Pope Benedict resigns. Is there a John XXlV around?

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The odds against a progressive pope are small given that the 118 men have all been chosen by Woytyla/Ratzinger. And they have been chosen for rigid orthodoxy even on the issue of contraception which lay Catholics in their wisdom(after all they administer the sacrament to each other) have almost totally rejected.I know a few priests who turned down the  fancy hat because in conscience they could not defend this test of orthodoxy.They had too much dignity but sadly those were and still are the “rules” for the upwardly mobile priestly caste who “seek the purple.” Another proviso for advancement: Never ever mention female ordination or celibacy.Two more No Nos.If as a priest you persist in these wild assertions you will run the plank as has Roy Bourgeois.Tony Flannery in Ireland may be next.

This is what it has come down to in the “ice age” (Rahner) of Woytyla/Ratzinger, even in matters of church discipline which could easily be changed (as John XXlll said about celibacy, “I could change it with a snap of my fingers.”).

Think hard on this.

The Church which gave the world universities, which championed the use of reason and critical thinking has now become a fear-based institution, promoting Yes  men and sending some of its best thinkers into the nether darkness. This is shocking beyond belief and should be a source of concern for serious Catholics.

In the diocese of Toronto where I live there is a dearth of “upper rooms” where Catholics can come in freedom, the same freedom the New Testament called “Parrhesia”, plain-speaking, venues where the faithful can speak without censure, fear of reprisal in this age of ecclesial confusion.Now you must get a pass from the Toronto archdiocese to come into town to give a talk—and woe to you if you might have different thoughts!

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Pastors still are living in fear.We experienced this when a bishop in good standing the brilliant Geoffrey Robinson, the most respected and intelligent Australian bishop came to town to speak about the Church. Geoff had written a book Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church which was honest but he was deemed persona non grata by Catholic institutions, universities and parishes. No Catholic institution would host him, a bishop in good standing! The bishop who “banned” him was a good man who had lost his independence and common sense.

The Woytyla/Ratzinger pontificate some day will have to answer not only for their toleration of sexual abusers but for their active intellectual abuse of good theologians, many who cannot work in Catholic institutions now.This has stalemated Catholic theology and raised up sycophants who readily appear on national television as spokesmen of all things Catholic.

Given all of the above one of the hoped-for events of the next pontificate would be a return to “the message of mercy” which John XXlll proclaimed when he called the great Council over 50 years ago.The youngest bishop at that Council Remi De Roo told me he was stunned at the end of the council when Pope Paul Vl appeared to say the final mass and who was at the altar with him, all the great men banned before the Council! This is exactly what the Church needs, a man with a large heart who acts more like Jesus than a fearful power broker terrified of the New which alone can rescue this Church from irrelevance.

Is there one such man in the 118?

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1 Comment »

  1. 1
    laurettasantarossa Says:

    Good one Ted. Man oh man, we’ve lived in interesting times, haven’t we!


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