I write this letter to you as a priest to the Bishop of Rome and as a son to a father. I write with a heavy heart, and I know that heaviness of heart is shared by many of my Catholic brethren both clergy and laity….
Dear Pope Francis, you are not a good teacher in these situations. Teaching the truth about good and bad is a difficult task in a secular and self-centered world. It requires both clarity and nuance, neither of which was present in any of the conversations you had with the reporters….
The teaching Office of the Church is as important as Scripture. We do not believe in sola scriptura. And you, Pope Francis, are the head of that Teaching Office. But you are not the Church. You are the Pope, the Supreme Teacher of the Church. But you are not the Church, nor can the Church be reduced to you alone. The latter error of reductionism is embraced not only by worldly reporters but also by faithful Catholics. This is the result of the transformation of the papacy in the past fifty years into a world super star, which transformation is a deformation in the development of the doctrine of the papacy. That you bear the burden of the Supreme Teacher of the Church in an unbelieving world is the reason why you are loved by the Catholic faithful and are the object of their prayers. But please remember that your burden is the burden of the Cross, and therefore you must always be seen as a sign of contradiction by the world, such that when the world sees you and hears you, they see through you to the Cross of Jesus Christ and the love and mercy of God that the Cross shows forth.
Please accept a piece of filial advice from a humble priest. Make a long, silent retreat this Lent and do what has to be done to listen to the God who is not heard in earthquake, storm or fire but in a tiny whispering sound.
Father Richard G. Cipolla
Friday, February 26, 2016
“Dear Pope Francis: Go away...”