Consistory: Don’t Be (Too) Afraid
The new, reported yesterday, of a new Consistory for Mid-February has, no doubt, put more than one in panic mode. The longer Francis is in power, the more polluted the college of Cardinals will become. There is simply no chance that Francis may be content of making his own circus show, whilst leaving things more or less unchanged. This is the one who made Baldisseri Cardinal, and Cupich Archbishop (and, who knows, perhaps soon Cardinal, too…).
I do not know what will happen if Francis uses the Consistory to show how sngry he is, and to take a petty revenge on the Bishops who – indirectly, but clearly – booed him at the Synod. But from this little corner of Catholicism I suspect that if things become too colourful, the pressure to have Francis declared a heretic after death, Honorius-style, will grow, and at that point the question of the validity of Francis' appointments as Cardinal may well be posed.
This is, though, only a secondary consideration, and a not very probable one. More probable is, I think, one of the two:
1) The Lord, in His Goodness, frees us from Francis; either sending him six feet under, very probably to hell, or moving him to abdicate in some other way (heart attack, or the like).
2) The Lord works in the minds of the Cardinals in such a way that they prepare a “surprise” after Francis' demise, electing a much better candidate than it would otherwise be expected.
I am certainly not at ease with what is happening. It is clear to me that the longer this papacy, the more terrible and long lasting God's punishment will be. I dread to think what ten or fifteen years of Francis would make of the Bride of Christ. At the same time, I know that when the good Lord has decided that we have been punished long enough, or hard enough, He will put things right in the way He considers best, either with a slow recovery or with a spectacularly saintly man.
Don't be, therefore, too afraid. The amount of humiliation and disfiguration the Church will have to endure has been decreed already, and its end too. Our role is to participate in this plan so that, with God's Grace, we may merit salvation by being among those who have furthered His cause. Our role is, also, to endure whatever punishment God will send on us Christians and Catholics with Christian resignation, without rebelling and thinking that we know better, or this mess is too much for us, or the gates of hell must have prevailed.
Francis may think that he can reshape the Church; or he may, more modestly, think that he can give a lesson to the Bishops and assorted “Neo-Pelagians”. But always remember this: God can strike him down instantly, anytime. He could be dead as I write this, or as you read it. One little touch, and he's gone.
Terrible times might well be in store for us. Still, we won't be punished one bit harsher than we have deserved. Francis will not be sabotaging the Church one second longer than God allows him to.
I suggest you keep this in mind, and train yourselves to meditate on this often.
In the years to come, it might well become a necessary exercise.