I have received many responses to my somewhat tongue in cheek article last week, “Mom’s Home,” imploring my fellow Conservative Catholics to stop disrespecting the Pope. The responses were all over the map. I thought it would be well to offer a window into my strategic thinking. This post should help you understand what I’m trying to do. Although I am largely speaking with my fellow Catholics, the proper response to Pope Francis concerns everyone who cares about the future of marriage and family.
Let us begin with what we know, and reason from there to what tactics make sense.
What we know about the Catholic Church:
- The office of the Papacy is bigger than any man who occupies it.
- The Pope will not change the doctrine: he does not have the authority to change doctrine.
- However, he can change the practices surrounding the implementation or promulgation of the doctrine on marriage, divorce and the family that serve it more or less well.
- The Pope can err on prudential matters, and frequently does. For instance, the track record of Vatican diplomacy over the centuries is not particularly stellar.
What we know about this particular pope:
- The Pope knows he does not have the authority to change Catholic doctrine.
- He is charming and exuberant and spontaneous. Many people love him and find him attractive.
- He loves Jesus and hates the devil.
- He is not executing his teaching office regarding marriage as well as the world needs him to, and certainly not as well as his remarkable predecessors. If the students are confused, the teacher is not performing well.
- He has left room for interpretation on some points, and has not clarified some issues.
- We do not know what he is thinking or planning by this lack of clarity. He may have some wise hidden plan. He may have some nefarious hidden plan. He may just be careless. The fact is, we do not know.
What we know about the advocates of the Sexual Revolution: Read more…