Wanted: Full Time Papal Translator

Tuesday, October 1, AD 2013

 

Pope Francis

 

I am glad that Pope Francis seems to be enjoying being the Pope so much.  He certainly seems to be having a high old time, giving colorful interviews that raise the spirits of the enemies of the Church while depressing the spirits of many orthodox Catholics.  The latest colorful interview was with the atheist founder of La Repubblica, Eugenio Scalfari, the largest newspaper in Italy, which was published in La Repubblica.  Go here to read it.

Pat Archbold at Creative Minority Report, notes some of the many, many questions raised by this interview:

In other words, another week, another papal interview with several “What the flock?” quotes?
Before I start, let me stipulate that just like before, if you turn your head 30 degrees to the left and squint, everything the Pope says can be squared with Catholic teaching, as if that still matters anymore.
Let’s start off with the biggest “Really?!?!” quote.

The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don’t even look for them any more. “

Really?  The most serious evils afflicting the world?  Surely Miley Cyrus should have made the list, no?  If not Hannah Montana, then, oh I dunno, millions o’ dead babies annually?  Maybe them over youth unemployment?  I am sure I just failing to understand the context here, again.

 

It’s a joke I tell him. My friends think it is you want to convert me.
He smiles again and replies: “Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.

 

To which I tweeted “‘Cause Jesus said “Go therefore and make disciples…listen and improve your knowledge of the world around you!”
The Crescat at Patheos (Both noted  for their radical traditionalism, right?) seems to agree when she similarly wrote in response “Ha. Ha. Lulz. You mean this bit of nonsense. —  “Go therefore and teach all nations…
I think there is a real danger of confusing proselytism with evangelization.
CCC   The missionary mandate. “Having been  divinely sent to the nations that she might be ‘the universal sacrament  of salvation,’ the Church, in obedience to the command of her founder  and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to  preach the Gospel to all men”:339 “Go therefore and make  disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and  of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I  have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the  age.”340

Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is? “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.”

Again, it can be seen with certain context to be true, but the context is lacking and the takeaway as clear as the truth here is muddied.

But Wait. What if I encourage people to  move towards what they think is Good, I might accidentally proselytize.   I am so confused. 
Go here to read the rest.  Now we all know the routine by now.  Endless posts will be made on Saint Blog’s explaining that people who are concerned by the interview are crazy traditionalists, that Pope Francis is completely orthodox, that he is right in line with Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, and, in a pinch, that the Pope was misquoted.  I have a very simple proposal.  The Vatican needs to hire a Pope Translator to translate what Pope Francis says into something close to traditional Catholic teaching.  I wish, with all my heart, I were joking.

 

 

63 Responses to Wanted: Full Time Papal Translator

  • Some thirty years ago, my high school French teacher told the class that if we “needed to give a story in order to explain why the answers to her test questions were correct, they weren’t.”

    Why do I have a sad, sinking feeling that if we have to give a story (usually multiple ones) to explain why the Pope is completely, utterly, totally orthodox, he isn’t?

    Maybe I’ve just had a long day.

  • “If the Church becomes like him and becomes what he wants it to be, it will be an epochal change.”

    Oh boy….change. Can’t wait (/sarc)

  • The Church has had good Popes. The Church has bad Popes. The Church will survive. The gates of hell will not prevail. But God still gives us the leaders we deserve.

  • The Church has had weak, incompetent popes too. As well-meaning as he may be, I’m afraid Francis will be remembered as such.

  • The Pope actually said in this interview: “I have the humility and ambition to want to do something.”

    More here:

    http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/2013/10/01/news/pope_s_conversation_with_scalfari_english-67643118/

  • Thankfully the nature of the Office tends not to lend itself to the cult of personality, over time. Once you’ve seen one Pope you’ve seen em all. I don’t know why this Jesuit is the Pope but AMDG, as they say.

  • I think Fr, Z’s take is much better than the useless hyperventilating we see in some other quarters:
    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/10/pope-francis-interview-in-la-repubblica-or-is-this-now-my-fate/

  • Oh, and about the proselytism issue. I think Pope Francis is in line the CDF under B16:

    “In this connection, it needs also to be recalled that if a non-Catholic Christian, for reasons of conscience and having been convinced of Catholic truth, asks to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church, this is to be respected as the work of the Holy Spirit and as an expression of freedom of conscience and of religion. In such a case, it would not be a question of proselytism in the negative sense that has been attributed to this term.[49] As explicitly recognized in the Decree on Ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council, “it is evident that the work of preparing and reconciling those individuals who desire full Catholic communion is of its nature distinct from ecumenical action, but there is no opposition between the two, since both proceed from the marvelous ways of God”.[50] Therefore, the work of ecumenism does not remove the right or take away the responsibility of proclaiming in fullness the Catholic faith to other Christians, who freely wish to receive it.” (Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization #12 Emphasis Added))

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20071203_nota-evangelizzazione_en.html

  • There has already been a great deal of questioning concerning the translation of this interview. However for some, that will make little or no difference. He is the pope, the bishop of Rome. He is Peter for us at this time. Peter has never been beyond questioning: Paul shows us that (Galatians 2) Having said that however where does genuine questioning end and psychological then semi formal schism begin?

    See if we begin picking Francis apart-and again, every word frm his mouth is not the word of God, on what basis do we complain, criticize and worse those who have ‘ held themselves apart’ from Pope Benedict or Hohn Paul II or Paul VI etc if recent popes belong in a category of questionable (and this is true for both Progressives and ultra traditionalists) then is it not also true we can criticize etc Pius XII, Pius X, Pius IX and the list goes on?

    This is why the hermeneutic of continuity is so necessary in order to maintain a needed equilibrium rather than becoming radicalized in either the Progressive. Or Traditionalist extremes

  • So here is my having-slept-on-it take: Both interviews attempt to thread the needle on being faithful to conscience. What remains unsaid is the connection between conscience and natural law. Take as a given that His Holiness isn’t saying that truth is whatever we want it to be. He cannot be carving out a relativist position since that would directly conflict with the Church’s consistent teaching that there is objective truth, objective rights and wrongs. He was speaking to Atheists and Agnostics in the published open letter last month. He was speaking to the laity, both churched and unchurched, in the America interview. He is again speaking to Atheists in this second interview. In all of them he says that faithfully following one’s conscience is a PATHWAY to salvation. Nothing revolutionary there. Not often said in Catholic circles since we like to think of the faith as a consistent and absolutely necessary whole but consistent with broader and deeper Church teaching nonetheless. What IS new is that he isn’t saying that the conscience one is following has to be PROPERLY FORMED for it to be a pathway to heaven. That is new and can only be predicated by acknowledgment that there is a blueprint for Truth imprinted on the human person – i.e. Natural Law is the foundation of the pathway to heaven. Looked at in this light, it is a starting point for the Agnostic, the non-Catholic, and the not-practicing Catholic. It seems like His Holiness is saying “look, the fact that you aren’t an awful person and that you care about being a good person indicates that God is already touching you. You can’t help it. God brought you into being and, having been touched by His hand, you cannot help but to want the Good. That is the start of something great and the Church is here to help you up that path.” Linking this up to the America Interview, His Holiness seems to be saying to the the practicing Catholic community “you aren’t helping people who are beaten and bloodied on the roadside, you are walking past them like the judgmental Pharisee in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. These brothers are at the path and your insistence that they immediately become what God means for them to be in order to be worthy of conversing with is an impediment to their discovering God. Stop it! Engage our brothers where they are and walk with them to the inn. Heal them as best you can and give the inn keeper (the Church) the means (be good stewards of what God has given you) to care for them. We’ll take it from here.” Stated differently, I think the Church is saying to the unchurched and the not-practicing-Catholic “we want to help but you have to let us” and to the practicing-Catholics “you have to engage the world and bring them to our doors by your love. We’ll take care of them once you bring them home.” Such are my thoughts at this point. I reserve the right to revisit them.

  • A very charitable interpretation David and I hope you are right. My guess right now, based upon this repeated pattern of interviews, is that at best, at the very best, we have a pope who engages his mouth without making sure his brain is following along. If the pope truly means all the glop and confusion he has been dishing out, God help us, and I mean that as a prayer.

  • I agree with David. However I offer these two thoughts, or words, Babel and Diabolical. The problem is most people whether Catholic, or not, haven’t a clue of the true teachings of the Catholic Church. The flock of the last 40 years has been subject to physco babel from our leadership, blatant disobedience from those given the very minds of all of these souls leading to mass confusion of, and total blind disregard of the true church. For this I believe they will be judged. Not by man. But what do I know? Hmm.

  • Pope Francis seems to have two favorite parables
    1, The Good Shepherd where he leaves the 99 who are in the fold to find the lost sheep
    2. The Prodigal Son where the guy who stayed home got no parties and fancy clothes because he’s there all the time.
    or
    Maybe his favorite film is “Keys of the Kingdom” where the priest on retirning from China says in a homily: “All athiests are not godless men. I met one who I hope is now in heaven” and he adds “A good Christian is a good man but I found that the Confucians had a better sense of humor.” (See my review in “Christians in the Movies.”)

  • Pope Francis has been going after the lost souls of his flock, the black sheep, but cannot succeed by destroying the flock or by leading the black sheep further away.

  • “The Pope actually said in this interview: “I have the humility and ambition to want to do something.”

    I loved that line. For a humble guy, he sure calls a lot of attention to himself.

    “If the pope truly means all the glop and confusion he has been dishing out, God help us, and I mean that as a prayer.”

    We know that in the 2005 conclave that Francis was the progressive alternative to B16. We also are painfully aware that the crowd at America, including their exiled leader Reese, as well as many other progressive Catholics and fellow travelers, are thrilled with Francis.

    For commentators in the Catholic Blogosphere to insist that orthodox Catholics are crazy for being concerned about Francis’ cryptic comments is, itself, insane.

  • Well, if the Holy Father needs a translator perhaps the author of this perceptive article should apply:

    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2013/10/francis-in-dialogue-with-the-world

  • I am concerned Mr. English but I am doing what I can to make sense of what I’m reading. Paul got into it with Peter and, so, changed his mind about forcing Gentiles to become Jews in order to become Christians. Popes can be wrong about really important stuff. But I am not Paul. I am a poorly catechized Reagan-era Catholic who is trying to raise children who are better Christians than I am. That requires wrestling with Scripture, the Catechism, and a whole lot of other stuff like this. His Holiness is more likely right than I am so I am setting aside my worries and fears in hope that he can lead me more effectively than my poorly prepared self can.

  • Pingback: La Repubblica Pope Francis Interview - BigPulpit.com
  • Here’s the problem: Jesus descended to Earth in order to covert you and me. Once, people were religious and their harvests (spiritual not humanistic/materialistic) were plentiful; at present they are scanty.

    Where is the zeal for the salvation of souls?

    There is no progressive or traditional.

    There are the Gospel, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

    All else in vanity.

  • GJF, Thank you for linking to the article. I mostly agree but I don’t like this part: “Unless the day comes where he breaks with defined teaching, he will have my respect and obedience, and I will keep any transient dyspeptic moments to myself.” I’m with the commenter who noted that that is the last thing that I can imagine Pope Francis wanting – to suffer in silence and ignorance and not let anyone who can help us figure it out and move on. It is FAR better to share our fears and confusion and let others heal us than to hide the wound until we get gangrene.

  • I figure the folks who don’t want the Church will find ways to justify it, and the folks who know what’s up will stick to it… the only worry is for the folks in the balance.

    I must assume that he’s focusing on folks that aren’t in the USA!

  • Thank you for sharing Mr. Petrik. The article provides much new perspective for me.

  • If the Pope did say that he “had the humility and ambition to do something” that’s worrisome to me. If I recall in the Screwtape Letters that the uncle Devil said that the best way to get a believer was to make them proud of themselves for being so pious. I may be wrong but I think that true humility involves not being conscious of being humble.

  • If the Pope’s comments are meant to bring the lapsed Catholic back to the Church or encourage non-Catholics to join I think that is great.

    Based on how he can be perceived my concern is twofold:

    1. They will find an orthodox parish and feel unwelcome.
    2. They will find an unorthodox parish and feel welcome.

    LB

  • It’s becoming apparent that the more the pope speaks, the more he makes the case for the SSPX.

  • Respectfully, if he just didn’t speak, there would be no need for translators. Lord, have mercy on us.

  • Time our stellar post-conciliar papacies stopped behaving like rock stars and governed The Roman Catholic Church properly. No wonder it is full of filth and de facto schism. They neglect their episcopal pastoral duties. Sex, abuse and money have corrupted the so-called Conciliar church of “love”, while fewer than 20% of neo-catholics attend Sunday Mass.
    They should stop making ambiguous public statements and desist from excessive ecumenical and interconfessional activities that propagate indifference and confusion.

  • Respectfully, if he just didn’t speak, there would be no need for translators. Lord, have mercy on us.

    A traditionalist priest of my acquaintance who objected to the peripatetic quality of John Paul’s pontificate (and the volume of his talks and writings) put it this way: “the Pope’s not supposed to say too much”, as it introduces opacity into teaching.

    Yep.

  • At the outset do the first Big Interview the Holy Father says something to the effect that he is not one to speak odd the cuff, but that he always weighs his words and the effect they will have. I truly hope this is just one more piece of evidence of his deficient self-knowledge.

  • Pope Benedict said in his book on Jesus that it wasn’t an exercise of the Magisterium, so “everyone, then, is free to contradict me.”

    That would be a great disclaimer that should be written in big letters before any of these interviews by Pope Francis.

    Off the cuff interviews are not part of the magisterium.

  • “Off the cuff interviews are not part of the magisterium.”

    Bingo.

  • Two things strike me after reading the full interview:

    1) In this one there’s really not much to get upset about. I understand why people got worked up about the big America interview, in that it was a very deliberately put together and translated interview, and it was immediately followed by every MSM and dissident Catholic outfit shouting, “Pope says to shut up about abortion and gay marriage!” So at least there was a reason to get worked up there, though it was based on willful distortions by biased parties of what was being said. This, on the other hand, is a transcript by an atheist of a brief discussion that atheist had with the pope. The English translation is clearly pretty rocky, but reading the whole thing it’s pretty clear from the article itself that the pope isn’t saying most of the things that people are freaking out about. So, for instance, he says in a disarming sort of way that he’s not just there to proselytize the guy, but then he spends that last quarter or so of the interview clearly trying to draw him towards an understanding that the beliefs he had constitute a dim awareness of God. He talks about conscience in a way that sounds somewhat relativistic, but the he talks about how any sense we have of right and wrong comes from our encounter with the good. Etc. Moreover, this is a pretty obscure article in its English manifestation. It’s not like there are MSM or dissident Catholics running around saying, “Look what the pope says!” so I’m not really sure why people are bothering to worry about it that much.

    2) One of the things feeding all this frenzy is that there’s simply way too much coverage of the pope right now and its suffocating. I mean, we’re getting near the point where if the pope says “Pass the bread” at dinner, people will publish it and then worry that this means he doesn’t believe in the real presence. This “interview” is pretty clearly just a case of the pope spontaneously choosing to meet with a public critic and having a conversation with him in order to try to awaken some sort of realization of the truth in him. It’s not an encyclical. It’s not even an address or homily, it’s just a conversation. I think there’s something to Art’s point that the pope doesn’t need to be talking all the time, but obviously, this isn’t a matter of that pope literally having to be silent all the time. At least, it shouldn’t have to be. It shouldn’t be impossible for the pope to simply have a conversation with an unbliever without the whole world picking apart every line of the conversation to decide if it could have been better. He’s simply too much news right now and I wish the people would just stop covering it so much. Give it another year and the novelty will doubtless wear off and we’ll hear a lot less about it, but in the mean time, sheesh.

  • Please don’t make me listen to Jose the South American anymore.. I know how humble he is, but I really don’t need him to tell me how humble he is and how I’m a heretic for being partial to orthodoxy anymore!!!

  • Traduttore traditore…the Vatican is bad at communication to the secular world. It is frustrating and confusing to the faithful that misinformation or distortion of Catholic teachings filtered through the media is occurring so frequently. Pope Benedict was frequently misinterpreted, by design, now we appear to have yet more inventive interpretation of what ought to be clear, concise and unambiguous. Pope Francis is new to the office but those around him need to curb his instinct to act as if still an ordinary. Whether he is comfortable with the title or not he is Supreme Pontiff. Next time he ventures to chat with the secular press he might bear that in mind.

  • Darwin,

    Those are excellent points.

    I imagine I will have to keep those in mind throughout his Pontificate.

    LB

  • You certainly did to miss the point regarding the comment about youth unemployment as being one of the most serious evils that we are dealing with. And you sardonically respond with:Really? The most serious evils afflicting the world? Surely Miley Cyrus should have made the list, no? If not Hannah Montana, then, oh I dunno, millions o’ dead babies annually? Maybe them over youth unemployment? I am sure I just failing to understand the context here, again. Well, my response would be help the youth and you help the problem of the aborted babies, after all where do you, “Oh I dunno,” think they come from…

  • I think one area that we may need to explore is the cultural nuances of a Latino pope vs European. This could be related to some of his communications (just a guess). The culture often is communicated with more expression points, exaggerations, etc. than we are accustomed to. If so, I trust we and the pope will get better over time.

  • “Well, my response would be help the youth and you help the problem of the aborted babies, after all where do you, ‘Oh I dunno,’ think they come from.”

    Wrong! Conversion and repentance, holiness and righteousness come BEFORE prosperity and health, NEVER afterwards.

    Observe in the healing of the paralytic lowered through the roof of a house that Jesus does NOT meet the physical needs of the paralytic first. St. Thomas Aquinas in his Commentary on the Gospel of Matthews points out that like a good doctor, Jesus cures the CAUSE of the illness and does so FIRST, NOT the symptom. We know from elsewhere in Sacred Scripture that the entry of sin into the world brought disease and death. This is the cause of joblessness, hunger, destitution, poverty and all the myriad ills that afflict mankind – the serpent’s cry, “Non serviam!” This is what Jesus addresses FIRST – NOT social justice nonsense. Indeed, Jesus in reading the hidden thoughts of the Scribes and Pharisees, asks:

    For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?

    The harder task is to heal the scarred and wounded soul, and it is this harder miracle that Jesus tackles first. Yet nowadays there remains this godless, sickening, putrid tendency in various Catholic jurisdictions and Protestant denominations to place primacy on social justice issues to the exclusion of the more important spiritual needs. Maybe this is because meeting a person’s spiritual needs is too hard for them. Perhaps this is because of the desire to see something happen. I think it is the hubris, the arrogance, the unmitigated gall of liberal progressives who believe that through their own works they can create the Kingdom of God on Earth by their own hands. It is time to jettison into the refuse can of fecal matter the malodorously bankrupt gospel of social justice, the common good and peace at any price for the Gospel which Jesus the Living Christ preached: Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand!

    The young and the old will be best served by carrying the Gospel of salvation to their souls. That is what Jesus did to the Paralytic FIRST, and THEN and ONLY THEN did He heal his physical body.

  • The Holy Father TALKS TOO MUCH and not very clearly. There is never that single memorable and powerful sentence or image that delivers. I find myself ‘awash’ in verbiage and THEN I have to go to Father Z to parse each word and show it is not REALLY as bad as it sounds.

  • Transparent: No more TLM for an order which is the reason for its growth,
    translucent: seeing the church as a field hospital for the wounded,
    and opaque: allowing correction of scandal and heretics to continuously slide to the detriment of souls.

    Jesus’ parables didn’t use sheep and vines for nothing.

  • Pope Francis addressed “those obsessed with abortion” and obsessed with gay issues, that is, the abortionists and the militant gays. Pope Francis did not address pro-lifers and so-called straights, those who adhere to the truth and enjoy their relationship and conversation with God. In Pope Francis’ interview with professed atheist, Eugenio Scalfari, editor of La Repubblica, Scalfari described the Big Bang theory invented by the Catholic priest, George Lemaitre and attributed to the English scientist, Hubble, which is the creation of time and space and which infers the atheistic theory of evolution, but from what? Hawkins theory of the law of gravity which has been proved to be nonsense? Scalfari did not and could not say. Pity the atheist and his poverty stricken life. Scalfari’s reasoning did not arrive at the First Principle, the Unmoved Mover, the Creator WHO is outside time and space, the Omnipresent, the Omnipotent, all loving, almighty God.

    “It’s a joke I tell him. My friends think it is you want to convert me.
    He smiles again and replies: “Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.”
    Proselytism by an atheist is solemn nonsense, for the atheist abandoned his reasoning when the atheist abandoned his immortal soul.

  • I agree that some of the commentary on some or the more conservative Catholic blogs have been unduly alarmist and over the top. That said, can we at least agree that the notion that youth unemployment and loneliness among the elderly are “the “most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days” is kind of silly? And the reference to obsession with abortion can admittedly be justified on the theory that “obsession” with anything is by definition disordered, but substitute “gassing of the Jews” for abortion and one should be able to understand the discomfort many serious Catholics are feeling.

  • “…but substitute ‘gassing of the Jews’ for abortion”

    How about substituting “concern for the poor” for abortion. Then you’ll see if such people are serious.

  • How about substituting “concern for the poor” for abortion. Then you’ll see if such people are serious.

    Serious about what, Phillip? Poverty is endemic in this world; mass legal abortion is not. Charitable endeavours can ameliorate some suffering, but only improved productivity can make for generalized alleviation. That is the work of merchants and industrialists, not people working in philanthropic concerns. As for ‘youth unemployment’, the major part of the bill for that can be served on those who wrote the labor law here there and the next place, or who composed corporate, commercial, and tax law so haphazardly administered as to force most businesses (and their employees) off the books. (I have not noticed the elderly are particularly ‘lonely’ outside of nursing homes, but I live neither in Argentina nor Italy nor France. Residents of nursing homes have quite a complex of problems in addition to lonliness).

  • Art,

    Thanks for proving the point. First, this is not to denigrate the poor, but to point out that if one is serious about Francis’s comments, then one should also be able to insert “the poor” instead of “abortion.” If the relationship with Christ is what is essential, then any obsession, even a very good one, is secondary.

    Having said that, you are very wrong in other ways. Abortion is completely banned only in a very few countries and even in those where it is legal there are always illegal abortions.

    Beyond that, extremes of poverty should be solved. But not all poverty is a moral evil. Some have enough to live a dignified life while being poor. This is not a moral evil. All abortion is a moral evil. So equating poverty with abortion is weak at best and you have in fact inverted their moral value.

  • So equating poverty with abortion is weak at best and you have in fact inverted their moral value.

    I have neither equated them, proved your point, or inverted their moral value. I have pointed out that they are problems of a different character, have to be addressed with different means, and that the degree of success you have will not be similar at all. Stop being dense.

  • Yes, and I have pointed out the nature of the difference of character (one is always evil whereas the other not), how you have confused the nature of those evils, and pointed out that both are actually quite prevalent.

    Thank-you for allowing me to correct your errors.

  • But if we are to talk about density (not that I will claim that for you) the post you originally commented on had nothing to do with solutions to poverty, abortion etc.

    Again, it was to point out that if one is serious about Francis’s comments on a person’s relationship to Christ, then one should not be obsessed either about poverty or abortion. A liberal would be as convicted as a conservative.

  • Thank-you for allowing me to correct your errors.

    Please stop being passive-aggressive about picking fights.

    We get it. You and Art disagree. Please stick to arguing the solid facts or pointing out the places you disagree, instead of that lukewarm snark.

  • Sorry Foxfier. Not passive aggressive at all but replying to the very inappropriate “dense” comment by Art.

    As to the errors, those are noted in my initial response to Art. If you disagree with those, please feel free to.

  • Then respond to it– don’t get snarky with the “thank you for allowing me to correct your errors” stuff.
    That sort of behavior is part of why calls for charity and good manners gets such a bad name.

  • But as with many blogs, much is lost in interpretation. My comment was originally to Mike Petrik. As noted several times, my comment was regarding those who might denigrate conservatives in light of the Pope’s poorly worded comments.

    To slightly change Mike’s comment:

    “And the reference to obsession with abortion can admittedly be justified on the theory that “obsession” with anything is by definition disordered, but substitute “obsession with poverty” for abortion and one should be able to understand the discomfort many serious Catholics are feeling.

    My point again being, that if one takes Francis’s words seriously about a relationship with Christ, one should accept such a statement. But I think many liberals would not. I think they would be as angry as some conservatives are when he references abortion.

    My comment had nothing to do with solving social problems, nor the role of the market, nor did it make any reference to elderly in Argentina.

    It was merely asking cognitive consistency among liberals.

  • Isn’t that so much better than a humorless, paternalistic and various other unpleasant characteristic flavored one-liner?

    (note: that’s why I was being careful not to pick sides; you both have a point, they’re just in totally different directions)

  • “Then respond to it– don’t get snarky with the “thank you for allowing me to correct your errors” stuff.”

    Again, it was addressed. If you have a problem with my points then address those. This is merely what you are asking.

    And again, do you find the “dense” comment good manners? If so, please address that.

  • “Isn’t that so much better than a humorless, paternalistic and various other unpleasant characteristic flavored one-liner?”

    You mean like this one.

  • Art was directly responding to a missing of his point after reiterating his point, regardless of how politely it was done; you were using a passive-aggressive one liner because you felt slighted, without bothering to likewise reiterate your case until three comments later, AND the one-liner was at best an example of “offensive charity.”

    Again, it was addressed.

    Not until you were repeatedly challenged on it.

    Rather ironic that you are upset about someone objecting to a perfect example of what the Pope most likely is doing– using an example that can easily be misinterpreted as equating two disparate things, even though the original example was clearly different.

  • Actually it was addressed in my very first comment to Art at 11:35 with the absence of any comments. It was in response to the “dense” comment that I responded in a similar vein.

    I responded again in the 2:52 comment before you joined the conversation. It was addressed a third time in the middle of these comments (crossed posted.) So it actually was addressed several time.

    I suspect you have not examined these closely.

  • Foxfire to Phillip: “We get it. You and Art disagree.”

    Actually, I’m not completely sure they do disagree. Art is correct that poverty is not an evil in quite the same way abortion is and that the latter is more analogous to the murder of Jews. But I don’t think Phillip disagrees with Art about that, but was simply observing that many liberal Catholics would not have been so sanguine about the Pope’s comment had he referred to poverty instead of abortion. On this, he is undoubtedly correct and I would be surprised if Art disagreed. The fact that the analogy is weaker than the one I offered would seem to be an indictment of such liberals precisely because the evil of abortion is of a higher grade than that of materialistic poverty.

    Assuming I’m correct (and I might not be), I regret my unintentional invitation to this violent agreement masquerading as an argument. I am not so much interested in highlighting the conservative/liberal divide that Phillip pressed, as I am in sharing my observation that the Holy Father’s statement seems to treat abortion as some sort of technical moral flaw as opposed to a holocaust in its own right. I do find it disturbing and puzzling.

  • Thank you Mike …. all seems to clarify why the pope has interpretive problems.

  • Thank you Mike. Always, you are a better writer than I am.

  • Pope Francis: ‘”The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don’t even look for them any more.”

    Jesus Christ

    For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. (Matthew 26:11)

    “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

    “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:31-33)

    King Solomon

    “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2nd Chronicles 7:14)

    —–

    Poverty can never, ever be eradicated until sin is defeated. Conversion and repentance, holiness and righteousness come before, never after physical health and material well-being. The story of the paralytic in Matthew chapter 9 demonstrated this. Jesus healed His soul BEFORE his body. Too many in the Church currently place way too much emphasis on social justice nonsense to the exclusion of the spiritual. You want to help the poor? Get their souls saved! St. Thomas Aquinas comments as follows:

    “This paralytic symbolizes the sinner lying in sin; just as the paralytic cannot move, so the sinner cannot help himself. The people who bring the paralytic along represent those who, by giving him good advice, lead the sinner to God.”

    Help the poor! Help the rich! Get their souls saved from damnation and hell. Do that FIRST because that’s what Jesus did to the paralytic.

  • I will wait awhile before forming an opinion of Pope Francis and his approach to the mission of the Church. He is a human being like Peter of whom Our Lord said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, strengthen thy brethren”. So let us join our prayer to that of Christ for the Holy Father. Let us also pray for ourselves and the sorry state into which Christendom has fallen. How many French, the children of the Eldest Daughter of the Church, attend Sunday Mass, seven percent? And in the rest of Europe or even the United States, are the numbers of the practicing faithful what they once were? Furthermore, while the United States has a fertility rate sufficient to replace those who die, the demographic decline of Europe casts an ominous shadow over the continent of our ancestors. Not a single European nation has a birth rate sufficient to survive intact to the end of this century. “The prognosis is grim. Between 2000 and 2050, world population will grow by more than three billion to over nine billion people, but this 50 percent increase in global population will come entirely in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as one hundred million people of European stock vanish from the earth.” (Death of the West-P. Buchanan) In Russia, two thirds of all pregnancies are aborted. In Germany, sewers have had to be redesigned to work with lower flows and in some parts of that country, the wolf is literally at the door. Wolves are returning to areas from which they had been driven by centuries of dense settlement. The invasion of the wolf is a manifestation of nature asserting herself and filling every niche and void. According to a UN report published in February 2001, Europe will lose almost a quarter of its indigenous population by the year 2050. Not since the Black Death of the Fourteenth Century has Europe been confronted with such a demographic crisis. The Plague killed a third of the people in Europe, but a loss of a quarter of the population by infertility is actually a worse situation. The Plague was democratic, taking, without discrimination, the old and the young. Infertility takes only the young, while leaving the old dependent, and a burden on those too few to support them. It takes a fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman to make up for the death rate in the developed world. A partial excerpt from the World Population Data Sheet 4 tells the story:
    France, Norway, Denmark and Finland have fertility rates of 1.8; Serbia, Montenegro, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden have 1.7; Luxembourg, Belgium and Cyprus have 1.6; Malta and Estonia have 1.5; Georgia, Russia, Austria, Portugal and Switzerland have 1.4; Romania, Lithuania, Croatia, Spain, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria, Italy and Germany have 1.3; and barely keeping up at a fertility rate of 1.2 children per woman, are Moldova, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia and Slovenia. That Saudi Arabia’s fertility rate of 4.5 and Pakistan’s rate of 6.3 are typical of Moslem countries tells the rest of the story.
    What has happened to the inhabitants of what was once the Christian Continent? The people who received the Gospel and commingled with it: the intellectuality of the Greeks, the practicality of the Romans and the vitality of the Celts and the Teutons to bestow the brilliance of Western Civilization upon a world that had grown dark. Has the rich soil of the continent from which sprang forth Renaissance, Enlightenment, Science and Industry gone fallow? Perhaps it is diagnostic to note that the preamble to the constitution of the European Union deliberately makes no mention of God or that Europe has any Christian roots. “Let us put this in different terms: the attempt, carried to extremes, to shape human affairs to the total exclusion of God leads us more and more to the brink of the abyss, toward the utter annihilation of man.” (Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures, by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Aka: Pope Benedict XVI) It certainly appears that Pope Francis has a mission almost impossible. The Shoes of the Fisherman are large indeed and the journey in them will be long and hard. Let us pray.