I think what Pope Francis is up to is trying to project, re-project, is an image of the Church as compassionate. He is trying to help people remember (or learn for the first time) that she is actually all about compassion, charity in its truest form.
Fr. Z's message, today, is Thank you, Pope Francis! - In two weeks Pope Francis has done more to promote Summorum Pontificum than Pope Benedict did since the day he promulgated it. (Essentially driving catholics to the TLM).
Meanwhile, George Weigel, one of hte leading authorities on the Catholic Church in the world, puts forward:
Evangelical Catholicism is the form of Catholicism that is being born from a process of deep Catholic reform that began with Pope Leo XIII, that continued in the great Catholic renewal movements of the mid-20th century, and that reached a high point of ecclesiastical drama at Vatican II, which has now been given an authoritative interpretation by John Paul II and Benedict XVIthe Church is to understand itself as a communion (communio) of disciples in mission, formed by friendship with the Lord Jesus Christ and by an ongoing immersion in both Word and Sacrament.
Interestingly enough, Weigel believes that, at this juncture in preparing catechumens, "Every Catholic parish in America should junk its RCIA and adult education programs for a year and adopt [Fr. Robert Barron's] Catholicism instead.
One final comment to digest comes from an article I have not posted to the forum.
Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has told reporters that he sees a possibility for reunion between the Orthodox and Roman churches, even if it will probably not happen during my life.
Speaking in Turkey after his return, the Orthodox leader said that he saw a new attitude at the Vatican, which heightened his optimism about the prospects for restoring Christian unity. He said that there is a possibility for the next generations to see the churches of the East and West.
Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople foresees reunion of Christian East and West
There have been many theories put forward as to why, at this moment in Catholic Church history, Pope Benedict XVI chose to step down. Prior to the conclave, he extended his fidelity to his successor. It seems to me that if we truly believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in this process, then our fidelity also follows. At the very minimum, we owe Pope Francis the opportunity to define his papacy.
Would appreciate your thoughts. BTW - from what I can see, this blog is far from traditionalist.
A Blessed Easter to all of you!
Pinging you, especially to the comments made by Fr. Z.
I’ve been pretty disgusted by all the nitpicking “traditionalist” attacks on the Pope, as well as the arrogant tone of some of the comments. It reminds me of the Jews complaining that Jesus was healing on the Sabbath - they, who couldn’t heal anybody no matter what day of the week it was!
Personally, I think the TLM folks have lost a lot of friends with this, and I even noticed a couple of comments on Fr. Z’s blog from people who said they had been sort of interested in the TLM but after the display of hatred against Pope Francis ... Forget it, they were going back to the Novus Ordo and just trying to improve it.
I don’t think Pope Francis is going to “drive people” to the EF (old rite) but just the reverse, mostly because of the display of uncharitability and pride that has boiled out of that group. Not to mention hysteria: I don’t think the Pope has really done anything very shocking. He is clearly orthodox, very devout, a man of great prayer and charity, intelligent, and aware of the importance of getting the Gospel message through the walls that we have built around it. His masses are correct and reverent. When I saw him in Rome on Palm Sunday I was impressed by his seriousness, although he is also a excellent, affecting preacher and I liked that too.
And I say this as someone who thought BXVI was wonderful. Btw, I wonder how many of the things Francis is doing might actually be with the support of BXVI. I think Benedict really felt trapped by the bureaucracy and remoteness of life in the Vatican and didn’t feel he could accomplish anything more but knew that the world needed the Faith now more than ever. Maybe he told Francis to just go for it!
Pope Francis is a Jesuit. For better or worse, Jesuits operate in a different mode from what is common. I pray that God will grant him the grace to accomplish whatever good he is meant to accomplish. It is too early to get an idea of what is actually going to go on in terms of curial reform.
Ed Peter’s post on fathers made a great deal of sense. http://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/popes-like-dads-dont-have-a-choice-in-the-matter/
In the end, God is in control.