**Networkedblogs will continue to autopublish on all my social networks despite my absense**
It is almost laughable, the media storm surrounding the Pope’s decision to step down. Really it is almost coming off as an intellectual assault whereby the mass media, y’know ‘experts’ on everything, seemingly run the gammut of news programs and trot out on stage nearly every heretic and dissident priest and theologian for an interview. What is truly most perplexing, is the amount of Facebook armchair/keyboard ‘theologiunnns’ weighing in on the subject. You have the orthodox crowd with the most balanced opinions, but the truly ‘fun’ opinions come from the schismatics, sedevacantists and conclavists all the way to the crackpot ‘Call to Action’ aging hippie crowd trying desperately to propagate Pope ‘Sr’ Joan Chittister in the chair of St Peter along with a magisterium of the LCWR. Let’s not forget,.yesterday, in light of Benedict’s announcement, ‘Fr’ Hans Kung was let out of his modernist asylum in order to contribute his two cents of subjectivist ridden ‘Spirit of VII’ sappy drivel and all out tired heterodoxy.
Yet sifting through the ‘experts’ in the media , it produced a fun conversation at lunch between Seminarians and Clergy. We all agreed on this one, who was more conservative Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI? For us, the answer was clear and simple, Pope John Paul II was way more ‘conservative’ than Pope Benedict XVI simply because he had to be! These men inherited entirely different Churches! In 1978, The Holy Spirit chose Pope John Paul II when the Church was ready to dislocate from the inside. Heretic Bishops and Cardinals were the norm, and the post Council euphoria (stemming from commentaries, not from the Documents) took possession of an entire generation of pseudo Marxists dressed up as clergy. So what did Pope John Paul II do? Well, he didn’t stick around the Vatican,.much.. Instead, he travelled and put the Bishops on stages introducing them to their own flocks. World Youth Day was created and Pope John Paul II was the catechist. Next up, he took a young liberal theologian and rising VII ‘star’ (back then,..) and stuck him in as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith! (Translation, your goofy nutty opinions from Tubingen will now have to be kept to yourself as you will be definding the Truth!) This young guy though was a lover of liturgy, despite his sometimes questionable theology, (Karl Rahner esque). So now we have Pope John Paul II and then Bishop Joseph Ratzinger as a tag team which in the eyes of the modernist crowd were akin to Hawk and Animal from the Road Warriors! (Gratuitous wrestling reference!). Next up was ‘liberation theology’ a dressed up Marxist ideology which essentially reinterpreted the Gospel. The tag-team went right after Leonardo Boff and his South American compatriots, reigning them in and finally publically disciplining them.
As they say, new heretic, new paragraph! This time, the dynamic duo turned their attention to Fr Hans Kung, the ‘Godfather’ of ultimate nuttiness! He published a book critiquing the Infallibility of the Pope, called for women’s ordination and has been part and parcel of every dissident fest since the silly sixties. Well, Pope John Paul II suspended him as a Catholic theologian, and sent him into the Bermuda Triangle of the Church. Next up was appointing quiet Bishops,..guys who would work behind the scenes, cleaning up chancery offices. In this regard, Michael Voris is right, they were quiet, but they had no choice, they could only operate in that manner! The 1980s, had seminaries chalked full of heretic professors, however, an interesting phenomenon was happening, the seminarians themselves were more and more ‘orthodox!’ The 80s gave way to the 90 and by the end, the information age! The information age gave way to a new generation of laymen (bloggers) discovering their Faith, through other avenues, social media, EWTN, Catholic Answers,..you name it! So while the Bishops were being replaced by younger ones, younger priests were playing ‘the game’ in seminaries across the world, hiding from their formators and telling them what they wanted to hear ! Get to ordination and then be Faithful! The sacraments and people’s souls were at stake! In 2005, Pope John Paul II taught us how to age and then finally die. The athletic charismatic Pope was shown to the world as a frail old man, who needed to depend upon others.
Enter Pope Benedict XVI. A different man who inherited an entirely different Church! Orthodoxy and the hermeneutics of continuity was settling in as Vatican II was only now being received. Pope Benedict, now had some allies in the Vatican(for the most part, with the exception of a few powerful people), and could focus upon other things, namely Reform of the Reform regarding the Liturgy. So while the chances of Pope John Paul II inviting Fr Hans Kung for coffee was in the same breath as the chances of a man giving birth, Pope Benedict had no problem inviting his former collegue over for a chat, which he did! He also wanted to have a open discussion regarding divorced Catholics. While Pope Benedict as Cardinal Ratzinger was known as the ‘panzer-kardinal,’ now he was given charge of the universal Church as its supreme Pastor!
Following in the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict reasserted Catholic doctrine and dogma on all things. With regards to the extreme right, the Priestly Fraternity of St Pius X, the Pope sought to reconcile them to the Church, lifting the excommunications and did everything possible except give them the keys to the Magisterium itself, (see my posts on the SSPX,..). The Motu Propio regarding the Extraordinary Form of Mass and an invitation to commence doctrinal talks regarding ‘Religious Liberty’ which has nothing to do with doctrine at all. Essentially an amplification for a prelature which was already offered them in the 1980s under Pope John Paul II, however, he left it and asked the Bishops to be generous, clearly this was ignored, with the exception of the Ecclesia Dei commission giving birth to the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP.)
Pope John Paul II was an athlete, Pope Benedict is an intellectual. While John Paul II had to toe a more strict line, he possessed the media savvy to hide it all. Young people loved their ‘Grandpa Pope’ and he felt close to them. Nevertheless, under his Pontificate was published Evangelium Vitae, (abortion always wrong and intrinsically evil), Veritatis Splendor (lays the smackdown on modernism,..again..), Pastores Dabo Vobis (reiterated Thomas Aquinas and proper metaphysics for the training of priests, and includes a human dimension as well) and finally Dominus Iesus (Re-asserts the Catholic position with regards to other Faith communities and religions.) Pope Benedict, marks his pontificate with a Reform of the Liturgy, something his predessessor didn’t get to, and of course being Polish, wasn’t exactly known as a Liturgist! (subtle humour!) Pope John Paul showed us strength, and Pope Benedict has taught us humility. That the Papacy is not his to grab, instead, it is to serve. In resigning the Papacy, Pope Benedict showed the entire world, his frailty and most importantly, his humanity!
The modernists are heading into extinction, along with the 'Spirit' of VII poltergeist, and while they are sounding the death rattle, the true Council is about ready to begin. Obviously the work of the Holy Spirit, but these two men were the instruments God used.
As for the sedevacante conclavists and overall whackjobs, depending upon where you live, they always seem to have one 'pope,' and yes, Pope Michael is still my favorite!
To conclude, I will link the text to the Pope’s resignation speech to the consistory of Cardinals. (See here )For many, it came out of left field. We were all taken a back. Now we place our trust squarely in the Holy Spirit as ultimately God will choose a successor for us. These two giants are the last of a breed. A breed of priest ordained before Vatican II and thus were charged with rescuing the Council from misapplication and error. May God guide us as we the Church of Christ, enter into a new era. An era where relativism should have swept us away, still though we may experience the Cross, we are ever confident in the Ressurection! God bless you Pope Benedict XVI, keep us all in prayer! We will pray for you and for your successor!
**On a sidenote, I've been off FB (though my account is open) for Lent, please keep me in prayer! God bless!**
Veni Creator Spiritus!