New Sherwood

Please don’t quote Pope Francis in your homilies

PopeFrancis1

Dear faithful priest of Jesus Christ,

It has long been second nature for good priests to quote or make reference to the Holy Father in their homilies. The Vicar of Christ is the chief teacher of all Christians. It is almost an inviolable principle that the pope’s reliability as a teacher is not to be questioned. And this is a praiseworthy disposition. Catholics should be able to trust the pope. It is right to encourage the faithful to look to the pope for sure guidance in all things Catholic.

But these are not ordinary times. And Pope Francis is no ordinary pope.

Today, when you quote the pope in a homily, informed and faithful Catholics can’t help but wonder if you share the pope’s brusque contempt for orthodox doctrine, his visceral dislike of traditional liturgy, his casual dismissals of Catholic morality, and his public disregard for canon law. We can’t help but wonder if you share Pope Francis’ highly critical and un-Christian attitude towards Catholics of traditional sensibilities, as demonstrated by his many hostile acts and appointments, and recorded for all posterity in The Pope Francis Little Book of Insults. We can’t help but wonder if you also share the pope’s heterodox opinions on the first and greatest commandment, or attending Mass on Sundays, or the salvation of pagans through the rites of their pagan religions. We can’t help but wonder if you also believe, with Pope Francis, that our marriages could be easily and speedily annulled, or whether ours is among the fifty percent of marriages that Pope Francis believes are invalid, or whether Catholics in troubled marriages are wasting their time by keeping their marriage vows in order to protect their children and continue receiving the sacraments. We can’t help but wonder whose side you would take should our families suffer the abandonment of a spouse who wants to remarry in the Church.

Respectfully, then, I ask the orthodox Catholic clergy: please don’t quote Pope Francis in your homilies. Please don’t quote him in your bulletins and columns and articles. Please don’t direct the faithful to the pope’s interviews, homilies, motu proprios, apostolic exhortations, or encyclicals. Please don’t pretend that this pope is a reliable guide to the Faith. We will probably try, in all charity, to assume that you just haven’t been paying much attention to the pope’s words and actions. We realize that many priests are too busy to keep up with this most confusing and loquacious of pontiffs. But in the back of our minds, we can’t help but wonder whether you are secretly on his side.

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November 12, 2015 - Posted by | Pope Francis, The Catholic Crisis

20 Comments »

  1. I agree with you…he should only be quoted when what he says follows what the Church has always said in the past 2,000 years, give or take a few. When he departs from the past, his words should be left alone, to age alone, to die alone. I can remember quoting him on the blog only once before, but never since…

    Stand your ground, though…not all will agree with you, if for no other reason than the man wears white.

    Like

    Comment by Dave Heath | November 12, 2015 | Reply

    • David, thanks for the comment. I think it is also dangerous to quote him when he is in line with tradition, as rare as that happens to be. It just gives a false impression of the pope and encourages people to look to his words for direction.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by Blogmaster | November 12, 2015 | Reply

      • Agreed. And as others have said, he speaks the occasional Truth but encapsulated within are more ambiguous statements that may lead the uninformed or misinformed to a false truth. A sort of “Caveat emptor” must certainly be applied to this pontificate, no? An old TV advert from my youth – “knowledge is power” – has to be applied to any modern Catholic to READ! READ! READ! the Truths of Catholicism, so as not to be led astray.

        Liked by 3 people

        Comment by Dave Heath | November 13, 2015

  2. Oh, no, I quote Pope Francis all the time. Like, when he said “It goes in one ear and out the other”. I follow in his footsteps, as a humble son…”it goes in one ear…”

    I also quote this: “I am worried, but you know I have a defect: a good dose of carelessness. I’m careless about these things,”

    It’s just a matter of quoting the RIGHT things, the right way.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Tony | November 13, 2015 | Reply

  3. “yet you must scrutinize it all carefully, retaining only what is good, and rejecting all that has a look of evil about it.” (1 Thess. 5: 21-22.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jim Curley | November 13, 2015 | Reply

  4. In other words, please become a sedevacantist in all but name only.

    Like

    Comment by Michelle | November 15, 2015 | Reply

    • It’s not for me to “become a sedevacantist in all but name”, but to see things for what they are. If your father is an abusive drunkard, there comes a time when you have to stop speaking of him as a paragon of virtue – all the while he remains your true father. But even with an exemplary pope, I think the practice of the last few decades of quoting the pope constantly is problematic. You don’t see this with the fathers, or even with late-vintage saints like St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Padre Pio, or St. John Vianney. The current pope just isn’t that all that important when it comes to preaching and teaching the Faith. Besides, if we were to follow the example of Pope Francis in his attitude towards the teachings of popes, dismissing them all is no big deal. The times they are a-changin’!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Blogmaster | November 15, 2015 | Reply

  5. I agree with these comments and I would never repeat any of Bergoglio’s quotes. Amen. He needs to be in charge of a Protestant church not our Holy Catholic Church. He’s a disgrace!!!

    Like

    Comment by Delia Nye | November 15, 2015 | Reply

  6. Yes I support the Holy Father.

    Like

    Comment by cristiansapiano | November 15, 2015 | Reply

  7. Soon all of you who idolize pope francis wiĺl realize that he is the biblical false prophet mentioned in Revelaion. He is now heading uniting aĺl religions into one world religion where every sin will be embraced, watered down catholic doctrine giving few droplets of heresies to unsuspecting peopłe, bringing souls to the pits of hell. Everything will be clear after The Warning – Illumination of Conscience takes place.

    Like

    Comment by jatz | November 15, 2015 | Reply

  8. Could it possibly be that this Pope is simply operating from a different (higher) level of consciousness than his predecessors and most of the Cardinals and Bishops who are now under his leadership? The Church and it’s doctrines have been in need of reform for quite some time. I see this Pope doing his best to bring about this reform in an imperfectly human institution who’s collective level of consciousness seems to have not reached beyond the “Mythic” or “Conformist” level of development. It is at this level of seeing the world, and a literal translation of the bible, (the book of revelations) that one will see Pope Francis as a “false prophet” because at the Mythic level, scripture, doctrines, dogmas, traditions, are all taken as the final authority and therefore not questioned or scrutinized. When you see the church with it’s traditions and doctrines from a level of consciousness that transcends and includes this level, (yes there are such levels) where the Holy Spirit is allowed to influence consciousness, Pope Francis’s actions start to make sense. So, like all Pope’s before him, I consider Francis quite human and therefore do not idolize him, nor do I demonize either! Personally I think catholic doctrine can use some humanizing. Remember what Jesus’ actual message was, feed the hungry, love and forgive everyone no matter what, take care of the poor and work to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven here and now. That’s pretty clear! Peace.

    Like

    Comment by Jack | November 16, 2015 | Reply

    • The problem with the soup kitchen gospel is it ignores the part of Jesus’ ministry that tells us to turn from sin to holiness.

      Like

      Comment by Bruce | November 16, 2015 | Reply

  9. I won’t be quoting you in any of my homilies. As for quoting Pope Francis, if he has a quote wrote quoting, I will. It appears you have been listening to the mainstream media’s misinterpretation of what Pope Francis says.

    Like

    Comment by Deacon Raymond | November 16, 2015 | Reply

    • No, he most likely doesn’t read just the MSM. Like me, he probably also reads Aletia and Patheos, The Remnant, Catholic Family News and Hillary White. Then there is Steve Skojec and his always excellent 1 Peter 5 blog. All one needs do then is use his Catholic intellect and compare what all the above report with what the Church and previous Popes have always taught – and even what Christ Himself has said via the Bible.

      In most cases, it wouldn’t be hard to understand why someone would not want to quote this particular Pope, or at the least, vet pretty much everything he says before doing so. It is a sad testimony of the current pontificate that we all must do exactly that…

      Like

      Comment by Dave Heath | November 16, 2015 | Reply

  10. Please don’t quote him, even if he appears to be right because what is right is also the fruit of deception at work in the “man of seduction”. If you don’t believe me and think that you are wise then you are taking a risk. If you are sincere then go, with all sincerity to the feet of the Lord and ask for wisdom to discern and as St. James says; He grants freely to whoever asks of him. (Jam. 1:5)

    Like

    Comment by Peter Rock | November 16, 2015 | Reply

  11. My comments above are not so much a commentary on what to quote or what not to quote from the Pontiff or myself. They are also not taken from the media’s mainstream interpretation of what the Pope has said. They are more about reflecting objectively on the very lens through which we see the Pope and his unorthodox style of leadership. I would think that what anyone would decide to put in a homily would come from one’s own depth and understanding of the gospel as he sees it. I agree with Peter in that wisdom is what we should all be seeking when it comes to matters of faith and how to support our fellow Christians on the journey. Wisdom gained through prayer, quiet contemplation of the scriptures and the searching of our own soul/experience.

    Like

    Comment by Jack | November 16, 2015 | Reply

    • Hi Jack,
      You wrote: “I would think that what anyone would decide to put in a homily would come from one’s own depth and understanding of the gospel as he sees it”
      The problem with this view is that what matters is how the Church sees the Gospel and not how an individual, even the Pope, sees it. This is basic and, without this, there is no Catholicism. Protestantism is the doctrine that how individuals, (whether clergy like Luther or laity) see the gospel is what matters.

      If I have misunderstood you then I apologize ahead of time.

      Like

      Comment by Bruce | November 16, 2015 | Reply

      • Hi Bruce,
        Thank you for your response. Surely you speak of a basic truth and commitment that all or most clergy sign up for when they devote their lives to God via the Church. My concern is what gets preached from the pulpit on Sundays. I come from the conviction that ultimately it is the function of all Religions to, accelerate growth in consciousness towards greater spiritual maturity and/or transform/develop the faculties in others. Without this basic mandate, religion becomes dry and a bowing down to the “letter of the law” and legalistic which can be the death of Spirit. In my experience, one encounters the Holy Spirit first in the privacy of one’s own consciousness, allowing it to illuminate, inspire, clarify, etc, then, one is informed by doctrine. So my concern is, priests who strictly and solely preach from the stance of how the Church sees the Gospel, will come across as just another “company man” to reinforce the Exoteric values of the religion. Isn’t it each Priest’s responsibility, all the way up to the Pope, to bring balance to supporting Church Doctrine while also modeling/upholding the Esoteric or Contemplative side of the Religion? My sense is that those who do not wish to quote the Pontiff in their homilies are coming from the more strict adherence to the “rule based” position of the Church while not seeing the Contemplative/Lead by Spirit side of what the Pope is doing. I also get that because he is the Pope, he is expected to tow the Company Line more than anyone else and his not doing so publically turns proponents of the tradition off. So Bruce, after all this I do not think you have misunderstood me entirely. Peace.

        Like

        Comment by Jack | November 19, 2015

  12. the conviction that ultimately it is the function of all Religions to, accelerate growth in consciousness towards greater spiritual maturity and/or transform/develop the faculties in others.

    I see this Pope doing his best to bring about this reform in an imperfectly human institution who’s collective level of consciousness seems to have not reached beyond the “Mythic” or “Conformist” level of development. It is at this level of seeing the world, and a literal translation of the bible, (the book of revelations) that one will see Pope Francis as a “false prophet” because at the Mythic level, scripture, doctrines, dogmas, traditions, are all taken as the final authority and therefore not questioned or scrutinized.

    Jack you have a really cool spiritual outlook.

    It is just too bad that what you are describing is not in the least bit Catholic. Catholicism in inherently incompatible with that picture of “function of all Religions” stuff. Now, maybe you think that Catholicism needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the new consciousness of people like Francis. That might even explain Francis. It could not possibly explain right Catholic behavior, nor the words of the Holy Spirit in Scriptures (like St. Paul telling us to shun those who would change even one point of the teachings the Apostles preached.) Either the Holy Spirit was wrong in in St. Paul’s words, or you have him wrong about the “greater consciousness” that turns its back on the old teachings of the Church.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Tony | November 21, 2015 | Reply


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