“Dear Pope Francis”: A Letter to the Pope — by Fr Richard Cipolla

Dear Pope Francis,

I write this letter to you with a heavy heart full of concern for the Church and for you as the Successor of Peter. We Catholics are called to love you and support you in your difficult ministry in the Church.

And we do. But there are many of us who are concerned that you do not have your pulse on the state of the Church as it is in today’s world. You seem sometimes to act arbitrarily on important matters such as the liturgical life of the Church and moral teaching in a way that suggests that you think like someone from the 1960s. While we must respect the Second Vatican Council as an Ecumenical Council, the ways of thinking that were in place at that time are very different from those of the present time. In many ways that Council signaled the end of modernity, at least in the Church. We are called now to try to understand what it means to live in a post-modern age, come to terms with it and then get on with the task of evangelization in a post-modern world.

It hurts us deeply when you talk in a disparaging way about those whom you call “traditionalists” and dismiss them as obsessed with the past, narrow minded, and uncharitable. There may be some who fit this image, but those whom I know who love the Sacred Tradition of the Church, far from being obsessed with the past, are vitally concerned with the future of the Church and have no desire to live in a golden age of the Church that never existed.
These men and women, including bishops, priests, deacons and lay, are quite happy to live in the world of today with its special challenges and seek to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Sacred Tradition that embodies the teaching handed down from the Apostles to the post-modern world.

You seem, dear Holy Father, to be unaware that unlike the modern world that has passed away with its rationalism and anti-traditional bias, the young people in the post-modern world are genuinely interested in Tradition and are fascinated by their experience of that Tradition whether it be in art, in architecture, in music, or in the Traditional Liturgy of the Church. The problem is that the Second Vatican Council produced a liturgy that is the fruit of the modern era. It is already stale today in the post-modern world. If you should visit the seminaries in this country, what you would find is that a majority of our seminarians are quite positive about the Traditional Mass that was suppressed in the post-Conciliar years. They are not carrying the baggage you and I carry from the upheavals of the 60s. The young people today are like blank slates, which is to their advantage. They see beauty in the Tradition, they are attracted to it and wonder why that beauty is no longer experienced by most Catholics today.

At the very time when the unity of the Catholic Church is threatened within and without, you have actually deepened that threat by your recent changing of Canon Law to give power to local Bishops Conferences to make their own adaptations of the liturgy of the Mass. Not only will we be divided by language, we will soon be divided by the rite of the Mass itself. You are right in trying to free the liturgy from the bureaucracy of the Roman Congregations. For the liturgical Tradition cannot undergo organic growth if liturgy is reduced to rubrics and law. But the path you are following threatens the unity of the Church herself. The Mass should not be used as an instrument of that “inculturation” that was the obsession of the modern Church of the past.

Dear Pope Francis: I pray that you will think about what I have said in this letter and consider ways to find out where your flock really is in today’s world. You will not do this by surrounding yourself with those who are still living in the 1960s. Do not be afraid to embrace the Sacred Tradition of the Church. That embrace will make you a happy man and a wise Bishop of Rome.

With filial affection,

Father Richard Gennaro Cipolla


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13 Responses to “Dear Pope Francis”: A Letter to the Pope — by Fr Richard Cipolla

  1. ljsedivy says:

    Sorry, but that is a pansy letter. Way too soft for this heretic posing as a Catholic. Do we not understand yet that this man is a communist?

  2. Neville Whiteley says:

    Dear Fr. Cipolla, you have greater charity towards this Pope, than I could ever muster. At the very first image of this Pope, I sensed evil. Harsh, but many share this feeling. God, have mercy upon your Church, and your people who try very hard to work their way through the smoke and mirror of confusion from the very heart of the Mother Church.

  3. Mary Salmond says:

    Amen, Fr. Cipolla, I hope the Pope reads your sincere and rational letter. Well said! Fr. c has the pulse if what’s going on!!!

  4. Will this pope deal with Father Cipolla the way he has dealt with so many others who disagree with him? I think of Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Müller, Cardinal Caffarra, Professor Seifert, and many others to whom this pope has shown his peculiar form of “mercy.”

    God help Father Cipolla, and may God protect him from this pope’s rage and anger.

  5. Roger says:

    I Pray for the Papacy and will leave Him to Our Lord. “.. rage and anger…” NOT the sentiment of a Loving Father is it?

    The proper and respectful manner was followed by Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Müller, Cardinal Caffarra, Professor Seifert as witnesses
    Their position would be Matthew 18:16

    Mathew 18
    [15] But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother.
    [16] And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand.
    [17] And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.

    [Romans 16
    [17]”Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who make dissensions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them.”

    2 John 1
    [10] “If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you.”

  6. Crow says:

    I am afraid I agree with the pessimists regardinng the effect of this letter. A letter such as this is effective only if the recipient is genuine.

  7. Crow says:

    Why is it that there is such opposition to the Catholic traditions by those in this particular Catholic hierarchy? Is it just taste? Or is it because the Latin Rite brings with it a perspective that strengthens the faithful against the cultural pressures and the hierarchy do not want this strength? If it is correct, as Pope Francis claims, that the Latin Mass is just a ‘fad’, then one would assume they would not be worried by it. They would, if they were not threatened by it, embrace it as another form of liturgy.
    Perhaps God has the long- term perspective that we don’t – after all, we are finite creatures and see events within our time references. If Pope Francis allows the liturgy to fall within the direction of the local bishops, then perhaps a Catholic form of Darwinism may take place. The modernist bishops who came of age in the 60’s will die, and their congregations will disappear – after all, there is nothing so boring as 1970’s liturgical music. It will be a form of natural selection. And the little Latin Mass communities will still be there, rigid as ever!

  8. Roger says:

    It isn’t about alleged traditions, that is just double speak. Its about the Magisterium and Our Lord’s Voice.

    John 10
    [27]”My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me.”
    [26]”But you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep.”

    St Peter was told to FEED MY SHEEP. Peter is the servant not the master of Christ and with Great Popes we hear Our Lord’s voice.

    The Petrine Office since 1958 Disobeyed Heaven (Fatima). This was acknowledged and recognised by J P II and he spoke of the consequences of this as a Cardinal in USA 1976.

    The Church recreates the Life Of Christ including the Agony of the Church in the Garden, Crucifixion (Vision published in 2000) And Peter’s denial which was three times before the Cock Crew (a denial at Night, because the Cock heralds the Day).

    Mark 14
    [27] “And Jesus saith to them: You will all be scandalized in my regard this night; for it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be dispersed.”

    The consequences of this scandal are on the Petrine Office (Shepherd) and the Sheep.

  9. toadspittle says:

    …With a picture of the Holy Father caught looking bemused and somewhat foolish.
    Old, dishonest, biased-media ploy. Done It myself, often.
    But then, I don’t claim to be virtuous.
    Of course, nobody believes this letter was really intended for the eyes of the Pope.
    It’s really intended to please his many detractors. So, calling it a lettter to him is a kind of subtle lie.

    ..Not that anyone gives a hoot.

  10. JabbaPapa says:

    Of course, nobody believes this letter was really intended for the eyes of the Pope.
    It’s really intended to please his many detractors. So, calling it a lettter to him is a kind of subtle lie.


    And not particularly “subtle” at that …

  11. GC says:

    On the contrary, I do think that it was hoped that this letter would meet the eyes of the temporary bishop-in-a-hurry of Rome. But, based on past performance (hint! hint!), it will be as though it was never written.

    Crow, nicely stated! It would be quite reasonable to leave the Traditional-Massists undisturbed and blissful in their rigidity. If it’s only a fad (though a rather enduring fad, it would seem), it should disappear soon enough (though it hasn’t), same as bell-bottomed trousers have disappeared. Toad might have a few snaps of Toad in flares.

    I think the article, or letter, appears to suggest that the Rome bisher is just motivated by a desire to humiliate those moved by and enamoured of the traditional liturgy. However, I myself have thought that he is more, if not greatly interested in transforming the Gospel into some sort of “social change programme”. The Jesuits certainly have been trying to do that since the 70s. They haven’t totally succeeded, but, sort of, now run “a parallel Church” with such a social Gospel instead – even while their numbers decrease quite drastically. We’re seeing such a programme spearheaded by the Jesuits in our poor little Archdiocese here just above the equator right now.

    I think that many of the cardinal electors in the last Conclave must have seen Jorge Mario as a “mildish” Jesuit, one with a bit more balance and ecclesiastical good sense. Well?

  12. toadspittle says:

    “Toad might have a few snaps of Toad in flares.”
    HorriIbly true, GC. And with Zapatta moustache, forsooth.
    But beside the point.
    If I write a letter to the Pope, it’s to the Pope, not to several million others.
    Although, that might seem a rather rigid and traditional way of doing things, to some.

  13. toadspittle says:

    “The Jesuits …. …now run “a parallel Church” with such a social Gospel instead – even while their numbers decrease quite drastically. We’re seeing such a programme spearheaded by the Jesuits in our poor little Archdiocese…”
    That’s sad, GC. I’d formed the impression that churches in your part of the world were bulging, these days. Don’t know where I got that idea.

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