While we greatly admire and are the beneficiaries of the work of those on whose shoulders we stand in the work to help restore the Catholic Church to its authentic glory, we can neither support nor encourage their ongoing, unnecessary and harmful attacks on the Church and the Holy Father....
Faithful Catholics need help in persevering through their anxieties and doubts, not continual reinforcement and encouragement of those troubling states. Less faithful Catholics form their judgments of "traditional Catholics" through the lens of perceived dissatisfaction and unhappiness with the Church and the Holy Father. Those who relentlessly criticize the Church, Her leaders, and especially the Holy Father, do immense harm to the Church Herself and discourage both potential converts and those struggling to stay faithful through the crisis that is all around us. The sad reputation of "traditional Catholics" as angry dissidents from virtually everything in the Church today is as well deserved as the reputations of those rightly described as modernists.
A line must be drawn when it comes to criticism of the Holy Father, even when he says or does things that would invite appropriate criticism when said or done by those of lower ecclesiastical rank. Errant priests and bishops can be replaced. The Pope cannot. It may make us cringe at times but it always was and always will be true that ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia. There have been extraordinarily awful Popes in the past but, for all that, the Church not only survived but thrived. The Popes immediately before, during and after the Protestant Revolt showed little recognition or understanding of the catastrophe unfolding before them (not unlike the post-conciliar Popes of our own time) yet, from such unpromising soil emerged an astonishing number of great Saints, and the Council of Trent.
Australian Mary MacKillop became St. Mary of the Cross [LINK] in circumstances astonishingly similar to what we now perceive happening with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (FFI). She founded a religious order, was replaced as Mother Superior by her local bishop, served for many years under her replacement before being restored as Mother Superior, was unjustly excommunicated by her bishop, and the order that she founded is, today, a complete mess. But she became a Saint through all that. She showed respect for her local bishop who truly didn't deserve it, even finding excuses for his behavior. During the time she was excommunicated, she didn't seek to start an alternative order to preserve the integrity of what she had started. She was obedient, humble, trusted God, and she became a Saint. (Read more.)
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