Humility, Wisdom, Homilies.
The first mark of the wise man is that he pays attention before he opens his mouth, and does not talk of things he doesn’t know. Even those who are not wise will, if they have some humbleness and fear of the Lord, at least pay attention that they do not give scandal.
Our Pope Francis does not have a perfect command of Dante’s language, though one must say he knows it well. He wants to have a public Mass and a homily every day. This is a lot of work, but is perfectly doable if one knows what he says, let alone has at his disposal the human resources available to a Pope.
Pope Francis does not want to publish the homilies in their entirety, because they are supposed to be spontaneous and informal (and, cough, the rambling must be atrocious); but he does not want to keep them unpublished either, for reasons unknown to me but which must have to do with the idea whenever the Pope opens his mouth the gold coming from it must be made available to the planet, lest Creation should suffer.
One would think that here only one of two would apply: either the Holy Father’s homily are important, and then they should be carefully revised beforehand, and in case written by others from starting points given to them by the Pope; or they are just short reflections among friends, and then they should remain among friends lest something wrong comes out of them. Wisdom requires that a Pope pays great attention to what is publicly attributed to him, and humility requires to consider the world doesn’t need to read whatever the Pope thinks or says on a given moment; particularly when it’s wrong.
This does not seem to be the case. Apparently, the world must know whatever word comes out of the Pope’s mouth on a rather daily basis, but no one – least of all the Pope – seem to be willing to put some serious effort, either directly or by delegation, to do it right. All the publicity, but none of the homework. Nice.
I fail to see where is the wisdom, or the much-vaunted humility in this. A clearly lacking theological formation, coupled with the idea that whatever the Pontiff says must be made known to the world, seem to be the main ingredients of this strange, and at times scandalous, situation; a situation which is made worse by the obvious fact that the Pope either doesn’t realise the mediocrity of his theological knowledge, or simply doesn’t care and thinks such need for orthodoxy is a thing of the past, unnecessary in the new age of Pinocchio masses.
I have learned to mistrust anyone who doesn’t take the liturgy seriously. As I have often written, if the Lex Orandi is lacking you can be sure the Lex Credendi will not be better. In this case, though, we have a more serious problem: an allegedly humble Pope who a) cannot find in himself the humility to recognise he gives scandal; b) doesn’t want to spend the energy necessary to avoid it, and c) doesn’t even have the humility to say “let’s keep this private, then”.
I fail to see any wisdom, or diligence, or humility in this. I can’t think how this way of thinking will not cause further confusion and utter scandal down the line, particularly considering there seems to be from the side of the Holy Father no awareness at all of the enormity of what he says, or any interest at all in stopping it if he is aware.
If you ask me, someone near to him should speak to the Pontiff and clearly say to him he must either have his homilies written (or reviewed) by competent and utterly sound theologians, or keep them altogether private. We cannot go on with a Pope that might throw a theological (and heretical) bomb every day that God has made without gravely confusing the Catholics, and making a joke of the teaching role of a Pope.