Papolatry isn't a new word. It has a formal definition; see the Oxford Dictionary. The definition is "excessive reverence for the pope". Our Lord promised one thing regarding the pope: that he would never solemnly proclaim error, that is, anything that contradicts the Deposit of Faith. That's it. As we all know, such a solemn proclamation must meet a stringent set of conditions. The pope has free will. Apart from such solemn declarations, he can wreak all kinds of havoc if he is so inclined. A number of examples can be found in Church history.
This blog, and others, have been shining the light on various errors being promulgated by the Vatican and yes, by Pope Francis. Others in high places share our concerns: hence the issuance of the dubia. We have been pilloried and criticized for so doing; that reaction is certainly not unexpected. Now some in the Vatican are enraged because they know the light is shining on their schemes, threatening their outcome. The preceding post gives us a glimpse into the halls of the Vatican.
Others, though, particularly among faithful Catholics in the pews, are likewise outraged that their illusions of the papacy are being challenged. Many hold to a dangerously simplistic concept of the papacy, believing that every utterance and deed of the sitting pope is beyond question. They too rail against us, accusing us of "pope-bashing" and "causing division". On Friday, I posted Cardinal Burke's latest interview where he answered that criticism as it was leveled at him and the other authors of the dubia.
I believe these Catholics, holding that the pope cannot be questioned, are falling into the error of papolatry. That itself is its own sin, as the one guilty of it ascribes to the pope authority and power that never was granted to him by Jesus Christ and His Church. Only Jesus (and His Mother) can be held to be completely free of error. Not even the sainted popes were completely free of error. Recall that the now-sainted John Paul II kissed a Koran. Of course we read in Galatians how the first pope himself fell into such a grievous error that Paul had to publicly rebuke him.
A year or two ago, social media was full of these papolatrous individuals. Their numbers have dropped as the accounts of this pope's verbal gafffes and misdeeds increase at an alarming rate. I think many of them find that they cannot deny the incontrovertible truth that slaps us all in the face continually.
To those who persist, I beg you to wake up and remove the blinders from your eyes. For all your accusations of us regarding "pope bashing" or even "not being true Catholics", I fear it is you who are falling into papolatry, a sin against the First Commandment. You are placing yourselves in grave dangers; one of these dangers is that of being seriously disilusioned to the point of despair when the evidence becomes too great for even you to ignore. Yes, the gates of hell will not prevail against His Church, but all must know and acknowledge where the problems are within the Church lest they become part of the problem. Some of you papolaters are already part of the problem. For your good and that of the Church, please cease and desist.
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