We already know that this Pope has centralized more authority in his office than his predecessors. We also know that though the Vatican has congregations (departments) in charge of various divisions of its operation, this Pope is a notorious micro-manager and often bypasses the very folks who are supposed to be responsible. We also know that his bent is to be somewhat fast and loose with practice even though he maintains the doctrine (on the surface anyway). We know that he is a fast talker and loves to speak off the cuff and to informal audiences, usually leaving them with a juicy tidbit. Now we know that this Pope may have an agenda. He will change the Roman Catholic Church less by writing than by handing out red caps. According to some who are close to the Pope (with an equal penchant for a soundbite), the Pope is going to retire as soon as he has staked the deck with cardinals who will ensure that the RC Church will not go back to the Benedict style and substance. I am not sure which is more interesting -- this revelation or the idea of two former and one active Pope at the same time!
"I will quit when I gut the church. . ."
This is exactly what the Antichrist should be expected to say.
Actually, Carl Vehse, no, I wouldn't expect them to say that. Did Leo X quit after excommunicating Luther? Did Pius VI step down from office as soon as Trent was over? Did Pius IX resign as soon as Vatican I granted the papacy previously unacknowledged powers?
The devil is happy enough to get righteous people to take a holiday, but there is no time off for his minions.
Did excommunicating Luther gut the church? Did the Council of Trent gut the church? Did the previously unacknowledged powers granted to the pope by Vatican I gut the church?
The quoted title caption refers to actually gutting the church, in this case, the Roman church.
When I was a young Catholic student going to parochial school for 9 years in the 1950's, we were taught that "the Catholic Church is the One true church founded by Jesus Christ." Now, decades later, an old Christian man at 72 years and a Lutheran worshipping at the LCMS, I wonder if we might simply conclude that the RCC was "gutted" many centuries ago, by many different Popes, each having both an ecclesiastical agenda and a political one as well. Let me ask the question, and let each one answer according to his or her own wisdom and understanding: When Jesus first commissioned the church and instituted Peter as its earthly initial leader, did He want His church to become a monolithic institution built on leaders in flowing robes of satin and gold, wearing ceremonial head coverings and lording authority over His flock as some titular prince or earthly Lord? Furthermore, did Jesus call for worship of dead saints, sale of indulgences, exertion of power over nations? No....it would all have been quite odious to Our Lord. And so we had a Reformation, but it was not enough, as the RCC remains the same as before, but with less power and influence. In my view, regardless of the actions of this Pope, the Roman church remains gutted.
Did the Council of Trent gut the church? Martin Chemnitz thought so. He even wrote four volumes about how it did. Did Vatican I gut the church? Well, maybe not quite "gut," but it did cause more consternation in Rome (and joy among its opponents) than is commonly recognized today.
Of course, where Francis wants Rome to head today is far worse. I recognize that. But, as Pastor Peters notes, Francis is too much of a control freak for me to think that he will willingly step aside and take up golf. I don't see Benedict's humility in Francis.
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