The old packhorse bridge in Carrbridge in the Cairngorms National Park is the oldest stone bridge in the Highlands. The plaque near the viewpoint reads as follows:
“At the beginning of the eighteenth century, to the inconvenience of both travellers and local people, there was no point at which the River Dulnain could be crossed when it was in spate, and burials at the Church of Duthil were often delayed.
Brigadier-General Alexander Grant of Grant, Clan Chief, commissioned John Niccelsone, a mason from Ballindaloch, to build a bridge at Lynne of Dalrachney. Built between May and November 1717, the bridge was paid for out of stipends of the Parish of Duthill.
Its parapets and side walls were badly damaged in the 18th century and again in the famous flood of August 1829, giving the appearance it still has today.”
The rumors are flying that Pope Francis is about to “demote” the American Cardinal, Raymond Burke, by removing him as the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature (a funny name for the Church’s highest court).
Supposedly, Cardinal Burke has fallen out of favor with Pope Francis by dressing in fancy robes, doing too much stuff in Latin, and acting and saying too many “conservative” or “tradcat” things. Because, like, you know, the Pope, they say, doesn’t like “old fashioned Catholic stuff” LOL.
Traditional Catholics will weep and gnash their teeth and cries of despair will rise that “Catholic Tradition is being attacked” by Pope Francis. Liberal and dissenting Catholics, on the other hand, will have jolly and happy feels as their twisted sense of revenge goes into overdrive. I can hear it now, “We LUV how Pope Francis exacts his revenge on all the traditional crowd of Pope Benedict XVI.”
Both of these attitudes betray a very shallow spirituality and forget a central tenet of Holy Orders.
Bishops and priests have the awesome privilege of being entrusted with the care of souls, with feeding the flock in our preaching and counsel, and nourishing people in liturgy and sacrament. We are NOT entitled to special offices in the Church. Our vocation is NOT to have nice titles and to wield political power.
Does Jesus care about who Pope Francis appoints to Vatican offices or his “gang of eight” adviser cardinals? Oh, yeah, Jesus loses sleep over who is going to head up a Vatican department (sarcasm). The answer is no.
What the Lord calls His priests to do is minister with their time, talents, and treasure, to the needs of the parish, the diocese, the national conference, or at a wider level, the Roman Curia of the Pope in Rome. It is nice to get appointed to some fancy office. I am the pastor of a country parish, which is fancy enough for me.
And when we are no longer needed, our superior, our bishop, or our pope calls us and says, “Thanks, but your services are no longer needed. I’m bringing someone else in.” Fine. Thanks. I’ll pack up my office.
Life goes on. I have to offer Mass, prepare homilies, keep up contacts with friends in the Church, visit sick people or counsel the hurting, and in the case of a bishop, run around and confirm people and ordain priests. And before you know it, even the pope or the bishop or the superior moves on and things change and the Church continues.
We in Holy Orders are not entitled to special powers, offices, titles, and political prestige. And when we “rise” in the Church and acquire these things, they are more of a pain in the arse than a blessing. I’m sure it is a shock for most bishops when they get “promoted” or “demoted” but that doesn’t have anything to do with true religion. True religion is to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
I just thought I’d get my two cents in before the libs and the trads either get their jollies or freak out on this latest decision of Pope Francis in regards to a “Benedict man” in the Vatican. It’s all good folks. God is good.