“The last temptation is the greatest treason:
To do the right deed for the wrong reason.”
( “Murder in the Cathedral”, T. S. Eliot)
In the eleventh century, Saint Peter Damien wrote that, “The popes had politicized the papacy by appropriating its spiritual functions for secular ends.”
In the twentieth century, Father Malachi Martin wrote the following about recent popes, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II,
“Marking the pontificates of each of those men was one fatal error, the use of their spiritual office to obtain leverage in the political, and diplomatic, and civic, and cultural worlds; and then using that leverage instead of the spiritual power and moral authority that was uniquely theirs.”
“And here, Your Eminences, we are at the root cause of our pain, our struggle, and our own deathly peril: our failure and the failure of our popes, to use the Church’s spiritual power to exercise its moral authority.”
This error that Father Malachi Martin and St. Peter Damien refers to, that is, politicizing the papacy by appropriating its spiritual functions for secular ends has been evident in virtually every single act of the current papacy. Its corollary is evident not only in the pope and hierarchy but throughout almost the entirety of the responses of the laity. I refer to the indifference to using the Church’s spiritual power to exercise its moral authority.
Bishops’ Remarks Bring Hope?