Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


“Where Peter, There the Church”

March 13th, 2013, Promulgated by Gen

Today, March 13th, 2013, our brothers in faith, the Princes of the Church, have elected a simple, humble man to the throne of St. Peter. His Holiness Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, has presented himself already as a man burning with love for every member of the Church. I think it is safe to say that very few people expected the election of this Holy Father. He is the Church’s first Jesuit pope, the first “American” pope, and the first pope to adopt the name of St. Francis. (It is currently speculated that this is in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, whose simple piety and dignified, reverent prayer life have endeared him to many.) Naturally, there are some quarters in the Church expressing confusion, maybe even disappointment. Some of us wanted a liturgical pit-bull, a near-reincarnation of Ven. Pope Pius XII. Pope Francis does not appear to be this sort of man. But to witness growth in the Church, one must have fertile soil. Bl. Pope John Paul II tilled the soil. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI planted the seeds. Now Pope Francis must water and fertilize this heritage, as I’m certain he will. We must, as always, pray for our Holy Father in Rome. He is the Successor of St. Peter, the visible head of the Church on Earth, a Church that thrust down pagan Rome and every subsequent threat to the Gospel of Christ. When His Holiness bowed his head after asking for the silent prayers of all those in St. Peter’s Square, I knew that this man had the heart of Christ beating within him. We see, in his election, the turning of a new page in the history of the Church. The Vatican II generation is done. The botched implementation, the misapplied theologies, the butchered liturgies are things of the past, and will only continue to wane in the sight of humble, loving, devoted men. The youth have seen two excellent examples of Christian zeal in the past two pontificates; they will, now mature, grow in the grace to come from this third. John Paul II made the Church proud again, lifted Her chin from its crestfallen position, and bade Her look ahead to the glories to come. Benedict XVI whispered gently in Her ear the scholarly insights of a masterful theologian, giving Her the resolve and purpose to go boldly ahead. Francis  shall now take Her tenderly by the hand and take the first steps on a path of simple joy, of genuine charity. The Church is bigger than one man. The Church is bigger than us. We are privileged to live in a time where we must constantly defend our faith. I say “privileged” because what greater honor is there than to defend and know the Truth of Christ, the Truth now embodied in this servus servorum Dei? The Holy Spirit has guided us this far. He will not lead astray now.

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11 Responses to ““Where Peter, There the Church””

  1. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Beautiful as always, Gen.

    We are privileged to live in a time where we must constantly defend our faith.


  2. avatar Scott W. says:

    Sadly, the tradsphere is experiencing a meltdown. I think I’ll listen to Archbishop Chaput instead:

    Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Bergoglio, is a man from the new heartland of the global Church; a priest of extraordinary intellectual and cultural strengths; a man deeply engaged in the issues of contemporary life and able to speak to the modern heart; open to the new realities the Church faces; and rooted in a deep love of Jesus Christ. He is a wonderful choice; a pastor God sends not just to the Church but to every person of good will who honestly yearns for justice, peace and human dignity in our time. May God grant him courage and joy, and sustain him with his divine presence.

    And may Catholics in Philadelphia and around the world lift him up with our prayers.

  3. avatar Kevin says:

    Scott, that is definitely true about the tradsphere. I’ve never seen a group of more angry people. Thankfully, wading through, you find the rare person who is level-headed, calm, collected.

  4. avatar Dominick Anthony Zarcone says:

    “very few people expected”


    “Some of us wanted a liturgical pit-bull”

    Hmm….the above reminds me of descriptions for another:


    The prophet wrote that verse about the suffering servant, Messiah the Lord.

    Gen wrote about his vicar, the servant of the servants of God, with these memorable words:
    “a simple, humble man” “a man burning with love for every member of the Church”

    “When His Holiness bowed his head after asking for the silent prayers of all those in St. Peter’s Square, I knew that this man had the heart of Christ beating within him.”

    Habemus Papam
    Deo Gratias

  5. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I like the new pope.

    He is a kind, gentle but strong and principled man. He stands for things we here stand for. He is outspoken on abortion, contraception and homosexuality.

    Our Lord must be thinking of Latin america and South america. For decades, the Church there has been hemorrhaging members to protestant protestantism. Now, with a “Man of the People” pope, hopefully, the hemorrhaging will stop.

  6. avatar Scott W. says:

    Well said Dominick. Our Holy Father seems the type to take the lowest seat at the banquet and at worst someone will need to gently nudge him in the ribs and tell him, “Friend, sit higher” (Luke 14: 7-11) which I consider a feature, not a bug.

    The appointment to the DOR will reveal much I think.

  7. avatar Bruce says:

    I hope and pray the DOR gets a capable man to lead it. I suppose it depends on whom Francis chooses for the congregation of bishops.

  8. avatar annonymouse says:

    Gen thanks for sharing your beautiful words.

    As Catholics, we are supposed to unite around our earthly Holy Father, Christ’s vicar, so I will not share whether I like or dislike or approve or disapprove of the choice – I wasn’t afforded a vote; my call is to simple faithfulness. Rather, I LOVE our new Holy Father!

    I must say that I was saddened that your otherwise beautiful piece had to include the line “The Vatican II generation is done.” I think I know what you are trying to say, but if the implication is that the reforms of the Church envisioned by the council are somehow “done” or complete or now to be ignored, I couldn’t disagree more strongly. We are ALL the Vatican II generation – and it is our duty as Christians to embrace and bring to fruition the true Council, which I am confident our new shepherd will work towards.

  9. avatar Bruce says:

    I don’t know, mouse. I tend to take the long view on V2. I see it as a minor council that, say hundreds of years from now, will be an entry in a Catholic encyclopedia and little more. I’m sure the people who lived after Lateran V thought that it we the most important council in history too. And while it did cover important things such as Transubstantiation, no one today can recall most of it without looking it up in a dusty book. I think V2 is just a council waiting for another to come in a century or less.

  10. avatar Richard Thomas says:


    i never thought the real intent of Vatican 2 was implemented. All this crap, masquerading as Vatican 2 was put forth but the real MaCoy never had a chance.

  11. avatar annonymouse says:

    Richard Thomas – couldnt agree more.

    Bruce – perhaps hundreds of years from now your view will be accurate. At this time, the true Council remains to be implemented, which is a retrieval of the true mission of the Church in the world.

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