Saint Hilary of Poitiers…

…judges Francis’ idea on John the Baptist doubting the Messiah

  • John sent his disciples that they should not look for any Christ other than Him to whom His works had borne testimony

John then is providing not for his own, but his disciples’ ignorance; that they might know that it was no other whom he had proclaimed, he sent them to see His works, that the works might establish what John had spoken; and that they should not look for any other Christ, than Him to whom His works had borne testimony. (Saint Hilary quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea, Mt 11:2–6)

  • John the Baptist could not fall into error from such abundant knowledge; nor can it be believed that the grace of the Holy Spirit failed him

It is indeed certain, that he who as forerunner proclaimed Christ’s coming, as prophet knew Him when He stood before him, and worshipped Him as Confessor when He came to him, could not fall into error from such abundant knowledge. Nor can it be believed that the grace of the Holy Spirit failed him when thrown into prison, seeing He should hereafter minister the light of His power to the Apostles when they were in prison. (Saint Hilary quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea, Mt 11:2–6)

…judges Francis’ idea on the words of Jesus Christ upon the Cross

  • His complaint that He is left to death: He is Man. His promise of Paradise as He is dying: He is God

From these words heretical spirits contend either that God the Word was entirely absorbed into the soul at the time it discharged the function of a soul in quickening the body; or that Christ could not have been born man, because the Divine Word dwelt in Him after the manner of a prophetical spirit. As though Jesus Christ was a man of ordinary soul and body, having His beginning then when He began to be man, and thus now deserted upon the withdrawal of the protection of God’s word cries out, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ Or at least that the nature of the Word being transmuted into soul, Christ, who had depended in all things upon His Father’s support, now deserted and left to death, mourns over this desertion, and pleads with Him departing. But amidst these impious and feeble opinions, the faith of the Church imbued with Apostolic teaching does not sever Christ that He should be considered as Son of God and not as Son of Man. The complaint of His being deserted is the weakness of the dying man; the promise of Paradise is the kingdom of the living God. You have Him complaining that He is left to death, and thus He is Man; you have Him as He is dying declaring that He reigns in Paradise; and thus He is God. Wonder not then at the humility of these words, when you know the form of a servant, and see the offence of the cross. (Saint Hilary. Commentary on Matthew 27:46, quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas in the Catena Aurea)

…judges Francis’ criteria for the nomination of Bishops

  • An innocent minister is profitable to himself alone, unless he be instructed also

The Blessed apostle Paul in laying down the form for appointing a Bishop and creating by his instructions an entirely new type of member of the Church, has taught us in the following words the sum total of all the virtues perfected in him: Holding fast the word according to the doctrine of the faith that he may be able to exhort to sound doctrine and to convict gainsavers. For there are many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers. For in this way he points out that the essentials of orderliness and morals are only profitable for good service in the priesthood if at the same time the qualities needful for knowing how to teach and preserve the faith are not lacking,   for a man is not straightway made a good and useful priest by a merely innocent life, or by a mere knowledge of preaching. For an innocent minister is profitable to himself alone unless he be instructed also: while he that be instructed has nothing to support his teaching unless he be innocent. (Saint Hilary of Poitiers. Treatise on the Holy Trinity, VIII, I)