On the Franciscans of the Immaculate
- Some of the greatest saints were treated harshly by the Church, the harsh treatment of the FI is no sign they are lacking in holiness. It should be seen as a refining and a purifying and a test of obedience. Obedience to the Church (which will never ask you to sin) is very important, especially when it seems unfair. Is this situation like the revolting treatment that St Elizabeth of Hungary got at the hands of her sadistic confessor? I don't think so. Is it like the consigning to drudgery and hard work that dear St Philip Neri inflicted on the brilliantly gifted Cesar Baronius? I don't think so. Is this like the politically motivated but papally decreed Suppression of the Jesuits? No way, they are not influential enough for that. Is it like the suspicion that St Teresa of Avila came under at the hands of the Inquisition? Hmm, no, they are not really reformers, or are they? It is like the necessary anti-Jansenist purges of the seminaries in the 18th Century? I don't thinks so. But if it is like any of the cases I have mentioned, then it will (in the long run) be for the good of souls.
- Having a Capuchin "sort them out" is like having an Oratorian sort out the French Oratory or an English Benedictine sort out the Subiaco congregation. It was never going to be pretty, ones close brothers are the most critical.
- We (the great unwashed of Blogland-beyond-the-Pale) know nothing and must remember that we know nothing.
- It is wrong to compare their treatment to that of the women religious in the States who "have moved beyond Jesus" and who have had little in the way of censure. Those women have (to be fair) honestly stated their heresy and the Church's choice is either to burn them or to treat them as we would anyone else who is has wilfully misunderstood Church teaching to the point that they are endangering their own souls. Burning would only be an option if they were a serious threat to the souls of others. They aren't. So the Church must work on bringing them back to Christ for their Salvation. This will be gentle work because their mantra of male oppression produces an unhelpful knee-jerk reaction in them quicker than you can say "patriarchy".
- It is dangerous and unhelpful to portray the struggles of the FI as if they were a bastion of all that is good and true. The only creature who is that is Our Lady.
- The Holy Father will not be aware of the delicate state of my mother's faith and how she finally made it back to Confession after 50 years earlier this year. Getting her to go to Mass regularly has been difficult. She doesn't understand the Novus Ordo. She was attracted towards Benedict but I'm afraid that Pope Francis has not helped. Mother is a Thatcherite and I'm afraid his love of speaking about social justice has just about completely turned her off. Before she retired she had worked as a doctor in one of the most socially deprived areas of England, she knew more about poverty than most and whilst politically her views are indefensible, her charity was not. I am not blaming him for this, just saying that reaching out to people like my mum is not straightforward.
- I love him. It is great that he is a Jesuit. I love the way Jesuits make us feel uncomfortable. Feeling uncomfortable is good and necessary for us committed Catholics. The bottom line is that the Bishop of Rome endlessly lays down a challenge for us and the challenge is; do you love Christ? It is only right that the same challenge Our Lord gave Peter, Peter should give us. Nothing else Peter says or does has any meaning outside of this challenge