I suppose I could go about offering a review of the things that stand out most from these last 24 months, but instead I’ll get straight to the bottom line.
If nothing else, we’ve discovered that Pope Francis is very passionate about his faith.
Far from the unpredictable free-spirit that so many once imagined him to be, all indications are that his firmly held beliefs animate and account for nearly everything he says and does; including his most “off-the-cuff” remarks and “spontaneous” gestures.
Ordinarily, a Holy Father such as this would bode rather well for the Church and her faithful, but in the case of Pope Francis, I’m afraid that’s not so.
For the simple reason that the faith about which Pope Francis is so very passionate, and the beliefs that animate his actions, are not Catholic; they are humanistic and earthbound, focused almost exclusively on man and his temporal condition.
As for the faith that comes to us from the Apostles, Pope Francis has consistently made it clear that he despises that faith. He sees it as an obstacle to be surmounted and its adherents as objects of ridicule to be defeated.
Oh, sure, certain portions of the one true faith as expressed in the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine are discernable in the pope’s words and deeds, but overall, one is hard pressed to deny that the drumbeat that this pope follows is not a Catholic one.
Let’s be honest, if his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, were written by a Catholic theologian, a moderately diligent censor librorum would withhold the nihil obstat; i.e., it doesn’t even qualify for an imprimatur.
Objectively speaking, if one were to review the sum total of Pope Francis’ public proclamations, much of it would be unrecognizable as having come from a Catholic layman much less a pope, with considerable portions of it objectionable even to the heretics.
This is the reality of our situation, and it would be bitter enough if Pope Francis were content to simply live out his days in peace while keeping his personal faith to himself.
Unfortunately, however, he is not.
In fact, Pope Francis is among the most remarkably aggressive Roman Pontiffs the Church has had in the course of my lifetime, save for Paul VI who had the audacity to shove the Novus Ordo down the throats of Latin Rite Catholics the world over, only to be beatified by, who else, Pope Francis.
This brings me to the most important thing we’ve learned since Francis took office; we must pray and fast for this pope – not just pray, but fast, and every good Catholic knows why.
Prayer for the pope is always the duty of Catholics, but in the present case, our prayer, if we are to pray according to the Church’s actual needs, is unique to our day.
Specifically, we must pray for the conversion of Pope Francis; that he will embrace, protect and propagate the Holy Catholic Faith that he currently despises.
As of this moment, two years into his dreadful pontificate, there is no indication that he intends to do so apart from Divine intervention.