Dear Miss Erinyes
I'm just wondering what your opinion is. Do you think that Francis really is pope? I cannot imagine the real pope doing and saying the things that Francis is doing and saying.
Do you think that it is possible that the last conclave was rigged, making Francis' election illegitimate?
The truth is that I have no idea. I am not a canonist; I have no training in theology or Church history and have no special ability to discern between the various arguments now being commonly bruited about the internet. I can see that we have a very large problem, one in the person of Francis that seems to equal the horrifying problems in the world. He seems to me to be, indeed, an intrinsic part of those external problems, a product of them, one might even say.
Sister Cristina Sings 'Like a Virgin'
When I first saw this quaint, old photograph of a Catholic nun, playfully teaching a couple of street urchins how to dance a jig, I was surprised by the tears that suddenly began to burn behind my eyes. It’s certainly nothing profound but it says much about what we have lost. Catholic nuns, the old habits, innocent children playing in the street—it’s all gone now, along with most everything else good, true and beautiful about the world in which we live.
If you don’t understand why my tears somehow make sense then perhaps you never knew the old Catholic Church of which this photograph is a happy reminder. It wasn’t a system of oppressive rules, abusive nuns and holy fools as we’re constantly told it was. In fact, the reality of it bore little resemblance to the Catholic-bashing fairytale we see depicted in the movies and everywhere else with such intensity that even the history we ourselves lived through is in danger of being transformed in the image and likeness of a Godless modern age.
The dispute between the Pharisees and Our Lord is being misrepresented. It was the Pharisees through their technical distortion of the meaning of the words of the law that were advocating a minimalist compliance with the natural and divine law. In fact, Our Lord came to demand a more rigorous application of the Law and the Prophets.
Perhaps you have experienced a similar ad hominem attack as I have when simply stating or defending the very simple dogma on marriage that has been held by Catholics everywhere and always (at least before the gnostic oracle of Cardinal Kasper came on the scene). Marriage is the union between one man and one woman which bond is broken only by the death of one of the spouses. Our grandparents would have considered inconceivable that such a simple and basic statement could become the source of ridicule and persecution by fellow Catholics. Yet, utter this truth today and you are likely to be confronted with something like the following: “You are being like the Pharisees. Christ came to bring mercy and the Pharisees stubbornly held on to the letter of the law rather than embracing Christ’s new spirit of mercy. Like the Pharisees of old you obstinately are refusing the law of mercy Pope Francis seeks to promote.”