Tuesday, May 13, 2014

An Open Letter to Pope Francis

Translated from http://lacomunidad.elpais.com/lplanas/2013/9/26/perplejidad-carta-al-papa-francisco

Huixquilucan, Mexico, on September 23, 2013
Dearest Papa Francesco, I am so pleased to have the opportunity to greet you. Surely you will not remember me, seeing so many new people every day must be hard to remember everyone, even those with whom you talked and lived during the long course of your life.

Over the past 12 years, you and I, many times have found ourselves in several meetings, church meetings and conferences that took place in the cities of Central and South America on various topics (communication, catechesis, education). During these pastoral meetings I had the opportunity to live with you for so many days, sleeping under the same roof, sharing the same table and also the same desk. Then you were the Archbishop of Buenos Aires and I was the director of a leading Catholic media.

Now you are the Holy Father and I ... only a mother, a Christian, married to a good husband and nine children, who teaches mathematics at the University and seeks to cooperate as best as I can with the Church, the place where God has put it.

In these meetings several years ago, I remember more than one brought you to me and said: - "Girl, tell Jorge Mario, we're friends", I replied, startled: "Absolutely not, Mr. Cardinal! God forbid you from giving of one of his princes on earth. "

Now, however, I beg to call you, because you are no longer the card. Bergoglio, but the Pope, my Pope, the sweet Christ on earth, to which I have the confidence to address as my father.

I decided to write to you because I suffer and I need you to comfort me. I'll explain what is happening to me, trying to be as short as possible. I know you like to comfort those who suffer, and now I'm one of them.

When I first met you during these retreats, when you were still Cardinal Bergoglio, I was struck and puzzled that you never acted like the other cardinals and bishops. To give some examples: you were the only one there that did not genuflect before the tabernacle or during the Consecration, if all the bishops presented themselves with their cassocks and their clerical garb, because that was required by the necessary rules for the meeting, you will presented yourself in suit and clerical collar. If all of you were sitting on the seats reserved for the bishops and cardinals, you left empty the place of Cardinal Bergoglio and you sat in back, saying "I'm fine here, so I feel more at ease."If others came with a vehicle that corresponds to the dignity of a bishop, you had arrived after the others, busy and in a hurry, telling aloud your encounters in public transport in order to come to the meeting. Seeing these things - I am ashamed in telling this - I said to myself: - "Phew ... who wants to attract attention! Because, if you want to be truly humble and simple, is it not better to behave like the other bishops to go unnoticed? ". Even some of my Argentine friends who attended these meetings, somehow noticed my confusion, and I said - "No, you're not the only one. We all were always puzzled, but we know that clear criteria, and in speeches show convictions and certainties always faithful to the Magisterium and the Tradition of the Church, it is a brave loyal defender of right doctrine ... Apparently, however, loves to be loved by all and please everyone. In this sense could one day make a speech on TV against abortion and the next day, in the same TV show, bless the pro-abortion feminists in the Plaza de Mayo, could make a wonderful speech against masons and, hours later, eat and drink with them at the Club Rotary Club. "

My dear Papa Francesco, it is true, this was the card. Bergoglio I knew closely. One day, intent on chatting animatedly with Bishop Duarte Aguer in the defense of life and of the liturgy and the same day, at dinner, chatting animatedly with always Ysern Bishop and Bishop Rosa Chavez on base communities and the terrible obstacles that represent "the dogmatic teachings "of the Church. One day a friend of the Cardinal Cipriani and Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga to talk about business ethics and against the ideologies of the New Age and a little later a friend of Casaldáliga and Boff to talk about class struggle and the "wealth" that the techniques could donate to the Eastern Church.

With this in mind, you will understand that I with greatly widened his eyes when I heard your name after the '"We Have a Pope" and from that moment (before you ask) I have prayed for you and for my beloved Church. And I have not stopped doing it for a single day since then. When I saw you on the balcony, without miter, without cape, breaking the protocol of greeting and the reading of the Latin text, with this trying to differentiate yourself from the rest of the Popes in history, smiling, worried, I said to myself: "Yes, without a doubt. This is the Cardinal Bergoglio. " In the days following your election, you gave me a number of occasions to confirm that you are the same person I had known closely, always looking for a diversity: you asked for different shoes, a different ring, a different Cross , a different chair and even room and home different from the rest of Popes that always had been content humbly with those things provided, without the need of "special" things, especially for them. In those days I was trying to recover from the immense pain felt by the resignation of my beloved and much admired Pope Benedict XVI, in which I identified from the beginning to the clarity in his teachings (the best teacher in the world), for his loyalty the Liturgy, for his courage in defending the right doctrine among the enemies of the Church and a thousand things that will not be listed here. With him at the helm of Peter I felt like I had stepped on land. And with his resignation, I felt the ground disappear beneath my feet, but I understand it, the winds were really stormy and the papacy was something too rough for his strength, now diminished by age, in the terrible and violent culture war being waged.
At that moment I felt abandoned in the midst of war, the earthquake, in the increasingly fierce hurricane, and suddenly you came to replace him at the helm. We have a new captain, we give thanks to God! I confided in full (without any doubt) that, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, with the prayer of the faithful, with the weight of responsibility, with the assistance of the working group in the Vatican and with the awareness of being observed throughout the world , Papa Francesco leave behind the special things and ambivalences of the card. Bergoglio and would immediately take command of the army, and with renewed vigor continuing the path of struggle that his predecessor had set.

Unfortunately, to my surprise and dismay, my new general, rather than take up arms once arrived, he began his tenure using the time as the Pope to call his barber, to his dentist, his milkman and his newsagent, attracting attention to his person and not on the relevant issues of the Papacy.

Six months have passed since then and I recognize, with love and emotion, you've done thousands of good things. I really like (very much) your formal speeches (to politicians, gynecologists, communicators, the World Day of Peace, etc..) And your homilies on feast days, because in them we see a thorough preparation and a deep meditation of each word used. Your words, in these discourses and homilies have been a real food for my spirit. I really like that people love you and applaud you. You are my Papa, the Supreme Head of my Church, the Church of Christ. However - and this is the reason for my letter - I must say that I also suffered (and suffer), from many of your words, because you say things that feel like stabs in the lower abdomen during my repeated attempts to a sincere loyalty to the Pope and the Magisterium .

I feel sad, yes, but the best word to express my current feelings is: perplexity. I do not know what to say and what not to say, I do not know where to go on and let it go. I need you to orient me, dear Papa Francesco. I'm really suffering, and much, for this concerns me still. My biggest problem is that I have devoted much of my life to the study of Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium, in order to have strong reasons to defend my faith. And now, many of these solid foundations are in contradiction with what my beloved Pope says and does. I am shocked and I need you to tell me what to do.

I'll explain myself better, with a few examples. I can not applaud a Pope who does not kneel before the tabernacle or during the Consecration as taught by the rite of the Mass, but I can not criticize it, because it is the Pope! Benedict XVI asked us in the Redemptoris Sacramentum that we are to inform the bishop of the unfaithfulness and liturgical abuses we are witnessing. Ma .. Who should I inform if the Pope himself does not respect the liturgy? I do not know what to do. I disobey the instructions of our Pope Emeritus? I can not feel happy to have eliminated the use of the paten and kneeling for Holy Communion, and even that you never give communion to the faithful, who do not call yourself "the Pope", but only "Bishop of Rome "or you do not use the fisherman's ring. But I can not even complain, because you are the Pope! I do not feel proud that you have washed the feet of a Muslim woman on Holy Thursday, since it is a violation of liturgical law, but I can not issue a peep, because You are the Pope, to whom I owe respect and to whom I must be faithful! I was hurt terribly when you have punished the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, because they were celebrating the Mass in the ancient rite with the explicit permission of your predecessor in Summorum Pontificum. And punish them, is to go against the teachings of previous popes. But who do I communicate my pain, you're the Pope! I did not know what to think or say when you have mocked publicly a group that had sent you a Spiritual Bouquet of rosaries, calling them "those who count the prayers." Such Spiritual Bouquets are a wonderful tradition in the Church, what am I to think and I do not like it if my Papa derides those who offer them to him? I have many friends who are "pro-life" who a few days ago were very saddened by your calling them "obsessed and obsessive." What should I do? Console, softening falsely your words or hurt them even more, repeating what you said to them, seeking to be faithful to the Pope and his teachings? WYD you asked young people to "make some noise in the streets." The word "casino", as far as I know, is synonymous with "disorder", "chaos", "confusion." Really this is what you want them to do the young Christians in the streets? There are already enough confusion and disorder in the world? I know of many single and older women (spinsters), which are very cheerful, funny and generous and really felt badly when you said that the nuns were not to have a face like a spinster. I was very sick at heart for my friends and me, it hurt me in my soul for them, because there is nothing wrong with being alone and to dedicate one's life to good works (in fact, loneliness is specified as a vocation in the Catechism). What should I tell my friends who are "spinsters"? That the Pope was serious (which I can not do a Pope), or that I support the Pope in the fact that all the old maids have a face like a bitter religious?

A couple of weeks ago you said that "what we are experiencing is one of the best moments of the Church." How can you say that as Pope when we all know that there are millions of young Catholics who live in concubinage and many millions of Catholic marriages where they use contraceptives, when the divorce is "our daily bread" and millions of Catholic mothers kill their children not born with the help of Catholic doctors, when there are millions of Catholic businessmen who are not guided by the social doctrine of the Church, but by ambition and avarice; when there are thousands of priests who commit liturgical abuses, and when there are hundreds of millions of Catholics who have never had an encounter with Christ and do not know the essence of the doctrine, when education and governments are in the hands of the Freemasons and the world economy in the hands of Zionism? This is the best time of the Church? When you said it, beloved Pope, I panicked. If the captain is not seeing the iceberg before us, it is very likely that we smash against it. Do You really believe that or is it just a way of saying dear Pope? Many great preachers have felt devastated to know that you said that now no longer have to talk about the themes of which the Church has already spoken and which are written in the Catechism.

Tell me, dear Papa Francesco, what must we Christians who want to be faithful to the Pope and also to the Magisterium and Tradition do? Let's stop preaching even though St. Paul has told us that we must do so at every opportunity in season and out of season? What with the courageous preachers, we force them to silence, while truly spoil sinners and gently tell them that if they can and want to, should read the Catechism to know what the Church says? Whenever you speak of the "shepherds smelling of their sheep," I think of all those priests who allowed themselves to be contaminated by the things of the world and have lost their scent of priesthood to acquire a certain smell of decomposition. I do not want the smell of shepherds with sheep, but sheep that do not smell of dung, because their pastor care and always keep clean. A few days ago you talked about the vocation of Matthew with these words:  "I am impressed by the gesture of Matthew.He clings to his money, as saying: 'No, not me! No, this money is mine " .  could not help but compare your words with the Gospel (Mt 9, 9), contrary to what Matthew himself says of his vocation: "And Jesus went forth from thence, he saw a man who was sitting at the tax office, whose name was Matthew, and said unto him, Follow me. And he rose and followed him. " 
I can not see where the grasping of money (not what I see in the painting by Caravaggio). I see two different narratives and wrong exegesis. Who should I believe, the Gospel or the Pope, if you want (as I really want to) be faithful to the Gospel and the Pope?

When you talked about the woman who lives in concubinage after a divorce and an abortion, you said  she "now lives in peace." I wonder: can someone live in peace, a lady who is voluntarily removed from the grace of God? The previous Popes, from St. Peter to Benedict XVI, said that it is not possible to find peace away from God, but Pope Francis said so. What should I support, the teachers always or this news? Should I say, starting today, to be faithful to the Pope, that peace can be found in a life of sin? Then you tossed the question without answer on how a confessor should behave, as if to open the Pandora's box knowing that there are hundreds of priests who mistakenly recommend continuing in concubinage. Why does my Papa, my dear Papa, not tell us in a few words what should be advised in cases like this, instead of opening doubts in sincere hearts?

I met Cardinal Bergoglio in almost a family environment and I am a faithful witness to that you are intelligent, friendly, spontaneous, very witty and very clever. But I do not like that the press is publishing all your sayings and quips, because are not a village priest, nor the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, now you're the Pope! and every word you say as Pope, acquires ordinary magisterial value for many of who read and hear you.
Anyway, I wrote taking too much of your time, my good Papa. With the examples I have given you (although there are many others) I think I made clear the pain of uncertainty and perplexity I'm living.
Only you can help. I need a guide that illuminates my steps based on what the Church has always said, speak boldly and clearly, does not offend those who work to be faithful to Jesus' command, to call "the bread, bread and wine wine"," to call sin " sin" virtue " virtue", although this risks his popularity. I need your wisdom, your firmness and clarity. I ask for help, please, because I am in agony.
 I know that God has equipped you with a very acute intelligence, so that, trying to comfort me alone, I could imagine that everything you do and say is part of a strategy to disconcert the enemy, by introducing yourself in front of him with the white flag and so letting your guard down.

But I'd like you to share it with those who are fighting this strategy at your side, because, in addition to disconcerting the enemy, you are disconcerting us, we do not know where he is and where our headquarters is located in front of the enemy. Thank you once again for all the good you have done and what you said during the feast, when you uttered beautiful homilies and speeches because there really are served a lot. Your words inspired and gave us the impulse to love more, to love, to love in the best way, to show the world the loving face of Jesus

I send you a hug branch very loving, my dear Papa, with the assurance of my prayers. I also ask for yours, for me and for my family, of which I enclose a photo, so that you can pray for us, knowing our face. Your daughter loves you and pray for you every day, 


Your daughter loves you and pray for you every day,

Lucrecia Rego de Planas

No comments:

Post a Comment