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The Poor Misunderstood Pope?

Nov 21st 2013 new
Excerpts .Full story here www.newoxfordreview.org
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The Poor Misunderstood Pope?
(New Oxford Review Nov.2013)


"So, has Pope Francis been misunderstood? In order to answer this question, we have to be able to answer a more fundamental question: What is the Pope saying? The answer to which is: We dont know. Even worse, at this point: We cant know. But it is significant that Pope Francis is saying many ambiguous things with a lot of heartfelt emotion. This Pope evidently does not see it as his role to be clear, to teach the truth in a way that all can understand by a simple appraisal of his message. The irony is that he uses many words to say very little. Because his words are consistently unclear, they are by that fact empty rhetoric. The Pope seems to think that he ought to be a rhetorician more than a teacher. How sad! One could argue that a teacher may employ rhetoric, but only in service of the truth. When the truth itself becomes obscured, then the teacher is no longer doing his duty well. If a teacher purposely obscures the truth, he is abandoning his duty."

"Franciss words tell us that he is no Benedict XVI, no John Paul II. There have often been popes who changed the direction or emphasis of their predecessors: Leo XIII did not issue any syllabus of errors, in contrast to Pius IX before him and Pius X after him, and he was generally more open to the world in a positive way. But there were no morally or doctrinally ambiguous statements coming from the mouth of Leo XIII. He did not implicitly correct the example and teachings of the holy Pope he succeeded. He emphasized different truths than his immediate predecessor but, like him, he taught the truth clearly."

"Pope Francis must keep close track of his change of emphasis. He risks acting the part of the parish priest who uses vacuous platitudes and grand gestures in an attempt to win over disgruntled, immoral, heretical parishioners. The recent history of the post-Vatican II Church shows that this strategy never works. Time and again we have witnessed that churches do not fill up when doctrine is watered down; eventually the church empties, perhaps to be abandoned entirely. If Pope Francis does not perceive this, then there will be many more sorrows that the Church will have to endure. But if he does know this, and he persists in his ambiguity nonetheless, the sorrows will be even greater."
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Eventually people get tired of authoritarianism. My authoritarian and quick manner of making decisions [as a Jesuit superior] led me to have serious problems and to be accused of being ultraconservative. But I have never been a right-winger.
Pope Francis on his experience in Church government (America, Sept. 30)


Posted by: MGRagan
November 20, 2013 07:15 AM EST

In my opinion, this is a superb analysis of what Pope Francis has said and done thus far. I agree that it is damaging to the faithful and the Church in general.
Pope Francis thinks like most liberals do. But Jesus wasn't a liberal. He loved the poor and He healed the sick but He reserved His harshest words for those who say one thing and do another and give scandal to the innocent. The hierarchy is full of people like that. Catholic politics is full of people like that, including a powerful gay lobby that is wreaking havoc with the culture. But according to the pope, we are not to judge. Jesus did. He spoke of fire and brimstone and millstones for those who act this way. I thought the Holy Father was His voice here on earth. Apparently not. And this is not new. Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II certainly were not as ambiguous as this pope, but they too did little or nothing to stem the flow of Catholics leaving the Church or to discipline the clergy who were consistently giving grave scandal or covering it up. In many instances, members of the hierarchy were rewarded for their evil deeds. The Church has been in big trouble for a long time.
Christ promised He would never abandon His Church. Faithful Catholics must cling to that for now. In the end, He will triumph.



Nov 21st 2013 new
"I want to tell you something. What is it that I expect as a consequence of World Youth Day? I want a mess. We knew that in Rio there would be great disorder, but I want trouble in the dioceses!" he said, speaking off the cuff in his native Spanish.

There have been some very strange comments by the Holy Father which are controversial and can mean anything?
Nov 21st 2013 new
The Church is indefectible. But is the election of a pope indefectible?

Is a pope chosen by the will of the cardinals, or by the will of the cardinals as influenced by the Holy Spirit, as the text of the Bible was produced not merely out of the wills of its respective writers but out of their wills as influenced by the Holy Spirit?

Isn't the Holy Spirit in its activities concerning the Church the identical process of Christ never abandoning his Church?

Was the election of Pope Francis a mistake? Was the election of John Paul I a mistake? Why have a pope who only serves 30 days? Perhaps critics ought to presume first that when a pope does something which they find difficult to understand, the gap lies between them and the pope, ie., between them and the Spirit who always does things that are true. The gap is not necessarily between the pope and the Spirit of Truth. The presumption may be relaxed and overturned in the passage of time but to query the pope five minutes after he has done something seems to be jumping the gun.

The hard-won democratic right to criticise your president, governor, senator, congressman, supreme court justice, etc. etc. five minutes after he or she has said or done something is sustained by the assurance that nothing they do is explicitly, or by prudent assumption, infallible or possibly so. Secular political philosophy does not contain anything about infallibility or indefectibility. The will of the majority prevails, but the majority extends concessions to the opinions of the minority because that's the only way to make things work in the long run. Otherwise, there will be civil war. Religious philosophy is different. Catholic religious philosophy explicitly allows for infallibility and indefectibility and for a state of self-excommunication if you refuse to honour either.

So you or I don't understand what Francis is saying? All that means is that we don't understand. It doesn't mean he's wrong. For that, we have to wait and see. It might be helpful to realise that what we hear him say and what the people whom he is trying to reach hear him say may be quite different things, and the more important of the two, for the moment, anyway, is the latter. We want them to like what they hear him say because why would they move towards him otherwise?










Nov 21st 2013 new
(quote) Bernard-2709 said:   "So, has Pope Francis been misunderstood? In order to answer this question, we have to be able to answer a more fundamental question: What is the Pope saying? The answer to which is: We dont know. Even worse, at this point: We cant know. But it is significant that Pope Francis is saying many ambiguous things with a lot of heartfelt emotion.
What is the Pope saying? That is what the problem is. Is 1+1=2 or it could be 3?

"I think that Pope is saying......?" should not be a regular standing comment by Catholics. If the teacher is teaching and the students do not know what he is teaching it is ineffective no matter how much heatfelt emotion is attached to it.


Nov 21st 2013 new
(quote) Gabor-19025 said: What is the Pope saying? That is what the problem is. Is 1+1=2 or it could be 3?

"I think that Pope is saying......?" should not be a regular standing comment by Catholics. If the teacher is teaching and the students do not know what he is teaching it is ineffective no matter how much heatfelt emotion is attached to it.


True. But it is not always the teacher's fault the instruction is ineffective: sometimes some of the students simply don't want to learn.

There are some who appear to be looking for any excuse to criticize him and if they truly don't understand it is often for lack of making even the slightest effort.

Sadly, some who see themselves as traditionalists are in some ways just as, if not more, modernist than those they criticize.

Nov 21st 2013 new
To use my example above here is the meaning of "mess'

  1. a dirty or untidy state of things or of a place.
  2. "she made a mess of the kitchen"
  3. synonyms:untidiness, disorder, disarray, clutter, heap, shambles, litter, tangle, jumble, muddle, mishmash, chaos, confusion, disorganization, turmoil; More
    informalmuck, fright, sight;
    informaldog's dinner/breakfast, tip
    "please clear up the mess in the kitchen"
  1. a thing or collection of things causing a dirty or untidy state.
    "she replaced the jug and mopped up the mess"
  • a person who is dirty or untidy.
    "I look a mess"
  • used euphemistically to refer to the excrement of a domestic animal.
    "dog mess"
    synonyms:excrement, dung, muck, faeces, excreta, dirt More
    "there was cat mess all over the room"
    1. 2.
    1. a situation that is confused and full of problems.
    2. "the economy is still in a terrible mess"
  • Nov 21st 2013 new
    (quote) Gabor-19025 said: To use my example above here is the meaning of "mess'

    a dirty or untidy state of things or of a place."she made a mess of the kitchen"synonyms:untidiness, disorder, disarray, clutter, heap, shambles, litter, tangle, jumble, muddle, mishmash, chaos, confusion, disorganization, turmoil; Moreinformalmuck, fright, sight; informaldog's dinner/breakfast, tip "please clear up the mess in the kitchen"a thing or collection of things causing a dirty or untidy state."she replaced the jug and mopped up the mess"a person who is dirty or untidy."I look a mess"used euphemistically to refer to the excrement of a domestic animal."dog mess"synonyms:excrement, dung, muck, faeces, excreta, dirt More"there was cat mess all over the room"2. a situation that is confused and full of problems."the economy is still in a terrible mess"synonyms:plight, predicament, emergency, tight spot, tight corner, difficulty, straits, trouble, quandary, dilemma, problem, muddle, mix-up, confusion, complication, imbroglio, entanglement, mire;
    Thank you for providing an example of my point.

    How much effort did you put into trying to understand and explain what the Holy Father meant as opposed to criticizing his statement?

    Nov 21st 2013 new
    Jerry,

    I cannot understand why the Holy Father wants the Church to be a mess? He needs to choose his words a little more carefully. I don't know what he meant and giving him the benefit of the doubt he could have meant something positive but the overwhelming ambiguity of many of his statements and words is a fact rather than fiction.
    Nov 21st 2013 new

    I actually agree with Roystan's line of thinking on this. It is pretty depressing when the Pope gets the same treatment as a politician, with unscrupulous journalists out for "the big scoop" feeding the enemies of the person in the position of power by hanging on words that can be easily twisted and contorted and, yes, taken out of context, removed from surrounding words and phrases, or misconstrued or mistranslated. And Pope Francis is not the only recent victim of this sort of treatment, either. Pope Benedict XVI got the same thing, basically being accused of stirring up anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic sentiment, until he got so fed up with the garbage of being treated like a politician that he quit. His premature exit was a bit of a shame too, as he was actually starting to roll up his sleeves to clean up the mess of the abuse scandals.

    But in this day and age we don't let anyone do their job. There has to be a smear campaign, followed by drumming the person out of their job, because that's how politics works. Except the Pope isn't a politician.

    Nov 21st 2013 new
    (quote) Roystan-340472 said: The Church is indefectible. But is the election of a pope indefectible?

    Is a pope chosen by the will of the cardinals, or by the will of the cardinals as influenced by the Holy Spirit, as the text of the Bible was produced not merely out of the wills of its respective writers but out of their wills as influenced by the Holy Spirit?

    Isn't the Holy Spirit in its activities concerning the Church the identical process of Christ never abandoning his Church?

    Was the election of Pope Francis a mistake? Was the election of John Paul I a mistake? Why have a pope who only serves 30 days? Perhaps critics ought to presume first that when a pope does something which they find difficult to understand, the gap lies between them and the pope, ie., between them and the Spirit who always does things that are true. The gap is not necessarily between the pope and the Spirit of Truth. The presumption may be relaxed and overturned in the passage of time but to query the pope five minutes after he has done something seems to be jumping the gun.

    The hard-won democratic right to criticise your president, governor, senator, congressman, supreme court justice, etc. etc. five minutes after he or she has said or done something is sustained by the assurance that nothing they do is explicitly, or by prudent assumption, infallible or possibly so. Secular political philosophy does not contain anything about infallibility or indefectibility. The will of the majority prevails, but the majority extends concessions to the opinions of the minority because that's the only way to make things work in the long run. Otherwise, there will be civil war. Religious philosophy is different. Catholic religious philosophy explicitly allows for infallibility and indefectibility and for a state of self-excommunication if you refuse to honour either.

    So you or I don't understand what Francis is saying? All that means is that we don't understand. It doesn't mean he's wrong. For that, we have to wait and see. It might be helpful to realise that what we hear him say and what the people whom he is trying to reach hear him say may be quite different things, and the more important of the two, for the moment, anyway, is the latter. We want them to like what they hear him say because why would they move towards him otherwise?










    Excellent post! thumbsup

    Quite frankly, when it pertains to the Pope, I would only rely on the Vatican website, the official website of the Pontiff, for news about the Pontiff. pope http://www.vatican.va.
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