Polish theologian Msgr Edward Staniek, above, is receiving backlash for his homily last month in which he prayed for Pope Francis’s ‘happy death’ if he did not open his heart to ‘wisdom’.
This annoyed many, according to this report, including Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski of Kraków who rebuked Staniek on Saturday, saying:
It is with great pain and regret that I learned of the recent remarks made by Fr. Edward Staniek about Pope Francis. I assure you that the whole Church in Kraków is praying for Pope Francis daily and fervently.
Staniek said last month that he was praying either for the Holy Spirit to aid the Holy Father’s return to the Church or for his death.
I pray for wisdom for the pope, for his heart to open up to the Holy Spirit and if he does not do that, I pray for his quick departure to the House of the Father. I can always ask God for a happy death for him because a happy death is a great grace.
Staniek criticised the Pope for his “erroneous views”, including an open door to Muslim refugees, migrants and Holy Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. He denounced false mercy in regard to followers of Islam:
As a religion, they are hostile to the Gospel and the Church. They murdered millions in religious wars. And we Poles, remembering the victory over their armies near Vienna, better than others understand that there is no way to talk about dialogue with them.
We can show mercy to those Muslim believers who are dying of hunger or thirst. The doors of the diocese and the parish may be open only to believers in Jesus Christ.
He also condemned the false mercy concerning the sacrilegious reception of the Eucharist:
The second point of misunderstanding mercy is to open the door to the Eucharist, the food of the saint, to people who choose sin as their world.
Staniek lamented how the pope’s words:
Are used in media devoted to the destruction of Jesus and His Church.
And speaking of death, it’s widely reported today that disgraced Archbishop emeritus of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, 80, has snuffed it.
According to The Catholic Herald, a press release from Leo Cushley, current Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, stated:
In life, Cardinal O’Brien may have divided opinion – in death, however, I think all can be united in praying for the repose of his soul, for comfort for his grieving family and that support and solace be given to those whom he offended, hurt and let down. May he rest in peace.
Born on St Patrick’s day 1938, the County Antrim native was ordained archbishop in 1985 and later made Cardinal in 2003 by Pope St John Paul II, until his resignation in the face allegations of inappropriate behaviour shortly before the 2013 conclave which elected Pope Francis.
Addressing the matter himself in 2013, Cardinal O’Brien stated:
I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal. To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness. To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise. I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland.
Following his resignation from public life as Cardinal Archbishop, and with the permission of the Holy See, he retired to the North of England. Later in 2015 it was announced by the Holy See that Pope Francis had “accepted the resignation of Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien from the rights and duties of a Cardinal”, excluding him from participating in future papal elections and to act as a papal advisor, among the other roles of a Cardinal of the Church.