UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! Another article reminding heterodox traditionalists to cool their jets. You can read the whole article at its source The Daily Beast, HERE! But here is a good pieice of advice from the same article and source:
It’s almost as if the Catholic Church was recently baptized in a vat
of irony: so-called traditionalists—the same people who insisted that
liberals fall in line behind John Paul II and Benedict XVI—are
petulantly calling for schism and for bucking Church hierarchy. What
makes it even more absurd: Francis isn’t all that liberal. He cares
profoundly and deeply about the poor, but he rarely speaks about
supporting women, holds the line on contraception and abortion, and is
only selectively pro-environment. In keeping with official Church
teaching he believes in the reality of evolution, and in keeping with
official Church teaching he believes in the power of exorcism. The Pope
is Catholic, go figure.
Traditionalists appear to be buying into the media spin about which they themselves complain. In doing so they are actually bolstering Francis’s lib credentials. Perhaps the hawks should settle down, stop drinking the libertine media Kool-Aid they’ve been protesting about for so long, and act like the pro-hierarchy traditionalists they claim to be.
BACK TO THE ORIGINAL POST:
This is from Sunday's morning's edition of CRUX by John Allen. You can read the full article HERE, but this is the part everyone here should read and take to heart, especially my right leaning heterodox, pseudo-protestant, pseudo-eastern orthodox readers:
Francis and evolution
Earlier this week, there was a brief media frenzy over comments Pope Francis made about science and the theory of evolution.
Saying that God does not wave a “magic wand” but rather allows the
universe to unfold according to its own laws, the pope said on Monday
that “the evolution of nature does not conflict with the notion of
creation, because evolution presupposes the existence of creatures which
The line initially was styled in some quarters as a breathtaking departure with Catholic tradition, which of course it wasn’t.
Other commentators already have pointed out how papal teaching since
at least the 1950s consistently has asserted there’s no conflict between
evolution and creation. In 2007, for instance, Benedict XVI famously
called it “absurd” to posit a contradiction between the two.
Granted, there was brief spell of confusion in 2005 when Cardinal
Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria, authored an opinion piece for
The New York Times in which he appeared to endorse intelligent design.
Some wondered if the Catholic Church was moving closer to a
fundamentalist insistence on reading the Bible literally, and thus
rejecting scientific accounts of the development of species.
Schönborn, however, quickly made it clear that what he was objecting
to wasn’t evolution as a scientific theory, but rather “evolutionism,”
meaning a philosophical position that allows no room for God in
accounting for the origins of the universe or of life.
That’s basically the standard Catholic line: Yes to evolution as a
way of explaining how species change over time, no to ratcheting
evolution up into a proof of atheism.
In other words, what Francis said on Monday represented no novelty.
How, then, do we explain the 24-hour period in which his comments were
widely described as historic?
First, when it comes to framing the activity of this pope, we have a
problem of narrative. Francis has been cast by the media as a maverick
who’s turning Catholicism on its ear, and thus, far too often,
everything he says or does is understood through that filter. It all has
to be revolutionary, even when it clearly isn’t.
Second, we have a problem of context. Because Francis has strong
appeal even in secular circles with little background in religion, many
people are now paying attention to a pope for the first time. They tend
to assume everything is happening for the first time under Francis, with
no sense of how it fits into the bigger picture of Catholic teaching
and tradition, to say nothing of the records of other recent popes.
That’s an especially galling omission in this case, given the actual
occasion for Francis’ remarks: The unveiling of a bronze bust honoring
Benedict XVI by the Pontifical Academy for Sciences, an event designed
precisely to recognize the various ways in which Benedict supported and
encouraged scientific inquiry.
In a tribute to his predecessor, Francis called Benedict a “great pope.”
Francis praised “the strength and penetrating quality of his
intelligence, his important contribution to theology, his love for the
Church and for human beings, and his virtue and religious character.”
“Far from dissipating with the passage of time,” Francis said,
Benedict’s spirit “will seem ever greater and more powerful in each
In other words, if ever there was a time when styling one pope’s
words as a break with another was almost self-parodying, this was it.
Narrative and context, however, are always powerful forces in shaping
how people understand the world. As a result, the evolution fracas is
unlikely to be the last time they skew understanding of this pope.
The bottom line when it comes to commentary on anything Francis does, therefore, is caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.
Trying to pigeonhole the pope
Depending on one’s point of view, Francis continues to be either a
frustratingly enigmatic figure who seems to cut in one direction and
then another almost randomly, or an original thinker charmingly
impossible to pigeonhole according to the usual ideological categories.
Whatever the case, it’s a fact that, as soon as you think you have him figured out, the picture seems to change.
Inés San Martín of Crux, for instance, had a piece earlier this week
about two recent speeches by Francis that created very different
impressions of his politics.
One featured a strong defense of traditional marriage, making the
pope seem like a tough conservative, while the other was a stirring plea
for land, work, and housing for the poor that came off as remarkably
Something similar unfolded this week with regard to the pope’s
attitude toward Opus Dei, the Catholic group founded by St. Josemaría
Escrivá that has a strong presence in parts of the pontiff’s native
Latin America, and that’s perceived by most people as fairly
Shortly after his election, Francis green-lighted the beatification
of Don Alvaro Del Portillo, Escrivá’s successor as the leader of Opus
Dei, which recently took place in a massive Madrid ceremony.
I wrote then that Francis actually sees a good deal to like about
Opus Dei, adding that the future pope spent time in prayer before
Escrivá’s tomb during a 2003 trip to Rome and that he knew several Opus
Dei people in Argentina who worked in the villas miserias, the “villas
of misery,” meaning the vast slums that ring Buenos Aires.
Yet, at around the same time Portillo was moving closer to sainthood,
Francis also removed a bishop in Paraguay — Opus Dei member Rogelio
Ricardo Livieres Plano — from the small diocese of Ciudad del Este.
This week he did something similar, accepting the resignation of
Archbishop Juan Antonio Ugarte Pérez of Cuzco in Peru and replacing him
with Richard Daniel Alarcón Urrutia, previously the bishop of Tarma.
Ugarte is an Opus Dei member who over the years has been a staunch
ally of Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne of Lima, a fellow Opus Dei
prelate who’s a lightning rod in Peru for his strong conservative
Alarcón, by way of contrast, is known for voting against Cipriani on
most matters that have come before Peru’s bishops’ conference, meaning
that the appointment in Cuzco marks a change in direction and something
of a setback for the Opus Dei bloc within the Peruvian conference.
Yet, on the inevitable other hand, Francis also appointed two Opus
Dei clergy as bishops earlier this month: Spanish Archbishop Celso Morga
Iruzubieta to the archdiocese of Mérida-Badajoz, and Brazilian Levi
Bonatto as the auxiliary bishop of Goiânia. Such moves are traditionally
seen as signs of favor.
So, which is it? Is Francis a surprisingly conservative figure who
admires Escrivá and Opus Dei, or is he a progressive bent on rolling
back Opus Dei’s influence by reducing its footprint in the hierarchy?
Perhaps the flaw in framing the question about Francis that way is
the assumption that the answer must be either/or. In truth, at this
stage the only answer the evidence would actually seem to support is,