Living Under a Dictator Pope

November 14, 2023 00:37:17
Living Under a Dictator Pope
Crisis Point
Living Under a Dictator Pope

Nov 14 2023 | 00:37:17

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Hosted By

Eric Sammons

Show Notes

The ouster of Bishop Strickland is another example of a lawless pope tyrannizing the Church. But ultimately, what can the average Catholic do about it?
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Episode Transcript

[00:00:16] The ouster of Bishop Joseph Strickland is another example of a lawless Pope tyranizing the Church. But what do we do now? How does the average Catholic respond to this? What can he actually do about it? That's what we're going to talk about today on Crisis Point. Hello, I'm Eric. Sam is your host editor in chief of Crisis magazine. Okay, so you know the drill. Smash the like button. Subscribe to the Channel. Follow us on social media at Crisis Mag. Subscribe to our email newsletter, which is just go to Crisismagazine.com and you'll be asked to do that. I encourage you to do that. Also, send your questions to [email protected]. I was going to answer some podcast questions today, but a little bit of news dropped in the Catholic world this weekend. So on Saturday morning on November 11, I was preparing that day. My daughter was about to get married. Exciting day. And I went to do something on social media. I was like, I'm not going to scroll through social media, but I went there to actually, I can't remember something for crisis. And I saw Diane Montana tweeted that Bishop Strickland had just been kicked out, no longer the bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas. And I told myself, I am not going to let the actions of this pope affect my day of my daughter's wedding. So I just was like, I'm just going to put that aside. Not even think about it anymore. Not until next week. So that was my. So anyway, and by the way, the wedding was beautiful, and it was awesome, and I'm very excited for my daughter and her new husband. So Bishop Strickland was removed from office. It was not a surprise to most people. [00:02:05] I know I said at least a couple of times here when the apostolic visitation happened, I said, Bishop Strickland's not going to last through the end of the year as the Bishop of Tyler. And Pope Francis, who, of course, listens to every one of these podcast episodes, didn't want me to look bad. [00:02:21] He's like, I got to make sure that Eric Simmons guy doesn't look like a fool more than he normally does. I got to make sure I kick him out before the end of the year. And so he did, actually, he was asked to resign. [00:02:33] Bishop Strickland was asked to resign. He said, no, I can't do that. And so then the pope just booted to make. I'm not going to talk a lot about this, because everybody else has talked about it. I saw. But I do want to just make sure it's clear that we all know this was done for unjust reasons. [00:02:56] Like, I know that, you know that. The people who support the action know that, the pope knows that, everybody knows that. I mean, the only people who act like it wasn't for unjust reasons do so for one of two reasons. [00:03:10] One is they're just a useful idiot, they're a useful midwit who just wants to push the ideological agenda they have, and they don't really care. And maybe they do think that there's some just reason here. Or the other option is they're really an enemy of the Church. And so they just want to foster anger against a faithful Catholic bishop, because really what it is now is we know that the only thing that matters in the Catholic Church is subservience to this pope, the current pope, whoever the current pope is, complete and utter subservience to him. It's all that matters. Any suggestion that you're not on board with what this pope wants means you're gone. You're gone. I mean, there was a bishop in Puerto Rico who about a year ago, he was kicked out of his diocese, essentially because he didn't go along with the COVID propaganda. And now we see Strickland. [00:04:17] And, okay, just to make sure it's clear, I've seen some people try to act like this is because what he said at the Lifesite Rome Forum back in end of October, early November, where I guess during his talk, he read something that mentioned called Pope a usurper of office, and I think suggested that he wasn't really the Pope. [00:04:38] That's not the reason. First of all, I know for a fact that Bishop Strickland believes that Pope Francis is the Pope. I know this. [00:04:46] And secondly, this was said, I think, on October 31, maybe November. I think it was October 31. [00:04:53] And the apostolic visitation happened back in June. And Cardinal Donardi of Houston, actually, in a statement after Strickland's ouster was announced, said it was after the visitation. They realized he could not remain. So this is months before he said that. So there's no way you can argue that it was because of that. And even if that was the reason, that would just show how unjust it is as well, because making a statement, reading something in a talk that is wrong, is not a reason to kick out of the bishop. [00:05:32] I'll get to that in a second. How a bishop can be kicked out and what are some just reasons that it can happen? [00:05:38] And another thing I just want to note is that to my knowledge, and I do have some inside knowledge of this, but I don't have complete knowledge. Bishop Strickland was never once given an opportunity to kind of give his side. There was never in the visitation process, never in this whole process did they ever ask, sit down with Bishop Strickland and say, okay, tell us, why did you say this? What did you mean by this? What were you doing when you did this in your diocese? What did you mean when you went to this event? What were you trying to do? Nothing like that. And although the Church's rules and law are not identical to American law, there still is in canon law the opportunity to defend yourself, the opportunity to say, yes, here's what I was doing. Here's why I was doing that. No, that statement about me is a lie or whatever, and I can prove it. That's just part of the just process in the Church. And that was not followed in any way, shape, or form in this. And, in fact, this whole process just completely ignored canon law. [00:06:43] And that's why I use the term in my title, dictator Pope. Now, I know this triggers people. It triggered me when the book by Henry Sear came out a few years ago called Dictator Pope. I had a bad reaction to it. I didn't like the idea of calling the pope a dictator. It just didn't rub me the wrong way. So I get that. And in fact, the first comment on the channel, on this podcast today, is Somebody says, while calling the Pope a dictator is, in my opinion, the exact reason why the Pope is removing people, firing up schism from the ranks of the clergy. [00:07:18] Now, that's obviously ludicrous. If that was the case, he really is a dictator, because only a dictator would fire people, would oust people for saying he's a dictator. A non dictator wouldn't actually do that, although I know people don't like that term because it seems disrespectful. [00:07:41] It's simply a statement of reality. And what do I mean by that? First of all, there might be a lot of Catholics who actually think the Pope is a dictator. A lot of non Catholics definitely think it. A lot of Catholics think the Pope is actually a dictator. In fact, you see it in the fact that you would suggest that because Bishop Strickland read a statement that called the Pope a usurper, he had to get kicked out of office. Well, that would be a dictator who would do that. [00:08:08] So they might not call him that. But a lot of people, Catholics, their ecclesiology, actually does think the Pope was a dictator. He can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, for whatever reason he wants. [00:08:21] And that's not the case. [00:08:24] The Pope is not supposed to be a dictator. Now, some would say, well, the pope is a monarch. And a lot of people don't know the difference between a monarch and a dictator. [00:08:34] But a monarch is different from a dictator. Now, I would argue the pope is not a monarch. Now, the Pope is. Let me take that back for a second. The pope is a monarch of temporal realms. He's the monarch of Vatican City state. He was at one time the monarch of the Papal States. In that sense, he is definitely a monarch. Clearly, that's of the temporal realm. However, on the spiritual realm of the Church, he is not ultimately the monarch. [00:09:00] Jesus Christ, Christ the King. He is the monarch. [00:09:05] And the pope is more like a know the steward of Gondor, so to speak. Where he does rule, he really does have power. He does have authority over the Church, but he rules in somebody else's stead. That's actually what vicar of Christ means. This is something I don't like how people interpret the term vicar of Christ to mean he is Jesus Christ here on earth, and therefore he has to be treated exactly like we would treat Jesus Christ. That is not true. St. Thomas Aquinas talks very much about how obedience, full absolute obedience, is due to God alone. So Jesus Christ alone, not due to any man. [00:09:46] There's different levels of obedience due to different people, but full obedience is not due to the Pope. Absolute obedience, I should say, is not due to the Pope, only to Jesus Christ. [00:09:57] And so vicar of Christ basically means he's the steward. He is charged with ruling in the stead of Jesus Christ, who reigns in heaven right now, but he is not technically then. So he's not a dictator, not supposed to be a dictator, or even a monarch in the spiritual realm, but he is a steward. Now, note, I'm not saying he doesn't have authority, he doesn't have power. [00:10:22] It's just that his power comes from the true monarch, Jesus Christ. Now, I would also note that people were saying that he broke canon law. He did break canon law. Now, somebody would say, well, the Pope isn't bound to canon law. And they're absolutely right. The Pope can supersede canon law. The Pope can set aside canon law. However, by doing so, he really does send a message. He sends a message that he's acting as a dictator, he's not acting as a steward, but he's acting as a dictator. Because by throwing aside the law and just saying, I'm going to do what I want. He's acting for his own interest rather than the interest of the Church. That's a big difference also between a dictator and a monarch. A monarch works for the good of the people. They're his children, his family. A dictator works for his own good, his own purposes. And that's what we're seeing here, the difference between the two, between a dictator and a monarch, or even a steward. Now, note, it's important. This isn't just like he kind of violated a one canon or something like that. It's more fundamental than that. By removing bishop Strickland without any due process, really. And just because he didn't like what he was doing, he really goes against a long tradition and a theological concept that's very important, which is the authority of bishops. Popes have in the past, very much respected the authority of bishops. They don't just oust them willy nilly for no reason. In fact, they don't usually even do that. Historically speaking, it rarely happens. And I saw an article from the Pillar, from a couple of years ago when the Puerto Rican bishop got ousted, and they mentioned a few things. [00:12:18] A diocesan bishop can lose their office through four ways. Death, obviously, transfer, resignation, or criminal penalty. So obviously, we're not talking case of death or transfer here. Resignation. He was asked to resign, but he said no. And that's important because in canon law, when it talks about the resignation of a bishop, it's always known that. It's always said that a bishop has to turn in the resignation at the age of 75 to the pope. That's actually not true. Canon 401, paragraph One says they are requested to present their resignation when they reach the age of 75. And it specifically says they're requested, not required, because that refers to the long established right of a bishop to his seed as a successor of the apostles, unless he has committed some canonical crime. [00:13:08] Likewise, paragraph two of Canon 401 states that if a bishop cannot feel that for some reason he can't fulfill his office, like because of health or other grave cause, he is urgently requested, earnestly requested, to resign. But again, it's a request because canon law, the Church, is recognizing that a bishop has an authority over his sea that comes from Jesus Christ, and it's not something that just could be thrown aside easily. [00:13:41] And in fact, you see this in practice in a few cases, like, for example, in 1986, there was an apostolic visitation of the Archdiocese of Seattle. They found the archbishop, Huntshausen, was systematically violating the church's discipline on the reception of communion and distorting the church's teaching. On human sexuality, Pope John Paul II didn't oust him from his diocese. What he did was he appointed an auxiliary bishop, which was actually Donald Whirl, who became infamous later and gave him special faculties to govern the diocese. He did not oust the bishop because he knew there's such a long established tradition that bishops, diocesan bishops, are over their seas, and that's an authority comes from Jesus Christ, and it shouldn't just be thrown aside. And there's other examples of, like that in history where that bishops should not just be removed for no reason. And, in fact, canon law makes it clear that a pope can remove a bishop of not their office, they always are bishop of their position as a diocesan bishop for certain canonical crimes. But here's the thing. It's very clear that the canonical crimes are something very explicit and well known and follows a juridical process to make sure they're well known. So, for example, if a bishop was found to be abusing seminarians, for example, I know that would never happen, right. [00:15:21] Then there could be a canonical trial. It's a canonical process to find out. And then Pope could move in and say, yeah, let's remove him. But the point is, there has to be a canonical crime, ecclesiastical crime that's committed by the bishop, for that to happen. And no crime has been accused of Bishop Strickland. That's an important point to note. Everything that's been said about him to try to justify this is just like, yeah, some people in his diocese don't like him, or he had some mean tweets or something like that. None of these are ecclesiastical crimes. [00:15:58] Now, you could argue there is a canon that talks about, you can't speak to Foster, I think, his hatred against the pope or something like that. Somebody could try to argue that. It's ridiculous on its face, because knowing Bishop Strickland and everything you said, he's never done that. But they could try to argue that, well, still, there needs to be some type of juridical process to make sure that that's true, that he really did do this, and that he has a chance to defend himself again. All that was thrown aside, and the Pope just acted as a dictator unilaterally. Now, here's the thing I am saying. He does have the authority. Vatican one makes it very clear that the Pope has the authority, has the universal jurisdiction over the Church. And so he could go in and he could remove a priest from one parish and transfer him to another if he wanted to. He can transfer bishops, he can remove a bishop as in this case, should he? For some reason other than a serious canonical crime? Of course not. But he can. [00:17:00] And so I really think that he is showing very much. The Pope is showing a disrespect for the law. And that's what a dictator does. [00:17:10] A steward has a respect for the law, and he works within it. Because there's a reason for the law. There's a reason this happened. There's a reason in canon law. It states, bishops can't just be removed for no reason. [00:17:25] Because you can have a situation like we have today, where you have a pope acting as a dictator and just doing it because he doesn't like what this bishop is saying. Even this bishop is saying things that are faithfully Catholic. [00:17:41] So that's why I think it's proper to call him dictator. To say that that is somehow an example of why the Pope is cracking down on traditionalists or removing this bishop just proves my point. [00:17:58] Just proves my point that he's acting as a dictator. [00:18:02] And so the question then becomes, what can we do about as faithful Catholics? [00:18:10] First, we have to be honest with ourselves. This is a blow. This is another blow. We've had a lot of them in the past ten years, but this is another one. Although none of us were really surprised by this, at least I wasn't surprised by it in one sense. In another sense, it was a bit shocking, because it's so outlandish. It's such an outlandish action. It's so obviously political, so obviously a vendetta. It's so obviously unjust that I just didn't think the Pope would cross that line. But the fact is, I just told somebody this earlier today. Every time I think, well, the Pope won't cross that line. He jumps over it. And he jumped over this one. What's interesting, I saw where somebody, I can't remember who, was reporting at the USCCB that the USCCB meeting is starting today. And a number of bishops, off the record, were interviewed. And they said that a lot of bishops were troubled by the removal of Strickland. Even ones who did not like Strickland, who didn't agree with him. They didn't like this. Because it does establish a precedent. I mean, here's the thing is, the Liberals always accuse JP two of running things with a heavy hand and punishing people. He never did anything like this. He never did. In fact, I gave you the example when the guy in Seattle was being a wing nut. He just put in an auxiliary bishop to kind of help try and straighten things out. Now of know, putting in Donald Whirl, which was a mistake, but nonetheless, he's not just ousting a bishop, because, again, this is an action which goes against traditional ecclesiology of the role of the bishops. And I think that's what these other bishops, they recognize. If he can do it to Strickland for this reason, who's to say the next Pope won't take that as an example and keep doing it himself, doing stuff like that against other. [00:20:06] So, but like I said, it's okay, as a faithful Catholic, to be upset and to be angry. Even I had an article a couple months ago about something else the Pope did where I said it's okay to be angry. In fact, it's healthy to be angry. Righteous anger is not unhealthy. It's healthy. And I won't repeat all my points I made back then, but essentially, though, it has to be an anger that is rooted in prayer, rooted in submission to the will of God, rooted in a faith and divine providence. But it's okay to be angry. You see that in the Psalms, for example, that the psalmist King David, he gets angry at times. He gets angry at God, even. [00:20:48] That's not a sin in and of itself. The sin is when we don't have that with faithfulness and trust in God's mercy, in God's justice. [00:21:01] And so I think, though, the big thing that I think a lot of Catholics struggle with right now is how is it that we can say the Pope is the center of unity in the Church? He is kind of the one whose job is to defend the faith, to promote the faith. How can it be that we're also, if we believe that, say that he's a dictator, say that he's acting in these terrible ways, that he's undermining the faith? And all these things we say, you see this all the time on social media. Like, you don't really believe in the office of the Papacy because you say all these things against the Pope, and so it can't happen. So people think it's not possible. So they go one of two directions. Often. One is to say the contentist route and say, well, he's not the Pope, so problem solved. Or they go the hyperpapalist route, which is to say, actually, nothing he's doing is wrong. Maybe it's a little imprudent or whatever like that. You see this where it's like now, I saw a number of people who claim to be orthodox Catholics who are attacking Bishop Strickland as this terrible person. All because the Pope ousted him. Now he's an enemy. Strickland's an enemy. We have to attack him. We have to treat him like he's a persona Nongrada, that he is a heretic, he's a schismatic. Call him all types of names. [00:22:18] Those are the two extremes. I think both are wrong. I think both are wrong, and I think it comes from a misunderstanding of the papacy. Last week before this happened, I actually had an article called the hyperinflation of the papacy over at Crisis magazine. [00:22:31] And in it I talked about the problem of, in practice, elevating the papacy, the Pope, beyond actually what Vatican one itself, the authority it gave him, and what the tradition of the Church has always seen him as. He is seen as the center of Catholic unity, not the source of Catholic teaching, not impeccable in his decisions, either, his prudential decisions. And I think a lot of our problems in the Church today are from a misunderstanding of the office of the Papacy. Now, sometimes I get accused of all, you're just basically going Orthodox. Eastern Orthodox, no, Eastern Orthodoxy. Ecclesiology does not work. They haven't even been, I'll call a council in over a thousand years. They tried to have a pan Orthodox council a few years, a couple years ago, and they couldn't do it because the Russians didn't want anything to do with Constantinople, and Constantinople wanted to act like they were like a pseudo pope and stuff like that. And so they ended up not having, they couldn't get everybody together. They haven't been able to do it for a thousand years. That's not a good system. [00:23:33] But I would argue, I believe very strongly that the Catholic system is the best one, but no system is immune from the deficiency of the fall of the people who are in them. That's something to remember. We all want a perfect system, but what we have is we have the best system, the best ecclesiology, not the perfect one. That's important to remember. What I mean by that is a perfect one could never be abused, could never cause problems that doesn't exist, because the people in the system are all fallen human beings. [00:24:17] We can't have the best system, meaning that the abuses in this system are less dangerous than the abuses of other systems. And like I say, this. What I mean by that is this. We currently have a dictator pope abusing his rightful authority. That's a short term problem. [00:24:37] It ends with his death. Now, the next Pope could do it, too, but there's no guarantee. Ultimately, it's always restricted to that person. [00:24:48] But like I said, the Orthodox system, they can't even call a council in 1000 years. That's a long term problem. The Protestant system, obviously, is completely bonkers. That just leads to 30,000 plus denominations and everybody can believe whatever they want to believe. That's a long term problem they've had for the whole existence, 500 years. So, yes, the Catholic ecclesiology of the pope being the center of unity, being the head of the Church, in the sense that he has universal jurisdiction and he can teach infallibly, in very certain limited instances, can be abused. But like I said, it's the best system, I think that is important to remember. [00:25:33] Now, what can we do on our part? The first one is, I mean, we got to remember what Bishop Strickland himself has said. Prayer and sacrifice. Prayer and sacrifice, that's what we can also, we can stick to the traditional faith and hand it on in our also. I think part of that is understanding the role of the Pope. I've written about this so much. I drone on this. But I think in one way, I told somebody this recently, I think Pope Francis is a gift. What I mean by that is he is a gift because he's helping us recognize how we've added man made traditions to the divinely given tradition of the papacy. [00:26:18] Remember when Jesus Christ came, he condemned traditions very strongly, and he was talking about the man made traditions that the Pharisees had added onto the legitimate tradition of the Jewish religion. [00:26:35] Well, I see the same thing here we have the legitimate religion of Catholicism divinely revealed, given to us, handed on to us through Scripture and tradition. And that includes the papacy, the office of the Pope, the successor of St. Peter. [00:26:50] But then there's man made traditions that glom onto, like, you know, the boat that has. What's that? Oh, man, I'm blanking out. The stuff that gets attached to it at the bottom that you have to then scrape off and all that stuff. That's what's getting added onto the papacy. So this idea that vicar of Christ means that he's exactly like Jesus Christ and he be treated exactly like Jesus Christ is an example of that. That is a man made tradition. That is not. In fact, just real quick about the vicar of Christ thing, because this one bugs me. Is that barnacles? Somebody in the chat just said barnacles. Thank you. Thanks, Brad. Sorry. Okay, so vicar of Christ. [00:27:29] The Pope was not called the Vicar of Christ, at least not himself alone. In the first millennia of Christian history, bishops were called Vicars of Christ. The monarchs were called vicars of Christ. Because they represented Christ in a real way. A bishop represented Christ and still does in his diocese. A monarch also represents Christ to his people in different ways, but legitimately. And so I really think that the idea of vicar of Christ has. Then it wasn't until Pope Innocent II, I think it was in the twelveth or 13th century, that he made it like, no, this is my title and the Pope's title alone, that people started to see vicar of Christ as something different than what it originally meant. [00:28:10] And so I think that's one of the things we can do, is when we hand on the traditional faith to our kids, we make sure they understand the role of the pope, that we thread that needle. We don't go orthodox and reject the role of the pope because Jesus Christ gave St. Peter A commission that was handed on to his successors, the bishops of Rome. We can't reject the teachings of Jesus Christ yet. We also, though, on the other hand, we don't add on all the man made traditions. We're willing to jettison them to stick with the true Catholic faith about the role of the Pope. Now, one of the things that always comes up in these situations when we're talking about the problem of the Pope that I want to talk about, I might go a little bit long today, because I think this is important. [00:29:02] Can the pope be deposed? This always comes up in these discussions, and I think sometimes we need to be clear about a few things. I wrote an article a few years ago now, four or five years ago, for one, Peter, five, about can a pope be deposed? And I basically answered the answer as no. [00:29:21] I still think that's the answer. But I have qualifiers now. I think that's a way to put it. I've kind of evolved a little bit, developed my views on this, and I would say that I would still argue that Pope cannot be deposed. [00:29:36] But I put an asterisk next to it. And I think that what I mean by that is this. A pope cannot be technically deposed in the sense that an authority over him says, you're gone, and then he's just gone. I think what can happen, though, is another authority, for example, the College of Cardinals, or, for example, like the Holy Roman Emperor, can basically suggest to the Pope, you need to resign, you need to be gone. And then the pope goes along with that, and maybe even there's pressure put on him. Now, I know some people say, know, Pope Benedict himself said this, that you can't pressure a canon law states this, you can't pressure a pope to resign. [00:30:22] But I think if you look at history, you'll see popes have been pressured to resign, and they did choose to do it because they saw the handwriting on the wall and it was valid, a valid resignation, because simply the Church accepted it as valid. The Pope said, yeah, I am going to leave now because it would not work very well if I stayed. For me, if I stayed. And so I do think it is possible to depose the Pope in the sense that you would make it very clear to him that life would not be good for him if he stayed on, in the sense that maybe the college cardinals say, we're not going to follow what you say, or like I said, holy Roman Emperor. Now, I want to make sure this clear. This is a theoretical thing. Practically speaking, it's a complete fantasy world. Today. [00:31:10] There is zero chance, zero, that there's going to be a significant group of bishops, cardinals, whatever, or a Holy Roman empire is going to show up out of nowhere and going to all of a sudden suggest the Pope. He needs to step down. It's just not going to happen. We have to know that. In fact, I think a lot of times this discussion of deposing a pope is a little bit dangerous. It's dangerous because it puts us in a fantasy world instead of reality. I still remember one of the most powerful things that ever happened to me. I don't know if I ever told this story or not. I was going to a priest for spiritual direction. I think I've told this story. This is years ago, probably 15 years ago, and I think it was when I had my four young children. And it's hard. Everybody knows when you have a lot of young Children, you have no older ones to help. It can be very trying, very difficult. And I remember in spiritual direction, I mentioned how wouldn't it be great? And also as a throwaway line, not that I didn't mean it, but I said, wouldn't it be great? It'd just be great. Sometimes I wish I was just a monk at a monastery or something like that. [00:32:16] And I think every dad, every mom probably, too, has had thoughts like that at times because some days are tougher than others. But, oh, my gosh, my spiritual director, who was a very kind and gentle soul priest, he ripped into me quickly. He said, that thought is from the devil. And he said, if you live in a fantasy land, a fantasy world like that, you will not live out your vocation. It is a sin for you to be, like, fantasizing and dwelling on living in another type of life. [00:32:47] And he was absolutely right. It really shocked me, and it made me realize he's absolutely right. I think the same thing is true about if we have fantasies about, oh, if we could get a imperfect council, if we could get the cardinals and we could have the pope deposed or something like that. I think it's the same thing is true about people who think that Francis isn't really the Pope, not somebody who maybe is kind of like, I'm not sure, but somebody who actually lives like he's not the Pope. It's a fantasy world, and it's dangerous because it's not the reality. The reality is Francis is the pope, and he's a bad one, and we have to live with that. And so I don't have a problem with some theoretical discussions of whether or not Francis can be deposed or something like that. [00:33:31] But at the same time, I think it's very dangerous if we dwell on those type of situations. I think it's even okay to say, to contact your own bishop, for example, and tell him, I would like you to act in a way that pressures this pope to resign or to change his ways or something like that. I'm not saying you can't do that, but just recognize the reality around us. God has not given us a situation right now, at least, in which that is going to happen. He instead is asking us to live in this moment right now as Catholics under Pope Francis. Just like my priest was telling my spiritual director, priest was saying to me years ago, this is your vocation to live in this family life, not to go be in a monastery somewhere. Likewise, God is saying to us right now, my vocation to you is to be a Catholic living under Pope Francis. [00:34:21] And whatever that entails, whatever suffering that might entail, you have to offer that up in union with our Lord's suffering on the cross. [00:34:32] And so I think this is the type of attitude we need to have. We need to pray, we need to sacrifice. We need to speak out when the Pope does things wrong. Now, there is a balance. [00:34:41] You're. We have to balance, again, another case of being balanced. We have to balance between being consumed by everything the Pope does that we don't like and head in the sand mentality. [00:34:54] We have to be balanced between those two. We have to be in the middle between those two. We can't ignore everything that's going on in the Church because people around us are being scandalized by it, and we need to help them. [00:35:06] But likewise, if you're constantly being consumed by the news coming out of the Vatican, that's not healthy, because that's not your duty. You cannot change that. And so spending a lot of time just dwelling on it is not a healthy thing to do. Instead, what you need to do is dwell in your own spiritual life, your own prayer life, your family, your parish, things that you can have an impact on. And so, yes, know what's going on. Know, understand better the papacy, the role of it. So when your friend says to you, hey, why are you saying you're Catholic, but you don't like your own pope, isn't that impossible? You can explain exactly what it means when your Orthodox friend says, see, this is, I told you, these are the problems with the papacy. You can explain why it's still the best system, not the perfect system, but the best system possible. And so these are the type of things we can do. And so I think we follow Bishop Strickland's advice himself. And when he said that we need to pray, and fast, we need to pray for Pope Francis, he said that multiple times. Check out the interview you had with John Henry Weston over at LifeSight News on Saturday. A few hours after this happened, he talks about praying for Pope Francis. Not exactly. Sounds like somebody who doesn't think Francis is the Pope, is it? And stay close to Christ. I think that's what we need to do. Stay close to Christ, understand the papacy, understand the role of the papacy. Be willing to speak out when the Pope acts like a dictator rather than a steward, and ultimately pray for the salvation of souls. Pray for those who are scandalized by this, that they would find Jesus in the Catholic Church and be faithful Catholics. Okay, I think I'm going to cut it off there. I really appreciate this. I hope this helped a few people understand how we are to live under a dictator pope, understand why we think he's acting as a dictator, even though he's not supposed to be, and obviously bring all of us closer to Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church. Okay, that's it for now. Until next time, everybody. God, love.

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