Those two short extracts have put me in mind of the Holy Father’s current position : many of the faithful, clearly, delight in him, and yet it is all-too-apparent that there are many people out there who, seeing the adverse effect he is having on their hidden agenda of self-satisfied destruction of the true Church and the historic Faith, wish to ‘kill’ him, at least in the sense of annihilating any influence or authority he may possess.
I’m sure that you’re only-too-well aware that there’s a lot of fuss going on at the moment around the Holy Father : but I’m not talking about the ‘public’ fuss of which we have heard so much recently - I’m talking about some much more ‘internal’ fuss, within the Church, where there is beginning to be an obvious ‘agenda’ amongst a number of people who disagree with the Holy Father about almost everything, and who want him to shoulder the blame for much of it.
Now, whether or not this also involves his abdication is not clear; but it must be apparent that ‘item two’ of their agenda is the election of a nice wishy-washy liberal who will get rid of all the Catholic teachings which they dislike, so that they can continue to say that they are Catholic, whilst being allowed to ignore any and every teaching of the Church which they personally find inconvenient or incompatible with modern populist thought.
Well, just for the record, here’s one person who disagrees with them, and who isn’t going to shut up about it.
I didn’t become a Catholic in order to jump from the frying pan into the fire : like many another convert before me, my primary reason for seeking full communion with the Holy See was the desire for authority, and certainty. If I’d wanted wishy-washy liberalism, I could have stayed in the Church of England, where I could quite easily have got all the things the ‘Stand Up for Vatican II’ brigade (et hoc genus omne) want without the slightest inconvenience . . .
Equally, I have to admit that the Holy Father’s clear determination to pursue the healing of the Church, within and without, and to take a dynamic approach to that aim, was a considerable influence on me – and I suspect many others – in leading me to make the decision to seek reception : so I suppose you could truthfully say that he is ‘one in whom my soul delights’ – and yet there are those, within the Church (usually all their lives) who cannot see him as anything but a disaster and a stumbling block.
Why ? Because he seeks to teach and promote the real Catholic Faith - hard as it can be - not their comfy perversion of it : because, in effect, he is like Lazarus - and it is on his account that people are ‘leaving them and believing in Jesus’.
However - and I know that I’ve said this before - disagreement with the Holy Father in his teaching office is schism – and schism is not only a sin, it is also something which incurs canonical penalties because it damages the unity of the Body of Christ.
As far as I understand the Catechism and the Canon Law, being Catholic is about being in full communion with the Holy See : and it seems to me that if you disagree, especially if you disagree loudly and publicly, and seek to encourage others to do so, with the Holy Father, and the teaching of the Church, then you run a serious risk of being considered at the last day not to have been in full communion with the Holy See . . . to have been, in other words, a schismatic - a ‘snake in the grass’ : and there will be a price to pay for being so.
Let me make it clear : I’m not impugning the sincerity of my former Anglican brethren, nor any other person who professes Christianity but sincerely disagrees with the teaching and discipline of the Catholic Church; I am not saying that they are not genuinely Christian, nor suggesting that they are not loved by Christ . . . and I am quite sure that many of them will get into heaven a long way before me, if indeed I am lucky enough to do so . . . because they are true to what they believe and profess.
I’m not so sure about the snakes in the grass, though : I rather think Our Blessed Lord said something about them, and although I’m sure they’d say it wasn’t my place to tell them anything - all these cradle-Catholics who are sure that they know so much more than I do about the Church, but who have failed to grasp the central fact that ‘ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia’ - I have one thing to say to them : if you don’t like what the Holy Catholic Church teaches, as taught by the Holy Father, then ‘In the name of God, Go !’
Go, and be honest dissenters, honest protestants; but stop claiming to be something you quite patently aren’t – Catholics – because you don’t deceive anyone except yourselves, and on Judgement Day that deception will do you no good at all.