|St. Francis of Assisi, whose name the new pontiff has taken, heard the crucified Savior say to him, "Go, Francis and rebuild my Church." These words Bishop Fellay wrote as he offered his best wishes to the newly-elected Pope for a successful pontificate. Now that the spotlight is off the Vatican and each one is going about his business, may we suggest to our readers some thoughts about his ecclesiastical career and how we might obtain insights into his pontificate?|
Concerning the exponential rise of blasphemy in our world, Cardinal Bergoglio revealed more than once his dislike for confrontations over or demonstrations against blasphemous expositions. Is it not akin to a politician who likes to get along with everyone and will ask for peace rather than provoke a confrontation by boldly proclaiming the truth of the moral law?
Unlike his predecessor, but in the footsteps of John Paul II, the Pope seems happy to oblige a media ever ready to turn him into a superstar. Yet this ready-made "Pope of the humble and the poor" could in reality be promoting not personal humility but humiliation of the Church and denial of the rights of Christ. As Bishop Fellay explains in his Letter to Friends and Benefactors:
We pray that She who has overcome all heresies will inspire the new Vicar of Christ to be another crusader against the modern errors and ecumenical deviations which are obscuring the true face of the Bride of Christ.
Yet at the same time, we have seen gestures from Cardinal Bergoglio and heard statements which forebode something quite different. He participated in false worship in synagogues and in ambiguous ecumenical events with Protestants.
When asked about the statement of Benedict XVI concerning the Muslims spreading the faith by the sword, the Cardinal answered: "The Pope’s words do not have my support." And he contrasted the former pope to John Paul II, whom he considered skilled at "dialogue" with the Muslim world:
We could say so much more about his apparent friendliness to communists and the violently anti-Christian Argentinean government, social questions apart, on which is stance, however strong, nevertheless remains humanistic. In his biography El Jesuita [The Jesuit], he praises the work of the theologians of the liberation theology movement as well as Cardinal Casaroli and his Ostpoliticcompromise with communist Moscow. The mission of a Pope is not compatible with an attitude of a mercenary politician ready to work for whatever is popular in the world these days. St. Augustine has this to say about mercenaries:
Bishop Fellay, when blessing the cornerstone of the new SSPX seminary in Virginia this past month, explained that this Pope is not a European intellectual but a pragmatic man. This mindset, geared towards action, is seen clearly in his scolding of those Catholics who wish for the return of the pre-conciliar Church, that is the Church of Tradition. The Pope explains:
These words do not bode well for any coming back to sane doctrine or for any acceptable pragmatic solution to the canonical persecution of the Society of St. Pius X through our unjust canonical irregularity. We can imagine that one with this attitude would demand not only an agreement not to criticize Vatican II but an affirmative embrace of this "beautiful work," neither of which exigencies would the SSPX ever accept.
No doubt, the pontificate of Pope Francis will blaze new trails. It would seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from that of the two previous Popes who were university professors. The reigning Pontiff may be more concerned about practical results. Such a desire could be for the good of the Faith and Tradition if the results desired were the rebuilding of the Faith and thereby the Church; although we have many reasons to fear that the results he doggedly pursues will prove more detrimental to the Church than Benedict XVI’s moderate reforms proved favorable. So, more than ever, this is a time for all traditional Catholics to pray for Peter, for the gift of fortitude in fulfilling his mission of "confirming his brethren in the Faith."