Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Jubilee Year in Honor of Pope ... Celestine????

On July 5, 2014, Pope Francis declared a Jubilee Year to honor and celebrate one of his predecessors of the See of Peter, Pope Celestine V.

This man served as Pope only five months in 1294 and then resigned. Canon law always provided for a bishop to resign from his post, and the Bishop of Rome was never an exception. Except it had never happened. And then it didn't happen again until Pope Benedict XVI did so in 2013.

Dante seems to imply that Pope Celestine V went to hell when he wrote:
I saw and recognized the shade of him
Who by his cowardice made the great refusal.

Inferno III, 59–60
The Church proclaimed him a saint, but has also always refused to ever declare someone to be in hell. If Dante really meant to assert Celestine was in hell, I pray for his soul, Dante's not Celestine.

So what is Pope Francis really doing here?

He is doing nothing short of honoring the courageous move of his immediate predecessor, who created a new paradigm for the modern papacy. 

I pray that Pope Francis has many years of healthy and fruitful ministry, ever deepening the unity of the global Church. May he and Patriarch Bartholemew concelebrate the Eucharist at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre following an unexpected healing of the schism.

And may he enjoy many years of a healthy and happy retirement himself, when he passes on the office to the next generation.

Pray for us, Saint Pope Celestine V, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

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