St. Pius X is a controversial figure in the Church not so much from anything he did, but because of how he became Pope. At the turn of the 20th Century, Giuseppe Sarto would become elected Pope after a controversial “veto” by the Polish Cardinal Kosielsko on behalf of Emperor Franz Joseph. This would give the swing vote for Sarto rather than Mariano Rampolla. This would be the last time a reigning monarch would exercise a longstanding right of veto in a papal conclave.
Today, we would think any government interference in church leadership would be abhorrent, but it still happens today around the world perhaps to a lesser degree.
Many of us struggle with what could be considered government interference with church matters during this pandemic: closure of places of worship, closure of Catholic schools, restrictions on gatherings, etc. People are taking sides regarding pandemic protocols and claiming individual freedoms over the freedoms of all. People are frustrated with political polarization and the seeming lack of episcopal intervention to protect the freedom of religious practice. I could go on. Believe me, we are all pulling our hair out over this: have you seen my head lately?
Perhaps we could focus on today’s scripture verse: “You shall love the Lord, your god, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Let your reflection today bring your heart, soul and mind the peace of the Lord to your journey today.
Blessings on our continued journey in good times and in bad.