|Pope John XXIII|
And then, if that weren’t bad enough, Pope Francis quotes Good Pope John—who, to the neo-trads—was anything but good. “You should see everything, turn a blind eye to much, correct a little” said the about-to-be-sainted Pope and echoed by his current successor. “Whoa Nellie,” the neo-trads cry—“we need a Pope who corrects everything. Why we got politicians who vote for Gay Marriage and liberal abortion laws marching up the communion aisle with the audacity of a Virgin Martyr; we got lesbian nuns practicing Wicca, we got priests in clown-suits saying Mass, we got Catholics voting for Obama (“the most anti-Catholic President in American History,”) we got churches being turned into discos—this “correct a little” ain’t working. We need the Inquisition, not “I’m OK; You’re OK.” Yeah, this Francis thing ain’t working for those who want to bring back the old order, but for those of us who accept the basic premise that God’s Grace is given to all in the mystical body—you know, that Vatican II thing about a “universal call to holiness”—this discernment thing is an idea whose time has come. It worked for Ignatius. In fact, it worked for the great saints throughout history, men and women who chose (with God’s grace) a path of holiness: Thomas More, Bernard of Clairvaux, Thérèse of Lisieux, Francis of Assisi, Benedict, Damien of Molokai, Edith Stein, and perhaps—best of all—the Blessed Virgin Mary. They all listened attentively to the Holy Spirit speak within their souls and charted a course that was in one way or another outside the lines of those who had gone before them. In fact, I suspect that if one looked carefully at the lives of the Saints, we would see that an adult, mature, and free response to the Holy Spirit was the more common path than blind unthinking submission to authority. Go Francis.