Monsignor Charles Pope, the pastor of a church in Washington, D.C., took to his Facebook account to respond to Pope Francis’s criticism of “rigid priests.” More specifically, priests who steadfastly uphold all of the Church’s teachings, especially on sexual morality and the family.
Monsignor Pope’s statement to the Pope was that he was not “feeling the love” from the Pope and is “wearied from being scorned and demonized by you.”
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Monsignor Pope’s Facebook Excerpt:
Papa Francisco says, “I would like to emphasize an attitude that I do not like, because it does not come from God: rigidity. Today it is fashionable, I do not know about here, but in other parts of the world it is fashionable, to find rigid people. Young, rigid priests, who want to save with rigidity, perhaps, I don’t know, but they take this attitude of rigidity and sometimes – excuse me – from the museum. They are afraid of everything, they are rigid. Be careful, and know that under any rigidity there are serious problems.”
Santo Padre, I’m not feeling the love here, I don’t feel accompanied by you. Make room in your heart for me and others like me. I am not a young priest, but I know you don’t like my type of priesthood. Further I am an American and this mere fact seems to also make me troublesome in your eyes. I am not afraid of everything a you state, but I do have concerns for the ambiguity of some of your teachings and severity of some of your actions. Yet when we, your less favored sons, ask you questions you will not answer or clarify. In all this I am still your son and share the priesthood of Jesus with you. I await the solicitude and gentle care from you that you say I, and others like me, lack. Meanwhile I must honestly and painfully say that I am wearied from being scorned and demonized by you.
In early September, Pope Francis spoke with the bishops of Mozambique about the priestly formation by saying: “I would like to emphasize an attitude that I do not like because it does not come from God: rigidity. Today it is fashionable, I do not know about here, but in other parts of the world it is fashionable, to find rigid people.”
His ‘holiness’ has criticized what he calls “rigid priests,” or clerics who are “rigid” in their ministry, reasonably frequently since he was installed into that office back in 2013. He again attacked the subject of “rigid” in October 2016 when he said rigid people are “sick” and adhere too firmly to the letter of the law. I am sorry but does the Pope mean there are rules but feel free to bend them once and while, be loose?
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I am not Catholic, but I have read a few articles on how often he associates rigidity with orthodox Catholics remain faithful to the traditions of the Church, its ancient devotions and prayers, the Latin Mass, and a strong love for the Virgin Mary. There’s nothing wrong with that, so why go after those who want to continue this practice? Find a medium and stick with it.
Monsignor Pope seems to be a good and holy man and great priest of the Catholic Church while many feel that Pope Francis has been a catastrophe for the Catholic Church. He is nothing short of anti-Catholic is many ways.
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