Thursday, October 31, 2019

At Least The Borgias Had Good Taste

From Charles Coulombe at Crisis:
The chaos reigning in the Vatican has driven many orthodox Catholics to despair. Perhaps their despair escalated after Francis declared himself unafraid of schism—a fear which led his last two predecessors to treat their ideological opponents within the Church gingerly. But such fear makes sense only if one believes the salvation of souls is bound up with their membership in the Church. If one is free of such belief, then neither schism nor heresy, nor even idolatry, holds any such terror. Of course, such an attitude would be neo-Pelagianism, which the Pope has repeatedly condemned.
In any case, as a thought experiment, let’s say that those who are fearful of the current senescent regime in Rome are absolutely justified in their apprehension. What’s really behind that fear? It’s the possibility that the Catholic faith isn’t true—that, thanks to her current leadership, the Church will prove just as vagrant as the Anglican Communion, and as willing burning incense to the great ones of this world.

Before we can look at lesser issues, we must look at this one. My response to this (admittedly worrisome) situation is threefold.

Firstly, the Catholic religion is true. Jesus Christ, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, really did become Incarnate of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit; he did indeed die upon the Cross to open the gates of Heaven to fallen humanity. He founded the Catholic Church—made up in every age of fallen, sinful, and often pathetic individuals, such as ourselves—to apply his merits to her members via the Sacraments, to share his teachings, and to drive off the forces of darkness. As a token of her commission, signs, and wonders have ever accompanied her on her long journey. Those tokens include (but are not limited to) the five approved Eucharistic miracles of the past 25 years, the apparitions at Fatima, and the countless medical miracles required of prospective saints and blesseds. 
That being said, the history of the Church is stained with the misdeeds of wicked and foolish pontiffs. Regardless of how the present or future may evaluate Pope Francis, no one can defend John XII, Benedict IX, Stephen VI, or the rest of that beastly fraternity. Still, the Church is not the Mystical Body of the Pope, but the Mystical Body of Christ. This reality doesn’t change, no matter what may happen in Vatican City. If one lives under such a pontiff—well, as is so often the case, J.R.R. Tolkien has some apropos advice:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

And what have we to do with that time? Just like the best of our forebears, we must strive to be saints. Adore the Eucharist, say the rosary, venerate the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts and the Precious Blood. Support solid clerics. Encourage our disheartened brethren, and evangelize those seeking truth. Above all, avoid giving in to anger or despair. The devil uses these vices to tempt us just as surely as he uses perversion, crime, and infidelity. (Read more.)

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