Dr. S.M. Hutchens on Francis’ Church
via email | January 2018 | Dr. S. M. Hutchens
Posted on 01/12/2018 2:35:33 PM PST by NRx
Brethren: Since I am, after all, a senior editor of such a journal as Touchstone, I need to tell you some of my late thoughts on the Catholic Church. I sent a draft of these originally to Bill Tighe, who keeps me very supplied with links to Catholic sources. You may share this with whomever you please. //
An interesting and unhappy feature of Francis’s pontificate is that disciplinary decisions the history and logic of the papal office would seem to place in the popes’ prerogative seem to be falling on the faithful, led by a minority of vocal bishops. If Cardinal Parolin, who we may assume does not speak on such matters without the pope’s approval, is right about Amoris Laetitia representing a “paradigm shift” and a “new spirit,” I am convinced he is talking about nothing less than a de-catholicization and with it a de-Christianization of Catholicism–victory of the progressives of Vatican II whose horrifying progeny I encountered in such profusion when I studied at the Catholic Theological Union.
It becomes harder to deny Collins’ and Wall’s assertion in Roman but Not Catholic that now the Catholic Church is the world’s largest liberal Protestant denomination. Like mainline Protestantism, it has its traditionalist outliers (the mere existence of a progressivist pope, given the dogmatically defined signification of his office, makes all opposition “outlying”), and this is a group of considerable size. But it is clearer than ever that the Catholic, like the Protestant, must search among the churches of his tribe to find a faithful pastor and congregation, a place where his faith and that of his children is built up rather than given over to an invisible hierarchy of non-Christian spiritual forces. It is also becoming more difficult, I should think, for faithful Catholics simply to dismiss these considerations in favor of the argument that because Rome is the True Church, one should subject oneself to it in whatever local form it happens to take.
If I were a Catholic, I would have difficulty finding words to express my outrage at the poisonous influence of Pope Francis. During his reign every Catholic must become protestant to remain Catholic–a paradox with which we members of the “ecclesial communities” are quite familiar. As a Protestant, though, I say, “Welcome to the club”–or perhaps, rather unkindly to drive in the nail, “Welcome home.”
I am still mystified at how this hireling could be elected in the train of two of the greatest popes in history–popes that made me long to be a Catholic. I will also make the easy prediction that the inflow of many of the best and brightest young orthodox-minded Protestants into Rome is for some while over, for there is no better apologist than Francis for Protestant constructions on the identity of the Church.
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