Exit the Pope?

It is not disrespect of papal magisterium to register difficulties with supposedly pastoral recommendations on the basis of prudential criteria.

My reading of papal history has lately convinced me that the papacy permits the contradiction of one of the oldest axioms of philosophy: the parts are sometimes greater than the whole. That is especially true in our age when the greater share of the Fourth Estate has given up all pretense of objectivity. We are not trusted with the news to make our opinions. We are given narratives framed by opinion, and dissidence is censored to an extent that is both unconstitutional and antithetical to the truth.

For such elements of the wide ranging “media,” Pope Francis is a name to conjure with. And the conjuring is not only not generally in the hands of Christians but actually in the hands of those who are antagonistic to Christian belief and especially to the claims of the Church. Papal imprudence is given magnified effect, while ordinary magisterium is ignored. The pope himself is very vulnerable to such manipulation because of his imprudence.

  • Imprudence like: after finding the synod insufficiently open to the blessing of same-sex couples deciding to impose it on the Church by ukase. (That is the word for the decrees of the autocratic czar of all Russia.)
  • Imprudence like: placing in the dicastery of doctrine a man whose writings would no doubt make him “non idoneous” to be a bishop, let alone a cardinal entrusted with an essential curial post.
  • Imprudence like: taking the pushback of Fiducia Supplicans as a personal insult to which he pretends to give profile in courage and claim to be suffering for the truth. This from a person most free with insults (e.g., EWTN is “diabolical”).
  • Imprudence like: making the bishops know that he will not tolerate criticism, as he has shown in his scandalous treatment of even the most pious dissent (e.g., Bishop Strickland). This came before Fiducia and had an effect on our own bishops’ conference.

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