|Catholics: Pope Says You're Hypocrites.|
Unless we are "breaking the chains of evil, freeing the oppressed, sharing our bread with the hungry, opening our houses to the homeless, and clothing the naked," we are merely hypocrites, warned Pope Francis in his latest homily on Vatican Radio's website. We must literally "caress" the very flesh of the wounded. That is the key thing. If all we do is observe the correct practices, we are just making ourselves look good, but in reality, we are just hypocrites.
These are the words of a prophet, not a pastor. Touch is powerful, and the reminder is welcome. But most of us are not going to open our homes to the homeless for a variety of sound prudential reasons. And apparently giving money to the local homeless shelter is just a cop-out. If you're not personally bathing the suppurating sores of the lepers in your own living room, you're not embracing the flesh. You're a hypocrite. (Francis uses insults like "hypocrite" with alarming regularity, nor is this the first time it has been directed at ordinary Catholics. One wag has collected them into "Francis' Little Book of Insults.")
The Bear has not heard "brood of vipers" yet.
Surely between the self-satisfied disdain for the poor and the ill, and the heroic virtue of a Mother Teresa, there is room for a Catholic who practices his faith as he has been taught, and is generous with his goods? Is he really a hypocrite? (And how many of the oppressed have you freed so far this Lent? If the answer is "none" -- hypocrite.) And why the constant opposition between traditional Catholic practices -- which Francis has made clear he doesn't think much of -- and corporal works of mercy?
A good pastor does not break the bruised reed nor quench the smoldering wick. A prophet condemns, and changes corrupt and complacent institutions. Francis' call to literally embrace the poor is, the Bear argues, the cry of a prophet, not the counsel of a pastor.
Lest you think the Bear is being unfair, please, read the piece from Vatican Radio.
Voris Unloads on Francis Critics
Michael Voris says lay off the pope. Unless you want to be like Martin Luther. Well, I agree that we don't have a choice. SSPX may get nearly everything right, but it doesn't have the pope. Is there any reason to criticize the pope, ever? The Bear says these are extraordinary times. We are trying to maintain a balanced and traditional Catholicism against assaults from all directions. We have not only a right but a duty to "give our ancestors the vote," as Chesterton said, and avail ourselves of the entire Church, which was not, after all, invented with the election of Pope Francis a year ago (as hard as that is to remember sometimes). That may involve drawing some sharp distinctions. And it is more than, as Voris tries to argue, Francis sometimes not saying things as clearly as he could. I think Voris knows that.