Did some research and our current papal/cardinal scandals are truly bad but, in some respects, the grand prize for having been a really awful pope goes to Rodrigo Borgia. Just the Borgia name clues one into the thought that all might not have been well with this person in charge of anything.
Ridrigo Borgia had a ‘leg up’ on climbing the papal ladder as his uncle was Pope Calixtus III. Most likely, given his papal connection, getting through the various church ranks to his highest title in the church was made easier with the nepotism involved. As he made his way through the ranks, he managed to accumulate a great deal of wealth, too. No tithing for him! In 1492 whilst Columbus was sailing the ocean blue, he greased a few palms, called in some favors and purchased his place in the papacy. Bribery came in handy for getting the better of two other ‘claims’ to the throne.
The crowned Pope Alexander was pretty rotten to the core. He provided the world with seven illegitimate children by way of his mistresses. The church paid for their expenses and he endowed them with funding at the church’s expense. Living a rather plush life at the expense of the Church was, well expensive. When he needed to replenish the cash flow, he established new cardinals in return for money. Another ‘successful’ ploy was to arrest and jail rich people on imagined charges or murder them and abscond with their wealth.
It seems that Alexander VI was never considered godly (Go figure, right?) or in line with the Church and all things lawful. The only ‘virtues’ that can be said about him was his greedy ambition and lust for money and power. The orderly government of the City of Rome he bribed his way into, was left in complete shambles and disrepair.
“Now we are in the power of a wolf, the most rapacious perhaps that this world has ever seen. And if we do not flee, he will inevitably devour us all.” By Giovanni de Medici (Pope Leo X)
Recently, the pope came out with a change in the Church’s view of capital punishment. I’m sorry to say that he doesn’t seem to have gone beyond an emotional view on this versus the Church and Church History. One of his main concerns is that capital punishment executions takes away a person’s dignity and time in reviewing his redemption. At no point did he mention what was taken away from the victim(s) or their families. Before victims were brutally murdered, were they allowed reflection on their pending mortality and redemption before being forcibly pushed into the afterlife on the whim of a murderer?
Over the years, it seems the numbers of true Christians and Catholics have gone down. Just looking at some of the things that are going on in the world should make that evident. When over 50% of the Catholics voted in an adamant pro-abort president twice, one had to realize there was a serious problem. Now that the current Pope has been making changes and proposing iffy solutions in the Church, one feels that although the Church will never ultimately fail, there is certainly some rough waters ahead.
The Catholics in Malta seem to be taking on the burden of trying to bring many of our bishops back into line. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/maltese-catholics-rebuke-abominable-communion-guidelines-in-stinging-full-p The Pope’s last encyclical was vague to the point of seeming to allow reception of the sacraments to people who have divorced and remarried outside of the Church. When pressed for clarification by several Cardinals in good standing, the Pope has remained silent.
I defended the Church’s stand to a friend who called me intolerant and worse for putting God’s Law over the desires of people who wish they weren’t in the predicament of not being able to receive the sacraments. To me, people doing what they want and then demanding the graces of what they gave up by doing so, is not the way to instruct all Catholics in how to abide by the rules of the Church.
There should be no confusion in the Church over something like this. The laws of the Church are there for a reason. One member of the church hierarchy said that something to the effect that the ‘common’ people can’t be expected to reach the heights of sacrifice that were accomplished by the saints. Uh, wouldn’t that eventually stop a lot of canonizations if no one felt they had to step up to the plate and BE a Catholic. I’m praying the Pope clarifies his meaning in the encyclical before souls are lost looking for the easy way out of their status in life.
“Concerning the Reception of the Eucharist by Divorced and Remarried Members of the Church.” This document was issued on September 14, 1994, and signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
“Members of the faithful who live together as husband and wife with persons other than their legitimate spouses may not receive Holy Communion,” the Vatican document states. “Should they judge it possible to do so, pastors and confessors, given the gravity of the matter and the spiritual good of these persons as well as the common good of the Church, have the serious duty to admonish them that such a judgment of conscience openly contradicts the Church’s teaching.”
There seems to be a difference of opinion in the Church today about who can or cannot receive Holy Communion. For me, any priest worth his salt, will abide by the words of Pope John Paul II . . . which are totally in line with Church practice.