- "What have you done when there was confusion?"
- "Why have you not raised your voice to defend the truth?"
Bishop Schneider said "the true friends of the Pope" are those ecclesiastics and laity
...who express their public concern about these very important issues, about the state of confusion in the Church. They are really the friends of the Pope.
Bishop Schneider added that the Church as a "big family of God." In this family, everyone has the opportunity, he said, to speak "without fear of being punished or isolated."
Hmmm...Why did Bishop Schneider add that? "Fear"? "Being punished"? "Isolated"?
That does sound a bit like a kooky, right-wing, nut job conspiracy theory, no?
Drilling down a bit, there's evidently a good deal of all that out there, especially among those cardinals, bishops, priests, theologians, and entire bishops' conferences who dare to criticize the encyclical in public.
Consider what psychiatrist and sometime consultor for the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy, Richard Fitzgibbons, MD, has written in a well-sourced article entitled "The Cost of Passive-Aggressive Anger from the Vatican and the Hierarchy."
In his article, Dr. Fitzgibbons details a strategy of passive-aggressive anger being deployed by those who defend the encyclical against those who publicly criticize it. Explaining what passive-aggressive personality order is and how it functions, Dr. Fitzgibbons then applies it to a series of episodes emanating from the Vatican and threatening priests and bishops who dare to speak out against, or even to question, the orthodoxy of the encyclical. Fitzgibbons alleges this strategy has at least the tacit approval of Pope Francis, and that it involves persons in his inner circle as well as beyond it to include cardinals, bishops, priests, theologians and entire episcopal conferences.
Dr. Fitzgibbons' article makes one wonder about that "big family of God" about which Bishop Schneider spoke. At the Final Judgment, what will God be asking of those self-styled "friends" of Pope Francis who caused his "true" friends to live in fear of being punished and isolated...assuming, of course, the Pope's friends believe there will be a Final Judgment.
Let the discussion begin...
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