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Priest in Cuffs

Our old acquaintance from Fox News, Mr. Adam Shaw (see here) has another article about the bishop of Rome and the general situation within the conservative segments of the US Catholic Church (see here). The piece is titled:

Cardinal’s demotion helps Pope Francis quell ‘conservative backlash’– for now.

Now that is what I call a “balanced and fair” title to the present situation.

I highly recommend reading the article, but from the optics perspective, it is not a pretty picture that is being drawn of our cuddly, joyful, luv’able and humble pontiff. And our second favorite priest blogger is quoted by Mr. Shaw. But more about that later. Here are the key passages, in my humble opinion-of course, as they pertain to the optics of the Francis papacy: (with emphasis and [comments])

Pope Francis is drawing rock star raves for softening the Vatican’s image on such issues as homosexuality, capitalism and divorce, but his celebrated tolerance doesn’t seem to extend to dissenters within the church, whose conservative revolt came to a halt when the pontiff exiled their de facto leader to obscurity. [Exiling clerics is not good optics. Definitely in the COLD Christian category.]

… The most vocal critic was American Cardinal Raymond Burke, who described the Church under Francis as like “a ship without a rudder.” But as conservative bishops and lower-level clergy in the U.S. began to signal their agreement, Burke quickly found himself demoted from his powerful Vatican post to a purely ceremonial role. [Yes. Mr. Shaw should be commended for putting out a TRUE narrative into the public domain that lower level clergy are not happy also. The MSM narrative up to now is that it is a cabal of conservative clerics in Rome that are frustrating the will of THE church. Well, it looks like their are “lower level” clergy who signal their disagreement with Francis also.]

The move sent a chill through the ranks of American conservative bishops, nearly two dozen of whom declined comment when contacted by FoxNews.com, despite many having previously expressed strong doubts about the church’s leftward swerve under Francis, who assumed the papacy in 2013. [Oh my. In a pontificate that is open to dialogue, we have bishops afraid to talk. Like in the old Soviet Union…]

Not a pretty picture if you as me.

But this is the key paragraph:

Polls show the sentiment is generally widespread among the public, with most polls giving the Argentine high approval ratings. A Pew research poll published in March found that, although there was no discernible rise in either Mass attendance or in Americans who identify as Catholic, approximately two-thirds of the public view Pope Francis favorably.

Yes! Using an old expression, the passage seems to suggest that this pope is “all show, and no go”. And we see the same narrative building that was observed by Cardinal Brandmuller about the popularity around the pope being “superficial”(see here). In other words, it is not bringing people into the Church. Now this narrative is getting out to the general population, and this is key.

And why is this key? Because at the end of the day, and as I have stressed in not one previous post, the only things that matter, on both the natural and supernatural realm of reality, is the bodies in the pews, i.e. the Pew Sitters.  And we know why this mattes, now don’t we? But just in case we forget, or you are new to this blog, allow me to explain. The reason that only Pew Sitters matter is this:

– On a natural level, the Pew Sitter’s are the only source of funding for the Holy Roman Catholic Church that will allow its’ funding models to be sustainable (see here). This is as true today as it was 2000 years ago and will be 2000 years time from now.

– On a supernatural level, the Holy Roman Catholic Church is the ONLY MEANS OF SALVATION AVAILABLE TO MAN. The dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus is as true today as it was in 1302 when Pope Boniface VIII proclaimed in the Bull Unam Sanctam the following:  “Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins… Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary to salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”

And that is the objective reality of the matter.

But getting back to the article, the rest of the article does an outstanding job explaining the general situation, pointing to the Secret Synod as a watershed moment for the “conservatives”, informing that church leaders are refusing to comment (so much for being “open to dialogue”) and even citing our friends at Rorate Caeli as a source of information. Very impressive if you ask me.

Which brings me to Deus Ex Machina’s  second favorite priest, Father Z. Father Z is quoted thus:

“You might say that the Synod was a turning point for conservatives, the end of the honeymoon,”  The Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, a leading conservative American blogger and an influential voice in the U.S. church, told FoxNews.com.

This statement captures the essence of the “conservative” Catholic mindset. Up to the Secret Synod, explanations of what Francis really meant to say were everywhere. Now, these types of polemics are exclusively the domain of the left wing propagandist’s religious press and MSM.

But returning to the above comment, Fr. Z kindly puts up the text of the questions and answers that he provided to Mr. Shaw. They can be found here. Looks like he want to put the entire transcript of his interview out “for the record”. And this is a good idea in times like these.

On an aside, please remember to pray to Our Lady of the Clergy for an intercession for the priests identified in this passage (see here):

In the meantime, perhaps you good readers would be so kind as to ask Our Lady of the Clergy to intercede on behalf of a few priests whom I know who are seriously beset in these… trying times.