Just arrived in this morning’s email is this broadcast from Sandro Magister’s Chiesa: “Francis’ Patient Revolution.” Reading it, patience is the last quality that comes to mind:
There was no agreement at the synod on homosexuality and divorce, but in the end it will be the pope who decides. And he already has in mind the changes he wants to introduce, or rather is already putting them into practice.
It is not true that Francis was silent during the two weeks of the synod. In the morning homilies at Saint Martha’s, he hammered away every day at the zealots of tradition, those who load unbearable burdens onto men, those who have only certainties and no doubts, the same against whom he lashed out in the farewell address with the synod fathers.
He is anything but impartial, this pope. He wanted the synod to orient the Catholic hierarchy toward a new vision of divorce and homosexuality, and he has succeeded, in spite of the scanty number of votes in favor of the change of course, after two weeks of fiery discussion.
One paragraph startled me some. In the early days of his pontificate, the romance of Francis was stoked with charming stories of his humility. He scrambled his own eggs, tied his own shoes, took the bus. An ordinary Joe, just like you and me but more so. We saw nothing in the press like this:
On communion for the divorced and remarried, it is already known how the pope thinks. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he authorized the “curas villeros,” the priests sent to the peripheries, to give communion to all, although four fifths of the couples were not even married. And as pope, by telephone or letter he is not afraid of encouraging some of the faithful who have remarried to receive communion without worrying about it, right away, even without those “penitential paths under the guidance of the diocesan bishop” projected by some at the synod, and without issuing any denials when the news of his actions comes out.
Set aside, if you can, the specific moral teachings that are in the dock. Suppress for a moment whatever conscientious sympathy you might have with Francis’ aims. What bewilders me here is the precipitous end-run being made around collegiality and subsidiarity, with scant regard for the trust of the faithful in the validity of the Church’s essential moral suasion on essential matters. If McGavin’s report is correct—what reason to think it is not?—Francis is more a covert operative than the shepherd we welcomed at the outset.
The law of unintended consequences is inexorable. And fearsome. We already have one seditious authoritarian in the White House. To think there could be another on the Chair of Peter breaks the heart.
Read the entire essay here.