Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio , 2007.
After only a couple of years into his papacy, Pope Benedict XVI was faced with the most serious public incident witnessed regarding a Pope since John Paul II nearly being assassinated in the early 1980s. Whilst speaking about Islam in 2007 at Regensburg, Benedict had spoken gently but firmly on the concept of reason and faith, quoting a medieval text which criticised Muhammad.
As Muslims the world over (oh so predictably) reacted with violence and murder against Churches and Catholics, Benedict sought to ease the tensions. As he was doing so, Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio took it upon himself to bypass and even opaquely justify the deaths of innocent clergy and laity at the hands of these barbarians, by declaring Benedict's words as 'destructive'.
How did Benedict respond? Well, in a manner unlike Francis would have done. By being merciful. He chose not to punish or take action against the Cardinal.
Contrast this with the rough pettiness with which Pope Francis has taken action against Cardinal Raymond Burke. Burke's great sin was not wading into a complex argument on the side of people murdering Catholics. It was not that he opposed any doctrine of the faith or sought to impose his thoughts upon the Church, thus undermining her and her teachings. And it certainly was not disrespecting the liturgy.
His Kafkaesque crime was to disagree with the terror attack upon the Catholic faith that was the Synod. While wealthy careerists such as Cardinal Walter Kasper were campaigning to give the Body and Blood of Our Lord to every dog and sinner in the streets so he could fill his coffers with more corrupt Church tax euro, Burke disagreed. Did Francis show mercy, as Benedict had shown him? Of course not, he demoted him from the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura to an honorary position as Patron of the Knights of Malta.
It is hard to believe that Pope Francis is the same man who, as a Cardinal, would attach photographs of St. Therese of Lisieux to letters that he would send. The same man who had her relics present when he began the opening address of the Synod. Has he read any of her works? Does he get the point at all? Therese was remarkable in smiling and passing good comment on people who did not like her. The worse that she saw in other people, the better she tried to bring out their goodness. If this is what Pope Francis is trying to do (and such is his peculiarity of thought, maybe he is for all I know) he is not doing a good job of it.
|St. Therese's relics at the Synod|
Perhaps when Michael Voris et al. assure us that we are not allowed to criticise the Pope, they should recall that during the Regensburg affair the now Pope Francis himself spared no thought for Pope Benedict. In the same fashion that Kasper and the German Bishops had expressed their 'loss of faith in the Pope' during the debacle surrounding the retraction (or whatever it was) of the excommunications regarding the Society of Saint Pius X.
At this point in time, liberal Catholic media outlets are rejoicing at the event in complete contrast to the manner with which they foamed at the mouth for their abortion supporting nuns on the bus and their party loving dissident priests when they were 'silenced'. They have absolutely no argument whatsoever with which to condemn Burke, but they know that they hate him so they mostly choose to mock his appearance instead.
We can only guess what goes on in the Pope's head, what truly has motivated his cruel looking appearance of Cardinal Burke. But, as Our Lord in the Gospel tells us Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Regarding hypocrisy in Catholics, the Pope once observed What makes people hypocrites? They disguise themselves, they disguise themselves as good people: they make themselves up like little holy cards, looking up at heaven as they pray, making sure they are seen – they believe they are more righteous than others they despise others. Does the Holy Father think that Burke despises him? If he has read St. Therese's Story of a Soul, poured his heart into as is claimed, why then does he think heavy handedness will help Burke? Does he not forget his own public expressions of dismay, as Burke had regarding the Synod?
|Just to outrage any haters of traditional garments who stumble on this blog post|
Maybe I've read too much St. Therese, but I have a feeling that no public outcry will turn Francis's heart on this one. Our Lord will help him to see the injustice of this in His own good time. Not through some grand act of heroism by one of us. But like Augustine, like Bartolo Rongo, like St. Paul. A mystical act of spiritual metamorphosis. The sound of a child's voice, the ringing of a Church bell, even being physically instructed by Our Lord Himself. In the same way that St. Padre Pio never doubted during his persecution by the Vatican for a time, neither then should Burke or anyone who feels threatened by the attacks on tradition squirm under such measures as these. God is not mocked. All things are possible with Him. And in the end, Our Lady tells us her Immaculate Heart will Triumph.
So offer Pope Francis some of the mercy he has not displayed (publicly at least). Pray for him today.
Or perhaps send him a letter reminding him of his own challenging behaviour towards the Papacy as a Cardinal.
Either way, Our Lord will have the final word.
“Do not be afraid to depend solely on the tenderness of God as Saint Thérèse of Lisieux did.” Pope Francis