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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Another day, another scramble to understand and explain.

I know. I'm just "more Catholic than the Pope." Pharisee wanting a small church getting smaller, repel boarders, fortress Catholic, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Whatever. Once I manage to make sense of this, I might make some progress:

"The Council Fathers knew that being open to modern culture meant religious ecumenism and dialogue with non-believers. But afterwards very little was done in that direction."

That's certainly an interesting take. From what I can see, it certainly is happening, right now, albeit with sometimes...interesting results.


  1. "But afterwards very little was done in that direction."

    Please. You can see it in the very architecture in my local parish built in 1968.

    There is an enormous and ugly plaster bas-relief of Our Lord doing the touchdown pose. Probably because a crucifix is too much of a reminder that the Mass is primarily a sacrifice, and thus not ecumenical enough. There is the tabernacle, moved off to the left of the sanctuary (I guess I should be thankful it's not in a converted broom closet like many parishes). It's on top of another plaster stand that looks like a remedial art project. Again, a tabernacle front and center isn't ecumenical enough. The windows are merely colored glass. That is, no saints. I guess I should be thankful that it wasn't like the parish I visited that had posters of saints on the wall including posters of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi.

    Now to be fair, our pastor has his head screwed on right and is redesigning the entire sanctuary. No mystery why: all those mainstream denominations we were so eager to be ecumenical with have veered off into Politically Correct Looneyland and there simply no reason to soft-peddle the Catholic distinctives. Wish the Holy Father was aware of that.

  2. No, Dale, you atrocious moron, you're not any of those things you name… you're a RIGHT-WING CAFETERIA CATHOLIC! JUST LIKE ME! ULTRAMONTANISM OR BUST!

  3. Indeed, Elliot!

    I clearly presume unorthodoxy; and

    I doubt the decision of the Holy Spirit at the conclave (a big favorite of mine); and

    I want him to fail.

    The list of reasons keeps growing, my brother in hate. I can't wait to see what happens after the next interview.

  4. My early introduction with Ratzinger was by way of his book-length interviews. And what I appreciated was the clarity with which he made his points. You saw a mind at work, the path of argument, and how he arrived at his conclusions ("in the final analysis …").

    Perhaps it's unfair to compare the two -- or perhaps its' bad translation, but Francis has a very vague, spontaneous style of answering that calls for clarification and leaves the reader open to insertion of his own conclusions.

    Case in point as to how frustrating this can be:

    Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?

    [Francis]: "Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good." [True enough, but what about the role of the Church or tradition as a corrective, as a teacher? Is it simply what we "think is good" or do we go beyond?]

    Your Holiness, you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that's one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope].

    [Francis]: "And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place." [The interviewer is clearly struck by the admonition to follow his own conscience -- "I think that's one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope" -- as if this were somehow revelatory and not the minimal directive of the Church. But conscience must be informed. Good and evil "as he conceives them" would be ENOUGH?].

    I could go on, but this is exasperating.

  5. Perhaps in an effort to maintain my sanity, I have undertaken a fairly extensive analysis of why the Pope's latest howlers are in all likelihood not signs of merely spontaneous speech, but bespeak a radically confused grasp of how to teach the Faith. Input welcome!

  6. I had been keeping my head down and my mouth shut in regard to Pope Francis. However, when he proclaimed that he had the humility to do the job that his immediate predecessors didn't do in ushering in the modern age, that was just too much.

    Maybe I'm giving that statement an uncharitable interpretation. But, honestly, I don't know how else to read it in any way that is halfway coherent.