Prominent Catholic Writer Taylor Marshall: “I feel dizzy as a Catholic”.
Taylor Marshall, a well-known Catholic writer, with popular books, blogs, and webcasts, says since the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, he has been dizzy as a Catholic. He clarifies, “I’m not sick to my stomach. But I’m dizzy.” In a nice way, he says he has to pray 10 times harder for Pope Francis, recognising the dangers.
And he’s right. For traditional and observant Catholics, Pope Francis has been a cause for concern. He is something of a loose cannon. He makes random, off-the-cuff comments all the time which lead to huge amounts of ambiguity, which the media uses to its advantage to promote its progressive agenda. Many traditional Catholics immediately jump in to defend what the pope says, no matter what. I get the feeling that they would defend literally anything he says, never criticizing it, even in its delivery, and automatically blame the media for distorting it.
I get that the media distorts what the pope says, but to uncritically endorse everything the pope says is imprudent, in my opinion. The pope is only guaranteed infallibility in matters of faith and morals when speaking ex cathedra. That doesn’t preclude him saying things that make no sense, are ambiguous, or downright wrong. It’s also my opinion the pope should recognize the power his words have and that not everyone understands infallibility and he should thus be very sparing in making public statements. Maybe he should consider issuing only official statements as opposed to commenting, off-the-cuff, on controversial issues from airplanes.
I think the pope is trying to reach out to the public, however I think this is a bad strategy. Although he has been faithful on many topics, on others it seems he is trying to offer an olive branch by issuing vague and unclear statements to placate progressives. Recently he made a shocking statement comparing l.S.l.S. trying to spread its power to Jesus sending forth the twelve apostles. Again, maybe he just meant lslam in general is a religion seeking converts like Christianity but this obviously leads to confusion, if not anger. I believe a review team of orthodox priests or bishops would help greatly in avoiding this incidences.
I can see why Taylor Marshall feels fearful about this papacy. All traditional Catholics do. Catholicism has a brand. If you ask a person on the street what Catholicism means, they will (hopefully) say people observing a high moral standard, unity in belief, nuns wearing habits, large families, going to confession, and other stereotypes. In movies, the Church is usually portrayed as a place people go in times in turmoil, where they can sit silently and pray when Mass is not underway. The church is always portrayed as having traditional architecture, along with statues, holy images, and incense. Gregorian chant is sung. These things are important because they set the Church apart, they turn our gaze to heavenly things. People enter a unique and sacred realm.
Instead of trying to be “hip” or unnecessarily controversial or edgy, the Church and the pope should draw upon the immense treasury of Catholic teaching and writing from the past two millennia. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and it might be a good idea for the current pope to speak publicly a little less. Let’s all pray for Pope Francis.