We Need Twenty More Open Letters
In 300 years, when the Church has come back to normality, Francis will be, in all probability, nothing more than a little blip on the radar of the average Catholic, there with Pope Elton and Pope Dalai (who came after him) in a small parade of horrible Popes only remembered in proverbial expressions and after-dinner lore. Single men tend to be forgotten unless they are of the stature of a Julius Ceasar; epochs tend to impress themselves more firmly in the collective imagination.
What will, then, people remember in 300 years, when gathered around the table in the kitchen? Pope Francis? I doubt they will remember one single thing he did, though they will probably recall his name as one of the “bad Popes”. What they will remember from school, is the age of unprecedented Church corruption that marked the Age of Insanity. Will they blame the single evil Pope? Hardly. Not many people can, today, mention even a handful of the Renaissance Popes. They will blame the bishops and cardinals for allowing the decay to happen and the rot to set in.
They will be right.
As Francis becomes more than a passing disgrace, insists in not dying and appoints more Cardinals, it becomes more likely that these years will be seen as the onset of a disgraceful age. There is no way that the bishops and remaining halfway Catholic cardinals can be excused for their inaction, as this becomes way more than a wayward Pope whose problem will die with him ( as in Formosus’, or Honorius’ case), but a Pope who created a systemic disruption, one able to survive his own demise.
The time for action is now, not after Francis has died. No single bishop, not one, can hide anymore behind the lame excuse of waiting for the problem to solve itself. The evil plant is expanding, and will spawn a Pope Cupich or a Pope Tagle one day.
The bishops and cardinals must act now. They must be reminded constantly that they have no excuses. They are at the real root of the problem festering.
We need twenty more Open Letters, coming from all corners of Catholicism.
This crisis is a crisis of collective governance, not a crisis of mad individuals.