Search This Blog

Loading...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Taking a break from all your worries, Part III.

[Part I of the series is here.]
[Part II is here.]

1. The Bishop.

He was a beloved itinerant shepherd who lived simply, residing in a single spartan room when he wasn’t visiting the flock. Known for his humility and down-to-earth speaking style, he was deeply beloved by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. He emphasized ecumenism to an unprecedented degree, and believed that the Second Vatican Council was the watershed event in Catholic history. He encouraged modern biblical study, presenting historical-critical hypotheses from the pulpit, chided Catholics who “looked backward” to older ways, and urged the embrace of dynamic change.

His name was Kenneth Untener, and he was the bishop of Saginaw from 1980 until his death in 2004. The parishes in his domain were my first experience with progressive Catholicism, and they stirred and shaped my--there is no other word for it--hostility to the entire progressive religious project. Now, let me clarify one thing here: there is a distinction between religious progressivism and the political version. For my part, I think one can be a devout Catholic and support what are generally regarded as progressive political policies. The late, great Robert Casey, Sr. of Pennsylvania (but not his wayward, sail-trimming fraud of a son) embodied this possibility--and did so well. But, as with Catholics who align toward the right side of the spectrum, if you're doing your faith right, you will inevitably conflict with certain political shibboleths of your non-Catholic brothers in arms. Or at least you'd better. And it is clear that getting your hands dirty living and working with the poor, a la Catholic Worker, is wholly, utterly and unimpeachably Catholic.

These are to be distinguished from religious progressivism, which is diagnosed comprehensively here. It is always and everywhere bad news. Which is not to say that people who hold modernist views are to be treated like bad news--they shouldn't. But you have your work cut out, no question. The contemporary flavor of modernism is fond of emotivism and is less susceptible to, or even interested in, logical argument. And if they're in power, buckle up and heads to the storm.

Anyway, back to the narrative:

The servant-leader was determined to reshape the Faith in his own image, and to a horrible extent, he succeeded. An avatar of the Spirit of Vatican II, he used it to oppose the Letter, shutting down the diaconate program immediately upon being appointed. That way, he could appoint female parish administrators, which he did in truckload lots.  Which he would--conveniently?--also need, given that he inspired very few men to follow in his priestly footsteps.

You could find an official liturgical offering which referred to God as “she” in Saginaw, but no extraordinary form Mass. For all the celebration of the Diocese’s genuine ethnic diversity, progressive imperatives had a way of steamrolling organic ethnic expressions of faith and shutting down the "dialogue" once they had their way. For modernists, dialogue is simply a weapon in the struggle--and once the end is reached, the ratchet sets for all eternity. Thank you, please move along. If you're curious, you can find more examples of tender Saginaw pastoral care in the comments. Tolerance for everything save Catholic orthodoxy is the end result. Note also that my experience was of four separate parishes scattered across fifty miles--no isolated St. Joan's loony bin skewing the sample here.

And the liturgies…God have mercy. Walking out of Mass growling is not good for me. I simply won’t do it again. Which is not to say the Diocese lacked good features: one of the finest priests I have ever met was a priest in my hometown—a genuine, faithful servant glad to help his flock at all hours, but not one to water down the harder stuff. If he had been the norm, the fruit of the Great Leap Forward…but he was not. There were and are people who admired Bishop Untener and his vision. For me, his vision is one that fills me with dread and anger, and, on a practical level, simply bleeds out even where it is embraced in full--e.g., without those nasty old celibates in Rome mucking things up.

More to the point, at least as embraced and lived in the West, it is a narrow vision that appeals only to the comfortably left-of-center folks with solid portfolios and nice neighborhoods. Far from charging up the laity and sending them into the world, it instead clericalized a select militia. Very select, alas, as it consists only of those layfolk able to attend the requisite workshops and obtain the necessary ministry certifications, giving them the secret handshake and passwords to enter the "real" church--parish administration, preaching from the pulpit and leading communion services. Far from going out to sanctify the world, the laity took chancery and parish office jobs instead.

I suppose it would be one thing if it worked--if it pulled people in and sanctified the world, inspired vocations. It didn't. The Diocese has contracted by 32 percent since 1988. Can you lay all of that at the feet of the late Bishop? Times change, the economy greatly changes as manufacturing collapses and people move away--or at least their kids seek greener pastures (raises hand). I get that, so no, of course not--it's hardly all his fault. But apparently the New Thing didn't draw in new people, either. There's still a large pool of people to be evangelized, right? Plenty of poor and dislocated folks out in both urban and rural areas in desperate need of both assistance and the Gospel. If the disaffected Catholics were anywhere, they were flocking to your local evangelical churches, which typically has a hefty leaven of ex-Catholics.

Perhaps it's simply that the appeal of the trendier aspects of the historical-critical method and a transgender divinity have grown more selective.

In the main, though, if you want a poor church for the poor, a religion that makes middle class Western religious progressives comfortable is not going to work. Ultimately, when faced with a choice, the poor, the desperate, the lost and the lonely will shun religions of trendy ambiguity in favor of those with solid answers.

2. The Pope.

So when I hear the Pope praised for the same things the late ordinary of Saginaw was lauded for, I mentally crouch into a fighting stance. Am I saying the Bishop of Rome is just like the late Bishop of Saginaw? No, but there is much more overlap than I am comfortable with. Which is why my spiritual weather forecast is reading "cloudy with a chance of showers" right now.

Oh, Dale, come now. Where are you getting this from? Well, certain troubling statements by the Pope, alas. It's not just the imprecise off-the-cuffery.

When he's crystal clear there are sometimes problems.

Working my way up: there was the labeling of people who presented him with a rosary bouquet as "Pelagians." I wonder how those poor folks took it--besides in the shorts, that is. Oh, and sure, his one zinger thus far at progressive spirituality came in the same exchange. But it was offered as an equivalent, and it is a profoundly false one at that. I don't see how anyone could reasonably compare rosary counting to a spirituality that denies the Incarnation of Our Lord. Then there's the matter of which group is more likely to be, say, teaching at Catholic schools, offering retreats, etc.

He really, really dislikes anything that smacks of traditional Catholicism, with multiple jabs at restorationism, empty prayers, and the like. So many, in fact, that to deny the trend--or target--requires a marathon of special pleading. Especially in the near absence of swipes at newage goofballery, despite the fact he recognizes it exists. The imbalance is worrisome to me. Especially since it was the Rosary and Adoration that propped me up in my bleakest hours. Yes, I take the Pope at his word when he says he is devoted to the Rosary and Adoration, which is all to the good. I remembered that common ground as I jabbed at the cooling embers of faith, and it helped me think better of him. But I am compelled to point out that progressives don't have much use for either, with the more contemptible of their champions going so far as to outlaw the latter. I mean, really--look at Lynch's arbitrary and subjective diktat. I know--it's difficult to believe that the only sitting American bishop to pay a six figure same-sex harassment settlement to a former employee or multi-millions in no-bid diocesan contracts to his very close friend could be an unreliable guide to Tradition, but there you go.

Then there's the emphasis on dynamism and change. The criticism of doctrinal security, discipline, and censorship.

OK, you say. "And? How does that empower the bad guys to run roughshod?" First, there's the phenomenon of code-talking, mentioned before. There's a reason the left side of the aisle is going squee! And you really need to stop thinking they're all on peyote, folks.

Second, try this on for size: What if the Pope had said "Roger Cardinal Mahony has shown us the way!" "Rembert Weakland is a father to the whole Church!" "Kenneth Untener was a prophetic figure!"

If he'd said that, you would be smelling whatever beverage you'd just aspirated through your nostrils for a few hours. And then you'd wonder "What. The. Hell?"

Guess what? He said that about the late, great archprogressive and fellow Jesuit, Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini. 

A prophetic figure, a father to the whole church.

Gah. Turn off the spin cycle. It can't be spun. Yes, I know Pope Benedict said very nice things about Martini when he died. That's what classy Christian people do. He didn't call him prophetic or a father to the whole church, though. And he probably wouldn't have been so nice if he'd known Martini's post-mortem stinkbomb was inbound.

Soooo...if Martini is a prophetic father figure, this prompts questions. Does Pope Francis think the Church is 200 years behind the times? If so, in what way? Are our Masses really "pompous"? (Perhaps so, there...) What kind of "radical" transformation do we need? What nettlesome questions of sexuality do we need to discuss?

Hard to say, obviously. [For what it's worth, I think the late cardinal had a point about cases of abandonment.] But I'm not the one who regards the late Cardinal Archbishop of Milan as a prophet-father and am offering him as such to the whole Church.

But be assured the progressives have noted the praise of Cardinal Martini, who was also a brother in arms with the late Cardinal Bernardin, too.


3.  Escaping The Papal Personality Cult.

Oh, that's right. It's meaningless. The left is composed entirely--to the last one of them--of brain-damaged idiots who lack even fundamental reading comprehension. Thick as a Brick wall (of Tamlands)?


How do I know this? Because the Pope's Conservative Cheering Section insists that it must be so. And they've deployed the circular Catholic firing squad to address those who argue differently. Sorry, no. I disagree with the left vehemently, but I don't for a moment believe they are hallucinatory idiots.

This brings me to my final, and most painful, observation: conservative Catholicism in America is a papal personality cult. Full stop.

I know this, because I was a member in good standing, too. And that was the root cause of my crisis, when I took a clear look at it with the timely assistance of the Holy Spirit. My faith was too-papalcentric, to coin an adjective. So when the Pope began to sound weird and set off alarm bells, I couldn't process it. Seeing all my brothers and sisters in arms eating it all up made it worse. Crisis bad.



OK, not quite that bad.

What broke it? Prayer, a timely suggestion from my Anglican brother by another mother, and a smarmy bit of chutzpa from progressive religious educational theorist Thomas Groome in the recent NBC story on the subject of conservative discontent.

"I think it will be a real test for conservative Catholics," he said. "They have always pointed the finger, quoting the pope for the last 35 years. Suddenly, will they stop quoting the pope. It'll be a good test of whether or not they're really Catholics."

OK. The man most responsible for mis-educating American Catholics into a frothy Episcopalianism over the past thirty years and a gent who happily told the Popes to stuff it on women's ordination starts getting huffily ultramontane? My initial reaction was "f--k you." That's a quote. Yes, I need to work on my language. But I'd still argue it's the right reflex, although I'd change the wording. A man who has been arguing against Catholicism itself now tells me I have to salute and regurgitate confused and confusing language from papal interviews like they were the Sunday Gospel? I'll pass, Tommy me boy-o.

No, I decline to make an oblation on the altar of the Pope's informal malapropisms (or, if you prefer, malapapalisms). Nor do I care for the proffered spiritual fatherhood of a man (Martini) whose vision is not remotely mine. My problem with this Pope's words is that they are sometimes confusing and out of step with Catholicism. Groome's problems with previous popes was that they were all too clear and consonant with it. False equivalence.

And the horse you rode in on is out there waiting for you, too, TG. Don't let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you.

The final piece of the puzzle was Deal Hudson's execution of the wounded whose confusion was outlined in a recent Washington Post article.

His response? Sit down and shut up--he's a Jesuit theologian and embodiment of the New Evangelization, and you're not. Quod erat demonstrandum.

That's not an argument--it is a declaration of personal righteousness, of one's superior understanding in the face of benightedness. I also bleakly enjoyed the dismissal of previous papal evangelism in the "embodiment" reference. In defense of the Pope, that's hugely unfair, and it puts impossible expectations on the shoulders of a 77 year old Argentinian Jesuit, folks.

And yet, this response was celebrated. Yikes. Because it is a pitch-perfect example of how a personality cult responds to deviationism. Again, yikes. The bottom line is this: troubling statements don't cease to be troubling simply because the one uttering them is the Pope. If Pope Francis is angling toward a less-hierarchical, more horizontal Church (and that's what he says he wants), then this is even more true.

But I agree with Dr. Hudson on one point: I, too, no longer want to be called a conservative Catholic.

To the extent I want a label, it will be explored in the final installment. Which will be shorter than this one.

After all, it could hardly be longer.

148 comments:

  1. I sympathise with your parochial experience, Dale.

    But I do think (and maybe this is me being a non-American) that yes, Francis is a liberal, along the spectrum of 'nearer to' or 'further away from' Vatican II. But not a doctrinal liberal.

    When he went to study in Germany in the 80s, what did he bring home with him to Argentina? Worker priests? Base communities? Married clergy? Communion and remarriage in church for the divorced?

    No, he brought back and popularised an 18th century Marian devotion.

    Are the Spirit of Vatican II types going to be encouraged by what he says? Unfortunately, yes. But I do think they'll still - at the end of his pontificate - be waiting the Great Leap Forward in married clergy, women priests, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The spirit of Saginaw lives on in The Little Books, of which I am not fond. But some older relatives are.

    http://m.littlebooks.org/about.php

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Liberal Christianity" is where Christianity goes to die. Whether this Pope is part of this ecclesiastical death wish I think is still an open question, but you have nailed precisely the red flags that have been waved in my mind since the new pontificate began.

    ReplyDelete
  4. +J.M.J+

    Lately, I've begun reading the Vatican website, to discover what this pope is saying when the news media of all stripes (MSM, Catholic blogs both pro and con) are ignoring him. I'll tell you, I'm not seeing some big scary progressive dissident there. I'm seeing a very different pope, one who dearly loves Mary, encourages devotion to her (including a daily Rosary) and repeatedly encourages all Catholics be missionaries to the world (so much for him allegedly opposing evangelism).

    All I can do is encourage anyone who is upset with what people are saying about Pope Francis to go and read what he himself says. No, don't build some personality cult around the man; Christ is the center of our Faith, not his Vicar. But do yourself a favor and find out what he is really about from *him,* rather than from his detractors or admirers.

    ReplyDelete
  5. +J.M.J+

    Lately, I've begun reading the Vatican website, to discover what this pope is saying when the news media of all stripes (MSM, Catholic blogs both pro and con) are ignoring him. I'll tell you, I'm not seeing some big scary progressive dissident there. I'm seeing a very different pope, one who dearly loves Mary, encourages devotion to her (including a daily Rosary) and repeatedly encourages all Catholics be missionaries to the world (so much for him allegedly opposing evangelism).

    All I can do is encourage anyone who is upset with what people are saying about Pope Francis to go and read what he himself says. No, don't build some personality cult around the man; Christ is the center of our Faith, not his Vicar. But do yourself a favor and find out what he is really about from *him,* rather than from his detractors or admirers.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Pope Francis is the same pope who pulled off a day of *worldwide* adoration of the Blessed Sacrament last June. Somehow I think his critics don't really know the man, who by all accounts is a very mystical pope of prayer.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If I've learned anything from 21 years of marriage to Rosemarie I've learned not to bet against her.

    With respect dude if you are bothered by what you hear then go directly to the source.

    Read Pope Francis directly and think for yourself.

    Forget what THE REMNANT, CATHOLIC ANSWERS OR THE NATION CATHOLIC REPORTER say.

    I find it hard to believe a guy who spent his days as a bishop at war with the socialist feminist president of his country over birth control and abortion is a closet liberal.

    Granted he doesn't sound like a fellow traveller for political conservatism & or the virtues of free market capitalism either.

    But who cares? Not this Free Market political conservative Rosemarie is married too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can praise St John Chrysostom to the Heavens for the the good that he said and did but the crap he said about Jews will make me sick to my stomach till the day I die.

    Plus the Patriarch of Constantinople doubted the divine inspiration of the Book of Revelations.

    So how can Cardinal Martini's insipid liturgies of suck be any worse than this?

    Both can be great Fathers to us all in the good that they have done even if specific things they have said or done will forever live in the realm of suck.

    Paul VI was great standing up to the modernist forces regarding birth control. He was heavy handed in getting rid of the Old Mass.

    John Paul II was a great spiritual leader inspirational Pope but a lousy administrator. He allowed the Old Mass back into the Church but did little to make it easy for Catholics to get it.

    Benedict XVI was a great administrator but he lacked the Charisma & skill of his predecessor to get people excited by the faith. But he made is much easier to get the Old Mass said to the faithful.

    (Not that I am one of those semi-heretics who think the church will fall apart if we never did the old mass for the rest of time)

    Now we have Pope Francis who I will predict just like every other Pope or spiritual leader will excel in the realm of awesome in some things and dwell in the realm of suck in others.

    That's life bro.

    OTOH secretly I might believe if the Pope where a liberal it might be beyond entertaining.

    Because a liberal Pope can't formally or offically change doctrine.

    Even if he was personally inclined we won't see women priests any more then Pope Vigeilius could teach Monophysite heresy.


    My advice is not to sit down and shut up but to chill.

    It's all good bro.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sine Nomine: you'll do much better with me if you don't presume I'm an idiot. Also,
    I have minimal patience for people who attempt to lecture me from behind pseudonyms.

    Now, if you'd care to actually respond to what I wrote, I'm all ears.

    ReplyDelete
  11. All I can do is encourage anyone who is upset with what people are saying about Pope Francis to go and read what he himself says.

    Isn't the Scalfari interview, reviewed and approved by Francis, also part of "what he himself says?" I have not seen anything where he disavows the statements therein or his other "off the cuff" remarks. He may say some very orthodox things which is all well and good, but he has also said some very confusing and troubling things. If someone says 1+1=2, that does not "undo" his also saying the moon is made of green cheese. It just makes him all the more confusing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I confess to sharing c matt's frustration.

    My problem *is* what he himself has said. When I point that out, I am told to read something *else*.

    And really, he himself said he's *not* a mystical type of person, yet now he's "a very mystical pope of prayer."

    Remember the Scalfari interview:

    "I love the mystics; Francis also was in many aspects of his life, but I do not think I have the vocation and then we must understand the deep meaning of that word. The mystic manages to strip himself of action, of facts, objectives and even the pastoral mission and rises until he reaches communion with the Beatitudes."

    So, who's not reading him again? I really don't enjoy seeing my thesis confirmed, I assure you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. +J.M.J+

    I'm not saying "Ignore the Scalifari interview." I'm saying read other things he said as well, not just the small minority of his words that the news media chooses to highlight. Then you will be able to understand the interview in the greater context of who Pope Francis is and everything that he believes.

    Don't dismiss the man based on a couple of statements that the MSM decides will grab people's attention and so bring in more advertising dollars. Statements which then cause hyperventilation among a certain segment of Catholics who are ready to assume the worst about him. Which in turn leads to apologists trying to put the words in context - as they also did when the last two popes were misunderstood, BTW (though I don't remember anyone back then accusing them of making excuses for the reigning Pontiff, as they are being accused of now.)

    Yet even this attempt to explain and defend the Holy Father has the unintended consequence of further magnifying those few, select words the pope spoke, at the expense of everything else he has said which the press just didn't consider newsworthy. I'm simply asking that you step outside of the bubble that all this hoopla is creating. Is that such an unreasonable suggestion?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rosemarie, I think many of us have done that and we're not seeing the "whole picture" the same way you do.

    I can't speak for any of the others but I'm not convinced that Papa Bergoglio was "The Holy Spirit's Choice". And, if he was, that has much more troubling implications for the Catholic Faith.

    I do think there's a way to "stop worrying and love this pope" but none of those options seem particularly charitable.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Well Jesus said "The Father is Greater than I" without explicitly clarifying at the time he wasn't denying his Deity or full Homoousian equality with the Father.

    But elsewhere he does say "Father and I are one" or "Before Abraham was I AM(i.e. YHWH)"


    If the Pope says something ambigious it is better interpreted it in light of what he has said explicitly and in an orthodox fashion.

    The Pope condemns proselytizing which refers to an abusive, negative and deceptive form of evangelizing.

    But elsewhere he has mandated Evangelizing.

    So what is the problem? Pope Benedict said the same thing & so did John Paul II.

    ReplyDelete

  16. >I can't speak for any of the others but I'm not convinced that Papa Bergoglio was "The Holy Spirit's Choice". And, if he was, that has much more troubling implications for the Catholic Faith.

    Actually when you think about the doctrine of divine providence Pope Alexander VI was the Holy Spirit's choice as much as St Pius X.

    Logically speaking so was Pope Francis.


    >I do think there's a way to "stop worrying and love this pope" but none of those options seem particularly charitable.

    Jesus said "Fear not I have overcome the world".

    You can choose to fear & suffer the consequences and you can't choose not to fear without Grace. So my advice is pray for the Grace to choose not to fear.

    (Of course Rosemarie is going to throw this advice back in my face the next time something bad happens to us & I am worrying about it. Ah well then)

    ReplyDelete
  17. "Pope Alexander VI was the Holy Spirit's choice as much as St Pius X."

    In a way. I believe that papal elections can be a form of divine chastisement. Gulp.

    ReplyDelete
  18. >In a way. I believe that papal elections can be a form of divine chastisement. Gulp.

    100% true! But so far I see no good evidence Pope Francis is a punishment & until I do I have better things to worry about(the economy, anti-Catholic US President, having autistic kids etc)

    ReplyDelete
  19. And yet, it seems "not pastoral" to tell someone who is scandalized about Alexander VI to suck it up because, after all, he was the Holy Spirit's choice for Pope.

    Besides, he never formally proclaimed anything heretical! All is well!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm far less scandalized by Alexander VI than I am by Francis. *shrug*

    But, speaking personally, I'm also reaching the point of not caring. I don't have the patience to wade through this stuff anymore. I do weary of all the special pleading.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dale,

    First off, you're an excellent writer, thank you. Secondly, this just nailed it: "Conservative Catholicism in America is a papal personality cult. Full stop."

    Yep.

    And the worst example of CC pretzel twisting had to be in repsonse to the Pope's denigration of proselytism as solemn nonsense. Talk about taking Francis out of context! All of a sudden the Pope was using some obscure techinical ecclesiastical language - or referring to coercive conversions - rather the commonplace understanding of what he said.

    But the context of the Pope's comments shows how ridiculous that interpretation is. The context was a discussion about faith, where his atheist interlocutor noted that some of his friends thought that the Pope was coming to convert him.

    Sorry, but Francis isn't objecting to coersive methods or some insider understanding of proselytism; rather, what he sees as solemn nonsense is the notion that the Vicar of Christ - would sit down to talk faith with an atheist - and actually have the intenion of converting him to the One whose name he bears.

    Don't get me wrong, as a Catholic who wants to cheer for the Pope AND see the world converted, I completely understand the impulse to try to spin what he said. Surely the Pope doesn't believe that! But at the same time, as an honest reader, I just can't do that.

    The fact is, Francis is not interested in coverting the lost; his is an entirey different program which he summarizes as follows: "We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us. Sometimes after a meeting I want to arrange another one because new ideas are born and I discover new needs. This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good."

    - Brian

    ReplyDelete
  22. Well, that would take care of the second-most-important crisis facing the world: the loneliness of the old.

    Not sure how all that "getting to know you" stuff will help with "youth unemployment" but that's probably because my heavy browline obscures my vision.

    ReplyDelete
  23. "We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us. Sometimes after a meeting I want to arrange another one because new ideas are born and I discover new needs. This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good."


    This would make a very good mission statement for a secular humanist study group, or a local Unitarian Universalist church.

    ReplyDelete
  24. +J.M.J+

    Pope Francis is not interested in converting the lost? Then why does he encourage all Catholics to evangelize, to be missionaries regardless of ones state in life? Would a man not interested in evangelization say these things:


    "Christian families are missionary families. Yesterday in this square we heard the testimonies of missionary families. They are missionary also in everyday life, in their doing everyday things, as they bring to everything the salt and the leaven of faith! Keeping the faith in families and bringing to everyday things the salt and the leaven of faith." - Pope Francis, Homily 10/27/13


    "I also greet the youth of Rome who over the course of recent days have been engaged in the “Jesus at the Centre” mission: always be missionaries of the Gospel, every day and in every place!" - Pope Francis, Angelus Message 10/13/13


    "In this month of October, that is dedicated in a special way to missions, let us bear in mind the many missionaries, men and women, who in order to bring the Gospel have overcome obstacles of every kind, they have truly given their lives. As St Paul says to Timothy: “Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but take your share of suffering for the gospel in the power of God” (2 Tim 1:8). This, however, is for us all; each one of us in our own daily lives can testify to Christ by the power of God, the power of faith. The faith we have is miniscule, but it is strong! With this power to testify to Jesus Christ, to be Christians with our life, with our witness!" - Pope Francis, Angelus Message 10/6/13


    "During these days, Jesus has insistently and repeatedly invited you to be his missionary disciples; you have listened to the voice of the Good Shepherd, calling you by name, and you have recognized the voice calling you.... May Mary teach us by her life what it means to be a missionary disciple." - Pope Francis, Angelus Message 7/28/13


    "Everyone must be a missionary, everyone can hear that call of Jesus and go forth and proclaim the Kingdom!" - Pope Francis, Angelus Message 7/7/13


    "Through the intercession of Mother Laura Montoya may the Lord grant the Church a new missionary and evangelizing impetus" - Pope Francis, Angelus Message 5/12/13


    "I would like to add a third expression which must distinguish you: missionary spirit. You have a specific and important mission, that of keeping alive the relationship between the faith and the cultures of the peoples to whom you belong. You do this through popular piety.... In effect, “journeying together towards shrines, and participating in other demonstrations of popular piety, bringing along your children and engaging other people, is itself a work of evangelization.” When you visit shrines, when you bring your family, your children, you are engaged in a real work of evangelization. This needs to continue. May you also be true evangelizers! May your initiatives be “bridges”, means of bringing others to Christ, so as to journey together with him. And in this spirit may you always be attentive to charity. Each individual Christian and every community is missionary to the extent that they bring to others and live the Gospel, and testify to God’s love for all, especially those experiencing difficulties. Be missionaries of God’s love and tenderness! Be missionaries of God’s mercy, which always forgives us, always awaits us and loves us dearly." - Pope Francis, Homily 5/5/13

    Did you catch this in the last quote: "May your initiatives be “bridges”, means of bringing others to Christ." Would he say that if he were not interested in bringing others to Christ?

    That's just some of what he's said on the topic. You can always go and read more of what he said. Or you can just assume you know everything there is to know about him based on one interview and a few posts on Catholic blogs. Your choice.

    ReplyDelete
  25. +J.M.J+

    >>>I do think there's a way to "stop worrying and love this pope" but none of those options seem particularly charitable.

    Regardless of whether you ever love the pope, you'd do well to stop worrying in general. It's a wasted emotion.

    Look, I'm not telling you to become a "fan" of the pope or join some papal personality cult. I'm just asking you to give the man a fair shake. That's all. Instead of just listening to what others are saying about him (who probably don't know much more about him personally than you do), why not find out what he's saying firsthand?

    ReplyDelete
  26. If I may response to various posts all at once.

    >But the context of the Pope's comments shows how ridiculous that interpretation is. The context was a discussion about faith, where his atheist interlocutor noted that some of his friends thought that the Pope was coming to convert him.

    Here is the context.

    QUOTE"Then I was there. The Pope entered and extended his hand to me, then we sat down. The Pope smiled and said to me: “One of my collaborators who knows you told me that you will try to convert me”.

    It was a joke, I replied. My friends think that it will be you who will try convert me.

    He smiled again and responded: “Proselytism is downright nonsense; it doesn’t make any sense. We need to learn to understand each other, listen to one another, and increase our knowledge about the world around us. It often happens that after one meeting I want to have another one because new ideas emerge and new needs are discovered. This is what is important: to know one another, to listen to one another, broaden the range of thought. The world is full of streets that converge and diverge; the important thing is that they lead to the Good”.END

    It seems the Pope is objecting to merely just preaching at a person without getting to know them & understand where they are coming from & or forcing yourself on them. He wants to covert the lost by having conversations with them. I see no reason to conclude he doesn't want to save the lost. Especially in light of the evidence my wife provided. I might as well believe Jesus denied his deity when he said "The Father is Greater than I" & join the bloody Unitarians and be done with it. But I don't find either a rational course.

    >This would make a very good mission statement for a secular humanist study group, or a local Unitarian Universalist church.

    What in the statement is unique to either secular humanism or Unitarianism & in opposition to Catholicism? So what are you saying here? We should NOT learn to understand each other? We should NOT listen to one another and we should not increase our knowledge? We should be able to Evangelize non-believers in one meeting & have no need for follow ups? It should be a one shot deal? Pope Francis in this novel view should come in & say like your typical Protestant Fundie "Accept Jesus & His Church & repent!! Now Good day!". Has that ever worked? So the Pope should come ready to debate him? But what is the nature of this guy's non-belief? Can you debate someone effectively without knowledge? Note if you actually read the whole interview Pope Francis asks the Atheist interviewer something about his views. Good to know for next time eh?

    The context vindicates the interpretation of Pope Francis condemning negative proselytism and not evangelization across the board as was claimed. We can see this when we look at it with the Pope's other statements & writings.

    >Conservative Catholicism in America is a papal personality cult. Full stop."

    Now you have created the opposite problem of a potential Pope Francis haters club. This can be used to shut down any fair rational defense of the Pope and mindlessly dismiss it.

    Sorry but speaking personally I have a high standard of rational evidence. I like to imagine or pretend I don't believe in the existence of God or the Truth of the Catholic Faith. Then I ask myself could I even if I held the former accept the argument before me?

    Well in my judgement if I denied God & His Church today I see no rational evidence Pope Francis is against Evangelism only that he is against Proselytism.

    Thomas Aquinas taught me to reason. I am not about to make reason the Devil's whore like a certain rebel German Priest did.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Based on these comments the one common denominator would seem to be that the Holy Father is apparently not a very good communicator. I'm not either, and therefore find it really easy to be forgiving of. That's a pretty tough deficit for the preeminent teacher of the Faith though.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Rosemarie and BenYachov,

    Just stop. Even if I agreed with absolutely everything you said, just stop. It's obnoxious to leave so many long comments on a single post--more so when you both come from the same household. Sheesh.

    Nick

    ReplyDelete
  29. +J.M.J+

    By my count, I left only one long post. It was in response to someone who thought he knew that the pope doesn't care about converting the lost, based on his private interpretation of a single interview. So I provided a bunch of quotes from the pope that prove the contrary. I even truncated the longest ones to try to decrease the overall length of the post.

    I think that that long post was justified to show that a) the pope has said a lot of things that most Catholics know nothing of and b) one can get a better sense of what the pope really believes by reading his firsthand statements than by relying on one secondhand interview. Which, of course, was the point of my very first post, that had been challenged by quite a few people here.

    As for what my husband posts, I don't have control over that. He writes what he wants.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Boy, I sure miss that whole "private interpretation" proof-texting-warfare thing from when I was a Protestant. Here's a good one: I Cor 14:33.

    The way Pope Francis uses terms is highly idiosyncratic and intellectually sloppy, and unfortunately the payoff once you crack Bergoglio code isn't even very rewarding. Boiler plate "base community" street pastor stuff. Which is fine, I guess, but should we all really be expected to ooh and ahh about his impact? It would be futile to haggle over this or that quotation on really anything he says. When he's on target, he's on target, but when did it become a cause for relieved celebration that the Pope speaks unambiguously and correctly? (Booyah! Toldya, he really is orthodox. Suckaz!) On the other hand, when he's off, this can't be admitted and then shelved, but his every utterance must be defended in the most elaborate and obsequious way. It is this genuinely culty hivemind reflex that bothers Dale in this apologia of his: he's got issues with the Pope on some fundamental things and for some strange reason that kind of pharisaical non-conformity automatically renders Dale into A Bad Catholic. Just as Obama was "the first gay president", Francis is "the first female pope." And that's not a cheap shot: if you get to know his background and recurring motifs, it's plainly obvious that he has a profoundly feminine vision for the Faith. Indeed, at a formative level, his grandmother is the quintessence, the very icon, of Catholicism for Bergoglio. I'm sorry, but we Bad Catholics know how to read (honest), and we do listen to the Holy Father in his own words, but obviously we lack the handy-dandy neo-Jesuit decoder ring everybody else got when he was elected. Sigh. Most. Exhausting. Papacy. Ever.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Nick

    Do you have anything substantial to say other then complain about length of one post each & throw out uncharitable charges of being obnoxious? Don't you think that in itself might come off as a bit obnoxious? Ya think?

    You would prefer I do multiple posts answering each little tedious point here?

    I hit the nub of the so called "arguments" & my wife documented rather irrefutably that the Pope clearly does uphold the Church's teaching of evangelism.

    You don't like it? Too bad. I have answered in the most rational way I can.

    To answer someone else briefly (at the risk of being told I am making the post too long)

    >Based on these comments the one common denominator would seem to be that the Holy Father is apparently not a very good communicator.

    No that merely means you shouldn't trust the media. Reagan was a great communicator yet if you believe the media he was a dunce.
    You should merely read the Pope directly and learn your faith.

    ReplyDelete
  32. +J.M.J+

    I never accused Dale or anyone else of being a "bad Catholic." You can ask questions about what the pope means and believes all you like; I'm just pointing to where you will find the best answers. Honest questions seek answers, after all.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Well Codg that was a little over the top & reminds me of "I'm-skeptical" over at dangerous minds & it was not at all impressive.

    A sort of false either/or mentality and argument by emotion. You should know by now I don't really care for that sort of mishigoss.

    I read you discussion with Crude on Francis. He didn't find your "arguments" convincing either based on raw evidence and neither do I.

    There is no code in reading Pope Francis. There is just common sense & reading Pope Francis.

    >It is this genuinely culty hivemind reflex that bothers Dale in this apologia of his: he's got issues with the Pope on some fundamental things and for some strange reason that kind of pharisaical non-conformity automatically renders Dale into A Bad Catholic.

    It seems if we apply these standards fairly and uniformly there is also a pharisaical hivemind that dictates no rational defense based on facts and reason can ever be put forth to defend this Pope without it flowing from a motive of belonging to some sort of cult of personality? That being employed to shut down inconvenient contrary argument.

    Would you accept such a response from Gnu Atheist Trolls like Paps over at dangerous mind if they slagged off a defense of Pius XII's actions during the holocaust?

    Well Rabbi Pinchas Lapide & Rabbi Dalan are not Catholics yet they defended him because it was just to do so & fair to do so.

    How can I do any less? I didn't call you bad Catholic & even clarified so with Crude.

    If you want to have a civil disagreement with either I or my wife I will oblige you.

    If you want to be obnoxious well you know how I am.......and I am not as heroically kind as my wife.

    So it's your call.

    ReplyDelete
  34. >I'm sorry, but we Bad Catholics know how to read (honest), and we do listen to the Holy Father in his own words.

    Speaking as someone who has an actual BA in psychology your impromptu psycho-spiritual profile of Pope Francis is more entertaining extreme amateur speculation boarding on transgressing the bounds of charity if it is abused then it is rationally convincing.

    Feminine Spirituality indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  35. >Most. Exhausting. Papacy. Ever.

    One wonders what you think about Pope Benedict's citations of Emperor Emmanuel that caused the Muslims to freak out and kill actual Christians?

    Do you blame him? Do you think he should be morally condemned for not being precise enough to communicate to fanatical Islamicists?

    I would love to know if you are consistent?

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have been warned.

    Yawn.

    Ben, what *exactly* are the theses you think I have presented about Pope Francis with which Crude disagrees? Can you name one thing specifically that you would admit is an understandable cause for scandal on "our" parts?

    I have modulated my reactions to Pope Francis almost by the day, based on, you guessed it, extensive reading and dialogue with others. I have learned to adjust to his, ahem, style, and I heartily endorse his orthodox witness. Yet, in my many discussions about this over the past ~6 weeks, I have never seen a "defender" of Pope Francis reciprocate; there's no modulation, no concession, just more squints and frowns and patronizing counsel to "read." The issue is not that you or your wife called me or Dale bad Catholics (thank you for your charity, and you'll notice I did not claim that either of you specifically did so), but that the overwhelming response of the conservative Catholic elite has been to patronize or castigate those of us who are genuinely, prayerfully, and even despite ourselves, finding Pope Francis very hard to embrace. We're sorry for not falling in line; maybe someday we'll get there.

    I Cor 14:33.

    ReplyDelete
  37. @Everyone

    Some things you should know about me.

    I despise argument by emotion. I despise homemade conspiracy theories. I despise arguments based on personal intuition. I prefer either scholastic philosophical argument, brute empirical investigation or historical investigation. I prefer logic over feelings.

    This is how I role otherwise don't waste my time.

    PS I hope Nick isn't put off by too much posting on my part.

    @Dale

    I've gone father then you actually at one point in my life. I doubted God.

    I go to church every Sunday & I have been for decades a serious Catholic yet for some reason Rosemarie & I became the Parents of 3 autistic children. Why me? My Brother doesn't go to Church as much as me or learned the Faith as much as me? His kids are normal! What did I do to offend God? How could a good God do this to me?

    I won't go into detail how I came back from that but I will say that if anything trusting the Church & the Pope is way easier than Trusting God. But by Grace I pulled it off.

    So chil my brother and do worry about Pope Francis.

    Keep praying & thinking and know you are not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  38. @Cog

    Peace to you. So you know I am not hostile.

    >Ben, what *exactly* are the theses you think I have presented about Pope Francis with which Crude disagrees? Can you name one thing specifically that you would admit is an understandable cause for scandal on "our" parts?

    Well one thing he told you point blank Michael Voris didn't make the case and he wasn't convinced and he told you why.

    >Can you name one thing specifically that you would admit is an understandable cause for scandal on "our" parts?

    Scandal in what sense? Clear moral failing on his part? Clear willful neglect on his part? Or merely the scandal of a sensationalist media that will take anything the man says & read their own desires into it? Thus leaving him in the position of just not speaking if he doesn't want to be misunderstood. I deal in specifics not generalities.

    >I have modulated my reactions to Pope Francis almost by the day, based on, you guessed it, extensive reading and dialogue with others.have learned to adjust to his, ahem, style, and I heartily endorse his orthodox witness.

    Did you follow the previous Popes in the same manner or did you assume like the rest of us it all went well? Because i've read JP2 & some of his stuff was to thick for even me to decipher but I blame my own ignorance in those cases. OTOH Benedict was even more cerebral yet I found Pius XII simple. I find Augustine and Maimonides clearer than either St Ireneus or the Talmud.



    >Yet, in my many discussions about this over the past ~weeks, I have never seen a "defender" of Pope Francis reciprocate; there's no modulation, no concession, just more squints and frowns and patronizing counsel to "read."

    Maybe some of your arguments have not been very good or not arguments but speculations? That is your fault then. Look too yourself. I sometime phone it in when I am bored and lazy. Which is most of the time.


    > The issue is not that you or your wife called me or Dale bad Catholics (thank you for your charity, and you'll notice I did not claim that either of you specifically did so), but that the overwhelming response of the conservative Catholic elite has been to patronize or castigate those of us who are genuinely, prayerfully, and even despite ourselves, finding Pope Francis very hard to embrace.

    Saying Pope Francis is hard to embrace sounds like "I reject Pope Francis as my Father in Faith and Teacher". Now you say you don't mean it that way? But that is how it comes off to some. Just like if Francis says "Proselytizing is wrong" it comes off as don't evangelize to some.

    Here is a brutal reality you need to understand. No matter how clear you are in trying to explain what it is you have trouble with in regards to Pope Francis you will never be clear enough for everyone. Now guess what? Pope Francis has he the same problem.

    So cut him the very same slack you demand of yourself. Then I have no beef with you.

    > We're sorry for not falling in line; maybe someday we'll get there.

    If you resolve not to like him I can do nothing about that. There are many people I have come to not like. Mark Shea or Kevin O'Brien and others.

    But you have to be fair & realistic. Pope bashers for the most part have been radical right wing anti-Vatican II types or radical liberal heretic types. You have to forge a better model of a loyal orthodox critic.

    Which means following your own advice and telling us what Francis is getting right. Surely there is something?

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Dale,

    I've appreciated your carefully thought-out and well-written cri de coeur, and I'm sorry the combox has left you a little frustrated. I've struggled with a lot of the same concerns that you have, but I've let go of the anguish and now the demons no longer beat me over the head with the latest Pope Francis goings-ons. Nevertheless, it's sad that the actions and words of our pope can serve as the primary wedge by which demons try to pry us from God, but such are the times.

    As you make clear, Pope Francis is not Bishop Untener, and the 80s really are over. I've had to endure the masses of two retired priests in the last three weeks, and today's liberals are a pale shadow of those two poor priests. The American church has weathered that storm--though Germany, Austria and the Netherlands may be too far gone. Moreover, even the seminarians and priests who are not interested in the TLM, are far more faithful and traditional than the previous 2-3 generations of priests. The Church is moving in the right direction though she is still in crisis and I am convinced she is in her final passion. But the Lord is raising up faithful, solid souls as the battle escalates.

    Finally, there seems to be a mutual incomprehension between Pope Francis and traditional Catholics. He speaks of us like some caricature, and many traditionalists return the favor. As we know, pew-sitting TLMers are not what he takes us to be, and neither is he the caricature that some have made him to be.

    Peace of Christ.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Ben,

    Question for you: why do you assume that all of the Holy Father's words about listening, understanding, new ideas, and broadening thought are simply a more strategic method of pursuing conversion ("He wants to covert the lost by having conversations with them") when he's just finished saying that he considers having coversations oriented toward conversion to be solemn nonsense; i.e. proselytism?

    Again, the Holy Father sits down with an atheist to talk faith, they both joke about using such conversations as a context to convert one another, and then the Pope immediately tell us what he thinks of such efforts by saying, "Proselytism is solemn nonsense. It makes no sense."

    And your take away from this is: "He wants to covert the lost by having conversations with them"?

    I'm not persuaded. Instead, what he wants is this: "We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us. Sometimes after a meeting I want to arrange another one because new ideas are born and I discover new needs. This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good."

    Like I said, I would certainly like to get on board with the conversational evangelism gloss on this text, and that might work just fine had the Pope not just finished condeming conversational evangelism. But the fact is he did. So what I'm left with is that he values such conversations simply for the exchange of new ideas etc.

    And Rosemarie, thanks for the litany texts on the need to witness the Gospel and to take up the mission of evangelization. The problem is, while there is one line about "bringing others to Christ" there is nothing about the need for those people to be told that they need to repent, be baptized, and convert to the truth, i.e. the Great Commission. Again, there's lots about meeting people and witnessing the love of God through our actions (which is truly wonderful), but there's nothing to suggest an actual proclamation of the Gospel - that people can actually HEAR (Romans 10:4) - calling them to turn from error and convert to the truth.

    And why is that? Probablly because he thinks that approach is solemn nonsense. Which is preceisly why he said the following: "Do you need to convince the other to become Catholic? No, no, no! Go out and meet him, he is your brother. This is enough. Go out and help him and Jesus will do the rest."

    We have to love others, yes, and witness Christ by our actions; no one is disputing that; but we also have PREACH the Gospel both in season and out. The Pope is only advocating for the former (and condeming the latter), but without a whole-hearted endoresement of both of these I don't see how you can say that the Pope is legitimately interested in converting the lost.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but at the very best, the whole love them and let Jesus do the rest approach is horribly naive - not to mention ineffective (again, Romans).

    - Brian

    ReplyDelete
  41. Ben, you're a happy warrior and always have been. I respect that.

    But this has become exceptionally frustrating--as have almost all of my interactions with those who seem to have no misgivings whatsoever about the Bishop of Rome.

    The pattern repeats: I state, very specifically, the words that trouble me. E.g., calling a "prophetic figure" and "father to the whole church" a man whose last interview said, among other things, that the Church is 200 years behind the times and that we need to open up questions of sexuality.

    The response swats the concern away, interprets it as something else entirely (a concern about liturgy...? Er, no), then suggests that I stop reading the Pope through Lens X (or Y or Z) and go directly to the source.

    When, alas, I had done precisely that.

    I'm not demanding people share my concerns. But it would help greatly if they repeated them accurately, acknowledging what I actually said, instead of supplying a meaning that is not there.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I can't speak for any of the others but I'm not convinced that Papa Bergoglio was "The Holy Spirit's Choice".

    Part of the problem is that people think that the Holy Spirit chooses the Pope.

    The Pope is chosen (in present day procedures) by the college of cardinals. The college of cardinals is not the holy spirit: it is a group of men, with all that that implies.

    I've seen ultramontanism at work for as long as I've know what the term means. Progressive Catholics think it means that the Pope can change doctrines to be more to their liking, which is why they have found the orthodoxy of recent popes so vexing. But in the background "conservative" Catholics have been leaning on ultramontanism too.

    I think ultramontanism arises from the same human insecurity, the same need for a tangible and visible security blanket, that gives rise to Protestant sola scriptura.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thank you, @DP and @zippycatholic for both expressing what I am now too frustrated to state with civility or charity.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Dale, perhaps you saw this story already:

    http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-councils-unfinished-business.html

    According to the Holy Father's right hand man, the heresy of Modernism is no longer a heresy. After reading the whole pathetic manifesto, I am hoping - praying - to have the discipline to pay as little attention as possible to this sad, tragic papacy.

    ReplyDelete
  45. @Brian

    >Question for you: why do you assume that all of the Holy Father's words about listening, understanding, new ideas, and broadening thought are simply a more strategic method of pursuing conversion ("He wants to covert the lost by having conversations with them")

    Why do you assume they are not & explain to me how you can convert a singe soul by not listening, not understanding, using stale ideas and narrowing your thought? This is good strategy for you? Well it's not helping your argument here let me tell you.

    >when he's just finished saying that he considers having coversations oriented toward conversion to be solemn nonsense; i.e. proselytism?

    So you are obvious to the knowledge that proselytism is a negative word and means bad & offensive evangelism? I can't define proselytism but like pornography I know it when I see it. If I am sitting on the subway in the morning & a street preacher comes on the train and passes out tracts. I notice 99 out of a hundred people take them. It's morning, they are bored & more often or not like something to read. IMHO that is good evangelism. It's too bad these people are Protestants. OTOH the idiot who starts PREACHING aloud to a captive audience in the subway more often then not telling everyone the boring story of his life and going on & on & on & on……well people in my experience kind of resent that. One lady I even saw said to one of these subway preachers "Hey this is not church! I just want to get to work!". That is clearly proselytism. It is not the same as standing on a corner preaching. You can still walk away & you still have the choice. No this is forcing yourself on someone & making the gospel look obnoxious.

    Why should any faithful Christian be for that?

    Proselytism is solemn nonsense. It makes no sense. I believe that with all my heart! Go Evangelism down with proselytism!! Purge the unclean!!!!!!!!!!

    >I'm not persuaded.

    Clearly & also no rational argument it seems can persuade you. There is nothing more I can do. If you have a need to believe the worst about the Pope & I can't dissuade you.

    >Again, there's lots about meeting people and witnessing the love of God through our actions (which is truly wonderful), but there's nothing to suggest an actual proclamation of the Gospel.

    Clearly all these groups the Pope praises do proclaim the Gospel & the truths of the Faith not just perform good actions. In his discussion with the Atheist the Pope clearly said we must meet not only the temporal needs of people but the spiritual one as well. Well proclaiming the Gospel does this but Preselytism does not it pisses people off.

    ReplyDelete
  46. http://www.harvestingthefruit.com/a-flag-waving-modernist/

    "Did you catch that? According to this Prince of the Church, a man who is one of just eight handpicked cardinal-advisers to the pope, the Church, thanks to Vatican II, no longer harbors any hostility toward modernism, that which Pope St. Pius X called the 'synthesis of all heresies.'

    He even plainly acknowledged, lest there be any doubt whatsoever, that the modernism of which he speaks is that same dreadful heresy that was condemned by the First Vatican Council ..."

    Vatican II - the Council that overturns all other Councils!

    ReplyDelete

  47. Brian you are killing me with your lack of critical thinking & prooftexting. Killing me.

    >"nd why is that? Probablly because he thinks that approach is solemn nonsense. Which is preceisly why he said the following: "Do you need to convince the other to become Catholic? No, no, no! Go out and meet him, he is your brother. This is enough. Go out and help him and Jesus will do the rest."

    I read the whole Scalfari interview. That quote isn't even there. It is from here.
    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1303392.htm
    & here
    http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/pope-francis-encounter

    QUOTE"Thank you for listening, thank you for coming here today, thank you for everything you carry in your hearts. Jesus loves you very much! San Cayetano loves you very much! We ask only one thing: that you reach out! And that you go and seek out and encounter the most needy! But not alone, no. With Jesus and San Cayetano! Does this mean going to convince someone to become became Catholic? No, no, no! You are just reaching out to meet him, he is your brother! That is enough. You reach out to help them, the rest is done by Jesus, by the Holy Spirit. Remember well: with San Cayetano, we need we encounter the neediest. With Jesus, we who are in need, we reach out to those who are even more in need. And maybe Jesus will show us the path to meet with those who need it most.

    When you meet those most in need, your heart will begin to grow bigger, bigger and bigger! Because reaching out multiplies our capacity to love. An encounter with others makes our heart bigger. Take courage! "I don't know what to do on my own". No, no, no! With Jesus and San Cayetano! May God bless you and may this feast day of St Cajetan end well. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you."END

    Still not getting the doctrine of "Thou shall not evangelize or proclaim Christ" Mishigoss. The broken English here might add to confusion but the man is not JP2 with the languages. What I see here is love and Grace and letting Christ work threw you and meeting people face to face so you can proclaim the Gospel. You won't get instant conversion & not by you own human effort.

    It is an act of Grace. "It is by Grace you are saved not works least any man shall boast".

    "No one can come to me unless the Father draw him"

    But if you have some pelagian belief its by your own efforts I suggest you go read Augustine and disabuse yourself of that nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  48. +J.M.J+

    Brian: Let's recap here. In your first post above, you claimed that "The fact is, Francis is not interested in converting the lost."

    After all those quotes in which the Pope is calling us all to evangelize, your new objection is that his approach to evangelization is deficient and will be ineffective. IOW, you have moved the goal posts.

    The very fact that he talks about the importance of being missionaries shows that he wants to reach out to the lost. He speaks glowingly about missionaries who have given their whole lives to their work. Do you think that those missionaries are not telling people about sin or baptism? Do you think that they are not making converts to the Catholic Faith?

    And as for the quote you provide, I'd really love to read it in full context but can't find the full talk online. I don't like it when someone's words are taken out of context. Yet I can say that there is a lot of truth in that isolated statement. God ultimately is the One who brings about conversions, not us alone. We can't argue someone into the kingdom by our own efforts alone, we have to do what we can and then leave the rest to Christ. This is Evangelism 101. Again, though, I'm looking for the quote in full context.

    Finally, since you are very upset about Pope Francis repudiating "proselytism," I'm wondering whether you every came across this quote from Pope Benedict XVI:

    "The Church does not engage in proselytism. Instead, she grows by 'attraction'- just as Christ 'draws all to himself' by the power of his love, culminating in the sacrifice of the Cross, so the Church fulfills her mission to the extent that, in union with Christ, she accomplishes every one of her works in spiritual and practical imitation of the love of her Lord." - Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, May 13, 2007

    Yes, Pope Benedict XVI also rejected proselytism.

    ReplyDelete
  49. @Jeff

    Lovely maybe you can grace us with few choice words from Bob Sungenis or Gerry Matatics?

    I am going to read the America interview for myself & ignore the Radtrad analysis.

    BTW maybe your buddy on that fruitcake blog would like to include a link to the original interview?

    Just so we can read it for ourselves.

    Because I can't find one.

    ReplyDelete
  50. If I had seen that a couple weeks ago, Jeff, I would have despaired. I'm still stunned by it, but the armor of God is holding up well.

    "Modernism was, most of the time, a reaction against injustices and abuses that disparaged the dignity and the rights of the person."

    Really? No, no it wasn't. Arguing that Vatican II was a truce between the Church and modernism doesn't exactly endear me to that council.

    Un-real.

    Yeah, sure, there are good bits in the speech, but that's like saying it was a great buffet, except for the arsenic-laced mashed potatoes.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Ben, dial it down a notch. Jeff's first link was to the Cardinal's speech.

    Here it is again.

    http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-councils-unfinished-business.html

    ReplyDelete
  52. "Pope" Fellay calls Pope Francis a modernist?

    Now I really love Francis & we all know Fellay isn't a Traditionalist. He is a high church Protestant with Rosaries.

    Can Jeff give us a direct source documenting his nonsense? Or is it just the opinion of one radtrad nutter or another?

    I need evidence, clear evidence or I will start mocking.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Did you take a look at Cardinal Maradiaga's speech, Ben? The link's been provided twice.

    Here it is again.

    http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-councils-unfinished-business.html

    Read it, please.

    ReplyDelete
  54. DP

    Vatican II is not a truce between the Church and modernism.

    That is just a lie.

    You want me to dial it back tell others to stop provoking me!

    A Donkey can ask more stupid questions then a wise man can answer.

    We where discussing the interview with the Italian Atheist. Now like your typical Anti-Catholic fundie polemicists quotes from out of nowhere and out of context & unsubstantiated claims from the four corners of the internet are being flung all at once.

    So I will be in battle mode defending my Church & Faith.

    I will make peace but this goes both ways.



    ReplyDelete
  55. At least Codj tries to complain over direct sources.

    Not convincingly mind you but I give him that.

    ReplyDelete
  56. READ THE LINK AND TAKE IT UP WITH THE CARDINAL WHO SAID THAT IN HIS SPEECH. THOSE ARE HIS WORDS, NOT MINE.

    I'LL MAKE IT REALLY EASY AND CUT THE RELEVANT WORDS FROM THE CARDINAL'S SPEECH:

    "2. Vatican II

    The Second Vatican Council was the main event in the Church in the 20th Century. In principle, it meant an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism, which was condemned in the First Vatican Council. On the contrary: neither the world is the realm of evil and sin –these are conclusions clearly achieved in Vatican II—nor is the Church the sole refuge of good and virtue. Modernism was, most of the time, a reaction against injustices and abuses that disparaged the dignity and the rights of the person.

    The Vatican II Council officially acknowledged that things had changed, and captured the need for such a change in its Documents"


    JUST IN CASE IT IS UNCLEAR, MY PATIENCE IS FRAYING.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Cardinal Maradiaga's speech.

    This looks like a Thomist set up on behalf of the Cardinal.

    >The Second Vatican Council was the main event in the Church in the 20th Century. In principle, it meant an end to the hostilities between the Church and modernism, which was condemned in the First Vatican Council.

    A proposition is made. Like in Aquinas sometimes it's heterodox or seemingly wrong.

    > On the contrary:

    Then he contradicts it.

    >neither the world is the realm of evil and sin –these are conclusions clearly achieved in Vatican II—nor is the Church the sole refuge of good and virtue.

    Well if I believe Aquinas & I do then I can only agree. Evil has merely an accidental existence and not an ontological one. The world is good as far as it is actual. The Church alone isn't the only good all creation is in fact Good and that is true.


    > Modernism was, most of the time, a reaction against injustices and abuses that disparaged the dignity and the rights of the person.
    The Vatican II Council officially acknowledged that things had changed, and captured the need for such a change in its Documents, which emphasized truths such as these:

    If I believe Fulton Sheed every heresy is a truth exaggerated to an extreme or diminished to a defect. For example Luther's Truth was to oppose salvation by our own efforts. Arius' truth was Christ was also human. But they went off the rails. So the Vatican council embraces the core truth of modernism without exaggerating it to extreme or diminishing it to defect.

    So what is the problem? Do you think critically or do you just look for perceived buzz words.

    Sorry DP but my reason is ruthless & I don't see it. likely because it isn't there.

    ReplyDelete
  58. "Qui autem triticum sunt, ferunt trituram; gaudent, quia grana sunt, gemunt inter paleam, exspectant ventilatorem, quem cognoscunt redemptorem."

    ReplyDelete
  59. Don't insult me to my face, Ben.

    Do not.

    ReplyDelete
  60. additional:

    God is the source of all virtue and the Church is his ordinary means to obtain it. But as we have seen with the teaching prior to Vatican II such as Alexander XIII or Pius IX God can condescend to give that virtue outside the visible church.

    As I skim the speech what I see is traditional teaching in harmony with a Thomistic perspective.

    But if you want to read your own negative crap into it.

    I can't stop you.

    DP take my advice. Learn Thomism & stop listening to this radtrad mishigoss.

    It will only lead you to apostasy like Dreher or Atheism like I almost fell into.

    You can't be a Traditionalist without a good knowledge of Aquinas.

    ReplyDelete
  61. New T-Shirt Day!

    "The Second Vatican Council
    Embraces the Core Truth
    of Modernism"

    ReplyDelete
  62. >>Don't insult me to my face, Ben.

    >Do not.

    I am not insulting you. But your friends I make no promises.

    Maybe Codj. He like I said will at least deal with direct sources.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Cogitator

    Don't you think Archbishop Fulton J. Sheed was correct?

    If not then why not?

    ReplyDelete
  64. >The Vatican II Council officially acknowledged that things had changed, and captured the need for such a change in its Documents.

    Meaningless and ambigious.

    What kind of change? Doctrinal Change? That is out?

    Pastoral change? Yes & I would agree pastoral changes aren't infallible or always a good idea.

    Banning Jewish Converts to Catholicism from incorporating their traditions into the Faith like Nicea II did was bogus.

    Paul VI banning the Old Mass was a bad idea.

    Don't even get me started on Laterian IV recommending to governments they make Jews wear badges.

    But the Church survives.

    If you are upset over possible pastorial changes Francis might make I am with you.

    But that is not the same as undermining the Faith or changing doctrine.

    Geez make a distinction.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Vatican II changed pastoral policy.

    The Church's pastoral policy has never been up to my high standards in it's 2000 year history.

    Since pastoral policy isn't infallible I can have my own opinion as long as I obey the Church.

    But God has not seen fit to make moi Pope so I should just take it on the chin and except what is given to me.

    Also resolve to do what I can with what I have to preach the Gospel.

    >JUST IN CASE IT IS UNCLEAR, MY PATIENCE IS FRAYING.

    Join the club. You have just summed up my whole life with that statement.

    I am not fighting you DP. But I am heart broken over all the people here giving you such crapy council and misinformation.

    But I don't want the job as one of you concilors I have my own problems.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Ben:

    You have to laugh so you don't cry, I'm just blowing off steam.

    No, I do not for a second think Abp. Sheen would have endorsed modernism, much less "the core truth of modernism." (Have you read any of the papal denunciations of modernism? oil : water :: Catholicism : modernism) Nor do I agree that heresies are "really" just reducible to their orthodox nemeses, for in reducing them to the truth, they not only cease to be heresies but eo ipso cease to be at all. To correct a heresy is to negate it, not just "tweak" it. Insofar as Pius IX called modernism "the synthesis of all heresies," and Thomists roundly battled it for at least a century, I think your skimmed exegesis is simply fatuous. If you don't see how perilous and audacious Maradiaga's claim is, I believe we've reached a literal and terminal dialectical impasse: as if we were speaking different dialects. If a man is known by the company he keeps (Skorka, Ricca, Maradiaga) and by the friends he rebuffs (pretty much all of Ratzinger's curia), then I'd say the reason you are so easily attuned to the Pope's dialect, while we are not, is because he himself is speaking a Catholic "dialect" that is mutually unintelligible to many of us here. And to say that the Pope's disorienting dialect(ic) is plainly, unambiguously, and uncontroversially harmonious with the Church's traditional voice is either to misread the Tradition or to condemn it to incoherence.

    ReplyDelete
  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  68. >No, I do not for a second think Abp. Sheen would have endorsed modernism, much less "the core truth of modernism."

    Fail!!! He said every heresy is a Truth exaggerated to an extreme or diminished to a defect.

    So how could he not endorse the Truth of modernism that has been either exaggerated or diminished?

    That is simple logic. Embracing the core truth simply doesn't equal embracing the exaggerations or diminisments which are errors.

    Epic Fail my friend.

    Now my son is begging for the computer.

    Daddy has held it long enough.

    >You have to laugh so you don't cry, I'm just blowing off steam.

    Well I agree with that.

    Peace brother.

    ReplyDelete
  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Parting shot Cod man

    > Nor do I agree that heresies are "really" just reducible to their orthodox nemeses, for in reducing them to the truth, they not only cease to be heresies but eo ipso cease to be at all.

    Yes so what? Why would I claim otherwise? But it is a brute fact they are exaggerations of truth or disminishnents of truth. If you don't agree then simply say without fear you disagree with Sheen.

    > To correct a heresy is to negate it, not just "tweak" it.

    tOmato or tomAto! Like it matters.

    > Insofar as Pius IX called modernism "the synthesis of all heresies," and Thomists roundly battled it for at least a century, I think your skimmed exegesis is simply fatuous.

    Rather you have no rational rebuttal and you are simply dismissing it. But it does show reading him plainly there is no obvious heterodox agenda here.

    > If you don't see how perilous and audacious Maradiaga's claim is, I believe we've reached a literal and terminal dialectical impasse:

    Pretty much. I need evidence not speculation, conspiracy theory & reading uncharitable ideas into the writings of others.
    Do you have anything more to give me then this? If not then you will never convince me anymore than you can convince me Russel's Teapot exists or a Theistic Personalist view of God is correct.

    > as if we were speaking different dialects. If a man is known by the company he keeps (Skorka, Ricca, Maradiaga) and by the friends he rebuffs (pretty much all of Ratzinger's curia),

    Guilt by association is pathetic. Jesus hanged out with whores & tax collectors. Weakest form of ad hominom argument.

    >then I'd say the reason you are so easily attuned to the Pope's dialect, while we are not, is because he himself is speaking a Catholic "dialect" that is mutually unintelligible to many of us here. And to say that the Pope's disorienting dialect(ic) is plainly, unambiguously, and uncontroversially harmonious with the Church's traditional voice is either to misread the Tradition or to condemn it to incoherence.

    Or could it be I have no negative agenda toward the Pope & simply read him & his buddies plainly and with Charity?

    Anyway it is my exegesis of the Cardinal' s speech or some Radtrad. Why should I listen to the Radtrad?

    ReplyDelete
  71. DP

    Lost in this fracas was your heartfelt expressed feeling that you are still bothered by Pope Francis.

    Well I can tell you this. I can't promise you a bright future. I can't predict a crappy one either.

    Even if Francis chokes on a chicken leg & they elect a Pope Pius XIII who revokes the Paul VI rite & makes the Pius V rite the only western Mass & preaches fire and brimestone & does all the things you think he should do.....great good will come from it & it will still all go to shit in some way.

    The Pope Francis way or the Pope Pius XIII way. It's all the same.

    We simply have no lasting city here.

    So Rosemarie & I will pray for you. Because what is afflicting you here is a spiritual problem & not a rational one.

    I can only give you insensitive brutal rational argument.

    That is not what you need.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Mr. Price, thanks for writing up your thoughts on the Francis pontificate. I went through a version of this same disillusionment with John Paul when I first came into the Church, and I'm glad I had that experience to help me deal with Francis' oddities. Watch and pray. God sends us the leaders we deserve.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Ben:

    Characterizing proselytism as a universal pejorative is not a tenible position, either inside or outside of the Church; a quick google search will help you there. Moreover, within the context of the interview it is evident that, from the Holy Father's perspective, proselytism includes simply having coversations about faith oriented toward converting the other. I know you want it to mean only the crazy offensive stuff, but...ummm...that's not how the Holy Father used it. For him what is solemn nonsense (i.e. proselytism) is to try to convert an atheist over a conversation about faith.

    Also, what part of the context you provided around - no need to convince them, just love them and let Jesus do the rest - leads you to believe that the Pope does not in fact believe that it is solemn nonsense to have conversations with people about the need to convert? The context you provided is just more appeal to witness through works but not words. Sorry, but that is an incomplete Gospel.

    Which brings me to Rosemarie,

    In my first post I claimed "The fact is, Francis is not interested in converting the lost", and in my second post I explained that a person who promotes actions of love, but discourages the vocal call to conversion cannot be said to be legitimately interested in converting the lost". So what changed, exactly?

    I recognize that Francis wants us to witness through loving actions, but without the concomitant call to repentance that's just social work; and while admirable, social work does not show the kind of concern for lost souls that we read about in Ezekiel 3:18 or Acts 20: 26-27: "Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from DECLARING to you the whole counsel of God."

    Lastly, yes I am familiar with the Pope Benedict quote. Unfortunatley, he does not provide us with an example of what he means by proselytism in the same way that Francis does. But in any event, if he is condeming (with Francis) the notion of having conversations about faith with an intent to convert, then, yes, I would be disappointed with him as well. I would also question his zeal for souls if he told people (with Francis) that there is No! No! No! need to convince others to become Catholic. Why? Because that's solemn nonsense.

    - Brian

    ReplyDelete
  74. Some people in this thread have their heads ... in the sand. Ahem.

    Under this pontificate, high ranking clerical heretics aren't even speaking in code anymore. No interpretation or reading between the lines is necessary. Wake the h*** up.

    What we need now is a realistic means of keeping the Faith under this pontificate without going off the rails. Good priests especially are going to need our prayers. With new bishop appointments, etc. the kitchen is going to get pretty hot. Hold on tight.

    ReplyDelete
  75. +J.M.J+

    Brian, at this point you're mostly repeating yourself and if I were to answer you I would have to repeat myself, which I've already done too much of on this thread.

    What I find sad, though, is that you are even willing to question Pope Benedict XVI's zeal for souls if he doesn't agree with you about the proper way to evangelize. You're setting your personal opinions above the view of two popes. There's not much more that I can say about that; it speaks for itself.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Brian

    Nothing you have written is even remotely coherent.

    Benedict uses "proselytism" as a pejorative & so does Francis. It's not hard.

    Has anyone of the last three Popes ever used that term positively? The burden of proof is on you.

    Put up or......well Rosemarie doesn't want me to be mean but you can fill in the blank.

    >Moreover, within the context of the interview it is evident that, from the Holy Father's perspective, proselytism includes simply having coversations about faith oriented toward converting the other.

    But he didn't say that did he? You are just reading that into his writing. Sorry I don't do argument by innuendo or conspiracy theory.

    I need empirical fact here. Otherwise you are wasting my time.

    >The context you provided is just more appeal to witness through works but not words. Sorry, but that is an incomplete Gospel.

    Based on that bit of sophistry when Paul told the Jailer all he needed to be saved was to repent and be baptized then we must conclude the Jailer wasn't suppose to seek salvation in communion and eat our Lord's flesh and blood.

    You have the Protestant either/or mentality down pat.

    But I remain unmoved.

    @Jeff

    >Some people in this thread have their heads ... in the sand. Ahem.

    I like listening to Kevin Tierney these days. The young Traditionalist crowd has their heads on straight & can see the forrest for the trees.

    The whiny paranoid old guard can't pull their heads out of their arses much less the sand.

    I have hope for traditionalism and for the Church for guys like him. You would do well to emulate that.

    ReplyDelete
  77. "What I find sad, though, is that you are even willing to question Pope Benedict XVI's zeal for souls if he doesn't agree with you about the proper way to evangelize."

    What if the present pope doesn't agree with any of his predecessors about the proper way to evangelize? Or with any of the apostles themselves, for that matter? Or any of the great missionary saints?

    Since when is the opinion of the latest pope the last word on the proper way to evangelize?

    Since when does "evangelism" of ANY KIND fail to call men to repentance (however gently!) or to direct souls to Jesus Christ for fear of proselytism?

    Rosemarie, it seems that you have adopted the view that all Catholics must adopt the all the latest opinions of the latest pope about everything that pertains to religion. What is this but an ultramontanist form of fideism - faith (in the pope, primarily) without reason or reflection.

    It just about fits the old protestant caricature. I'll grant that it makes Catholicism super easy. Perhaps that's precisely the attraction ...

    ReplyDelete
  78. "But he didn't say that did he? You are just reading that into his writing."

    Baloney. "Simply having conversations about faith oriented toward converting the other", in Brian's words, is precisely the plain context of the interviewer's remarks.

    Or is it your opinion that Pope Francis very slyly didn't address the interviewer's remarks at all, but abruptly changed the subject without telling anyone? Please.

    "Sorry I don't do argument by innuendo or conspiracy theory."

    Apparently you don't really do argument at all.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Jeff

    If you want to go evangelize then get off your traddy arse and do it!!!!

    Show Francis and the rest of us how it's done.

    Or is the only "evangelism" that you do consists of repeating the paranoid fantasies of THE REMNANT?

    Same nonsense you have been repeating for decades and you haven't changed your script.

    I've read Edward Feser, Davies, Oderberg and learned about Scholastic philosophy. I love authentic Traditionalism.

    I think I am a Trad at this point.

    But screw the old guard. Useless tits the lot of them.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Ben, how about addressing the actual content of the comments made in this thread?

    "Radtrad, radtrad, nyet nyet nyet!" is not an argument.

    ReplyDelete
  81. DS

    Open you eyes.

    You are having a crisis of Faith. The Devil is pulling out all stops to attack you. He is sturing up the old wounds of the past among some of your posters, myself included.

    I feel it don't you?

    You problem isn't Francis. Francis is no better or worst than JP2, Benedict or John XXIII.

    You fear the future and you fear not being in control.

    I've been there. heck I live there.

    We are more alike then you realize.

    PS I don't give a flying fig which political faction in the Church you now want to join.

    You want to go from "conservative" to Trad. Go for it. I've done that myself.

    But realize the problem here is you are being attacked spiritually.

    You need grace.

    I can pray for you. Which you need.

    I can only offer you critical brutal reason in regards to your "arguments".

    Which you don't need.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Jeff

    Stop sucking up the oxygen & help DP.

    Be a menche!

    Is that so hard for you. We have been having this same stupid argument about 10 years ago. Nothing has changed.

    ReplyDelete
  83. "Stop sucking up the oxygen & help DP."

    Can't I try to do both? ;-)

    Look, I'm here because I feel DP's pain to a large extent. I came into the Church under JP-II, with of his problems, but things were moving in the right direction, and even moreso under Benedict XVI. I haven't quite figured out how to be Catholic when the Church is unraveling and regressing. But I know it can be done, because others have lived through such times and kept the Faith heroically. But let's not delude ourselves into thinking that we're not in the midst of a profound crisis and that heroic faith has suddenly become non-optional.

    ReplyDelete
  84. You want some Jeff?

    >What if the present pope doesn't agree with any of his predecessors about the proper way to evangelize? Or with any of the apostles themselves, for that matter? Or any of the great missionary saints?

    Facts not in evidence. Just an unproven assumption.

    >Since when does "evangelism" of ANY KIND fail to call men to repentance (however gently!) or to direct souls to Jesus Christ for fear of proselytism?

    Where does Francis forbid or condemn doing this? Nowhere!

    >Baloney. "Simply having conversations about faith oriented toward converting the other", in Brian's words, is precisely the plain context of the interviewer's remarks.

    Brian defined Proslytism as "Simply having conversations about faith oriented toward converting the other". I can read unlike some of us. Francis didn't literally say any of this in the interview. Brian is reading this concept into it.

    >Or is it your opinion that Pope Francis very slyly didn't address the interviewer's remarks at all, but abruptly changed the subject without telling anyone? Please.

    ???????????????????????

    >Apparently you don't really do argument at all.

    I just did & you are bad at faking it.

    ReplyDelete
  85. I meant to say that, due to the present crisis, heroic faith is now non-optional. Because this pope isn't going to take you there or keep you there.

    ReplyDelete
  86. >Can't I try to do both? ;-)

    No you can't.

    >Look, I'm here because I feel DP's pain to a large extent. I came into the Church under JP-II, with of his problems,

    JP2 sucked as an administrator even thought he was Charismatic and inspired people to be Catholic.

    >but things were moving in the right direction, and even moreso under Benedict XVI.

    Which proves God protected his Church inspite of JP2's failings, B16's heck even with Peter the Rock!

    Indefectability bro look it up.

    >I haven't quite figured out how to be Catholic when the Church is unraveling and regressing.

    I just simply accept I am Catholic no matter what a leader is doing & I try to support the good in it.

    >But I know it can be done, because others have lived through such times and kept the Faith heroically.

    JP2 sucked as an administrator. b16 was way better but lackluster compared to jp2.

    Francis will be awesome with the gifts God has given him & bring about good & Francis will suck in some way.

    They all do that. Why are you still suprised?

    >But let's not delude ourselves into thinking that we're not in the midst of a profound crisis and that heroic faith has suddenly become non-optional.

    In every era the Church has always been in a profound crisis.

    If there was ever a golden age for the Church I have never seen or read about it.

    Get real.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Jeff

    Dp's problem is clearly spiritual.

    It can't be solved making him a "convervative neo-Catholic" or a "Traditionalist Catholic" or even my personal favorate a Traditional Thomist.

    Even if I convince him you all are nothing but a bunch of paranoid yahoos & Francis is beyond awesome(which is not my view BTW) the problem will remain.

    So get on board already and enough of the Church politics!

    This is why I left the Catholic Blog shprere & apologetics & delve into philosophy.

    The madness........

    ReplyDelete
  88. I have found peace. My faith is clearer than it has ever been. It comes from calling things by their right names and not being a 21st Century Rex Mottram. The way is clear--hard, but clear.

    ReplyDelete
  89. >I have found peace. My faith is clearer than it has ever been. It comes from calling things by their right names and not being a 21st Century Rex Mottram. The way is clear--hard, but clear.

    For that I Praise God the Almighty!

    Baruch HaShem!!!

    It is not my place to correct every flaw in your thinking I think you have.

    Because if examined by others disagreement will come on particulars.

    To date I have not found any criticism here of Francis rationally convincing.

    But I reserve the right to critique his performance after his papacy like I do with JP2 & B16.

    But I am not worried either.

    Just remember if you disagree you will find more disagreement then agreement.

    You have to be mature enough to hand that.

    Of course if you find out how to do that let me know.:-)

    Still working on that myself.

    Shalom DP

    You too Jeff & Codg

    ReplyDelete
  90. I thought it couldn't hurt to provide some textual context for why many of us find the Pope's attitude towards converting (or, rather, NOT converting) non-Catholics quite odious. It might take a couple-three comments.
    - Codgitator

    ReplyDelete
  91. Judges 21:25 - "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes."

    Proverbs 3:5 - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight."

    Ezekiel 34: "2 Son of man, prophesy concerning the shepherds of Israel: ... Woe to the shepherds of Israel, that fed themselves: should not the hocks be fed by the shepherds? 3 You ate the milk, end you clothed yourselves with the wool, and you killed that which was fat: but my flock you did not feed. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, and that which was sick you have not healed, that which was broken you have not bound up, and that which was driven away you have not brought again, neither have you sought that which was lost: but you ruled over them with rigour, and with a high hand. 5 And my sheep were scattered, because there was no shepherd: and they became the prey of all the beasts of the field, and were scattered. 6 My sheep have wandered in every mountain, and in every high hill: and my flocks mere scattered upon the face of the earth, and there was none that sought them, there was none, I say, that sought them. 7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 As I live, saith the Lord God, forasmuch as my flocks have been made a spoil, and my sheep are become a prey to all the beasts of the field, because there was no shepherd..., I myself come upon the shepherds, I will require my hock at their hand, and I will cause them to cease from feeding the flock any more, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more: and I will deliver my flock from their mouth, and it shall no more be meat for them. ... [S]o will I visit my sheep, and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day."

    Luke 1: “16 And he shall convert [ἐπιστρέψει] many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias; that he may turn [ἐπιστρέψαι] the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous [ἀπειθεῖς] to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people.

    James 5: "19 My brethren, if any of you err from the truth, and one convert [ἐπιστρέψῃ] him: 20 He must know that he who causeth a sinner to be converted [ἐπιστρέψας] from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.”

    ReplyDelete
  92. Anglican Rt. Rev. Greg Venables of Argentina (March 15, 2013): "[Bergoglio] is much more of a Christian, Christ centered and Spirit filled, than a mere churchman. He believes the Bible as it is written. {Don't make me gag.} ... He called me to have breakfast with him one morning and told me very clearly that the Ordinariate was quite unnecessary and that the Church needs us as Anglicans."

    Pope Francis: “Do you need to convince the other to become Catholic? No, no, no! Go out and meet him, he is your brother. This is enough. Go out and help him and Jesus will do the rest.” -- August 7, 2013

    Interview with Scalfari: The Pope smiled and said to me: “One of my collaborators who knows you told me that you will try to convert me”.

    It was a joke, I replied. My friends think that it will be you who will try convert me.

    He smiled again and responded: “Proselytism [i.e. trying to convert others] is downright nonsense; it doesn’t make any sense. We need to learn to understand each other, listen to one another, and increase our knowledge about the world around us. It often happens that after one meeting I want to have another one because new ideas emerge and new needs are discovered. This is what is important: to know one another, to listen to one another, broaden the range of thought. The world is full of streets that converge and diverge; the important thing is that they lead to the Good”. ...

    Your Holiness, you said that you had no intention of converting me and I don’t think that you would succeed.

    “One never knows, in any case, I have no intention of doing so”.
    -- October 9, 2013

    Pope Francis: "[T]he New Evangelization ... calls us [Catholics] to ... be converted from idols to the true God.... The Church says as she stands amid humanity today: Come to Jesus, all you who labour and are heavy laden..., and you will find rest for your souls (cf. Mt 11:28-30). Come to Jesus. He alone has the words of eternal life. ...

    "Whoever has encountered Christ like the Samaritan woman at the well cannot keep this experience to himself but feels the need to share it and to lead others to Jesus (cf. Jn 4). We all need to ask ourselves if those who encounter us perceive the warmth of faith in our lives, if they see in our faces the joy of having encountered Christ!

    "... [E]very Christian is called to go out to meet others, to dialogue with those who do not think as we do, with those who have another faith or who have no faith. To encounter all, because for what we all share in common is that we were created in the image and likeness of God. We can go out to everyone without fear and without renouncing our membership in the Church."

    ReplyDelete
  93. Meanwhile, back in the outdated, legalistic Catholic Tradition...

    Lumen Gentium (November 21, 1964) #11: "[T]he Church, which [sinners] have wounded by their sins, ... by charity, example, and prayer seeks [sinners'] conversion."

    Lumen Gentium #46: "The Church thus portrays Christ in contemplation on the mountain, in His proclamation of the kingdom of God to the multitudes, in His healing of the sick and maimed, [and] in His work of converting sinners to a better life".

    Ad Gentes (December 7, 1965) #7: "[The Church's] missionary activity derives its reason from the will of God, "who wishes all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ... Therefore, **all must be converted to Him**, made known by the Church's preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church which is His body."

    Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi (December 8, 1975) #18: "The purpose of evangelization is therefore precisely this interior change, and if it had to be expressed in one sentence the best way of stating it would be to say that the Church evangelizes when she seeks to convert, solely through the divine power of the message she proclaims, both the personal and collective consciences of people, the activities in which they engage, and the lives and concrete milieu which are theirs."

    ReplyDelete
  94. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  95. ebougis the thing is of course others are begging the question.

    Does "Proselytizing" equal "to evangelize"?

    Clearly it doesn't.

    Pope Francis condemns proselytizing & as my wife quoted & so did Pope Benedict.

    He is certainly not going to try to convert an Atheist by Proselytizing.

    I like you quotes they provide a good context.

    Francis is clearly in harmony with the Catholic tradition.

    Good job.

    ReplyDelete
  96. No, the key word is "conversion". Proselytism is a red herring. Evangelism is squishy if it doesn't include efforts to convert the lost. So: does Pope Francis endorse *actively seek to convert* non-Catholics?

    ReplyDelete
  97. My wife now informs me ebougis is Codgitator!

    Well that is morally slimy! Pretending to be someone else!

    Geez I expect this from BDK pretending to be Zack or from Paps over at dangerous idea.

    You just lied to me!

    That I rarely forgive........


    ReplyDelete
  98. God Lord, Ben, calm down. Seriously. I indicated who I was in my run-up post to the quotations. I am on my wife's computer.

    "ebougis said...

    I thought it couldn't hurt to provide some textual context for why many of us find the Pope's attitude towards converting (or, rather, NOT converting) non-Catholics quite odious. It might take a couple-three comments.
    - Codgitator

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 7:28:00 PM EDT"

    ReplyDelete
  99. He who dared to lie to me wrote:

    >No, the key word is "conversion". Proselytism is a red herring.

    No we either try to convert people by evangelizing them or by proselytism.

    Proselytism is no more moral then bribing people with money to "convert".

    >Evangelism is squishy if it doesn't include efforts to convert the lost.

    Sorry you got it backwards. Converting is what you do when you give consent in your will to be Catholic. Evangelizing must come first to cause this to happen.

    >So: does Pope Francis endorse *actively seek to convert* non-Catholics?

    clearly he does. You quoted him.

    You also tried to descieve me pretending to be someone else.

    This is where the devil has lead you.

    ReplyDelete
  100. >God Lord, Ben, calm down. Seriously. I indicated who I was in my run-up post to the quotations. I am on my wife's computer.

    Sorry that was not at all clear. And since you demand uber clearness from Francis you will be uber clear or you are a liar.


    Fair is fair.

    Because taken at face value you where some guy merely quoting Codg.

    I don't like liars or hypocrites.

    Especially hypocrites who demand a level of clarity from Francis they don't provide themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Ben:

    Stop it. You're embarassing yourself. You've entered a fugue of ad hominem in the past hour or two. Please calm down. I plainly included my name at the end of the post that preceded my quotations. Moreover, my ebougis tag is directly linked to my FCA blog, exactly as my Codgitator tag is. I did not ever try to deceive you; I did not hide behing anonymity. You're sounding like Mark Shea. Please retract your slander.

    ReplyDelete
  102. OTOH

    Maybe I rushed to judgement in calling you a liar?

    But that only serves to prove you are doing the same with Francis.

    Not one quote you have provided shows any heresy or contradiction with the Faith.

    Pick one you think works.

    Put up or shut up.

    ReplyDelete
  103. After all when I post on Rosemarie's profile I always write in caps BENYACHOV ROSEMARIE'S HUSBAND HERE USING HERE PROFILE.

    I am very clear you see. A clearness you demand from Pope Francis but excuse yourself from clearly.

    BTW in case it's ambigious I did retract my charge. Go re-read my last.

    But my points and counter arguments remain the same.

    ReplyDelete
  104. +J.M.J+

    >>>What if the present pope doesn't agree with any of his predecessors about the proper way to evangelize?

    He does agree with Benedict XVI that proper Catholic evangelization is not proselytism. That's the point I was making. You're jumping into a previous discussion in progress.

    >>>Since when is the opinion of the latest pope the last word on the proper way to evangelize?

    Since when did I say that? I simply showed that the latest pope's statement about proselytism is in line with what the last pope said.

    >>>Rosemarie, it seems that you have adopted the view that all Catholics must adopt the all the latest opinions of the latest pope about everything that pertains to religion. What is this but an ultramontanist form of fideism - faith (in the pope, primarily) without reason or reflection.

    No, we must adhere to the entire Catholic Faith. A pope's personal opinions are not binding on us as such. And yes, it's possible for a pope to be wrong or misspeak.

    Yet if we are confused by reports of what the Holy Father allegedly believes (especially if they emanate from the secular media which has such a wonderful track record reporting on Catholic matters), then charity demands that we determine what he's *really* saying and then interpret that in line with the Catholic Faith, rather than assuming the worst about him.

    That's all I seek to do. I have never said what you have attributed to me.

    I also haven't accused anyone here of being a bad Catholic, yet I am now being accused of being an ultramontanist and a fideist. Look, I understand if you don't like what you are hearing from the pope. I didn't like everything I was "hearing" myself, until I started reading what he said for myself rather than trusting second- and third-hand sources. I'm just trying to encourage others here to do the same, assuming that you are all of good faith and really want to find out the truth about him rather than believing guesses based on conjecture. For that I end up being accused of heresy. Maybe I should rethink my assumption of good faith.

    ReplyDelete


  105. Let me repeat.

    He who was unclear(yes I sound like Ilion or whatever his name is) wrote:


    >No, the key word is "conversion". Proselytism is a red herring.

    No we either try to convert people by evangelizing them or by proselytism.

    Proselytism is no more moral then bribing people with money to "convert".

    >Evangelism is squishy if it doesn't include efforts to convert the lost.

    Sorry you got it backwards. Converting is what you do when you give consent in your will to be Catholic. Evangelizing must come first to cause this to happen with grace.

    >So: does Pope Francis endorse *actively seek to convert* non-Catholics?

    clearly he does. You quoted him.

    ReplyDelete
  106. The short version is, if you're going to talk about double-speak, Judas Catholics, and opposing Church teaching, if you're going to sound damning and critical... then you damn well better have evidence and quotes onhand that show the Judas Catholic engaged in actual betrayal: attending a NARAL meeting as a supporter, promoting gay marriage, etc. If all you can do after a tirade like that is launch an assault on an interpretation of the words, you've screwed up."

    Crude from Crude ideas blog. His evaluation of Voris' critique of Francis cited by Codg.

    http://crudeideas.blogspot.com/2013/10/evaluating-codgitators-criticisms-of.html#more

    ReplyDelete
  107. So Codg I keep re-reading your quotes & I still don't see any clear statement about NOT converting non-Catholics by Francis.

    Help me out?

    At best you have an assault on an interpretation of the words.

    You have an argument by conspiracy theory & innuendo.

    You have a second hand quote that can still be seen as orthodox.

    But there is no substance here. It is all rhetoric.

    My wife has despaired of this thread as being filled with too many people (not that we are naming names) who harbor an A Priori ill will towards the Holy Father.

    She wants to leave.

    It has become toxic.

    It's sad I do like you. But you couldn't be more wrong.

    That is the way it is.

    ReplyDelete
  108. BTW "Proselytism [i.e. trying to convert others] is downright nonsense; it doesn’t make any sense.

    The bold is not in the text. It's just your reading your own ideas into the text.

    How can I ever be convinced by such slight of hand argument?

    You should know better.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Ben:

    Thank you... I think?

    (This is Codgitator.)

    Alas, the word obtuse comes to mind. The Pope clearly segues from the "joke" about "trying to convert" someone into his denunciation of "proselytism".

    (This is still Codgitator.)

    NONE OF US HAS SAID that the problem is that he teaches formal heresy, so that's just another red herring. (Codgitator here!) Rather, we are distressed and disoriented by his long-term vision for the Church, his erratic use of Christian terms, and his apparent disdain for the very authority he accepted. We are not being a priori; at least, I'm certainly not. For six months I was as snug as a bug with Pope Francis as pope, but many of us have been rubbed so much the wrong way in lately as things have come into form about the aims and impact of his papacy, that we've come to this side of despair and back.

    (Hi, I'm Codgitator. Have we met?)

    CONT. ...

    ReplyDelete
  110. ...
    However, if you want a real bone to chew on, consider the Pope's (written!) false teaching about goodness and conscience (posted on the Vatican, of course):

    "There is sin, even for those who have no faith, when conscience is not followed. [Yes.] Listening to and obeying conscience means deciding in the face of what is understood to be good or evil. [Yes.] It is on the basis of this choice that the goodness or evil of our actions is determined. [No!]"

    The last claim is manifestly false, and must be removed retracted from the Holy Father's public teaching.

    For clarity, I (Codgitator) will reassemble the last two sentences above into one sentence: "It is on the basis of choosing 'what is understood to be good or evil' that the goodness or evil of our actions is determined."

    Good grief. (Said Codgitator.)

    CONT....

    "On the contrary," as St. Thomas teaches in ST I-II q. 20 a. 2, "Augustine says (Contra Mendac. vii), that "there are some actions which neither a good end nor a good will can make good."

    "... As stated above (Article 1), we may consider a twofold goodness or malice in the external action: one in respect of due matter and circumstances; the other in respect of the order to the end. ... Now it must be observed, as was noted above (19, 6, ad 1), that for a thing to be evil, one single defect suffices, whereas, for it to be good simply, it is not enough for it to be good in one point only, it must be good in every respect. If therefore the will be good, both from its proper object and from its end, if follows that the external action is good. But if the will be good from its intention of the end, this is not enough to make the external action good: and if the will be evil either by reason of its intention of the end, or by reason of the act willed, it follows that the external action is evil."

    CONT. ...

    ReplyDelete
  111. ...
    (Boo! I'm Codgitator!)

    Earlier, in ST I-II q. 19 a. 6, St. Thomas made the crucial point that, "when ignorance causes AN ACT to be involuntary, it takes away the character of moral good and evil; but not, when it does not cause THE ACT to be involuntary. ... If then reason or conscience err [in a voluntary act] with AN ERROR that is involuntary, ... so that one errs about what one ought to know, then such an error of reason or conscience does not excuse the will that abides by that erring reason or conscience from being evil."

    The Catechism echoes St. Thomas:

    "1753 A good intention ... does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered ... good or just. The end does not justify the means. ...

    "1754 ... [Personal or historical] circumstances of themselves cannot change the moral quality of acts themselves; they can make neither good nor right an action that is in itself evil.

    "1755 A morally good act requires the goodness of the object, of the end, and of the circumstances together. An evil end corrupts the action, even if the object is good in itself....

    "The object of the choice can by itself vitiate an act in its entirety. There are some concrete acts - such as fornication - that it is always wrong to choose, because choosing them entails a disorder of the will, that is, a moral evil.

    "1756 ***It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them*** or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts which, in and of themselves, independently of circumstances and intentions, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object.... One may not do [objective] evil so that [perceived] good may result from it."

    This article is helpful, not the least because it includes Pope Francis's error among the "top ten" heresies of our day.

    As a bonus, there's also the homily in which Pope Francis flouts Scripture (for his own ideological reasons) by saying that "the best" and "one necessary thing" that "shall not be taken away" that Mary chose is equally as essential and noble as Martha's busied worrying.

    ReplyDelete
  112. >'Alas, the word obtuse comes to mind. The Pope clearly segues from the "joke" about "trying to convert" someone into his denunciation of "proselytism".

    Yet objectively as even Pope Benedict taught proselytism is negative. So Francis is not going to try to convert this man via Proselytism. Especially in light of what he said later about having to first get to know him & learn about what makes him tick.

    What is wrong with that? Nothing, nor does it lead to any idea we should not try to effect conversion via evangelism.

    >NONE OF US HAS SAID that the problem is that he teaches formal heresy,

    Brian & you clearly equates proselytism with converting the non-Catholics & you have thus accused him of teaching us not to convert the non-believers. Don't bullshit me with backpedaling. I am not impressed.

    > (Codgitator here!) Rather, we are distressed and disoriented by his long-term vision for the Church

    We don't know what his long term vision is we just have the speculations you read into his words. Which as Crude has said is a screw up.

    > his erratic use of Christian terms,

    I doubt in all circumstances any of the privious Popes always spoke in precise theological language but might sometime speak in general terms.

    >and his apparent disdain for the very authority he accepted. We are not being a priori; at least, I'm certainly not. For six months I was as snug as a bug with Pope Francis as pope, but many of us have been rubbed so much the wrong way in lately as things have come into form about the aims and impact of his papacy, that we've come to this side of despair and back.

    Bhah blah blah you are just repeating your mindless rhetoric and conspiracy theory, You have given no evidence just your interpretation as an assault.

    ReplyDelete
  113. >However, if you want a real bone to chew on, consider the Pope's (written!) false teaching about goodness and conscience (posted on the Vatican, of course):

    It's not false teaching.

    >There is sin, even for those who have no faith, when conscience is not followed. [Yes.] Listening to and obeying conscience means deciding in the face of what is understood to be good or evil. [Yes.] It is on the basis of this choice that the goodness or evil of our actions is determined. [No!]"

    >The last claim is manifestly false, and must be removed retracted from the Holy Father's public teaching.

    Prove it! It sounds true to me. It sounds like the old maxim "Even an erroneous formed conscious binds & if you transgress it you sin"

    >"For clarity, I (Codgitator) will reassemble the last two sentences above into one sentence: "It is on the basis of choosing 'what is understood to be good or evil' that the goodness or evil of our actions is determined."

    That merely means the act of will in question is either good or evil morally not the erroneous predicate. If you believe doing X is wrong and you choose to do X anyway(even if X is not wrong) you preform an act you believe to be wrong thus showing you are willing to preform an act that is wrong. Thus you show you are willing to do evil even if you erroneously think X is evil & it is not.

    That is quite a separate thing from trying to determine if X is evil or not.

    >"On the contrary," as St. Thomas teaches in ST I-II q. 20 a. 2, "Augustine says (Contra Mendac. vii), that "there are some actions which neither a good end nor a good will can make good."

    Yes some things are intrinsically evil and if you do them they are still evil. Still even in those cases that evil can be mitigated based on you knowledge.

    Go read the 1910 Catholic Encylopedia sometime on idolatry.

    QUOTE" No sin is mortal — i.e. debars man from attaining the end for which he was created — that is not committed with clear knowledge and free determination. But how many, or how few, of the countless millions of idolaters are, or have been, able to distinguish between the one Creator of all things and His creatures? and, having made the distinction, how many have been perverse enough to worship the creature in preference to the Creator? — It is reasonable, Christian, and charitable to suppose that the "false gods" of the heathen were, in their conscience, the only true God they knew, and that their worship being right in its intention, went up to the one true God with that of Jews and Christians to whom He had revealed Himself. "In the day when God shall judgethe secrets of men by Jesus Christ . . . . . the gentiles who have not the law, shall be judged by their conscience" (Romans 2:14-16). God, who wishes all men to be saved, and Christ, who died for all who sinned in Adam, would be frustrated in their merciful designs if the prince of this world were to carry off all idolaters.END

    Objectively idolatry is still evil. But going against your conscious(when you don't know any better) & failing to worship the gods you believe are True shows a conscious willing to do evil.

    This quote is pre-Vatican II in an Encylopedia that is mega bias toward Thomism and Scholaticism?

    What Can I say Epic FAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  114. Do I have to correct the rest of your bullshit Codg because a jackass can ask more questions than a wise man can answer?


    Clearly "It is on the basis of choosing 'what is understood to be good or evil' that the goodness or evil of our actions is determined".

    Is true as far as it goes. It is just another way of saying an erroneous conscious binds and you transgress when you go against it.

    Which means if you follow it you do something good in the mist of the evil.


    This is as bad as dguller a rational Atheist turned Gnu troll arguing that "Thomistic Principles demand we say divine persons/relations are really distinct from the divine essence and thus that contradicts Aquinas who argued the relations are not distinct from essence. Thus the Trinity has a contradiction."

    You are proof texting to attack the Pope just like any other funde or Gnu Atheist heretic!

    ReplyDelete
  115. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  116. BTW the context of Pope Francis's letter is belief and faith. Just like in the Catholic Encylopedia entry on idolatry.

    "It is on the basis of choosing 'what is understood to be good or evil' that the goodness or evil of our actions is determined".

    Would obviously not apply if someone thought sodomy was a good act.



    Choosing to commit sodomy would still be an evil choice.

    But even then under the circumstances we could argue the severity and culpability depend on the knowledge of the person to some extent.

    But the act of sodomy would remain intrinsically evil

    BTW here is the link to the CE on Idolatry that teaches the same thing Pope francis teaches.

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07636a.htm

    Did I mention it is from 1910? That is in the shadow of Vatican One.

    ReplyDelete
  117. With that we have to declare Ben the winner. Congratulations! Lovely parting gifts of time better spent will be awarded the other contestants.

    ReplyDelete
  118. Let us make this simple enough so even Codg can understand it.

    BTW here is Francis quote in context.

    "I now wish to address the three questions from your article of 7 August. I believe that in the first two questions, what interests you is to understand the attitude of the Church towards those who do not share faith in Jesus. Above all, you ask if the God of Christians forgives those who do not believe and who do not seek faith. Given the premise, and this is fundamental, that the mercy of God is limitless for those who turn to him with a sincere and contrite heart, the issue for the unbeliever lies in obeying his or her conscience. There is sin, even for those who have no faith, when conscience is not followed. Listening to and obeying conscience means deciding in the face of what is understood to be good or evil. It is on the basis of this choice that the goodness or evil of our actions is determined."

    Here is again the Quote from the 1910 Catholic Encylopedia in the entry under Idolatry..

    QUOTE" Considered in itself, idolatry is the greatest of mortal sins………………………….No sin is mortal — i.e. debars man from attaining the end for which he was created — that is not committed with clear knowledge and free determination. But how many, or how few, of the countless millions of idolaters are, or have been, able to distinguish between the one Creator of all things and His creatures? and, having made the distinction, how many have been perverse enough to worship the creature in preference to the Creator? — It is reasonable, Christian, and charitable to suppose that the "false gods" of the heathen were, in their conscience, the only true God they knew, and that their worship being right in its intention, went up to the one true God with that of Jews and Christians to whom He had revealed Himself. "In the day when God shall judgethe secrets of men by Jesus Christ . . . . . the gentiles who have not the law, shall be judged by their conscience" (Romans 2:14-16). God, who wishes all men to be saved, and Christ, who died for all who sinned in Adam, would be frustrated in their merciful designs if the prince of this world were to carry off all idolaters.END

    What is the difference? I see none. Or does Codg want to claim the traditional Catholic editors of the 1910 Catholic Encylopedia where speaking heresies against the faith?

    ReplyDelete
  119. Wow those 1910 editors of the Catholic Encylopedia!

    Who knew they where enacting Pope Francis' agenda about 103 years before Francis even became Pope!

    Subverting the Catholic Faith with the Spirit of Vatican II and everything!!!!

    So what is the problem with Pope Francis again? Or does Aquinas contradict the article on Idolatry in the Catholic Encylopedia too?

    ReplyDelete
  120. Methinks Nick might have been on to something.

    ReplyDelete
  121. "However, if you want a real bone to chew on, consider the Pope's (written!) false teaching about goodness and conscience."

    Which is identical to the 1910 Catholic Encylopedia teaching on goodness and conscience in their entry on Idolatry & Pope Francis statement concerned non-believers who where such threw no fault of their own.

    I can't get how some people can be so blind?

    Do you need to hate the Pope that much?

    It's the Radtrads who used to slag off JP2 all over again.

    Same shit different song.


    ReplyDelete
  122. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  123. This article is helpful, not the least because it includes Pope Francis's error among the "top ten" heresies of our day."

    Then you might as well claim the 1910 Catholic Encylopedia's entry on idolatry I have quoted till I am blue in the face also teaches the "top ten" heresies of our day.

    Or maybe neither Pope Francis or the 1910 Catholic Encylopedia are, when read in context, not teaching the Error: "To Act Well, We Just Need To Obey Our Conscience!"?

    Maybe both are really just trying to explain the circumstances and conditions under which non-believers by negation aka the invincibly ignorant non-believer might be saved if he follows the extra-ordinary grace given him?

    Well people? Or am I just going to be dismissed by as a member of the "Papal personality cult" by those who follow the "Cult of the Pope can do no right because we say so. Don't you get it?"?

    Well?

    DP

    Tell me you at least see what I am saying?

    ReplyDelete
  124. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Ben:

    I spelled out my concerns about a hundred comments back, and how you had misread them, but apparently it didn't warrant acknowledgment. It still hasn't. You fixated on the papal personality cult reference to the utter exclusion of what I had to say. One paragraph in a 3 part post of several thousand words, many of which praised the Pope. As in Part II, which you ignored completely in your diagnosis that I am a Francisco-phobe waltzing my way out of Catholicism.

    I think the thread has exhausted itself. It certainly has exhausted me.

    You probably ought to take a break from the next several posts.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  126. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  127. People you are killing me with the Misposts!

    So that was you DP? Well nice to have a name.

    > I spelled out my concerns about a hundred comments back, and how you had misread them, but apparently it didn't warrant acknowledgment.

    Largely because I got carried away arguing with others coming at me & my wife with their cheap shots and unjust attacks on the Pope. They keep sucking up all the oxygen.

    Codg has been a big disappointment with that lame & false accusation that the Pope teaches the "You just have to follow your conscious & nothing else"
    mishigoss.

    >It still hasn't. You fixated on the papal personality cult reference to the utter exclusion of what I had to say.

    It's your blog. It's on you to tell others to butt out & so that you talk to me.

    I would like to talk to you directly or not if you are not interested.

    But I will defend my spiritual Father when he is unjustly attacked as he was by others here.

    Make a rational fair criticism of the Pope I will likely let is slide. Thought I will still challenge it if I find a flaw in it's logic.

    That is the way I am wired. You want nice talk to Rosemarie who was driven off from all the unjust slander towards the Holy Father.


    >One paragraph in a 3 part post of several thousand words, many of which praised the Pope. As in Part II, which you ignored completely in your diagnosis that I am a Francisco-phobe waltzing my way out of Catholicism.

    I would like to deal with your posts but I am convinced that is not what you need. Like I said I can only offer you ruthless brutal logic that doesn't give a fig about your feelings of mistrust for Francis.

    Francis is not your problem. It's a spiritual one.

    >I think the thread has exhausted itself. It certainly has exhausted me.

    Yes it is toxic.

    >You probably ought to take a break from the next several posts.

    I would like that.

    But like I said your problem isn't with Pope Francis.

    It's something else & it can only be fought with prayer.

    I can pray for you but I can only offer you argument if you make One I think is wrong.

    That is the way it is.

    ReplyDelete
  128. I really must fix that stupid autospell.


    It's conscience not conscious.

    ReplyDelete
  129. DP

    What do you want me to say? As I read you original blog post over & over & over I have only one conclusion.

    There is a lot of argument by emotion and not too few logical and factual fallacies.

    I can't agree with any of it. I am a slave to my reason. I read what Deal Hudson said & I thought it was perfectly reasonable & see no rational reason for anyone to take offense by it.


    Your problem isn't the Pope. It a spiritual problem.

    Even if I disabuse you of every notion you have posted here I believe whatever is bugging you will still be there.

    So there really isn't anything else to say.

    ReplyDelete
  130. BenYachov: "Your problem isn't the Pope. It a spiritual problem...So there really isn't anything else to say."

    I certainly agree with the last sentence!

    1. In my experience, the damage in discussions among orthodox Catholics come when the subject effectively changes from WHAT is Catholic to WHO is Catholic--something no layman has a right to determine…not does a layman have the authority or competence to determine that another layman has a "spiritual problem."

    2. As a related matter, I find it interesting that so many who effectively insist that all criticisms of current authority are illicit use tactics not used by current authority. Granted, Pope Francis goes much farther down that road than his two predecessors--but even he does not talk like some of the words found above.

    3. In the secular realm, you find that the ad homenem attack--which we have known is a fallacy since the ancient Greeks…time to get a clue?--is simply the ONLY argument used. It is tragic to see it used within a Catholic conversation.

    My own take is that Pope Francis is dividing the body of Christ. The way to prove me wrong would be to address the issues using reason and Christian charity. I would LOVE to be wrong on this point.

    ReplyDelete
  131. @Stephen

    >not does a layman have the authority or competence to determine that another layman has a "spiritual problem."

    How is that any different then Deal Hutson saying the Pope is a Jesuit Theologian and we should just be quiet learn at his feet? Certain people here don't seem to like that?


    So selective invoking of clericalism is OK to shut down inconvenient arguments you disagree with?

    Good to know.

    >I find it interesting that so many who effectively insist that all criticisms of current authority are illicit...

    That is an interesting buzz word "effectively". Effectively only fair and competent criticism is licit.
    I certainly don't believe and neither does my wife as we both have said repeatedly all criticism of authority are illicit. After all I said JP2 wasn't a very good administrator as Pope.

    That is a criticism of authority is it not?

    Stephen the problem here is nobody is listening to anybody.

    >My own take is that Pope Francis is dividing the body of Christ.

    Believe whatever amuses you. But in this case the burden of proof is solely on you. To date I have found most if not all of the criticism against Pope Francis to be well just plain wrong. My reason can't give consent to believe any of it.

    I need evidence.

    >The way to prove me wrong would be to address the issues using reason and Christian charity. I would LOVE to be wrong on this point.

    This is where you get it backwards. You have to using reason and charity prove your assertions right.

    You are the accuser "the Pope is dividing the Church etc" thus traditionally and rationally the burden of proof is on you.

    Now I don't doubt your good will here but you must see where I could be right here?

    ReplyDelete
  132. @Stephen

    BTW spiritual things go beyond reason if I believe Aquinas(& I do).

    So I can't give a total rational argument as to why I believe this is the case here. It is more of an intuition I have come too with observation. Yeh I could be wrong & it is up to DP to evaluate wither to head me or not or find value in it or not.

    BTW if I am not competent to suggest there is a spiritual problem here what is your competence to judge or know Pope Francis is dividing the Church?

    Not that I am saying you can't but you can't be IMHO right in both instances.

    Just saying.

    Peace to you.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Lastly Stephen

    >WHAT is Catholic to WHO is Catholic--something no layman has a right to determine...

    I 100% agree with that but I still believe we can give each other spiritual advice.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Well, because I believe in the power of reason, so I'll try once more...

    Brian reads the following exchange between the Pope and an atheist:

    "The Pope comes in and shakes my hand, and we sit down. The Pope smiles and says: 'Some of my colleagues who know you told me that you will try to convert me.'

    "It's a joke, I tell him. My friends think it is you want to convert me.
    He smiles again and replies: 'Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense.'

    Brian then concludes: It appears that from this context the Pope believes that proselytism includes having coversations oriented toward converting the other. This makes sense because proselytism is often defined as the act of attempting to convert people to another religion or ideology.

    Ben then responds: "Nothing you have written is even remotely coherent... I can read unlike some of us. Francis didn't literally say any of this in the interview. Brian is reading this concept into it...Sorry I don't do argument by innuendo or conspiracy theory. I need empirical fact here. Otherwise you are wasting my time."

    Ben then helpfully provides direct quotations from the text to show us what proselytism really means: "Proselytism is no more moral then bribing people with money to 'convert'... I can't define proselytism but I know it when I see it...the idiot who starts PREACHING aloud to a captive audience in the subway...this is clearly proselytism...this is forcing yourself on someone & making the gospel look obnoxious."

    Gosh, thanks Ben! Now when I go back and look at the context of the interview (afterall, as you say, I can't read!), I can see clearly that, when the Pope condemned proselytism, he wasn't referring back to the immediately preceding exchange about conversations oriented toward conversion! Instead, as you expertly discerned (as you say, Thomas Aquinas taught you to reason!), he was referring to something akin to bribing people and fanatics preaching to captive audiences!

    Ben, even with, as you say, my lack of critcal thinking, even I can see how your interpretation lives up to your high standards of direct quotation and empirical fact! Why, your definition of proselytism is right there in the text! How could I have missed it? I owe you a debt of gratitude!

    But, then again, just for kicks, maybe Dale could post the section of the interview on proselytism. And then, he could ask his readers (at least those who know how! Gosh, not all of us had Aquinas as a teacher!) whether the Pope uses it to refer to conversations intent on conversion, or forcing yourself on a captive audience and bribery.

    Let me help us get started! Immediately before the Pope condems proselytism, I count two instances of "try to (or want to) convert". Now lets look for your ideas...hmmm...help me out here Ben!

    - Brian

    ReplyDelete
  135. Brian

    Benedict XVI and many Church authorities previous to him have condemned "proselytism" as a negative morally illegitimate bastardized method of trying to convert others to the Faith.

    You dogmatically insist "Proselytism" is just another word for evangelize.

    The burden of Proof is on you to show the Church accepts that terminology.

    So far you have failed as badly as Codg' "argument" regarding Francis' teachings on conscience.

    My wife has given much documentation. Your response it simply to repeat yourself.

    It is clear as Crystal Pope Francis in his original interview and follow up response found on the Vatican website doesn't want to try to convert an Atheist via proselytism.

    Which is too me the only natural meaning of his praise "try to convert".

    You are repeating the same shit & you refuse to accept the burden of proof.

    You are also sucking up the oxygen repeating this same lame argument both myself and my wife have destroyed.

    Get over it.

    ReplyDelete
  136. DP,

    You want me to stop responding?

    Call off the dogs or pull a Mark Shea and Ban me.

    I don't care what you do.

    ReplyDelete
  137. BTW for the record I don't consider Stephen a "dog".

    ReplyDelete
  138. J

    I remember you back on the Envoy blog.

    Do you still think I was "slandering" Bishop Williamson for calling him a holocaust denier?

    ReplyDelete
  139. Dude, why don't you take the advice you just gave Dale and walk away on your own. I mean when you start responding to your own comments, it might be a sign that you should perhaps read a book, watch some tv, or just, you know, do something else.

    ReplyDelete
  140. >Dude, why don't you take the advice you just gave Dale and walk away on your own.

    I have trouble backing down. It is a major character flaw on my part I agree.

    >I mean when you start responding to your own comments, it might be a sign that you should perhaps read a book, watch some tv, or just, you know, do something else.

    I can't argue with you here.

    But here is the thing...people like yourself could just stop addressing me & or responding to me and egging me on.

    Ignore me & talk about something else & I will go away.

    You could also give this advice of walking awayt to others besides me to show you are fair.

    Just some thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  141. They aren't my dogs. I don't have all day to police this bullshit.

    The Comments are now CLOSED.

    ReplyDelete
  142. And, for future reference, I don't see any call for anyone to drag Mark Shea into these sorts of things. I like the guy, and if there's a problem with him...take it up with him.

    ReplyDelete