|Cardinal DePaolis engineers reform of the Legion of Christ|
I happen to believe the reform of the Legion of Christ is a critical signpost for meaningful reform for the entire Church because the Legion is a distilled microcosm of everything that's wrong with the macro institutional Church. The results from the next six weeks, while the Legion's General Congress is in session, may turn out to be a very critical period for the legacy of Pope Francis as any kind of reformer. If the Legion reform is nothing more than the smoke and mirrors it seems to be at this point, then Francis' reform image will take a big hit. If Catholics can't get meaningful reform of one relatively small religious congregation that just happens to embody all the worst institutional abuses the Catholic Church has to offer, then what hope is there for the Church itself? Not very much.
A second thought I've had is described in a post Bill Lyndsey wrote this morning on Bilgrimage. In it Bill makes a pertinent observation about the oft repeated inability of this pope to foster changes in Church teaching:
"Because my field of study as a Catholic doctoral theology student was the history of Christian thought, I'm aware of how ill-grounded are almost all claims that historically conditioned teachings and practices are set in stone. The teachings and practices of the Catholic church have always changed. They have changed much over the course of Catholic history.
Unfortunately for any chance of doctrinal reform, Pope Francis has this to say this very morning during his now recommenced daily Masses at Casa Sanctae Marthae as reported on the Vatican Radio website:
“Faith,” Said Pope Francis, “means confessing God – the God who revealed Himself to us, from the time of our fathers down to the present: the God of history. This we recite each day in the Creed – but it is one thing to recite the Creed heartily, and another [merely] to parrot it, no? I believe, I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe – but do I believe what I am saying? Is this a true confession of faith or is it something I says somehow by rote, because it is [the thing to say]? Do I believe only halfway? Confess the Faith! All of it, not part of it! Safeguard this faith, as it came to us, by way of tradition: the whole Faith! And how may I know that I confess the Faith well? There is a sign: he, who confesses the faith well – the whole Faith – has the capacity to worship God.”