Leon J. Podles :: DIALOGUE

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Fat Pope, Thin Pope

December 2nd, 2013 · 8 Comments

The Romans have a saying, after a fat pope, a thin pope. That is, the cardinals will choose someone with a distinctly different approach to the papacy. After John Paul II Rock Star and World Traveler, they chose Benedict, a scholar and musician and stay-at-home. After the doctrinally-oriented and liturgically-conservative Benedict, Francis, a populist (who did not complete his academic studies).

Francis may inspire some people to take another look at the Church. He wants Catholics to evangelize – but to evangelize to what? He has a firm grasp on the Catholic faith both in doctrine and practice, but how many lay Catholics do? Many progressive Catholics want to change the Roman Catholic Church into a clone of the Episcopal Church (with worse music). But how successful has the Episcopal Church been at evangelizing?

The big danger is that Francis may awaken movements he cannot satisfy – for women priests and gay marriage especially. Revolutions are caused not by repression but by disappointed rising expectations. He may inadvertently precipitate the schism that has been brewing since Vatican II.

Tags: Pope Francis

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Judith Steinhoff // Dec 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    “Many progressive Catholics want to change the Roman Catholic Church into a clone of the Episcopal Church (with worse music).”

    They already did here in Brazil: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rThWKfCSHyQ

  • 2 IllinoisCatholic // Dec 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I wasn’t alive in the 60s, but I’ve read Catholic literature from that period. Catholic liberals of the early 60s had very far-fetched expectations of the Council. Among other things, they thought that changes to the liturgy somehow would solve all the problems of the world. By the late 60s, many Catholic liberals thought the Church was a farce and beyond redemption. Priests like Fr. James Kavanaugh and Fr. Charles Davis quit in droves.

  • 3 Mary // Dec 2, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    “He has a firm grasp on the Catholic faith both in doctrine and practice” - that is a big assumption.

  • 4 Joseph D'Hippolito // Dec 3, 2013 at 1:27 am

    Agreed, Mary.

  • 5 Janice Fox // Dec 3, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Judith, for those of us who do not understand Portuguese can you explain what is going on? Was this a spontaneous, dare I say it, hymn? Who was calling out the chant and what was he chanting? Was the priest approving? I could not see his facial features. At least at the end the people went back to their seats in an orderly fashion. Perhaps this is the Brazilian charismatic movement?

  • 6 Father Michael K // Dec 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Judith, I’d like to second Janice on this and request a translation and some background on what’s being chanted, etc.

  • 7 Joseph D'Hippolito // Dec 4, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Of course, given the current occupant of the Petrine chair, your title could read,

    “Smart Pope, Dumb Pope”

  • 8 Mary // Dec 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Joseph et al,
    To fully comprehend the mess in the Curia and Vatican City you all should read this!
    http://www.amazon.com/Ratzinger-afraid-Adagio-Gianluigi-Nuzzi-ebook/dp/B00BMLDG3O/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386213701&sr=1-1

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