Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Killing Pope Francis

“Killing Pope Francis” (or at least, killing his agenda) is the unstated theme in a similarly named article in First Things, the self-annointed America’s Most Influential Journal of Religion and Public Life, “Burying Benedict”. Of course, in today’s terror-soaked world, no one in his right mind would suggest killing a pope in public. Or would they? But now, Matthew Schmitz, “literary editor of First Things”, is certainly implying that “Pope Francis” wants to kill off “Pope Benedict”. Or at least to kill off his agenda:

Though Benedict is still living, Francis is trying to bury him. Upon his election in 2013, Francis began to pursue an agenda that Joseph Ratzinger had opposed throughout his career. A stress on the pastoral over against the doctrinal, a promotion of diverse disciplinary and doctrinal approaches in local churches, the opening of communion to the divorced and remarried—all these proposals were weighed and rejected by Ratzinger more than ten years ago in a heated debate with Walter Kasper. For better or worse, Francis now seeks to reverse Ratzinger.

Or kill him and bury him.

This article reminded me of something that Jason Engwer first posted some years ago. It was bad news being a pope in the 900’s. Eamon Duffy, writing in his History of the Popes, “Saints and Sinners”, describes one of the most sordid periods in papal history:

Deprived of the support of empire (of Charlemagne), the papacy became the possession of the great Roman families, a ticket to local dominance for which men were prepared to rape, murder and steal. A third of the popes elected between 872 and 1012 died in suspicious circumstances – John VII (872–82) bludgeoned to death by his own entourage, Stephen VI (896–7) strangled, Leo V (903) murdered by his successor Sergius III (904–11), John X (914–28) suffocated, Stephen VIII horribly mutilated, a fate shared by the Greek antipope John XVI (997–8) who, unfortunately for him, did not die from the removal of his eyes, nose, lips, tongue, and hands (Saints and Sinners, Second Edition, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, © 1997, 2001, and likely others, pg 104).

At least the succession remained unbroken. The world needs a “Successor of Peter” to be a visible sign of unity in the church.

And Schmitz is now noticing that same theme – yes, popes are in the habit of killing off other popes – and Schmitz himself seems to want to kill off Bergoglio the Kasper fan (and by extension, the evil thug Hans Küng, of whom Kasper is a student). He does not say that outright, but the intention is there.

By the way, this opposition between Bergoglio and Ratzinger is something that I detailed in the blog article I entitled Bergoglio’s Gig, Part 3: Opposing Ratzinger. Yours truly was saying just four days after Bergoglio was named pope that he was “Opposing Ratzinger” and supporting Kasper. It has taken Schmitz some four years to get up to speed.

I, at least, did not posit that one pope would be killing another one.

Regarding Duffy, I have an older version, and so if you have or purchase a newer version, the pagination may be different. Duffy has continued to update the work as new popes come and go. Perhaps if Schmitz gets his way, Duffy will have to update yet again.

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