For the sake of argument, think about how the Catholic world would react if we soon had a saintly pope who restored the Church’s liturgical practices to their pre-Vatican II state, solemnly denounced all of the heresies that have proliferated since Vatican II, excommunicated the various false shepherds, and embarked upon a holy path of promoting the rights of Christ the King. Almost certainly we would find that all of the nominal Catholics who hang on Bergoglio’s every word would no longer think much of the papacy. And all of us who feel varying degrees of persecution from Rome would be united in thanksgiving, rejoicing that God had answered our prayers.
Today, however, Satan gloats over the divisions among those who would be united under a holy pope. Through his diligent efforts, Satan has fostered a tragic situation that has divided us into opposing camps: those who believe Francis is the pope, those who believe that Benedict XVI is the pope, those who believe we have not had a pope since Pius XII, and those who simply do not know what to make of the unfortunate situation. Satan takes especial pleasure when we attack each other over these differences.
As our omniscient and loving God knows, though, we would not face the same divisions about the Bergoglio crisis if the Church had unambiguously taught what Catholics should do in these precise circumstances. Just as surgeons may fight over the right course of treatment when there is no precedent, we cannot agree upon the right way to respond to the current crisis because the Church has never seen anything like it. Moreover, we do not (yet) have a St. Robert Bellarmine in our midst who can help us work together towards a cure.
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