There is the semifamous American phrase “Wait til your Father gets home!” This phrase was suppose to be invoked by the mother after a rough day with the kids. Implying that the kids were going to “get it” when the Father found out about what they had been doing during the day.
What reminded me of phrase is the Pope’s visit to the United States. Apparently we think of the Pope in just this light. That when he visits we want him to deliver the comeuppance for all the wrong doing. To be the militant scold like a prophet of old. That he should be grimacing when photographed with politicians who are at odds with the Catholic faith. That whatever are most important topic is should be on the lips on the Pope at every opportunity. We don’t want the Pope to be a diplomat, but somebody as brash as Patton.
I say this especially as I find myself guilty of this. Pouring through his speeches to look to see if his priorities align with my own narrative. Not listening to the Pope, but playing doctrinal bingo trying to fill my card. It is as if I suspect that people have no idea what the Church teaches so if the Pope doesn’t forcefully speak about something no one will know. The problem is not that people don’t know what the Church teaches in general, but the why behind it.
It is oh so easy to be hypercritical regarding the Pope’s visit and to see everything as a series of “might of beens.” If only the Pope had said this. So many Catholics loved when Blessed Mother Teresa was not shy at all on abortion at the National Prayer Breakfast with the Clintons. Yet even a loving rebuke did not affect any change in behavior regarding abortion by Bill or Hillary Clinton. It seems obvious to me that Pope Francis is following St. Francis de Sales when the Saint wrote “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
So I am fighting against my own tendencies in that I want clear forceful rhetoric. A “Wait til your Holy Father gets home.” That politicians get a rhetorical pummeling.
As even the casual reader of this blog might know I have a great fondness for the writings of SF author and convert John C. Wright. For his blog posts excoriating political correctness and progressive ideology. Yet I love him even more for his clear-eyed sanity.
I thought my readers might also be interested, as this Pope seems to have stirred up more controversy among the lazy and chattering crickets of the press corps than any Pope since World War Two.
My reaction is one of delight. I believe the Holy Spirit Himself must have prompted Pope Benedict to retire, something that has not been done in centuries, to make way for this next man.
Now, let me explain one thing: my opinion of Pope Francis is not based on the newspaper reports. I am a newspaperman and newspaper editor from way back, and I know how the press works, and I do not trust them.
The lazy and dishonest mainstream press has decided to portray the Holy Father as some sort of Leftist reformer or Marxist revolutionary, and, to my intense disgust, the lazier elements of the rightwing alternate press has followed suit.
The first dozen or so times the press quoted something that sounded extraordinary, and I took the time to trace the comment back to its original source, I found that, in context, the Holy Father’s comment was entirely orthodox, and entirely in keeping with the traditional teaching of the Mother Church since time immemorial.
It happened over and over again. Reading about the support of His Holiness for the Global Warming fraud, or his Marxist disdain for capitalism, I looked up the original document or original report, only to see some utterly orthodox Christian teaching on stewardship of God’s gift of the Earth to Man, or Christian warnings against wealth and worldliness as old as Moses.
And after a dozen times, my openmindedness creaked shut: I now simply dismiss, sight unseen, any such extraordinary quotes. Perhaps the Pope in his private opinions leans more to the Left than the average American. I care not. The Church has, in history, blossomed under the Emperors of Rome and Byzantium, who were elected by the army; under sacred kingship, under parliaments, under republics, and even under the tyranny of the Turks. The Church has also opposed all these things because She opposes the world. The Church will be here long after America sinks under the weight of our own corruption, long after the collapse of the North American Federation which comes next, or the Co-Dominium World-State, or the Long Night, or the Instrumentality of Man or the whatever comes after that.
I dare say that the Church will still be here, and her teaching will be remembered, unchanged, as a magician once said of the unicorn, “she will remember them all when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits.”
Therefore I dismiss and despise the press-created image of the Pope as an illusion, as gossip, as nonsense. Why the Good Lord has decided to arrange to have the press, our natural enemy and the enemy of the faith, be charmed and pleased by this Pope, I have no idea. God’s ways are not our ways. What shall come of it, not even the wise can foresee.
To that I say amen.
In a related post today he wrote:
The Pope, as all Popes and bishops before him since the time out of mind, repeats the Christian teachings on mercy, eschewing greed, and being proper stewards of the Earth. The Catholic social teaching has been explicit for a century, and implicit from eternity.
If Francis gives greater emphasis to what seem to American conservatives to what are typically Leftwing topics, this is a call to stir you out of your self regard, and to realize that the socialists stole and perverted the concepts of altruism and service to the poor, not to mention stewardship of the environment. The Dark Lord does not create, he only corrupts.