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I exchanged PMs with a Fishie earlier, and in one of his responses to me, my new friend wrote:

Fishie Wrote:
I believe that it's very prudent for Catholics to respect Our Holy Father Francis because like it or not to criticize him is wrong because that is often how people get trapped in the Sedevacantist heresy or SSPX schism.

It is also a form of spiritual pride and only God can judge him but God has used Saint's to correct them but most of the people who do this are not Saint's so it is unwise to do it.

That's my take on Papal Criticism

I replied with this:

Vox Wrote:I have to disagree with you re. papal criticism. In fact, I'd say that not calling a spade a spade while making clear that his personal ramblings are NOT Catholic doctrine just because he speaks them is what could drive people to sedevacantism.

Educated Catholics can see what's going on with regard to Pope Francis and his imprudent behaviors and words  -- but if they're not aware that the Pope isn't impeccable, that he isn't always right on every little thing, that his words and behaviors can be criticized or rejected, then they're left with the choice of staying with Church and following him into error, or leaving. But if they're made aware that the Pope is a weak Pope, even an outright bad one, that others see it, too, and that they're not alone, that we need to stay and fight and call a spade a spade, then that sets the example they need to see and won't cause them to feel forced into a false dichotomy. Besides, St. Paul "resisted Peter to his face," St. Catherine of Siena critiziced the Pope plenty, etc. I wouldn't dare think of them as being tainted with "spiritual pride," etc. Neither knew they'd be canonized while they were on earth. And we're supposed to emulate the Saints.

Talking about what Pope Francis says or does and clarifying it, telling it like it is, is, I believe, absolutely imperative to preserve people from sedevacantism or from coming to believe erroneous things they take for official doctrine but which isn't doctrine at all. Criticism of his words and acts should be done prudently, fairly, without impugning his motives, etc., but I think it must be done. Doing so doesn't amount to "judging" him any more than saying, for ex., that a murderer has done something wrong. We can't judge the Pope's soul. Nor can we judge the murderer's soul. But we can -- and must -- judge actions and words.

Bottom line: the Truth always works. Always. "Veritas" is one of my personal mottoes.

As an aside, though I, myself, am not an "SSPXer," the SSPX isn't in schism! They don't have ordinary jurisdiction, but they're definitely not in schism.

I told my friend that I'd post all that here so you all could give some input as well. So ---- anyone? Disregard the SSPX part, and don't get into a debate about them or sedevacantism; just stick to the topic of criticizing the Holy Father.

One thing I love about Catholicism is that it doesn't prevent your brain from working.

What is "criticizing" the Pope, as defined by either you or your new friend?

Does that include asking questions? Often asking questions is perceived as being critical these days.

Is it calling the Pope names, like "heretic" or "blasphemous", or is it pointing out errors?

Is it wondering how what he's saying fits into historical Catholic teaching?

I know, personally, I am critical of Pope Francis, and it's something that drives me to the confessional because I'm not always charitable with it. I think that's key... are we being charitable?
Since I am the person who sent the message.

I feel that it's better if I explain what I mean for me personally I feel that calling the Holy Father Francis a heretic or something uncharitable is uncalled for.

The Saint's who did criticize the Holy Father made sure to show proper respect for His Office.

There are certain things that Pope Francis has done or spoken that I don't agree with but I don't talk about it with people.

I feel that the liberal media often give him loaded questions to make him seem unorthodox because that's their agenda to scandalize Faithful Catholics into leaving the Faith
My personal two cents: if it's anything like the following posts that have been made here recently on FE, then you've gone 'round the bend...

Quote:Bergoglio MUST Be Deposed.

Quote:Who is this vulgar little man that our contemporary Cardinals elected in 2013?

Quote:if I had children, I wouldn't let them anywhere near Francis.

Quote:WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM? How is he not being dragged to the gate and thrown out?

No matter how strongly you disagree with Pope Francis, this sort of rhetoric is counter-productive in actually reaching the greater Catholic world and is exactly the sort of thing that has gotten Trads labeled as kooks and troublemakers by the hierarchy.
I'm not even sure its possible for a Pope to be a formal heretic. Even if it is, I don't think I've ever heard Pope Francis say anything explicitly heretical, maybe heterodoxical but that's different. Calling the Pope a heretic is certainly way out of bounds. It seems to me that most toxic trads and sedevacantists don't even attempt to distinguish between heterodoxy, formal heresy, and material heresy.

I get annoyed with him sometimes but I try to understand that he's not Satan incarnate, he's just a man. I'm not afraid to say when he says something wrong or when I disagree with his methods. I just think he's as much a victim of the evils of liberalism as any of us are, if not more so.
Since I was quoted I must respond : not a kook. And yes, I'd not let my children near him.

Also, good luck trying to look good for mainstream culture.

                                                                    I think we have to consider the distinct possibility that we are now at a point that is unprecedented in the entire history of the Catholic Church. We have Bishops such as Johann Bonny, Heiner Koch, Reinhard Marx, Blase Cupich, and Godfried Danneels, who certainly appear to condone homosexual behaviour, while the head man at the Vatican does nothing.  This is a bit like watching your small children drown in the backyard pool while you smile and praise abortionists, communists, atheists, etc.
(03-02-2016, 07:48 PM)dcmaccabees Wrote: [ -> ]No matter how strongly you disagree with Pope Francis, this sort of rhetoric is counter-productive in actually reaching the greater Catholic world and is exactly the sort of thing that has gotten Trads labeled as kooks and troublemakers by the hierarchy.

This. You beat my saying it, although I'd add "and the world at large" at the end of the sentence. Name calling and blatant disrespect to the pope is the quickest way to shut down any chance of bringing someone into, or back to, the Church. I'm not saying nod and go along with everything he says, after all, he's human, but insulting is out of order.
(03-02-2016, 07:59 PM)Dominicus Wrote: [ -> ]I'm not even sure its possible for a Pope to be a formal heretic. Even if it is, I don't think I've ever heard Pope Francis say anything explicitly heretical, maybe heterodoxical but that's different.

Look at this:

Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.
§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful.

(Letters have been sent out to Rome. They have been discarded!)
Go to that page (Concerned diocesan priests from around the globe have compiled it.) On the right hand side is the 100 page PDF document with all the contradictions Francis has made against the Magisterium of the Church.


To add to what I said in the original post, I think it's crucial that we call error what it is -- absolutely crucial! -- but it must be done with prudence, with charity, without impugning the Holy Father's motives, without judging his soul or engaging in "mind-reading," with respect for his office and for him as a human being, with humility, without name-calling or words that would likely prove truly scandalous to "the simple faithful," etc.

Trads tend to be eggheaded, and eggheadedness is a fine thing in itself. But being inordinately eggheaded can also lead to pride and imprudence, to saying things with no thought as to how those things would be perceived by those Catholics who aren't of an intellectual bent (which is to say, most Catholics). It's one thing for a coupla egghead trads to get together and gripe to each other; it's another thing for them to get on the internet and not have any sense that "little ones" might be listening in.

Bottom line:  without charity, ALL is for naught. Unless we're sedevacantists (which I'm not), we have to treat the Pope as our Holy Father. But when a father is abusive, we're not to allow ourselves to be abused, and are not either to stand idly by while our young siblings are abused. We have to stand up for the Truth, always. But we must do it in a way that doesn't cause harm -- either to "the little ones" or to our own souls.
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