Yesterday I told a reader in Uzbekistan -- no kidding -- that, now that the conclave is over, I probably wouldn't be writing too much about the affairs of the Church, unless the Holy Father drops some kind of bombshell on us. Such as a return to Traditional Catholicism.
Not much chance of that. I note with dismay that Pope Francis is to be "installed", not consecrated or crowned as tradition demands. Nor could he be anything other than "installed", since he, like Benedict XVI, was never consecrated as a bishop, merely "installed" according to the Protestant-style "New Ordinal" of 1969.
I note with even more dismay that, for the new Pope's first Mass, the Protestant picnic table was returned to its place of dishonour in the Sistine Chapel, concealing the beauty of Michelangelo's inspired art. And the message of his "homily" was hardly even Christian. What Francis told the Cardinals was that the Church should not -- repeat, not -- try to impose its message on a modern society that doesn't want to hear it. The Church needs to be "one with the people". In other words, the Faith should be made to conform to popular sentiment, rather than ask the faithful to conform to the Truth revealed by God.
So... going by first impressions, I'd say the outlook for a revival of the Faith of our Fathers is pretty gloomy. But we can hope. And we can pray! Good Catholics in the Toronto area -- and let's not forget Buffalo! -- are encouraged to attend a Fatima Rosary Rally, sponsored by the Fatima Center, to be held at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre on Saturday, April 20th, beginning at 12:30 p.m.
The Miraculous Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima -- blessed by Pope Paul VI -- will be present. Father Nicholas Gruner, "the Fatima Priest", will speak, as will Walt's old friend John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News.
You will have an opportunity to be enrolled -- with your family members if you wish -- in the Brown Scapular, Our Lady's protection in these dangerous times. Sacramentals and literature on the Message of Fatima will be available. Admission is free, and the benefits and graces to be obtained many.
For more information or directions to the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre, call the Fatima Center, toll-free, 1-800-845-3047. Tell them you read about the rally in Walt Whiteman's World!