One day, it has been said, the Church could consider the election of Francis invalid.
Beautiful, say I. Let us hope and pray that such a moment comes, no matter how far in the future, so that it is easier to excise all the poison of this guy from the body of the Church.
However, if such a day comes, it will be the day that the Church has made a decision. The Church; not a grumpy old man in the pew, or a blogger at his desk.
Nor can anybody say that, if the Church, one day, decides that Francis’ election was void, these grumpy old men and Keyboard Cardinals will be “proven right”.
They won’t. They would be just as wrong on that day as they are wrong now, because it is not for them to say “I told you so”. In fact, it is not for them to tell, full stop.
We are not at liberty to decide who is Pope, or whether the Pope is legitimate or not. That basic humility is required of a Catholic. We aren’t a Protestant mini-outfit where everybody decides which rules he adheres to, and three people can get together and create another mini-outfit with the rules they like.
If the Pope is a disgrace – this one is a huge disgrace; his successor, very likely, too – then it is our duty to say so, stick to what the Church has always taught, and deny obedience to such a disgraceful Pope in everything in which he goes against what the Church teaches.
We are no pope-makers. It is extremely arrogant, and very possibly gravely sinful, to think that we can decide who is Pope and who isn’t. The Church says that Francis is Pope. Even Benedict says that Francis is Pope. Not one single Cardinal denies to Francis the fact of life that he is the Pope.
The sun goes up in the East. Francis is Pope. Live with it.
We don’t decide who is Pope. We can – and should – pray for the return of worthy Popes in an authentically Catholic Church. We need to also understand that the horrible disfiguration of the Church we are living now is – as everything else – God-willed, and most likely a punishment for the sins of both the clergy and the laity. The solution is, then, not more arrogance but more humility.
Pray more. Do penance. Hope for a better day, but realise it might never come in your lifetime. Hope you will die believing in the Catholic teaching. Be faithful to the end, knowing that sixty-five generations of Catholics are on your side.
We are no Pope-makers.
It’s as simple as that.