By Kaelanne Jordan
Archbishop Jason Gordon has been observing an “in-your-face” rubbishing of Pope Francis especially in American media and he fears that a lot more Trinidadian Catholics are “picking up on this thing” which has “no place for us”.
“I think we have to wake up because this creeping train is gathering momentum. And if we don’t put a stop to it, people are going to be taken away in error,” Archbishop Gordon said during ‘Ask the Archbishop live’ chat on October 16.
He told host, Tracy Chimming-Lewis, Catholic Media Services Limited’s (CAMSEL) Digital Media Manager that many theologians, when challenged by the Pope, the Vatican or the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have maintained they prefer “to err on the side of fidelity to the Church” than to be right on their own.
“And I think that spirit of humility is not being seen in the Church today and that’s terribly worrying to me,” the Archbishop said.
So, can the faithful question the Pope?
Responding to the question, Archbishop Gordon emphasised that all should have respect for the Pope. He said if anyone disagrees with the Holy See, one ought to start by believing that the Pope must be right, and the onus is on oneself to look at their position.
He explained, “It does not start with the onus being on the Pope. What I’m seeing out of the American media is a whole way of looking at it that is rubbishing Pope Francis. I think no matter what you say, that is not Catholic. That is arrogance. It’s pride; it’s hubris. It’s destruction to the Church and it will bring one more thing…and that’s a schism.”
Commenting on detractors’ presumption of Pope Francis, Archbishop Gordon highlighted that these same opponents were the same persons who “called out” for Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI to be “excommunicated”.
“And those detractors were not as vicious, or viral or as vocal as these are,” he said.
Chimming-Lewis then posed the question: “So why do you think that is?” to the Archbishop. “Because it’s a simple formula,” he replied.
Archbishop Gordon observed if the Pope agrees with his opponents, then the Pope is infallible; if he disagrees, then the Pope is fallible.
“So, they become the guardians of infallibility and not the Pope. And there’s something highly arrogant about that,” he said.
Archbishop Gordon emphasised that though popes have done things that are wrong, dangerous, difficult and bad, one only arrives at the conclusion “reluctantly” after a lot of prayer, and with great regret.
“What I’m seeing is no regret, no prayer. What I’m seeing is in your face rubbishing of the Holy Father.”
The Archbishop then echoed Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah’s statement that to oppose the Pope is to be outside the Church.
With regards to opinions that the Pope’s teachings are Marxist in leaning, Archbishop Gordon had this to say: “That is the most set of rubbish I’ve heard in my entire life.”