Is Pope Francis a disciple of Jesus, or of Commissioner Reagan?

Gene Veith is worried that the Roman Catholic church is going the way of liberal Protestantism- that is, falling into the trap of meek, shallow acquiescence to the values of the world instead of discipleship and the bold proclamation of the Word- because of the weasel-words which seem to be coming out of the Vatican Conference on the Family regarding homosexuality and other matters.

Maybe. But the universalist heresy has been rampant in even relatively conservative Catholic circles for some time. The Church of Rome needs badly to reflect on the reasons why there is no St. Origen. Rahner's nonsense about "anonymous Christians" has been kicking around unsuppressed for quite a while. The present Pope's approach to the struggle for the soul of Western culture- either verbally inept or simply a massive wimping out, depending on how pessimistic one is about where his pontificate and the Roman church is going- is really only an outgrowth of a phenomenon which has been going on among Catholics for some time.

Last week the Tom Selleck character on "Blue Bloods-" the New York police commissioner- impulsively criticized the Catholic church's position on homosexuality (Commissioner Reagan, Selleck's character, is a Catholic). While admitting that he shouldn't have done so, he wouldn't retract lest he be heard as recanting his opposition to a position which- whether we like it or not- is a matter of divine revelation, reflected in every stratum of both Testaments.

It's something that cannot change without the Catholic church- and the Church catholic- admitting that it's been a fraud all along, and its teachings simply mutable and purely human philosophical reflections. Yet Commissioner Reagan- like most journalists who have covered the wimpish formulations of the Vatican Conference- seems to regard the prospect of the Christian Church doing precisely that as not only possible, but desirable.

That nominal Christians who take the fictitious Commissioner Reagan's position are somewhat less thoughtful- and a great deal less informed on the issue- than they might be seems to me to be rather obvious. And that in itself is an indictment of the Church, whether one's ecclesiology is Roman or Protestant.

It says with an eloquence which brooks no misunderstanding that the Church is so far into the process of wimping out when it comes to insisting on the basics of its teachings and the nature of divine revelation that only an ecclesiological earthquake of the dimensions of the Reformation can save it.

Veni, Spiritus Creator.