PopeWatch: The Francis Effect and Nancy Pelosi’s Bishop

Monday, October 21, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

Father Z has coined a phrase “the Francis Effect” that I fear we will all become quite familiar with:

Six months into this pontificate, and people are starting to go a little crazy.

For example, the Archbishop of Birmingham is talking about intercommunion with Anglicans, based on a document which dates back to 1993 and concerns the conditions necessary for intercommunion with the Eastern Orthodox.   (In other words, that document doesn’t apply.  One is an actual Church with valid sacraments and the other is neither.)

For example, in the Archdiocese of Freiburg, Germany, some minor chancery official usurped authority which was not his in order to outline a “policy” that would allow the divorced and remarried in the diocese to receive Communion.  (In other words, it remains entirely against the law and, whether he did it on his own or with the wink and nod of the diocese’s administrator, someone oughta get their backside paddled, and hard.)

Not helpful.

In some places, the Church’s teaching on doctrine and morals are out the window.

Real colors are being revealed.

We have a prime example of the Francis Effect from Nancy Pelosi’s pet Bishop:  Robert W. McElroy.  Appointed by Pope Benedict for some inexplicable reason as an auxiliary bishop of San Francisco in 2010, McElroy wrote a piece for the Jesuit rag America in 2005 in which he rode to the rescue of pro-abort Catholic politicians facing a potential risk of being denied the Eucharist for voting in favor of child murder in utero:

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20 Responses to PopeWatch: The Francis Effect and Nancy Pelosi’s Bishop

  • Liberals — including many bishops — in the Church would like to deny Republicans communion over welfare programs, but will fight unceasingly to prevent denying pro-abort Democrats communion.

    If liberals fought poverty the way pro-lifers fight abortion, they’d line up outside grocery stores with signs that read “pray for food”.

  • Poverty is not an intrinsic evil as is murdering of the innocents. Yes, denying a decent, fair wage is a horrible sin, and one which, like sodomy and murder, cries out to God for vengeance. But, one can overcome poverty through heroic virtue and become a saint, while the dead baby is just….dead, without a chance for life. The compare poverty with abortion is a logical fallacy of false comparisons. Sad we have such a weak man as a bishop.

  • sorry meant to compare, not the compare….God bless

  • Poverty and abortion are the same issue. Abortion is the genocide of the poor.

  • Here’s the deal: I’d be willing to bet that everyone posting here is 100% committed to policies that would lead to the END of poverty (although we may disagree about what those policies may be).

    Can Pelosi say the same thing with respect to ending abortion?

  • Yeah, the pro-poverty lobby does seem pretty sparse on the ground! 🙂

    On the other hand Nancy Pelosi would sooner eat ground glass than ever see the right to life of the unborn protected by law.

  • The pro-poverty lobby is so full of love for the poor and their misguided policies have greatly increased the ranks of the poor . . .

  • Concerning Nancy Pelosi and Bishop McElroy, some people have died for lesser crimes against God:

    Acts 5:1-11

    1 But a man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. 7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Hark, the feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things.

    1st Corinthians 5:1-5

    1* It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. 3* For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment 4* in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5* you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. *

    1st Timothy 1:19-20

    By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among them Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

    Revelation 2:20-23

    20* But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her on a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her doings; 23* and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.

  • Poverty and abortion are the same issue. Abortion is the genocide of the poor.

    I can’t begin to understand what that means.

    Only the poor choose abortion? Abortion is killing off the poor (Margaret Sanger would wish it so!)? If we (meaning society, which usually means “people other than or in addition to myself”) did more for the poor they wouldn’t resort to abortion?

  • “Abortion is the genocide of the poor.”

    Such is the nature of bumper-sticker politics. Sounds awesome, means nothing.

  • “Abortion is the genocide of the poor”

    While I agree that this phrase might remind someone of a bumper sticker quip, in fact it actually reveals a depth of meaning that could escape us. Is there any person more poor, more impoverished than an innocent whose life is terminated because they are seen as a problem for others? What I have just described is a general statement covering all innocents whose lives are taken from them. So let me even be more specific. Is there any person more poor than the human being being formed in their mother’s womb who is suddenly described as a burden to others and whose life is snuffed out?

    When Jesus went into the synagogue in Nazareth and taking the sacred scroll of the Prophet Isaiah read “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, therefore He has anointed me to proclaim Evangelion (good news; the gospel) to the poor” (Isaiah 61; Luke 4), what was he really saying?

    I can tell you that He was not calling for a Marxist/socialist revolution or reconstruction of the world’s society. However He was not calling for lasses-faire capitalist throwing an occasional bone to the hungry poor at the gate. It seems that Christians in general and Catholics in particular feel these two are the only options. This is borne out by them taking an either/or position on issues such as abortion and the poor. Those favoring the so called progressive position push all sorts of programs for the poor(usually by making more infrastructure and throwing more money at ‘the poor’), failing frequently in recognizing the mos impoverished are those unjustly deprived of life. Conservatives, thankfully, seek an end to abortion but have fits if this real social justice issue is expanded to care for the rest of the poor.

    What happens when we begin to allow the Gospel of Christ, the Gospel of Life, the Gospel to the Poor is really allowed to enter our hearts and minds when our eyes blinded by ideology can once again see His Face in the poor in the womb, at our gates, and in the disabled, sick and elderly?

  • “Conservatives, thankfully, seek an end to abortion but have fits if this real social justice issue is expanded to care for the rest of the poor.”

    It already is expanded. That expansion is called Charity. As you state, He never calls for a Marxist/socialist revolution or reconstruction of the world’s society. In fact, He never calls for anything resembling a Statist solution, and even states elsewhere that there never will be a solution to poverty: “You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

    There is no such thing as “Social Justice.” All Justice is individual, just as all Virtue is individual, and all Salvation is individual. There is no Charity by Proxy, and there certainly is no Charity by Extortion. Charitable actions are not collective in nature, just as you do not receive absolution because 80% of the people in your Knights of Columbus chapter went to confession.

    In his country, the two issues of poverty and abortion “flow” in different directions. Abortion is the deprivation of life of the most innocent and unable. Period. It’s a wholesale slaughter on Satan’s altar, and the blood of the martyred unborn cries out for justice.

    Poverty is only a deprivation if you take the most Keynesian, zero-sum economic models and impose them onto such individual aspects as character. Anybody who wishes can take advantage of the educational and vocational avenues that proliferate American society, and pull themselves up starting right now. All they need is diligence and drive. Charitable organizations that can assist those who embark on such a path are falling out of the trees.

    Babies in utero do not have the legal protection that they suddenly (usually) obtain upon seeing the sun. This should be changed – from the moment of conception, a human is a human and unnatural deprivation of life is murder. A small change in the law is all that is needed.

    “Poverty,” such as it exists in this country, exists because the government has chosen to buy off the drive and character of a victim class. That deprivation is both voluntary and commercially viable, it seems, and those who buy it are content in their purchases. This condition would be ameliorated by a decrease in government action.

    The sick would be much better off without government – only the most obtuse troll in the bunch here would try to refute that, and the elderly used to be cherished for their wisdom and experience. Without government “help,” families and communities could more than amply care for their own grandparents and great-grandparents.

    So, if the question is, “What happens when we begin to allow the Gospel of Christ, the Gospel of Life, the Gospel to the Poor is really allowed to enter our hearts and minds when our eyes blinded by ideology can once again see His Face in the poor in the womb, at our gates, and in the disabled, sick and elderly?” [sic] then the answer is not “Vote for the politicians with the biggest entitlement schemes.”

    The answer begins, as all do, with each of us individually, as He sees us. None of us may be able to save the world, but each can improve his or her own little corner of it; most importantly, each can rededicate his or her heart to following Christ. Each of us can become His feet, His hands and His eyes here on earth. The aggregate effect of countless virtuous individual actions always has a greater, and more mutually beneficial, outcome than the gross imposition of Statist, ideological top-down coercion.

    By itself, “Abortion is the genocide of the poor.” is not innaccurate. However, when trying to equate poverty and abortion in such a way as to justify legislative action in the elimination of poverty on moral grounds, it simply doesn’t hold water.

  • Wk Aikens

    You have proven my point in my post concerning them blindness of ideology. We both agree that the progressive response to ‘the poor’ is not Gospel and frankly outlived its usefulness (if it ever had any). However the Gospel response to the poor can not be identified with the typical conservative response either.

    You state categorically that there is no such thing as ‘social justice’ yet the papal magisterium since Pope Leo XIII has stated that there is. An important caveat however is that the social justice of which the Church speaks is not at all the same as what liberal Protestantism and progressives claim it is, even if they overlap occasionally. “Charity” is indeed the response of the Church to the needs of all (Pope Benedict in Deus Caritas Est) but the response of every government must be one of justice (again Pope Benedict in Deus Caritas Est)

    Take some time, Immerse yourself in the ‘social encyclicals’ among which Pope Benedict counted Humanae Vitae, a very important point indeed.

    In the Sixties two famous Catholics made statements concerning their relationship to Church teaching, the Gospel. One we are more familiar with. The then candidate for President John F Kennedy broke the relationship not between Church and State or the Presidency and the Vatican, but the relationship of the individual Catholic, with the teaching of the Gospel. Most on this list are aware of this and deeply grieve this event and comment. It has led to countless Catholic politicians claiming they are personally against (for example) abortion but publicly for it. What Kennedy’s statement was was a real declaration of independence of an individual conscience from any objective moral law to define what indeed is the good that needds to be sought..

    However, in a less well-known figure of William Buckley, the great conservative commentator we find another sad statement, just as problematic as President Kennedy’s for American Catholics. After reading the social justice encyclical of Blessed John XXIII, Mater et Magister, Buckley quipped (as only he could with the use of English language) “Mater (mother) si (yes), Magister (teacher) non (no)!”

    We desperately need to move beyond both responses

  • “Mater (mother) si (yes), Magister (teacher) non (no)!”

    Actually that was Gary Wills’ quip. Wills has gone from right to left but his attitude towards the Church has been consistent.

    http://proecclesia.blogspot.com/2008/02/william-f-buckley-jr-and-mater-si.html

    http://weblog.theviewfromthecore.com/2002_10/ind_000866.html

  • The phrase “Social Justice” is easy to take out of context and I am probably guilty of interpreting it politically, as that is the mein of the phrase where it’s found. As far as the Magisterium and the Encyclicals, I never stop enjoying swinging Rerum Novarum as a hammer on liberal Catholics who (still . . .?) push Liberation Theology-like ideas. As well, since the liberal view rests in the collective, anything that denies the primacy of the individual stinks. “Social Justice,” therefore, except in the Papal uses mentioned, usually does invoke the sour waft of classism and collectivism; perhaps unfairly, but the modern vernacular has done what it has done.

    So, those things said, perhaps a more consistent semantic would assist in developing an apolitical view, vis-a-vis “social justice.” Anecdotally, I know many political conservatives who, quietly and with no communication between left hands and right, do amazing amounts of work for “the poor.” They do not regard their actions as “social justice” but simply charity. My parish friends who pray at death clinics every weekend do not believe they are enacting “social justice.” they see the faces of the women who come to the door of the clinics where they are standing. These are individulas, as are the children they carry.

    Those who I refer to also have first-hand knowledge of what politics and bureaucracy, with their dehumanizing rules, regulations and demands, can do to God’s constructs of family and marriage. They see it every day, which is the fuel that drives the engines of their political bent. I imagine Mr. Buckley (or Mr. Wills) would perhaps throw a look askance at them, but that would be his folly, not theirs; as conservatism is based on the belief that government is a necessary evil that should be applied only where no other balm is effective, I hold their actions more indicative of the stripe than I do his (or his) invective.

    Kennedy . . . well, there he is. We studied that speech at the Jesuit prep school I attended during the Nixon-Ford years, and there was much contention then, as there is now, as to whether he was beholden to his Catholic ethic as an executive in a respresentational democracy. This of course led to the arguments regarding whether a religious ethic would be more suited to the executive of a Constitutional Republic instead, like the one the Founders had built (and their descendants almost immediately deconstructed.) And so on . . . besides, relying on a politician for any kind of clear indication of anything is like trying to sculpt with water.

    I don’t think it is possible in the current political crucible to talk about “social justice” anymore without being taken wrongly or simply being taken advantage of. The quasi-fascist tide in the west has eaten up what a doctrine of social justice would look like in a more libertarian, Republican political framework.

    This lone voice longs to simply move past the over-done left-right, Lib-Con, Rep-Dem duel and instead look at simple liberty vs. statism and responsibility vs. entitlement. At least for me, then, the Magisterium’s version of “social justice” would have a backgound more conducive to its true intent.

  • First, thank you Donald, for setting me straight on the true author of the statement, “Mater si…”. Much obliged

    Now WK Aiken, I believe we are much closer in agreement than perhaps either of initially supposed. Keep on using Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum against Liberation Theology devotee. I would invite you to further read Pius XI’s Quadragessimo Anno (on the fortieth anniversary of Rerum Novarum). There you will discover the principle of subsidiarity being enunciated, the principle that radically challenges larger social bodies from taking over what smaller social bodies can deal with. Read within the whole “social teaching” of the Church it blows apart all those who believe the State (read big government) should take over everything or that The State by means of public schools actually should take over the rights of parents to educate their children-just a few examples.

    We, as Catholics need to go beyond parties, ideologies etc and be rooted in the teaching of the Church, the Gospel message

  • Meanwhile, here’s one bishop who’s probably not going to be ANY politician’s pet:

    http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=19448

    “A plan to recite the Rosary for the cause of same-sex marriage is “blasphemous,” Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois has said.

    “Catholics lobbying for legal recognition of same-sex marriage in Illinois (during a massive pro-gay marriage rally held today) have announced plans to gather at the city’s cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The bishop announced that anyone wearing the rainbow sash favored by the gay-rights movement will be denied entrance to the cathedral, and anyone who begins vocal prayers for same-sex marriage will be asked to leave.

    “It is blasphemy to show disrespect or irreverence to God or to something holy,” the bishops said. “Since Jesus clearly taught that marriage as created by God is a sacred institution between a man and a woman (see Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9), praying for same-sex marriage should be seen as blasphemous and as such will not be permitted in the cathedral.”

    However, the Francis Effect was not entirely absent:

    http://www.sj-r.com/breaking/x529842861/Bishop-bans-from-Cathedral-show-of-gay-marriage-support

    “Rick Garcia, a longtime gay activist and political director for Civil Rights Agenda, entered the church before the scheduled 5:15 p.m. Mass without incident — but was not wearing a rainbow-colored sash, he said.

    “He called Paprocki’s statement blasphemous, and a stark contrast to Pope Francis’ recent comments calling for the need to make the Catholic Church a more merciful, welcoming place.

    “We’re not committing blasphemy. The bishop’s committing blasphemy,” Garcia said.

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  • I’m a life-long Catholic from the UK. I navigated to this site following “the Pope Francis effect”, perhaps because he seems to be having an effect on me. I have found that all the popes of my life-time, starting with Paul VI have had effects both of great encouragement and at times deep exasperation. Indeed the same encyclical, Humanae Vitae, exasperated me as a teenager but in maturity has given me great encouragement.

    When I started reading this article I began to think “these folks are political idealogues first and followers of Christ second, so much vitriol and so little charity”. But I’m not a native speaker of American english so maybe I’m losing something in the non-translation. The American way of discussion always seems brash and aggressive when you are not used to it.

    What this brings to my mind is one of the things Benedict XVI sought to remind us of at the start of his reign: “Do not be afraid”. Fear takes many forms, often related to an unknown future. Maybe state provided welfare will diminish people’s self reliance and also their individual generosity, either of which move us away from personal holiness. The UK experience is that in some cases it does happen. But we still have our free will so what should we fear. Conversely lack of economic power in an environment where there is only self reliance or the mercy of individuals and no “entitlement” to rescue the weak certainly creates fear for the weak but it also puts the strong in the way of Darwinian temptation. Why should the fittest not survive and the feeble die out? A profoundly sub-human instinct. Something to fear? But we still have our free will.

    So I was greatly encouraged by the contributors calling for a move beyond the idealogical divides.

    Thankyou
    John

  • Can you imagine if N. Pelosi, J. Biden, J. Kerry, A. Cuomo, K. Sebelius (to name just a few) supported legislation that permitted people to slaughter the poor? I can only suppose they don’t realize that this is what they are actually doing. If they saw the unborn as humans – and the poorest and most defenseless humans at that – they would not support legalized abortion.

Popewatch: Minor Rules

Friday, October 18, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

On Wednesday Pat Archbold at Creative Minority Report expressed his satisfaction that Pope Francis at a General Audience was reading from a prepared text.  Go here to read the post and to view the picture of the Pope reading from the text.  No more ad-libbing hurrah!

However, it was then pointed out by one of the commenters that the Pope departed from the prepared text and did ad-lib.

One of the ad-libs:

The Church has her roots in the teaching of the Apostles, authentic witnesses of Christ, but looks to the future, and has the fixed awareness of being sent by Christ, of being Christ’s missionary, of bringing forth Christ’s name by prayer, proclamation and witness. A Church closed in on herself and the past, a Church who focuses only on minor rules and habits, betrays her own identity.

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22 Responses to Popewatch: Minor Rules

  • Perhaps the past the Pope is talking about is that “Spirit of Vatican II” that never was the true spirit of that Council. Perhaps he is talking to those who continue to push the outdated theology of the 70’s. Or perhaps he is criticizing the false and materialistic horizontal religion of human worship characterized by the horrendous English translation that burdened the Church until two year ago. Perhaps he is calling to mind those who set up an idol of class and identity politics instead of the worship of God.

    Perhaps.

  • The Pope does sound pretty sick and tired of rules, himself.

  • My other take is that he is a Pope in a Hurry. He knows that he knows not the day nor the hour.

  • Bring on the specifics! I’m a natural-born quitter, just let me know which minor rules and habits can go, and I’ll ditch ’em.
    (Please not the Rosary. Please not the Rosary. Please…..)

  • I am beginning to get an impression. It is only an impression, but one that is becoming stronger over time. The impression is this: Pope Benedict has been for us, Peter. Gentle, quiet, rooted in Christ, always seeking the communion or unity of the Church-as we witnessed in his untiring pursuit of reconciliation, reintegration and full communion with SSPX. We witnessed it as well with the establishment of the Anglican Ordinariate, the first real fruit of our ecumenical work with the various ecclesial communities of the Reformation. Like Blessed John Paul before him, Benedict sought to prepare the Church for the New Evangelization, especially rooting the Church in the Gospel of Christ and interpreting Vatican II through its for Constitutions, with Dei Verbum, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation being the foundational and interpretive principle.

    Pope Francis, is very much like Saint Paul: zealous to the point of seeming to be impatient in getting the whole Church actually doing the New Evangelization. Paul’s encounter with Christ sent him to the Gentiles- those on the fringe, etc. if we really read his Epistles carefully we see that he too had little patience with minor rules, customs etc-especially if the got in the way of or worse threatened the proclamation of the Gospel. While he even had the corage to enter into the Aeropagus of Athens, using Greek poetry and their search for God as a basis for evangelization, he had little patience with such rules as circumcision, dietary rules and the self-focusing taking place among some Jewish Christians and their Gentile disciples. Paul never left anyone ambiguous. He was criticized roundly within such churches as Corinth. I could go on…

    I must say I consider myself blessed to be living in such days

  • I am reminded of Bl John Henry Newman’s remarks about the Orthodox Church, “It is much to be feared, from what travellers tell us of the Greek priesthood and their flocks, that both in Russia and in Greece Proper, they are more or less in this state,—which may be called the proper disposition towards heresy and schism; I mean, that they rely on things more than on persons, and go through a round of duties in one and the same way, because they are used to them, and because in consequence they are attached to them, not as having any intelligent faith in a divine oracle which has ordered them; and that in consequence they would start in irritation, as they have started, from such indications of that Oracle’s existence as is necessarily implied in the promulgation of a new definition of faith.”

    He suggests that such a faith “is but material not formal, and really has neither the character nor the reward of that grace-implanted, grace-sustained principle, which believes, not merely because it was so taught in the nursery, but because God has spoken; not because there is no temptation to doubt, but because there is a duty to believe.”

    Are there really no Catholic countries where religious observance has merely this national and hereditary character?

  • This Pope is a nag.

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  • It strikes me as unnecessarily binary thinking to take the pope as meaning that at any given time the Church has been entirely “closed in on herself and the past… focuse[d] only on minor rules and habits”. At any given point, though, that’s a potential way of going wrong — seen more or less like any error, given that errors come and go according to fashion.

    I can easily think of people caught up on minor rules and habits just in the year we’ve had Pope Francis, whether it’s the people who went absolutely bonkers because he didn’t wear the traditional fur-trimmed vestment when coming out on the balcony and because he asked people to pray for him rather than just blessing them, or the people who think that Francis is some kind of second coming of Christ simply because he lives in St. Martha’s house rather than in the papal apartments or is driven in an old car.

  • The Church “closed in on itself” probably has to so more with the grass roots level of people entering the Catholic Church. Pope Francis is very grass roots.

    I suppose if one were to look at themselves (we can all look at ourselves, lawyers included 😉 ), ask yourself: how many people have you encouraged to know the Truth about the Catholic Faith to become Catholic?

  • I can give a very good example of “minor rules.” In Scotland, the Canon law, as it existed in 1560, remained the marriage law of the country, except where altered by statute. Similarly, a mass of material relating to benefices and teind was taken over from the canon law.

    This means that we lawyers had constantly to delve into the undigested mass of the Decretals of Gratian, the Extravagantes, the Liber Extra and the Clementines. In this, we were luckier than the canonists themselves, who also had to cope with the all the new, undigested, material added ad hoc by pontifical legislation in the nearly four centuries after the Council of Trent. Anyone at all familiar with the old canon law will be struck by the mass of obsolete and contradictory material swept away by the Code of 1917, which itself underwent a thorough revision in the Code of 1983. Now, add to that the various administrative practices that developed round the law and one will understand Mgr Ronald Knox’s advice that “those embarked on the barque of Peter, should avoid looking into the engine room.”

  • The Church “closed in on itself” probably has to so more with the grass roots level of people entering the Catholic Church. … [A]The Church “closed in on itself” probably has to so more with the grass roots level of people entering the Catholic Church. …

    I suppose if one were to look at (oneself) … how many people have you encouraged to know the Truth about the Catholic Faith to become Catholic?
    Ez

    This is perhaps the most charitable interpretation of Pope Francis’s remark. It may even be correct. If so, even the much talked-about New Evangelization fails to do much to address the issue. Most New Evangelization effort appears to be focused on better catechization of people who are already Catholic.

  • Well, I don’t think we need fear this pope achieving some agreement of dramatic unity with the SSPX. Bergoglio yet again emphasizes his preference for discontinuity of the post-Vatican II era, and his view of the irrelevance of mostly all that came before it (except for his trust in a primitivist, “pure” view of the Apostolic period and those wonderful first decades). Hmmm. He goes on: “A Church closed in on herself and the past, a Church who focuses only on minor rules and habits, betrays her own identity.” Pope Francis again shows he has a remarkably negative viewpoint of rule and discipline, almost to the point of being anti-nomialist. Going further, I find Pope Francis’ pointed emphasis on his peculiar personal understanding of Vat2 (which I am sure is not my understanding: my understanding is based on Romano Amerio’s Iota Unum and Robert de Mattei’s Second Vatican Council: an Unwritten Story) as “something that has never really been tried” is almost fantastic, based on the experience of those of us who have been there for the past four/five decades. I am certain he has never read either book; and I am certain he doesnt read much at all based on his opinionated and continuing intemperate statements. It is clear he is going to impose the same rules and fiats that he disdains aimed at but with a decidedly anti-traditional bias (witness the situation with the Franciscan Friars of Mary Immaculate).

  • I find it amusing that people are having a hard time understanding this pope. Jesus said “Love God and Love Neighbor”. Pope Francis is repeating this commandment in every which way possible. There are too many ‘traditional’ Catholics who are caught up in the Rubics of being Catholic. For example: There is only one way to do Stations of the Cross. There are certain prayers that must be said with every rosary. Guitars have no place in the church nor Mass. etc etc etc.

    There are two things that we need to concentrate on: Loving God with our whole mind, soul and strength and loving our neighbor. I mean really loving our neighbor. Instead, too many Catholics experience of church is superficial. They don’t even know the person’s name in the pew next to them and they don’t care to know. They only care about fulfilling their Sunday obligation, and the priest better not do anything off the cuff during Mass or he is heretical. Why does this Pope bother people? He is preaching the Gospel at all times and challenging people to actually live the gospel instead of banging people over the head with the rules. People need conversion. When people are converted, they will want to follow the rules. We need to be connected to Christ so that when people meet us, they meet Jesus. He converts people. Look at the life of St John Vianney. He worked on his own holiness first and foremost. Thus, Jesus exuded out of him whenever he preached and talked with people. This is the Pope’s message – over and over again.

  • “There are too many ‘traditional’ Catholics who are caught up in the Rubics of being Catholic. For example: There is only one way to do Stations of the Cross. There are certain prayers that must be said with every rosary. Guitars have no place in the church nor Mass. etc etc etc.”

    There are too many Catholics who would not know a station of the cross if it fell upon them. I think we tried the “all you need is love, forget the rules” approach to Catholicism back in the Sixties and the Seventies, and the fruits of that tragic experiment are self evident: Mass attendance has fallen off the cliff, generations of Catholics bone ignorant of the Faith, and many Catholics supporting the most hideous of sins, especially abortion. In regard to the life of Saint John Vianney he did penance for the sins of his parishioners when they had stopped coming to Mass. By his strict observance of the Faith, his zeal, his endless hours in the confessional, he won the souls of his parishioners to God. It is easy to mouth platitudes about love. Saint John Vianney’s love was demonstrated by his zeal and practice of the Faith, and that is precisely today what Catholics should emulate rather than replicating the misbegotten and idiotic strategies for Church reform that did such harm to the Faith in the wake of Vatican II.

    In regard to Mass, it is time to heed the words of Francis, Saint Francis:

    1. All of us who are clerics should be aware of the great sin and ignorance which some people have toward the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and His most holy written words which consecrate [His] Body. 2. We know that it cannot become His Body without first being consecrated by [His] word. 3. For in this world we have and see nothing corporally of the Most High except [His] Body and Blood, and the words through which we have been made and have been redeemed from death to life (1 Jn 3:14). 4. But let all who administer such holy mysteries—especially those who administer them carelessly—consider the sad state of the chalices, the corporals, and the altar-linens upon which the Body and Blood of our Lord are sacrificed. 5. And [the Body and Blood of the Lord] is left by many in dirty places, carried about in a miserable manner, received unworthily, and administered to others without discretion. 6. Even His sacred written words are sometimes left to be trampled underfoot; 7. for the person who does not have the spirit does not perceive the things of God (1 Cor 2:14). 8. Are we not moved by a sense of piety concerning all these things, since the good Lord offers Himself into our hands and we handle Him and receive Him daily with our mouth? 9. Or do we forget that we must come into His hands (cf. Hebr 10:31)? 10. Well then, let us quickly and firmly amend our ways in these and other matters; 11. and wherever the most holy Body of our Lord Jesus Christ has been unlawfully housed and neglected, let it be removed from that place and deposited and locked in a precious location. 12. Likewise, wherever the written words of the Lord may be found in unbecoming places, they are to be collected and kept in a place that is becoming. 13. And we know that we are bound to observe all of these matters above all else according to the precepts of the Lord and the constitutions of holy Mother Church. 14. And whoever has not done so, let him know that he will be bound to give an account before our Lord Jesus Christ on the day of judgment (Mt 12:36). 15. Those who make copies of this writing so that it may be better observed should know that they will be blessed by the Lord God.

  • The practice of the faith without love is ideology. People can find ideology anywhere they go. Our country is full of ideologies. People need Jesus. They don’t need the practice of the faith without Jesus. I find too many Catholics practicing the faith without Jesus.

    For example, standing in church more worried about the rubrics of the Mass than their own soul or the soul of their neighbor. Standing in judgment.

    I have worked for the church for 23 years. I have had Catholics tell me “get those kids in church”. Why would they want to go? Everyone looks as if they are having physical problems. No one smiles. We are touching heaven and no one smiles? Teens can walk into church and no one even talks to them or cares that they are there. No one knows their name. No one knows their story. No one cares to know their story.

    The experience of 90% of Catholics coming to Mass on a weekend is superficial at best. How do I know? I talk with them. I ask them questions. I find out their story.

    If Jesus is truly the center of our lives, we can’t help but reach out to those around us and share in the awesome and powerful relationship of God. It isn’t just about love love love love. It is about a God who is love and most Catholics don’t even know Him. They don’t know the first thing about the sacred liturgy. They don’t know the first thing about offering up a Mass.

    St John Vianney didn’t just practice the faith. He lived it. He had an intimate personal relationship with Jesus. It was Jesus who inspired him. His prayer life was an intimate encounter with the Savior first and foremost. Then, he was able to lead his people into a deeper relationship.

  • “For example, standing in church more worried about the rubrics of the Mass than their own soul or the soul of their neighbor. Standing in judgment.”

    What charism do you have to look into the souls of those who show up at Mass and pay your salary?

    “Teens can walk into church and no one even talks to them or cares that they are there. No one knows their name. No one knows their story. No one cares to know their story.”

    Cry me a river. We have been down this path before. Water down the Faith and concentrate on making the Parish a welcoming place with Walmart style greeters at the door. People will not bother getting out of bed on a Sunday morning for that type of tripe. They will do it if they believe the Church and its rites are the pathway established by Christ for their eternal salvation. People will die for that Faith. The other type of faith will endure as long as it is convenient. When people believe implicitly that the Church is their path to save their souls the rest will follow. If they don’t so believe, superficial forced friendliness at a parish is so much plowing the sea.

    “The experience of 90% of Catholics coming to Mass on a weekend is superficial at best. How do I know? I talk with them. I ask them questions. I find out their story.”

    And you are so glad that you are not like that wretched tax collector over there who has only a superficial understanding. I doubt if you intend to have that attitude, but that is what your comment sounds like to me. Your next comment is closer to the mark:

    “It is about a God who is love and most Catholics don’t even know Him. They don’t know the first thing about the sacred liturgy. They don’t know the first thing about offering up a Mass.”

    Why in the world should they know it if they have not been taught? Also, why should they care about the Mass if it is so frequently offered up with all the awe and ceremony of a Tupperware party? Faulty catechesis tends to lead to ignorant Catholics, especially if they emerge from family situations where their parents gave them bad examples. Priests who do not faithfully observe the rubrics add to the confusion of just what the Mass is: The creator of the Universe coming among us as He did 2000 years ago.

  • True story: Shortly after my wife and I moved to a city in Michigan that shall remain nameless, we (she more than me, as my outlook was way less Catholic then than now, and I’m still not Catholic) were looking for a Parish to join. We walk in and run right into the Walmart greeters Don describes hey, welcome to our Church, glad to have you! Would you like to carry the wine and the water up to the altar before the start of communion? (something like that, it was more than fifteen years ago). “umm, I’m not Catholic.” Oh that’s not important. (again something like that).

    Long story short, we did it because we couldn’t think of a graceful way out of it, but neither of us felt comfortable about it, and I was really uncomfortable with it. Needless to say, we didn’t join that parish.

  • Most New Evangelization effort appears to be focused on better catechization of people who are already Catholic.

    That might not be such a bad idea:

    Raised a Roman Catholic everything they said in church sounded great, because I was told as long as I was a member of the RCC I was going to heaven. If I sinned I could meet with the priest who I was to call Father and confess my sins and he could forgive them, weekly, and I could go back out and commit the same sins knowing with a ten minute appointment with Father priest all would be forgiven…AGAIN! If I committed too many sins and died without being forgiven by the priest I may not go directly to heaven, but a place called Purgatory. What is their NOT to like about a religion like that? Unfortunately once I started actually reading God’s Word I soon discovered that what the RCC doctrine (don’t trust me, go to their own Website and read what THEY state their doctrine is) states is not the truth. God’s Word is the truth and this book was excellent for anyone wanting to see what the RCC doctrine teaches and compare it to God’s Word. Must reading for anyone wanting to witness to loved ones still caught in deceptive RCC false doctrine so they may be saved. Two key verses from God’s Word I show to my Catholic family are Hebrews 9:27….”And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. There are NO SECOND CHANCES, there is no Purgatory, it was invented by the RCC in the late 500’s to generate money for the church and give people a false hope that heir loved one’s who died without being Born Again could be prayed into heaven and their sins could be removed by their WORKS and prayers (and MONEY) from people on earth……and Ephesians 2…”for by GRACE you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourself; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

    Granted, one can claim anything on the internet, and I’m not saying this guy is any way typical, but it seems to me one would be better at sharing one’s Catholic faith with others if one knew why he believed what he believed, and why he didn’t believe something else.

  • Let’s look at St John Vianney:

    “How did he do it?
    1) the conversion of his own life as a priest;
    2) manifesting an approachable and available demeanor;
    3) prayer and ascetical living;
    4) channeling initial energy into those families already faithful;
    5) giving special attention to the liturgy, preaching and catechesis;
    6) addressing problems at their roots and not in their symptoms;
    7) planting good habits of prayer and the works of mercy; and
    8) doing it all with a strong priestly identity.” From Fr. John Cihak, S.T.D.

    He wasn’t ‘a Walmart greeter”. He was trying to live an authentic Catholic life while reaching out to the people in a real way. Getting to know their stories. Getting to know them in a deeper way. This isn’t ‘Walmart greeting” stuff. Every Catholic is called to live out the same things that St John Vianney did. EVERY Catholic. Priest, Lay. Religious. EVERY Catholic. We were all baptized priest, prophet and king. This is the stuff that Pope Francis is talking about. Yes, he is not a theologian like Benedict. Yes, he is not a philosopher like JPII. He is a religious priest who became bishop and now Pope. He is talking in language that everyone can understand and he is hitting home because some people are having their consciences tugged. They are uncomfortable. They are lazy Catholics who think by praying the rosary and going to Mass every week (maybe in latin) that they (Like the protestants) have a free ticket to heaven because they are pious. Well, you only have to read the end of Matthew 25 to realize that it takes more than pious prayers to get to heaven. It takes loving your neighbor in a real way not some polite smile on Sunday or on the subway but real love and care which takes sweat and time. The Pope is trying his best to get everyone off of their backside and challenging us to get to work.

  • If I may loosely quote from Thomas More to Howard about taking the oath of Supremacy: If you do your conscience and you die and go to heaven and I do not do my conscience and I die and go to hell, will you accompany me for fellowship?”

PopeWatch: Keep Smiling!

Thursday, October 17, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Father Z, here, links to an interesting story at The Eponymous Flower blog:

Magister Effected Polite but Harsh Criticism of Decisions in the Liturgy by Pope Francis

Finally, Sandro Magister gave his contribution as a lecture on which  Katholisches.info already reported (see separate report Pope Francis and the Liturgy – “Pure Functional Access” Reservations to Tradition, weakness in the knees before the Lord ). Master analyzed in a critical manner, the previous decisions of Pope Francis in the Liturgy: The ban for celebration in the old rite by the Franciscans of the Immaculate, the dismissal of all five consultants for the Office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, who were close to the liturgical understanding of Benedict XVI., the refusal to genuflect in the Holy Mass at the words of consecration, although from papal Mass to papal Mass always newly   master of ceremonies Guido Marini always included the two relevant points and finally the halting by CDF, that they no longer check the bizarre special forms in the Mass of the Neocatechumenal Way, as Benedict XVI. had ordered. Magister has also expressed the opinion that the Pope is “friendly” to everyone, “except with the traditionalists.”

“Scandal Currently The Dominant Characteristic of Climate in Rome”

The lecture finally came to a scandal. Magister so openly expressed his criticism of Pope Francis, that Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Pozzo had to  leave the room. “The response of Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Pozzo is indicative of the currently prevailing climate in Rome,” the website Chiesa e Postconcilio (Church and Post-Conciliar). “Was it because of the  time for both of them or was it simply a precaution, because of the polite but harsh criticism by Magister of Pope Francis? The withdrawal of a Cardinal during a major event is something glaring. All interpretations are allowed, “said the Spanish Catholic blogger Francisco de la Cigoña.

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5 Responses to PopeWatch: Keep Smiling!

  • Fr. Z received a LOT of responses in his combox about this story. As I wasn’t there, I don’t know why Cardinal Burke got up and left.

    It goes without saying that I was a big fan of Pope Benedict. Some hard core traddies still didn’t like him, but then, I am a trad who watches sports on my 58 inch big screen. I let my kids watch TV and my wife is not forced into long skirts. My 5 year old goes to the public school kindergarten (which I monitor closely).

    Pope Francis comes off at times as petty. His views on the liturgy are obvious to everyone. He does what he wants, which I have seen far too many priests do on far too many Sunday Novus Ordo masses for most of my life.

    Fr. Z rightly has pointed out that Pope Francis has changed nothing about Catholic doctrine or Catholic teaching. True, but….it isn’t his emphasis.

    The Church will survive Bergoglio. She survived Borgia and the antipopes of the 14th century.

  • Over the years, I have come to realize that t,he term ‘orthodox’ is not as unambiguous as those who use it would like it to be. I include myself in this, having described myself and/others as orthodox Catholics. What I came to realize actually was that the ‘measuring line’ or ‘rule’ I or others used was based on what I or others thought/felt was orthodox.

    I did come upon a much more objectively complete (perfect) and satisfying ‘measuring line’ with the Church’s own teaching in Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, when it explicates what it means to be in full communion with the Catholic Church-a communion begun in the waters of Baptism and expressed in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Eucharismt, the Sacrament of Unity. For the Church, there are four ‘markers’ of full Communion: 1) communion of faith (believing all that the Catholic Church teaches) 2) communion of sacraments (belief in and participation in full sacramental life of the Church. 3) communion of governance ( belief in and communion with bishops in communion with the pope 4) perseverance in charity. While the first three are readily discernible, the fourth is known really by God alone. However, this places before us a much deeper awareness of the high calling we have received in being called to faith in and living the fullness of the Catholic Faith.

    It is so easy, in this post-modern world to go with the flow of the age into fragmentation and tribalism. We can actually see it evidenced in our own country. However, the call to and meaning.of what it really means to be Catholic goes way beyond what ‘the world’ offers or desires.

    I am not sure what prompted Cardinal Burke and the Archbishop to leave that forum. From what I know of Cardinal Burke it was not fear. I have spoken in this forum of the recent “turn” of Magister, but as of this date, I still read him. However, picking up on Fr Z’s point and expanding it a bit, it might be high time for all of us to do some self-evaluation, asking ourselves whether my/ our own perspectives on things of the Church are leading further into or away from full communion with the Church of Christ which subsists in the Catholic Church

  • If a guy like Cardinal Burke walks out of the room when you’re talking bad about Pope Francis, the takeaway shouldn’t be, “this is going to be a rough papacy for orthodox Catholics,” but rather, “I should probably shut up because I said something offensive and I obviously don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.” Because when it comes to liturgical traditionalism, Cardinal Burke is like the Rottweiler to Benedict’s Chihuahua.

    Listen, it’s getting to the point where I can’t even read most of the articles on BigPulpit.com and New Advent anymore. The tone they’re taking, and the nastiness they’re showing the Pope (for no substantive reason), just turns me away.

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PopeWatch: Martini’s Pope?

Wednesday, October 16, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

Interesting.  Sandro Magister has a post up at Chiesa claiming that supporters of the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, long considered the leader of the liberal and heterodox opposition to Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, are crowing that Pope Francis is Martini’s dream come true:

ROME, October 15, 2013 – Seven months after the election as pope of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the interpretations of the beginning of this pontificate are contrasting.

Within the Church the judgments most positive, if not enthusiastic, on the first acts of Pope Francis are coming from the supporters of the cardinal who for years represented, with great authoritativeness and widespread consensus, the most clear alternative approach to the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

That cardinal was Carlo Maria Martini, a former director of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, archbishop of Milan from 1979 to 2002, who died on August 31, 2012 after having left his instructions in an interview that was also very critical, published immediately after his death as his “spiritual testament”:

> After Martini, the Fight Over His Spiritual Testament (6.9.2012)

This last interview was conducted by the Austrian Jesuit Georg Sporschill, the same who in 2008 oversaw the publication of the book most representative of Martini, also in the form of an interview, “Nighttime conversations in Jerusalem”:

> God Is Not Catholic, Cardinal’s Word of Honor
(12.11.2008)

During the last years of his life, Cardinal Martini had accentuated his criticisms in interviews and books written together with “borderline” Catholics like Fr. Luigi Verzé and the bioethicist Ignazio Marino, in which he expressed his hope for a bringing up-to date-of the Church also on questions like the beginning and end of life, marriage, sexuality:

> Carlo Maria Martini’s “Day After” (28.4.2006)

In the conclave of 2005, Martini was the cardinal symbol of the failed opposition to the election of Joseph Ratzinger. And the votes of his supporters, together with others, converged at the time precisely on Bergoglio.

Eight years later, in March of 2013, it was again the “martiniani” who backed the election of Bergoglio as pope. This time with success.

And today they are seeing come true, in the first acts of Pope Francis, what for Martini was only a “dream.” The dream of a Church “synodal, poor among the poor, inspired by the gospel of the beatitudes, leaven and mustard seed.”

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12 Responses to PopeWatch: Martini’s Pope?

  • Careful, Don, or the conservative Catholic Executioners of Doubt will have to pay you a visit.

  • No executioner here, just a bewildered Catholic that has to take this in slowly.
    Infant bites I hate to admit.

    Your case above and the chiesa claims are disconcerting. As always prayer and preparedness.
    Scisim growing at brisk pace. It was predicted. I just don’t want to believe it.
    I’m praying were all wrong and Pope Francis defender of the Truth drops his Martini….so to speak.

  • Dale,

    At the risk of sounding naive: Who are the conservative executioners of doubt?

    I mean, there’s Mark Shea and the Patheos set, but I mostly haven’t read them in years because conservatives like me who own guns and vote Republican and support the occasional war the pope doesn’t are public enemy #1 anyway.

    From where I sit, it seems like most on the conservatives I read are freaking out about Francis. And then on the other side, there are the dissident leftie Catholics who have gone into total noise machine mode and are busy taking every Francis phrase they can and spinning it into “we won and he hates you” agit prop.

  • On the post, if I recall the inside stories on the previous election, the Martini set originally had their own candidate, but he was getting nowhere. Ratzinger and Bergoglio both got portions of the JP2 loyalist vote, with Ratzinger getting much more. Then the Martini folks panicked at the last minute in a desperate attempt to vote “anything but Ratzinger”.

    The few remaining libs may have supported him this time around, but that’s partly because the lib wing barely exists anymore and had no real candidate.

  • It’s not you, Darwin. As always, you remain reasonable, and concede that the Pope has moments of imprecision and imprudence.

    As to the rest, we seem to be traveling in different circles, as most conservative types I’ve encountered are in papal-maximalist, shoot-the-doubters mode. I think you’d have to admit the big voices of conservative Catholicism have gone into a full court press for the Bishop of Rome.

  • I think you’d have to admit the big voices of conservative Catholicism have gone into a full court press for the Bishop of Rome.

    You did not ask for a piece of advice, but perhaps you should tune them out and read The Latin Mass. It is the finest Catholic publication out there and written and edited by people who are fairly weary with the mess in the contemporary Church and elect to focus their attention elsewhere.

    Just a thought.

    1. Loyalty is generally a good thing, as is the impulse to put the best construction you can on someone’s remarks. It can be taken too far, of course.

    2. About a dozen years ago, Christopher Ferrara offered that he was a lawyer and read Sacrosanctum Concilium the way a lawyer looking at a contract would, asking the question, “what does it allow the other guy to do to you?”. Waal, you and Mr. McClarey are lawyers and you notice the smelly little rabbit doots the rest of us miss. Personally, I gave one of His Holiness’ prizes a cursory reading and said, “Ach, much ado about nothing”. It did not occur to me that phrases which could be misconstrued by reporters did not break in a random way.

  • Pope Francis does not want to act as an absolute monarch, and is prepared to listen to synods (rather unwieldy bodies which take a year to set up and whose conclusions only cover areas of agreement). Good news for us traddies.

  • It comes down to this. Are people reading Pope Francis in a hermeneutic of continuity or rupture. What we are witnessing are groups both liberal and conservative who are delighting in (liberal) or tearing their hair out (conservative) because they read the Pope with the hermeneutic of rupture

  • Botolph,
    I think you are partly right, but I would add that most conservatives are tearing their hair out not because they are reading the Pope with the hermeneutic of rupture but because the Pope’s imprecision is allowing liberals to do so and thereby misinform the masses.

  • Mike, thanks for the response. There is no question, that Pope Francis’ interviews ( on the airplane after World Youth Day, the “Jesuit interview”, and the secular Scalafari interview) were a new experience for Catholics. With John Paul and Benedict, interviews were either more ‘controlled’ or became books themselves- especially true of Joseph Ratzinger first as Cardinal, then as pope. I believe a couple of issues were at play with Pope Francis: because he did not like to give interviews when in Argentina, he lacked any real experience in giving interviews. Because of the nature of it, I believe the best interview was the Jesuit interview ( organized questions prepared ahead of time; done over period of three distinct days; carefully recorded and later translated by Jesuits who are believers and really cared about the interview for Moore than a ‘news story’. One of the clear messages that Pope Francis was sending, was a message to the Curia- that he would not be managed or controlled by them. One can legitimately say that we wish there had been some control, however, the recent Conclave sent a clear message to the next pope, whoever he would be: reign in and transform the Curia. They were the ones, not everyday Catholics, whom the pope was criticizing. I also think it is at least interesting to note that no interviews have taken place since his three day meeting with his eight member Council of Cardinals.

    When I speak of a hermeneutic of continuity I am speaking of making sure “I” don’t isolate one statement or comment from other statements Pope Francis has made- for example, his real pro- life position manifest several times. His statements concerning the centrality of the Kerygma: the core message of our Faith, is not new, and has been made by every pope but especially John Paul and Benedict. Other comments were almost verbatimm quotes from the Aparecida Statement of the Latin American bishops ( partly repeated at the beginning of George Weigel’s excellent book Evangelical Catholicism). Finally I use hermeneutic of continuity in same way Pope Benedict does/did, seeing things within the continuity of Tradition. The Holy Father has not denied, or changed any teaching of the Church: he cannot (something that some don’t seem to grasp). I sense there were a lot of assumptions made by some during the ministry of Pope Benedict ( for example, that he was moving the Church toward a point in time when the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite would become the real Ordinary Form-yet when did Benedict celebrate the Extraordinary Form at the well televised public Masses? Certainly no one could really claim Benedict was moving the Church to a position of Pre-Vatican II, or to a situation in which Vatican II was relativized, etc.

    There is a new sense of direction in Pope Francis, just as there was with Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II. No one would deny the new sense of direction. Again however, is it due more to Pope Francis who now in charge is delighting in doing things his way? Or is it more accurate to see much if not most of what he is doing in continuity of the ‘job description’ the conclave gave to whoever would be the successor of Benedict.

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  • Sad to say alot of us feel this way….we know Card. Martini was a contender in 2005 or so it is rumored….and so was Bergolio……Thank GOD Pope Benedict was elected….what is worrisome is going forward with the Reform of the Reform and the Mass in the E.F…..

    Just can’t get that feeling we had with Benedict…lets pray for Pope Francis….

PopeWatch: Pope Francis and Satan

Tuesday, October 15, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

Well, I must say this will probably disconcert some of the erstwhile newfound friends of Pope Francis among the secular media and reassure orthodox Catholics:

In his Oct. 11 daily Mass homily, the Holy Father warned of the discreet presence of the devil, exhorting those gathered to be astute in their spiritual lives.

“We must always be on guard,” exhorted the Pope to those who attended Mass in the Vatican’s Santa Marta guesthouse, “on guard against deceit, against the seduction of evil.”

Referencing the day’s gospel reading, in which Jesus has just healed a possessed man and is accused of casting out demons by the power of the devil, the Pope noted that often in history there have been those who wish to “diminish the power of the Lord” by offering different explanations for his works, urging that his is a temptation which has “reached our present day.”

“There are some priests who, when they read this Gospel passage, this and others, say: ‘But, Jesus healed a person with a mental illness.’”

“It is true,” he affirmed, “that at that time, they could confuse epilepsy with demonic possession; but it is also true that there was the devil! And we do not have the right to simplify the matter. No!”

“The presence of the devil is on the first page of the Bible, and the Bible ends as well with the presence of the devil, with the victory of God over the devil.”

Observing that the Lord has given many criteria in order to “discern” the presence of evil in our lives, the Pope stressed that “we should not be naïve,” and that one of the criteria which has been given is “not to follow the victory of Jesus” just “halfway.”

“Either you are with me, says the Lord, or you are against me” he said, noting that Jesus came to conquer the devil and “to give us the freedom” from “the enslavement the devil has over us,” which he cautioned, is not “exaggerating.”

“On this point, there are no nuances. There is a battle and a battle where salvation is at play, eternal salvation; eternal salvation.”

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4 Responses to PopeWatch: Pope Francis and Satan

  • For info, a few days before the pope’s homily Fr. James Martin S.J. took notice of Anton Scalia’s mention of Satan in a blog for Time.com. Fr. Martin agreed with the justice and defended Catholic doctrine. Deacon Scott Dodge added his own thoughts to Fr. Martin’s remarks and the pope’s homily in his own blog here:
    http://scottdodge.blogspot.com/2013/10/jesus-did-cast-out-demons.html

  • Any attempt to remove the devil from the NT renders the gospel narrative incoherent.

    Satan, the devil, evil spirits and unclean spirits, along with other names, such as “adversary,” “tempter,” “ruler of this world,” are mentioned over 150 times in the NT The synoptic gospels, in particular, treat both Our Lord’s healings and exorcisms as demonstrations of His power over the forces of evil. This is obvious on the most cursory reading and it is summed up by St Peter in Acts, “…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil [τους καταδυναστευομενους υπο του διαβολου], because God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)

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  • This Pontiff confuses me. One minute he is reported to be telling an atheist something that amounts to liberal nonsense and heterodoxy, and the next he is reported to have given a homily apparently rock-solid in its orthodoxy. The liberal news media is all over the first like stink on manure, and completely ignores the second. The liberal news media hate B XVI for his orthodoxy, and love Francis for his apparent lack of orthodoxy. Yet thinks don’t seem quite that simple.

PopeWatch: The New York Times Does a Victory Lap

Monday, October 14, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings points out a New York Times piece by Tim Egan:

It is a remarkably nasty piece, so linking to it with silent approval left my jaw-dropping. A bitter taste:

It’s long been known that most North American and European Catholics ignore church teachings on gays, contraception and abortion. These teachings range from absurd to unscientific to outright hateful. Without specifically changing the official line, Francis prompted millions of Catholics to give the church a second look when he criticized the hierarchy for being “obsessed” with those issues. Amen, said nearly 70 percent American Catholics who agreed with him in a Quinnipiac poll.

The anecdotal reaction is equally intriguing. “People come up to me all the time on the street or at a restaurant and say things like, ‘I just need to tell someone how much I like this pope of yours,’” said Father Stephen Sundborg, a Jesuit (like Francis) who is president of Seattle University, based in one of the most secular cities in the United States. “Suddenly, it seems O.K. to be a priest out there.”

All of this is by design. Francis is working two broad strategies. The first is aimed at lapsed Catholics, and those who are open to a spiritual life with an intellectual framework. Thus, he dismissed proselytizing as “solemn nonsense,” in a recent interview. “It makes no sense,” he said of the blunt harangues over whose God is better.

The Jesuits have always tried to get people to think for themselves, to arrive at belief through an arduous process. When bishops started telling parishioners that their gay and lesbian siblings were sinners, and that family planning was a grievous wrong, people stopped listening to them — for good reason.

This father of six thanks you for the gut punch. Which are my wife and I: absurd, unscientific or outright hateful? No, really–Get bent, you smug pr–k.

And, really–the Church had no intellectual framework in the bleak years Before Francis? Waiter, my essay has a Pseud in it–please take it back.

I’d point out the obvious, that Mr. Egan is obsessed with pelvic issues, but apparently this represents an Important Sign. And the home office has said ixnay on that strategy, so there you have it.

On one point, at least, the Era of Francis in America has one point of continuity with pre-Francis times: the desperate craving of American Catholics for validation from non-Catholics. Starting with Rev. Sundborg, but also, apparently, with more grounded members of the church, willing to post screeds like Egan’s without a murmur of protest.

Proselytism may be solemn nonsense, but self-flagellation is in, baby.

If I am coming across as out of sorts, it is simply because I am. In the face of mounting personal stresses, the sense that I am one of the Pope’s redheaded stepsons is a burden I never imagined I’d encounter. Not having any money coming in assuredly plays into my mental state these days, but I’ve been out of kilter since the first faboo interview. Seeing Catholics cite sneering contempt as–I don’t know, the Spirit in motion?– is something I can’t begin to process.

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20 Responses to PopeWatch: The New York Times Does a Victory Lap

  • I fear that this Pope is leaning toward the Marcusian in some of his musings about the Church.

  • Pro-life Catholics are obsessed with Jesus Christ. Pro-choice individuals are obsessed with abortion. The same may be said of homosexuals. Catholic homosexuals practice chastity. Individuals obsessed with lust practice homosexual behavior. The New York Times’ piece proves Pope Francis’ statement that proselytizing to hard-core atheists is “nonsense” totally useless and has no practical value. This said, Freedom of religion must be absolute for when the atheist finds God, the TRUTH will set him free and that he may be welcomed with open arms into the church.
    Right now, in America, Freedom of Religion, all First Amendment civil rights are being obscured, obliterated and are actually being denied, through being granted by our finite government. Not so, the right to worship God in thought, word and deed, in public and in private has not been granted to the citizens by the state. The state is constituted to defend the peoples’ civil rights endowed by “their Creator”. The sovereign personhood of every citizen who constitutes the state is endowed by “their Creator”, by the Supreme Sovereign Being, our God. The finite state has no such authentic authority, as exhibited by the government shutdown, in which Jesus Christ was kidnapped and held captive in the tabernacle in the closed chapels and separated by the state from the hearts and souls of its citizens. The shutdown was used as an excuse to pilfer and plunder the citizens’ civil rights to worship God in speech, in the written word of the Bible as Freedom of the press and in peaceable assembly in community, with people communicating with and observing the reality of our Maker. Petitioning God for Divine Providence as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and in the First Amendment was not only disrupted, these civil rights were denied enmass. Dividing the peoples’ ownership of the land from their common good, imposing the power of the state to remove people from the land, and passing laws to inveigh against the souls of the citizens harkens to totalitarianism and despotism.
    Assuming the power to inveigh against peoples’ souls, the state assumes the responsibillty for the peoples’ untimely and unwarranted death. Has anyone died and died without his Sacraments? Let the state answer.
    Death for government is spelled IMPEACH.

  • “….the desperate craving of American Catholics for validation from non-Catholics.” A deafening roar of approval from without is required to drown out that little voice inside that dares to suggest that just maybe you’re not in God’s good graces after all.
    “No, really–Get bent, you smug pr–k.” Thank you, that sums it up nicely, and I think I’m going to be needing the Sacrament of Penance even more often than usual as this depressing tragicomedy unfurls.

  • Yes, there is a Pope-Watch, because Pope Francis has done everything possible to communicate ambiguity. Part of it is his educational background: Pope Francis has not had years of profound study and training like JP2 nor BXVI, years of refining and studying Catholic theology at a profound level. He had a weak training in the late 60′s at a middling theology school in Buenos Aires. He failed to complete his dissertation and PhD at Frankfurt—that speaks volumes. The last pope who had a such a lacuna in systematics and dogmatic theology was Paul VI (he studied systems at the MIlan seminary and obtained a PhD at the Gregorian in Canon Law, but mainly he was in the Vatican diplomatic corp) and he was at a marked disadvantage in defending Humanae Vitae to its chorus of “New Theologians” like Hans Kung and Charles Curran. Yes, the last pope without a doctorate was Pius X, Giuseppe Sarto: but Sarto was an outstanding student at his seminary, and was from limited financial means, so he couldnt obtain a PhD for that reason alone. He was nonetheless appointed as a teacher in dogmatics and systematic theology, in which he was outstanding, at the Treviso seminary—so again, it is important to have a pope who deeply comprehends Catholic theology. It is important that a pope be able to literately and effectively teach the faith and to comprehend the meanings of his words–just for example, as Pietro de Marco observes, Francis confuses words [“to judge” (“Who am I to judge?” speaking about (are we to presume active) homosexuals) with “to condemn.”] Francis says “proselytism is solemn foolishness, it makes no sense,” rather dismissing great Jesuits before him like St Francis Xavier and Bl. Peter Faber (Faber he says he models himself upon). Is the Great Commission over (Matt. 28:16-20, Go teach all nations..) ? Francis says “Each of us has his vision of the good” … “we must incite him to proceed toward what he thinks to be the good.” Well, we know that Kinsey, Fidel Castro, and Lenin certainly had visions of ‘the good’—-are there no objective elements and standards that the Church teaches is a single objective good? Of course there are. Bergolio/Francis confuses all these. The fact is, that the numerous ambiguous messages and contradictory statements seem to be increasing, and I can predict that soon, in a year or two years, there will be a serious crisis of faith he will have precipitated in the Church (He already did so to a great degree when he called morally committed Catholics “obsessed” about “homosexuality, abortion, and contraception.”) So, quo vadis, Francis? Yes, there is indeed every good reason for a “Pope-Watch.”

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  • “Part of it is his educational background: Pope Francis has not had years of profound study and training like JP2 nor BXVI, years of refining and studying Catholic theology at a profound level.”

    One doesn’t need a PhD or any other degree for that matter to read and insist on adherence to the plain meaning of Scripture and to 2000 years of Sacred Tradition. This comment isn’t meant to denigrate either B XVI or JP II. Rather, it is intended to point out that orthodoxy doesn’t require volumes of education but an insistence that holiness and righteousness come before social justice and the common good that so appeals to Latin American clerics (and most the USCCB, too, for that matter).

  • Yes, Mr. Primavera, but then if you are willing to dismiss all these facts, are you not at a loss as to explain the genesis of Pope Francis’ statements? Do you or do you not perceive that there is a problem?

  • “Do you or do you not perceive that there is a problem?”

    I do – it’s the lack of orthodoxy and of precision. Additionally, when the Pope said in a recent interview, “I have the humility and the ambition to get this done” (or something to that effect), then we see further what the problem is, and it’s not education or a lack of education.

  • Ah, Mr Primavera, now I think I get the drift of your 1st comment above; I wasnt sure which way to interpret it at first.
    As I try to study this man and his comments, Bergoglio’s comments appear cannot but reflect Pope Francis’ theological education. That is an education that is highly charged (or appears to be) with a personalistic relativist interpretation of matters (ex. “Who am I to judge…”) common to the 1960’s and 1970’s, and also he displays a viewpoint that only sees God as immanent, not transcendent (for example, his bowing after the consecration of the species, when even the Novus Ordo rubrics explicitly call for a profound genuflection at this point). His viewpoint reflects much more that of Hans Kung and Karl Rahner than of Ratzinger and Wojtyla. His opposition to clear absolutes (it is reflected in nearly every statement he makes) and his pre-occupation with immanence logically bodes ill for adherents of the TLM (he was no friend of the trad Mass in Buenos Aires during his episcopate), saying the Latin Mass adherents are involved in the Vetus Ordo’s “exploitation” (his exact words). His calling of male religious he dislikes “unfruitful bachelors” and female religious “spinsters” not only really was quite uncharitable but shows that when it suits his bias, he is quite content to judge. There is a lot to wonder about this Pope, and quo vadis.

  • My apologies, Stephen, that my initial comment lack sufficient clarity. I agree completely with your response.

  • Stephen, I hear immanence too, not transcendence.

  • Steve Phoenix

    The theology of most of the last century has been a reaction against what Cardinal Henri de Lubac called “the dualist theory that was destroying Christian thought… which recognized “no other link between nature and the supernatural than an ideal juxtaposition of elements which…were impenetrable to each other, and which were brought together by our intellectual obedience, so that the supernatural can subsist only if it remains extrinsic to the natural and if it is proposed from without as something important only in so far as it is a supernature…”

    He chiefly credits the philosopher Maurice Blondel, who wrote, “First, the scholastic ideology, which still exclusively dominates, includes the study neither of religious psychology nor of the subjective facts that convey to the conscience the action of the objective realities whose presence in us Revelation indicates; this ideology only considers as legitimate the examination of what objectively informs us about these realities as designated and defined. Moreover, and especially, everything is instinctively resisted that would limit the authoritarianism born of an exclusive extrinsicism. And, without formulating it, the conception is entertained according to which everything in religious life comes from on high and from without. Only the priesthood is active before a purely passive and receptive flock.”

    One recalls the personalist philosophy of Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI’s emphasis on the receiving subject in the act of revelation.

  • I do – it’s the lack of orthodoxy and of precision. Additionally, when the Pope said in a recent interview, “I have the humility and the ambition to get this done” (or something to that effect), then we see further what the problem is, and it’s not education or a lack of education.

    Dunno. I think there is something to be said for the thesis that the man’s background is such that he is in danger every day of stepping in it in a way none of his predecessors over the last century ever were.

    The Church in the industrial occident has made one tragic set of errors after another over fifty odd years – the 2d Vatican Council, the 1965 and 1970 missals, the breakdown of discipline in the seminaries (1970-198?), the subcontracting of disciplinary matters to dodgy characters in the mental health trade (ca 1982 – ca. 1993 on a large scale; on a small scale earlier and later), the general refusal to defrock any clergy bar at the request of said clergy (1965- ), acceding to a hideous modern aesthetic in church architecture (1950- ), and building seedy apparats engaged in public relations and lobbying (1965- ; with roots earlier). Also, you had some exploding time bombs: the corporate architecture which rendered Catholic colleges vulnerable to secularization and the esoteric social processes which put so many latent homosexuals in the clergy (after 1925 or thereabouts) who came to cause so much trouble (‘twixt 1950 and 1990 or thereabouts). Selecting this man seems like another tragic error. We may have something we have not seen in centuries: a buffoon Pope.

  • Is it a myth or truth that the church was involved in the creation of “artificial contraception” to enhance the ability of natural family planning? Honest to god I was told that once and I just filed that in the round file of my mind. Could anyone verify or debunk that accusation? Thanks

  • No. John Rock, who was a Catholic at the time, led the clinical trials in the development of the first birth control pill. The Church’s condemnation of the use of artificial contraception has been universal since the time of Christ.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rock_(American_scientist)

  • Enovid was developed as a menstrual regulator and to treat conditions such as dysmenorrhoea. Obviously, that is a perfectly ethical treatment

  • I’d submit to a colonoscopy without anesthesia rather than read the NYT.

  • Michael P-S, yes, Pope Francis appears squarely from the descendants of the Jesuit “Fourviere School” of Lyons, which got into a lot of trouble prior to Vat2. De Lubac (who by the way, never obtained a Ph.D nor completed a dissertation either—he was awarded it by the Jesuit provincial at the time [about 1930] because he was designated a rising star, apparently), got into trouble by using patristic & scriptural exegesis and his personalistic interpretations thereof as a battering ram against traditional magisterial teaching (remember Luther? remember also how “scripture scholars” attacked Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae as being insufficiently scripturally grounded? Or how Schillebeeckx attacked Ratzinger’s definition of male priesthood also for “lacking scriptural basis”?)

    But, dear friends, this all may be academic: because I don’t think Bergoglio cares about these matters or their historically traditional basis. It helps to be ignorant: makes it easier to “ignore”, especially facts. Yes, having a Ph.D isnt everything: but it says a lot when you rise to the top of the corporation and make pronouncements as he has made as “Teacher of the Faith.” Air turbulence ahead.

  • Steve Phoenix

    Not only Jesuits.

    There was the Oratorian, Lucien Laberthonnière, who edited Blondel’s publication, L’Annales de philosophie chrétienne.

    Perhaps the greatest scholar of the period was the ex-Jesuit, Abbé Henri Brémond (incardinated in the Archdiocese of Paris), whose « Histoire littéraire du sentiment religieux en France, depuis la fin des guerres de religion a nos jours » [Literary History of Religious Feeling in France from the end of the Wars of Religion to our days] published in eleven volumes between 1913 and 1936, is a classic history of spirituality. His « Prière et Poésie » [Prayer and Poetry] and « Introduction a la Philosophie de la Prière » [Introduction to the Philosophy of Prayer] are based on his unrivalled knowledge of mystical writings and devotional works, which along with his writings on poetry, symbolism and romanticism, earned him election to the Académie française in 1923, in succession to Mgr. Duchesne, the Légion d’ honneur and a eulogy from the French Symbolist poet, Paul Valéry. He was a seminal influence on the Nouvelle Théologie.

    Then there were the great Dominican theologians, Marie-Dominique Chenu and Cardinal Yves Congar and the Oratorian, Louis Bouyer.

  • The spectrum from learned volumes to unwritten remarks, all serving to influence the world’s understanding of the original generous, helpful and divinely inspired writings, has certainly enhanced the shades of gray.

PopeWatch: Save us Lesus!

Saturday, October 12, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

PopeWatch gets lighthearted for a Saturday morning.  Galloping illiteracy hits the Vatican!  6000 medals commemorating the new reign of Pope Francis have been withdrawn because the name “Iesus” was spelled “Lesus”.  Four medals were sold before the mistake was noticed, and they will now be hot collector’s items.  One wag blames the Lesuits for the mistake.

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28 Responses to PopeWatch: Save us Lesus!

  • I’m sure Opus Del is on the case.

  • @Spambot3049:
    “I’m sure Opus Del is on the case.”

    I cannot grasp your connection of the Lesuits with Opus Del.

  • Maybe Opus Dei did it to make the Lesuits look bad.

  • You crazy theists can say what you want, there’s no historical evidence that Lesus really existed.

  • They have confused Jesus with his good mate Lazarus. 🙂

  • Since the letter “J” did not come into use until the 1500’s – credit given to a monk – in late Latin the letter ‘L’ was used and in ancient Latin the letter ‘I’ was used, So technically using late Latin it is spelled correctly.

  • I’m sure Opus Del is on the case.

    Nah, the Templars are working on it. Coins, totally their thing.

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  • I can’t beleive I wasted 2 minutes of my life reading this childless, pointless article…and another minute commenting. Very annoyed!

  • Blame me for sticking a gun to your head to do both Ez.

  • I didn’t blame you. I clearly blame myself for wasting time.

    (Maybe you want to say I’m not welcome on your blog- in which case, say so.)

    I saw your article linked on Pulp It. Read it, then become thoroughly confused at what point you were making or implying by showing a picture of Pope Francis looking at his watch, then a misprint on a coin.

    What IS your point Donald? You usually have one, otherwise I’m sure you don’t like wasting a precious moment of your time on pointlessness.

  • (Maybe you want to say I’m not welcome on your blog- in which case, say so.)

    I’d guess he was using humor and manners to subtly indicate that complaining about someone saying a thing you thing unworth the time to read, and then posting to complain about it, is foolish.

    I can see how those three points would get past you, though.

  • Jevity.

    Isn’t that the point here?

  • “What IS your point Donald?”

    That post was a pure example of humor Ez. I blog as a hobby and I often like to have fun with topics.

  • Blogging and humour is great. I guess you second guess the humour from a blogger who consistently complains about the Pope. Then you question whether its fun or actually a jibe disguised as fun.

    Also if funny is your point, I guess do it indiscriminately- like posting a picture of Emeritus Pope Benedict sneaking a cigarette during WYD in Sydney. That’s funny.

    Don’t pick and choose your humour. Just saying….

    Ps Foxfier – you’re hilarious. I guess you think so too.

  • “Then you question whether its fun or actually a jibe disguised as fun.”

    Humor is often in the eye of the beholder, but I think the humor in the post was pretty obvious, at least it was obvious to everyone one else that commented.

    “Ps Foxfier – you’re hilarious.”

    I can tell you are new to the blog, Ez. It is always a mistake to wish to mix it up with Foxfier, who has a true talent for combox give and take.

  • Humour is in the eye of the beholder- as in you behold Pope Francis to be a butt of your joke. Ok get it, thanks for clarifying. Totally respectful for a grown man. Ill see if I can find a funny pic of PJPII and PEB to link to.

    Re: Foxfier, that’s your cue Donald to him, to say unleash the dog. Is he your Rottweiler then.

  • Blogging and humour is great. I guess you second guess the humour from a blogger who consistently complains about the Pope.

    Apparently, you’ve been reading a much different blog than this one.

    ******
    I can tell you are new to the blog, Ez. It is always a mistake to wish to mix it up with Foxfier, who has a true talent for combox give and take.

    *blush*
    Not sure if that’s from being flattered or embarassed…. ah well.

    **************

    Re: Foxfier, that’s your cue Donald to him, to say unleash the dog. Is he your Rottweiler then.

    That’s new, usually folks trying to get a reaction call *me* a dog. Sort of.

  • Yes Simcha Fisher is very funny. Donald Scarey Clarey..still figuring it out here.

    Foxfier, it was you that I attributed to being the Rottweiler. I know, wow, too many compliments in one day. You must be chuffed.

  • Foxfier, it was you that I attributed to being the Rottweiler.

    You might want to check your pronouns, then– there’s a reason I’ve got a fox-girl in a cheerleading outfit for an icon, and it’s not because I like cheesecake.

    Also, if you were trying to call me a Rottweiler, then presumably you meant to say:
    “Foxfier– what’s your cue, Donald, to him; to say ‘unleash the dog.’ Is he your Rottweiler, then?”
    Or, a bit less convoluted: “‘Foxfier’? What’s your unleashing cue for him, Donald? Is he your Rottweiler?”

    Finally, seeing as the Pope with whom I feel the most kinship was also frequently called a Rottweiler, your barb missed.

  • About that photo of Pope Francis – will we see it soon on a Samsung wristphone ad?

  • Foxfier, It is with great affection that I call you Donald’s Rottweiler. If you re-read my comment, I did predict you would be chuffed. But, don’t assume that you automatically are anywhere near being in the same league as Pope Emeritus Benedict. I’m sure he doesn’t split hairs.

    Foxfier thankyou for the lesson in…I dont know, is that American English grammar, English English grammar or Australian English Grammar?

    Micha, I didn’t promise any incriminating photos of Pope Francis. You can ask Donald for those. Donald, are you getting a cut for posting them..?

    But if you’re holding your breath Google Pope Benedict smoking. The Malboro man. haha. I’d rather not link to anything by the Huffington Post. Especially on a conservative-blog-that’s-not-conservative-with-its-“humour”…barraboom!

    Oh gosh, I can’t help myself. I should stop getting suckered into pointless debate. I hope someone is laughing…at least…somewhere.

    God Bless the Pope. Francis that is. Pope Francis to you.

  • Micha- sorry, ignore my comment to you.

    I get the joke. That’s funny.

  • Not grammar. Clarity and word choice, like not confusing “he” for “she” or “that” for “what”– with some suggested punctuation, since the jumble of words otherwise was jibberish.

    It seems your reading comprehension is as amazing as your sense of humor.

  • I mixed “he” with “she”? “That” for “what”? Didn’t anyone teach you to be sincere in debates. Sincerity- a basic human virtue. Try it.

    If my reading and writing comprehension is poor, why are you commenting back to me. Sincerity-again, give it a go.

    Like I said, I consider myself to have a good sense of humour; Micha was funny.

    But this post borders on…I don’t know…jibes at expense of the current Vatican administration …because this blog and some of this blog fans don’t like the current Pope. It’s no secret.

    Unless this blog, along with some of this blogs fans refute/deny/clarify the fact that they don’t like this Pope- my point stands.

  • “Sincerity”– you keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means.

    As Donald already indicated– I’m rather tenacious, for good or ill.

    It is rather interesting that you’ve done nothing to refute my original observation that subtly, humor and manners are beyond you, and have added “mildly incoherent” to the list.

    …because this blog and some of this blog fans don’t like the current Pope. It’s no secret.

    That’s an even more scurrilous accusation than your notion that I’m insincere.

PopeWatch: A Letter From Grisez

Friday, October 11, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

A letter from Catholic theologian Germain Grisez to Robert Moynihan, founder and editor in chief of Inside the Vatican Magazine:

Dear Dr. Moynihan,

Insofar as I understand what Pope Francis had to say, I can agree with him, but he said some things that I do not understand, and that have already been made bad use of by the secular media. Take the following passage:

“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the Church are not all equivalent. The Church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. 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. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.”

The teachings of the Church certainly are not all equivalent. There is a hierarchy.

But what is the point of saying that the Church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a “disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently”? Making this assertion suggests, unfortunately, a caricature of the teachings of recent pontificates. I assume Pope Francis would reject that reading. But where, then, is the state of affairs that needs to be overcome?

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17 Responses to PopeWatch: A Letter From Grisez

  • Pope Watch indeed! Could we be overdoing the watching? I don’t recall a Pope Watch when Ratzinger was elevated. I do not want to take issue with your great blog, specially since you are not alone in this Pope vigilantism. I today’s Chiesa blog (thank you for turning me on to another excellent blog) Sandro Magister talks about “alarming” liturgical changes and points towards Pope Francis bowing instead of genuflecting after consecrating. What next? are we going to start timing how long The Pope holds the host up?

    Maybe we need to take a minute to think: What happens if after all our Pope Watching we conclude that we do not “like” Francis, what is next? a call to disobedience?

  • With reference to Darwin’s earlier remarks, since the end of the long 19th century we have had three popes drawn from the Holy See’s diplomatic service, two from the ranks of academic theologians, one a scholar of variegated interests but with a terminal degree in theology, one was an institutional apparatchik who supervised the diplomatic service, and one who served for a month.

    We have had little experience in living memory with an occupant in the chair of Peter whose studies and work history would not have inculcated habits of precision or discretion in public statements.

  • “I don’t recall a Pope Watch when Ratzinger was elevated.”

    We tend to cover most major papal actions here fairly closely, and sometimes critically, although your overall point is well taken. I am doing the PopeWatch series because I detect in Pope Francis the same sort of thinking that was prevalent within the Church during the latter part of the reign of Pope Paul VI, and which that Pope deplored, and which John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI labored mightily to reverse. I think we may well be returning to the bad old days of “spirit of Vatican II” craziness, and I do not think Pope Francis yet comprehends the furies he is in the process of unleashing. I hope I am wrong but I fear that I am probably correct. In regard to Pope Francis, if my fears are realized, I will adopt the traditional Catholic practice when confronted with an uncongenial Pope: point out mistakes and errors and pray for better days under a future pope.

  • Side question: What kind of venue is Inside the Vatican? I thought I’d heard positive stuff about it a while back, but someone sent me this week this appallingly bad piece on “dissent” on Catholic social teaching:

    https://insidethevatican.com/culture/dissent-from-catholic-social-teaching-a-study-in-irony

  • Yeesh that was a terrible post. I have looked to them for factual information about Vatican inner workings and not looked at their editorial stance. From the link below it looks as if Moynihan is quite supportive of Pope Francis:

    http://themoynihanletters.com/from-the-desk-of/letter-89-afterthoughts

  • “In regard to Pope Francis, if my fears are realized, I will adopt the traditional Catholic practice when confronted with an uncongenial Pope: point out mistakes and errors and pray for better days under a future pope. ”

    : )

  • Yes. Each of our words will be under a scrutiny as well.

    Pope more so? Yes. Or maybe not?
    Is he changing the teachings of our Catholic Church? Is he?
    Be careful , for the mercy you give is the measure you will receive. Our words
    do hold much weight…or do they?

  • Philip,

    It is merciful to address flaws. It is injustice not to. How one addresses them is most important.

    Excessive tolerance is false charity. I have, personally, experienced the consequences of this
    excessive tolerance throughout the last more than two decades of my life. It is scandalous.
    It destroys lives. it destroys faith. It destroys families. It must stop. I do not know if Francis will
    choose wisely. I certainly hope he does. But, the only indications I have are his words. To me, he
    is frightening. But, if the Cross is what God wants for me. So be it. Let His will be done.

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  • Karl.

    Thank you. The prayers to Our Lady this weekend will most certainly include clarity for our Holy Father.
    If his words are laying a foundation to support unholy changes to doctrine, then God forgive me for the benefit of a doubt.
    Naive is not an attribute.
    Praying for Our Holy Father.

  • It seems to me there is no problem, but one only for those Rod Dreher termed ‘Mottramists’.
    Unfortunately, many Catholics as well as those outside have this mindset, and are often found to have some combination of a clericalist, pedantic, or scrupulous personality, too. It goes with the territory.

  • I agree totally with this article, and, as usual, many who do not like what it says cannot stay with the issue. This man is dangerously close to being heretical, and he shows considerable shallowness in spiritual understandings., not to mention an incredible imprudence. He is either painfully naive, or something else more sinister is at work. Let us pray for Holy Mother Churhc.

  • It is interesting to agree with Germain Grisez, renown because of the new natural law, which is not natural and is in almost complete disagreement with traditional Catholic natural law.

    But he is right in his concern about the Pope.

  • Sadly, the pope’s comments have been distorted so as to confirm the contention of Clinton’s Surgeon General, Joycelyn Elders, who proclaimed that we need to get over our obsessive-compulsive “love affair with the fetus”. As a corollary reflection, it should be noted that it is ironic that the Democratic Party platform
    affirms that no child has any right to be born – and thus that our President had
    no right to be born. That platform and the HHS mandate of the Affordable Care Act assert that any fetus, including Obama before his birth, is merely a preventable disease, a parasite in its mother’s uterus. Obama himself has asserted that, if one of his daughters was pregnant out-of-wedlock, he would
    not want to have her “punished with a child”. With over 70% of African-American
    children conceived and born our of marriage, are we to join with Obama in asserting that these children are punishments, rather than sacred blessings?

  • Yes, there is a Pope-Watch, because Pope Francis has done everything possible to communicate ambiguity. Part of it is his educational background: Pope Francis has not had years of profound study and training like JP2 nor BXVI, years of refining and studying Catholic theology at a profound level. He had a weak training in the late 60′s at a middling theology school in Buenos Aires. He failed to complete his dissertation and PhD at Frankfurt—that speaks volumes. The last pope who had a such a lacuna in systematics and dogmatic theology was Paul VI (he studied systems at the MIlan seminary and obtained a PhD at the Gregorian in Canon Law, but mainly he was in the Vatican diplomatic corp) and he was at a marked disadvantage in defending Humanae Vitae to its chorus of “New Theologians” like Hans Kung and Charles Curran. Yes, the last pope without a doctorate was Pius X, Giuseppe Sarto: but Sarto was an outstanding student at his seminary, and was from limited financial means, so he couldnt obtain a PhD for that reason alone. He was nonetheless appointed as a teacher in dogmatics and systematic theology, in which he was outstanding, at the Treviso seminary—so again, it is important to have a pope who deeply comprehends Catholic theology. It is important that a pope be able to literately and effectively teach the faith and to comprehend the meanings of his words–just for example, as Pietro de Marco observes, Francis confuses words [“to judge” (“Who am I to judge?” speaking about (are we to presume active) homosexuals) with “to condemn.”] Francis says “proselytism is solemn foolishness, it makes no sense,” rather dismissing great Jesuits before him like St Francis Xavier and Bl. Peter Faber (Faber he says he models himself upon). Is the Great Commission over (Matt. 28:16-20, Go teach all nations..) ? Francis says “Each of us has his vision of the good” … “we must incite him to proceed toward what he thinks to be the good.” Well, we know that Kinsey, Fidel Castro, and Lenin certainly had visions of ‘the good’—-are there no objective elements and standards that the Church teaches is a single objective good? Of course there are. Bergolio/Francis confuses all these. The fact is, that the numerous ambiguous messages and contradictory statements seem to be increasing, and I can predict that soon, in a year or two years, there will be a serious crisis of faith he will have precipitated in the Church (He already did so to a great degree when he called morally committed Catholics “obsessed” about “homosexuality, abortion, and contraception.”) So, quo vadis, Pope Francis? And yes, there is good reason for a “Pope-Watch”.

  • I am a very traditional Catholic. I attend the TLM. I love my Catholic Faith with all my heart. I am saddened by the loss of Catholic identity that has taken place in the last 50 years. I feel my beloved Catholic Church has mostly become Protestant, with the exception of my fellow tradtionalists who adhere to the tradtional faith. I agree with all that has been written thus far in this blog. I too, am frightened of what may follow. I feel that not only doctrine, but the Gospel message is becoming “mushy”. I love you, we all love each other and EVERYbody is gonna go to heaven….”
    But most importantly, I am wondering not only about this Pope’s agenda, but WHAT ABOUT those cardinals who elected him. What were they thinking?

  • Humblewriter, I think we are in for serious “unsettled weather” ahead. You may want to read at http://www.chiesa.com erudite Vatican-watcher Sandro Magister’s piece today, “Martini Pope: The Dream Come True.” And dont stop going to the TLM (where ever it may be still found) and saying the Rosary. Here is the link:

    http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350623?eng=y

PopeWatch: Frieburg

Thursday, October 10, AD 2013

 

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

And so it begins.  The diocese of Frieburg, Germany is first off the mark in implementing what I suspect will be called the “Franciscan Reforms” (whether such “reforms” are approved of by the Pope or not):

The Vatican warned bishops on Tuesday not to reform faster than Pope Francis, after a German diocese said that some divorced and remarried Catholics would now be allowed to receive communion and other sacraments.

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13 Responses to PopeWatch: Frieburg

  • “The archdiocese of Freiburg in Germany issued a guidebook on Monday for priests ministering to remarried Catholics that spelled out a way for them to express remorse for their failed first marriage and receive communion and other sacraments.”

    It is called an annulment or the vow to live as brother and sister. The problem with divorce is the broken vow. Now, to accept a liar’s vow is problematic. “Til death do us part” was changed into “til the death of the marriage do us part” which is not part of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. If Pope Francis accepts this secular excuse for adultery, the Pope will have excommunicated all of the faithful. I do not put any money in the collection unless the priest tells me something true about God. Thanks be to God, the newer priests are orthodox and faithful and I have beautiful priests.

  • I can just see that image of the lightning bolt that struck St. Peter’s … shining a flickering light on the pale faces of Mr and Mrs Luther.
    the Reformation seems to be advancing

  • This Is about distortion, fabrication, and omission.

    It is not reform.

    This is another denial of 2,000 years of Church teaching handed down to us from the Apostles who were personally baptized/instructed, in accordance with Christ’s promise, by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.

    Mattew 19:3-9; Mark 10:1-12: The man unites with his wife and the two become one. What God has joined let no man put asunder. Christ states, “I tell you” that any man who divorces his wife for any reason other than infidelity/unchastity commits adultery if he marries some other woman.

    Or, it is, “That was then. This is now.” The modernist heresy: that objective truth teachings of the Church are not etrenal but may be altered to satisfy the whims succeeding ages/generations/social media.

    Because Evangelists Matthew and Mark were “suggesting” when they quoted Jesus regarding divorce/remarriage constituting adultery.

    “Maybe the greatest threat to the church is not heresy, not dissent, not secularism, not even moral relativism, but this sanitized, feel-good, boutique, therapeutic spirituality that makes no demands, calls for no sacrifice, asks for no conversion, entails no battle against sin, but only soothes and affirms.” – Timothy Dolan

    Oh, what the . . . “The floor of Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.” Ancient St. John Chrysostom

  • I suspect that the prohibition against divorce/remarriage/no-communion will be, in fact, upheld by the Church authorities, but on a practical level, totally ignored by pretty much everyone except a few die-hards. Rather like the whole contraception affair. The catechism and a few pro-lifers says its wrong, but pretty much everyone does it anyway, most catholic physicians prescribe it, NFP classes hard to find, and the bishop don’t want to deal with it.

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  • We’ll have to see how it goes, and it’ll be a while before anything is known. These synods prepare a report, but then the report has to be revised and issued by Rome. the 2012 synod’s document still hasn’t come out, so one assumes it’ll be a good long time before we see anything out of this one.

    Obviously, there’s really no wiggle room for the Church to change practice here. If someone has remarried outside the Church, he’s living in adultery and unless he seeks absolution and intends not to continue to commit adultery, he can’t receive the sacraments.

    Of course, as with so many other moral issues, a lot of rank and file Catholics ignore this and simply receive anyway, and many priests tacitly approve of such arrangements. I had an aunt who’s priest advised her to go get married in a Protestant ceremony rather than waiting for an in process annulment. That was twenty years ago, and nothing has changed since that I can see though some of the younger priests are more willing to actually teach what the Church teaches. That’s the big generation effect that we’re still only seeing the beginning of. In the modern world, there’s no reason for men who don’t believe what the Church teaches to become priests. So while the priests being ordained now are smaller in number, they seem to be in the main very solid compared to those we were getting in the post V2 period.

  • it is a sin to re marry but Jesus never did say that people were not allowed to receive Him in the Holy Eucharist…at least as far as I know….

  • This Pope will be the end of any truth in the Catholic Church. What IS the faithful to do now ? I’ve prayed and prayed but something in my spirit is fearful of this Pontiff.

  • “Even if analogous pastoral solutions have been proposed by a few Fathers of the Church and in some measure were practiced, nevertheless these never attained the consensus of the Fathers and in no way came to constitute the common doctrine of the Church nor to determine her discipline.”

    Especially in the East. This led to the rather curious wording used by the Council of Trent, “If any one says, that the Church has erred, in that she has taught, and does teach, in accordance with the evangelical and apostolical doctrine, that the bond of matrimony cannot be dissolved on account of the adultery of one of the married parties… let him be anathema.” (Sess XXIV c 7) In this way, they avoided anathematizing those Greek Fathers who had taught that marriage could be dissolved for adultery (and on other grounds, too), but who had not condemned the Latins for holding to the contrary opinion.

  • If this situation in Germany were something new, the responsibility could be placed at the feet of Pope Francis. However, while this particular German diocese has recently made this ‘pastoral decision’ (and already challenged by Francis’ Vatican to do nothing before the Extraordinary Synod), this is not a new problem for the Church nor caused by Pope Francis. It began in German dioceses in the 1990’s during the ministry of Blessed John Paul. It was this earlier ‘crisis’ that then Cardinal Ratzinger was addressing as head of the Congregation of the Faith.

    It arose once again in Austria during the ministry of Pope Benedict, led by the former Vicar General of Vienna.

    Marriage and family are fundamental theological givens. It has been researched and discovered that the way of cultures to non belief is by way of the breakdown of marriage and the family. The breakdown of marriage and family has long been happening and is not a recent phenomenon.

    The decision to make marriage and family (with the various pastoral questions arising from this-such as the real pastoral care of the divorced and remarried) I believe first arose within the conclave. This explains his mentioning of the issue in the plane interview after World Youth Day. Certainly it must have been discussed at the recent sessions of the Council of Cardinals (the G 8)

    What I find as very hopeful is that the upcoming synod is an Extraordinary Synod. The last Extraordinary Synod in 1985, under the headship of Blessed John Paul and the guidance of the then Cardinal Ratzinger, gave us the core issue of Vatican II: ” the Church as communion is the sacrament of salvation of the world” . It also gave a ” canonical” form to the 16 documents of the Council, with the four ( on Divine Revelation, on the Liturgy, on the Mystery of the Church, and on the Church in the modern world) as the four key texts that both ground and interpret the rest of the documents. Finally, the Extraordinary Synod called for the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is this Extraordinary Synod as well as the teachings of John Paul and Benedict that will really prevent the Church from the confusion and chaos of the 60’s and 70’s people rightly fear.

    Now a new Extraordinary Synod has been called on the subject of marriage and family. Have we not been attempting to remain faithful to Our Lord in the face of the sexual revolution, of vast social and cultural forces shaking both marriage and family life? This Extraordinary Synod will wrestle with these profound realities and give us, as did its predecessor, a firm foundation and sense of mission and direction.

  • Yeah, I think people need to beware of suddenly attributing every example of deviation within some parish or diocese to Pope Francis. We had exactly these same problems under John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and we even saw people selectively quoting those popes to support what they were doing (as well as saying they were waiting for the ever-anticipated “liberal pope” to fix everything.)

    So the behavior on the ground is very much in continuity with what came before. Yes, some of these dissident Catholics are going to announce they’re fans of Francis, but they’re simply doing that as gloss to defend what they were already going.

    It’ll take a while to see if Francis’s style is causing drift in the levels of catechesis and obedience in the Church, but I certainly wouldn’t count on it at this point. Francis does a few things that make liberals happy, but I haven’t seen anything to suggest that he’s not himself quite sound. And we have a lot of things in place now (such as the new catechism) which serve as bulwarks against the kind of confusion that reigned during the 70s when people were running around claiming that everything had changed and there was little with which to rebut them.

  • I think it’s far more likely that Pope Francis is reacting to this — and in pretty quick fashion, for Rome — than that it has anything at all to do with Pope Francis.

    The danger is that, as in this post, people will look at these “reforms” and think they come from the pope and are okay.

  • “Everyone with opportunity to observe it knows that the Fuehrer can only with great difficulty order from above everything he intends to carry out sooner or later … it is the duty of every single person to attempt, in the spirit of the Fuehrer, to work towards him. Anyone making mistakes will come to notice it soon enough. But the one who works correctly towards the Fuehrer along his lines and towards his aims will in future as previously have the finest reward of one day suddenly attaining the legal confirmation of his work.”

    Werner Willikens, State Secretary in the Prussian Agriculture Ministry, 21 February 1934. Quoted in Ian Kershaw “Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris” (1998) p.529.

PopeWatch: A Liquid Message

Wednesday, October 9, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

On Sandro Magister’s website, Chiesa, he has a post by Professor Pietro De Marco who analyzes the messages being communicated by the Pope:

Pope Francis shows himself to be the typical religious of the Society of Jesus in its recent phase, converted by the Council in the years of formation, especially by what I call the “external Council,” the Vatican II of militant expectations and interpretations, created by some episcopates, by their theologians, and by the most influential Catholic media outlets. One of those churchmen who, in their conciliatory and pliable tone, in their undisputed values, are also the most rigid “conciliars,” convinced after half a century that the Council is yet to be realized and that things should be done as if we were still in the 1970’s, in a hand-to-hand with the “pacellian” church, neoscholastic theology, under the influence of the secular or Marxist paradigm of modernity.

On the contrary: that which the “conciliar spirit” wanted and was able to activate has been said or tried over the decades and today it is a question in the first place of making a critical assessment of the results, sometimes disastrous. Even the tenacious proclamation in Pope Francis of the divine mercy corresponds to a pastoral attitude now widespread among the clergy, to the point of that laxity which the pope moreover censures. Not only that. The theme of sin has almost disappeared from catechesis, thereby liquidating the very need of mercy. Rather than promoting generally merciful behaviors, this is a matter today of reconstructing a moral theology less made up of words and again capable of guiding clergy and faithful in concrete cases. Also in moral theology the road to the true implementation of the Council has been reopened by the magisterial work of Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger.

Some maintain that Francis could be, as a postmodern pope, the man of the future of the Church, beyond traditionalism and modernism. But the postmodern that most thrives in him – as liquidation of forms, spontaneity of public appearance, attention to the global village – is superficial. With its pliability and aestheticism, the postmodern is hardly plausible in a bishop of Latin America, where until recently the intelligentsia was dominated by the Marxist Modern. Bergoglio’s solid core is and remains “conciliar.” On the road undertaken by this pope, if confirmed, I see first of all the crystallization of the dominant pastoral conciliarism in the clergy and in the active laity.

Of course, if Bergoglio is not postmodern, his worldwide reception is. The pope pleases right and left, practicing and nonbelievers, without discernment. His prevalent message is “liquid.” On this success, however, nothing can be built, there can only be remixed something already existing, and that not of the best.

There are worrying signals of this “liquid” appearance for anyone who may not be prone to the relativistic chatter of this late modernity:

a) the concession to set popular phrases like “everyone is free to do…” “who says that things must be this way…” “who am I to…” allowed to slip out in the conviction that they are dialogical and up-to-date. Presenting himself as a simple bishop to justify hardly formal behaviors, do not cover up and cannot cover up the different weight and different responsibility that instead belong to his words, any word, since the bishop of Rome and the pope are one and the same;

b) the lack of scrutiny on the part of persons of trust, but wise and cultured, and Italian, of the texts destined to be circulated, perhaps in the papal conviction that there is no need for this;

c) a certain authoritarian inclination (“I will do everything to…”) in singular contrast with the frequent pluralistic propositions, but typical of the democratic “revolutionaries,” with the risk of imprudent collisions with tradition and the “sensus fidelium”;

d) moreover, there remains incongruous in Pope Francis this constant taking of individual public communication initiatives and this wanting to be without filters (the symptomatic image of the papal apartment as a bottleneck), which reveal the unwillingness to feel himself a man of governance (something more difficult than being a reformer) in an eminent and “sui generis” institution like the Catholic Church.

His is, at times, the conduct of a modern and informal manager, one of those who concede a great deal to the press. But this clinging to persons and things on the outside – collaborators, friends, press, public opinion, even the apartment in Santa Marta is “outside” – as if the man Bergoglio were afraid he would not know what to do once he were left alone, as pope, in the apartment of the popes, is not positive. And the thing could not last. Even the media will get tired of supporting a pope who needs them too much.

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17 Responses to PopeWatch: A Liquid Message

  • Pope Francis’ always wanting to be in the limelight with the media, never wanting what he says to be filtered by the theologians in the Church, always being at that special place and time for all those photos showing his great humility, never wanting to consult with Tradition and the vast corpus of Church documents before he shoots his mouth off – are those examples of real humility.

    And indeed, if he doesn’t want to consult with his fellow clerics before he shoots his mouth off, is he being conciliar?

    Benedict thought long and hard before he said something. And so did JP II. They wrote well-reasoned documents, and what they said was generally precise theologically. There was no wiggle room.

    It was a sad day when Benedict stepped down.

  • De Marco notes, “The theme of sin has almost disappeared from catechesis, thereby liquidating the very need of mercy.”

    The call to proclaim “Jesus Saves!” requires us to be ready with answers to the questions “From What?” and “For What?”

    From hell? For heaven? Or would that be coming on too strong?

  • This is discouraging. I want to be positive but I am feeling dismayed.
    Catherine of Sienna help!

  • Professor DeMarco was also critical (hyper-critical?) of Pope Benedict. I remember several commentaries written by Sandro over the last few years. I have not read any of his works (not sure if they are translated into English) however my sense is Dr DeMarco has some very strong reservations of the Council and not merely interpretations of it. I would be glad to discover that I have come to the wrong conclusion on his position.

    Pr ofessor DeMarco’s actual criticisms of Pope Francis are as vague as the positions he claims that this post modern pope has. He criticizes Pope Francis for being a solid Conciliarist (man of the Council). Why would/should he or we expect or want otherwise? While the Council was not a rupture in the Tradition of the Church, it marks a turning point within the history of the Church (marking the transition from the modern to post-modern age) just as Trent marked the transition of the Church from the Medieval to Modern eras.

    I am convinced that basically all we are witnessing with Pope Francis ( with the exception of his interviews perhaps) is precisely what the Cardinals in that conclave had clearly discussed, prayed, reflected, discerned and then elected.

  • Fantastic (and really sad and worrying) article by De Marco.

    What can you do despite praying for the Holy Spirit?

  • Make a lot of noise. Dissenters within the Church have gone from victory to victory over the past half century as too often orthodox Catholics have done nothing but pray. Prayer is essential, but rarely is it sufficient. We are God’s tools in this world and it is up to us to take action.

  • Yes, Donald, you are right.

    If noise is also to publish De Marco article in diverse languages, I translated part of the article to my blog written to Portuguese readers (thyselfolord.blogspot.com).

    Marana tha!

  • I just try to follow the best bloggers: you, Edward Peters, Edward Feser and Pat Archbold.

    I am missing some consideration on Pope Francis from people like Peter Kreeft or Dale Alhquist (Chesterton Society). And I am disappointed with people like Jimmy Akin.

  • Why? Because those “voices” have the patience to hold their tongues till more is learned? A noble gesture indeed.

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  • Don’t we have enough crises in 7 months (bad words and phrases)?

    Or, as Donald said, don’t we need “noises”?

  • The Church is hardly in crisis in these last seven months of Popejk Francis’ ministry. Have we forgotten the uproar within the Church over Pope Benedict’s interview when he made a comment concerning the possibility of using condoms by men already infected with HIV? (This in fact was a genuine position put forward by a moral theologian of Opus Dei, by no means a liberal). Have we forgotten the uproar and expressions of both anger and hurt from the worldwide Jewish community when Pope Benedict speaking at the Holocaust Memorial in Israel asked ” Where was God?” (a very legitimate and profound theological question). Have we forgotten the severe uproar in the Islamic world when Pope Benedict, giving a phenomenol lecture at Regensburg, quoted a Byzantine Emperor concerning the turn of the Islamic world from logos and toward the irrationality of violence. The uproar stunned the pope who thought it was a university address and not listened to by the whole world. Finally, have we forgotten the meltdown within the Vatican not only concerning Vatican-leaks but the horrendous in-fighting within the Curia and preventing the Holy Father from fulfilling his projects.

    I honestly do not understand the handwringing, the catastrophic thinking and the chicken little expressions of fear we hear now. It simply is too early to evaluate Pope Francis for weal or woe

  • I want to add to this my concern about Pope Francis’ surprising lack of learning, especially when compared with the last two popes.

    A little comparative theological background might help:

    Cardinal Ratzinger’s doctoral dissertation was on Augustine’s ecclesiology, directed by Munich professor and scholar Gottlieb Soehngen; BXVI’s postdoctoral dissertation was on S. Bonaventure’s theology of history. Cardinal Wojytla’s 1st dissertation (after phenomenological studies in Edmund Husserl) at the Angelicum in Rome about 1948 was on divine-human relationship and personal encounter in the mystical doctrine of S. John of the Cross. JP2′s 2nd dissertation was @ Krakow on the thought of Max Scheler, also a phenomenologist, and a successor to Husserl. JP2 also was a distinguished theology teacher at the Jagiellonian University at Krakow, so lecturing and refining his writing and engaging in controversy literately was a habit for years with him, just as with Ratzinger.

    And now we get to the present pope? Bergoglio didnt finish his dissertation at Frankfurt’s Sahnkt Georgen. At all. (Tauber Zeitung, April 12, 2013). He previously had some psychological education (eg. the word “obsession” about abortion, contraception, homosexuality) but did not obtain either a Masters or a Ph.D. in psych either. (He has Masters degrees in theology, but from Buenos Aires’ Jesuit theologate, not known as a major school in its field). Rather unusual for a Jesuit, no Ph.D. My point is: Bergoglio is not well-trained in systematic theology. He hasnt been a lecturer, a theology teacher. It shows in his statements. I will be more forward: he is the least educated pope, theologically speaking going back far beyond Leo XIII. (It is true that Pius X did not have a doctorate, but he was awarded honors with distinction at his seminary, and he was known to be a top teacher later in a seminary setting.) And this pope? I find his statements quite incomprehensible, and I am coming to the conclusion that he doesnt comprehend what he is talking about, sorry.

  • There is no question that in John Paul II and Benedict we had brilliant popes. In many ways, we have been spoiled as well as blessed in having them. As you pointed out, Pope Francis’ academic background is not the same. Nonetheless, a doctorate in theology is not required for episcopal ordination, the elevation to the Cardinalate, nor a prerequisite for election to the papacy.

    To call into question, Pope Francis’ academic background is a veiled criticism of the pope who called for his ordination to the episcopacy; to call into question the pope who called him to be archbishop of Buenos Airies, and the pope who elevated him to the Cardinalate, never mind all the Cardinals who elected him.

    However, he knows exactly what he is doing. His whole program up until this moment at least has been to bring about the ‘agenda’ which all the Cardinals had discerned in conclave.

    I am sorry Steve, if you cannot understand him/this.

  • Dear Botolph, it seems to me that you are discussing a different subject, and you do not even read Dr. Pietro de Marco’s article (or understand Steve’s argument).

    But, you are right in one important point: popes must be more rigid in choosing their cardinals.

    I did not say nothing about the Conclave, because I have faith in the Holy Spirit, despite many bad popes in history.

    Let’s pray for Pope Francis and do a lot of noises.

  • I understand that people like Botolph will dismiss these serious comparisons I have made so that he doesnt have to confront himself with their implications, For those who will try to appreciate what I am saying, it is this, and disregard it. Botolphites, at your peril: Pope Francis has not had years of profound study and training like JP2 nor BXVI, years of refining and studying Catholic theology at a profound level. He had a weak training in the late 60’s at a middling theology school in Buenos Aires. He failed to complete his dissertation and PhD at Frankfurt—that speaks volumes. The last pope who had a such a lacuna in systematics and dogmatic theology was Paul VI (he studied systems at the MIlan seminary and obtained a PhD at the Gregorian in Canon Law, but mainly he was in the Vatican diplomatic corp) and he was at a marked disadvantage in defending Humanae Vitae to its chorus of “New Theologians” like Hans Kung and Charles Curran. Yes, the last pope without a doctorate was Pius X, Giuseppe Sarto: but Sarto was an outstanding student at his seminary, and was from limited financial means, so he couldnt obtain a PhD for that reason alone. He was nonetheless appointed as a teacher in dogmatics and systematic theology, in which he was outstanding, at the Treviso seminary—so again, it is important to have a pope who deeply comprehends Catholic theology. It is important that a pope be able to literately and effectively teach the faith and to comprehend the meanings of his words–just for example, as Pietro de Marco observes, Francis confuses words [“to judge” (“Who am I to judge?” speaking about (are we to presume active) homosexuals) with “to condemn.”] Francis says “proselytism is solemn foolishness, it makes no sense,” rather dismissing great Jesuits before him like St Francis Xavier and Bl. Peter Faber (Faber he says he models himself upon). Is the Great Commission over (Matt. 28:16-20, Go teach all nations..) ? Francis says “Each of us has his vision of the good” … “we must incite him to proceed toward what he thinks to be the good.” Well, we know that Kinsey, Fidel Castro, and Lenin certainly had visions of ‘the good’—-are there no objective elements and standards that the Church teaches is a single objective good? Of course there are. Bergolio/Francis confuses all these. The fact is, that the numerous ambiguous messages and contradictory statements seem to be increasing, and I can predict that soon, in a year or two years, there will be a serious crisis of faith he will have precipitated in the Church (He already did so to a great degree when he called morally committed Catholics “obsessed” about “homosexuality, abortion, and contraception.”) So, quo vadis, Francis?

PopeWatch: Vox Populi, Vox Humbug

Tuesday, October 8, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

Well, I guess this was inevitable.  We are now beginning to see polls which tell us that American Catholics back the Pope because they believe he is taking the Church in a liberal direction:

Pope Francis’ comments that the Catholic Church should not focus so much on homosexuality, abortion and contraception have met with strong approval from U.S. Catholics, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday.

Sixty-eight percent of American Catholics agree with comments the Pope made to that effect in an interview published last month in the Jesuit magazine Civilta Cattolica, while 23 percent disagreed, according to the poll. There was little difference in opinion between observant and less-observant Catholics, women and men, and among age groups, the poll found.

American Catholics also like their new pope, with 89 percent having a “favorable” or “very favorable” opinion, and only 4 percent voicing an unfavorable opinion, the poll found.

“Maybe they were just waiting for a Jesuit,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Francis is the first pope from the religious order of the Jesuits, an order known for its intellectuals and iconoclasts.

In the interview, Francis reaffirmed traditional church teachings, but said the church must “find a new balance” or risk seeing its entire moral edifice collapse “like a house of cards.”

The poll also found that 60 percent of American Catholics support women’s ordination – though the Pope had recently reaffirmed the ban on women’s ordination. Support is highest among those who attend services less frequently and Catholics over the age of 65.

The survey also found that Catholic opinion on abortion is similar to the opinion of all American adults – with 52 percent of Catholics saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared with 53 percent of the general public.

 

These Catholics have obviously gotten the message through media coverage of the Pope that the Church, rather than resisting abortion, homosexuality, contraception, etc, is now just going to go with the flow.  Not just laity are getting that impression, judging from a comment left on Pat Archbold’s Pope Traumatic Stress Disorder post at  National Catholic Register:

                     

This weekend our pastor wrote a column in which he compared people who  identify as pro-life to his old friend Tim, a morbidly obese individual who  washed down his bacon-cheeseburger and fries with diet coke in the hopes of  losing weight.  He went on to say that the agenda of pro-lifers is far too  often anti-abortion, when it should be much broader and include gun control,  environmental issues, the death penalty, yada, yada.  Abortion “cannot  trump the vast myriad of other life issues”.  He cited the Pope’s interview  as “long-overdue” support of this position.  Needless to say, those of us  on the parish pro-life committee feel as if we’ve been punched in the gut.   Until this happened I thought you were being unnecessarily alarmist, but believe  me, now I get your point.

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18 Responses to PopeWatch: Vox Populi, Vox Humbug

  • The “common good” is the alibi of all tyrants.

    “[…] Abortion ‘cannot trump the vast myriad of other life issues’.”

    Yes, it does.

    Tens of millions of abortions, universal artificial contraception, euthanasia, gay privileges, etc. are intrinsically evil. They cannot be “explained away” with free (bought with other people’s money) stuff, e.g. health care for everybody.

    “I see.”, said the blind man as he picked up his tools and walked away.

  • “Is this what the Pope intended? I doubt it. ”

    Though I wonder if this was exactly what the cardinals who voted for Francis intended. Less confrontation with governments, less parishioners being able to complain about orthodoxy, less headaches for them.

  • Though I wonder if this was exactly what the cardinals who voted for Francis intended. Less confrontation with governments, less parishioners being able to complain about orthodoxy, less headaches for them.

    Given that the college of cardinals is arguably more conservative now than it was when it elected Benedict XVI (since some old liberals have died or retired and Benedict appointed a fair number of cardinals himself) I find that a little hard to credit.

    He cited the Pope’s interview as “long-overdue” support of this position. Needless to say, those of us on the parish pro-life committee feel as if we’ve been punched in the gut. Until this happened I thought you were being unnecessarily alarmist, but believe me, now I get your point.

    I guess the thing is: If the commenter’s pastor gave this talk now, he almost certainly had the same opinions a year ago or five years ago. He didn’t suddenly become a “seamless garment” wimp, he has been for a long time. So what exactly has changed? He can point to an out-of-context line from the pope. But then, liberal Catholics have been trying to claim that the popes support them for ages (whenever they’re not arguing instead that popes don’t matter.)

    It seems like a lot of the difference is, during Benedict’s papacy (especially very early on when liberals were in despair and conservatives were saying “the cafeteria is closed”) there at least a strong sense among orthodox Catholics that the pope was “one of us” and a fairly strong sense among liberals that he wasn’t one of them.

    This time we have the liberals running around saying that the pope is one of them and he isn’t one of us. I strongly suspect they’re deluding themselves on that, but it does seem like it gets conservative Catholics down.

  • The human being is composed of a human body and a human soul. By not acknowledging the sovereignty of God and the immortality of the human soul, The Ten Commandments and The Catholic Church can be made to appear irrelevant. The purpose of life is to get ourselves to heaven. Do not let them “fake out” your soul. The polls are like football players who grab the ball and make a touchdown for their opponent.
    “VOX HUMBUG” i CANNOT STOP LAUGHING.

  • it sounds to me like some of the liberal Catholics seriously buy a caricature of pro life Catholics as narrow. are they obtuse on purpose?!
    Also— help me out here— there must be a Chesterton quote somewhere about real breadth manifested in narrowness 🙂 maybe similar to the child nurturing role of women being not small, but great…. that could relate to the importance of saving the individual life of persons conceived and yet unborn.

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  • “Given that the college of cardinals is arguably more conservative now than it was when it elected Benedict XVI (since some old liberals have died or retired and Benedict appointed a fair number of cardinals himself) I find that a little hard to credit.”

    So what’s your explanation? Are the majority of cardinals just low information voters who didn’t realize what they were signing on for? I think conflict avoidance is a better explanation. You can be a conservative cardinal and still not want to fight.

  • Over on Ricochet there’s a knock-down fight going on over how one can reject the notion that opposing abortion is any different from the “animal cruelty” of “industrial farming” without reading an article that was over twenty pages when typed up in word.

    The simple fact that there’s a difference between chopping up humans and (feel good goal here) just doesn’t soak in.

  • So what’s your explanation? Are the majority of cardinals just low information voters who didn’t realize what they were signing on for? I think conflict avoidance is a better explanation. You can be a conservative cardinal and still not want to fight.

    Well, obviously I’m having to use intuition here, I don’t have inside knowledge, but I tend to think that:

    a) The cardinals probably knew Bergoglio better then than we do now. They’d dealt with him one on one at various gatherings and had an idea of how he would lead the Vatican and what elements of the faith he’d emphasize (service to the poor, importance of accepting Christ personally, etc.) We just hear about him on the news.

    b) I think we may also not always be cognizant of how different the viewpoint of cardinals is just because of who they are: Most of them are bishops in charge of diocese. Most of the people they interact with on a daily basis are priests and virtually all are Catholic. Most of them are over 60. Many of them don’t use technology much. They don’t know what it’s like to sit in the pews of the average parish of struggle with the parish school as a parent, they know what it’s like to sit in the diocesan offices and deal with the personnel issues that come to them from their priests and lay workers. Also, they have a lot of concerns about how the church is run administratively which may not even be on our radar (some of these relate to scandals that hit the media, but a lot of others are probably things that only show up to people on the inside.)

    I have no idea whether cardinals are liking the interviews or not. But in general I’d imagine they loom a lot larger in the attention of Catholics like us who are used to spending a lot of time in Catholic media and discussion space than they do to the cardinals.

  • “But in general I’d imagine they loom a lot larger in the attention of Catholics like us who are used to spending a lot of time in Catholic media and discussion space than they do to the cardinals.”

    Well, that is likely part of the problem.

  • Siobahn:

    The solution to your problem: locate the nearest Eastern-rite parish and take your family there. Alternately, check the Una Voce site for the traditional masses in your area.

  • “The simple fact that there’s a difference between chopping up humans and (feel good goal here) just doesn’t soak in.”

    When one views man as merely an animal there is no limit on how badly people can be treated by the State, or by each other. Burke noted this long ago:

    “On this scheme of things, a king is but a man, a queen is but a woman; a woman is but an animal, and an animal not of the highest order. All homage paid to the sex in general as such, and without distinct views, is to be regarded as romance and folly. Regicide, and parricide, and sacrilege, are but fictions of superstition, corrupting jurisprudence by destroying its simplicity. The murder of a king, or a queen, or a bishop, or a father, are only common homicide; and if the people are by any chance, or in any way, gainers by it, a sort of homicide much the most pardonable, and into which we ought not to make too severe a scrutiny.

    On the scheme of this barbarous philosophy, which is the offspring of cold hearts and muddy understandings, and which is as void of solid wisdom as it is destitute of all taste and elegance, laws are to be supported only by their own terrors, and by the concern which each individual may find in them from his own private speculations, or can spare to them from his own private interests. In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows.”

  • There is a vast difference in theological training between Pope Francis and at least his two predecessors: A little comparative theological background might help — let me explain.
    Cardinal Ratzinger’s doctoral dissertation was on Augustine’s ecclesiology, directed by Munich professor and scholar Gottlieb Soehngen; BXVI’s postdoctoral dissertation was on S. Bonaventure’s theology of history. Cardinal Wojytla’s 1st dissertation (after phenomenological studies in Edmund Husserl, of whom Edith Stein was an advanced university student prior to her entering Carmel) at the Angelicum in Rome was on divine-human relationship and personal encounter in the mystical doctrine of S. John of the Cross. JP2′s 2nd dissertation was @ Krakow on the thought of Max Scheler, also a phenomenologist, and a successor to Husserl. JP2 also was a distinguished theology teacher at the Jagiellonian University at Krakow, so lecturing and refining his writing and engaging in controversy literately was a habit of years with him, just as with Ratzinger. And the present pope? Bergoglio didnt finish his dissertation at Frankfurt’s Sahnkt Georgen. At all. He previously had some psychological education (eg. the word “obsession” about abortion, contraception, homosexuality) but did not obtain either a Masters or a Ph.D. in psych either. (He has Masters degrees in theology, but from Buenos Aires’ Jesuit theologate, not known as a major school in its field). Rather unusual for a Jesuit, no Ph.D. My point is: Bergoglio is not really that well-trained in systematic theology. He hasnt been a lecturer, a theology teacher. It shows in his statements. He doesnt appear to turn his statements over and over, and work from prepared texts to be sure he communicates clearly, and he is at a disadvantage in learning and training. most notably when compared to at least the prior two papal occupants.

  • they know what it’s like to sit in the diocesan offices and deal with the personnel issues that come to them from their priests and lay workers.

    “Deal with” has a somewhat elastic meaning.

    http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/226359461.html

  • Has he at least been a community organizer?

  • Siobahn’s pastor strikes me as the proverbial doctor who can’t decide whether to start by treating the cancer or the double pneumonia or the sepsis.

    So that patient bleeds to death from the punctured artery.

  • Needless to say, those of us on the parish pro-life committee feel as if we’ve been punched in the gut.
    –Siobhan (as quoted by Donald R. McClarey)

    Dear Siobhan, you must immediately change the name of that committee to the Protect Innocent Life Committee or something else equally unambiguous. Otherwise, you risk ongoing subversion of whatever good you strive to do.

  • “Has he at least been a community organizer?” God love you Jeanne Rohl.

PopeWatch: Circling the Wagons

Monday, October 7, AD 2013

 

circling the wagons

 

Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings, continues on with his observations regarding the reactions to Pope Francis.  I was struck by this section of his latest post:

I’ve come to the conclusion that, regardless of the actual temporal length (and may God grant Pope Francis many healthy years), this is going to be a loooooong papacy.

1. The first problem is what my crisis buddy Elliot colorfully describes as “soft ultramontanism.” To which I will add “by reflex.”

This manifests itself in instant circle-the-wagons mentality against any criticism. Sorry, Mark, but this is emblematic. The fact that Scalfari didn’t take notes is majoring in minors. No less an authority than the Vatican itself offers the interview for perusal on the official website.

That strikes me as a sotto voce endorsement of its accuracy. Not very sotto, in fact. More like a megaphone admission.

Also, it seems to me that criticism from such respectable non-fringe figures as Fr. Germain Grisez, fellow Jesuit James Schall and the very level-headed Carl Olson deserve a hearing. Ditto Robert Royal, who was clearly thrown by the first interview.

In other words, those who “get Francis” need to try to understand those of us who don’t. And, yeah, I don’t.

Frankly, the most evident fruit of the papacy thus far seems to be the willingness of orthodox Catholics to break out the cutlery and start stabbing whenever someone expresses unease over the Pope’s actions and words.

2. The substantive criticisms are worthy of consideration.

Arguments like “the Pope is acting just like Jesus” or “you’re just like the elder brother in the Prodigal Son!” aren’t really arguments: they’re declarations of the speaker’s moral superiority, QEDs that are supposed to batter the benighted sinner on the other side into repentance. Quite simply, they won’t do.

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12 Responses to PopeWatch: Circling the Wagons

  • The Devil’s gravest (most tragic) victory in his open-ended struggle to lure all souls to eternal damnation came when he convinced men that he (sin) does not exist.

  • “Frankly, the most evident fruit of the papacy thus far seems to be the willingness of orthodox Catholics to break out the cutlery and start stabbing whenever someone expresses unease over the Pope’s actions and words.”

    To me, this has been the most disturbing part of this entire episode. It appears they have adopted the position that any questioning of the pope’s statements amounts to apostasy.

  • Certainly, nothing makes me as inclined to consider a position crazy as that Mark Shea is taking it with all banners and fists flying, but FWIW: I think that the danger that the “loyal opposition” creates when it gets too eager to state that it’s in the “opposition” by looking for the worst way of looking at every little papal statement (or just throwing up hands and saying, “How can this possibly make any sense?”) is that it ends up lending aid and comfort to the progressive noise machine which is trying to turn this papacy into something of their own.

    That doesn’t mean that it’s necessary to run around explaining papal statements all the time, or to take an overly sunny view of things, but I do think it’s important not to end up going over the cliff like the folks at Rorati Caeli did shortly after Francis was elected and start taking the worst view of everything to the point of distorting and passing on rumors. I worry about those concerned about Francis’s approach heading in that direction.

  • The questioning is good. Upon closer examination, the Pope’s comments are even better, if capable of being open to misinterpretation.

    What we are all dancing around, in our worship of the great trees of Catholic Social Justice and Catholic Family Values, is the inherant dignity of Jesus Christ- a dignity that cannot be denied even by atheists, a dignity shared by every child in a mother’s womb. This fraternity of humanity under a God of Love is the root of our faith, the bedrock of morality itself. It is that forgiveness, that generosity, which Pope Francis is trying to teach by example- the root hidden by two vastly different approaches to the corporal works of mercy that need to be welded into one.

  • Moderation in all things is often not a wise maxim in this life, but in reference to opinions regarding popes it tends to be. Popes are rarely as good as their most devoted fans assume they will be, and rarely as bad as those who worry about them fear they will be. My expectations for Pope Benedict were quite high after his election, and my expectations after the interviews of Pope Francis quite modest as far as his pontificate goes. Events, as was the case with Pope Benedict, will see how my expectations of Pope Francis play out.

  • Darwin, I’d be comforted if people simply acknowledged that the Pope has given the progressive noise machine plenty to work with–obsession, small-minded rules, rebuking traditionalists, shout-outs to the progressives’ hero Martini, etc. They aren’t hallucinating here.

    Some of the counter-apologetic spin of the Pope’s words smack of the “jihad is spiritual struggle” contortions used on behalf of Islam.

    And I doubt I’m going into the same hatefest as RC, but I suppose mileage varies.

  • Dale,

    I think he has given the progressive noise machine material to work with, but I think it’s generally far less than some of his critics on the right would suggest.

    Goodness knows, the “OMG, listen to this new insight!!! If you don’t love this you hate puppies!!!” approach to Francis fandom drives me up the wall. It’s just that I’m also concerned that conservatives not get into the habit of looking for stuff to hate in whatever Francis says. Because at that point, we’ll always find it.

    And I do think that if we focus on reading things charitably, he has some very good things to say. Not to say that everything he says is the best thing he could have said, but that there is indeed very good stuff in there. While I wish Francis was the type to be far more judicious in what he says, I don’t think we’d be better off if he just said nothing.

  • I’m with you, Darwin. I am uncomfortable with the salutary comments of the secular world. Perhaps that is what makes me most cautious. Christ’s message isn’t supposed to mesh with the values of this world and it makes me uncomfortable to have the world at large say “see, he is absolutely right.” Of course it was that way for Christ too as he was led into Jerusalem on an ass. Perhaps, once the secular world figures out that the Pope is still a pope, we will find ourselves in Gethsemene.

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  • Well it was better that Our Lord was riding on the ass than acting like one. If I would have raised kids with this kind of double speak and hope that they were smart enough to figure things out I doubt I would have a family right now. As it is they are all practicing Catholics, very involved with their parishes, with what I believe is a very good understanding of the “truth’s of the faith”. Did we have our problems a long the way, you bet. But they formed a conscience that even when they strayed had given them enough wisdom and discernment to make the right judgments. That’s all I ask is that in matters of faith and morals, every Catholic knows what the Church teaches and then if they don’t want to be Catholic they can leave. As a religious education teacher for over 18 years the confusion that I witnessed among the educators themselves was so disheartening. They taught what they wanted and I believe instructed without the knowledge they needed to pass on the faith. Of course one of the great carrots dangled to get teachers was and is, “you don’t need to know anything to teach CCD you just need to be present” and that’s exactly what we have as a church. Jesus taught plain and simple.

  • I get this image of poor Jorge cum Francis being put in charge of manning the rudder, being told “just don’t steer it into the rocks” and being unable to shift his gaze away from the rocks.

  • This to be has been a continual problem, Ever since his election almost 7 months ago he has done nothing but cause controversy, first by his dress than by his words and now his actions like the FFI fiasco which four Italian Canon lawyers have said a few weeks ago are Grave violations not only of Benedict’s wishes but even going back to ST PIUS V whose tomb he visited. Benedict himself said the actions of Francis have WOUNDED or Hurt his 2007 Moto Proprio. If you recall after his election dissidents in the Church like Mahoney among others were happy now we all know why. He seems to say one thing and then do the exact opposite. I honestly think the Cardinal from Canada would have been a better choice by instead he insisted that the Pope we have now be elected. OTOH, He did manage to stop the strike on Syria with his prayer Vigil a month ago.