The papacy is meant to unite the Church, not divide it.
Almost four years into the papacy of Pope Francis, the division his teaching (or lack of teaching) is causing has reached a crisis point.
Phil Lawler’s article (“This Disastrous Papacy“), published last night, deserves to be read and considered seriously. I, too, had a visceral reaction when I read Pope Francis’ homily last Friday.
Now comes a report from the UK Times that the group of liberal cardinals who agitated for Cardinal Bergoglio to become pope are now convinced that he is leading the Church towards schism and he ought to step down. It is worth registering with the UK Times website for free to read the whole article.
Now, I understand and agree that is a serious wrong to force or foment that the pope resign. I also think it is highly unlikely that Pope Francis would resign. Nor am I calling for and suggesting that he should resign.
What I am saying is there is serious discord in the Church, Pope Francis is inexplicably refusing to resolve it, and his (in)actions are causing a crisis.
Whatever your view of this papacy—positive, neutral or negative—it should be obvious to all that something is wrong in Rome. Dysfunctional is the word that comes to mind.
Vatican financial reform abandoned, cardinals openly sniping at one another, the clergy sex-abuse response falling apart, bishops saying diametrically opposed things to one another — this isn’t a “messy” Church as Pope Francis has sometimes said he wants, this is a Church drifting and directionless.
If all of this were happening under the pontificate of Pope Benedict or Saint John Paul II, the media would be having a field day, calling Pope Francis a failed leader and urging a vote of no confidence from his curia.
Instead, the liberal media is happy to let Pope Francis off the hook because the liberal media loves where this is headed – schism, discord, confusion and chaos.
As faithful Catholics, we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to what is unfolding.
With Lent upon us, I am urging us all to renewed prayer and fasting on behalf of the papacy in general and Pope Francis in particular.
And I am urging all of us, in private and in public, to speak out about what is happening.
Finally, in our individual capacities, and always with charity, I am urging us to encourage and demand that our priests and bishops defend the constant and perennial teaching of the Church.
Now, please pray with me:
Prayer to St. Joseph, the Protector of the Church
Father, you entrusted our Savior to the care of Saint Joseph.
By the help of his prayers may your Church continue to serve its Lord,
Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.