Division Among Families: Politics and the Church
No matter where one travels, there is a near constant conversation from Catholics and non-Catholics alike about Pope Francis. Since the white smoke went up the chimney of the Sistine Chapel and Francis walked onto the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square March 13, 2013, and the words ‘Habemus Papam’ (we have a pope) were uttered, opinions are all over the spectrum. Now into his fourth year as leader of the Church holding the Petrine Keys, the long knives are out. Many who sat on the fence as a courtesy of the Office are no longer silent. If they held their tongues and pens, out of deference to the sacredness of the office itself, this is no longer the case.
Pope Francis is a lightening rod to most who study what he says and does. No matter the political or spiritual persuasion, the sentiments are profound on the future direction of the church under Francis. Largely gutting the orthodox view from having a voice on internal affairs, a core group of liberals are firmly entrenched. Pope Benedict XVI recently said, “The Church is on the verge of capsizing.”
Controversy surrounds Francis, and many orthodox Catholics cringe in pain every time he boards a plane and speaks extemporaneously to the press. Al Gore jokingly says he is thinking of becoming Catholic because the pontiff holds so many views dear to his heart.
The chasm in thinking is far and wide and diverse on nearly any subject among the faithful and non-faithful alike. To many people, Pope Francis is a train wreck in slow motion. Others view him as the new messiah in the flesh finally saving the world from its many ills and the wrong direction of the Church under previous popes.
This division leaves a lot of potential for a massive food fight around a table to sort it all out. When people are of the same mind regarding grave and sensitive subjects, there is comfort in knowing others share their view. Today, the veneer of civility has eroded at a dizzying pace and it is open warfare among many friends and colleagues on spiritual and political subjects. Topics like President Trump and Pope Francis are bombs waiting to go off among a group of people.
That leaves one with a need to discern the future for one’s peace of mind and soul. How should we navigate the turbulent waters that swirl around us as we watch families get ripped apart by the culture? The division inside many families is now virtually explosive on just about any subject brought up. Some are avoiding them to keep a modicum of civility.
Immigration, radical Islam, education, anxiety on the economy, North Korea, LGBTQ, transgender, government policy, health care policies, and dozens of other issues where one pegs the other as progressive, socialist, Democrat, conservative, or Republican, is now in the open. With sides chosen, many people ‘opt to divorce’ themselves socially from those with whom opinions differ. Yes, the division is great.
More trouble to come
This divide is going to increase in the future, not decrease. Liturgical reform now on its way will be the deciding factor for many still on the fence. As of October 2017, each diocese can now decide with little fear of Rome’s influence how to choose to interpret many aspects of Church teaching on communion for the divorced and those living in homosexual unions. In one diocese, Father Friendly will agree to one matter, and in the next diocese will be a different interpretation and implementation on the exact same issue. Much greater confusion is on its way. Sister Lucy of Fatima said the final battle in the Church would be over marriage and family.
In many ways, we are staring at the real time disintegration of the United States concerning governance and cultural norms. America is fighting for its very soul, and the forces of hell have been unleashed to destroy it. If America fails, many other parts of the world will fail as well. We are on the threshold of the wholesale destruction of a way of life and the fight will not go away any time soon.
Revolutions begin when the economy sours. When people lose hope and can’t see a way forward to make a living and provide basic needs for their families, that’s when it starts to get ugly. The French and Bolshevik Revolutions are just two examples of that—and both of those events irrevocably changed those nations to this day. The American Empire is over, but as a country America will remain.
We can no longer be silent
The day of people being the turtle on a fence post doing and saying nothing needs to change fast. Heaven has been warning us time and again where our safety lies, and those admonitions have largely been ignored. There is a price to pay for ignoring heaven’s requests.
Saint Robert Bellarmine, a Cardinal and Doctor of the Church who fought during the counter reformation summed it up best when he observed during times of error and confusion: “Just as it is lawful to resist the pope that attacks the body, it is also lawful to resist the one who attacks souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that is lawful to resist him by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed.”
In message 192 (N-T) of the Marian Movement of Priests, the Blessed Mother says:
“Pray that you may never doubt the love of the Father, who always watches over you and provides for you, and makes use of suffering as a means of healing you from the sickness of corruption, of infidelity, of rebellion, of impurity, of atheism. I now ask you for more prayer. Multiply your cenacles of prayer. Multiply your rosaries, recited well and in union with me. Offer me also your suffering and your penance. I ask you for prayer and penance for the conversion of sinner, that even my most rebellious and most distant children may return to God, who awaits them with the merciful eagerness of a Father. And then, together we will form a great net of love that will envelop and save the whole world. Thus my motherly and supreme intervention can be extended everywhere, for the salvation of all who have gone astray.”
Truth, if not spoken with love, is not love at all. Believers have an obligation to transcend the temporal to the eternal in conversations.
A gentle answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1).
Every Mass and hour of Adoration for the intended cause is worth one thousand conversations falling on deaf ears.
Jesus, I Trust In You.