Well, it would seem that some need a lie down! Stock up on smelling salts and be primed with damp tea towels with which to fan the fainters. There’s a rumour of epic proportions emanating from the Vatican that’s got ‘David Seltzer plotline’ written all over it. It’s believed Archbishop Piero Marini may be the next Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship!
The ins and outs of this do not bother me. I don’t think it’s my place to have an opinion on what The Vatican chooses to do. I believe my place is to have faith in the Holy Spirit and to work with what he sends us.
So I have to confess to being more than a little unsettled seeing priests blogging at the weekend saying what a bad move this could be. Bad for whom, them, their congregations, the faithful?
Let’s cut this back to basics, if your big brother or sister encouraged you to question your parents would that be right? If one of your class mates tries to get the class to doubt a teacher, who would be a fault? If your colleague blogged in an unfavourable light about one of the bosses proposals, or even a staffing change and the blog turned rather subjective, our instinct tells us that this is wrong, just wrong. So why do priests who are meant to be leading their congregations justify having a moan about Rome? We know Pope Francis has caused disquiet to some of our brothers and sisters in Christ, but is that not a good thing? Did they not help the faithful who were uncomfortable about Cardinal Ratzinger’s election understand that this was the will of the Holy Spirit? Or did they just swan around with a smug face on?
I’ve also seen priestly blogs with posts along the lines of “I miss Pope Benedict” and “Francis is not Benedict, sadly” I think as a parishioner, I would want affirmation about the current pope, harping back to the previous one could look disloyal.
Rumours, are just that, they are not proven fact, they are speculation. Take for example the recent rumour that Tony Castle of the A Call To Action executive being caught saying Mass and his bishop being in accord with it. I don’t suppose any of the rumour mongers thought to speak to the gentleman and ask him if it was true, or speak to the bishop’s office directly on the matter. If they had they’d have found it was all utter nonsense, perhaps it was too good a chance for a pop to miss.
Let me speak directly to the priests: Rumours are gossip Father, it has no place in the clerical remit. If clergy do it, we can hardly be surprised when others engage in rumours, and when those rumours prove to be false, how does the Church look?