He might not have specifically mentioned bloggers, but still – it covers about 65% of us.
If you’re not reading Abbey Roads, you ought to be. Terry Nelson’s some kind of brilliant.
“He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
The problem with the Pope – really?
Why do they attribute some sort of strategy behind the Holy Father’s response to journalist’s questions? His answers are matter of fact – simple, clear, understandable. He knows exactly what he is doing and saying – but I seriously doubt he’s playing war games with journalists. I also do not think the Holy Father needs handlers to censor him.
Yet EWTN spokesman Raymond Arroyo seems to think the Holy Father needs handlers, that he needs distancing from speaking directly to people – lest he be misinterpreted.
“The entire episode reminds us that papal handlers do have their place. As cumbersome as they are, and as much as they distance the pontiff from his people, handlers can protect the Pope from this sort of misinterpretation. Off the cuff, vigorous expressions have their place, but so do unambiguous, vetted statements—especially when dealing with a media unversed in Church teaching.”
Likewise, others express worry – ‘concern’ over how the MSM and dissidents will misinterpret what the Pope said, and most especially, what he meant. Just about everyone from self-appointed apologist-theologians with their own brand of online tenure and EWTN sponsorship, to Cardinals and bishops bend over backwards to clarify that the Pope’s words were somehow impossible for ordinary people to understand without a clear understanding of what the catechism teaches. They claim the Pope speaking in ordinary language is a “problem” – because his words may be hi-jacked by the enemy.
Don’t cry for me Argentina.
I commented on a post a few days ago and said I doubt the Pope sees others as enemies. I also doubt he needs handlers. He’s from Argentina people. He lived through some pretty gruesome history and his life was anything but comfortable. He knows how words are twisted, how propaganda works against the Church. People are concerned about what and how the Pope speaks? That’s absurd. Who do you think you are?
You want to censor the Pope? You want handlers to keep him distant from the people? You are afraid that he will be misinterpreted? That’s totally hypocritical. That’s like Peter remonstrating with Christ, trying to hold him back, saying he shouldn’t have to suffer, he should avoid the cross. Christ whipped around and said, ‘get behind me Satan’. The Gospel story should be sufficient to put us in our place.
The Pope said what he said. Stop trying to speak for him.
Every Pope has said things and has done things that have been twisted to suit agendas. How is that our concern? Why do we think we have to worry about how the Pope’s words are perceived? Haven’t we lived through misinterpretation of actual documents of Vatican II? What about St. JPII kissing the Koran? How about Benedict’s condom statement? It is not long ago pious pundits were worried Benedict wasn’t allowed to do what he wanted, that his desires were not being met – handlers/bureaucrats were holding things up. (Seriously – do you people talk and write so much you no longer remember what you say?)
There’s more to his post. I encourage you to read the whole thing.
The answer to his title-posed-as-question? Otherwise they’d have no reason to blog.
Terry encapsulates what I’ve been feeling the past few days, perhaps even the past few weeks, when it comes to people parsing the Pope. Seems like everybody has their own stinking opinion on what the Pope says, what it means, what he possibly couldn’t have meant, how he’s “using” the media, how the media is taking advantage of him, how he’s squelching this thing or that other thing, how he’s promulgating that thing or this other thing, how he’s so humble, how he’s so frustrating, how “conservatives” hate him, how “liberals” love him, how “traditionalists” fear him, everyone thinking everything and letting everyone know about it.
Noise. Unfiltered, space-chewing, opinionated, unending noise. From faithful Catholics – wanting to be heard, and yet saying nothing worth hearing. More people ought to be listening to the Pope rather than interpreting him. He’s really not that difficult to understand.
People can’t shut up long enough to hear themselves think – and like Terry wrote: “Seriously – do you people talk and write so much you no longer remember what you say?”
I’ve been reading fewer and fewer Catholic blogs as of late. So many say the same thing, most say nothing at all. They populate their pages with posts of pablum in order to meet a deadline, generate traffic or cause a stir. All at once, most of the time. The Internet needs more prophets and a hell of a lot fewer pundits.
There is little New Evangelization going on throughout the Internet – not from the blogs, leastwise. Rather than reflecting on what the Holy Father has been saying, many have been pontificating about it. I can see why Christ only chose 12 Apostles. If there were any more, even He wouldn’t have been able to hear Himself.
During the return flight to Rome after the World Youth Day events, Pope Francis fielded some questions from reporters. One asked if the Church was going to lift its ban on women priests.
Addressing the issue of women priests, the pope said, “The Church has spoken and says ‘no’ that door is closed.” It was the first time he had spoken in public on the subject. “We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more,” he said in answer to a question. “But with regards to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says ‘no’. Pope John Paul said so with a formula that was definitive. That door is closed,” he said, referring to a document by the late pontiff which said the ban was part of the infallible teaching of the Church. The Church teaches that it cannot ordain women because Jesus willingly chose only men as his apostles. Advocates of a female priesthood say he was acting according to the customs of his times. Many in the Church, even those who oppose a female priesthood, say women should be given leadership roles in the Church and the Vatican administration.
The document being referred to is, of course, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, issued in 1994 to much wailing and gnashing of teeth that continues to this very day.
Catch that, womynpreests? “Pope John Paul said so with a formula that was definitive.”
The Women’s Ordination Conference has already shed tears, and assigned blame.
Washington, DC - “The Women’s Ordination Conference is deeply discouraged to learn of Pope Francis’ remarks regarding women’s ordination.
In an interview given to reporters on July 28 en route to Rome from Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis made it very clear that this papacy sees women as separate, but not equal to men, and will keep the door to women’s ordination closed, citing Pope John Paul II as his reasoning.
Pope Francis’ cop-out rationale illustrates a very selective theology: to blame a previous pope for his stance on women priests, and then in the very same interview contradict his predecessors by acknowledging an open understanding for gay priests.
Hahahahahahahahahha!! They call his rationale a “cop-out”, illustrating “selective theology”. Someone forgot to turn on their irony detector when leaving the house this morning, because if anyone’s demonstrating “selective theology”, it’s the womynpreests!
Their honeymoon with Francis is all but over. Call the tailors and seamstresses, and send ‘em to the National Catholyc Reporter – I have a feeling they’ll be needed with all the garments-rending and chasuble-shredding that will be occurring in due course.
Not that it matters. The womynpreests and their supporters will still go ahead with their fauxrdinations and mock ceremonies and fake Masses, and remain excommunicated and risk their salvation. They’ll continue to complain of injustice and misogyny, and claim the hierarchy is rejecting the call of the Holy Spirit. Quite sad, actually – but pride does that to people.
This is a good time to remind everyone of the Adopt-A-Priestess Project. Are you still praying for the one you’ve adopted? Have you adopted one to pray for yet? Please consider it – these gals need it now more than ever.
One might say “Curia-ous & Curiouser”. Hey, if Michael is gonna report on a rumor, then so am I.
Pope Francis has been officially inaugurated as the 266th Pope. Yay us! Yay the Catholic Church!
His papal motto is “Miserando Atque Eligendo”, which, according to every other Catholic who can translate Latin, can be interpreted in any number of ways. I can’t translate it, so I rely on an expert – in this case, Fr Z, who translated it thus: “By showing compassion and by choosing”.
As Fr. Z put it: A good motto for a reformer.
I think it’s an awesome motto, and one that provides us with plenty to meditate on.
But it wasn’t Pope Francis’ first choice. The Vatican Bureau Chief for AoftheA News came upon a list of the Top Ten Rejected Papal Mottoes (apparently, Dan Quayle is the AoftheA News Vatican Bureau Chief, but never mind that now). Would you like to see them?
Of course you would!
10. The Wise Latino
9. You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.
8. Got Vapors?
7. Meek ≠ Weak
6. Hold The Latte And Pour The Maté
5. I Also Do My Own Taxes
4. It’s Okay To Say Schadenfreude
3. I’m No Georgetown Jesuit
2. Caring For Creation ≠ Environmental Wacko-ism
1. Surprise! I’m Catholic!
I wouldn’t be surprised if there were other rejected mottoes as well…
A lot has been written since the election of Pope Francis – here in bloggerville and amongst the journalistas, full of speculation about what his pontificate will be like, a lot on what it might mean for the liturgy (here’s a hint: nothing), whether or not Pope Francis will hold to tradition on what’s expected from a pope, and even some plain ol’ poppycock about a cardinal getting banished (ahem! I’m looking at you, LarryD!), and of course a little bit of hand-wringing by Catholycs.
All in less than a week.
And this has been understandable, because for the vast majority of us, Cardinal Bergoglio was an unknown commodity prior to becoming Holy Father #266. It was discomfiting. If nature abhors a vacuum, then human nature abhors the unknown. So, as a result, we’ve seen worrying and comparing and scrutinizing and opinionizing and bloviating. Some of us have done one or more of those things. Some have been setting their phasers on stun, ready to defend their positions, while others have barricaded themselves in their bastions and battlements, prepared to outlast a perceived siege against their preferences. The Catholic blogosphere has become a burst of bluster the past few days, giving us plenty to consider and a lot over which to get infuriated. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of you have skipped over any Pope Francis post you’ve happened upon, for fear of becoming a) discouraged; b) angry; c) worried; of d) a combination of all three.
Not this post, I hope.
Now, I’m not gonna blow any whistle and say “STOP THE MADNESS!!” or anything like that. People work through their issues at their own pace, and some take longer than others. Arguing about this stuff is less helpful than debating how many angels can tango on a grain of rice. Conversations and discussions, when handled with respect and reason, are necessary, and I think as time goes on, we’ll be seeing more of that and less of the arguing. Catholycs will erupt with volcanic vitriol in due course, of that we can be assured. The Tradicals have already voiced their displeasure, and hopefully in time, they’ll discover they’re initial fears were unfounded.
Pope Francis hasn’t been chief shepherd for a week, so it’s unrealistic to expect the entire flock to be walking in lockstep behind him. Heck, they still won’t be five years from now – such as it is when the flock has free will, and isn’t shy about using it. But for what it’s worth, this middling sheep has a few thoughts to bleat, offering his perspective from his place in the pen. This ain’t a lecture, just an attempt to tell you where I’m at, based on some inspirations that came my way.
One line from the first reading from Sunday Mass – from the Book of the prophet Isaiah – stood out like a beacon on a foggy beach. I’ll be honest – as excited as I’ve been about our new pope, I had been struggling to find the words to describe why I’ve been excited. Then I heard it, straight from the prophet: “…see, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
This New Something is more than just Pope Francis paying his hotel bill, or taking the bus with the cardinals, or wearing black loafers. Or any of the things he did as Cardinal, like kissing the feet of AIDS victims or cooking his own meals. Those are just expressions of Bergoglio’s character – it’s who he is, right? God only knows all the other things he’s done in secret, all the other acts of charity his right hand performed, unbeknownst to his left.
To the rest of us, it was unexpected and different. A lot of us were like “cool!!” while some were like “huh?”
No, the New Something springing forth, as I perceive it, hasn’t been fully revealed yet. How could it be – it’s only been 6 days! Like the Israelites during Isaiah’s time, we have to be patient and wait – which is hard for us, in this instant gratification culture of ours. We want the answer right away. We need game plans, lineups, business strategies, bulletpoints, agendas, planning committees and the like. Those things are important in their place, don’t get me wrong – as a business owner, I know all too well the cliche “those who fail to plan can plan to fail”.
Here’s the thing, though – we already have the battle plan. All that’s changed is that we have a new field general. We have to trust that Pope Francis will continue to execute it. He’s gonna tweak it here or there, or attack a different front – but the plan is still the same: kick Satan’s ass, and get our own to Heaven.
Which leads me to my next point. All this worry and consternation is unbecoming of a Catholic. I know, I know – some personalities are more prone to worry – or concern, however you want to call it – and life experiences play such a big part in how new and uncertain things are handled. I’m not condemning anyone, because there have been times in my life where I allowed worry to take root and wind its vines through my soul and choke the living hell out of my hope. I’ve been there, and it’s not a place I want to revisit. For those who are there now – there’s no place more than you want to escape. It’s like you worry you’ll never stop worrying, right? I hear ya.
Don’t get me wrong – there is plenty enough to be concerned about with regards to the Church, with regards to its human elements. The effects of the abuse crisis continue to be felt; there is intrigue on some certain level within the Curia; there are persecutions across the world in various forms; China’s trying to intimidate Pope Francis…it’s a fairly long list, and it would be imprudent of anyone to think that these problems and crises will disappear and be solved after an Angelus or a few pious rosaries. Sure, God can and does work miracles, but He hasn’t stepped in to deliver the final victory just yet. Last I checked, Christ hasn’t descended on any cloud as of late. So yep – the world, the flesh and the devil still have their sights set on Christ’s Holy Church. That’s about the only thing we can be reasonably assured of.
That and Christ’s promise: the gates of Hell shall not prevail.
Perhaps that’s why Jesus’ words “Be not afraid” have been beating in my heart the last day or so. Easy to hear, but they can be so difficult to put into action. If we’ve been baptized and confirmed, then we have the gifts of the Holy Spirit – one of which is Fortitude. And one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is charity – as St John tells us, perfect love casts out fear. So we’re armed to the teeth (not to mention, we’ve got 6 more gifts, 11 fruits, and oh yeah – the 3 theological virtues, too), and that ought to fill us with hope. And wonderment. And awe. And fuel our faith with power. We ought to be bursting at the seams with all this stuff. I’ve had moments like that since Pope Francis’ election – call them consolations, or moments of grace, or infusion of the Spirit – and such moments indicate to me that there are far greater things on the horizon.
God is doing something new, can we not perceive it? And if God’s behind it, then of what should we be afraid? If God is for us then who can be against us? Let’s look ahead with clear eyes and open heart, ready to receive our marching orders, recharged with confidence and joy, full of wonder and awe, and head out into the world to kick Satan’s ass, and treat everyone we meet as if they’re Christ himself.
Because they are. “As you did it for these least of your brethren, you did it for me.” It’s what Pope Francis is showing us, and has shown us – a mere glimpse, I believe, of greater and more awesome things to come.
The Holy Father is wasting no time, if this interesting piece out of St Peter’s List is accurate:
So when the appearance of a disgraced cardinal threatened to cast a shadow over his first engagement, Francis I made sure it couldn’t happen again – by banning him from his own church.
Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as Archbishop of Boston in 2002, after being accused of actively covering up for a litany of paedophile priests.’
Despite the scandal which exploded to engulf the entire church, he was given an honorary position at the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, in Rome.
Though now retired, the cardinal still enjoys a grace and favour apartment in the cathedral complex.
So hearing that the new Pope was offering prayers at the very same church, it seems he couldn’t resist a discreet peak (sic).
But when Pope Francis recognised him, he immediately ordered that Law be removed, according to Italian media reports. He went on to command: ‘He is not to come to this church any more.’
One of the new Pope’s first acts will be to arrange new ‘cloistered’ accommodation for the disgraced cardinal, the Italian daily, Il Fatto Quotidiano, reported.
Wow. Wow oh wow. Haven’t seen this reported anywhere else, but man, if it’s true…
Pope Francis is the new Mr. Clean.
What do you all think about this?
UPDATE: Looks like a case of misreporting. The Telegraph reports that the two did meet, but it would seem that what Il Fatto Quotidiano reported is more assertion than actual. That’ll teach me to imitate TMZ. I made a mistake in not waiting for Rocco Palmo to report on it first – sorry about that.
(thanks to Rebecca at Shoved to Them for sending me the story)
Yesterday was a totally awesome day. I worked from home, and didn’t get a darn thing done from 1 PM onward. What a blessing to be a witness to a historic event, full of firsts: 1st Latin American Pope, 1st Jesuit to be elected Pope, 1st Pope named Francis. I was pretty geeked all afternoon and evening.
Which is why I’m bothered by some things I’ve seen written about the new Holy Father on other Catholic blogs. The guy hasn’t even broken in his zucchetto yet, and already I’ve read comments like “We’re screwed”, or “Great – a modernist Pope”, or “Habemus Antipapam”. On Catholic blogs! One blog, a traditionalist hang-out, even reprinted an article with the title “Horrors!” I’m not linking to it, but it was over at Rorate Caeli.
Now, I shouldn’t have been surprised. I’ve been blogging long enough to know that there are whiners and complainers everywhere. Heck, some people even call me a whiner and complainer (I know, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true). The extremes on both sides of the orthodoxy aisle are going to have their nits to pick and teeth to gnash. I’m not that naive to be surprised by such behavior.
But let me just say this. I read such things from traditionalists and I’m absolutely embarrassed by it. Yeah, pissed off too, but mostly embarrassed. It’s bad enough when the libtards in the media spout off stupid things and give witness to their bias and lack of intelligence when it comes to the Catholic Church. It’s worse, I think, when the more-rabid wing of the traditionalists get apoplectic and write off the new Holy Father because he didn’t wear his stole the entire time on the balcony (gasp!) or didn’t chant the Urbi et Orbi (egad!) or asked the people gathered in St Peter’s Square to pray for him (gadzooks!!). Or express fears that he will undo Summorrum Pontificum or squash the TLM (triple gasp!!).
Give me a freakin’ break.
I was as surprised as anyone when the announcement was made. I had never heard of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. I had no clue who the man was. Over the course of yesterday afternoon and evening, at various places across the internet, I have come to learn a little – a little, mind you, and probably no more or less than most everyone else – about him. Certainly not enough to make any absolute judgments about his pontificate which is LESS THAN 24 HOURS OLD!!!!!!
Nobody knows what he’s going to do. Pope Francis probably doesn’t know what he’s going to do. But I will say this.
Our world is lacking in charity and compassion. It’s dying from a dearth of love, and doesn’t even know it. The world is seeking answers to its questions in every conceivable wrong place, and will not – refuses to – accept the Church’s plausible and simple and correct responses to those questions. They’re written off as impractical, or controlling, or outmoded, or bigoted. Thus, the Church is ignored and maligned. So the world continues on its way, stumbling about in the dark, oppressive clouds of doubt, searching. It has believed the lie that evil is good, thus sinking deeper in sin, thinking it’s found the solutions to its problems. Meanwhile, the Church stands still and waits. It’s why the Church doesn’t change – cannot change – her teachings. Because when people are finally ready to accept what She has to offer, they will know where to find Her. Where She has always been. Waiting patiently to accept the sinner in, and then, by one conversion followed by another, work to convert the world. To bring the Gospel message of hope to a hope-less world.
God knows this. He knows our Church needs healing, too. The vitriol I’ve read in various places is evidence of that. Heck, I need healing. We all do. All of us know that our Church is wounded – we’re separated by pride, divided by self-righteousness. The worst of the Church’s sins have been exposed to the world, and the most painful of attacks have come from within.
So what does God do? He guides the conclave and gives us a Pope who, by all accounts, is a humble, loving man. We have been given a pope who has a great and abiding devotion to St Francis of Assisi. Have you seen the image where he is kissing the foot of the AIDS patient? It is very moving, and demonstrates his love and compassion. It shows me that he sees Christ in the lowly. This man, from what I can tell thus far, has a heart full of love for those whom the world has absolutely no concern.
I read a comment on Twitter last night that pretty much says it all for me, and I’m sorry I can’t locate it now, but basically it said this: “Thank you, God for Pope Benedict to help me learn the faith, and thank you for Pope Francis to show me how to live the faith.” What more do we really need? We could all use a model of humble obedience, gentle charity and firm resolve in this mad mad world and even madder Internet. What better place to see it demonstrated than by the guy at the very top.
Is Pope Francis going to be perfect? No, absolutely not. Is he going to make everyone happy? That’s impossible. Is he going to “screw us”? I’m still flabbergasted by that remark.
I don’t know what Pope Francis is going to do, and neither does anyone else. It is my hope that by his example, he will show the world what it means to live the Catholic faith. With humility, simplicity, charity. It is my hope he will show the world the true meaning of social justice, of displaying the preferential option for the poor, while upholding Church teaching on abortion and contraception. It is my hope he will show the world that charity doesn’t mean passive permission of sinful behavior, but actively engaging the world with the Truth. It is my hope he will manfully bear his cross – whatever it may be – and be an example to the rest of us, in the tradition of Blessed John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Jesus Christ. It is my hope that by his example, he will be used by the Holy Spirit to lead more souls to Christ and draw back home some, or many, who have left the Church.
We can’t ask for more than that. If we truly believe in the words of Jesus Christ, that the gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church, then we ought to have enough faith that the man chosen to lead His Church believes it as well. So for you belly-aching traditionalists out there who might be reading this – recall to mind the words I’m sure your mothers told you over and over: Suffer in silence, and offer it up. Recall how Pope Francis bowed in silence for what, about ten seconds, asking for us to pray to God for His blessing. Follow his lead, and try the silence thing. Yes, someday there will be a great apostasy, and yes, someday, we will have a rotten Pope. Who knows, it could – *could* – be this Pope. But let me tell ya – it’s not going to happen within the FIRST THREE HOURS OF HIS PONTIFICATE!!!!!
I didn’t write this post to get into arguments over forms of the liturgy, or Church governance, or the End Times, or any of those things. Here’s my reason for the post: Give the man a chance. Give God the benefit of the doubt. Pray for him unceasingly, to guard Christ’s flock from the wolves. For me, I already love this man. I don’t know much about him, but he’s my papa, and I’m going to pray for him as I did for Benedict before him. As time goes on, I’ll learn more, and my opinion may evolve, or it may not, based on what he does and says as Holy Father. It’s going to be difficult to not compare him to Pope Emeritus Benedict, but in all fairness to Pope Francis, that is what must be done. We are entering a new era of the Church – the reign of Pope Francis – and based on what I see happening in the world, in the Church, and yes, in the Catholic blogosphere too, I believe that the right man has been elected.
(ps – I don’t lump all traditionalist Catholics together. The comments and posts I read are not representative of the majority – I understand that. I know that there are other traditionalists who are as equally embarrassed by their comments and attitudes.)