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If the Modern Media Had Covered Christ

Wanted  Jesus

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Jennifer Roback Morse at Aleteia:

 

 

 

The headlines swirled around the Levant as itinerant preacher Jesus of Nazareth reportedly excuses both prostitutes and the men who frequent them. The latest controversy came when Jesus, whose followers believe is the Son of God, retold the story of a family whose younger son had squandered the family inheritance with prostitutes.

Roman observers speculate that this is a sign of a new openness to Roman social mores.

Lucius Gaius Paterculus, spokesman for the Herod Administration, said, “We have always found these Hebrews amusing, with all their sexual hang-ups.  This is the Roman Empire; they need to get with the times. Prostitution is not so bad. Maybe this Jesus preacher will turn the tide and lead these backward people into the modern world.”

Earlier this spring, Jesus created a sensation when he protected an alleged adulteress, and even broke bread with her.  

Reuben bar Timeus told the Guardian, “I recognized my father in that story Jesus told.  He can’t disguise the characters in his parables enough to hide the fact that he was talking about my putz of a brother and my pathetic father. I’m considering a slander suit. This Jesus guy should keep his mouth shut and show some respect to our family.”

Go here to read the hilarious rest. The “comments” are a true hoot!

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

25 Comments

  1. In the interests of consistency Donald, you would have to say something like this:

    “t would help if the [Lord] would first stop engaging in self-inflicted wounds.It is tough being the [Son of God] currently, I understand that. He accepted the job, and he needs to remember that every single word he says is going to echo around the globe. It helps the [Lord] not at all to attempt to put a smiley face on this and not to understand that he is causing confusion to his friends and celebration to his foes.
    The [Lord’s] heart is in the right place. Now he needs to get his lips to the same place.”

  2. I normally do not confuse Christ with the Pope Greg. I found this to be an amusing post, hence I ran it, but the parallel it seeks to draw with Pope Francis’ woes are fairly strained. What truly scandalized the Jews was the claim of Christ to be God, the ultimate blasphemy, except that He was God. In matters of morality, as opposed to ritual purity, there was almost no division between Christ and the Pharisees, and where there was a division, divorce, Christ tended to be more severe. As far as the Romans were concerned the divisions between the Jews and Christians were quite incomprehensible as demonstrated by the reaction of Pilate.

  3. I don’t confuse the two either. But if the Pope’s comments “confuse his friends” , his friends are just as if not more ignorant than his foes. I think every time a pope says things like this (remember B16’s comments at Regensburg that stoked a violent backlash that caused at least one death as well as how they twisted his condom remark that he was saying having sex with a condom was morally licit as a means of disease prevention when the context of his remarks make clear that he is speaking positively about the intention not the use of the condom itself) our side responds in a predictably Pavlovian way. We give the MSM the reaction they want. We come off as defensive and are too damned arrogant to realize it. We need to step bak and not take the bait when they do this.

    Now, I am not saying the pope’s comments are above criticism. We are not bound to agree with the way he says things like this. In fact, I think soon-to-St. John Paul II’s anti-death penalty stance caused far more confusion than anything Francis has said to date.

  4. P.S/ In stead of wringing our hands over what Pope Francis said in that interview, we should seize upon the opportunity and not let the MSM drive the conversation.

  5. “But if the Pope’s comments “confuse his friends” , his friends are just as if not more ignorant than his foes.”

    Total rubbish Greg. Most Catholics are like most people: they do not follow events with the magnifying glass that blog denizens do. A Pope who speaks carelessly and gives ammo for the media to twist his words is just asking for confusion among normal Catholics who get most of their information still from the mainstream media. The Catholic Church is not a Church for the elect few but rather a means of salvation for the great mass of believers. All popes speak carelessly at times, but Pope Francis seems to make a habit of it, and I hope he stops it very soon, or this will be a very long papacy indeed.

  6. “P.S/ In stead of wringing our hands over what Pope Francis said in that interview, we should seize upon the opportunity and not let the MSM drive the conversation.”

    That might be a sound strategy if anyone, including the Pope, had the foggiest idea of what he was driving at often times. I confess that his meaning often seems obscure to me and subject to widely varying interpretations.

  7. “Total rubbish Greg. Most Catholics are like most people: they do not follow events with the magnifying glass that blog denizens do.”

    Horse hockey Donald. Even the most ignorant who don’t follow event know no pope would say what the media portrays him as saying. That much should be obvious. The response of many on our side is what gives the media ammo. They bait and we swallow it. As dumb as they are they make us look even dumber.

    When Pope Francis starts slandering the damned few elected officials who make legitimate attempts to protect citizens entrusted to their jurisdiction, you might have something to wring your hands about. But until then….

  8. “Even the most ignorant who don’t follow event know no pope would say what the media portrays him as saying.”

    Indeed? I doubt it, if all they read are stories like this:

    “But his vision of what the church should be stands out, primarily because it contrasts so sharply with many of the priorities of his immediate predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. They were both intellectuals for whom doctrine was paramount, an orientation that guided the selection of a generation of bishops and cardinals around the globe.

    Francis said the dogmatic and the moral teachings of the church were not all equivalent.

    “The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently,” Francis said. “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”

    Rather, he said, the Catholic Church must be like a “field hospital after battle,” healing the wounds of its faithful and going out to find those who have been hurt, excluded or have fallen away.

    “It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars!” Francis said. “You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else.”

    “The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules,” he lamented. “The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/pope-warns-church-must-balance-fail-145841304.html

    After the results of last year’s election I would not underestimate the ability of the mainstream media to sway public opinion, especially since there is a not insignificant segment of Catholic clergy and laity in this country who would very much like the Church to go the Episcopalian route, and who have joined eagerly in touting Pope Francis as their liberal Pope.

  9. Yes and you can finds quotes from his two immediate predecessors who say exactly the same thing. And many of that “generation of bishops and cardinals around the globe.” are the ones who are actually doing a great deal to distort Church teaching when it serves their ideological agenda. And I cannot see how they are not doing it knowingly, but I don’t hear much about that from the orthodox Catholic commentariat when it is their heroes in the episcopate who are doing it.

  10. No one Greg ever accused Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI of soft pedaling Church doctrine on abortion or homosexuality. The criticism in the mainstream media was all the other way. Pope Francis is being touted as a liberal Pope because there is enough ambiguity in what he says that the mainstream media is able to make a plausible argument. Additionally some of what he says is simply bizarre:

    “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

    Most clergy I have encountered almost never talk about these issues and seem to wish they would go away. It has been a few of the Catholic laity, God love them, who chiefly have been carrying on this fight. Pope Francis is misinterpreted because it is so easy to do based on what he has said.

  11. If I may interject…(I, myself, have been both confused by some of Pope Francis’ messaging and comforted by more in-depth analysis of his Holiness’ comments here and elsewhere)…I submit that DarwinCatholic’s post may put some more clarity to what he means (http://the-american-catholic.com/2013/09/25/pope-francis-excommunicates-and-laicizes-dissident-australian-priest/). While this situation calls for prayer and not celebration, I think rumors of a “pro-gay” Pope were greatly exaggerated (as seen on Fox News, no less), insofar as any change in doctrine is concerned.

    I also found this helpful…

    The Church’s teaching could not be more clear: but if every one of Pope Francis’s public speeches were like this, the Church’s teaching might well lose all of its force. As Frank Weathers notes, Pope Benedict, in an address to the bishops of Switzerland on November 9, 2006, explained why:

    I remember, when I used go to Germany in the 1980s and ’90s, that I was asked to give interviews and I always knew the questions in advance. They concerned the ordination of women, contraception, abortion and other such constantly recurring problems.

    If we let ourselves be drawn into these discussions, the Church is then identified with certain commandments or prohibitions; we give the impression that we are moralists with a few somewhat antiquated convictions, and not even a hint of the true greatness of the faith appears. I therefore consider it essential always to highlight the greatness of our faith—a commitment from which we must not allow such situations to divert us.

    http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/pope-francis-and-his-critics

    To be sure, the article doesn’t whitewash the “There That Is Not There”:

    Pope Francis, it is said (with more than a little justification), does not speak with the precision and clarity of his predecessor. And in the face of distortions by the New York Times and confusion among the faithful, precision and clarity are greatly to be desired.

  12. “No one Greg ever accused Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI of soft pedaling Church doctrine on abortion or homosexuality. The criticism in the mainstream media was all the other way. Pope Francis is being touted as a liberal Pope because there is enough ambiguity in what he says that the mainstream media is able to make a plausible argument. ”

    No, they just said Benedict XVI changed a major plank of Church teaching with his condom comment which not only wasn’t anything close to what they say he said, the comment was made in an interview that was not an official statement anyway. And it was Francis, not JPII or B16, that just excommed and laicized an Aussie priesr who advocating women;s ordination. And this very same priest was also a staunch advocate of same sex marriage.

    As far as the statement you quote above, as a lawyer Donald you ought to instinctively given to reading things which much greater care than you seem to be reading this quote. For one, the pope is saying these issues are not the only issues we should insist upon. And yes, we should speak of them in context. And those who speak of these issue in the right way do in fact speak of them in context. Is not the constant refrain from the very same MSM that the Church is only about opposing abortion, contraception, and homosexuality? Secondly, he says the teaching of the Church is “clear” on these points? Who doesn’t know where the Church stands on these things? He is not saying that we should talk these at all, but not place exclusive focus on them.

    What is “bizarre” about the statement you quote is more your interpretation of it as bizarre than what he actually said. Could he have said things in a better way? Sure. Bear in mind, not only was this interview not conducted in English and there are not always exact parallels between any two languages, but Francis himself does not speak English and that also has an effect on what words he might choose when speaking a different language. The fact that the conclave elected Bergoglio despite the fact he doesn’t speak English was a bit of a surprise. I think he is gonna have to overcome his tone deafness learn to speak English.

    I think it is dangerous for the Church when we excessively allow worrying about how the MSM is going to spin what we say to control what we and how we say things.

    But as far as public statements and high profile Catholics, there is a far more serious problem. And I think you know what I am referring to. And until we address that problem, we have absolutely no moral right whatsoever to criticize anything, much less what the pope said in that interview.

  13. Thanks for the heads-up about checking the comments at the original post
    Mr. McClarey. They did not disappoint. The actual comments to the
    post were also amusing– especially the faux spam from “sheephearder55″…

  14. The Lord Jesus Himself and Paul his dynamic if often acerbic apostle caused uproars, confusion etc to those not taking the time to really “hear” them. It is not for nothing that the Lord “had to say” “do not think that I have come to destroy the Law and the Prophets, I have come not to destroy but to fulfill”. (Matthew 5.17). Pau’s emphasis on Christ, His Cross and grace and the obedience of faith over observance of the Law was at one point in Church history the cause of such.confusion that a large portion of the Catholic Church followed an Augustinian monk away from communion with the Church and took a major Council of the Church to contextualize Paul’s teaching within Tradition-yet we still hear Paul almost every Lord’s Day in Holy Mass.

    Taking the time to really listen to Pope Francis yields not confusion but great peace ( see Ignatius’ discernment of spirits)

    Having said this Pope Francis’ contextualizing such issues as abortion, gay marriage and contraception within the Gospel is timely and necessary-just as necessary as emphasizing the truth of the teachings concerning these issues. After all, the Church recognizes and teaches that Her teaching on abortion, gay marriage and contraception are based on Natural Law, not Divine Revelation. The truth concerning all three issues is available to reason, faith is not ‘needed’.

    The Pope is rightly concerned that without the proper (read ‘ortodox’) contextual reading of such issues and emphases within the Church we could inadvertently reduce the whole of the Catholic Faith to ‘morality’. It is in this light that Francis’ comments on “rules” needs the read. By way of an objective witness to the same concern read George Weigel’s excellent Evangelical Catholicism in which he clearly states that a characteristic of the “dying” post Tridentine Catholicism is a focus on rules. He notes that both ” progressive” and “traditionalist” Catholics are still stuck in this dying era of Church history-one focusing on them to rid us of them while the other believing we need them at all costs

  15. The words of a Pope and the Word of God are different. To equate the two is to make an idol of the Papacy. Something that flies in the face of that relationship with Christ.

    Here again I believe is how the Pope poorly words things. From the homily of his Mass today:

    “You cannot know Jesus without having problems. And I dare say, ‘But if you want to have a problem, go to the street to know Jesus – you’ll end up having not one, but many!’ But that is the way to get to know Jesus! You cannot know Jesus in first class! One gets to know Jesus in going out [into] every day [life]. You cannot get to know Jesus in peace and quiet, nor even in the library: Know Jesus.”

    Really. One cannot know Christ in first class. Its unclear his exact meaning but is he saying the rich don’t have problems. Is he saying they don’t know Christ in their lives.

    From the Navarre Bible Commentary on the Beatitudes in Luke about understanding what poverty truly is:

    “24. In the same kind of way as in verse 20, which refers to the poor in the sense of those who love poverty, seeking to please God better, so in this verse the “rich” are to be understood as those who strive to accumulate possessions heedless of whether or not they are doing so lawfully, and who seek their happiness in those possessions, as if they were their ultimate goal. But people who inherit wealth or acquire it through honest work can be really poor provided they are detached from these things and are led by that detachment to use them to help others, as God inspires them. We can find in Sacred Scriptures a number of people to whom the beatitude of the poor can be applied although they possessed considerable wealth–Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David, Job, for example.

    As early as St. Augustine’s time there were people who failed to understand poverty and riches properly: they reasoned as follows: The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the poor, the Lazaruses of this world, the hungry; all the rich are bad, like this rich man here. This sort of thinking led St. Augustine to explain the deep meaning of wealth and poverty according to the spirit of the Gospel: “Listen, poor man, to my comments on your words. When you refer to yourself as Lazarus, that holy man covered with wounds, I am afraid your pride makes you describe yourself incorrectly. Do not despise rich men who are merciful, who are humble: or, to put it briefly, do not despise poor rich men. Oh, poor man, be poor yourself; poor, that is, humble […].

    Listen to me, then. Be truly poor, be devout, be humble; if you glory in your rag- ged and ulcerous poverty, if you glory in likening yourself to that beggar lying outside the rich man’s house, then you are only noticing his poverty, and nothing else. What should I notice you ask? Read the Scriptures and you will understand what I mean. Lazarus was poor, but he to whose bosom he was brought was rich. ‘It came to pass, it is written, that the poor man died and he was brought by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.’ To where? To Abraham’s bosom, or let us say, to that mysterious place where Abraham was resting. Read […] and remember that Abraham was a very wealthy man when he was on earth: he had abundance of money, a large family, flocks, land; yet that rich man was poor, because he was humble. ‘Abraham believed God and he was reckoned righteous.’ […] He was faithful, he did good, received the commandment to offer his son in sacrifice, and he did not refuse to offer what he had received to Him from whom he had received it. He was approved in God’s sight and set before us as an example of faith” (Sermon, 14).

    To sum up: poverty does not consist in something purely external, in having or not having material goods, but in something that goes far deeper, affecting a person’s heart and soul; it consists in having a humble attitude to God, in being devout, in having total faith. If a Christian has these virtues and also has an abundance of material possessions, he should be detached from his wealth and act charitably towards others and thus be pleasing to God. On the other hand, if someone is not well-off he is not justified in God’s sight on that account, if he fails to strive to acquire those virtues in which true poverty consists.”

    In this case a small failure on the part of the words of the Pope to communicate the real truth of the Word of God. But a failure nonetheless.

  16. Keeping in your tenor, your idolatry of the Papacy would move one to be a Protestant.

    Now continuing in a truly Christian fashion. What I have been saying all along is that Francis communicates in a poor (I would even say clumsy) fashion.

    My faith is not based on the Pope or anything he says. It is not based on any of his words. It is based on the Word of God – Christ. That in fact is what the Pope is (poorly) saying in his homily and in that (as Hadely Arkes said “bizarre”) interview.

    As my faith is in the Word of God and not in the faulty words of man, I do believe when this Word of God grants infallibility to the Pope in Faith and Morals (not style or specific words). That is a truly Catholic understanding.

  17. Hmmm your dialectic forcing a split between the Word of God and the words of man (here I am not speaking of Pope Francis) is a very familiar one-an Augustinian friar 496 years ago claimed pretty much the same position

  18. Nope. They are the words of Francis himself. And JP II and Benedict. It is a relationship with Jesus the Christ that is the source and summit of the Christian life. From this, all else flows including the truths about faith and morals that the Pope speaks.

    You are confused (and without great peace) if you think Francis is saying otherwise.

  19. Horse hockey Donald. Even the most ignorant who don’t follow event know no pope would say what the media portrays him as saying

    Then why has NOT A SINGLE CATHOLIC I KNOW WHO IS NOT A BLOGGER “know” this? Bloggers generally know the MSN is rubbish on religion; other orthodox religious groups even know this, and I’ve seen them (Molly Hemmingway!) leap to defend Catholics from the mangled portrayals… but most folks are blinking, and going “what on earth is up with the Pope?”

    Perhaps they’re just more aware that being Pope doesn’t automatically mean you’re all that good, although stuff is much better defended now….

  20. Then why has NOT A SINGLE CATHOLIC I KNOW WHO IS NOT A BLOGGER “know” this? Bloggers generally know the MSN is rubbish on religion; other orthodox religious groups even know this, and I’ve seen them (Molly Hemmingway!) leap to defend Catholics from the mangled portrayals… but most folks are blinking, and going “what on earth is up with the Pope?”

    I’ll bet these same Catholics thought Benedict XVI changed Church teaching with his condom comment:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/pope-benedict-xvi-condom-circumstances-fight-aids-article-1.454535

    And even if you read what Benedict actually said in context (which doesn’t approve of condom use in any way) it is far far more vulnerable to being twisted in damaging way than anything Francis said in that interview. People need to get a grip. Those who are wringing their hands about this are waving the white flag of surrender to the media. Any Catholic who thinks Pope Francis said what the media said he did is an ignoramus who have problems that are beyond any the reach of rational explanation.

  21. As Donald said, all popes use less than optimal words when expressing a thought. Their words will be taken out of context by the MSM. But with Pope Francis, it’s a habit, a recurring event.

    When even the most ardent papal defenders are perplexed when Pope Francis speaks, something is amiss. It seems almost weekly we see links to articles which seek to explain what Pope Francis really means, and it’s not because his thoughts highly academic or theological. Not a good sign.

    I understand and mostly agree with Pope Francis says, but I don’t agree with the way he says it. I hope no one construes from this that I am a member of SSPX. 😉

  22. I’ll bet these same Catholics thought Benedict XVI changed Church teaching with his condom comment:

    Irrelevant.

    You made a claim about “all Catholics” who aren’t bloggers. Pointing to another example of media malpractice does nothing to support the claim, anymore than finding a non-blogging Catholic who agreed with you would do so.

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