A Reprise of Last Year’s Synod

(As controversy rages outside the Synod, I thought it might be useful to reprint this article from after the close of last year’s session-CJ)


To Pope Francis: O Captain, My Captain!

francis and families

Some years ago my sister, Kim, was assistant manager of a large Farmer’s Co-Op in rural Alabama. I stopped by to see her at work one day. It was frantically busy and she was behind the counter, with a deep line of farmers waiting. One fellow kept trying to butt in. She kept telling him to wait his turn. The third time he irritably told her he was one of their biggest customers, she eyed him fiercely and told him she knew, but he would still have to wait his turn. He muttered then that he had been praying for more patience. I looked at him astounded and said, “When you pray for patience God does not magically give you more patience. He gives you opportunities to be patient. Quit complaining and thank God for answering your prayer.”

He looked at me in astonishment and said, “That’s right. I’m a preacher. I should know that.”

I look now at the close of the preliminary session of the Synod and think, how wonderful! God gave us an opportunity to trust Him.

A week ago, people were in deep turmoil, wondering if things were going to begin to go off the rails. Some opportunists used it as a means of trying to get people to leave the Church and follow them. Among the Bishops, several set themselves up as spokesmen playing to the press. One who took up the mantle of progressive, claimed to speak for the Pope, himself, in arguing that he had a better approach than the Gospels do. Another, a prominent icon of orthodoxy, acted as if the Church depended on him to keep from capsizing and presumed to lecture the Pope before Francis had said anything. Neither seemed to put much stock in Christ’s promise that even the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. When confronted with these storms and controversies, that is really what we are being asked, for the promise that the Church will prevail is not a promise of men, but of Christ. Do you trust Him or do you not?

That does not mean you never criticize. The tradition of fraternal dispute goes all the way back to Sts. Peter and Paul – but you would do well to remember that the same St. Paul who rebuked St. Peter also obeyed him and sought his direction in launching out on his voyages. The tradition of obedience goes that far back, as well.

I had said all along that I suspected Pope Francis was flushing people out. I was partly right and partly wrong. That is exactly what he was doing, but for more profound reasons than I imagined. He was not trying to flush anyone out so that he could knock their heads off. He was shrewder than that. He well knew that suppressing any particular point of view would not make it go away, just cause it to burrow deeper along with real resentment. So he got it all out now. He did, indeed, find who, among the leaders, has deceived themselves that Christ depended on them to get it right rather than that they depended on Christ. Then, in the remarks below, he corrected those errors firmly but charitably, so that all might contemplate with real depth in the year before the legislative session of the Synod convenes. Mark Mallett writes a penetratingly insightful article on that aspect of things today.

There were three things that struck me that might have been missed by some:

1) Cardinal George Pell, formerly of Sydney, Australia absolutely covered himself in glory at this Synod. My readers from Australia have been rightly jubilant over the rise of this steady, solid Bishop to the top levels of the Vatican. Well they should be. Cardinal Pell is entirely orthodox, as much as Pope Emeritus Benedict or Cardinal Burke. He acted with the serene confidence throughout that, of course, the doctrinal foundation of the faith would remain unmolested…and of course, there were pressing new challenges to be met in reconciling God’s people to His Church that must not be ignored. He visibly and clearly trusted Christ throughout, never panicking, getting strident, or playing to the press. This Cardinal is a formidable new presence at the top echelons of the hierarchy. Pope Francis chose well when he elevated him – and so the Church is gearing up well to be a sign of unity and stability as the Storm deepens.

2) The assembled Bishops reacted to Pope Francis remarks with four minutes of enthusiastic, sustained applause. That tell us where the Bishops are. Various factions spent the entire Synod trying to spin that the majority were with them, but when all was said and done, the overwhelming majority profoundly seconded Pope Francis’ fully orthodox, fully charitable and firm resolve to confront the challenges ahead in the spirit of St. John Paul: Be not afraid.

3) I was deeply heartened by the emergence of the African Bishops as a force to be reckoned with – and a firmly orthodox force. It is the continent in which the Church has seen the most vigorous and abundant new growth in the last few decades. It has come of age. It was interesting that their emergence came in reaction to one who claimed to speak for the marginalized seeking to marginalize them when they vigorously disagreed with his position. There is a pointed lesson in this for all who appoint themselves to speak for another. But also, I wrote the other day about the battle ahead over the next three years. The emergence of a confident, sophisticated African Christian voice suggests to me that there will be an authentic African culture that is fully Christian weighing in in the great battle ahead. It will be a critical part of helping all of us endure the Storm.

Before getting to Pope Francis’ magnificent closing remarks, a word of warning to those who are getting too enthused about discerning the “remnant Church” from the “false Church.” This formulation is being used by those who, with complicated arguments and sophistical theology are trying to pull people away from the safety of the ancient faith. There is no great discernment needed here – and if you are getting caught up in it, you are probably in the process of deceiving yourself. Christ said the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church He founded. Very simply, where Peter is, there is the Church. To those who are trying to undermine that faith, who claim to have a better variety of the Gospel, a better assurance than what Christ gave, I paraphrase Christ, Himself: Woe to you who, out of pride, would pull people away from the safety of the Barque of Peter. It would be better if you had a millstone tied around your neck and drowned in the sea than for you to continue to deceive the Lord’s little ones.

And now, the magnificent closing remarks of our great captain as we embark on this perilous journey, Pope Francis I:


Dear Eminences, Beatitudes, Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters,

With a heart full of appreciation and gratitude I want to thank, along with you, the Lord who has accompanied and guided us in the past days, with the light of the Holy Spirit.

From the heart I thank Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod, Bishop Fabio Fabene, under-secretary, and with them I thank the Relators, Cardinal Peter Erdo, who has worked so much in these days of family mourning, and the Special Secretary Bishop Bruno Forte, the three President delegates, the transcribers, the consultors, the translators and the unknown workers, all those who have worked with true fidelity and total dedication behind the scenes and without rest. Thank you so much from the heart.

I thank all of you as well, dear Synod fathers, Fraternal Delegates, Auditors, and Assessors, for your active and fruitful participation. I will keep you in prayer asking the Lord to reward you with the abundance of His gifts of grace!

I can happily say that – with a spirit of collegiality and of synodality – we have truly lived the experience of “Synod,” a path of solidarity, a “journey together.”

And it has been “a journey” – and like every journey there were moments of running fast, as if wanting to conquer time and reach the goal as soon as possible; other moments of fatigue, as if wanting to say “enough”; other moments of enthusiasm and ardour. There were moments of profound consolation listening to the testimony of true pastors, who wisely carry in their hearts the joys and the tears of their faithful people. Moments of consolation and grace and comfort hearing the testimonies of the families who have participated in the Synod and have shared with us the beauty and the joy of their married life. A journey where the stronger feel compelled to help the less strong, where the more experienced are led to serve others, even through confrontations. And since it is a journey of human beings, with the consolations there were also moments of desolation, of tensions and temptations, of which a few possibilities could be mentioned:

 – One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals.

 – The temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness [it. buonismo], that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals.”

 – The temptation to transform stones into bread to break the long, heavy, and painful fast (cf. Lk 4:1-4); and also to transform the bread into a stone and cast it against the sinners, the weak, and the sick (cf Jn 8:7), that is, to transform it into unbearable burdens (Lk 11:46).

 – The temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfil the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God.

 – The temptation to neglect the “depositum fidei” [the deposit of faith], not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it]; or, on the other hand, the temptation to neglect reality, making use of meticulous language and a language of smoothing to say so many things and to say nothing! They call them “byzantinisms,” I think, these things…

Dear brothers and sisters, the temptations must not frighten or disconcert us, or even discourage us, because no disciple is greater than his master; so if Jesus Himself was tempted – and even called Beelzebul (cf. Mt 12:24) – His disciples should not expect better treatment.

Personally I would be very worried and saddened if it were not for these temptations and these animated discussions; this movement of the spirits, as St Ignatius called it (Spiritual Exercises, 6), if all were in a state of agreement, or silent in a false and quietist peace. Instead, I have seen and I have heard – with joy and appreciation – speeches and interventions full of faith, of pastoral and doctrinal zeal, of wisdom, of frankness and of courage: and of parresia. And I have felt that what was set before our eyes was the good of the Church, of families, and the “supreme law,” the “good of souls” (cf. Can. 1752). And this always – we have said it here, in the Hall – without ever putting into question the fundamental truths of the Sacrament of marriage: the indissolubility, the unity, the faithfulness, the fruitfulness, that openness to life (cf. Cann. 1055, 1056; and Gaudium et spes, 48).

And this is the Church, the vineyard of the Lord, the fertile Mother and the caring Teacher, who is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to pour oil and wine on people’s wound; who doesn’t see humanity as a house of glass to judge or categorize people. This is the Church, One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and composed of sinners, needful of God’s mercy. This is the Church, the true bride of Christ, who seeks to be faithful to her spouse and to her doctrine. It is the Church that is not afraid to eat and drink with prostitutes and publicans. The Church that has the doors wide open to receive the needy, the penitent, and not only the just or those who believe they are perfect! The Church that is not ashamed of the fallen brother and pretends not to see him, but on the contrary feels involved and almost obliged to lift him up and to encourage him to take up the journey again and accompany him toward a definitive encounter with her Spouse, in the heavenly Jerusalem.

The is the Church, our Mother! And when the Church, in the variety of her charisms, expresses herself in communion, she cannot err: it is the beauty and the strength of the sensus fidei, of that supernatural sense of the faith which is bestowed by the Holy Spirit so that, together, we can all enter into the heart of the Gospel and learn to follow Jesus in our life. And this should never be seen as a source of confusion and discord.

Many commentators, or people who talk, have imagined that they see a disputatious Church where one part is against the other, doubting even the Holy Spirit, the true promoter and guarantor of the unity and harmony of the Church – the Holy Spirit who throughout history has always guided the barque, through her Ministers, even when the sea was rough and choppy, and the ministers unfaithful and sinners.

And, as I have dared to tell you , [as] I told you from the beginning of the Synod, it was necessary to live through all this with tranquillity, and with interior peace, so that the Synod would take place cum Petro and sub Petro (with Peter and under Peter), and the presence of the Pope is the guarantee of it all.

We will speak a little bit about the Pope, now, in relation to the Bishops [laughing]. So, the duty of the Pope is that of guaranteeing the unity of the Church; it is that of reminding the faithful of  their duty to faithfully follow the Gospel of Christ; it is that of reminding the pastors that their first duty is to nourish the flock – to nourish the flock – that the Lord has entrusted to them, and to seek to welcome – with fatherly care and mercy, and without false fears – the lost sheep. I made a mistake here. I said welcome: [rather] to go out and find them.

His duty is to remind everyone that authority in the Church is a service, as Pope Benedict XVI clearly explained, with words I cite verbatim: “The Church is called and commits herself to exercise this kind of authority which is service and exercises it not in her own name, but in the name of Jesus Christ… through the Pastors of the Church, in fact: it is he who guides, protects and corrects them, because he loves them deeply. But the Lord Jesus, the supreme Shepherd of our souls, has willed that the Apostolic College, today the Bishops, in communion with the Successor of Peter… to participate in his mission of taking care of God’s People, of educating them in the faith and of guiding, inspiring and sustaining the Christian community, or, as the Council puts it, ‘to see to it… that each member of the faithful shall be led in the Holy Spirit to the full development of his own vocation in accordance with Gospel preaching, and to sincere and active charity’ and to exercise that liberty with which Christ has set us free (cf. Presbyterorum Ordinis, 6)… and it is through us,” Pope Benedict continues, “that the Lord reaches souls, instructs, guards and guides them. St Augustine, in his Commentary on the Gospel of St John, says: ‘let it therefore be a commitment of love to feed the flock of the Lord’ (cf. 123, 5); this is the supreme rule of conduct for the ministers of God, an unconditional love, like that of the Good Shepherd, full of joy, given to all, attentive to those close to us and solicitous for those who are distant (cf. St Augustine, Discourse 340, 1; Discourse 46, 15), gentle towards the weakest, the little ones, the simple, the sinners, to manifest the infinite mercy of God with the reassuring words of hope (cf. ibid., Epistle, 95, 1).”

So, the Church is Christ’s – she is His bride – and all the bishops, in communion with the Successor of Peter, have the task and the duty of guarding her and serving her, not as masters but as servants. The Pope, in this context, is not the supreme lord but rather the supreme servant – the “servant of the servants of God”; the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Tradition of the Church, putting aside every personal whim, despite being – by the will of Christ Himself – the “supreme Pastor and Teacher of all the faithful” (Can. 749) and despite enjoying “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church” (cf. Cann. 331-334).

Dear brothers and sisters, now we still have one year to mature, with true spiritual discernment, the proposed ideas and to find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront; to give answers to the many discouragements that surround and suffocate families.

One year to work on the “Synodal Relatio” which is the faithful and clear summary of everything that has been said and discussed in this hall and in the small groups. It is presented to the Episcopal Conferences as “lineamenta” [guidelines].

May the Lord accompany us, and guide us in this journey for the glory of His Name, with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of Saint Joseph. And please, do not forget to pray for me! Thank you!

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
This entry was posted in Church Governance, Family, The Storm. Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to A Reprise of Last Year’s Synod

  1. Helen Montana says:

    Wonderful post – and so important to read a year later. You are blessed beyond belief to belong so tightly to St Peters and Father Sabo – a true “remnant church.” I find that label “remnant church” very interesting because many years ago, before He called me back to the Catholic Church, I picked up a book called “The Remnant Church” and loved it – even though I was plugged into a protestant church at the time and had zero intention of ever leaving it. I guess He knew better and was preparing me even though I never connected the dots on that book until just now. It’s amazing how He does things! He can work the plan over a lifetime or in a second – or a combination of both. All these little things just reinforce how magnificent He is and you can’t help but increase Trust. Time is drawing near for the full effect of the storm to hit. We have to thank Him for everything – every blessing, every attack, every joy, every heartache – because we trust Him in all things.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pam Nicholson says:

    Yes, he is our captain and he is doing his best, as God helps him in the present needs of the church, to guide, instruct, and follow all that God continues to give to His Church. He knows his place as captain but he knows Who his commander is. It is best we watch and learn from him who knows his job is service. He is a treasure for our church but one that will stand next to Christ for our good and the good of all God’s church! Let us all continue to watch and pray for our beloved pope. pam, from NJ.


  3. Deereverywhere says:

    Twenty years ago I read “AA-1025 Memoirs of an Anti-Apostle” which details infiltration of how the smoke of satan enters the church. The show “the Americans” about Russian spies infiltrating American life reminded me of that book, too. I have often wondered if the pedophile criminals were actually satan’s smoke sent to infiltrate and destroy. To be perfectly honest I cannot make heads nor tails of the synod so I have no qualms about trusting that the gates of hell shall not prevail. I have tried to understand what is going on and find that my eyes cross and I get a headache, I am only able to pull my little red wagon. What goes on at the synod is in God’s hands. So I read St. Therese and be a trusting child. Speaking of children, apparently there are plenty of cardinals acting like spoiled brats, and as such are duly noted for their lack of faith, hope and love, which is your point, Charlie. It is about trust, trusting that God knows what He is doing. The one thing that I know about trust is that it is much easier and much more heartening to trust in the sunshine than it is at three o’clock in the morning with the thick heavy darkness pressing in from all sides. Praise Him at all times! He has already won!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pam Nicholson says:

      Oooh! I love this guy! I don’t know who you are, but, you say it because it is true! Love trust and obedience to God, that is where Jesus is and His Mother! Many, many blessings for saying the truth and knowing it as it has come to you by the Holy Spirit! Pray to Him for guidance daily, and get others to do the same! Again, many blessings and pass on the truth as you just have! pam, from NJ.


  4. Thank you. If you missed Michael Voris video on Church Militant today it is worth the view.

    In spite of usually good material he seems way of mark here on papacy

    God bless




  5. Kris says:

    Dear Charlie, It struck me this last week that Pope Francis is doing exactly what Christ would have done with his first twelve, even when they failed to understand, he gently, sometimes with exasperation, called them to be better, all to help them be able to carry on with the mission he had given to them. It struck me that Pope Francis was waiting to let everyone openly, with hope that what their intervention would be ‘picked’, express their ideas, and then contextualize them in the frame of the temptation that each was dealing with, He did this so beautifully. I also read them as a challenge to my own temptations , my fears, my weaknesses. How did I do during this time of testing? What a wonderful job Pope Francis did and will continue to do I suspect. Thank God for his ongoing protection of the Church that he founded 2000 years ago! It give me courage to ‘man up’ and go forth……with my head resting on Christ’s shoulder for I know I have no power to do anything otherwise. Jesus Mercy on us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Becky-TN says:

    Love this!


  7. Simone says:

    LOVE HIM!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jennifer Mary says:

    I love and pray for Cardinal George Pell. He grew up and then ministered in my city Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. He has had much suffering. Charlie your piece on him was heartening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anne says:

      Oh Jennifer. From Ballarat!………. My grandparents from Ireland went there before coming West. Years and years ago……… My mum who died in 2012 was youngest of 9.
      I did not know Pell was in Ballarat for awhile.
      Sorry Charlie……. I do not about Cubs etc……but this is a quick Aussie aside …… It’s our turn…. Ha, ha Americans!
      Humour helps along the way, so do not misconstrue and.take offence.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Anne says:

    A thought this morning……. Pope Francis is calling all from top down into unity and that will mean all dying to self…… From top down ….. Dying to self and being obedient.
    Unity before main storm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NancyA says:

      Very on point, Anne, except that Pope Francis called it an inverted pyramid, with the Servant of the servants of God on the bottom . ..so, from the bottom, up, but exactly as you mean.


  10. I loved this Pope instantly. Am I wrong in thinking that folks will rediscover humble, refreshing SIMPLICITY in the Church after the storm? (Charlie, that’s a rhetorical question of course, since you know I’ve never once asked you a ‘storm’ or ‘post-storm’ question.)

    I think most of us recognize that Pope Francis is leading the way, but it’s no surprise that whenever he comes up in topic all the characters we see in the Gospel are suddenly on the scene again. All of them. Oh, how many of them in the world with little more than the heavy weight of their talking, distractions, arguments and worse.

    How did this ever get to be so complicated? Sorry, I’m just yearning for simplicity in our Faith, and I suppose this is just an elongated sigh that I ended up articulating before hitting the hay.

    Thank God for all the little ones here.

    God Bless,


    Liked by 3 people

    • charliej373 says:

      It is striking that the people who are loudest and most sure of their opinions usually have the least actual knowledge. I am continually astonished at the fractured eschatology of those who seem only to learn enough to shout. But this, too, shall pass.

      Liked by 1 person

      • YongDuk says:

        Yup. These are the two comments that I like.

        Sadly, the [Final Apostasy (unsure of the right word)] will likely stem from exactly this sort of thing after the Rescue: Christians will live as one, but then the seed of pride will grow again, as opposed to being humble and recognizing what St Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite expounds upon in his writings: The Hierarchies are there to serve the upper to those below!

        Would that we would truly be docile, truly listen and be secure in our positions serving ad being served, and (N.B.I say this to myself as I try to curb my tongue in wanting to say more on not over-esteeming ourselves in the context of a page or so ago) thus stay secure in a proper Ecclesiology (and Eschatology, I supposed too, Charlie 😉 — I still get a laugh about St. Catherine of Siena’s body being below the high alter in one of my favourite churches and her poor head just being miles away… Hopefully, they put St Agnes’ head back out prominently).



        • Doug says:

          Young Duck? You have got a good sense of humor 🙂


          • YongDuk says:

            Charlie this is for you too:

            Thanks, Doug! I almost thought I wore out my welcome… I gotta repost to Beckita now 😀

            Forgive me, and this is to Charlie too, I started posting here over LttW and warning my mom. Doug, I saw that you you were in preparation for the Deaconate. Maybe this is the wrong forum, but I keep making ejaculations of excitement that are focused on pastoral intent from all sides and yet just the lay side is focused on. (I feel sad as I studied English in the context of long-winded theologians like Van Balthasar since my German is horrendously awful and I think I ramble[?]. Carlos and me suffer together–or Carlos suffers more from me!)


          • Doug says:

            YD, I enjoy reading your posts. I welcome you here! Well, I have expressed my desire to be a deacon and I have all my information and bio ready to submit my application for this fall for next year’s formation class, but my local diocese decided to hold off on the application process for another year. So I have to wait another year to apply. One of my prime motivators is to help ensure proper Catholic teaching as per the Magisterium of the church. I want to be faithful to the Magisterium and pastoral as well. So I am not in formation quite yet although I have made my desires known. I was disappointed that applications are not being accepted this year, but I understand. The diocese is looking at restructuring the local program to adjust for less priests and use deacons more in parish administrator roles. I am still hopeful and patiently waiting. It will all happen in God’s time.

            Liked by 2 people

          • jlynnbyrd says:

            Doug, you are being prayed for in your mission and calling. I do believe that things happen for a reason. Perhaps your time in the following year will be more useful focused on other matters. Love and peace to your and your bride.


          • Doug says:

            You are so kind Jylnn. Blessings from Medjugorje!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Pam Nicholson says:

            Future deacon, do you realize that in April 2016 begins the anniversary of the year of Fatima? What an awesome time God will have chosen if you are accepted next year. We will all pray for your application and your formation. You maybe just need this time to increase your formation. But, we leave it to God, as you say, as it is best not to tread to hard on His turf. Blessings to you and the group. pam, from NJ.


          • Doug says:

            Thank you Pam. Blessings from Medjugorje.


        • Petra says:

          Doug: Aren’t you in Medjugore right now? How cool is that? (being able to post from where ever you’re at!)
          Well, if I were you, I’d be bringing this obstacle to the Diaconate right to Our Lady’s feet while I was there, and walking up cross mountain barefoot (in spite of the cold! And stones!) as a sign of my sincere desire and for her intercession. But maybe you already thought of this, or something equally special.
          God bless your pilgrimage, and those who meet you and Jacki there. Praying for you.


          • Doug says:

            Hi Petra, smart phones and WI fi are wonderful things. We are a group of 22 pilgrims from NH and some from Maine. Medjugorje has a special place in my heart since the Blessed Mother brought me into the Catholic faith through a personal miracle in 1987. This is my 3rd time here and I feel my calling here this time is to help others with there pilgrimage. I came from a non church to a protestant background to the Catholic Faith. The first thing that struck me about her messages was it was all about coming to her son and doing what he says. This goes right back to the wedding feast of Cana.


      • Doug says:

        Charlie, that is at the heart of lberalism.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Kim in Ohio says:

      I agree. Our good Lord will make it simple again some day soon.


  11. Maeb says:

    Aside from the WAPO piece today, this is the best insider news about Pope Francis so far. link removed-CJ


    • charliej373 says:

      Mary Ann, I am kind of disappointed. There was no news at the link you provided at all, just an opinion, positing that the Pope can only be either a fool or an heretic. I can think of three very reasonable alternative theories off-hand. I suspect the author knew that, which is why he kept repeating there can only be two choices – he, too, knew how pathetically weak his false choice was. I have come to expect that sort of malicious sophistry from the source you cited, which is why I had banned it from this site. But your arguments are usually clear and sophisticated.


  12. Doug says:

    This is a Good pope. Thanks Charlie.


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