Ecce Agnus Dei!
Long live the Pope! His praises sound Again and yet again: His rule is over space and time: His throne the heart of men: All hail! The Shepherd Pope of Rome, The theme of loving song: Let all the earth his glory sing And heav’n the strain prolong.
Thanks be to God, papal interviews are not Magisterial. If only every Catholic actually KNEW that. Meanwhile, once again the Vatican is "clarifying" a troubling interview from a pope who cannot keep from upsetting educated Catholics on a daily basis.Is this really the direction we need for the papacy?
The fact that his interviews are not Magisterial (which I assume we all knew) is not much comfort. This only creates a kind of cognitive dissonance that confuses the doctrinally naive and annoys the rest of us. It is the same kind of cognitive dissonance we experience when Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi openly receive from shameless Priests who have not the courage of their supposed convictions...or like when Obammy mentions the Constitution, which I doubt he has ever read or gives a hoot about.
Right, the pope's interviews are not magisterial... they are much more influential.
Dear Father McDonald:I have not been able to read the blog for the past couple of days due to the press of work-related commitments but I am now caught up.I appreciate your valiant efforts to defend Pope Francis – I really do – but I wonder whether you are tilting at windmills. It seems quite plain to me that most of the commentators on the blog simply have it in for this Pope, no matter what you say. I find it very sad, but I can’t say that I am surprised.Yes, I read the interview too. And yes, you can read it in a fault finding way if you want to (and so many here clearly want to), as we have discussed before. But you can also read it more charitably so as not to have all the negative connotations and meanings that so many apparently find in the Pope’s words.Trying charitably to understand why others read the Pope’s words so negatively, I imagine it is because of fear. What is all that about? “Progressive” Catholics are afraid of “traditionalists” and traditionalists are afraid of progressives and now, it seems, the Pope himself. Personally, I suspect that all this fear is what Pope Francis is trying to overcome. It seems to me that he is trying to get Catholics to stop being afraid of each other and to take us all to a better place in our relations with one another within the Church and in our relations with those outside the Church, even atheists for God’s sake. I hope he succeeds and will try to do my tiny part in my own tiny sphere to assist in ways that seem appropriate as situations and opportunities present themselves. And I would hope that we could all say this.
Anon 2, No one "has it in" for this Pope. We can all read and are merely reacting to what he said. There are some highly intelligent, well-educated and devout people on this blog who are extremely well-versed in Liturgics, dogma, and Church history, as well as Papal history. I do not believe their reactions are merely knee-jerk or ill considered observations based upon "fear." In any case, if what you say is correct regarding the Pope's motivations and views, he could have avoided all this by using precise language, careful wording, and by exercising extreme caution with the media...all of which I would expect from someone as highly educated and presumably world-wise as the Pope is said to be. I expect those of us who have formed negative opinions are prayerfully waiting and hoping to be proven wrong. I certainly am.
That sounds very good, Gene, but I have a hard time squaring it with many of your comments, including those in the thread on the latest interview.
I think it squares just fine with my comments. They are simply reactions (somewhat satirical) to what the Pope has said. They certainly do not imply that I "have it in" for the Pope.
Okay, Gene, forget the “have it in” if you want, although I do think all this negativity has the effect, and it some cases, the intent of hurting his pontificate. But I cannot easily square this:“I expect those of us who have formed negative opinions are prayerfully waiting and hoping to be proven wrong. I certainly am.”With this:“So, the Pope continues in his progressivist ways. I think we know what to expect.”Or this:“We are in for a long and dark pontificate...”You said both of these things in the thread on the latest interview. Perhaps you can explain how they are consistent with “prayerfully waiting and hoping to be proven wrong.” I can’t see much hope in them, or prayer for that matter.I am not trying to pick a fight with you, just alert you to the effect your words may have on readers. Of course, I tried to read them charitably as proceeding from fear but you reject that.
Anon 2, I see no conflict between my statements and my hoping I am proven wrong. As long as there is no indication that I am mistaken, I will continue to react and comment as I have."All this negativity" has been brought about by the Pope's apparently careless statements. If they are not merely careless, then they are provocative. I find that disturbing. You, as a closet lib, probably do not find that disturbing.Listen, there were not dozens of Catholic writers, journalists, religious observers, and devout lay persons just waiting in the wings, drooling and gnashing their teeth in anticipatory glee, eager to attack the Pope. Many of these people, some on this blog, are well-educated in Liturgy, theology, and dogma and have a long history of following the Papacy and its developments over the years. They are not just cynical, reflexively negative reactionaries. If such a significant number of these people, who know more than you and I about these matters, are expressing concern and outrage I find that significant and a red flag.Now, I know there are those who feel it is their duty in life to try to put a positive twist on any and every problem or disaster...the "peace in our time" crowd. They run around with rictus grins on their faces and write puerile and trite little pep talks. These people are part of the problem. Others are just in plain denial. I am reminded of the story of the optimist who fell from a 50 story building. On the way down, he passed an open window from which someone hollered, "How are you?" He yelled back, 'So far, so good."
"So, the Pope continues in his progressivist ways. I think we know what to expect. We are in for a long and dark pontificate. [But,] I expect those of us who have formed negative opinions are prayerfully waiting and hoping to be proven wrong. I certainly am."Does this help you to read the comments charitably?
Yes, Anonymous, it does.
Gene: Once again you are reduced to name calling when you refer to me as a “closet lib.”So, this is how we are going to proceed from now on. I will not waste my time or that of other readers by responding to any of your comments in which you engage in such name calling other than to point out the name calling. I have had enough of your nonsense.
Anon 2, Ask yourself why I have that impression of you.
Gene: No doubt it is because I voted for Obama. Although that was futile in Georgia, I voted my conscience after extensive prudential deliberation in accordance with the USCCB guidelines in “Faithful Citizenship.”I realize that you cannot wrap your mind around the notion that, as a matter of prudential calculation of all relevant factors, someone of conservative disposition could have voted for Obama (even though he voted for George W Bush -- the first time anyway, until he displayed his true colors and utter incompetence by invading Iraq in his first term as he did later by destroying the world economy in his second) and that you do not understand the true nature of conservatism, the term having been hijacked by those who are anything but, so I could understand why you have that impression (Notice that I am not arguing that Obama himself is a conservative).What I will not accept, however, is that you continue to use such labels for cheap rhetorical effect in true Fox News like fashion, despite my rejection of them and attempted explanations to help you understand my reasoning, and thus in effect call me a liar at worst and deluded at best. Your failure to understand my explanations does not make me a liar or deluded, any more than your failure to understand what the Pope is really saying makes him a progressive or whatever other label de jour strikes your fancy. And, as I said, if you persist in using such “name calling” labels in a comment directed to me, I will not respond to that comment other than to call you out on the name calling. If, on the other hand, you choose to have an adult conversation on the merits, I will respond on the merits. I am hardly alone on this blog in objecting to your behavior in this respect. Others must decide how they will deal with it. I have told you how I will.
Well, let's see, yeah...voting for Obama might be one dead give away. I see you now also have it in for FOX News...LOL! No one needs to label you...you have done a fine job of it yourself. I don't believe you are lying...except to yourself...which means you are deluded. You are a very sad example of why this country has been weakened in every aspect and why it continues to be trashed by a cabal of angry, racist, anti-Western human refuse. I hope that you and others like you bear a heavy burden of the disaster this administration is bringing about. You wanted it...none deserve it more. Now, go eat your milque toast.
Gene: In a doubtless futile attempt to get you to face facts, I will send you the following link about prominent conservatives who voted for Obama in 2008 and who did so again in 2012. I could send you much more on conservative support for Obama if you like. However, I doubt that you will bother to read even this but I hope I am wrong (BTW please note the correct context for using the word “hope” here – to qualify a tentative statement rather than a definitive one):http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/04/many-2008-conservative-obama-backers-or-obamacons-will-stay-true.htmlI should note that many, but certainly not all, of these so-called “Obamacons” were libertarians, which I am not. I am, however, a “conservative,” who as such abhors the fanatical ideology that has taken over the Republican Party.As for FOX News, what I said was perfectly appropriate since they are the ones using cheap rhetorical tricks to attack “liberals.” MSNBC, of course, does it to attack “conservatives.” But we weren’t talking about them.
Anon 2, "Conservative Obama backers" are morons. I care nothing about them and they deserve the very worst that ensues from their stupid choices. Libertarians border on being anarchists. I mistrust them, as well.
PS I should have said I "distrust" Libertarians instead of "mistrust." However, any trust placed in them would certainly be mistrust.I do not view the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party as fanatics. They are merely fed up conservatives who are tired of ball-less RINO's who are drunk on power and the DC mindset and who do not represent the values they were elected to promote. Many of those you call fanatics are simply good citizens who remember what America used to be. So, I would like to see a Cruz/Palin ticket, or a Cruz/Perry ticket...or a Perry/Palin ticket. Let's make Bork Attorney General, fill the Supreme Court with strict constructionists, and make Ann Coulter Press Secretary. Rubio could be Sec of State. Abolish HUD, the NEA, and the Department of Education. Put the 101st on the border and build a real fence. See where I'm comin' from? That just makes you crazy, doesn't it? LOL!!!!
PS I think Bork is dead. Make Coulter Attorney General (for the entertainment value if nothing else) and John Bolton Secretary of State. Walter Williams could be Press Secretary.
(1) “Abolish HUD, the NEA, and the Department of Education.”Well, at least you can remember what you want to abolish.(2) “Many of those you call fanatics are simply good citizens who remember what America used to be.”When exactly? Do they realize they are being manipulated?(3) “So, I would like to see . . . That just makes you crazy, doesn't it? LOL!!!!” No, it just makes you crazy. LOL!!!!
I missed your "name calling" comment, Gene. As I said, I refuse to respond to such comments except to call you out on the name calling and labeling.You say: “‘Conservative Obama backers’ are morons.” Readers take note: Faced with the undeniable truth that some Obama supporters were in fact "conservatives" and not “liberals,” and thus with the inefficacy of that particular slur against me, Gene simply switches to another slur: “morons.” This is not adult argument. Nor does it display any redeeming wit. It is simply playground name calling unworthy of a man of Gene's obvious intelligence.
And you think you are not being manipulated? Some things are worthy only of "playground name calling."
Of course I am being manipulated. We all are. The difference is that I am aware of it and therefore on my guard against it. That doesn’t mean I will always succeed in being able to resist it. But isn’t it better to be aware of it than not? In fact, isn’t it rather like, indeed allied to, the Socratic insight that it is better to be aware of one’s ignorance than not?The playground bully or other social misfit can always be expected to rationalize his behavior. The choice the rest of us have is to put up with it or to shun him. To the extent you continue to engage in playground tactics with me, I have told you that I will choose the latter course from now on. To the extent you continue to engage in adult conversation with me, as I know full well you can, I will reciprocate in kind.
Yawn. Political talk makes me realize just how outside the mainstream my views really are.And then I see on Huffington Post something about supposed "far rightists" in Congress. And then Anon2 calls some Republicans "fanatics"...Which makes me think Americans of all sorts have lost their minds in being able to tell the difference in the moderate left/right and the far right/left.
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