English Bishop, Rev Crispian Hollis, in a recent statement, says Pope Francis is being attacked like Jesus Christ.
while contributing to a series of discussions for the parish of St Osmund’s in Barnes last night, Thursday 4th October said the Pope is receiving attacks from modern day “scribes and Pharises”, just like Jesus Christ.
“But opposition to Francis is not so much coming from outside the Church – on the whole, he receives enormous acclaim and welcoming approval from the laity within the Church, and from the clergy and laity of other denominations and none, and indeed from the secular world. His style, his teaching and his pastoral outreach have been widely welcomed and admired. But the current opposition to what he stands for seems to be coming from those closest to him in the Roman Curia and certain bishops and clergy world-wide, he said.
He However, tries to understand why the Pope is being attacked,
“I think it’s because he is proclaiming the Gospel – the good news of Jesus. When Jesus himself did this – and he spent his time going about doing good – opposition came from the Scribes and Pharisees. They thought he was undermining their precious vision of the Law and subverting their power over the ordinary folk.
I dare to say that the Scribes and Pharisees are alive and well today and they’re often to be found in the Vatican, in bishops’ palaces and in presbyteries. Francis is threatening a legalistic vision of the Church, which is over dominated by clericalism and the elitism which can come from that. He may even – perish the thought – be daring to attempt to implement the vision and teaching of the Second Vatican Council.
“Among Francis’ critics are those who are wedded to the letter of the law, whereas Francis himself seems to be living and speaking in the Spirit. St Paul says of himself that ‘God gave us courage to proclaim his good news to you in the face of great opposition’ and this, I believe, is what Francis is doing for us today and he deserves our undying loyalty and support.
He delivered a similar message of support for Pope Francis in a recent homily for the annual Mass for Papal Knights in Portsmouth, where he was the main celebrant.
He said there was no doubt that Pope Francis is trying to reform the Church. But this doesn’t mean imposing ideas and structures from on high on to a passive people. “He wants us all to be ready to try, through accompaniment and discernment, to discover God’s loving hand at work in everyone and in everything.”
In his preaching and teaching, to which some take exception because it seems to threaten their power base and their love of the Law, Francis speaks powerfully and persuasively of the overwhelming love and mercy of God, said Bishop Hollis. “He speaks with courage and with joy and not without humour, as our Bishops discovered when they met with him last week during their Ad Limina visit.”