Wednesday 13 March 2013
Pope Francis -Called To Re-build But Likely To Re-Design?
We all, of course, promise respect and obedience to the new Pope, Francis. But there is already much talk about the man as being no friend of Tradition. Can this really be so, when Vatican II reminded us is part of the Deposit of Faith on a par with Sacred Scripture? Surely no one who accepts the Papal Office does so with the desire to change what has been received from the Apostles and its legitimate development down the centuries? Who would have such arrogance or absence of faith to act in such a manner? At any rate, my hope is that the people of God will realise that Francis is Vicar of Christ and as such, owed our obedience and respect. That said, if the fears expressed by others are justified, then I hope that Francis will, in his turn, give his faithful obedience to the Tradition of the Church.
Unfortunately, for many Catholics today Tradition is regarded simply as custom, and therefore easily abandoned. We must then, as always, trust in the Holy Spirit and offer filial prayers for Pope Francis -not only for his person, but for his Pontificate, that he may demonstrate his firm adherence to the Deposit of Faith in Scripture and Tradition, and thereby serve as both a rallying point for the faithful and firm rebuke to the secular world.
We trust God will use Pope Francis to re-build the Church as he did with his name-sake from Assisi, and pray that he will not try to remodel what does not belong to him. A Pope is not, after all, all-powerful, and the new man surely knows this. Rather, he is caretaker of the Lord’s Body and not its master. One trusts, as all must do, that Francis is indeed aware that Our Lord “is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb.13v8) and as such does not speak doctrine or guide liturgical development with forked tongue: what was sacred before is sacred now -be that in doctrine or in liturgy. I feel sure Francis has the humility and wisdom to lead the Church authentically and remains open to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, faithful to the Tradition we have received. And who could suggest he does not..?