As of the start of September, it seemed no week was complete without another scandal breaking within the Church of Rome, considered by Her members to be the Mystical Body of Christ. These scandals, as even the Congolese pygmies know by now (assuming any of them remain), have to do with the abuse, pedophilic and almost exclusively homosexual, of thousands of young Catholics over many decades by predatory clerics. Recent Popes, including John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and now Francis have claimed to devote much prayerful effort to eradicating these abuses, and much was expected (by liberals, Catholic and otherwise) of the latter in particular; a self-proclaimed social, political, and theological liberal, dedicated to “reforming” the bad old Church. Francis, however, has failed to fulfill the expectations of his admirers both theologically and institutionally by refusing to transform his titillating hints in both directions into concrete action. Thus his famous question of some years ago, “Who am I to judge?”(homosexuals and homosexual behavior), has been superseded by his remarkable response to reporters’ questions concerning the allegations of a former papal nuncio to the United States who claims that Francis had been aware for years of his good friend Cardinal McCarrick’s long history of pederasty and of covering up similar abuses committed by his fellow priests: “I will not say a single word on this.”
This is the same Pope who has caused great doctrinal anguish among the Catholic Faithful by hinting that he might “change” immemorial Catholic doctrine on such matters as extending Holy Communion to divorced Catholics who have “remarried” outside the Church—an action he is theologically (and supernaturally) incapable of taking. He is also the Pope who has been rumored, on reliable evidence, of having confided to certain priests that his papal legacy may be schism within the Church. Does this mean that a Second Reformation could be in the offing? And after it, a second Counter-Reformation?
Only God knows, of course. Yet worried, even distraught, Catholics need to recall the first two subjects for contemplation among the “Glorious Mysteries” of the Holy Rosary, the Resurrection and the Ascension of the Glorified Body of Christ—Mysteries that seem logically to foretell a glorious future for His Mystical Body as well.