For many years—during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI—worried Catholics like me wished that the Holy See would intervene to fix the damage caused by liberal American bishops. Now the roles are reversed, and I pray that our bishops, joining with bishops of other countries, will step in to guard the universal Church from the increasingly erratic leadership of Pope Francis.
Bishops are understandably loath to acknowledge serious divisions in the Church, and rightly reluctant to criticize the Roman Pontiff. But in any household, when the father’s behavior is causing serious harm to the family and even to himself, the most loyal and respectful of children realize that the time has come for an intervention.
Any doubt in my mind that that time has come was erased when I read this powerful opening paragraph of a Catholic Thing column by my friend Robert Royal, summarizing an unusually chaotic sequence:
In the past week or so, the pope has: praised “that great imperial Russia” for its noble culture and humanity (a remark later admitted to be “badly phrased”); lauded Genghis Khan’s blood-soaked empire for its religious tolerance and “pax mongolica” (40 million killed, give or take); encouraged Chinese Christians to be good citizens of a nation whose “culture” he greatly admires and whose government is, he says, “very respectful” towards the Church (other views abound); shied away from saying anything more about Nicaragua where the Ortegas are basically outlawing Catholicism and a bishop has been sentenced to 26 years in jail; and denounced worried Catholics, especially American Catholics, for their criticism of—well—many things, but especially “politicizing” the upcoming Synod on Synodality, and embracing rigid and empty “ideologies” instead of following the living doctrine of the Faith.
Anyone who loves the Catholic Church must be concerned about a Pontiff who manages to offend so many different groups of people in the course of one week by a series of ill-considered statements. But the problems of this disastrous papacy run much deeper. For more than a decade now, Pope Francis has been causing confusion among the faithful on matters of faith and morals. With a liberal cadre of prelates committed to “irreversible change,” and the upcoming Synod on Synodality providing their opportunity, our ailing Church sorely needs a strong infusion of clarity.
Continue reading at Catholic Culture