Msgr. Pope is not on board the bergoglio party train
I had noticed very recently that Msgr. Charles Pope did not seem to have received his invitation to join in the festivities aboard the bergoglio inter-religious who-am-i-to-judge party train.
On April 24 I said:
"I suspect that Msgr. Charles Pope will not be named a bishop anytime soon..."
I was not planning on commenting on this controversy because it seems to me that Msgr. Pope already has more than enough problems with his superiors in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
But since the blog comments by Msgr. Pope criticizing the decision to allow homosexuals to march in the New York St. Patrick's Day parade have already received so much publicity I feel free to offer my viewpoint.
Here are my comments on Louie Verrecchio's article titled "God bless Monsignor Charles Pope!"
September 6, 2014
I hope everyone will please keep in mind that Msgr. Charles Pope and all of the clergy have taken a sacred vow of OBEDIENCE! And I assume that this vow is under pain of mortal sin.
We laity can express our opinions more or less freely and deal with it at a personal level, but for the clergy the situation is much more complicated and there is much more at stake from a moral perspective.
We cannot expect that a Monsignor is going to challenge the orders of an archbishop… nor should he in my opinion. The blame lies squarely with those in positions of authority.
As for the idea that Msgr. Pope could just casually decide to become a priest of the SSPX, I would say that this is an enormous decision for a priest. Even for a lay person to decide to leave their parish church in order to attend Mass at another church is something which requires a huge amount of thought and prayer.
It is not necessarily simply a matter of courage or fortitude. I have no doubt of the courage and fortitude of Msgr. Pope. I’m sure it took enormous amounts of fortitude to set aside his pride and right his apology. But this is what a good Catholic priest would be expected to do under normal circumstances.
Of course we don’t live under normal circumstances….
Follow-up comment on September 7, 2014
The burden of proof must be set very high in order to justify disobedience.
Does this matter “belong to the regular mode of life” OR does it belong to things “contrary to God or to the rule they profess”.
I would suggest that the normal assumption is that this issue of obedience with regards to a blog post belongs to “the regular mode of life”.
I would also suggest that raising this incident to the level which would call for dis-obedience reflect a very protestant attitude.
We are talking here about a parade which although it takes the name of St. Patrick is really just a secular “Irish Pride” parade. I don’t think it is the place of a priest to tell an archbishop whether he should or should not participate in such a parade.
Of course there is a larger issue. As Louie puts it: “Where is the voice of those churchmen who cannot but recognize the great apostasy being perpetrated from among their own ranks? Are there any prelates left who still think and feel with the Church?”
It is clear that Msgr. Charles Pope had no intention of addressing the larger issue of “the great apostasy” in his blog post. He was just addressing a small symptom of that disease. And he never suggested that underlying this symptom there is a “great apostasy” — even if we would like to read that into his statement.
Louie suggests that Msgr. Pope should “directly criticize the wolves who prowl about the sheepfold in clerical disguise”.
It’s not clear to me how Msgr. Pope would go about doing that. Should he contact some people in the press and air his grievances publicly? Should he start his own blog and use that to criticize his superiors?
Personally, I don’t see that Msgr. Pope had any viable options at this point. What difference would it make if he continued to speak out? Do you remember what happened in the case in New York regarding Holy Innocents when a priest ( Father Justin Wylie ) spoke out? Or for that matter what happened to the Franciscans of the Immaculate when they chose to embrace the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as it has been practiced through the centuries prior to Vatican II?
What is needed is for some substantial number of bishops, archbishops and cardinals to speak out jointly and forcefully and publicly.
As Archbishop Lefebvre did….