Friday, May 03, 2019
How do you preserve power when your subjects are revolting against you? We're not writing here about Maduro in Venezuela but Pope Francis at the Vatican. A coterie of theologians has publicly accused him of the serious theological crime of heresy. They are wrathful over his opinion on divorced Catholics and their permission to receive communion as well as his comments about religious diversity and homosexuality. There is little he can do or say to mollify their feelings. They want rules to revert to status quo ante without the least wiggle room in them. This pope's reputation already has been compromised by revelations of sexual abuse among the clergy at all levels from cardinal to parish priest. It is a problem handed to him by predecessors who either ignored it or thought they were handling the matter correctly. The pressure on Francis is enough to make a normal person have a breakdown. He has ceded the moral high ground and influence of the Catholic Church in the world. Now he is in a position of trying to win back what was lost and he is not an energetic, young man with time on his side. It is easy to feel sorry for him.