Pope Francis: God wants me to change the Church



In private meeting with Jesuits on his recent trip to the Baltics, Pope Francis said:
"I believe the Lord wants a change in the Church. I know that the Lord wants the [Second Vatican] Council to make headway in the Church"
The assertion from Pope Francis comes in a transcript by fellow Jesuit, legendary Papal tailgater & anti-intellectual Antonio Spadaro in the magazine he is editor for. You can read the whole thing here, but I would warn you, it is very boring, and consists largely of Pope Francis' usual meaningless banal mutterings. It does start with this weirdness:
Thank you for the visit! I’m reminded of the saying Si cum Iesuitis itis, non cum Iesu itis… (If you go with the Jesuits, you won’t go with Jesus…) [here they all laugh].
Obviously I was immediately reminded of his quip that he is the devil compared with Pope St. John Paul II. Personally, given what a nightmare he is as a pope, I don't find his attempts at self-deprecating humour terribly amusing and they have me wondering how seriously he is actually being?

Anyway, on to the actual quote. The article continues with Spadaro's commentary:
A young Lithuanian Jesuit who did his theological training in Africa asks: “When you were elected pope I was studying theology. Three years ago when I was ordained priest, you became a source of inspiration for my life as a Jesuit priest. You have given so much to the Church. I want to ask you how we can help you.”
Pope Francis responds:
Thank you! I don’t know what to ask from you specifically. But what needs to be done today is to accompany the Church in a deep spiritual renewal. I believe the Lord wants a change in the Church. I have said many times that a perversion of the Church today is clericalism. But 50 years ago the Second Vatican Council said this clearly: the Church is the People of God. Read number 12 of Lumen Gentium. I know that the Lord wants the Council to make headway in the Church. Historians tell us that it takes 100 years for a Council to be applied. We are halfway there. So, if you want to help me, do whatever it takes to move the Council forward in the Church. And help me with your prayer. I need so many prayers.
 My first thought is change to what? If the Pope has a direction in mind, it seems, from all the evidence to be towards an adoption of the liberal attitudes to the Gospel message we can already observe in other Christian communities. I can't think of anything the Pope has mentioned that hasn't already played out across the world, so what can be said of these changes? Well what we know is they make Church goers disappear faster than a bowl of Maltesers at a Weight Watchers meeting.
My second thought was that the Pope's interpretation of the documents of Vatican II must be very different from the one I was taught if he thinks that the council has not made any headway in the Church. If you feel slightly puzzled by talk of the effect of Vatican II in the Church, I could recommend a couple of books. How Far Can You Go by David Lodge is a witty and clever look at the change in Catholic attitudes during the turbulent years of the council. It takes a fairly objective view, but in doing so documents the exodus from holy orders and the rout of beliefs as well as the embracing of more bohemian attitudes and beliefs and their integration into mainstream Catholic practice. Another really useful and well written book is The Worlock Archive by Clifford Longley which documents the diary of one of the main architects of the present Catholic hierarchy in England and Wales during Vatican II. Anyone who has read these books will recognise the huge difference in the pre-Vatican II Church and the post Vatican II Church. Many of the changes we find in comparing the two are found nowhere in the actual documents of Vatican II. Juxtapose this fact with what we have seen since with regard to vocation and growth. The more extreme "Spirit" of Vatican II devotees have no vocations and empty Churches. Protestantise the Catholic Church and people will soon discover that Protestants do Protestantism much better than we do.

Let's do what the Holy Father suggests and look at LG12:
12. The holy people of God shares also in Christ's prophetic office; it spreads abroad a living witness to Him, especially by means of a life of faith and charity and by offering to God a sacrifice of praise, the tribute of lips which give praise to His name.(110) The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One,(111) cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole peoples' supernatural discernment in matters of faith when "from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful" (8*) they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth. It is exercised under the guidance of the sacred teaching authority, in faithful and respectful obedience to which the people of God accepts that which is not just the word of men but truly the word of God.(112) Through it, the people of God adheres unwaveringly to the faith given once and for all to the saints,(113) penetrates it more deeply with right thinking, and applies it more fully in its life. 
It is not only through the sacraments and the ministries of the Church that the Holy Spirit sanctifies and leads the people of God and enriches it with virtues, but, "allotting his gifts to everyone according as He wills,(114) He distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank. By these gifts He makes them fit and ready to undertake the various tasks and offices which contribute toward the renewal and building up of the Church, according to the words of the Apostle: "The manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone for profit".(115) These charisms, whether they be the more outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation for they are perfectly suited to and useful for the needs of the Church. Extraordinary gifts are not to be sought after, nor are the fruits of apostolic labor to be presumptuously expected from their use; but judgment as to their genuinity and proper use belongs to those who are appointed leaders in the Church, to whose special competence it belongs, not indeed to extinguish the Spirit, but to test all things and hold fast to that which is good.(116)
LG 12 sits within the second Chapter of the constitution. In order to provide some context, we can say that Lumen gentium teaches a Christocentric ecclesiology and this is the foundation for the constitution’s treatment of the four notes of the Church. Chapter One takes up the Church’s supernatural unity. Because Christ is the eternal Son, communion with Him is communion with the entire Trinity. At the same time, this communion has a horizontal dimension. All who are united with Christ, the Head of the Mystical Body, are thereby united among themselves.

The Church’s catholicity is the subject of Chapter Two. Because Christ’s love and mission are universal, so the Church’s missionary love extends to all men. Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah, and the fruit of His mission is the establishment of a messianic people, the Church. In union with Him, the members of this people share in His anointing and thus in His mission. Baptism confers the dignity of being prophet, priest, and king in Christ.

The Church’s vocation to be the light for the nations entails the duty on the part of the all the faithful to open themselves to Christ’s transforming love so that the world can see what humanity looks like when its full potentiality is realised in communion with God in Christ.

Directly referring to LG 12, Pope Benedict XVI said:
This gift, the sensus fidei, constitutes in the believer a kind of supernatural instinct that has a connatural life with the same object of faith. It is a criterion for discerning whether or not a truth belongs to the deposit of the living apostolic tradition. It also has a propositional value because the Holy Spirit does not cease to speak to the Churches and lead them to the whole truth. Today, however, it is particularly important to clarify the criteria used to distinguish the authentic sensus fidelium from its counterfeits. In fact, it is not some kind of public opinion of the Church, and it is unthinkable to mention it in order to challenge the teachings of the Magisterium, this because the sensus fidei can not grow authentically in the believer except to the extent in which he or she fully participates in the life of the Church, and this requires a responsible adherence to her Magisterium.
What is essential is, as is constantly talked about in relation to Pope Francis, that the Magisterium informs us of what the Church teaches; the faith deposited by the Revelation of Jesus Christ is not something that can be discerned by inward reflection. It is a word spoken; a message passed on. "Faith comes from what is heard" says St. Paul (Rom 10:17) speaking to the fundamental difference between faith and philosophy. Faith comes from hearing, not -- like philosophy -- from reflection. Its nature lies in the fact that it is not the thinking out of something that can be thought out and that at the end of the process is then at my disposal as the result of my thought. Rather it is a characteristic of faith that it comes from hearing, that is the reception of something that I have not thought out, so that in the last analysis thinking in the context of faith is always a thinking over of something previously heard and received. In philosophy the thought proceeds the word (after all it is the product of the reflection that one then tries to articulate), but with faith the word proceeds the thought. Faith comes to man from outside, and this is fundamental to it -- it means that it cannot be treated and exchanged as I please; it is always foreordained, always ahead of my thinking (for more on this read Ratzinger, J., Introduction to Christianity, Ignatius, 2004 p. 91ff.).

The point is the Pope seems to be (that's generous, he is pretty obviously doing it to be honest) constantly pushing a position of primacy of conscience. This is a relativist position which has never been a part of Church teaching and has been categorically condemned consistently by the Magisterium. It does highlight a widespread criticism of Vatican II; namely that some have exploited ambiguities in the documents of the council to spread heresy.

The way the Pope approaches the problem is also very frustrating. He doesn't appear to understand the theology, he offers no insights or theological arguments for his position, which, to the majority of learned faithful is clearly in error. His position seems to be that whatever people choose to believe is correct and this citing of LG 12 would seem to be in that vein as well...But it is objectively an error.

A Catholic friend, no student of theology, said to me last night "surely they are supposed to have much more theological training than me. I mean even I can see that this is a load of bloody crap.". And that sums it up really. Are they still fooling you?

As Michael Matt said in this video, more and more Catholics are waking up to the problems under Francis and are embracing Tradition. Priests, Bishops even. It could be that this is why this is happening; to wake us all up and show us the truth. Maybe Archbishop Lefebvre was right after all?




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