PopeWatch: Insults

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

The Pope condemned insults yesterday:

 

“In our day, we think that ‘not killing our brother’ means simply not actually murdering him – but no – not killing our brother means not [even] insulting him. The insult comes from the same root of the crime: hatred. If you do not hate, and you would not kill your enemy, your brother, then do not insult him either. Nevertheless, a common habit among us is to seek out things to find insulting. There are [also] those, who, in their hatred, express their hate through insults with great flourish – and that hurts. Scolding, insulting – not – let us be realistic: the criterion of realism; the criterion of coherence. Do not kill, do not insult.”

The problem of course is when an insult is also an accurate description.  However, perhaps this is merely PopeWatch being a self-absorbed promethean neopelagian.

21 Responses to PopeWatch: Insults

  • People and Popes who live in glass houses ought not throw stones.

  • This means perhaps that no one near him is pointing out to him that he insults repeatedly which means he is surrounded by “courtiers” to use his insulting and accurate term. Christ used “whited sepulchers”….John used ” brood of vipers”. Obviously the topic is nuanced…some insults are sins, some are the “due and virtuous act ” …to use Aquinas language. His sermon should discriminate twixt the two.

  • “But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.” Matt. 5:22

    Pope Francis here preaches charity.
    Forgive all injuries.
    Pray for those that persecute you.
    Pray for the living and the dead.

    When practiced with charity and humility, the following are not insults: Admonish the sinner. Instruct the ignorant. Counsel the doubtful.

  • Oh my goodness! I justf read the whole article you linked. I am going to have some time to digest that! My first thought is o my gosh our Pope is a humanist.

  • I guess the insults directed against the Franciscan Friars will soon cease?

  • I really do not know what to think. T. Shaw’s point in referencing Matthew 5:22 is valid. However, this Pope has no trouble in ascribing less than desirable descriptions to conservative Catholics.

  • When a pope kisses the hand of a known practicing dissident catholic priest, propagating ideas contrary to Catholic teachings…well I’d call it insulting. Yes. I do pray for them. All religious are in my prayers.

  • I’m guessing he doesn’t mean the “I don’t like that” insult, he means the “using words to cause pain” insult.

  • Well, if I’ve learned anything in life, I’ve learned that when you do something you need to do it well. That should mean to do it as promethean as possible. Right? I wouldn’t take that word as an insult.

  • St. Catherine of Siena told one of her followers that if anyone criticizes you, you should accept the rebuke, because which of us doesn’t deserve it? This follower was on the way to see the Pope on her behalf. In essence, her advice was to take any insult from a pope without resentment.

  • I would not agree that every criticism is an insult, but the Pope is surely correct that many many insults are acts of murder.
    -
    I was once a believer (appropriate word) in gun control. About twenty years ago I had two things happen that changed my mind. One was an article in the Atlantic Monthly concerning crime: it was written by a former aid to Robert Kennedy who basically admitted that the NRA’s quotes of crime statistics were accurate (he seemed oblivious to the fact that he was undermining gun control arguments, his motives lay elsewhere, mostly with aiding minority families).
    The other event was my employment in a particular business. I was really bothered by the relatively large number of nasty backstabbers in the place. As I got to know more people I was shocked by the fact that the gun owners were the nice people, while the backstabbers were the gun control advocates.
    -
    I came to the conclusion twenty years ago that the backstabbers liked to murder people with words, and so deep down they knew they could not trust themselves with a weapon. I wouldn’t trust them either. The gun owners, on the other hand, were the most trustworthy people I ever met. So, I found by experience that the Pope is right on the money here.

  • If it’s an accurate description, and not spoken in anger (or rather anger that’s not righteous) then it’s not intended as an insult now, is it?

    That said, like T. Shaw, Matthew came to mind. There’s a lot of [blithering] idiots on the road, for example, and I’m usually angry at them when I accurately, and loudly, describe them as such.

  • “St. Catherine of Siena told one of her followers that if anyone criticizes you, you should accept the rebuke, because which of us doesn’t deserve it?”

    I can think of an endless number of rebukes that I do not deserve.

  • “If it’s an accurate description, and not spoken in anger (or rather anger that’s not righteous) then it’s not intended as an insult now, is it?”

    Actually the most accurate descriptions can be the deadliest and most devastating of insults: “Honey, does this dress make me look fat?”

  • I think the Pope is correct about the terrible power of words, insulting words. Very often today we hear terrible insults hurled even when no one is really all that angry or serious about their “judgment”. Comedians think insult and verbal abuse is funny, and audiences accommodate them by laughing.
    The pope rightly teaches the interdependence of two things: our being right with God, and being right with our neighbor.
    Our love of our neighbor prevents us from gratuitous insults, but that same love brings us to express the truth, even when it is a hard truth.
    When we have to hear a hard truth about ourselves we can help ourselves by taking it to The Lord and asking for clarity.
    The part of his talk that I didn’t like wasn’t included in this post, and that part related to conflict resolution through compromise.

  • Actually the most accurate descriptions can be the deadliest and most devastating of insults: “Honey, does this dress make me look fat?”

    Point taken Donald. Those are the times when we all go Jesuitical

    No dear, the dress doesn’t make you look fat.

  • Another dress situation that presents itself for finding words has to do with lack of cover, or misuse of buttons and placement of waistbands, but it seems the flaunting overrules the asking – so I guess there’s no worry about possible insults.

  • Very funny, Ernst

  • “I love you” is the correct answer.

  • Mr. Bannon, When you say, “Christ used “whited sepulchers”….John used ” brood of vipers”. Obviously the topic is nuanced…some insults are sins, some are the “due and virtuous act ” …to use Aquinas language.”, do you mean that it is virtuous to call someone an idiot out of love and a desire to correct that person’s idiotic behavior?

  • Hmmm,”insults, killing our brother” … something to digest.
    So, PF I am sure is examining his own conscience now in regards to his own all-too-ready for primetime name-calling, such as “self-absorbed Promethean Neo-Pelagians”; or calling a certain type of “consecrated man or woman”…”an unfruitful bachelor” or a “spinster”, “neither fathers nor mothers” (ironically in an interview of Francis called “A Big Heart Open to God,” 9/30/13, America). Unfortunately, I saw for many years far too many SJ’s quite ready to name-call and insult as a declaration of their own superiority. It looks like it rubbed off on him. Oh well.
    [Meanwhile, I am watching a news feed right now on some hooded men really lining up and killing their brothers in mass executions, by the way. Is this the manner of this pontificacy, rather like re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic?..]

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