For the lengthy and flowery flourishes appropriate of a Papal Nuncio’s address to a pack of Bishops, there is one phrase in there that I wish would have been the only phrase:
[Pope Francis's] own deepest hope today for the pastors of the Church in America, as well as for all the pastors of the Church: ‘that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be more effectively guarded and taught’.
The problem with all that flowery language is that everyone loses sight of what went wrong in the Church in America.
Would that have only been true when I was younger and an Ordinary of the Church whom I shall not name or identify, said specifically that the Blessed Sacrament was nothing more than a symbol of community. (!)
Would the Church have benefitted from ordinaries who did not remain silent on basic questions of faith? You know, easy things to say, like
- “God is a real Person”
- “The Ten Commandments are not multiple choice”
- “The sacraments are real manifestations of miraculous grace.”
- “Confession is a very real cure for guilt, because God is really present to you in the box.”
- “You are not the bread of life, but Jesus Christ Who is really and physically present in the Blessed Sacrament is.”
Maybe we would have a Church in America where people didn’t leave for lack of being entertained.
I’d like to think things will change, but the bulk of the Pope’s address is focused on unraveling the erroneous authoritarian view of Church hierarchy, whether left or right.
With the force of habit, silence, and inane felt banners and touchy feely language, you have to ask, Can the Bishops even really be Bishops anymore?
They don’t even tell us to genuflect to God physically present in the tabernacles of our churches, and in the Blessed Sacrament at Mass… Is it wrong of me to think they’ll be unable to address the rest of the “small things”, too?