Pope Francis Summation, I Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself

by Steve Ray on November 2, 2018

DA589331-A503-4F9B-B526-9940B0252787He has elevated immoral men in order to change the Catholic faith

Just over five years ago, the Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio came out onto the loggia of St. Peter’s as Pope Francis. It is useful to recall the situation of the Church that he inherited.

The sex-abuse scandals that had rocked the Church in America and some European countries at the turn of the millennium were subsiding, or so it seemed. But the dysfunction at the Vatican under Pope Benedict XVI had overwhelmed the scholarly pontiff.

Benedict’s chosen reformer for the corrupt Vatican Bank, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, initially had success in turning blood-red deficits toward the black, but he was swiftly undermined and sent packing to be the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States. Benedict’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested for stealing and leaking to the media documents revealing the intrigue and backbiting within Vatican City.

Benedict assigned three cardinals to investigate the VatiLeaks scandal. They returned to the pope a long dossier, which was widely reported to contain an account of the financial and sexual misdeeds of senior officials in the Vatican itself. At about this time European banks began squeezing the Vatican Bank, and by the turn of the New Year the Vatican’s own ATMs stopped working. Their function was restored days after Benedict announced that he would resign the papacy, the first papal resignation in five centuries.

Two storylines emerged out of the election of Bergoglio. The first was that the Church had elected a man who had a common touch and would stop the Church from becoming a museum of dead dogmas. The second is that the Church had chosen him because he had shown the energy to reform the dysfunctional curia.

At first, Pope Francis seized the momentum on both fronts. He quickly earned a great deal of positive media for making symbolic breaks with his predecessor. Some of the more traditional vestments were immediately dropped, along with the red shoes. He decided against taking up residence in the papal apartments. Instead he would live in Casa Santa Marta, a Vatican hotel.

And he quickly began making his earthy and endlessly quotable comments to the media. He gave candid interviews to the atheist Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari. Asked to comment on how he would counsel gays, he responded: “Who am I to judge?” Francis also quickly formed a special group of nine cardinal advisers to help him accomplish the work of reforming the Vatican itself.

The Francis pontificate was to be an era of mercy for sinners at the peripheries and accountability for malefactors at the Vatican. Instead, almost the opposite has taken place.

While trying to please the progressives who elected him, Pope Francis has plunged the Church into acrimony and confusion. He has put forward a revision of the Church’s teaching on the sacraments that puts traditional concepts of Christian virtue out of reach for all but the most “heroic” Christians. It is a theological revolution that not only threatens the coherence of the Catholic faith but has the potential to affect all Christians.

As for reform? Forget it. Nearly half of the members of Pope Francis’s reformist team have been pulled into sexual-abuse scandals themselves. Cardinal George Pell has returned to his native Australia to face charges of fondling children. Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga has been accused of protecting churchmen who fostered a culture of sexual predation in the seminaries of Honduras.

The German cardinal Reinhard Marx was revealed to have been negligent in investigating an abusive priest when he was bishop of Trier. American cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, who heads the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, has been exposed as having passed the buck when a priest tried to inform him of the serial sexual predation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick against seminarians.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie Nicholson November 2, 2018 at 11:07 AM

As a Convert to the Catholic Faith this articles is very disturbing..
It was the crumbling of TRUTHS and teachings in the Protestant faith that led our
family to the Catholic Church. The Deposit of Truth (Faith) that has never changed for
two thousand years on the moral teachings of Christ…
This has been our motto of why we crossed the Tiber River..
And now we are seeing the hierarchy working to re-define the Deposit of Faith.
What if they do? What then? Where do we go? ?

STEVE RAY HERE: I am in the same boat with you. But just remember that the church has Jesus Christ is the head and the pope is only the successor of Peter. Good and bad popes come and gone. Some are better than others and some are worse than others. But this is always the church and it’s been far worse in the past than it is now and it still exists and we’re still here. Don’t go anywhere just cling to Jesus Christ and his church and pray for corrections to the bad pastorale actions being implemented at the Vatican. Jesus won’t let us down!

Tres Wolfford November 2, 2018 at 12:21 PM


Thanks for reassuring words and guidance in a time like this.

God Bless

Debora gorton November 3, 2018 at 1:12 AM

Not meaning to sound weird, but I have found myself having to view every horrifying thing that is coming out now, as a reason to get excited, like preparation for a battle of all battles, the world is tired and pathetic and the rot needs to be culled. This articles claims are so mind blowing, it contradicts the reason I’m alive. So to see these truths uncovered simply can’t mean the collapse of the church. I have moments of dismay ( many ?) but deep down I see it as a mobilisation of a spiritual army, and only the fittest for the war will be around to fight and win it. If the church falls apart, Jesus was a liar and we are all meaningless blobs of flesh

HG November 7, 2018 at 2:46 PM

As an answer to Julie, your question reminded me of Peter… “where else do we go, Lord?” Our Lord will never abandon his bride the Church. Just remember St. Ignatius of Antioch. Do not be tempted to leave your bishop, your priest, or your deacon. For wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church which he long ago has founded. And nobody, not even a bad pope, nor bad bishops, can destroy the Church.

Janet M Prouty November 8, 2018 at 4:25 PM

Debora Gorton, you are so right! As an older Catholic I remember the less than perfect Church before Vatican II. The Holy Spirit guided Pope St. John XXIII to convene the council that gave us the universal call to holiness, a renewed appreciation for the Scripture, and eventually Pope St. John Paul II and his wonderful teachings and exhortations. What has been mobilized is a more committed though small army of laity (and many of us are NOT traditionalists–I have no desire to go back to the Tridentine Liturgy) that can stand and proclaim the truths of the faith. We have formed communities, prayed the devotions, studied and prayed the Scriptures and raised up committed sons and daughters. Right now, from my parish, are 7 holy young men at various stages of study for the priesthood who may get ordained by flawed bishops but will be ordained non-the-less. The Catholic Church will prevail!

Leslie January 3, 2019 at 8:39 PM

Janet M. Prouty –

Statistics comparing 1970 to 2017:

Number of priests: 59,192 to 37,181 (-22,011)
Number of religious sisters: 160,931 to 45,605 (-115,326)
Number of religious brothers: 11,623 to 4007 (-7616)
Number of Catholic marriages in the previous year: 426,309 to 144,148 (-282,161)
Catholics attending Mass every week: 48% to 23% (-25, or over a 50% drop)
(“Prior to 2000, CARA reports Gallup estimates adjusted for the effects of social desirability bias” “From 2000 on the data are from the CARA Catholic Poll (CCP).” So the first one is probably adjusted to lower the percentage, and the second is not.)

The numbers are disastrous, and no claim that the Church before Vatican II was “less than perfect” and everything is just so absolutely wonderful now can hide that. More than three quarters of Catholics don’t even bother to attend Mass every week. That is not a sign of people who are “committed.”

“The Holy Spirit guided Pope St. John XXIII to convene the council that gave us the universal call to holiness,”
You would have to talk very, very fast to convince me that the Church has not always called all Catholics to holiness.

Leslie January 3, 2019 at 8:40 PM

Sorry, I forgot to mention that the source of those statistics about the Church in the USA is https://cara.georgetown.edu/frequently-requested-church-statistics/

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