Wednesday, 24 September 2014

POPE FRANCIS AND VATICAN HORNET'S NEST

POPE FRANCIS AND VATICAN HORNET'S NEST


Pope Francis is basically a pastor. Many of those cardinals and bishops in the Vatican surrounding him don't have a pastoral bone in their bodies. Instead they are canon lawyers, power brokers, wheelers and dealers and princes of this world. I wonder if these men believe in God at all? I wonder if they ever pray? 

Francis wants the Catholic Church to re-examine it's attitude to divorcees. He wants people who are divorced to still be part of the church family. He does not want them banished from Holy Communion like lepers - which is the way the RC church has been treating divorcees for a very long time.

At the heart of this issue lies the traditional conflict between the IDEAL (church doctrine) and the REAL (people's everyday struggle with the ideal).

Jesus never FORCED anyone to do anything. He invited people to embrace ideals and then he himself was the bridge between the ideal and human frailty.

The Gospel (for believers) is an INVITATION to live in a certain way. But people should be free, as in the case of all invitations, to say yes or no. And people should not be punished for saying no. They are exercising their conscience and their God given freedom.

Pope Francis, as a life long compassionate pastor is not trying to undo Church teachings or ideals. He is trying to find a way for people who fail to be perfect - as we all do everyday - to still feel that they are a child of God, a memeber of Gods family - the church - and free and welcome to take part in its life, its worship and its sacraments.

In terms of a PASTORAL SOLUTION Pope Francis wants to find a way to allow divorced Catholics to receive Holy Communion. In this he is supported by the highly acclaimed theologian Cardinal Walter Kasper. 

Cardinal Walter Kasper
Cardinal Kasper has headed the Pontifical Commision on Christian Unity and has been a member of the International Theological Commission. Pope Benedict has praised him as a good theologian and Pope Francis has said that Cardinal Kasper's book on mercy did him a lot of good. He has also been involved in improving the Catholic Church's relationship with the Jews. 

Pope Francis is calling the bishops of the world together in October for a synod on the family. It is widely accepted that while the Pope wants to keep the church's ideals about marriage in tact he also wants the church to adopt a more merciful approach to divorcees. He has already set up a commission to streamline the granting of church annulments.

But a hardline rump is organising itself in opposition to the Pope before the synod. This opposition is being led by five cardinals:

Gerhard Muller - head of Doctrine of the Faith - formerly The Inquisition.
Raymond Burke - who dresses in glorious silk and who has just been moved from his job by Francis.
and Walter Brandmuller, Carlo Caffara and Velasio Da Paolis.

Rightwinger: Burke
  The five have just published a book: Remaining in the Truth of Christ - Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church.

They are hoping to influence the synod bishops against Francis by this book.

The Vatican has replied saying that Pope Francis is not even aware of the book :-)

The right wing cardinals have the backing of many of the archbishops, bishops, monsignori and priests in the Vatican who do not like the way Francis is shaking up the Vatican. 


The Christian / Catholic position on divorce should be summarised as follows:

1. The ideal is life long marriage and all are invited to embrace the ideal

2. Most people enter marriage hoping to achieve the ideal.

3. When a marriage breaks down we should support the couple, love them, understand them, make them feel not alone - as they work out their futire.

4. Even in divorce God is the God of FORGIVENESS and SECOND CHANCES.

5. All well intentioned divorcees should be welcome at the Lord's Table - Holy Communion.


THOUGHT FOR TODAY:

THE POINTLESSNESS OF WORRYING




The worried cow would have lived till now,
If she'd only saved her breath;
But she feared her hay wouldn't last all day,
And she mooed herself to death!


HUMOUR:

A little 9 year old boy was knocked down by a car outside the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and he was seriously injured. And old lady - a devout Catholic - rushed to his assistance, put her coat under his head as a pillow and asked the little boy if he would like her to send for a priest. 

The boy answered: "Mrs, do you not think I have enough problems just now".


37 comments:

  1. Liked your post yesterday on Proud to be Irish. Have dumped my UK passport in favour of an Irish one.
    Sure isn't it grand we can laugh at ourselves and not take it all too seriously.
    MMM.

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    Replies
    1. Yes MMM,

      A sense of humour is vital - with the ability to laugh at ourselves.

      Pat

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  2. I am a Catholic divorcee. I was a victim of my wife's unfaithfulness. I go to Mass and receive communion. I need no ones permission. Jesus calls me there!

    M. Crossgar

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    Replies
    1. Good for you M.

      A thinking Catholic with an independent informed conscience.

      Pat

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  3. Buckley - the heretic.

    I also take grave exception to your so called "humour"

    Senior Cleric - Down and Connor

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    Replies
    1. Jesus was the "heretic" of his day.

      Today's heretic is tomorow's visionary.

      When was your sense of humour surgically removed? You need a transplant :-)

      Pat

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  4. Is Pope Francis a heretic too?

    PP D&C

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  5. Bishop Pat,

    As a Church of Ireland priest - and therefore a catholic priest - and as a man whose first marriage did not survive - I would like to thank you for your compassionate blog today.

    My marriage break up was for both my wife and I a time of very great suffering. We were helped through that difficult by a friend - a Roman Catholic priest - who is himself a gay man.

    We survived through faith, prayer and Christian perseverance. Of course I regret our failure - but it has also made me a more compassionate Christian and priest.

    I find that compassion can be missing in those who have not suffered.

    Rev T

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  6. Hi "SENIOR Cleric": Boy but you do like your pecking order titles!
    Simple solution for you: If you take exception, then just don't read it.
    Or is that too simple?
    MournemanMichael

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    1. If I recall correctly you like your own title a lot - Humanist?

      I am entitled to read what I wish - and compliment and complain accordingly.

      Or are you one of those Humanists / Atheists who want to silence the Church?

      Senior Cleric - Down and Connor

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    2. Dear SENIOR cleric, I do not ever recall ascribing the 'Title' of humanist to myself or my comments. I do not feel a need for any title to indicate my position in relation to any pecking order, and have used MMM simply to distinguish my comments from others by linking it to my geographical location.

      If I recall correctly, I did DESCRIBE myself recently as a humanist in response to a direct question from someone asking me if I was a blind Buckleyite, a queer, or a failed priest. My response and use of the term was in context to best describe my view and perspective on the matters raised in this blogsite.
      As for wishing to 'silence the church': if by that you mean the hierarchical structure and typical practices of the RC church, well I have no need to concern myself with such an aim. It's patently quite capable of being the author of its own eventual demise.
      But since you ask, and courtesy of AC Grayling writing in the Sunday Times:
      " .....Humanism is not a doctrine or set of rules; it is an invitation to approach the question of how to live, and how to build a society thoughtfully and with kindness." With that in mind, I have no wish to silence any sincerely held views. I think most humanists are of a similar mind. While I may agree with the Richard Dawkins analysis of a belief in god or gods, I do not share his brand of strident almost aggressive atheism, and suggest you read a bit more into the humanist perspective lest you make the mistake of lumping it in with Dawkins-like atheism.
      MournemanMichael

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    3. I think you have already admitted to us on one of these blogs that you are in fact a "failed priest"?

      Six years in a seminary etc?

      How easy it is to be "secure" in your "humanism". From the sound of it you benefitted by some 20 years education from our Church.

      You then used your "educated" mind to go on and reject the hand that fed you.

      What would you be and what would you know without Christ's Church?

      I hope you were more loyal to your human family than you were to the spiritual family that gave you all you have?

      Senior Cleric - Down and Connor

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    4. Well said Very Reverend Father.

      MMM and Buckley are both ungrateful recipients of what we gave them.

      Fellow Priest

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    5. There is the old proverb that you must not bite the hand that feeds you, but maybe you should if it prevents you from feeding yourself!
      Gerry

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    6. Dear SENIOR Cleric.
      I was very fortunate indeed to have been in a seminary where care, compassion, and fellowship were predominant as an ethos, and I'm sure that those human characteristics, rather than any catholic philosophical or theological education, has influenced my way of relating to my fellow humans. Previous to that I endured years of grammar school sadistic physical punishments from so called "christian" brothers devoid, with a few noteable exceptions of any semblance of compassion or care.
      That said in relation to my "church" education, having further developed my understanding when RC doctrinal thinking and practices were patently no longer relevant to how I wished to lead my life, now nearly 50 years on, I am very content that the major influence on my position vis a vis religion and its practices, has been secular tertiary education and subsequent personal reading AFTER I progressed beyond those narrow insular perspectives of Irish cradle catholicism.
      I recognise that many here in N. Ireland, brought up in the tribal beliefs of catholicism or protestantism have no wish to question their received beliefs, and/or have no perception that there are any valid beliefs beyond their own received perspective. That's fine by me, but I do hope they also subscribe to a core requirement common to most religions, and to humanism, that they live thoughtfully and kindly. It's the blinkered extremists of all persuasions we should worry about.
      And if I may quote some scripture, as I have no wish to continue in debate with closed minds, should that by any chance include you:
      " ....because seeing, they see not...etc" Matthew 13:13
      " O foolish people....which have eyes and see not....etc" Jeremiah 5:21
      A secular quote from Benjamin Whichcote may also be very apposite: "There are none so empty as those who are full of themselves"
      MournemanMichael

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  7. As for MMM, to follow your logic then, if one doesn't like something; don't blog about it! Change from within is much more effective. As for the humour, it is crude! I expect nothing else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that change from within is much more effective.

      But most of us - for whatever reason - are not always able to change from within. We can be too settled and smug within. Change is hard.

      Inner change is often prompted by external forces.

      Hearing the Gospel is an example - we hear the Gospel and having thought about it are compelled to change from within.

      As for the humour - it is not crude. Humour is appropriate in nearly all circumstances.

      As MMM said we need to be able to laugh at ourselves and the things we are too serious (anally retentive) about.

      Pat

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    2. Crude response!

      Delete
  8. This "Senior Cleric" thing bugs me.

    Jesus reprimanded the apostles for arguing among themselves as to who was the greatest.

    He also said: (last Sundays readings) "The first shall be last and the last shall be first".

    Very Junior and Very Disillusioned Priest D&C

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    Replies
    1. An excellent quote and very apposite in the circumstances. Thank you.

      If it bugs you it clearly "bugs" him, but in a different way, so much so that he seems very keen to constantly remind us of it!
      MournemanMichael

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  9. Buckley - as a faggot - you would know all about anal retention.

    Priest

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    Replies
    1. Father,

      How very noble and Christian you must be to engage in homophobia?

      It does not take a lot of scratching to reveal the truth within.

      Pat

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    2. Bishop Pat you are well informed as to the extent of the opposition faced by our beloved Pope Francis. The extraordinary synod on the Family which as you know will soon convene in the Vatican is merely the most open of the battle fields. Francis as you so rightly say is a pastor. He is also a genuinely good and decent man who wants to be a priest to everyone he encounters. This includes dealing with problem cardinals and bishops whom he knows have opposed him and done so much to try and undermine him both publicly and privately. You are aware that Cardinal Burke is to be removed from his powerful position of Head of the Apostolic Signatura. He has been a constant thorn in the side of the pope, briefing against the pope and willingly allowing himself to be the standard bearer of all who oppose his reforms. Francis has been aware of this, and even when some of us who have had the opportunity to mention this to the Holy Father, have counselled him to punish this buffoon with a penchant for handsome seminarians and dressing up in out-landish robes, Francis has always replied "I am a priest for goodness sake and I must be a priest to those who hate me as well as to those who love me." Francis, knowing Raymond Burkes liking for ostentation and ceremony has gone out of his way to find him a largely meaningless and ceremonial role where he can indulge his love of dressing-up but who can do no damage to Francis's programme of reform. The wonderful thing about Francis is that he lives a very open life surrounded by people. It would be very difficult, but not impossible, for his enemies to prevail over him. I have heard a rumour in the Vatican that some here hate him so much they would willingly pay some Islamic fundamentalists to assassinate the pope . Please God this will not happen, but thank you dear Bishop for bringing these issues to the attention of your followers. Vatican Minutante

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    3. Dear Vatican M,

      Thank you for your very informative contribution.

      Hopefully Goodness will prevail:

      "Good forever on the scaffold;
      Evil always on the throne;
      But God stands within the shadows,
      Keeping watch upon his own".

      Pat

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  10. Vatican Minutante: how very refreshing and candid. Thank you. MMM

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  11. You have been the perfect guest over the years, well done!!

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  12. Just a quick question. Is MMM the parishioner you had an affair with in the 1980s?

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    Replies
    1. You've not read an earlier comment I made in which I said that I've never spoken to, or met Pat B. or attended any service involving him. So that's the quick answer to that.
      MMM

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    2. I wish to confirm what MMM has said. I have never met him and do not even know his real name.

      What kind of mind reduces everything to the sexual?

      Pat

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  13. Dear 'Senior Cleric' & fellow priest,

    Please could I ask you to drop the 'Senior' appendage ? Is sharing in the Priesthood of Jesus not sufficient enough for you, that you feel the the need to add a title of superiority to your identification as a cleric ? This is immature and as a brother Priest I would respectively ask you to refrain from it in future contributions to the blog.

    Priest of Down & Connor.

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    Replies
    1. Well said that man, and so much better that it comes from a priest who recognises his immaturity, for he doesn't appear to.
      MMM

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    2. I have no dog in this hunt, except to offer that perhaps "Senior Cleric" is referring to an advanced age in years rather than an exalted status as a professional religious. And I'm a Yank, so, as your countryman would have it, we have really everything in common except, of course, language.

      Delete
  14. Pope Francis wants a word with you. Apparently you have a fantastic insight to all things but sham behaviour!

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    Replies
    1. I do not think that's true.

      He seems to know a sham priest when he sees one?

      Delete
  15. "The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers".

    Denis Diderot

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  16. As an Anglican, brought up RC, living in France, (noone goes to church here anymore), not sure whether to laugh or cry at some of the above. For me Bishop Pat is spot on with his comments. Bless you all,

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