“I feel that my Faith is just being torn apart”

From a reader on the ASK FATHER series on Father Z’s blog:


Given with the view of the Holy Father regarding Mary thru this remarks, how should we read between the lines in this statement of the Holy Father? I’m confused.

Yet I am more terrified of what’s happening with the Church and of her future with bad bishops and clergy. I feel that my Faith is just being torn apart, piece by piece. Yet because of the Divine Promise, Tu Es Petrus, I’m assured that this is a storm we need to go under to purify the Church with it’s bad ministers.

You write: “I feel that my Faith is just being torn apart, piece by piece.”

No, dear reader.  It is not.  What you are seeing are the machinations of some highly placed people who are intent on changing the Church from within.   They don’t have THE FAITH to tear it apart.  They can’t tear apart what they don’t have.  That doesn’t mean that they can’t sow confusion.  But they can’t touch THE FAITH.  The FAITH is greater than they are.  The FAITHFUL are too.  You, as a faithful Catholic, have great power with your prayers and your acts of reparation.

If you hear a bunch of rubbish from someone, ignore it.   You can find THE FAITH in the pages of the Catechism of the Council of Trent and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as in a number of other great sources, such as the writings of great saints, especially Doctors of the Church.

Now to the news, and your concern, that Francis thinks Mary was “a normal girl”.

Let me say from the onset that, in interviews, people can say things that aren’t entirely thought through.  In the moment they intend to underscore something, but, also in the moment, they express themselves awkwardly and, because of time restrictions, can’t add all the caveats and clarifications.

Let me also say that Francis says that he has a devotion to Mary, “Undoer of Knots”.  He stops after trips at Santa Maria Maggiore to visit the wondrous icon of Mary, Salus Populi Romani.    He established the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church.  TODAY, 12 October, is the Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church.

We read at La Stampa that in a book-interview, Francis described the Blessed Virgin Mary as “a normal girl”.

The Italian daily Corriere della Sera has anticipated some excerpts of Bergoglio’s new book: “From the moment she was born until the Annunciation, to the moment she encountered the angel of God, I imagine her as a normal girl, a girl of today[?!?  Who had never committed even a venial sin.  The only one conceived without any stain of any kind of sin.  Immaculate.  “Singular vessel of devotion… Queen of Angels…”… you know, “normal”.] I can’t say she a city-girl, because she is from a small town, but normal, educated normally, open to marrying, to starting a family. [Is that what “girls of today” are like?] One thing I imagine is that she loved the Scriptures: she knew the Scriptures, she had done catechesis in a family environment, from the heart. [Does that descibe a normal girl of today?   Sorry, but if that’s the case the WHY DID WE NEED THIS SYNOD?!?] Then, after the conception of Jesus, she was still a normal woman: [Who conceived by the Holy Spirit and remained a virgin.] Mary is normal, she is a woman that any woman in this world can imitate. No strange things in life, a normal mother: even in her virginal marriage, chaste in that frame of virginity, Mary was normal. She worked, went shopping, helped her Son, helped her husband: normal”.  [That’s just doing stuff.  Those tasks don’t touch on who she is in a more profound way.  In a way this reflects the thoughts of those who reduce the priesthood to tasks, without consideration of the ontological character of the priest.  If priesthood is to be reduced to stuff the priest does, then it would make sense to choose as priests anyone who could do those things well, man, woman,… indeterminate.]

Emphasizing Mary’s rootedness in the people, Francis takes up one of the recurrent themes of his pontificate. “Normality is living among the people and like the people. It is abnormal to live without roots in a people, without connection with a historical people. In such conditions a sin – very much liked by Satan, , our enemy- is born : the sin of the elite. [?] The elite does not know what it means to live among the people and when I speak of the elite I do not mean a social class: I speak of an attitude of the soul. One can belong to a Church elite. But, as the Council says in Lumen Gentiumthe Church is the faithful holy people of God. The Church is the people, the people of God. And the devil likes the elite. [Sorry… but I can’t help you with that.] 

“The re-creation begins with Mary, with a single woman,” [“single” in what sense?  Single as in “not married”?  Single as in “just one of many”?] says Pope Bergoglio. “Let’s think of the single women who run the house, who alone raise their children. [Whoa!  Mary was NOT a single mother.] Mary is even more alone. Alone, she begins this story, which continues with Joseph and the family; but at the beginning recreation is the dialogue between God and a single woman. Alone in the moment of proclamation and alone the moment her Son died”.  [And yet she is the icon of the Church.]

Were I to be asked to talk about Mary, it wouldn’t even enter into my mind to describe her as “normal”.

Again, in an interview you might want to underscore one issue without having time to add everything else that could be said, especially about a super rich theme.

May we, please, take a moment for the Litany of Loreto on this Feast of Mary, Mother of the Church?

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7 Responses to “I feel that my Faith is just being torn apart”

  1. johnservorum says:

    What is the point of listening to Francis anymore? His theology is atrocious. His knowledge of scripture is rudimentary and his “insights” are at best banal.
    Oh for the days of St. John Paul the Great and Benedict XVI.


  2. johnhenrycn says:

    johnservorum: Pretty well all commenters here and on other orthodox websites agree with what you say. Concerning your concluding outcry, I would expand and contend that not within living memory (i.e: Pope Leo XIII possibly, but St Pope Pius X definitely) has there ever been a more woeful pope than the incumbent today. Not even St Pope John XXIII, not even John Paul I (excusing his almost immediate death) have done less to safeguard the Faith. I thank God our literary heritage is so deep and rich that I can just about dispense with everything that’s come out of the Vatican since 13-03-13.


  3. Crow says:

    John Henry, are you saying Pope Leo XIII and Pius X were not good Popes? Why is that? I thought Leo XIII fought modernism and formulated the prayer to St Michael. I don’t know much about Pius X, except that the SSPX accord him honour, and I admire the SSPX. If you’re of a different view, could you please say why you hold that view because I am unaware of anything untoward by them. Pope Paul VI, on the other hand …..


  4. johnhenrycn says:

    Dear Crow: You will agree, I think, when I explain 🙂
    My reference to Pope Leo XIII and then to St Pope Pius X means the last popes in living memory, which is to say – there may be people still alive (doubtful) who were alive when Leo died in 1903, and there definitely are people still alive who were born during the reign of St Pope Pius X. So my point is: within the memory of people now living who were alive in 1903, there has never been “a more woeful pope than the incumbent today”. IMHO, of course.


  5. I am another person who agrees completely with johnhenrycn and johnservorum. “Woeful” is a word that describes this pope perfectly. I think many of us pray daily that God will soon have mercy on us all and end the ruinous pontificate of that poor and, yes, woeful man.


  6. johnhenrycn says:

    I recommend reading this piece by Michael Brendan Dougherty, The Case Against Pope Francis, in the current issue of National Review:

    “Francis has worked to undermine the moral teachings of the Church that touch on matters of sex…The logic of transforming commandments that one must obey into ideals that one more or less, but never fully, approximates is to turn all sins into semi-virtues…The vision Francis has promoted presents a God who is not merciful but indulgent, even lazy, and indifferent. It is God as a Baby Boomer parent. He expects less of you, and you can expect less of Him…What Francis is slowly instituting is a religion of… “good enough,” where our misguided efforts put God in our debt. Communion becomes a participation trophy. And by freeing the Church from its preoccupation with outdated sins such as adultery, Francis can refocus the Church on the things he likes to denounce, such as the building of border walls, or air conditioning…No wonder this church has a pope who refuses to wear red shoes. They symbolize martyrdom…


  7. Crow says:

    Sorry, JH, I had mistook your observations as criticism of those two popes! The description by Dougherty of the Church if Francis is too good! I am inclined to be even more cynical than Dougherty – the overtures to the Chinese fit quite nicely within the concepts of a one-world religion and Anne Barnhardt’s observations about the ‘God of surprises ‘ existing in the shadows of nuance where doctrine can be muddied to serve worldly (or demonic?) ends, comes to my mind.
    What we can be sure of though, is that this is a process that is necessary for the Church to go through, (especially if we are to rid the Church of the terrible abuses that have been perpetrated. The interesting thing is that the obvious failings on all levels of the Francis pontificate seem to be generating a return to conservatism.


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