Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Pope and the New Year

I would like to take this moment at the end of the year to make a few predictions about what our Pope Francis will and will not do in the year to come.

• He will not (he CANNOT) change Church teaching. Fornication will remain a sin, women will not be ordained, and auricular confession will still be required for the remission of sin. Right now, liberals are hoping for “change,” but they won’t get it and will soon enough become disillusioned.

• He will continue to hammer away at social justice. I sincerely hope that this will actually lead to changes, not of Church teaching (which already kick-ass on economic teaching), but in breaking the un-holy alliance of socially conservative Catholics with anti-working-class political parties.

• He will continue to demonstrate the kind of radical love that is at the heart of the Christian message. It is plainly his ministry not to lead the Church (as Leo XIII or John Paul II did), nor to rule the Church (as Pius XII or Benedict XVI did), but to set an example of how Christians should live.

• Finally, when Pope emeritus Benedict dies, I predict that Francis will issue a statement to the effect that he was the right pope at the right time, that the Church was in a condition of disorder (with badly chosen bishops, a liturgy rife with abuses, and the scandals associated with sexual abuse), and that Benedict set the house of the Church in order, so that Francis would be free to exercise his very different calling.

I LOVE these two popes (almost as much as I love Leo XIII and Alexander VI) and I see the working of the Holy Spirit in first choosing the one, and then the other.