The ‘Francis effect’ is silencing Catholic bishops, priests, and laity
29 May 2015
Father Linus Clovis of Family Life International (St Lucia) gave an excellent presentation at the seminar preceding the Rome Life Forum earlier this month about the many serious questions that have arisen during the current papacy. His address entitled “The Francis Effect” is available both as text and as video.
In his address Fr Clovis argues:
“For the last half century, the majority of Catholics, entrusting themselves to the vigilance of their pastors, have been fitfully sleeping up until now, when they were rudely awaken by the alarm bells set off by the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family.”
Father Clovis continues by discussing the “drama of the Synod”, which saw “cardinal opposed to cardinal, bishop against bishop and national conferences of bishops resisting other national conferences” and goes on to analyse a number of very confusing messages from Church hierarchy:
“With such statements and actions by prominent and powerful prelates, crowned with the pontifical saw “who am I to judge”, traditional minded bishops, priests and even laity are disarmed and hamstrung. After all, in holding to the traditional Catholic moral teaching and order they would soon be accused of being more Catholic than the Pope. This disarming of the clergy and hierarchy constitutes the Francis Effect.”
“Catholics love the Pope. Whoever he is, wherever he hails from, he always represents for them an evident and effectual sign of the presence of Christ in the world.
“Whilst the faithful owe obedience to the Pope as the Vicar of Christ, the Pope himself owes obedience to the Word and Apostolic Tradition and, in so doing, facilitates the faithful in their obedience to him.”
While encouraging the faithful to pray for our pastors, Fr Clovis summarises the depth of our current crisis:
“The Church now faces the spectacle of cardinals and bishops in open conflict with each other over doctrine and pastoral measures. At the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family the leading members of the Church’s hierarchy, with a few notable exceptions, openly and publicly debated the circumnavigation of the very words of Our Lord Jesus Christ in order to institutionalize the sexual revolution in the Church by the admission of remarried divorcees to Holy Communion. If this is accepted, then Clement VII was wrong in his treatment of Henry VIII and the English reformation was unnecessary. Further, why should cohabiting couples and practising unrepentant homosexuals be denied Holy Communion?”
Fr Clovis ends his powerful talk by offering fivefold plan of action: pray, study, transmit the Faith by teaching and sharing it within the family, support each other and all true and authentic Catholic individuals and organisations, and, finally, prepare for martyrdom.