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 Gentium, the 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?