The problem with Francis was the problem with Karol

An article on some of the daft things that Pope Francis has said.

In many ways I think Pope Francis has done some good for the Catholic Church. But I have pretty much given up defending him on some of the stuff he has said and written. Some of his actions amount to insults to the average faithful Catholic, to be frank (no pun intended). I don’t understand why he is doing some of it. He reminds me of some kind of “crazy zen master” who is trying to teach his students by shocking them.

It’s a dangerous strategy.

I feel with this man as I did with John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) that I wish he would just shut up. Every time he opens his mouth or puts pen to paper, I cringe.

People forget how bizarre some of John Paul II’s behaviour was (kissing a Koran, holding the weird Assisi gatherings, and so on.)

In a previous related post, I provided a detailed critique by Robert (“Bible Bob”) Sungenis of John Paul II’s document on women and marriage, Mulieris Dignitatem. This is the famous “mutual submission of the spouses” document, which broke with nearly two thousand years of tradition and undermined the authority of the Catholic husband (whether it was intended or not, the document was so ambiguous that it could be read in such a manner.)

After a great deal of thought, I eventually reluctantly concluded that John Paul II just got it wrong. I shall probably never know what possessed him to write Mulieris Dignitatem, but I suspect he badly wanted to be “the feminist pope” (as he called himself) and tried to find a way to show that St Paul didn’t really mean what he seemed to be saying in Ephesians.

What is the lesson for Catholics from this? I would say simply this. Popes can err in their ordinary (non-infallible) teaching. And some recent popes have fallen into error. Not everything a pope says carries the same weight, and very little of it is both novel and true. In fact, if it sounds novel, it is probably not true. This is a lesson that even Catholics don’t always understand, let alone the media and non-Catholics.

That said, I really wish Francis would shut up. He clearly doesn’t have a head for doctrine.




2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Julian O'Dea on June 11, 2016 at 5:52 am

    “The bishop stressed the duty of “filial deference to the vicar of Christ”, while pointing out that not every papal statement is infallible and that Amoris Laetitia does not claim to be definitive or to change canon law.”


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