Prayerful Pontiff

The question as to whether or not Pope Francis should resign has been causing me a lot of discontentment recently, for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I have always had a bit of mixed feelings about our current Pontiff because he has been pretty vague in a lot of his teaching on important matters, which causes opportunity for some of his flock to stray the wrong way; but at the same time I have seen him do many things that are truly done out of love for Christ. So, while he lacked clarity in word, he exemplified the Gospel in deed. The Church, however, needs clarity and exemplification in both word and deed, and so I’ve had some mixed feelings about our current Pontiff. Secondly, it is precisely because I have seen so much love present in His Holiness’ ministry that I am so shocked and appalled that he would fail to even comment on the horrendous actions committed by the very men in our hierarchy who were supposed to be shepherding and protecting us. I have read Archbishop Vigano’s letter, and I find the allegations contained therein to be credible and so I believe that they ought to be investigated with the utmost care. Now, do I think that Pope Francis ought to resign? The short answer is that I simply do not know if he should or not. The Pope is Christ’s vicar here on earth, the physical head of Holy Mother Church, who is appointed by sinful men, yes, but more importantly by the Holy Spirit. Have there been horrible Popes? ABSOLUTELY. Has God protected and guided the Church despite these horrible men? ABSOLUTELY. I hesitate, however, to say definitively whether or not Pope Francis should resign, and here’s why. The last Pope to resign from his office was Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and he only did so because he discerned that his deteriorating health left him unfit to properly carry out his ministry as Pope. Before him was Pope Gregory XII in 1415, who resigned to put an end to the Western Schism; and before him was Pope Saint Celestine V, who saw it befitting to resign because he was incompetent in the office and fell under the influence of secular political leaders. St. Celestine was also the first Pontiff to officially resign and put forth the canon on Papal resignation. The reason I bring up these past Popes who have resigned is because I want to highlight the fact that each Pontiff who resigned did so freely, as the canon says, and because they sought to protect the Church or because they recognized that they could not shepherd the Church of Christ in the capacity that they were called to. So, this in mind, if I am forced to have an opinion on the matter, this is what I have to say: If Pope Francis is unwilling to shepherd his flock through these harsh time, if he is unwilling to take the necessary steps to clean out the abscess that has formed in Holy Mother Church, and if he honestly and truly realizes that he does not have it within him to do what he needs to do as the Supreme Pontiff, as Christ’s physical head here on earth, then he needs to resign; because it is the duty of the Pope to protect and shepherd the Bride of Christ, dying to himself so that She may be “holy and without blemish.” Also, if the allegations in Archbishop Vigano’s letter turn out to be true and His Holiness was in fact complicit, then I personally think that it would be right and proper for His Holiness to abdicate the papal throne and dispatch himself along with the other Bishops who were complicit in these heinous crimes. Conversely, if the Pope is not guilty and not complicit and if, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, he is able to remedy to the best of his ability the evils that have occurred within Holy Mother Church, then there is no need for him to resign. If the Pope is innocent and he allows himself to truly and fully be the servant of Christ that he has always claimed himself to be, then our Holy and Beloved Lord will lead his Holy Bride out of this darkness through his Vicar. I know it seems like a cop out answer, that I am saying “well, maybe he should or maybe he shouldn’t”, but I truly think that this is the reality of the situation. There are a lot of things left unknown to us currently, and so I cannot honestly and definitely subscribe to one side or the other. I just really hope that Pope Francis does whatever is best for the Church with no regard to personal consequences, and I hope that we do the same. For the time being, however, it is up to us to pray continuously for our priests and Bishops, for our Holy Father, and for Holy Mother Church. God bless.

Now is the Time to FIGHT

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