We learned this morning that "Vatican insiders" consider Benedict XVI "a disaster". It's true. They do think that. He's a disaster for them, and their determination to turn the Catholic Church into a touchy-feely forum in which uncomfortable teachings and traditions are "modernised" to impress non-Catholics. Until the Williamson affair, the media weren't sufficiently interested in attacking Benedict XVI to be useful. But now, after that own goal... YES!!!
I can't help but wonder how my own journey back to Catholicism would have been affected if there was another Pope who did please the "touchy-feely" crowd within the Vatican. I am so grateful for our Holy Father, more so than I'd ever thought I'd be. Unlike many of his critics, I do feel as though someone is in the driver's seat within the Catholic church. All I have noticed is how Pope Benedict has stood firm for Catholic faith time and time again. He has been unflagging in his support for life on all levels. He has addressed the tragic wounds of the sexual abuse by priests in the United States. He has promoted a return to the basics throughout the world. He is reminding us of what it means to be Catholic. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who takes issue with his decisions needs to read the Bible again, with a copy of the Catholic Church Catechism by their side. I see no deviation from either in Pope Benedict's actions.
It seems as though the "progressive" crowd have been operating with little restraint for so long, that now they act as though they're entitled to creating a belief system filled with heresy. A very astute blogger, Paul Anthony Melanson, author of the blog La Salette Journey, recently posted an entry on a Catholic shrine that is now entertaining New Age practices including inviting a woman to speak who seems to be a witch. Except she is supposedly "Catholic." Here's Melanson's take:
Although the names have changed , the old Gods are back. There existed in antiquity a temple, it was called the Pantheon of the Gods. It is being rebuilt, the false Gods are being reawakened just as the true God is being put to sleep. This Pantheon was like a great ecumenical super dome. In it were found not just the God's of the Romans but also the deities that the Empire had acquired through it's contact with the rest of the Pagan world. All were found acceptable, all were authentic as all were real. The reason that they could co-exist was because none of these Gods claimed he was the only God. The modern political system of 'Big Tent' inclusivity follows a similar pattern where all relative philosophies are on the inside while the objective ideas of men who actually believe in anything are today relegated to the cold outside.
Pope Benedict is bringing in those who have been left out in the cold, embracing and encouraging them. This is what enrages the progressives. They are witnessing a slow return to Catholic identity that does not include native American spirituality, enneagrams, dancing circles, and everything else that is anti-Christian. And few are attracted to the bland spiritual food they offer as nourishment. The religious orders that have embraced such nonsense aren't attracting new vocations. The younger generation is returning to tradition. And the progressives are stunned.
Pope Benedict XVI needs our prayers, as does the Church. I know I am deeply grateful to God for him. May our Heavenly Father continue to protect our Holy Father and surround him with all the support and protection he needs.