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Sunday, April 5, 2020

Question for the Day: Is the Pope Catholic?

Will someone not rid me of
this troublesome archbishop?
Is the pope Catholic?

It used to be a joke. Someone would ask a rhetorical question, the answer an obvious and emphatic yes:
Question: Do bees buzz? (As a beekeeper I had to get that one in!) 
Answer: Is the pope Catholic?
Unfortunately, in the era of Pope Francis, the answer is no longer a rhetorical "obvious and emphatic yes."

Does the pope, in fact, exhibit a Catholic mind and heart? Or does he join the list of popes and anti-popes who scandalized the faithful and took wrecking balls to the Church?

I scratched my head when the pope said recently that the coronavirus was nature "having a fit" over mankind polluting the planet. Really?  Is coronavirus Gaia's revenge? Is that what Francis believes? Or should we reframe the question? Is it "Pachamama's revenge."

Wow, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other natural disasters are the result of pollution? 

Sooo...what about all the natural disasters that occurred before the industrial revolution and when the earth was sparsely populated? Was Pompeii damaged by the earthquake in 62 A.D. and destroyed in 79 A.D. by the eruption of Mount Vesuvias because the people were throwing clay pots in the Sarno river?

And how about the Greek city state of Helike wiped off the map in 373 B.C. after an earthquake caused a tsunami which killed every inhabitant and sank a fleet of ships in the harbor? A thriving cultural center with its own coinage, Helike completely disappeared in the blink of an eye on that winter night. Not a single soul was saved or a body recovered. Goodness! How did those poor people incite the wrath of Mother Nature? Spitting in the harbor? Interestingly, the ancient pagans believed it was a chastisement of Poseidon. Even pagans had the sense to acknowledge the power of God; they just misidentified Him.

I could give many other examples of ancient natural disasters when there were few people on the earth and "pollution" was relegated to the trash pit where broken bits of pots and other utensils are still found by archaeologists. If you want to read about some ancient disasters (including the Antonine plague - 165-180 A.D. - that at one point killed 2000 people a day in the empire) visit here and here. Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, droughts, plagues -- every natural disaster under the sun peppers the history of the planet from Adam and Eve. Ancient historians recorded them. Even Homer mentioned some. Mother Nature is no more "having a tantrum" today than in the past. On the other hand, as the Blessed Mother so often warned, God's patience with us may be wearing a bit thin. Who is really responding to our tantrums with a well-deserved punishment?

But really --- what kind of pope uses natural tragedies and plagues to advance his personal agenda (and the UN's) against "global warming?" More and more he resembles Saul Alinsky and Rahm Emmanuel who said never let a crisis go to waste. And, under his stewardship, the Church is shrinking at an alarming rate as the nones grow. 

Even more alarming than his Mother Earth nonsense, however, was his altering the Vatican yearbook to remove the title Vicar of Christ and give his own name top billing.

Pope Francis drops Vicar of Christ in Vatican yearbook.
A number of high-ranking prelates pointed out the change in alarm. Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, former prefect of the CDF (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) called downgrading the title "theological barbarism." Archbishop Carlo Vigano described the change as:
a sort of usurpation, whereby it is not the "Servus servorum Dei" [The Servant of the Servants of God] who reigns, but the person of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has officially disavowed being the Vicar of Christ, the Successor of the Prince of the Apostles and the Supreme Pontiff, as if they were annoying trappings of the past: only mere "historical titles."
So back to the question: IS THE POPE CATHOLIC?

I won't try to answer, but I do hope you are praying and doing penance for Francis to stop the confusion and ambiguity in his ministry to the people of God.  There's never been a moment in my lifetime even in the confusion after Vatican II and the dissent to Humanae Vitae, that I have felt so bereft. God promised not to leave us orphaned, and so I cling to the lifeline of Church doctrine and tradition. But I know for sure, at this moment at least, that I'm unlikely to get a life preserver with Pope Francis pulling me in. Nope! He just keeps lobbing rocks at those treading water in the storms of life. It becomes ever more important for Catholics to study the faith, embrace the doctrine, and pray for deliverance. Because there sure doesn't seem to be much hope that rescue is coming from the "Vicar of Christ."

May God have mercy on all of us!

(If you're like me, you could use a laugh. If so, visit my Grandma blog and read the thought for the day.)