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Sabateur II

Over this weekend, I have been a bit busy. If you haven’t noticed, I changed the theme to one which I hope will be easier to read and easier on you eyes.

So today a short post, but very poignant about the significance of the next 233 days leading up to the Synod of Bishops in particular and about the Francis papacy in general. We start with a quote from the MondayVatican blog from the 12 of January 2015. In the blog post we read this: (see here) [emphasis added]

On the other side of the ocean, beyond the surprise of a Cardinal hailing from Paranà, Pope Francis will create the Archbishop of Montevideo (Uruguay), Daniel Fernando Sturla, a Cardinal. He comes from the most atheistic country in South America, and he probably thinks that the antidote to the hemorrhage of the faithful is for the Church to move closer toward their positions: some of his declaration have been read as a real change of pace, especially for what concern doctrinal stances.

What a pity, then, that a Pew Forum survey suggests instead that this approach may not be helpful. In a survey on reasons why Catholics leave to join Protestant sects, the Pew Forum established as the first three reasons the search for a personal connection with God, participation in a particular style of worship and, finally, a felt need for a greater emphasis on morality.

This latter reason provides interesting data, as interesting as the data suggesting that evangelicals strongly defend family and life issues and reject gender ideology at the same time that the Catholic Church in South America shows itself to be weak on ethical issues.

What a pity indeed!

Someone should tell him.

Surely, Francis doesn’t know about this one Pew Survey. Surly.

Oh wait.

In the La Nacion article published on the 7th of December, we read this: (see here)

[Interviewer] –A recent survey (Pew) confirmed that, despite the “Francis effect”, Catholics still keep leaving the Church.

[Francis]-I am familiar with the figures disclosed at Aparecida, it´s the only information I have. There are evidently several factors of influence, independent of the Church. The theology of prosperity, for instance, just to quote an example, has inspired many religious propositions which people feel attracted to. These people, however, end up in the middle. But let´s leave out factors which are external to the Church. I wonder about ourselves, what is it that we ourselves do, what is within the Church that makes the faithful unhappy? It´s that people don´t feel we are close enough, it´s clericalism. Today , to be close means to reach out to Catholics, to seek people out and be close to them, to sympathize with their problems, with their reality. Clericalism, as I told the CELAM bishops in Río de Janeiro, stopped laypersons from maturing. Precisely, laypersons are more mature in Latin America when they express popular piety. Clericalism was always an issue for lay organizations. I spoke of it in Evangelii Gaudium.

So what we have is a situation where Francis is appointing cardinals and promoting changes in doctrine practice that Francis knows will have the opposite effect than that which he claims these changes will have.

When reading the above, one can say that it is just one survey or that  “Francis is just being Jesuitical”. And this is true. The problem is that he is being Jesuitical in the way my seven year old is Jesuitical.  Let’s face it folks, Francis is being allowed to get away with “it”.

But what is the “it” that he is getting away with, you might ask. For the definition of what that “it” appears to be, let us turn to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and find an appropriate definition: (see here)

Sabotage: the act of destroying or damaging something deliberately so that it does not work correctly.

For an expanded definition, here is what Wikipedia says about sabotage. (see here)

Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening a polity or corporation through subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction. In a workplace setting, sabotage is the conscious withdrawal of efficiency generally directed at causing some change in workplace conditions. One who engages in sabotage is a saboteur. Saboteurs typically try to conceal their identities because of the consequences of their actions.

Any unexplained adverse condition might be sabotage. Sabotage is sometimes called tampering, meddling, tinkering, malicious pranks, malicious hacking, a practical joke or the like to avoid needing to invoke legal and organizational requirements for addressing sabotage.

So what we have is a situation where Francis is appointing cardinals and promoting changes in doctrine practice that Francis knows will have the opposite effect than that which he claims these changes will have.

To this the accusation of negligence can be easily thrown in, since he is cognizant of the fact that there is a positive correlation (causality) between the changes he is trying to institute and the destruction of the South American Catholic Church over the past 50 years. The empirical evidence bears this out. A responsible person would at least investigate to see if a larger sample of data confirms the Pew Survey findings. But Francis evades answering this charge when confronted with it.

Concluding, it needs to be stated that one survey is not a sufficient enough data set on which to base a long term strategy “Lord’s pastoral call”. However, what we are observing here and are dealing with here is a Chief Executive Officer Vicar of Christ who is defining and executing a long-term strategy “Lord’s pastoral call” for the Roman Catholic Church that is contrary to the empirical evidence at hand,  empirical evidence of which he is cognizant and empirical evidence that indicates that his “Lord’s pastoral call” will have a devastating effect on the institution that is in his charge.