THURSDAY – “IS THE POPE CATHOLIC?”
One week ago – and the scandal is still being “discussed” —
“Is the pope Catholic” – ha ha ha ha (Not a joke.)
The answer is: “Sometimes; sometimes not.” Sometimes any given pope will believe and practice what the Catholic Church teaches; sometimes he will not believe and/or practice what the Church teaches.
(Note: the pope is not the Church.)
And so we have popes who were very good and devout teachers, shepherds, examples, and disciples of their Lord; and we also have popes who were scandalous and despicable; and we have popes that were everywhere in between on the spectrum of pope assessments.
(There is good reason to honestly consider what Catholic saints have envisioned: that towards the End of this Age, the pope becomes the dreaded False Prophet, which will lead [undiscerning] people into false religious beliefs, and thereby promote the coming Anti-Christ , in whatever manner that will come about.)
And as humans everywhere, some popes suffered a great deal while in office; some popes became unexpectedly bad, while others were able to grow in personal holiness, a task given to all men.
Any given pope is not “right: just because he is in that office (the See of Peter).
Just before Jesus left this Earth leaving someone to govern in His place temporarily, He met with the Twelve, His most intimate, His most well-instructed friends, and taught them some of the dearest, most precious things they were to do.
It is written that He “breathed on them” after doing this, given them a specially ordained position among all the followers of Christ that would come after.
This is one of the things He taught. Not that they should go around with an emphasis on hygiene. Not that they should copy this physical action every year during Holy Week. But this is a blueprint for the heart of the Twelve Disciples, just ordained, now, for Service in the name of the Lord.
A priest is your servant.
Uh . . . well, a good priest is your servant. A “bad priest” can serve you only by administering the Sacraments for you – the Church does nourish. A bad, sinful priest, if truly ordained, has consecrated Hands. Woe to these Hands that do evil . . . worse than for us who are not priests.
Actually, much more can be said about the meaning of Jesus, the Servant of God, and His demonstrative actions of washing the feet of His Twelve disciples — newly chosen, newly anointed, newly ordained to carry on the saving work of the Church — but that’s the main point here.
We don’t ordain women. Women have a special, elevated role in the life of the Christian world and certainly as the foundation of every family – (if only “modern” women knew how).
Women have an irreplaceable (and honored) role in Christendom that stems from the reality of the Virgin Mary, the Untier of Knots, the Un-Do-er of the tangle begun by Eve.
Women are elevated and respected by devout Catholics, but we don’t ordain women to do the job appointed to males.
The present-day pope, not understanding this, washed the feet of some women last week. Holy Thursday – a day to deny Church teachings, apparently.
This present-day pope also washed the feet of some non-Christians, who so far plan to remain non-Christian. Holy Thursday – a day to defy Church teaching. (Are Muslims and non-believers expected to work within the Church and to bring Jesus to people?)
And so, on this Easter Thursday, amidst rejoicing, and joy for the beginning of the Christian priesthood, if we are to be honest, there is scandal and astonishment that the leader of the Catholic Church could brazenly and publicly pat himself on the back for denying Catholic teachings.
Representatives of Christ, prime ministers, vicars, “bridges” – whatever English word you want to use for the office, can be very disappointing. Even so “ambassadors,” which are we Christian people . . . very disappointing.
Christ alone is the Head of the Catholic Church.