Pope Francis Entertains Term Limits on
the Children … twice
I divorce my wife
(which Francis now allows through a totally novel and
terribly convenient concept he calls his own “Personal
Magisterium” — a neologism denoting his illicit personal appropriation
of power) although official Church teaching for 2000 years expressly
forbids it — and I abandon my four children and take up another life
which am I?:
a) A “Father Emeritus”
b) A “Husband Emeritus”
c) A “Provider Emeritus”
d) A “Protector Emeritus”
e) All of the above *
Did you never hear of
any of the above? Neither have we.
The title Pope
is from the Latin papa, which, in turn, is derived from
the Greek pappas, or Papa — specifically
(and significantly) a child's name for the
more formal “father”. The Pope has always been understood as the
Father to all Catholics.
This is especially
significant to me (and countless others in America and elsewhere), for
my father abandoned me and my brothers in our infancy. We have never
seen him. We have never heard from him. Ever.
We grew up
wondering what it was like to have a father, unclear of what a father
did or was supposed to do. We had, in a word, no example.
The only men we ever called “Father” were priests, and among them was
one exalted, the priest of priests, called “the Holy Father”.
All other fathers left … but, surely, the Holy Father
would never leave.
And then, in February
2013, the unimaginable happened: Pope Benedict XVI became the
first pontiff to “resign” his sacred office in 600 years. This Father
left … too …
While still reeling from the significance
of what Benedict had done, the next blow to the children came quickly
on 4 July (Independence Day! … from who? The children?) 2015
when our present Pope Francis stunningly told Catholics that,
are no life-time leaders in the Church”
and what is more, that,
should be a time limit to positions in the Church, which in reality
are positions of service.”
speaking with the Mexican television station Televisa in March
2014 Francis ominously suggests, that what Pope "Emeritus" Benedict
not be considered an exception, but an institution”.
This would clearly be a rupture in the historical continuity of the
Church, and open the papacy itself to the sort of machinations that,
according to disgraced Cardinal Danneels of Belgian, the leader of the
notorious St. Gallen “Mafia-Club” — which sought to undermine (the too-illiberal)
Pope Benedict's election and subsequently force him from the seat of
Peter in order to elect “their man" (Bergoglio, now Pope
Francis) — resulted in the nomination of the same Bergoglio to further
their own disgraceful agenda in the Church.
repaid the favor — by respectively inviting the two top members
of the St. Gallen Club, Walter Kasper — a vociferous dissident — as
number one, and Danneels — retired — as number
two, to the Synod on the Family! Remember that Danneels
openly boasted of accomplishing his end by subterfuge
via what had been referred to as "Team Bergolglio” in the St.
This is openly at odds with what Francis proclaims:
“Let's be clear.
The only one who cannot be substituted in the Church is the Holy
This is true —
despite the types of conspiracies that presume to put in place those
whom the Holy Ghost Himself ultimately chooses, to ends known only
to God. However, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity has certainly
been given short shrift in light of the backroom dealings of disaffected
cardinals who presume to steer the Church themselves, apart
from any divine influence. It is, after all, apparently a matter
of “service” ... to a flagrantly dissident agenda contrary to established
Church teaching and the Gospel itself.
“Service” ... not Holy Example
a father’s sole, or even preeminent role: to be
“of service” to his children … and that,
only for a period of time … of his own choosing? Are
there “term limits” for fatherhood? Is that even a conceivable notion?
Not to me, a father of four. I had already learned the consequences
of “term-limits” to fatherhood first-hand … and they were not pretty.
This is understanding fatherhood as a “policy” and not a “person”.
I am not a policy to my children. Politicians have policies. Bureaucracies
have policies. Corporations have policies. And policies change. But
does this, then, apply to all fathers? Does it apply to priests?
To Religious? Of course their vows (in the case of Religious)
and promises (in the case of diocesan priests), are binding.
Priesthood confers an eternal character on the soul of the priest. This
cannot be eradicated, no matter what the priest does. And the Pope is
a priest and will always remain one, even if he chooses to “resign”
as the Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth. But even the simplest priest
is called “Father”.
are supposed to be “of service” to their constituents. Police, firefighters,
the military (servicemen)… even the numerous Fraternal Organizations,
the Rotary, the Elks, etc. are supposed to be “of service” to the nation
or the community. Is that the level of the spiritual leadership and
episcopal dignity to which the Church is reduced: simply that of “service”
to the people. Do not even prostitutes provide a “service”?
most is that it applies to two presently living popes
whom many children, and even adults see —or for the past 2000 years
had seen — as surrogate fathers: we find Pope Francis’s recent
openness to stepping down as a father and imposing term limits on it,
and most sadly, Pope Benedict’s having done so. Pope Benedict in a stunning
and incomprehensible move, simply resigned his fatherhood — and now,
following suit, his successor holds this sword of Damocles over the
head of the same children whose spiritual father had just left them.
Remarkably, for Francis it is, apparently, a commendable precedent:
“I may stay or I, too, may go.”
this tell children in their littleness who depend on the father for
guidance … and most importantly for example? That
the children are not important in this relationship.
am.” And in a perverse twist of Jesus words (“exemplum
enim dedi vobis” — “I have given you an example.” St. John
13.15) it implies to the children, “As I have done, you may, too.” When
the going gets tough or the vocation inconvenient, just leave …
It is not
worthy of a father
Can a father
of children simply resign his fatherhood or become a “father-emeritus”
— the equivalent of an absentee father — and leave his children
to the care of another?
his shortcomings, Pope John Paul II stayed ... refused
to walk out the door … even while excruciatingly debilitated.
Who can forget the photographs of John Paul II in his final weeks and
days? Yet he did not jump ship. He did not leave the children because
he was overwhelmed, or ill, or because the pressure was too great ...
or because it would have been convenient. Why? Because no father
the children — for whatever reason — is never
right. Let me repeat that: Never. A father does
not abandon his children … no matter what … he does not (as so many
fatherless children in America have come to realize) simply “resign”
his responsibility as father. He cannot! He must not!
He is their father! He cannot at will relegate or simply pass
on that responsibility to another. They were given to him!
Not to some other to come.
must come to the sad conclusion that their Father in Heaven is the only
Father Who will never leave them — for every other father-figure has
proven false …
* The answer is “e” —
“all of the above” … just in the event of any … “confusion”.
Boston Catholic Journal
Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum
Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power, and
yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.”
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