Various & Sundry

Poking the Pope

Fr. Dwight Longenecker provides not only a good analysis of the Papal interview that was republished in America, but offers one of the most clear-headed commentaries about Pope Francis’s approach that I’ve read everywhere. Long story short, we need to remember that Pope Francis comes from a much different cultural setting.

All this is well and good, but I have some worries. Every pope is both empowered and limited by his own history and culture. Pope Francis is from a generation and a culture which is Catholic. For the most part everyone is Catholic. They understand the basics of Christian morality and the fundamentals of the Christian story and the basic elements of the Catholic faith. Too often, however, that Catholic culture was impeded by a Church that had become overly clericalized, legalistic, condemnatory and hide bound.

Francis’ message to that kind of Catholic culture and that kind of Catholic Church is sharp and necessary. It’s fresh, creative and powerful. He’s basically saying, “Get out of your churchiness and get into the streets. Be with the people and share your faith together and bring Christ to those who have forgotten how to find him in the church.” As such his message is relevant and vital for the Church in South America and Central America where Catholics are being wooed away by Evangelicals who do present a vital, relevant and compassionately involved message.”

Francis’ message of forgiveness, acceptance and embrace of all works well enough in a Catholic culture where people know they are sinners and have a basic understanding of confession, reconciliation, forgiveness and healing. The problem in translating Francis’ message to post-Christian Europe, Liberal Protestant America and other developed countries is that most of the population either have no concept of sin in their lives or they deny the idea completely. Therefore Francis’ message of forgiveness, acceptance and embrace simply comes across as condoning whatever lifestyle people happen to have chosen. Catholics might make the distinction between loving the sinner and hating the sin…non Catholics both don’t and won’t make that distinction. Consequently, the Pope’s message simply comes across as him being a real nice guy who doesn’t judge anybody–like everybody else in our relativistic society.

Much more at the link.

Sinking Deeper

Just in case the article I linked to yesterday about the debt wasn’t depressing enough, here’s Kevin Williamson.

The CBO, to its credit, has attempted to get a handle on how heavily that growing debt will weigh upon economic activity in the next 25 years, and the answer is worrisome: Taking into account the economic effect of those deficits, instead of our debt hitting 100 percent of GDP in 25 years, CBO estimates that it will hit something closer to 200 percent of GDP — or 250 percent under the least sunny scenario. (There are even less-sunny scenarios, but the CBO does not believe that it can model them reliably.) Note here that these estimates also assume that the sequester and other deficit-control measures remain in place, which would consequently mean that spending on everything outside of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and debt service — everything else the government does — will be reduced far below current levels, in fact reverting to pre–World War II levels as a share of GDP. That is unlikely to be the case. Assume, then, that those spending and debt numbers look worse to the extent that the ladies and gentlemen in Washington lack the brass to resist demands for more domestic spending — and more military spending, too. The loudest and most insistent critics of the sequester have been defense contractors and the cluster of politicians in Maryland and Northern Virginia most sensitive to their complaints.

Archbishop Broglio Statement on Gay Marriage

An important statement from the Archbishop for the Military Services.

Irony Can Be So Ironic

Indeed Catholic apologists ought to really be careful about how they persuade people. Tone is just so important.

Putin May Seek Fourth Term

Truly the collapse of the Communist government was a marvelous thing. Imagine if Russians were still ruled by an autocratic regime that never relinquished power.

About Those #%^$skins

Rick Reilly has this insane notion that actual Native Americans’ views on the name of the Washington football team might be more relevant than those of rich white liberals. Silly Rick.

Of course this controversy could really heat up when the Redskins reach the Super Bowl again. So look to hear plenty about this in another decade or two.

10 Responses to Various & Sundry

  • Unfortunately the Pope made comments today, as reported by the press, that faithful Catholics talk too much about issues of the sacredness of life, importance of the family, etc and we should be more accepting…this situation with the Pope may be worse than we thought and Father should reevaluate his comments.

  • Hear, Hear, dcb.

  • Those were precisely the comments Fr. Longenecker was addressing. I would also add that that’s not exactly what the Pontiff said. It’s always a good idea to disregard how the wider media report on Catholic matters.

  • “Therefore Francis’ message of forgiveness, acceptance and embrace simply comes across as condoning whatever lifestyle people happen to have chosen. ”

    I am getting rather tired of playing the game of interpreting what the Pope meant to say in a hopeful manner. I thought what he said was clear enough and depressing enough. It really is a slap in the face to Catholics who have fought the battles against abortion and gay marriage, usually in the teeth of apathy and outright opposition from many lay Catholics, and indifference from many of the clergy. Nice jab at Catholics trying to live the faith in a world that is growing increasingly hostile.

    Perhaps there is a reason Pope Francis is the first Jesuit to be Pope? Of course with this Pope he may say something completely opposite tomorrow. Who knows? At best this demonstrates that we have a Pope who does not weigh his words carefully. At worst we have a Pope who might fit in quite well with the Catholic Lite crowd. Very troubling.

  • I quite agree, Donald. I just commented on another Catholic site, conservative and orthodox on social issues, but the blogger and some of the commenters are trying to spin it in a positive light. As I commented there, his silence on gay marriage and abortion only serves to encourage the moral relativism of our age, and these latest comments will further encourage it. I get the part about loving the sinner, but what about hating the sin? This at a time when his leadership on these issues is most needed. If his papacy were to end today, he would be remembered as one of the Church’s weakest popes.

  • As much as we all hoped that Pope Francis would do no harm in the aftermath of Blessed John Paul and Benedict I think many conservative/orthodox Catholics are just whistling past the graveyard, hoping against hope that these remarks are an aberration or misinterpretation…we’re seeing too much of it not to be intentional.

  • Just a quick review of news sites found this gem from AP…if this doesn’t raise the alarm bell’s….God help us.

    “New Ways Ministry, a Catholic outreach to gays and lesbians that has been rebuked in the past by church leaders who accused ministry leaders of straying from church teaching, called Francis’ comments “a new dawn.” Equally Blessed, an advocacy group for gay and lesbian Catholics, likened Francis’ remarks to “rain on a parched land.”

    “Catholic progressives are wondering if we’re dreaming and going to wake up soon,” said John Gehring, Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, a liberal advocacy group in Washington. “It’s a new day.”

  • “Catholic progressives are wondering if we’re dreaming and going to wake up soon,”

    Yes, when they realize that the Pope is still in fact Catholic, they will have a rude awakening.

  • I normally like Fr. Longnecker a lot, but I think he gets it backwards when he says:

    Francis’ message of forgiveness, acceptance and embrace of all works well enough in a Catholic culture where people know they are sinners and have a basic understanding of confession, reconciliation, forgiveness and healing. The problem in translating Francis’ message to post-Christian Europe, Liberal Protestant America and other developed countries is that most of the population either have no concept of sin in their lives or they deny the idea completely. Therefore Francis’ message of forgiveness, acceptance and embrace simply comes across as condoning whatever lifestyle people happen to have chosen. Catholics might make the distinction between loving the sinner and hating the sin…non Catholics both don’t and won’t make that distinction. Consequently, the Pope’s message simply comes across as him being a real nice guy who doesn’t judge anybody–like everybody else in our relativistic society.

    I think Francis is directly addressing a post-Christian society when he says the the Church’s first and most pervasive message must be that God exists and that we need the graces Christ won for us on the cross in order to be saved — and that only after we have reached people with this message will they become open to accepting God’s moral law.

    The problem is that relativist secular society (and relativistic dissident Catholics) loathe and hate that message, and they do everything they can to twist and obscure Pope Francis’s message because they are wedded to lies.

  • I agree with Donald

Follow TAC by Clicking on the Buttons Below
Bookmark and Share
Subscribe by eMail

Enter your email:

Recent Comments
Archives
Our Visitors. . .
Our Subscribers. . .