Cleansing Fire

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The Appeal of Pope Francis

February 25th, 2015, Promulgated by Dominick Anthony Zarcone

The Democrat & Chronicle recently reported that during Lent  a series of presentations would be hosted at the Cathedral each Sunday (February 22nd to March 22nd) which explore the vision of Pope Francis.  For a number of reasons I do not find this series personally appealing.

My concern with the series of presentations, of course, has nothing to do with Pope Francis himself.  Personally, Pope Francis is appealing; not because he says what I want to hear said or because he does what I want to see done or because he writes what I want to read.  Because Francis is the Holy Father, the Supreme Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ, the Servant of the Servants of God, the Pope is personally appealing.  Because of his teaching office, the charism of infallibility, apostolic succession and his authority, Pope Francis is personally appealing.

Although the events are free and open to the public, my first problem with the series is the time of day: Sunday morning Holy Mass at 9:15 AM followed by a breakfast discussion from 10:30 to 11:30 AM.  That is close to the time on Sunday when devout Catholics gather with beloved faith communities at Holy Mass for worship, fellowship and service ministries. We are called to “stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another….” (Compare Hebrews 10: 24, 25).  To attend the events at the Cathedral on Sunday mornings during Lent would take me away from the celebration of Jesus Christ within my family parish and would take me away from the holy responsibilities I have been given for service.  And yet, there are other concerns which make these events less appealing.

“Jesuit Spirituality: Source of Hope and Joy” sounds very interesting, but would I be unnecessarily distracted by remembering that the Jesuit presenter allowed two male teenagers to attend a dance together as partners?

“A Church That Finds New Roads” is a title that startles me.  Biblical exhortations that have influenced my heart for spiritual good include what Jeremiah wrote: “Thus says the LORD, ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it and find rest for your souls.’”  The Lord Jesus Himself is quoted saying, “Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

The title which is most appealing for me is “The Church of Mercy”.  Alas, I will not attend because of the call to experience the Mercy of God in Jesus Christ at my family’s home parish where we will celebrate and experience the Grace of God in both the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Will those who present and will those who attend the series of events hosted at the Cathedral this Lenten season find an agenda for which they have advocated for years?   That some cardinal would surface leading them to the progressive papacy and dissident Catholicism to which the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI, Pope Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI refused to go?  I certainly hope not!

May each discover in Pope Francis the Catholic Sacred Tradition which he preserves and by which he pastors universally.  If this is their discovery, they will discover in the Holy Father, Pope Francis, the Catholic faith, the Catholic morality and Catholic mission all through which shines the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, the only Savior of the world.

We have a Pope.  Long live the Pope.

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3 Responses to “The Appeal of Pope Francis”

  1. avatar christian says:

    I have to agree with your comments regarding holding these presentations for the Lenten Season in the morning when area Catholics are attending their own church community for mass and mingling with their own church family afterwards.

    Presentations in the afternoon on Sundays during Lent would be more appropriate. Rather than a breakfast discussion, they could serve lunch with their discussion instead if they so choose. People who are serious about enriching their Lenten Journey would come in the afternoon for a presentation.
    ***I see the situation of the presentations being offered in the morning as an attempt to get the special offering over with early enough in the day, so that those involved will have the rest of the day to themselves. (There appears to be an ongoing trend among churches in general of varying denominations, to keep moving up masses or services earlier in the morning on a Sunday so the priest or minister and their support staff can have the rest of the day to themselves).

    Regarding the topics for presentation: Certainly nothing against our Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis, but couldn’t they come up with presentations that are primarily geared for Lent? And if a writing of Pope Francis addresses a Lenten theme or topic, that could be used.
    With regard to exploring the vision of Pope Francis, I wonder if presenters will be giving their own spin on what they view that vision to be.

  2. avatar brother of penance says:

    Hmm…..very interesting insights by Michael Voris

    http://www.churchmilitant.tv/platform/?today=2015-04-07

  3. avatar militia says:

    Yes, those are interesting insights by M. Voris, but seems like some back-pedaling from his earlier allusions. We’ll know much more after the Synod. In the meantime, we need to pray a lot. Certainly there have been signals and cause for concern. While we obey the Pope on matters of faith and morals, and trust the Holy Spirit to protect His Church, I think I am allowed to say that I disagree on almost everything of a secular geo-political nature, whether it is pronouncements about Cuba, an Iran nuclear deal, the valid role for capital punishment,re Catholics breeding like rabbits, or global warming and environmentalism. To me it creates needless division.


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