I really would hate to fall down the rabbit’s hole of absurdity, but I’d like to add my comments on this whole ordeal in regard to Pope Francis slapping the hand of a woman who assaulted him by clearly pulling an elderly man in an intrusive way. Had Benedict been treated in this way, I ponder how others might react. That’s the point of this post; to demonstrate a lack of principled discernment.
The Pope chose to apologize for a lack of patience. This must indicate that his own conscience accused him of not choosing an alternative act that might have demonstrated patience. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on that one, but knowing that people have tried to kill the Pope, being taken off-guard can cause life-saving impulses to arise. My own niece slugged my dad when he playfully scared her. While she regretted the action almost immediately, he told her she had nothing to apologize for.
Let’s be frank. People don’t like Pope Francis in the more “conservative vein” of the Church. Many see him as unorthodox, others as ambiguous, others as confusing, and then circling around the rabbits hole, others think it’s the end of the world and he is the “anti-prophet” trying to create a one-world government that will bring in the anti-Christ.
So the same people who post memes in December about St. Nicholas punching a heretic or brag about St. Pio slapping a man who encouraged disobedience to a local bishop, are also the ones who seem to imply Pope Francis assaulted this woman and proclaim him a fraud. Even when the Pope apologizes, it’s because he was “caught” and forced to. These are the comments and views I’ve read on my newsfeed.
I think it’s embarrassing to watch, most especially from priests. There is an inability to discern (which means distinguish). Every issue that plagues these Catholics is rolled up in one confusing ball of emotional vexation and then attributed to every act of the Pope’s actions. It’s an invincible narrative rooted in prejudice, and an absence to discern.
I call you, as a Spiritual Father, not because your acts vex me, though they do; but rather, and most assuredly because I see an absence of internal self-control, and prudential judgment. It is ultimately a lack of beatitude, and one of meekness. It’s plainly obvious, and yet it’s established and reinforced by tribalism, memes and conflating some legitimate areas of concern with a disproportionate narrative that is unjust for our Holy Father. You lose credibility.