By Allan Gillis
I stopped by a friend’s blog this morning and I read his latest entry… an apology, similar to my own (see my post “I Am Pricked In My Heart” earlier this month). It seems my dear brother Joseph Mary del Campos of The Boston Catholic Journal is scratching at the same hives that affect my skin. We love the Holy Mother Church and feel and act on an instinct to defend her honor as some seem to be abusive and contemptible toward Her. It is especially difficult when the pope is the one perceived as leading the charge against Her safety! I find many, many universally-respected, seriously-thinking men that wail and howl as loud or louder than either the BCJ or myself – combined!
Yes, I had a time of reflection and regret as I faced myself in that article I presented to you… and I must say, I had to laugh as some of the responses to my penitence on and off the blog seemed to goad me further on the path of criticism (almost for the sheer sport of it). I want to remain on this path of watchful criticism. I do however want the path to be respectful criticism. I know the editor of the BCJ. He will do the same as I am. He loves the Church and is intelligent enough to maintain a critical mind on behalf of traditional Catholic doctrine and liturgy while striving to walk the tightrope of charity.
I wish him many blessings in this endeavor. He’s a good, good man. As Roman Catholics we do not worship the pope. There are provisions for removing an errant Bishop of Rome. We as laity are sometimes caught “between a rock and a hard place” as we have instinctive defensive mechanisms at work in our catechized mind – while ever mindful of the need to check our motivations of pride or hard-heartedness in such matters. We doubt (as we should) our “cred” as we know that we are not trained liturgists or theologians… but, when do “off-colored remarks” constitute papal indiscretion? When is error a real error? Do too few men in Rome today lack the balls to call – what seems to many over these past few years – outright heresy, what it is?
Del Campos here says: “This present editorial is an important one for the Boston Catholic Journal given the apparent movement of Francis’s papacy away from many aspects of traditional and historical Catholicism and, it would appear at times from some central aspects of Catholic Doctrine that have confused many Catholics concerning the authenticity of what the Church had always taught in light of the current ecumenical and even moral direction of the Church under Pope Francis, which to us, and to many, appears to conflict with Sacred Scripture itself concerning homosexuality, divorce, reception of the Most Holy Eucharist by those outside the Church, and even the Church itself as the absolutely unique, indispensable, and necessary means to salvation. We remain troubled by this apparent drift away from central aspects of our holy Catholic Faith. In a word, we do not understand them: both logically and ecclesiologically. Hence our vigorous reproach for what we understand as important, indeed, intolerable breaches in the continuity of Catholic Doctrine. If they are not so, then at the very least the confusion engendered by statements and actions of the Holy Father stand in need of remedy or explanation in clear terms that the common Catholic can understand as being both coherent and consistent with 2000 years of Catholic Doctrine. This much, we believe, is due the Faithful, no matter who occupies the Seat of Peter.” [read the rest here : www.boston-catholic-journal.com ]
We are in a quandary. G. K. Chesterton (a good Catholic man!) said; “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. JM del Campos and I will continue to do something – but, we will work harder at being rightly circumspect as Catholic men should be in such matters.