It is reported that PF thinks his critics hope for his death.
I can honestly say, without any irony, that I have not heard or read of any of of his critics ... I don't deny that he has critics ... wanting him dead. When I do, I will condemn it. On the contrary, given the fact that his predecessor abdicated, I think some of his critics are rather thankful that this makes it possible for them to hope for an end to this pontificate without thereby hoping for PF's death. Personally, knowing within myself what it is like to be aged and ill, I pray that he may be given respite from the pains and anxieties of being old.
Perhaps the Holy Father is confused by memories of the time around his own election. Readers will remember that some very unsavoury emails were published, showing the then Tablet Correspondent, Bobby Mickens, and one of his chums, delightedly relishing the prospect of what they termed "the Rat's Funeral".
Even Mickens appears to have forgotten this episode. In supplying journalists with statesmanlike quotations about people who, he claims, are planning for After This Pontificate, Bobby fails to explain the circumstances which led to his own sacking from the Tablet for his unprofessional nastiness with regard to Benedict XVI.
An account of it would have contextualised the present reports, surely?
But enough of this sad business. Here is something much jollier from within our own Anglican Patrimony.
There is an anecdote concerning an Anglican priest who, during the last century, prayed publicly that the Almighty would grant the greatest privilege of His grace, the blessed Crown of Martyrdom, to the (then) Archbishop of Canterbury.
Can anybody put any details onto this story? It may be from around the time when Geoffrey Fisher was persecuting the Tridentine Rite.
Anything to call attention to himself and divert it away from his abusive actions while making his critics look mean, even murderous. What a Shakespearean actor---would make a magnificent Iago!
I heard a similar anecdote of a Catholic priest in England, who, after being commanded by his bishop to make use of the new intercessions at mass, prayed for his bishops speedy arrival in Heaven.
A religious - an orthodox but not traddy one - said to me ‘He is a terrible Pope and we can only pray he dies soon.’ Other clerics have insinuated similarly to me. I think this is an okay hope, although given how the Holy Ghost is so susceptible to lobbying from progressive German and American bishops (Who knew!?), we may well get an even more good ole’ patronising, ‘Bigger than Jesus’ autocrat after him.
As the expression goes: better to deal with the demon you cn see than the one off somewhere in the trenches. Verbum sapientiae sat!
May he soon receive his eternal reward, is how i put it. It is not wrong to pray Heaven to be freed from the misrule of a cruel tyrant, and persecution by a manifest apostate.
I pray for his reign to come to a swift end. How God, in His infinite wisdom, chooses to answer that prayer is His business.
Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.
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