Mother of all Lents

Lent 2014 is proving to be a severe trial for a couple of families we know. A mother of 10 is hospitalized with the painful effects of a debilitating auto-immune disorder. Another family is tormented by escalating mental illness. We are too far away to be of much help. Please pray for Mrs. B, Mr. C, and their respective families.


Meanwhile, some of the best Catholics are so deeply scandalized by Pope Francis that they are considering leaving the Church pending the outcome of the October Synod. Others – including people I know personally – have already retreated into sedevacantism or the fever swamps of end-times prophecies. Pray for them, too, for the grace of perseverance.


Rome is aware of mounting resistance among the orthodox clergy to the new direction of Pope Francis in which Catholic teachings, already besieged, are further marginalized to the point of irrelevance.

Francis is facing internal opposition from within ecclesiastical bodies, the episcopates and the clergy …. Some resistance has been public, whilst in other cases it has been muttered or not expressed at all, if not through silence and detachment.”


Elsewhere in the blogosphere there is a dust-up over the legitimacy of criticizing the pope. Articles by Joseph Shaw, Patrick Archbold, Steve Skojec, Hilary White, Fr. John Hunwicke, and Chris Jackson articulate various positions on the “grown-up” side of this debate. My own apologia can be found here – Criticizing the Pope: An FAQ.


Many people are asking what should be done if the upcoming Synod results in a papal decision to allow married Catholics who are civilly divorced and invalidly “remarried” to receive holy communion. That would include any scheme that reduces the annulment process to a “pastoral” decision by a parish priest. God willing, should we fail to avert such a disaster, there will be a few cardinals and bishops to whom we can look for guidance. But one thing is absolutely certain: this practice would be a sin, and Catholics cannot comply.

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