After recent controversial opinions on divorce and gay people, the authority of Pope Francis was already shaky.
But now his most contentious radical liberal intervention yet has shaken the Catholic Church to the very core.
Even the most hard-nosed dogmatists were prepared to tolerate his recent comments on ‘Who Am I to Judge?’
But if overturning millennia of infallible Church dogma on some of the most sacred core foundations of Christian ethics has been just about tolerable up to now, his most recent and most unspeakably ludicrous sacred and binding edict (on masturbation) is just unbelievable.
Here is one choice cut from his recent highly turbulent airplane interview.
Half tipsy from his mile-high glass of Pedro Ximenez, Francis murmured:
You know, I know a young and a very pious man from the Argentina so many decades ago…
This young man loved the life of virtue very much, but he had but one damning flaw. He enjoyed the masturbation; and sometimes, his corrupt company, instead of pulling him forward, they merely stood by and laughed, and approved of his corruption also.
Here we see the frailty of nature and of our human measure, and the extraordinary gasps of longing to which one is put; the pressure, you see, you can clearly imagine it now, it is very strong.
And this poor boy, a handsome youth of 20, he is wandering from chapel to chapel, priest to priest, begging for a man of God to relieve him of this terrible burden, and to refresh him of this horrible pressure and weight of stagnation, that is welling up inside of him.
But did they release him of his pain? Did they stretch out one loving hand to relieve him of his heavy load?
No! They said, ‘No, we will not have you here, in this chapel, here and now!’ So now, you can picture the problem?
Alas! How cruel such people are, to deprive their most precious and beautiful young men of the care and the affectionate tenderness and love, required for a true growth, and a manly maturity!
They ought to use their wisdom and experience with these nice young lads, so that they who are 20, and they who are 50, they can, as it were, as you say, they can ‘pull together,’ in one manner or another?
How sad it is to see the anguish and the agony of such men; and worst of all, the unbearable frustration. If I saw such a man now, I should hope I am the first man to show him the loving care and affection of which he has been so cruelly and selfishly deprived, for so long.
Ah me! They call masturbation a ‘mortal sin,’ but who is to say what is a mortal sin, and what is mere opinion, or doxa?
Alas! The folly! And yet, our Church is a very broad one.
And without a broader, you know, I mean, a wider stance on the issue of masturbation, we risk driving out many strapping young lads, when we should be drawing them in, instead. Into our firm embrace, so that there will be more judging, and no more blame.
There should be far more generosity and giving, if perhaps not so much an excessive stuck-upness, among our priests.
Yes? Should we not all give it a try, one by one?
It seems that many Catholics, however, are simply running for the hills.