While Pope Francis seems very concerned about “breeding rabbits”, a new controversy has me thinking of Bugs Bunny’s famous question, “What’s Up, Doc?”. Specifically, what is the interrelationship between elderly popes’ mental health and papal infallibility ?
Informed Catholic readers are stirring up a controversy over ex-Pope Benedict’s current mental capacity in comments to an unrelated National Catholic Reporter (NCR) article about a new ban on altar girls here
These NCR comments were triggered by the ex-Pope’s latest re-writing of history, his own on the subject of remarried Catholics and communion, as described in my remarks here Pope Francis vs. Shadow, Pope Benedict — Who is Infallible and at [Commonweal]. This controversy also raises sharply Fr. Hans Kung’s recent warning to Pope Francis here [Huffington Post] about having a Shadow Pope living at the Vatican, with his ambitious personal “convent mate”, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, also serving as head of the papal household under Francis.
The single most pernicious ideological obstacle a billion Catholics face, in my view, is modern popes’ unrelenting drive to protect their self interested myth of personal infallibility. This myth overwhelms all contrary historical and scientific evidence and even human decency on so many issues and unnecessarily harms millions of women, children, couples, gay folks, divorced and remarried, et al..
A sample of these NCR comments follow in italics:
I came to NCR this evening very angry over a story in Commonweal about B16, and I ran it this altar girl insanity! My anger has become visceral rage. Apologizing in advance, I am going to step totally off topic (although “outrage” is a common factor), and rant about B16.
If not dementia, then it’s FEAR of something.
When you will no longer allow your younger self to be your younger self, you have taken censorship to an inhuman degree.
I would consider this a form of intellectual self-harm, and say the best thing we can do is pray for his recovery. The sad thing is that he thinks it makes sense to censor Truth for the good of the Church- what kind of ecclesiology is that?
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