2023: The Year Pope Francis Went Too Far?

December 28, 2023 00:39:50
2023: The Year Pope Francis Went Too Far?
Crisis Point
2023: The Year Pope Francis Went Too Far?

Dec 28 2023 | 00:39:50

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Hosted By

Eric Sammons

Show Notes

A year that began with the death of Pope Benedict XVI ended with an open revolt against Pope Francis. After a decade of "making a mess," it appears even the bishops are tired of the constant battles and controversies of this pontificate.
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:16] A year that began with the death of Pope Benedict XVI ended with an open revolt against Pope Francis. After a decade of making a mess, it appears even the bishops are tired of the constant battles and controversies of this pontificate. That's what we're going to talk about today on Crisis point. Hello, I'm Eric Samitz, your host and the editor in chief of Crisis magazine. [00:00:37] Before we get started, I just want to encourage people to smash that like button and subscribe to the channel. Also let other people know about what we're doing here. I really appreciate that. Speaking of subscriptions, by the way, we just last week hit 10,000 subs on YouTube, which I really appreciate that. That's been great. We also, of course, can be watched on Rumble and at odyssey. And of course we have the audio podcast, which a lot of people listen to. But on YouTube at least, we just hit 10,000 subscribers. And I thought that was great. I was very excited about that. And so I appreciate every single person who subscribes the channel. [00:01:15] I even appreciate you degenerates who watch the channel but don't subscribe. [00:01:21] It's the Christmas season, so I'll appreciate you as well. Okay. So you can follow us on social media at Crisis Mag. Subscribe to our email newsletter. Just go to crisismagazine.com. You'll see a place where you can subscribe to that. That way you get our articles. They come out twice a day, every day, right into your inbox. And also we have our fundraiser going on. [00:01:42] Okay. We are trying to raise $60,000. We do a twice a year fundraiser, and this was the end of year one. We were trying to raise $60,000. We just this week passed 60,000. I think we're at 62,000, something like that. So I just want to say thank you. Thank you, thank you. Still not too late, obviously, this is last. I'm going to ask you if you want to go ahead and donate to Cris magazine. I'd really appreciate it. End of year, tax deductible, all that jazz. Just go crisismagazine.com and a little pop up will ask you to donate. So I appreciate all that. Thank you. Thank you very much. Speaking of podcast, before we get started, I just want to note this is the last podcast of 2023. [00:02:26] We almost did 100. I want to do 100 podcasts this year, and I think this is a 96. And it kind of bugs me a little bit that I didn't get to 100. [00:02:34] Hopefully, maybe next year I'll be able to do it. I try to do about two a week, and obviously if I really did two a week, I'd be at 104. So I'm a slacker. I didn't quite make it. Maybe next year I will make that happen because it is the last podcast of the year. I wanted to do the typical retrospective in a sense. Oh, by the way, thank you very much. Somebody donated through YouTube. I appreciate that as well. Thank you, disciples. That's great. [00:03:07] But I want to do a little differently. I'm not just going to go through different topics of the year. I want to talk about Pope Francis's year, what the year was like for Pope Francis. Now, if you all remember, it was on December 31 of 2021, I'm sorry, 2022, that Pope Benedict died. So basically, the year of 2023 began with the death of Pope Benedict. A lot of people suspected or predicted that the death of Pope Benedict would kind of unleash the real Pope Francis in the sense that he wouldn't feel a obligation towards Pope Benedict to not go too much against what Pope Benedict did and his feelings, his thoughts. That kind of Pope Benedict's being alive was holding him back from doing what he really wanted to do. I heard a lot of people say that. I might have even said that. I can't remember now, but it looks like maybe that's right. That might be a factor. That might be why, in 2023, we saw Pope Francis move forward a lot more aggressively on some of his agenda items and which we'll talk about here in a minute. [00:04:15] Now, in 2023, we saw the 10th anniversary, the ten year anniversary of Pope Francis becoming pope. And I did a podcast back then, back in April, about the ten years of confusion and controversy and scandal and corruption that has come out of this pontificate. I know a lot of Catholics, they're reticent to say such harsh things about the current pope. Like, nobody's going to care if you say Pope Alexander VI was a corrupt and awful pope. Nobody's going to say that, oh, yeah, Pope honorus just did a terrible job as pope. Every Catholic be like, okay, fine, but if you say the current pope is doing a terrible job, a lot of Catholics have that instinct against that, and I get that. I had for a long time. But I think we have to call a spade a spade. We have to be honest about the reality. I talked about that in my last live podcast, being honest about Pope Francis and what's going on. [00:05:17] But over the ten years of Francis's pontificate, we've seen that he's gradually, basically, he started slow in the controversy scandal arena, and it's grown over time, obviously, in this first year. And here's the thing. If somebody knows of a website that catalogs every single thing that Pope Francis has done that is controversial, scandalous, problematic, heretical, whatever, let me know about it. Because whenever I think it's so constant that we have scandals coming from him or from the Vatican during his pontificate that it's hard to keep track. I wish I wrote them all down in one sense, I wish I didn't. In another. [00:06:02] I was just thinking of a few things over the first ten years. So before 2023, of course, one that is the gift that keeps on giving is when he said very early in his pontificate, who am I to judge? Talking about, I believe the exact context, was a priest who was homosexual. And I remember everybody back then was a pope splainer. Almost a few weren't. I was on a certain level, and I remember thinking, well, he didn't really mean what they're saying he means. He was named, actually, the man of the year, I think, by some gay magazine for that comment. [00:06:40] And a lot of people were like, well, let's not take that too far. Now, I will say it was troubling even then that he said that he didn't backtrack on that. He didn't clarify that at all. He let that hang out there. And I think that was a sign. [00:06:58] And so since then, of course, he has surrounded himself with either homosexual or very pro homosexual clerics. I mean, obviously, Father James Martin's most well known Cardinal Fernandez. Now, lots of people in his inner circle are either likely homosexual themselves or at least they're very prominent promoters of the LGBTQ ABCDEFG lifestyle. And so this has been a theme of this pontificate that's grown over time. It's kind of weird because why would a pope be so enamored with being connected and promoting this? [00:07:41] But then, of course, that's one thing. The breeding like rabbits. That's one I remember very well because my wife remembers it very well. That one was the one that really hurt her when he made that comment about not having catholic families don't have to breed like rabbits. It was clearly an insult of catholic big families. I remember all the Pope spainers then say, oh, no, it means this. But it was clearly an insult. It was demeaning to particularly women who heroically give birth to many children who sacrificed, literally their bodies and their lives for their children, that he would just give this casual comment that demean, know Amoris Letizia is another big one. Obviously, that's probably one of the biggest ones. Scandals of this pontificate, his comments about the death penalty being inadmissible and putting that in a catechism, that's another one that we see from these ten years. The Abu Dhabi declaration. I talk about that a lot in my book, deadly indifference, where I talk about the fact that basically it says that he said that he writes that God wills many religions. Yes, there's Pope slainers for that as well. There's Pope slainers for everything. Let's be honest. I mean, everything he's done, somebody has given a defense of it, tried to make it square the circle and make it like it's an orthodox or a non scandalous event. [00:09:02] Abu Dhabi was very troubling because it basically did state that God wills a plurality of religions, and it did it in the context that made it very clear it meant the active will of God. I mean, that's what the context very much read. Obviously the synodality, the whole changing Catholicism into a new religion of synodality, which I've written about crisis, that's been a major scandal over the last ten years, the Pachamama incident. We can't throw that one under the bus and act like that didn't happen. That was a major scandal. Probably one of the worst scandals of this pontificate, and obviously tradition is custodus, the attack on the traditional latin mass, and just traditionalists in general, that one of the pope's constant themes that he brings up in almost every single talk, it seems like is about, is against trads, against rigid people and things like that, as if we are the dominant people in the church or something, like we control the church, which obviously we all know isn't true. We're the minority, the small minority being treated like we're the biggest problem on earth. So that's like this ten years, over ten years, that's a lot of scandal. But it's been more of a drip, drip, drip scandal. [00:10:17] Scandals. Like, we have one, a number of months off, maybe even a year, then another one. I mean, there's little ones too, but the big ones come kind of slowly over time. They're constant, but it's more like a chinese water torture. Is that racist to say that? Okay, anyway, I'll just be like my age, okay? Act like I'm the old uncle who says things like that. I don't know if you can still say chinese water torture anymore or not, but this year I feel like it's been different. 2023, there's been an acceleration. And I think you definitely could argue we don't know the real. We can't say we know why. If somebody says they definitely know why he's doing it, they're lying. Only Pope Francis can say why. I do think, though, it's legitimate to guess, speculate that it's the death of Pope Benedict caused an acceleration. I also think just his own ailing health and his age. He's 87 now. He doesn't have much longer to live, likely. I mean, obviously people can live to be over 100, but with his health issues and his age, I think just generally, it goes without saying that he probably does not have much more to live, and he knows that. And so he wants to get things done more quickly. [00:11:30] And so what's happened is I feel like in 2023, there's been an intensification of him pushing his agenda, pushing what? He wants to leave his legacy, how he wants to leave the church, what he wants to get done. He feels like his time is short. He doesn't have Pope Benedict holding him back anymore, so he's willing to push it forward. And we see that in a few ways. Number one, of course, is how he's gone more directly against those who oppose him in the church. Bishop Strickland being the most obvious example. [00:12:03] Now, that's not to say before 2023, he didn't cancel other people. Obviously. Cardinal Burke, who he recently removed from his apartment in Rome, he had canceled him years ago by removing him from office. His office, his Vatican position. He's done that with Cardinal Sarah Cardinal Pell. I'm not saying this is a brand new thing, but it does seem like what he did with Bishop Strickland is different than all the rest. Because Bishop Strickland, I mean, the puerto rican bishop, is another one. But Bishop Strickland was so prominent, everybody knew who he was. [00:12:39] And he removed him from office for no, like, that's what the crazy thing is. They never gave a reason. There's never been an official reason given that he was removed. Now there's been word. I mean, Bishop Strickland himself said that they told him because he didn't have fraternity with his brother, bishops didn't implement Trudeau's custodus, whatever. [00:12:58] But the fact is they just didn't like him. They didn't like him and he removed him. [00:13:03] That's a major step that Francis had not taken before. His vindictiveness and pettiness towards Cardinal Burke is another example. [00:13:12] This year, also not only the people he's removed, but the people he's appointed. This is the year Cardinal Fernandez, kissy face Fernandez, he became the head of the DDF, the former CDF. He is, at least in theory, the doctrinal watchdog of the church. God help us all. This is a man who is the definition of a midwit. Cardinal Fernandez, I'm not going to hold back on him and act like he's some great theologian. The guy, he is an overemotional, hypersensitive midwit. I mean, he strikes me as the guy on Facebook who always has to respond to everything you write. He's the reply guy, and he always tries to make himself look smart, always tries to explain everything. And he cannot take any criticism because that's one thing you've seen with Fernandez. When criticism comes out online, he's quick to jump on it. It would not surprise me, and I don't say this out of a sense of arrogance, it would not surprise me if he's watching this right now, not because I'm like some big figure that's influential in the church, but because he seems to be obsessed with what people say about him and what people say about the pope and responding to it. And so Cardinal Fernandez was made this year head of the DDF, and obviously also appointments like Father James Martin being the papal selection for the synod on synodality, and other usual suspects. [00:14:44] Pope Francis posing with Father Martin and also with the head of the new ways ministry, the other pro gay, having nothing to do with courage, but making it clear he endorses those pro homosexual groups that do not call for chastity. [00:15:04] The Senate on synodality itself this year, another acceleration. [00:15:09] And then all these things are things he has done this year that have really pushed forward. [00:15:18] He's hoping to leave a legacy, that he will remake the church in such a way that after he's dead, it will continue on this path. Now, what we're going to see is the exact opposite might be what actually happens, it might be different than what he suspects. And so the question is, and of course, in 2023, the number one thing now is at the end of the year, and that's the DDF declaration that priests can bless homosexual couples and couples in irregular situations. [00:15:58] My last live podcast was about this. I'm not going to go into details why. This is just nonsense. The argumentation of this document is just nonsense. Is not Catholic in any way, shape or form. It should be rejected completely. I know people want to put lipstick on that pig, but that ain't working. There is no way that you can look at that document and see anything catholic with it. I realize there are lines where he says, fernandez writes about, marriage is only between a man and woman. Fine. Obviously those are true statements. Not like every single line is a falsehood, but in totality, it should be rejected wholeheartedly. [00:16:39] And so the question is, has Pope Francis gone too far? Is what I ask at the beginning. Now, some people might argue a pope can't go too far. He's the pope. There are no limits to the papacy. Therefore it's impossible for him to go too far. He's a universal jurisdiction, after all. He can be infallible. But I think we all have come to realize that those arguments are nonsense, that hyperpapalism is not Catholicism. It's a deformity of Catholicism. [00:17:11] It takes the beautiful truths about the papacy and turns them into a cultish behavior, a cult of personality, a religion that is not Catholicism, because it looks to a man as being a divine oracle, and no man is not even the pope. [00:17:35] And so we can say that a pope can go too far in the sense that he could say things that harm souls. [00:17:44] There's nothing in the catholic teaching that says a pope can't say things that harm souls. So he could do that. That's the way he could go too far. He could also, due to corruption or scandal, he can lose his moral authority. Moral authority is not the same thing as ecclesiastical authority. The pope has authority no matter what. He has a certain authority in the sense that, yes, he does have universal jurisdiction, things of that nature. [00:18:14] But moral authority is not something that's given by an office. It's given by the people, to somebody. Whether or not they will listen to has. And this isn't all Pope Francis's fault, don't get me wrong, but the pope has very little moral authority in the world today. And I want to be clear. That's not all because of Pope Francis. That is because the Catholic Church has lost a lot of her moral authority, sadly, because of the sinfulness and cowardice of so many of her bishops, her priest, and, let's be honest, even her laity. We have not been the light on the hill that we're supposed to be. [00:18:54] And through various scandals and what have you, the Catholic Church has lost a lot of her moral authority, and therefore the pope has, too. But this pope in particular has lost a lot of moral authority because he is focused only on the temporal rather than the spiritual. He has bought into most of the lies of the elites, of the dominant culture. Today. [00:19:20] And so the fact is that he has not gotten moral authority, which means people will not listen to him. I understand that as Catholics, we're obligated on some level to listen to the pope. I don't deny that. But what I'm saying is the average person, and even the average Catholic, they're going to decide whether or not to listen to somebody based upon whether or not they're trustworthy, whether or not they have this moral authority. And Pope Francis does not have that with a lot of people. Now, he is very popular. Don't get me wrong, popularity is not the same as moral authority, though. They're different things. [00:19:57] And the fact is that his popularity has not turned into converts, has not turned into bringing more people in the church. What you'll find is his biggest fans are often people who are not catholic and have no desire to become Catholic. [00:20:14] And so that's how I would say he has gone too far. Now, the good news is that the release of fiducia supplicants, I'm terrible pronouncing these things. That's going to be the only time I try the document that endorse same sex blessings of same sex couples. [00:20:37] That was a step too far as well. But there's finally a resistance. [00:20:43] There's finally, I mean, frankly, almost an open revolt among even the bishops. [00:20:49] And this is something new. And the question does come up, why is this different? Why has there been such a pushback on this one, rather, as opposed to maybe Amoris Letizia or traditionalist custodus or his declaration about the death penalty? And I think it's because this one touches a lot more directly on the life of a priest and the life of a bishop. With the Morris Leticia, there was already, in effect, a don't ask, don't tell policy. When it came to giving communion, to divorce and remarried, most priests were happy just simply not to ask. If they got a couple that joined their parish, they're not going to ask them, is this your second marriage? [00:21:28] They're not going to dig deep into that. They're just going to act like they're going to be blind to it. That way they don't have to worry about it. They know, of course, that some couples there, some married couples, quote unquote, married couples are not actually married, but they're just going to kind of leave it alone. The death penalty change, that doesn't affect the average priest or bishop any. I mean, how does that change what he does? [00:21:50] He can still think the death penalty is okay. [00:21:53] Traditionus custodus. Now, this one did have some resistance. [00:21:58] But the truth is, most bishops, I should say, aren't real fans of traditionalists. Traditionalists are kind of like the embarrassing cousins that you don't have much to do with anyway. [00:22:12] So the fact that he went after traditionalists, it's kind of like that's an easy scapegoat. And most bishops were willing to just either say whatever or allow it without too much fanfare. But they're not going to come out and say, I reject tradition as custodus because it's not a battle that they think is worth fighting. [00:22:32] And I feel like those are some reasons why the typical bishop did not push back against Pope Francis. But now what we're seeing is that there is resistance, actual open resistance, against this new DDF document. [00:22:51] Because I think it directly impacts their life and the life of their priests. [00:22:57] And they realize, okay, this is a bridge too far. [00:23:00] I mean, even some of the pope slayers would always say, well, you have to obey in all things, but sin. Which isn't true, by the way. There are other reasons you don't obey. [00:23:10] I've talked about that before. St. Thomas Aquinas talks about Pierre Kwaznesky's written about this. [00:23:15] But the point is, here's a case where I think some priests are actually believing this is a command to sin. And I understand why. Because by blessing sin, you are committing sin. And so I think a lot of priests and even bishops look at this and say, if I bless a couple, a same sex couple, there is a high, high, almost 100% probability that the couple thinks I'm approving of their lifestyle, that I'm endorsing and approving their sin. That's a sin for me to do that then. And so this is a step further than before, where they're actually asked to do something proactively that they wouldn't have done before. And they knowingly. You can't act like you can't do it. Don't ask, don't tell. When two dudes hold in hand say, father, will you bless us? [00:24:06] That's going to be obvious what's going on. You can't pretend. You can't stick your head in the sand for that. So when this document came out, the usual suspects very quickly condemned it. It's like Bishop Schneider, Bishop Strickland, some others were very quick to. And so you kind of thought, okay, and USCCB came out with their typical worthless statement that kind of endorsed it. Kind of know, kind of like, whatever. So you kind of thought this is going to be like all the rest of them. This is going to be like everything, the reaction to everything else. [00:24:42] But that's not what happened. All of a sudden you started seeing a trickle of responses. Like, I remember one was the confaternity of catholic clergy in the UK, which represents over 500 priests. [00:24:56] And it came out and just said, we're not going to do it. We're not going to bless same sex couples. And I was like, whoa, this is a little bit surprising. [00:25:05] And then you saw some others were doing this. Now, some people got excited because some of the African Conference of Catholic bishops were coming out. They said against it. My initial reaction was, I wasn't that impressed. I felt like they worded their statements such that they didn't get in trouble with Rome, but they also didn't get in trouble with their very conservative would be. They would emphasize, the point about marriage is only between man and woman. There's no other such thing than that. That is marriage. They emphasize that. And they kind of basically were like, and we're never going to endorse sin, okay? But they never came out and said, we will not bless same sex couples. And so I was like, okay, that's good, but not that great. [00:25:48] Then, like, for example, the bishops of Cameroon, they came out and said, we're not going to bless same sex couples, period. End of story. I was like, okay, now that's an actual resistance. That's an actual resistance saying, we're not going to do what the Vatican told us to do. [00:26:08] And then it started coming out more and more. More and more people were saying, leaders, bishops were saying, we're not going to do this. The ukrainian patriarch, who obviously has a lot of moral authority in the world right now. I mean, it's very meaningful what he's part know what he's doing. He came out and he stated that this document has no legal force for the faithful. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, no legal force. Now, he said this because technically that's always true for these documents because he's the patriarch of a church in the Catholic Church, a sujurist church. I think it's pronounced something like that. Basically, the idea being it's a church of itself within the Catholic Church. There's 23 or 24 of them, and it doesn't answer to Rome on these issues like this. Now, they do look to the pope for purposes of if there's something that can't be resolved within the Ukrainian Catholic Church, they would look to the pope for that, but not for new things like all of a sudden the Vatican issues new documents and applies to them? No, it doesn't apply to them. And that's what this patriarch was saying. Now, he worded also in a way that made clear he doesn't support it either. [00:27:23] As an aside, I've been waiting for the day that a patriarch of an eastern catholic church would do this, because I think this is to be the standard that the patriarchs of eastern catholic churches, they should run their churches as they see best fit best. They should not be looking to Rome to run their churches. Obviously, if they go outside of agreed upon Catholicism, the tradition of the faith, then they might get reined in, but they're not going to do that. In most cases, they're faithful Catholics. So that was a big deal. Then the head of the Melchite Church in America, he basically said, if any priest, he didn't come out and say, you can't bless same sex couples. But he basically said, if any priest wants to, you have to get my permission or you will face canonical penalties. Which was his way of saying, don't do it. I'm not going to let you do it. The hungarian bishops conference recently came out and said that you can bless individuals, but you cannot bless. [00:28:18] And that's the key word, is if they say you can't bless couples, that's a direct contradiction to what Cardinal Fernandez said and what Pope Francis endorsed. [00:28:28] So the hungarian bishop said, no priests in can't. Hungary cannot do that. [00:28:33] By the way, the cardinal Erdo, I think it is of Hungary, he's one to look for as a potential next pope. That I think would be probably a good thing. [00:28:45] Then there's been some individual bishops in Africa. One in Malawi condemned it outright. And then a bishop in Kenya, I just saw this this morning, he basically said that the document should be rejected in totality. Amen, brother. You are being a successor to the apostles. Amen, brother. And so what we have here is a true resistance, a true rejection of something the Vatican put out and Pope Francis approved. Now, I would argue, I would just make it clear that this is both a good thing and a bad thing. [00:29:21] It's a bad thing because, frankly, you should never desire bishops to resist the pope. As Catholics, we want all our bishops following what the pope says when he says, know, and we are, too, because what the pope should be doing is simply following tradition, following the deposit of faith. And so it should be that the pope follows the deposit of faith. The bishops do that, we do that, we're all in unity. [00:29:53] But the reality is, and this is the good of the resistance is sometimes the pope doesn't do that. And this is a case where the pope's not doing that. And in that case, these bishops need to be successors to the apostles, and they need to resist, and that's what they're doing. [00:30:09] What are the implications for this? I saw Rod Gerrera tweeted something about, these are major implications that you have. These bishops conferences are basically rejecting a Vatican document saying, we're just not going to do it. And I think the implications are, first is I'm hoping it's a defeat against hyperpapalism. [00:30:30] Hyperpapalism being one of the worst things going on in the church today. It's a defeat for them, and I think that's a good thing. [00:30:37] It's removing the barnacles of man made traditions surrounding the pope. This is something I've talked about before. You have the teachings of the church on the papacy, infallibility and universal jurisdiction, things of that nature, but then you have all these man made traditions surrounding it. I'm reading a biography of Cardinal Newman right now, John Henry Newman right now, and it's amazing. He's talking about, this is about the 1850s or so, when Cardinal Newman starts getting very unpopular within the Catholic Church. I don't think people realize that during his life, during parts of his life, John Henry Newman was highly unpopular within the Catholic Church. And in fact, he was considered basically heretical by cardinals, by bishops in England, catholic bishops. They did not like him at all, and they basically accused him of heresy. And one of the big reasons why he didn't subscribe to the hyperpapalism of, like, cardinal Manning, of ward, of people like that. [00:31:31] And so it's like we're reliving that now. [00:31:35] And so what we see is that there's these man made traditions that are added on to the teachings of the church. And what I'm hoping is this resistance starts to break that down. Now, some people have tried to compare it to humanevite, the rejection of Humanevitae by so many people. [00:31:55] But I think just, even a cursory glance shows how different it is, because in one case, Humanevitae was clearly just reiterating what the church had always taught. You can't find somewhere before Humanevitae where all of a sudden, popes or bishops or whoever was endorsing artificial contraception. And so Pope Paul VI did nothing other than just reiterate that. And so they're rejecting not humane vitae, but the entire tradition of church. They wanted a change, and they didn't get it. So they rejected it. [00:32:26] This new document, you can't find anything in the tradition that supports it. [00:32:33] It's clearly an innovation of change, which Fernandez admits in the document itself that it's a new and innovative way of looking at things. And so the bishops rejecting it, are not rejecting it because they wanted a change. They'rejecting it because they wanted things to stay the same, which is what Catholics are supposed to be like. And so it's completely a different situation from humane vite. And so ultimately, the implications of this, I would argue, are short term bad, long term good. What I mean by that is, in the short term, it's bad that we have this confusion, we have this battles and things like that, because it just causes confusion, causes scandal, causes people to distrust the catholic church. I saw a video an orthodox priest made where he was talking about. He was kind of taking advantage of the scandal to say, become orthodox. And people will do that. We already know some who have, others will. So that's a bad. I think long term, though, it's good, because anytime people stand up for the truth, especially bishops, it's a good thing. [00:33:40] And so even though this causes more chaos and confusion and crisis in the church, in the long term, it's a good thing because it will help us to understand the papacy better, understand church teaching better, understand the role of the bishops better things of that nature. We might not live to see how it all resolves, but I do think ultimately, Catholics will look back on this time and know it's a time of crisis. But they'll say, okay, but we learned something from that, and we became better Catholics, more knowledgeable Catholics about the papacy, particularly in the future. [00:34:14] So I would argue that in 2023, Pope Francis finally went too far. [00:34:20] After all the people who were complaining about him for years, he finally took a step that led the regular Catholics, not all of them, obviously. I mean, Bishop Barron obviously was worthless on this. He said nothing. He didn't want to stick his toe into the water at all. [00:34:39] But a lot of normal Catholics, and by normal Catholics, I almost mean african Catholics at this point, because they seem the most normal, they finally said, okay, we just can't do, is, you've gone too far. And so I think it's likely he'll probably pull back a little bit to regroup. I mean, Fernandez already is backpedaling. I just saw where he said that it's proper for each local bishop to make that discernment of whether or not to implement this, which, of course, goes against what he said in the document itself. [00:35:09] And it goes against what he wants, obviously. But I think he realized, oh, shoot, this response is not good. [00:35:17] I have to back up. And so I think that's likely that I wouldn't be surprised if they back up a little bit. But with time being short for Pope Francis, I don't think that'll last very long. And so I think, looking forward, I think this is going to have a great impact on the conclave. Now, I think it's very possible the conclave will happen in 2024. I think it's possible Pope Francis won't make it out through the end of 2024 because of his age, his health, things of that nature. Obviously, he could remain longer than that, but unlikely. I think what this has done, though, it's at least united the african bloc, cardinals and bishops, and to realize we can't have another Francis, we're just not going to do that. And I think there's enough cardinals in other places that would agree with them, that they would join them, that they would go against it. Now, the african cardinals make up about 13% of the voting cardinal college of Cardinals. So it's not like they could block a future pope by themselves, because I think you need, was it 66% or something like that, and they're only 13%. So they couldn't block by themselves. But I think they could convince enough people as a united block, especially in the global south, as they call it. You're not going to get many from France or from Germany or from England to go along, but you will get maybe a couple Americans. You would get more from maybe Latin America, Central America, South America. You would get some asian cardinals. Now, I don't think that means they're selecting Burke or they're selecting Cardinal Sarah or anything like that. I mean, God willing, that'd be great. But I do think it means that they will likely want to go for somebody who's more of a reconciler, somebody who wants to bring people together, doesn't want to be such a radical like Francis is not somebody who tries to tick off whole segments of the church, like the traditionalists or whatever, or the Africans or something like that. So my guess is they will pick somebody who might not be super great when it comes to theology and everything, but he's not likely to be a radical reformer who's trying to change doctrine and change things like that. [00:37:35] That's the most likely thing, I think. Now, I think as us, as Catholics, just lay Catholics who are listening in, catholic priests, what have you, I think what we do is continue to pray for the church. We pray for Pope Francis. And I think, honestly, at this point, I think we pray that this resistance touches his heart, that he recognizes that he's gone too far, that he recognizes and really has a real conversion of heart and comes to see that he needs to embrace catholic tradition, the deposit of faith, not always be fighting against it, and really to start picking better people to surround himself with. I think we pray for that. Obviously, God can do anything. We pray for that. I think we also pray for Pope Francis because his end is near. I mean, I would not want to be in his shoes at judgment. I mean, I don't even want to be in my own shoes at judgment. But his duties, his responsibilities are so much greater than the rest of ours. And so I think we pray for his conversion of heart before his death so that he might go to God and receive God's mercy when he dies and really is able to do penance for a lot of the scandal, a lot of the confusion and controversy that he's caused in the church during his pontificate. [00:38:53] Okay, I'll leave it with that. I hope everybody had a blessed 2023. I had a wonderful one. Two of my daughters got married. My son got engaged. It was a great 2023. Obviously, a lot of things are going on in the church, but I think what we do is we also look locally at our own families, our own lives, our own parishes, and we keep focus on that in 2024. Let's continue to pray for each other. I really appreciate everybody, like I say, who subscribed to the channel, who shared our podcast, have donated to us, especially those who have prayed for us. Sometimes I'll get notes when we do a fundraising drive, and it'll be somebody says, I have no money to donate, but I'll pray for you. And I honestly believe. I know people says I value that even more. And so I really do appreciate all your prayers on our behalf. Half. Let's continue to pray for each other. Until next time, everybody. God love.

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