pope has felt like you have, this Pope didn’t even feel worthy of being the Pope, but he prayed about it and accepted it. Humility and meek of heart is what helps us surrender our will to God. Let God’s will be done, not when we tell him what should be done…..it takes a great practice of this. Its not easy for the flesh.

            Read and reflect: Psalm 22.

            Good men sometimes felt alone even our precious Lord said these words at the cross:

            Douay-Rheims Bible Matthew 27:46
            And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

            Psalm 22a

            For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David.

            1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

            Why are you so far from saving me,

            so far from my cries of anguish?

            2My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
            etc etc….read the whole Psalm and lean on Christ for His courage, strength etc etc…………………………………………Trust in the Lord

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Canisius even the saints admit that they had “dry” moments in their lives. They fought with the flesh. Just face those thoughts and take them up to God. The way you combat them is exposing them and facing them head on, you need faithful people who will pray and help you, we all need that, its part of being human and it keeps us humble.

            You are probably going through some kind of conversion (we are always growing you know when we persevere in the Lord) and that is why you feel the way you do. The flesh fights but the souls wants in. I bet its prayers from the people who love you and pray for you.

            If you are feeling this, just imagine what our Pope is going through, being human, he is most likely having those “moments” too because there is so much work to do in the church and sometimes people twist his good intentions and words especially since he is from a foreign country, he is a man of prayer too, just like you. He has to deal often with those who oppose the church and often he turns to God and still sometimes he may feel that his prayers are not going in his favor. Our Holy Father has a lot on his plate. His plate is huge we do not even comprehend the closeness of it.

    • John Feeney says:

      David, please specify what was said that you consider pride?

      • How about Canisus’ identification of “faithful Catholics.” I would wager that it is God who makes that decision.

        How about all of the people on this site who constantly assert the Catechism and never refer to the Bible.

        How about Carol’s assertion that Pope Francis is “poorly formed in the faith.”

        I don’t comment much but I observe much pride in the comments of this website.

        • Canisius says:

          Really Roger… I would say that being called a “legalistic Pelagian ie Traditional Catholics is slight and put down… but whom I am to judge

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

        It is becoming more and more clear that the left now wants make PRIDE there main battle cry. It will replace bigotry as their main battle cry!

        May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika and His Church!
        Viva Cristo Rey!
        Yours in Their Hearts,
        Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
        Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc

    • Abeca Christian says:

      David this Pope is not gonna save us but Christ will and even use Him for His will if He obeys and that is why we need to pray for Him and trust in God. For those who study our church history, we have endured many hard times, so now with this Pope, he is NOT the root nor is he the start of the issues we are concerned about, he is just part of what this society has become through out the years. To blame this one Pope and to dislike his excellency is just irrational and downright disloyal to God and unreasonable. Even Luther made excuses while he complained about the Pope of his times and look what he did, start his own protestant church! Lets fix our eye’s on Jesus not on the flaws of men! Don’t leave Jesus because of Judas.

      Roger I agree with you. This website does not only have “gay” activists here but also has people who hate Vatican II. Their hate is so deep that it is lead by pride. I may not like all that occurred during the start of Vatican II, plus I wasn’t even born then but I refuse to be poisoned by their ill negative views and frankly if my Lord took mercy on me and gifted “me” to learn of His church and His faith, His ways, then its a gift, I can’t take for granted and also I discern and reason that God’s people are imperfect and that I must appreciate God’s gift and remain faithful.

  13. Sometimes I think we have a tendency to look at things from a United States’ perspective only. Let us keep in mind that the U.S. represents only 6% of the world’s Catholics. Over 50% of the world’s Catholics live in the southern hemisphere, and therefore may have a different take on things than we do. Most of the Catholics in the world have never seen or heard a Mass in Latin. Most know the Church for its social justice efforts toward the poor. In most of the world people live with porous borders. Many of the people of the world live in refugee camps most of their lives as they flee bad governments, tribal killing sprees, religious wars, etc. Were talking millions of people. We have been isolated for so many years that we are afraid that more immigrants will change our culture, yet we can’t define it very well can we? So, it is possible that this good Pope Francis looks at thing differently than someone from the northern hemisphere, or more specifically the United States and Northern Europe. On the other hand, this is the first Pope from America and there are likely to be more in the next 100 years.

    • Catherine says:

      Bob One,

      I grew up being so called “poor.” In fact, I was the only child in my family of eight children to ever receive a new bike. We were generously given hand me downs by generous people. We were often given food and it was a Catholic priest who gave my parents $500 for a downpayment on our first and only home. It was the committed sacrifice of my parents in recognizing the importance of learning our faith and living our faith that brought the real riches to our family unit. Now go forth and multiply that tendency in the world.

      Bob, you cannot breastfeed the entire world in feigned social justice remedies because first of all you are a man and second of all it is only the implementation of Christ’s Social Kingship that brings all of us out of poverty…whether it be physical or spiritual. It is YOU who has the habitual tendency to forget that the Catholic Church was established to ensure the salvation of souls.

      • Ann Malley says:

        “…It was the committed sacrifice of my parents in recognizing the importance of learning our faith and living our faith that brought the real riches to our family unit.”

        Thank you for sharing that most practical and effective catechism, Catherine, and for stating so eloquently the mission of Holy Mother Church. Pray God we get back on track with our respective duties of state. That is the basis for judgment.

    • Canisius says:

      “. We have been isolated for so many years that we are afraid that more immigrants will change our culture, yet we can’t define it very well can we? ” Really Bob One… this is another incredibly uniformed liberal opinion. I will tell you what the American culture is, it is one where individual liberty, private property and a respect of the rule of law is supposed to be upheld. Bob One is another white liberal who detests America and believes we have stolen from everyone else, blah, blah blah,….Yes Bob One I am afraid this once great republic is being ripped to pieces by people like you.

  14. arness barts says:

    Re; the USCCB, Calif. bishops and Pope Francis on immigration. The gist is they think the US should accept everyone who wants to come here, regardless. In 2011, tho, the Vatican made its citizenship requirements more restrictive. Why doesn’t Francis accept all these indigent immigrants into the Vatican?

  15. “The Lefebvrists?” Really? Fr. Dwight you mean, of course, the SSPX, right? What’s wrong with them, other than they are holding to tradition? I’d join with them in a heartbeat if I could.Then I would not have to endure that abominable Novus Disorder masquerading as the Mass.

  16. arness barts says:

    Sorry, one more. Yes, Bob One, 6 percent of world’s Catholics. And according to the Economist, we contribute 60 percent of the Church’s global wealth.

  17. In a hedonistic, anti-religion, anti-family culture, one would hope that any Pope would make it his mission to speak out against the immorality.

    Do you think Pope Francis will ever come to California and witness outside of a Planned Parenthood abortion mill and pray for an end to baby killing worldwide?
    I doubt this will ever happen. No humility. No passion for justice from the hierarchy except if it is part of the liberal Democract party agenda.

  18. Steve Phoenix says:

    I do not understand the PF/US Bishops’/Catholic Charities argument that we are acting “uncharitably” by not admitting yet more hundreds of thousands of indigent peoples who are being forced out of their own poor, oppressed countries (obviously, oppressed by Yankee capitalism, we suppose).

    The US taxpayer already was supporting Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador this year with US aid in excess of $130 million, yet that was increased in June by another $250 million: so I don’t comprehend PF’s and the bishops’ thesis that we are morally failing by not taking on the support of other nations’ (particularly these three nations’), hundreds of thousands of youths. I can guarantee you that PF will not be housing them with him in Casa Santa Marta, nor Archbishop Gomez of LA in his rather “completely furnished” archdiocesan residence, nor Bp. Stephen Blaire (he is chair of the USCCB Com­mit­tee on Domes­tic Jus­tice and Human Devel­op­ment ) in his residence nor taking him on his many junkets where he overnights in very nice accomodations.

    Secondly, the US Bishops and their corporation, Cath Charities’, first started taking cash payments well in excess of $180 million – $200 million under the Clinton Administration in the 1990’s, effectively being bought off from criticizing the Clintons on their putrid pro-life record.

  19. Judith Brown says:

    The link to the original article does not work…..

  20. Linda Maria says:

    Today, my mom, an 85-year-old, first-generation American (of Italian heritage) told me, she loves Pope Francis! She is a very loving woman, never met a stranger, and is very affectionate and caring of people! She also was a teacher, when young, and always taught children according to absolutely impeccable standards! Boy, you would be very proud of yourself, to achieve her high standards, and she would patiently and caringly guide you right to that goal, before you even realized it! She was a “born teacher!” And an extremely clear thinker! But in life, she was “all-love” first, and then corrected you, second! Everyone adored her! You couldn’t help but always “go in the right direction,” around her! Who in the world, would want to “lower themselves,” to be sloppy, cheating, lazy, selfish, or (God forbid!) immoral, around my mom?? Nobody!! Because God sees, the Blessed Mother sees, all the Saints see, everyone sees, your Guardian Angel (WHOOPS!!) sees, and your Mom (who daily prays to your Guardian Angel!) sees, and she ADORES you! So maybe Pope Francis is just trying to bring people to Christ, in his own special way. Or, maybe my Mom just loves him, regardless!

  21. Kirk Kramer says:

    Of course conservative Catholics are upset with the Holy Father. I fear that more often than not their conservatism trumps their Catholicism. I rejoice in the election of Pope Francis, whose signal grace has been to make clear the incompatibility of conservatism & Catholicism.

    The scholar Thomas Storck has said that for several years after the Council we seemed to get a run of liberal bishops. Now we are getting some conservative bishops. He keeps hoping we will get some Catholic bishops. At least the Diocese of Rome has one.

  22. Candace says:

    The problem is that lay Catholics take a lot of flack for what Popes and Bishops say and do. Remember the sex scandal in the Church? Now we have another scandal erupting over Bishops taking millions of dollars in grants to house illegals, which is against scripture, the catechism, and American law.
    I’m tired of the scandals in the Church. When are we as Catholics going to insist that Bishops and Popes live up to their duties and set an example??? How do I explain to my fiancé, who is a new Catholic, that we should just grin and bear it?

    • Candice, you and your fiancé should read a Catholic Bible (starting with the New Testament) and the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” together. By reading the Bible and CCC you will be stronger in your Faith, and know truth from error, no matter what any Clergy says.
      Your relationship with Jesus is what is important. Your ultimate goal must be for you and your soon-to-be husband to get to Heaven for eternity. Jesus never said that all Popes, all Bishops or all Priests will get to Heaven.

      When necessary tell your fiance that the Pope, Bishops, and Priests are human beings and therefore not without sin, and also make human errors.
      Remind him of the sins of St. Peter and St. Paul (Saul). The Apostles were not perfect.

      As an FYI – Pope Francis has NOT changed any teachings of the Church, because His public statements are not infallible.
      He has made no Motu Proprio’s at all to date except in regarding to the Vatican bank – as evidenced on the Vatican web site.

      Anything said or done that is not in accord with the CCC is ignorable.
      ” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.” – Saint Pope John Paul II (CCC pg 5)
      The CCC was promulgated by Apostolic Constitution.

      • Code of Canon Law – Under “Obligations and Rights of ALL the Christian Faithful” –
        ” Can 212 §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty
        to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church
        and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful,
        without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals,
        with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.”

      • Amen!

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Pick up your bible and fix your eye’s on Jesus. That is what helps me.

      Tell her this too:
      The Serenity Prayer

      God grant me the serenity
      to accept the things I cannot change;
      courage to change the things I can;
      and wisdom to know the difference.
      Living one day at a time;
      Enjoying one moment at a time;
      Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
      Taking, as He did, this sinful world
      as it is, not as I would have it;
      Trusting that He will make all things right
      if I surrender to His Will;
      That I may be reasonably happy in this life
      and supremely happy with Him
      Forever in the next.

      I’m sure there are more ways to answer you but this is what came to mind this early morning for me. God bless you. I’m not a perfect soul nor will I ever be, but I do earnestly seek to fix on my eye’s on Jesus and love Him with all my everything.

  23. Fr. Z has a satirical article on his blog called “30 A.D. Interview of Scalfarius with Jesus of Nazareth”, which is very applicable to what is going on now.

  24. Clinton R. says:

    Pre Vatican II, no one had to spin what the Supreme Pontiff, Christ’s Vicar on Earth, said. It was clearly stated and always in line with Sacred Scripture and Tradition. No popes kissing Korans, or being “blessed” by pagans, praying in the direction of Mecca, looking to the UN for bringing about peace, etc. Somehow, I could not imagine Pope St. Pius X ever saying “…who am I to judge?” and closing his eyes and mouth while unnatural debauchery takes place all around him. When the likes of Jane Fonda, Elton John and NARAL are praising this pontiff, you know something is very, gravely wrong. Domine, misere, nobis. +JMJ+

    • Clinton R., how about the Borgia Pre Vatican II pope? He was a real doozy. I think we all tend to romanticize the past.

    • But from what I have read, even Borgia did some good things such as setting up hospitals for those in an epidemic. It seems that God really does write straight with crooked lines, His purpose to accomplish.

    • Catherine says:

      There was definitely a reason why Saint Padre Pio told my very close friend’s husband these words. “The times will become even more difficult and the assisting virtue that you will need to remember to pray for is the grace of perseverance.”

      Saint Padre Pio, pray for us and help us to follow your example during these very trying times.

      Prayer for Saint Padre Pio’s Intercession

      O God, Thou didst give Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Capuchin priest, the great privilege of participating in a unique way in the Passion of Thy Son, grant me through his intercession the grace of . . . [name your request] which I ardently desire; and above all grant me the grace of living in conformity with the death of Jesus, to arrive at the glory of the resurrection.

      Glory be to the Father . . .

  25. Well said, Abeca. When I converted to Catholicism, I looked at it as taking a marriage vow… for better and for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law…and for me personally, it is the ‘for worse” right now. Rather than become an adulteress and start looking elsewhere, I’m just going to batten down the hatches, set my course to the North Star and find the end of my journey over rough seas with my Lord to guide me. No one said it was going to be easy but we’ve been given an excellent map and beautiful instructions. Stay the course! Like the sailors with Columbus, are you going to be constant whiners and wanting to turn back? “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

    • Abeca Christian says:

      @Dana says:
      July 18, 2014 at 9:44 am
      Dana you comments are so beautiful and noble. What a lady on fire for the Lord! Praise Jesus! Tally O, I agree with you 100%.

      Good for you Dana, keep it up and fix your eye’s on Jesus and His mum. That is what will help us endure these trying times. Take a look at the good news in the L.A. County area in California, there is an update for a Tridentine parish. Awesome, lets persevere.

      I tell you if our Lord provides for us in His own timing, then think what He will do to the wicked who dishonor His natural law, the “Gay” pride people will see their day coming if they don’t repent. But for now, lets pray, act and do the holy will of our Lord’s. Pray for the conversion of all sinners especially those down right “gay’ activists who are misleading many souls due to their “gay” theories, we are living evil times, the god of sodomy is alive and well but just think, all those great evils eventually have their end, so we must not despair nor lose hope, we just need Christ to refresh us so we can endure!

      • Thanks, Abeca! I confess I laughed at myself, as I pictured me on the prow of the Titanic, eyes on the horizon. :o) Your expression “we need Christ to refresh us” is so true. How often did our Lord say to find our rest in Him, or to abide in Him and He in us. Americans as a whole, not just Catholics seem to have turned into grumblers and whiners. I remember my mom NEVER allowing us to complain or nag. Parents used to tell their kids “if you want to complain, I’ll be happy to give you something to REALLY complain about!” I’m not going to express how I feel about this pope because it would serve no purpose and it just seems to fan the flames of discontent. I’m going to share my thoughts with Our Lady, though. And you’re right, Abeca, those evils do have an end. Look at the blood bath of the French revolution! I just read recently that Queen Elizabeth is very popular in France and that many think they regret losing their monarchy.

        • Well, they didn’t lose them exactly, as shearing off their hair and then decapitating them doesn’t exactly fit the word loss, does it?!

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Dana you are a joy! A lovely person. I especially agree with your comment ” I’m not going to express how I feel about this Pope because it would serve no purpose and it just seems to fan the flames of discontent.” Bob’s your uncle! Yes I totally agree. It gets pretty barmy when we feed the flames of discontent. You try to have a chin wag with someone but then it turns into an argument. Its often not a good thing. I’m too ill in health to carry on like this. We can’t fix the world. I just surrender to my Lord and place my trust in Him. Don’t you feel like His little child, safely in His arms. It would be nice to close our eye’s and never to awaken again but to only awaken in the presence of our Lord. Even as we await for His judgement, I just feel save in in His unending mercy. Well anyhoo….

            Queen Elizabeth is just a big hype, I just wish they would focus on Christ. But they do keep to their traditions and I enjoy a cup of tea or two. Especially right after the rosary is said and some biblical verses where memorized.

          • Ah, Abeca, there are few things a good hot cuppa tea can’t help, are there? The English have an old saying, “what can’t be cured must be endured” and tea is a good way to help ease the suffering. heh heh
            I have very ill health too, so I can really relate to what you’re saying. I’ve been offering mine up lately as I don’t want it to go to waste. Remember what Bl.Archbp Sheen used to say when he drove by hospitals? “So much suffering going to waste!” Being on the last journey of life seems to put things in perspective though, and what matters most. Tending our own gardens, weeding out errors, watching the flowers bloom…smelling the roses…these our God’s gifts to us if we see that suffering draws us closer to Him, no? We are weak but He’s our strength and our hope. Jesus leads us to the Father…the source of all beauty, all truth. Wow!

          • PS. Thank you for your lovely post! You’re a joy to me too! God bless and keep you, Abeca. You were in my prayers this morning.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Thank you Dana! God bless you. I am praying for you too.

  26. Steve Phoenix says:

    “Of course conservative Catholics are upset with the Holy Father. I fear that more often than not their conservatism trumps their Catholicism. ” (Kirk Kramer)

    Labels like “conservative” and “liberal” are political, not theological, and dont pertain to perfectly valid positions on the Catholic Faith, a Faith which by its nature “keeps” or conserves what has been handed on (“For I have received from our Lord that which I handed to you..” 1 Cor 11:23, also 1 Cor. 15:3). If one “conserves” or keeps the Faith and its specific tenets, that is entirely the issue.

    The counter-vailing and popular belief is that (as Abp. Quinn maintained we could do in his 1996 Oxford Lecture on papal primacy) we can abandon what we believe (a specific example Quinn cited in that lecture was the issue of marriage and divorce). Quinn, Card. Lehman, and Card. Kasper, apparently with the implicit go-ahead from P. Francis (after all, he had Kasper key-note the address at the February 2014 consistory) are moving in the direction of ending the permanency of the sacrament of marriage. Yet to conserve what Christ taught is to teach exactly what He fiercely excoriates the Pharisees of doing in allowing divorce and re-marriage: “What God has joined together, let no man separate.” Mt 19:6.

  27. Steve Phoenix says:

    Also, to add to what Catherine commented about Padre Pio: now, years later, some of P. Pio’s personal spiritual journals have been opened (to a limited degree) to researchers: we have an even greater insight into the profundity of the man.

    Fr. Gabriel Amorth (“Pope John Paul II’s own exorcist”), a personal friend of Padre Pio, having read in later years some of P. Pio’s entries, noted: “To the last day of his life, Padre Pio, in his journals is praying fervently: What is he praying for? Against two things: ‘To avoid committing a mortal sin; and to avoid losing my faith, O Lord!’ —this from P. Pio!”

    Amorth uses this anecdote as a shuddering reminder to every one of us of the need to pray constantly, that Satan has asked to sift us all like wheat, and this is the Age of great loss of faith and moral collapse.

  28. If Pope Francis wants to take in the thousands of so-called children from Central America by all means do so. By the way look at the pictures, these are not all “children” don’t let the Left-wing media trick your, most are young adults and members of the El Salvadoren violent gang MS -13 !! Francis sounds just like liberal Democrats saying bring em in bring em let them stay!! I don’t see them going to places like Beverly Hills, Aspen Colorado, Park Avenue, or Nancy Pelosi’s, Harry Reid, Eric Holder or the imposter in chief Barak Hussein Obama’s house!!!! These are all RICH LIBERAL locations, I know I know by saying this we are bigots, homophobes, racists, anti-women, anti-Hispanic you know the typical Liberal name calling. The Southern borders are wide open for all to come, this my friends is being done on PURPOSE by the Obama regime, Obama wants to destroy this nation as fast as he can!!

    • SandraD says:

      The children are political “pons” in this corrupt political move. We must tend to the innocent children–

  29. SandraD says:

    Today’s front-page splash in The Catholic Herald reads: ‘Vatican in a spin as Pope Francis grants an explosive new interview’. That interview, with La Repubblica, quoted Francis as saying that his advisors had told him that two per cent of clergy were paedophiles – including ‘bishops and cardinals’. The Independent ran with the headline: ‘Pope Francis: “One in 50” Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals is a paedophile’.

    What fascinates me is the reaction of the Vatican Press Office, which has gone into full L/Cpl Jones ‘Don’t Panic!’ mode. Fr Federico Lombardi, the Pope’s hapless press officer, has been pointing out that La Repubblica’s interviewer, Eugenio Scalfari, (a) didn’t use a tape recorder, (b) didn’t take notes but relied on his memory and (c) is 90 years old.

    All of which is true. But it was also true last September, when Francis gave an earlier interview to Scalfari – an atheist, incidentally – under exactly the same conditions. That produced lurid headlines: Francis supposedly called the Vatican court ‘the leprosy of the papacy’, and poor Lombardi had to run around saying, hang on, there were no notes, Scalfari is ancient, etc.

    So why did Francis go back to Scalfari? I reckon the uncheckability of the quotes suits him fine. He can express his views that the Vatican is crawling with fawning backstabbers and that sexual perverts are over-represented among the clergy right up to the level of cardinal – yet leave himself diplomatic legroom by allowing for the possibility that he’s been misquoted. He is a Jesuit, after all. So is Lombardi, but it’s obvious who is being more Jesuitical here.

  30. SandraD says:

    The background to this is the Pope’s war on the Vatican. I think he hates the place. And it’s interesting that he’s placed enormous power in the hands of Cardinal George Pell, who is also full of contempt for its greedy placemen. My guess is that the reforms, when they come, will be savage.

    • SandraD says:

      Above post by Damian Thompson of the Spectator……I thought it was an interesting take on the Holy Father and the Vatican.

  31. SandraD, you are spot on he hates the place and hates Tradition, look what happened to The Franciscans of The Immaculate.

    • SandraD says:

      I think your assessment of Pope Francis is wrong…..I think he hates sin and evil. It has nothing to do with Tradition. Your off base. Pope Francis is going to kick the Devil out of Our Holy Catholic Church….starting at the Vatican.

  32. St. Peter says:

    I love this pope! God bless him! God has certainly blessed his Church with this man.

  33. I am truly thankful to the owner of this web page who has shared this wonderful piece of writing at at this time.

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