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Bergoglio’s Via Crucis written by children…

Way of the Cross in the Vatican: “Dear Jesus, only You know how hard it is to Wake Up every Morning after Wetting the Bed”

On Good Friday, we commemorate the Passion, Crucifixion, and Death of Jesus Christ, which He willingly and lovingly underwent for our Redemption. An excellent and very traditional way to enter into the mysteries of our Blessed Lord’s Passion is to pray the Stations of the Cross, also known as the Way of the Cross (Via Crucis in Latin).

The Way of the Cross begins with Christ being condemned to death by Pilate and ends with our Lord’s burial. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains:

The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make in spirit, as it were, a pilgrimage to the chief scenes of Christ’s sufferings and death, and this has become one of the most popular of Catholic devotions. It is carried out by passing from Station to Station, with certain prayers at each and devout meditation on the various incidents in turn.

(s.v. “Way of the Cross”)

Very beautiful and profitable meditations on the different Stations have been written, for example, by St. Alphonsus Liguori and by St. Francis of Assisi.

In 1964, “Pope” Paul VI introduced the “papal” celebration of the Stations of the Cross in Rome every year on Good Friday. Normally they are held at the Colosseum, the place where so many Christians were martyred by the Romans. This year, as in 2020, they were held in St. Peter’s Square on account of Coronavirus. Here is the video of the entire event:

The transcript of all the prayers has been posted at the Vatican web site.

As Vatican News had reported:

The Way of the Cross on Good Friday to be led by Pope Francis will feature meditations and drawings composed by children and young people of Rome belonging to the parish of the Holy Martyrs of Uganda, the Agesci scout group “Foligno I” and the guests of two family homes in Rome. They will also read them during the ceremony in St. Peter’s Square presided over by Pope Francis.

In their simplicity and concreteness, the meditations written by the children have the power to deeply touch the heart, to make us think and work for a better and more just world. The texts invite us to ask questions about our lives and the need to change ourselves and our world.

(“Way of the Cross meditations written by children: Jesus calms our fears”, Vatican News, Mar. 31, 2021)

These children’s Way of the Cross begins with the following introductory prayer:

Dear Jesus,

You know that we children also have crosses to carry. Crosses that are no lighter or heavier than those of adults, but are still real crosses, crosses that weigh us down even at night. Only you know what they are, and take them seriously. Only you.

Only you know how hard it is for me to learn not to be afraid of the dark and all alone.

Only you know how hard it is to wake up every morning after wetting the bed.

Only you know how hard it is to think quickly and to learn grammar and math.

Only you know how hard it is to see my parents fight and slam the door and not talk to each other for days.

Only you know how hard it is to be made fun of, and not be invited to parties.

Only you know what it means to be poor and have to do without things my friends have.

Only you know how hard it is to reveal a terrible secret, not knowing who to tell for fear of being betrayed, accused or not believed.

Dear Jesus, you once were a child like me. You used to play and maybe you would fall and hurt yourself. You also went to school and maybe some of your schoolwork was not exactly great. You too had a mom and a dad, and you know that there are times when I don’t want to obey them when they tell me to do my homework, to take out the trash, to make my bed and to tidy up my room. You too went to catechism and to prayer and you know that I’m not always perfectly happy to go there.

Dear Jesus, you more than anybody else know that there are children in our world who have nothing to eat, who cannot go to school, who are being used and forced to become soldiers.

Help us to carry our daily crosses as you carried yours. Help us to become better and better, to become what you want us to be. I thank you, because I know that you are always close to me and that you never abandon me, even when I am most afraid. And thank you too, for sending my guardian angel to light and guard me every day. Amen.

(“Introduction”, Stations of the Cross 2021, Vatican.va, Apr. 2, 2021; underlining added.)

Words simply fail…. What a horrific and irreverent trivialization of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ — with the endorsement of the “Pope”!

To be clear: The criticism here is not directed against the children who wrote this. They are the victims of Novus Ordo spirituality and education. They are guileless and not to blame. Indeed, “Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings thou hast perfected praise”, Our Blessed Lord reminded His critics (Mt 21:16; Ps 8:3). Nor do we wish to belittle the genuine struggles and difficult circumstances many children may be going through in their lives.

But while it is one thing to let the children come to our Lord (cf. Lk 18:16) and to teach them speak to Him without guile in private, it is quite another to let them compose the public meditations for the worldwide Stations of the Cross to be used by the (supposed) Vicar of Christ on Good Friday!

As Prof. Gian Pietro Caliari asks on Marco Tosatti’s blog:

…what kind of catechism were these delightful little ones taught by? What kind of Gospel has been read and taught to them? What Catholic catechists have prepared, trained and accompanied them to write such an important and prominent text which will resonate urbi et orbi [around the world]?

(Gian Pietro Caliari, “Via Crucis in San Pietro. I Testi sono un Delirio. E la Passione?”, Stilum Curiae, Apr. 1, 2021; translation via DeepL.com)

For comparison, this is the introductory prayer for the Stations written by St. Alphonsus, a text the “Pope” could have used instead:

My Lord Jesus Christ, Thou hast made this journey to die for me with love unutterable, and I have so many times unworthily abandoned Thee; but now I love Thee with my whole heart, and because I love Thee I repent sincerely for having ever offended Thee. Pardon me, my God, and permit me to accompany Thee on this journey. Thou goest to die for love of me; I wish also, my beloved Redeemer, to die for love of Thee. My Jesus, I will live and die always united to Thee.

Not that we should expect children to write prayers like eminent Catholic doctors and saints — but then perhaps children’s thoughts simply aren’t the best prayers to use for an occasion of such public and momentous significance:

Of course, no one could expect to introduce children to – assuming everything was indeed written by them! – Mel Gibson’s The Passion or make them read the complete text of St. Thomas More’s Expositio Passionis Domini as a necessary and indispensable introduction to meditate on the Passion of Christ; but neither does passing from nightly bedwetting to Calvary seem an adequate catechetical model.

(Caliari, “Via Crucis in San Pietro”)

Nothing more needs to be said. “Pope” Francis has once again found a way to humiliate our Blessed Lord.

He does it because he can.

Image source: youtube.com (screenshot)
License: fair use

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