November 25, 2016

Putting Pope Francis in Perspective

Jesus giving the keys to the kingdom to Peter.

The Crushed Bones has a thoughtful article "To Conscience First", that is well worth your time. With all the concern over Pope Francis' propensity to "make a mess" (see here and here), it should be remembered that no pontiff can unilaterally overturn Church doctrine. Some timely insights from the post:

"It is frighteningly easy for priests, bishops, cardinals and Popes to misuse their authority in many and varied ways, but in particular regard to the Papacy, cause for anxiety is very well-founded because the Pope oversees not simply a parish or a Diocese, but is Supreme Pontiff for the whole Universal Church. If the Shepherd goes astray, the multitude of sheep who follow him will likely go astray too. ...
'Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam.'
'You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.'
One cannot help but feel that the omission of the clause 'et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam' is all too much of a coincidence at this time of great crisis and confusion, for the second clause of the sentence really fleshes out who Peter is and who his Successors are, because Peter does not exist in isolation or in some sort of power vacuum, but instead in intimate Communion with the One Who delivered this mandate to the Prince of the Apostles. ... If he breaks his Communion with Christ in a public manner, or signifies that he is doing so, he shatters the unity of the Church founded on the Rock of Peter. That is why we are in such a fragile, delicate and potentially disastrous time. Read the article in full.

We should remember Christ's Mandate

Jesus Christ commanded his Church to teach and preserve all that he taught (Matthew. 28:19–20). He promised the protection of the Holy Spirit to "guide you into all the truth" (John 16:13). That command and that promise assure that the Church will never fall away from his teachings, (Matthew. 16:18, 1 Timothy. 3:1) despite individual Catholics who are unfaithful. Let us pray that we may be one.

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