Saturday, February 28, 2015

IS THE BISHOP GOD'S CHOICE? POPE BENEDICT: "NO"

Pope Formosus
Many are of the opinion that popes, bishops, and priests are chosen by God and are therefore beyond question if not unassailable. 

Not true, said Pope Benedict.

We'll get to the actual comment in a minute. Obviously we are speaking to the situation with our own bishop and the debate as to whether he has to be obeyed unquestioningly. 

Common sense should tell us that no priest or bishop or pope can suddenly decide that lying, cheating, and stealing is okay and oblige us to subscribe to his new teaching. 

Yet that is what some want us to do with Archbishop Apuron. We are told that we have to shut up and obey even though the Archbishop himself has apparently subscribed to a new moral order of lying, cheating, stealing, and character assassination. (Proven and documented beyond question on this blog.)*

Even those who know this about the Archbishop often resign themselves to "What can we do? He's the Archbishop. He's chosen by God."

Well he isn't. The only bishops who were ever chosen by God were the 12 apostles, and even one of those went bad. 

Here's what Pope Benedict said when asked whether the Holy Spirit is responsible for the election of a pope:
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.
He continued:
There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!

The author of the above referenced article goes on to tell us about Benedict IX as an example of pope God certainly would NOT have picked:

If you look at history, certain popes have been real scoundrels, like Pope Benedict IX (first elected in 1032).

He was elected pope when still a boy. His reign was scandalous. He insisted upon monetary compensation in order to get him to resign. And then he didn't stay resigned. He was the only man to ever hold the papacy more than once. (In fact, he may have held it as many as three times.)

Without going into all the scandals attributed to him, the Catholic Encyclopedia states: "He was a disgrace to the Chair of Peter."

Back in March of 2013, while we were awaiting the election of a new pope, I wrote a column entitled "The Strange Trial of the Good Looking Pope" wherein I recounted the "Iron Age of the Papacy" (872-965), a particularly horrible period in church history during which there were no less than 24 popes, seven of whom were assassinated or died under suspicious circumstances:
  • John VIII was bludgeoned to death by his own entourage, 
  • Stephen VI strangled, 
  • Leo V murdered by his successor Sergius III, 
  • John X suffocated, 
  • Stephen VIII horribly mutilated - having had his eyes gouged out and ears, nose, and hands cut off - died of his injuries, 
  • Hadrian III poisoned, and 
  • John XII beaten to death.
The period also included the infamous Cadaver Synod when Stephen VI (or VII - accounts vary) dug up his predecessor, Pope Formosus, dressed what was left of his corpse in papal robes, sat him on the throne, tried him for several alleged crimes, found him guilty, cut off three fingers on the corpse's right hand, and threw him in a ditch. Soon thereafter he was dug up and thrown in the Tiber and was later washed ashore and found by a monk. Enraged by the treatment of the dead pope, the people mobbed the papal palace and strangled Pope Stephen. Wow! Talk about active "participation of the laity!"And still that wasn't the end of it. Read more here.  

There are even more fun accounts of the laity rising up against the irresponsibility of their religious leaders. Read the account about the people of the town of Viterbo tearing the roof off the room which housed the electors of the next pope because they were taking too long! 

And speaking of "active participation of the laity", and since Kiko is bent on taking things back to the early church (or at least his version), then both he and the Archbishop should welcome the idea of going back to the practice in the early church of electing and throwing out bishops by popular acclaim. In fact, until the Lateran Synod of 769, the laity had the right to refuse papal candidates when they were presented to them for their approval or disapproval!

Yes, Kiko, let's bring back the good old days when the people really ran things!

But back to our point. No bishop has a right to mistreat people even if they are guilty. And when he does, we have a responsibility to stand against him. And that is exactly what we are doing. 

Will you?

* While there is no doubt that Archbishop Apuron is lying, stealing, cheating, and assassinating the characters of the priests whose souls are entrusted to his care, I have always allowed for the fact that he doesn't know what he is doing, either because he is mentally ill or because he is an entranced member of Kiko's cult. In any event, if the pilot is compromised, it doesn't matter the reason. The first course of action is to get him out of the driver's seat before the plane goes down. Then get him help. 

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