Poor Pope Francis, his hands are tied by literal interpretations of tradition regarding women’s ordination, GLBT, Communion for the divorced and other issues.
As Patriarch of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church; he is caught between a rock and a hard place…between:
- ancient interpretations of papal leadership rooted in monarchical male dominion with its considerable $$$ support
- modern understandings of leadership rooted in a cultural consciousness which rejects monarchic models for that of democratic unity.
How ironic is it that democracy-oriented “Catholics for reform” maintain that Pope Francis should speak as a monarch and command the Roman Rite to change. How strange it is that reform-minded Catholics also express great satisfaction when Pope Francis demotes or dismisses Romanist ultra-conservatives from office, no?
Doesn’t this type of reform-minded Catholicism wind up advancing the same “get rid of the opposition” uniformity position…a position that reformist Catholics have long criticized Romanist Catholics for using against Vatican II cardinals, bishops and pastors?
Despite the Roman Catholic position for a tradition against change,
reform-minded Catholics console themselves with the belief that Roman Catholicism will change eventually, even if they do not live to see that change.
A thousand years ago, Roman Rite Catholicism could not force the Eastern Catholic Churches to accept and practice Western interpretations of catholic theology, governance, and liturgy. And so they worked out a settlement.
The settlement worked out to keep unity between East and West. You might call the settlement a “toleration policy”…allowing Eastern Rite/Church differences such as married priests and collegial governance… as long as they promised to recognize the Patriarch of Rome as head of the Catholic Church.
This tradition of “friendly toleration” has been applied most recently with the Anglican Catholic Rite/Church which promises union with the Pope as Patriarch of Rome. SO, why can’t dissent on this matter of women’s ordination and other matters be resolved by our Church’s ancient “toleration” policy…Roman Rite toleration of a Vatican II Rite/Church with its different interpretations and practices of theology, governance and liturgy? …a Vatican II Rite in union with Rome? Why not?