Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Long Live Pope Francis!

Yours truly had the feeling that a pope from South America would be elected this time around.

Many are complaining, still.

Don't like it?  Tough luck.  And buck up.  

When John Paul II passed on, the quick conclave was looking for doctrinal continuity.  Pope Benedict's papacy was focused on reinforcing Catholicism's identity.

This time around, the focus was on the shift of demographics toward the Southern Hemisphere.  A new world pope emerged.



It was their turn.  This is their moment.  They need this.  The Lord has decided. 

If you thought Cardinal Pacelli would emerge from the conclave as pope then you were wrong.  He died in 1958.

19 of the cardinals voting in the conclave came from Spanish-speaking countries and they got their man, a South American.  Italy's 28 voting-age cardinals got their man, an Italian.  Everyone was happy. 

The kingmaker blogs were wrong.  A dark-horse candidate was elected.  No one had heard of him.  Many never gave him a chance.   

I have always said it is in poor taste to speak poorly of a pope, living or deceased.  We must be responsible.  And respectful.  And Catholic. 

The Holy Ghost does not get it wrong.  77 cardinals - minimum, inspired by the Holy Spirit, cast their prayerful vote and this is the result.  

Pope Francis was born of a generation of priests from South America which was formed by the zeal and devotion and example of Dom Helder Camara of Brazil.  This is his style.  The style of Dom Helder.  South America has miles and miles of slums.  Catholic countries!  Poverty like we do not see in North America.

Every pope has his style.  Soon enough there will be a new pope.  Enjoy each papacy.  Pray, fast, and do penance.

And long live the pope.


  1. You lecture like this; "every pope has his style", and then post delusional pictures like the one above with the tiara over his coat of arms?

  2. Very Very well said! God's actions and thoughts are so far above our own. While we may disagree with personal style or liturgical sensibility, what we can not disagree with is that he is the choice of the Spirit! Long Live Francis, our Supreme Pontiff.

  3. "If you thought Cardinal Pacelli would emerge from the conclave as pope then you were wrong. He died in 1958."

    No, Really? I thought that he was still alive!

    "The Holy Ghost does not get it wrong."

    No, but humans do. And the human element can interfere. John XII, Alexander VI? The list goes on.

    "It was their turn. This is their moment. They need this."

    And you know this how?

    "Every pope has his style."

    Yes, but there is nothing wrong with saying some styles are better.

    Long live the pope!

  4. Thank you, Mr. Sonnen, for your comments, for setting the record straight, and not letting your wonderful blog go the way others have chosen to go. Ad multos annos! Oremus semper pro papa nostro!

  5. Two errors here:
    1) the Holy Spirit does NOT choose the Pope;
    2) those are not the current arms of the Bishop of Rome.

  6. Of course the Holy Spirit chooses the pope. And considering the 339 million Catholics in South America, they have waited a long time!

  7. I truly like your blog and agree with you most of the time, but this is one of the times I cannot agree. The Holy Ghost does not elect Popes, men do, also we are allowed to say that this current Pope's style is very bland and not to our liking, this does not mean we are not loyal Roman Catholic's just because we may not like his boring vestments, mitre and black tennis shoes and the scary crooked crucifix. Look, he did not want the papal stole Guido Marini tried to put on him during his balcony appearance, did not accept the Papal ring, will not be called Pope but call me Jorge. Tells traditionalists in Rome the other day they are "stubborn" washes the the feet of girls and Mohamadeans I mean honestly this is sheer nonsense. Yes, there will be another Pope and God willing will return us to The Traditional Latin Mass. I still like your blog very much Sir!!

  8. "I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. … I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit’s role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined. There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!"
    ---Joseph Ratzinger

  9. Amen! Great post.

  10. So the Holy Spirit chose Alexander VI?

  11. Long live Pope Francis!

  12. If this is how you truly feel, why do you post so many pictures of Pope Benedict XVI with the caption: "Miss me yet?"

  13. Sorry I simply do not like this new pope. And the more I see of him the more I dislike him. I really feel this "humility" nonsense is just an act and from my observance he is an arrogant and conceited liberal. Not once has he yet spoken directly on the evil of abortion or the sin of same sex marriage. I fear he will due great damage to the Faith in the desire to be "Mr. Popular" and not speak the Truth.

  14. Admirable sentiment, John, and I think the direction most of us tend in order to retain sanity. But as is adequately stated above, the Holy Ghost manifestly does NOT elect the pope.

    I think, as is my right, that Francis has at least the potential to be a great danger to the Church and the world. Already he has done significant damage which still however might be repaired by a successor with guts.

    If you're looking for good news today, I suggest you look here:


    This guide was released this morning, and it contains powerful seed of Reform. I know it was begun under Benedict, and probably assumed final form under him. Still, it was released under Francis, presumably with his acquiescence. If true, a good sign indeed.

  15. I like your blog very much, JP. But it's shocking to see you repudiate the words of a Papal encyclical, Universae Dominici
    Gregis, released by Blessed Pope John Paul II, wherein he made clear the Holy Spirit does not, necessarily, "select" a pope. In that encyclical Pope John Paul II called on cardinal-electors to cooperate with Grace, to put aside petty differences and parochial ambitions. The Pope made clear that it is very possible for the cardinal-electors to refuse to cooperate with Grace, and that it has happened in the past.

    If you make such a claim, please show where, in the Tradition, there is a great Saint or orthodox theologian who posited that the Pope is determined a priori by the Holy Spirit. I'd love to see that. But I don't think you will be able to find it, and I think such would have been amazing to St. Thomas.

    At the very least, this belief regarding papal elections is not dogmatic. Catholics can disagree and remain faithful. Let us not use the "the Pope was determined by the Holy Spirit and is thus beyond reproach!" meme to silence unpleasant opinions.

  16. How many angels dance on the pin of a needle? Of course the Holy Spirit guides the outcome of papal elections. Francis was God's pick.

  17. Thank you JP for letting us who don't care much for this "humble" Papacy express ourselves, I for one cannot understand why Cardinal Ranjith was not selected Pope? My guess is his support of the TLM telling his priests to give Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling and saying that he admires the S.S.P.X., guess that answered my own question. Still waiting for Jorge to put on some new vestments already how many times can he wear the same "Novus Ordo" vestments? Now remember he himself told his own Papal household to call him "Jorge" not Holy Father, so please don't attack me for calling him Jorge.

  18. What? Did someone hijack your blog and type this? Anyway, it's not Catholic to say that the Holy Spirit or God elects the pope; therefore, he's the one God wanted. If this were the case there would have been no need pray for the cardinal-electors. They would just automatically elect the cardinal that God wanted to be pope. This attitude completely discounts free will and the fallible hand of man.

  19. I stand by what I wrote: "The Holy Ghost does not get it wrong. 77 cardinals - minimum, inspired by the Holy Spirit, cast their prayerful vote and this is the result."

  20. Since when is the Papacy a cultural play toy that ought to follow demographics? That's an absurd proposition. "Their moment" "Their man" the whole point of the Papacy is universality not marginalizing the See of Peter to this that or the other region. That's playing a numbers game. If any ethnicity ought to have "their man" its the Italians, he is the Bishop of Rome; now we have a Pope who not only doesn't know Latin but whose Italian is even shaky at times.

    Lastly, the idea that whoever is the reigning pontiff is of necessity the man the Lord willed is to destroy free-will which is heresy. Grace builds upon nature as you know, it doesn't destroy it. I believe God can bring great and unforeseen good out of this papacy, but I'm not going to clap my hands about it. Its unfortunate that too many Catholics have lost the view of the Pope's function primarily as a custodian of Tradition, not its arbiter. "Quod invenerunt in Ecclesia, tenuerunt; quod didicerunt, docuerunt; quod a Patribus acceperunt hoc filiis tradiderunt."

  21. Stand by how? Where in the Magisterium does it say that the Holy Ghost selects the Pope? Have all Popes thus been selected by the Holy Ghost, including those who were installed as Bishop of Rome by the nobility of Rome in the early Middle Ages and were profoundly depraved individuals?

    If you can show some theological opinions from Church Fathers, great Saints, orthodox theologians, etc., that support your claim, I would like to see them. I truly do not understand how you are coming to this conclusion, which seems so contradictory to Catholic theology regarding free will. I agree that the electors CAN cooperate with Grace and CAN select the Pope that is the Will of the Holy Spirit, but not that they invariably DO. I do not understand how they lose their free will while in conclave, then get it back when they depart? And why would the Holy Ghost have inflicted some very bad pontiffs on the Church in the past?

    I wrote on this on my blog. I asked for anyone to provide some Magisterial support for your view. There was none. I searched theology texts and the internet, and found nothing but contrary statements, even from the two most recent Popes! I really feel you have fallen into a dangerous error, conflating protection against error in the guise of Papal infallibility, and impeccability, a belief that the Pope is always the choice of the Holy Spirit and thus can do no wrong. I fear that many souls have basically reduced their understanding of the Faith to "I do whatever the Pope says, support whatever he believes, that is what defines being Catholic." But if you are wrong, and the Holy Spirit does not, in essence, select the Pope, then you could blindly follow a man who could wreak utter havoc in the Faith. As the latest anonymous said, this is a widespread error, attributing to the Pope the right to determine Tradition (and the right understanding of Scripture), rather than being the custodian of such, as St. Paul counsels.

    I don't want to be wrong on this, either! And it would, in a sense, be very comforting to believe that the Holy Spirit selects the Pope and we can always have blind trust in the Holy Father, no matter what he does. But I have not been able to find any support for this supposition in the Tradition. If you have some, please share.

    A hypothetical that cuts to the heart of all this, and don't chicken out and say "it will never happen." What would you do if some future Pope, not this one, but the next or one after, determined that all the preceding Magisterium was wrong, and women could receive Holy Orders? What would you say to that? Would you accept it as being the Will of the Holy Spirit? I believe it will and could never happen, but just hypothetically, what would you do? And if that Pope then attempted to ordain women? And women bishops? I know how I would react, but I'm interested in what you would say.

    I know you rarely reply to comments, but I would appreciate a response.

    God bless you!

  22. One more point - your view regarding the Papacy and papal elections is historically non sequitur. For much of the history of the Church popes were not elected as they are now. Did the same principal apply then, especially the period ~750-950 when Popes were almost entirely creatures of the Roman nobility and what called itself the Senate? When elections were riggeed by nobility with payoffs to the mob who pushed for the election of a given Pope? In these cases, and there were many, there was no prayerful discernment or quiet reflection, but mob action and economic self-interest. I believe the Holy Spirit can work through anything, but when one considers the amoral result of several of these elections.....

    Again, the key is where in the Magisterium is there support for such claims.