Francis: “A Notorious Troublemaker”

Francis: “A Notorious Troublemaker”

They’re an experienced team, the three of them. The driver has barely stopped, and already the security guard has grabbed a child from the crowd on the left and is holding it up for the pope. The pontiff bends over, kisses the child — and then it’s over.  PopeFrancisseriousface

The whole thing takes mere seconds and repeats itself several times during the pope’s Wednesday lap of honor before the general audience on St. Peter’s Square starts. If there are any larger groups he can see — Boy Scouts, for example, or wheelchair-users — then Christ’s representative on Earth briefly taps the Popemobile-driver on the shoulder to get him to stop.

When observed from up close, Pope Francis comes across as a stately man. The white cassocks strain at his midsection, his pronounced chin is elongated and his eyes look searchingly into those of the people surrounding him. Compared to his predecessor, the almost otherworldly smiling Benedict XVI, the Argentinian comes across as downright earthly. As though there were no distance at all.

He hugs and he pats. He kisses small children and cardinals. He does it without warning and enthusiastically. It’s almost as if he’s using bodily contact to console himself for the burden of his position. He is the highest-ranking person of faith and a role model for the 1.3 billion Catholics around the world.

When Pope Francis, otherwise known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, entered St. Peter’s Basilica at 10 a.m. on Pentecost Sunday for the Holy Mass, he had been in office for 797 days. Seven-hundred-ninety-seven days in which he has divided the Catholic rank-and-file into admirers and critics. At time during which more and more people have begun to wonder if he can live up to what he seems to have promised: renewal, reform and a more contemporary Catholic Church.

Francis has had showers for homeless people erected near St. Peter’s Square, but has at the same time also spent millions on international consultants. He brought the Vatican Bank’s finances into order, but created confusion in the Curia. He has negotiated between Cuba and the United States, but also scared the Israelis by calling Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas an “angel of peace.”

This pope is much more enigmatic than his predecessor — and that is becoming a problem. Right up to this day, many people have been trying to determine Francis’ true intentions. If you ask cardinals and bishops, or the pope’s advisors and colleagues, or veteran Vatican observers about his possible strategy these days — the Pope’s overarching plan — they seem to agree on one point: The man who sits on the Chair of St. Peter is a notorious troublemaker.

Like a billiard player who nudges the balls and calmly studies the collisions during training, Francis is getting things rolling in the Vatican. His interest in experimentation may stem from his past as a chemical engineer. He makes decisions like Jesuit leaders — after thorough consultation, but ultimately on his own.

The Francis principle has a workshop character to it, with processes more important than positions. Traditional Catholics see things exactly the other way around from Bergoglio, the Jesuit, and this is creating confusion right up to the highest circles of the Vatican. People want to know where the pope is heading.  Source – where you can  read the Spiegel article in full.


According to the above extract from a Spiegel article, Pope Francis “has divided the Catholic rank-and-file into admirers and critics.”   True. Very true.

And what about “the man who sits on the Chair of Peter is a notorious troublemaker” … Worrying stuff – or perhaps not: it is possible, after all, to be regarded as a “troublemaker” when one is no such thing (believe me) but the real question for this thread is the closing remark at the end of the above extract: where IS Pope Francis heading? Does anybody know his “true intentions” for the Church?

Comments (51)

  • Benedict Carter

    Seems to me that there are only two possibilities:

    Either he will see his Pontificate, post October Synod Against the Family, peter out into thwarted and useless defeat, or he will be declared an anti-Pope by some of the Cardinals who still believe in most (if not all) of the Catholic Faith.

    June 3, 2015 at 10:15 am
  • Helen

    Benedict, what do you mean by an “anti-pope?

    June 3, 2015 at 10:38 am
  • bencjcarter

    An anti-Pope is one who is later declared to not have been Pope at all (several from the time of the 15th Century disaster when there were three or four Popes at the same time; lots of other examples in Church history).

    This may possibly one day apply to Pope Francis, given the probability of the FIFA-like liberal-progressive lobbying on his behalf in opposition to Conclave rules which declare those involved in such lobbying as excommunicates – and no excommunicate can hold any canonical office.

    The second possibility for Francis is that – and this would be unique I think – that he is deposed for heresy by — well, that’s the point, isn’t it? Who can depose a Pope? Not simply Cardinal Burke plus a few others. It would need to be by a General Council. But who can call a General Council? Only a Pope.

    One can only hope the Holy Ghost steps in and declares an end to Papa Imbroglio’s innings at the very moment when the state of his soul is such that he will save it by dying at that moment. Preferably before the Synod Against the Family.

    June 3, 2015 at 11:12 am
    • Fidelis


      That’s a great explanation and very clear. Thanks for that and your concluding paragraph is a very charitable and legitimate wish because it is in the interests of both the pope himself and the church. I agree with you.

      June 3, 2015 at 11:35 am
  • gabriel syme

    That Francis is still an engima more than 2 years into his Papacy is certainly indicative of an issue; be it a simple lack of direction or perhaps more than this. The Spiegel article can only ask if he can live up to what he *seems* to have promised. Previous comments from +++Mueller hinted at a lack of structure to his Papacy.

    Increasingly, I think the issue is……Francis doesnt know himself what he is doing, or what he wishes to achieve. I may be wrong, but rather than some machievellian schemer, who has been watching and waiting, I wonder if we are seeing more of a frozen “rabbit in the head-lights”.

    Like all elderly Churchmen of today, Francis’ career has largely been in the zany carnival times following Vatican II; it must be startling to him to see the return of the old liturgy and traditional practices, even moreso given that it is popular with youth and is one of the few (only?) areas where the Church is blossoming again.

    This must trouble him, it must be difficult for him to understand (we have previously heard him dismiss the trend as “fashion”). I think his V2 instincts are to plough on with the beach balls and puppets, yet his eyes and ears are telling him a different story. Hence, the apparent inaction – born of confusion?

    I dont think that Francis has divided Catholics as such; if nothing else his waffle is often so impenetrable that it is difficult to even form a view of him. In my opinion the fundamental division in the Church is not that of pro- and anti-Francis camps, but rather of sincere Catholicism and superficial Catholicism.

    The latter category by now encompasses the majority of Catholics in the West. Their understanding of the Pope (any Pope) is informed principally / solely by the secular media; they would be happy with Donald Duck on the throne of Peter, just as long as he wore white robes and was seen to kiss babies.

    The superficial Catholics like Francis because (i) he doesnt challenge them and (ii) he is popular with the world (and so they are not attacked for their faith – rather, identity – like they were during Benedicts time). Their faith is neatly and peacefully compartmentalised into one hour of a Sunday and thats the way they like it.

    The sincere Catholics are concerned by Francis because the Church appears rudderless under his charge and dissenters run wild to the extent shown by the embarrassing conduct of the family synod. (I dont think that dissenters are as strong as they sometimes appear, rather I think they are often made to seem strong by a lack of worthwhile opposition. They certainly do not meet opposition from within superficial Catholicism.)

    I wonder if this Pontificate will not just trundle along and ultimately fizzle out without the fireworks many expected. I was very concerned before the 2014 synod, but I feel more confident about this years (though not complacent). Its almost amusing to see the dissenters efforts at secret meetings and gerrymandering etc being routinely reported openly in the worthwhile Catholic media. At times I feel like an adult smiling at the transparent antics of a belligerent child.

    John XXIII was expected to be ‘just’ an interm Pope, but he in fact caused major upheavals. I wonder if Francis, widely expected to cause more upheavals, will not turn out to be ‘just’ an interm Pope, remembered chiefly for his cheerful demeanour and often erroneous comments.

    June 3, 2015 at 11:12 am
    • Fidelis

      Gabriel Syme,

      “In my opinion the fundamental division in the Church is not that of pro- and anti-Francis camps, but rather of sincere Catholicism and superficial Catholicism.”

      I think you are totally correct, that is a very good description of the real divide in the church today.

      I enjoyed your whole post, it makes very insightful reading. Thank you for educating me!

      June 3, 2015 at 11:36 am
      • gabriel syme

        Thanks for the kind words Fidelis – you flatter me!

        The post was just some things I think may be going on in the background – maybe they are misjudged, or maybe others will disagree – time will tell, I guess!

        June 3, 2015 at 4:11 pm
  • gabriel syme

    I meant to say, I had not realised Pope Francis had a career as a Chemical Engineer before becoming a cleric!

    Thats what I do for a living!

    I wonder who, by comparison, would have been the better Engineer and also Pope? haha! 😉

    (former supermodel, Cindy Crawford, was also studying to become a Chemical Engineer, before becoming a model – its amazing to think of the colleagues I might have had!).

    June 3, 2015 at 4:14 pm
    • Christina

      My granddaughter might be one of them – she’s a chemical engineer as well!!

      June 3, 2015 at 11:38 pm
  • editor

    Gabriel Syme,

    I’m adding “resident comic” to your job description, which takes you about four notches up the pay scale! Great posts from you on this thread so far. And you, a Chemical Engineer? Who’d have thought it – I presumed you were a genius professor teaching theology and Church history at some university or other – like Glasgow!

    Well, folks, guess who thinks it was a good (if not great) day in Ireland on 22nd May? Click here to read more and say to yourself, “truly, you couldn’t make this stuff up…”

    June 3, 2015 at 4:59 pm
    • Josephine

      I couldn’t believe what I was reading out of Cardinal Kasper’s mouth on that Lifesitenews report. I’ve copied this extract:

      “None other than the leading cardinal who has promoted the liberal agenda for the two-part Synod of Bishops on the Family, Cardinal Walter Kasper, has now come out publicly and with force, telling the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that the Church needs to address more fully the question of same-sex couples. This topic was at the last Synod “only a marginal topic, but now it becomes central,” Kasper said on Wednesday.

      Kasper also defended the vote of the Irish in favor of homosexual “marriages,” saying: “A democratic state has the duty to respect the will of the people; and it seems clear that, if the majority of the people wants such homosexual unions, the state has a duty to recognize such rights.” He also said that the Irish referendum is “emblematic for the situation in which we find ourselves, not only in Europe, but in the whole West.” Kasper also said: “The postmodern concept – following which everything is equal – stands in contrast to the doctrine of the Church.”

      I can’t make up my mind – is he pulling Pope Francis’s strings or is Pope Francis pulling his? No wonder that Spiegel report said Pope Francis is a “notorious troublemaker”. One of them definitely is.

      June 3, 2015 at 5:52 pm
  • crofterlady

    Maybe both of them are.

    June 3, 2015 at 7:54 pm
  • Margaret Mary


    I agree with you, it’s both of them.

    I found this on the Remnant website, showing Bishop Fellay’s response to Pope Francis’s “mercy”

    The Remnant make a dig at the resistance people, ex-SSPX supporters who think Bishop Fellay is a Modernist – LOL!

    June 3, 2015 at 9:36 pm
    • editor


      We try to give no publicity whatsoever to the so-called “resistance” mob.

      However, that’s a very good link – makes clear how very wrong the “resistance to nothing” mob actually is, so no pay deducted this time !

      June 3, 2015 at 11:49 pm
  • Nicky

    I wasn’t sure whether to post this on the General Discussion thread or here, as it is really about the Irish referendum, but I think it speaks to the “Francis effect” in the Church, so decided to post it here. An Irish bishop all talk about the need to use inoffensive language, that’s the main thing, he seems to be saying.

    June 4, 2015 at 11:58 am
    • Fidelis

      Archbishop Martin should be ashamed of himself, as if the apostles watched what they said when they were spreading the faith in the first century. They were fearless and would be ashamed of these weak Irish bishops today. They talk about politicians putting presentation over substance. It’s disgraceful to see bishops doing the same thing.

      June 4, 2015 at 3:58 pm
  • editor


    I’ve now posted that report about Archbishop Eamon Martin on our website, with link to this thread. Unbelievable that he, like the rest of them is so blind. Incredible. If only these bishops would pay a visit to some of the “gay” websites and see the crudity of language (and images) there, they wouldn’t, one fondly hopes, give a TOSS about how we “get the message across”.

    June 4, 2015 at 2:39 pm
    • Irish Eyes

      Thank God for leaders like Pope Francis and Archbishop Martin. The Church is in safe hands.

      June 4, 2015 at 7:47 pm
      • editor

        Irish Eyes,

        I’m not quite sure whether it’s a case of sarcasm being the lowest – if most delightful – form of wit or you, at last, stopping all pretence of orthodoxy and showing your true (rainbow?) colours?

        You pays your money and you takes your pick, folks!

        June 4, 2015 at 9:50 pm
      • Irish Eyes

        I believe we are fortunate to have those two leaders. God has truly blessed The Church.

        June 5, 2015 at 6:32 pm
      • editor

        Since you don’t give any reasons for your conclusion, there’s not much any of us can say. Not really much at all.

        June 5, 2015 at 7:04 pm
      • westminsterfly

        ‘Irish Eyes’

        Hi Common Sense, how ya doin’! Long time, no hear from! Still trolling, I see!

        June 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm
      • Nicky


        I think you’re onto something there – took me a minute or two but I’ve got the message, LOL!

        June 5, 2015 at 11:43 pm
      • Nicky

        I’d say that’s close to blasphemy. I can’t believe God is blessing his Church by giving us a pope and bishops who are encouraging homosexual unions. How can that be? It would mean he’s not been blessing his Church for 2,000 years.

        June 5, 2015 at 11:40 pm
      • Irish Eyes

        God has given us the reason!

        June 6, 2015 at 7:37 pm
      • Jobstears

        And what could that reason be, Irish Eyes? That God changed His Mind?

        June 7, 2015 at 1:03 pm
  • Fidelis

    This is an interesting take on Pope Francis’ approach, and a very interesting defence of the new attitude to the world – notably on what is called “the drama of abortion”

    I can see a lot of people thinking “he has a point” but I still think the scandal caused is terrible.

    June 4, 2015 at 3:56 pm
    • Andrew Paterson

      I wonder about some of these reports. If the statements reported were originally in English then the speaker, Cardianl Sorondo, is presumably not a native speaker. The word “drama” does not make much sense here, perhaps “scenario” makes more sense.
      Theologians seem to forget that they cannot now add much except confusion, amd that they might be better keeping mum, in public anyway.
      The bishops are another matter. They are leaders of an orthodox Church. they should get out there and lead. If they scandalise the MSM, and the public in general then there is a good chance that they are doing the right thing. I’ll accept that we have strong, devout, and sensible Catholic bishops when they have all been put in jail. We live in a country where openly speaking up against the things that we were brought up to consider evil is now illegal.

      June 7, 2015 at 12:22 pm
  • editor

    I meant to post this first thing this morning to mark the Feast of Corpus Christi but it’s been one of those days. Better late than never, I’m posting it on this thread as a prayer for Pope Francis.

    A beautiful rendering of Panis Angelicus – enjoy!

    June 4, 2015 at 9:49 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      I do love Panis Angelicus and Andrea Bocelli sings it beautifully. That was a very fitting tribute to the Blessed Sacrament for the Feast of Corpus Christo.

      June 5, 2015 at 3:36 pm
      • bededog

        I absolutely agree. It is beautiful.

        June 7, 2015 at 10:24 pm
  • editor

    Seems Pope Francis may NOT be a Kasper fan after all. Read this

    Or am I missing something?

    June 5, 2015 at 12:08 am
    • gabriel syme

      I was encouraged when I saw that Editor – good news.

      Methinks Kaspar has started work to mitigate the loss of face he (and Cardinal Marx & co) will suffer when they do not get their way at the family synod, after so much hot air and all the bold predictions and belligerent statements.

      June 5, 2015 at 8:48 am
      • Margaret Mary

        But I am sure Father Clovis more or less said in his talk to the pro-lifers which was on this blog, that something would change at the synod. I personally think it will, not that they can announce a change in Church teaching but that there will be some talk of “mercy” in giving the Sacraments to people in second or third marriages and also same sex couples.

        June 5, 2015 at 3:34 pm
      • Nicky


        I’m not sure what Kasper is up to but I think he’s determined to get change re. the sacraments to same-sex couples and the remarried. Maybe he has been told to say that he shouldn’t have spoken for the pope. That could be it, damage limitation for the pope but I don’t think he’s changing his mind after all the years he’s spent pushing this agenda.

        June 5, 2015 at 11:42 pm
    • crofterlady

      Editor, yep. I could have told you years ago about the “missing” bit…….

      June 5, 2015 at 2:55 pm
      • Margaret Mary


        I don’t understand – what could you have told about the “missing” bit? Sorry if I’m being thick, but I don’t understand what you mean.

        June 5, 2015 at 3:34 pm
      • crofterlady

        MM, I’m just having a fun at the editor’s expense. She asks above in her post of 12.08am “Or am I missing something?” I’m implying that yes, she is, because she is missing a screw or some other part.

        June 5, 2015 at 4:36 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        LOL! I’d run for the hills, if I was you!

        June 5, 2015 at 4:42 pm
    • Irish Eyes

      You have misread The Pope, and not the article.

      June 6, 2015 at 7:40 pm
      • Nicky

        But the Pope praised Kasper to the skies and promoted his book. I think, the more I think about it, that Kasper has been told to distance himself, not to let people know that the pope really is in favour of his suggestions because the pope, I read, has been taken aback by the opposition. We’ll soon find out in October, anyway.

        June 6, 2015 at 8:39 pm
  • editor

    Here’s Father Lorans from Dici (official online publication of the SSPX) saying it, as he tends to do, in the proverbial nutshell…

    Cardinal Kasper’s brew

    In the May 27 issue of the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the line-up of progressive prelates who are militantly in favor of admitting divorced-and-remarried persons to communion, said concerning same-sex couples: “If there is a stable union, then no doubt there are elements of good and we must recognize them.”
    Earlier, in an interview on September 18, 2014, the same Cardinal asked whether it would not be possible to consider that elements of the sacrament of marriage are found in a merely civil marriage. According to him, “the definitive commitment, the mutual love and care, the Christian life, the public commitment” that unite some civilly married couples, could be considered as elements of sacramental marriage.

    Deep down, Cardinal Kasper is a great researcher. With a microscope, he looks for sacramental particles in civil marriage, and now for traces of good in an unnatural union. Soon he will end up finding that in a brew of mint tea laced with arsenic “there are no doubt elements of good and we must recognize them,” such as the herbal properties that aid digestion…, not to mention the exquisite aroma and minty-fresh taste that it gives to the arsenic.
    In April, upon hearing the announcement of the Holy Year of Mercy, the 82-year-old German prelate declared that it was “a genial and prophetic response to the signs of the times”, explaining: “The Church must become a house open to all.” Open to the repentant sinner or to sin that is taken for granted and claimed as a right? On the one hand we have the remedy of the grace brought by the Savior; on the other—a counterfeit and terribly toxic mercy.

    Father Alain Lorans

    June 5, 2015 at 11:22 am
    • Fidelis

      That’s a great statement from Fr Lorans. As usual, he is a good combination of sarcasm and knowledge. “Deep down, Cardinal Kasper is a great researcher” made me LOL!

      June 6, 2015 at 12:24 pm
  • Benedict Carter

    Well folks, as for me, I am merely a bean counter, a Promethean purveyor of fashion trends that no longer give life …… .

    I am sorry to report that I do not think that the ” … most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old”.

    I am so hard-hearted that I cannot agree that I cannot try to convert you because “Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us ..”.

    I don’t even agree with the thought that “Heads of the Church have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers. The court is the leprosy of the papacy.”

    What a horrible, nasty individual I am! I just cannot, however hard I try, come to the view that “”Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.”

    Ooops, I appear to have vomited everywhere. Pity it wasn’t over the odious German Cardinals.

    June 5, 2015 at 5:48 pm
  • Christina

    Benedict Carter. Priceless!!!!😁😁😁😁

    June 6, 2015 at 12:25 am
  • escriva josemaria

    St francis assisi was right about his prophesy , he said a man not canonical elected would be elected as a papal of rome and he would bear my name francis , by that time God would not send a true pastor but a destroyer

    June 8, 2015 at 8:40 am
    • editor


      The alleged prophesy of St Francis of Assisi has no weight of authority and it is – if you don’t mind me saying so – both a big mistake and a waste of time to focus on such alleged prophecies. Allow me to clarify… It’s a waste of time BECAUSE it’s a big mistake to focus on alleged prophecies that do not have the approval of the Church, and it is a big mistake BECAUSE it is a waste of time to focus on alleged prophecies that do not have the approval of the Church. Simple, really 😀

      Stick with the approved apparitions, Quito, Fatima, Akita, which give us all the information and fore-warning that we need to deal appropriately with this crisis.

      June 8, 2015 at 2:08 pm
      • Helen

        Well Editor, Escriva must have some evidence as to the verity of the prophecy or surely he would not have posted it!?

        June 8, 2015 at 4:51 pm
      • Lily


        I think it’s one of those things that are quoted everywhere and just taken as true. Nobody ever posts a source we can check, do they? Not that I can remember, anyway.

        June 8, 2015 at 5:32 pm
  • crofterlady

    Even the Press have twigged!

    June 8, 2015 at 4:55 pm
  • bencjcarter


    I completely concur with your remarks re apparitions. I’be been guilty myself of using a prophecy of St. Nilus known to have been false several hundred years ago. I was of course mortified when this was pointed out to me.

    In the same way, a Traditionalist acquaintance started sending me endless quotations from unknown Italian nuns, most living in the 19th century, who, he claimed, had said this or that, but upon being asked the source, either it wasn’t forthcoming or it was from a hagiographical work written well after the event whose provenance itself in most cases appeared to be very obscure. In the end, I upset him badly by telling him to stop emailing me all of it. Most of them are vague rants anyway, without any detail. The three days and nights of darkness is one subject on which many of these worthies disclaimed at length, some of them contradicting each other it seemed to me.

    Yet others, Terese Neumann for instance, and other fellow stigmatics and mystics, do have something very serious to tell us; and not all of these have been approved as such. I wouldn;t discount anything Padre Pio said for instance, and some of his words are hair-raising, though unapproved.

    June 8, 2015 at 10:17 pm

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