Friendly fire

Friendly fire

There seems to be a new trend on some blogs to want to label some people who were happy with the election of Pope Benedict, but who don’t think everything became rosy immediately afterward as turncoats.

Mark Shea looks like he’s doing it, and Bill Cork is jumping on his bandwagon. Now I’ll grant that it might be that Mark is referring to the more extreme comments in the CWN Off the Record entry and not Diogenes himself, but he doesn’t exactly make the distinction.

Others, however, are less prone to make the distinction and are saying outright that some bloggers—including Diogenes and me—have abandoned Pope Benedict over the rumored reversal over the rumored document on gays in seminaries. I’ll let Diogenes speak for himself, but for the record, I have not and not blame Pope Benedict and I have not reduced my joy and hope at the election of this pope. I daresay you’d be hard-pressed to find a single word on this blog saying otherwise.

As I said above, that doesn’t mean that on the day of B16’s election everything in the Church suddenly became a sweetness and light. Most of the same bishops are in the same sees and much of the obstructionist bureaucracy in both the US and Rome is still in place. Change takes time and anyone who thought it would be fixed in a day was fooling himself.

So don’t take continuing criticism of some things that happen in Rome, or even criticism of a particular action or another by the Pope, as the same thing as abandoning him. It isn’t. A faithful son can still give his father some constructive criticism and still remain as loyal as ever.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • There is nothing wrong with criticizing a pope in a respectful way. But you’re not even doing that. We are spoiled by a long string of saintly popes. And since maybe 1975 Rome has been a positive influence on a sick American church. No pope is above criticism.

    We may abandon Bush over his SCOTUS nominations but there is no question of abandoning the Pope – he is family even when he is wrong.

  • If the ‘rumored’ document on homosexual priests turns out to be a fact, Catholics should be more worried about their faith being abandoned than staying on the B16 bandwagon.  This document will have been issued by Rome and signed by the Pope, and cannot be laid only at the feet of the ‘obstructional bureaucracy’ of the hierarchy.  The question is will there ever be a straw that finally breaks the Catholic camel’s back?

  • Our faith is stronger than Borgia Popes, it can survive a Pope who allows ex-gays to enter seminaries.  This is a matter of discipline, not of doctrine. 

  • orthodox,

    There is an inherent ambiguity about what a “homosexual” is. This is not a category in which the Church traditionally thinks. People have disordered sexual fantasies of varying degrees of intensity and content – all of which a Christian should resist.

    Ultimately, we have to rely on the good sense of bishops and seminary faculty in making judgments about future priests. Many of these people are unreliable but there is no substitute for a case-by-case analysis.

    No doubt the document the Vatican issues will reject ordaining men who self-identify as gay or who engage in homogenital acts. It is a sad fact that Rome needs to do this but it can’t hurt.

  • Begging to differ with CW, prior to Vatican II there was no ambiguity as to what a homosexual was; i.e St. Peter Damien: “Just as St. Basil establishes that those who commit sins aganst nature should be subjected not only to a severe penance, but a public one, and Pope Siricius prohibits penitents from entering clerical orders, one can clearly deduce that he who corrups himself with a man through the ignominious squalor of such a filthy union does not deserve to exercise ecclesiastical functions.  For one who was formerly the vessel of such vices…is unfit to administer the Sacraments.

    As evidenced by the on-going scandal in Miami, the idea that we can depend on bishops and seminary rectors to weed out sodomites is preposterous.  Our pedophilia scandals prove the point that one is rarely a ‘former homosexual. Counseling and rehab centers were a waste of time for those send there by enabling bishops who moved these perverts from parish to parish.  To not dry up the source of this evil (the seminaries) is to continue the victimization of our chlildren.

  • Dom,

    As someone pointed out in a combox on my blog after Mark came after me because of an email of Lee Penn’s that I posted, Mark is an apologist for the hierarchy and his comments must be read with that in mind.

    Even St. Peter got flak from the ranks when something he wanted didn’t sit well.  And then there was Athanasius (sp?) who was declared a saint.  And another saint, Catherine, who admonished a pope.

    I wouldn’t get too upset over Bill Cork and Mark Shea if I were you.