Reader-land, I have to share this very long addendum to the Pope heresy bidness. If you aren’t interested, well, read it anyway. Ha!
It seems the Catholic Church is in a crisis. An open letter of correction, people claiming Francis isn’t the pope, people saying he can be deposed, people saying that the pope can’t teach heresy, people saying we need to loosen the rules, return to the Latin mass, people saying we must not criticize the pope and we can only pray for him, that we must keep our misgivings to ourselves to not spread more confusion.
Well, let’s break all this down.
Let’s start by stating definitively that the pope cannot be deposed. Endo story. And he is 100% the real pope. Got it? This isn’t Venezuela where a political party is competing with another.
Second, and for the official record, the pope can absolutely teach heresy. Is that too bold? It’s true though, and there is a pope excommunicated after he died for his heresy. Another pope was confronted by bishops about his heretical teaching and he recanted. The dogma of infallibility does not apply to the pope UNLESS he is speaking EX CATHEDRA! Only then! Otherwise, to put it as blunt as I can, then he’d be perfect all the time. And Jesus is the head of the Church. Pope Francis could put out another synod document that says something blasphemous about Mary, or Jesus, and it would be his particular blasphemous idea. Terrible? You’re darn right.
So now I bring in a bishop, Athanasius Schneider, who is pretty darn orthodox. He wrote a very long and educational article that explains all this stuff. It’s here. Read it. I don’t like his foray into the criticism of the Novus Ordo mass, but whatever.
I want to highlight here how he talks about the need to correct, even the pope, and the role the laity play. If our shepherds will not speak up, it is our job to speak out.
“In dealing with the tragic case of a heretical pope, all the members of the Church, beginning with the bishops, down to the simple faithful, have to use all legitimate means, such as private and public corrections of the erring pope, constant and ardent prayers and public professions of the truth in order that the Apostolic See may again profess with clarity the Divine truths, that the Lord entrusted to Peter and to all his successors. “
Again, it’s a very long article, and there is a tangent about liturgical change, but it is very insightful.
But here’s my beef. How can I, a miserable historian, uneducated in the deep matters of faith, speak against doctors and bishops who have urged us to remain passive in this time? “To speak out sows more confusion,” they say. Yet here I am. And this is one of those that are causing me to want to give up. I am full of youth and revolution, “let the elder statesmen handle these matters, preferably behind closed doors”.
Well, Reader-Reader-land, I have this to say. I am no theologian or scholar. I always have been passionate, and full of youth and revolution. I cannot sit idly by while confusion is reigning, and our shepherds are not guiding us through the fog. I believe at my judgment I will be called to task for every word I did not say in support of Truth. Perhaps not revolution, but fire. St Francis Xavier had a biography called Set all Afire. We have to LEARN our faith, KNOW it, be on FIRE for it, more so than any sports team. “Were not our hearts burning as He explained the scriptures to us?”
So no, I guess I can’t be silent. St Catherine is the Saint for these times, and we should all be praying that she rises up from among us in these times. And speak out the Truth to dispel the fog and confusion! Your words may awaken that fire of sainthood in your brothers.