Viva El Papa!-A A +A
As I See It
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Glory is only to God. After the conclave, we will have a new Pope. The Papacy is the highest office in the Catholic Church. We pray with the Christian World that the College of Cardinals will elect one of them who is really deserving of the papal throne. Let us fervently pray that the new Pope will not follow the errors of his predecessors. The Christian World could not forget the pro-Nazi collaboration of the Church. This has been confronted by the Church in the 1998 Vatican document, ‘We Remember: a Reflection on the Shoah’.
Under the theocratic monarchy, the Pope has absolute power over all aspects of the Catholic Church. The Church refuses to give up her autocratic rule on her faithful. This is especially true when the Pope declares an infallible dogma of faith. This authoritarian act could be perceived in the encyclical ‘Humanae Vitae’. Henry Poels, a professor at the Catholic University of America was dismissed for refusing to swear to the full authorship of Moses of the Pentateuch because part of the book supposedly written by Moses gave information concerning his own death.
We pray that the Papal States territories in central Italy will be made to share their profit for the poorest of the poor in the world. This could be done by the Pope because he has temporal and spiritual sovereignty. This is stated in the document, ‘Donation of Constantine’. The Pope is so powerful that in the past the papal power could dethrone emperors and kings. God knows that in the past the powerful Popes often took it as God’s mandate to rule over the Church and the State. There were even instances that the secular kings should be consecrated by the Popes.
We pray that the papal authority will always be within the will of God. We were made to understand that the Pope has power over our soul and salvation. We do not want to be subjected to excommunication. This is some kind of Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads. The provisions could be found in ‘Codex Juris Canonici’. The revision was made by Pope John Paul II in 1983. The father of Crisostomo Ibarra in ‘Noli Me Tangere’ was a victim of this. He was not allowed a Christian burial. Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) excommunicated even King Henry IV of Germany. The Pope is also having the power to issue an interdict on a local or regional basis. This is provided in the ‘Code of Canon Law’.
The Pope can also suspend clergymen. Many Catholic theologians cannot just easily exercise this freedom of conscience on matter related to faith. The Vatican has its ‘Code of Silence’ similar to the Mafia’s ‘Omerta’. Mafia is punishing erring members with death, the Vatican uses excommunication or banishment. The Pope can grant indulgences and promises of heavenly reward to those who took up arms for the papal cause. In the Second Crusade, Pope Eugenius III (1145-1154) made a promise that those who died fighting the Turks would have eternal Life. The Jesuits are known as the ‘Hounds of the Popes’ because their role is to fight the enemies of the Church even using the force or arms.
The Pope enjoys papal infallibility. The first Vatican Council promulgated the dogma of papal infallibility on July 18, 1870. The Roman Pontiff speaks ‘ex cathedra’, doctrine regarding faith and morals and he is always filled with the Holy Spirit. We know that it is very hard to be infallible because as human beings we have sinful nature especially on moral issues. The cardinals and all subordinates are required to defend the decision of the Pope. This is difficult task for the Pope that is why he is expected to live a moral life. Morals are the principles that govern human conduct.
The Bible is completely silent on human infallibility. The Church is also in banking business, lending out money with interest. It owns the Vatican Bank with an official name as ‘Instituto per Opere de Religioni’ (The Institute of Religious Works). Vatican Bank was involved in so many colorful activities. Read the work of John Cornwell, ‘A Thief in the Night: Life and Death in Vatican’. We need to pray very hard that our ‘New Pope’ could withstand all the challenges and conflicts…. outside and inside.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 15, 2013.