Wednesday, November 4, 2015


This sign should indicate any news outlet:

This is a headline on an article that shows how the media is manipulating us into believing that the culprits with the Vati-Leaks II episode are rigid conservative, traditionalists who hate Pope Francis and his liberalizing agenda. Isn't this how you would read this headline?:

Understanding the latest Vatican scandal: A clash of tradition against reform

Actually the headline above is for an interview which puts the lie of the headline to rest. It is actually a good, straightforward article/interview. It is from Canada's National Post and the interview is by the  National Post’s Joseph Brean  who spoke with John L. Allen, Jr., a leading American Vatican watcher and author of papal biographies, about the latest Vatileaks scandal. You can read the full article HERE.

But the last question nips the lie of the headline in the bud:

Q: Does this represent the clash of tradition against reform?

A: (John Allen) To some extent, yes, with the odd twist that the reformers and traditionalists on money in the Vatican are not the reformers and traditionalists on doctrine. The guy who’s in charge of this reform, an Australian cardinal by the name of George Pell, on virtually any political or theological issue you could name, would come off as a hyper-traditionalist, a very strong conservative. And yet, on this stuff, he clearly is the reformer facing off against elements of the Vatican’s old guard.

My final comments: The Vati-leaks II episode seems to want to discredit not only the Pope, but also Cardinal Pell. When it comes to cleaning up the mess that is the curia's financial issues, especially the bank, Pope Francis is the man and for the most part why he was elected to the papacy by the cardinals. Given the waste in the Vatican, Pope Francis' first words as pope, that he wants a poor Church had double meanings and those in the Vatican knew it! He has the will to clean it up and the guts. So does Cardinal Pell, Pope Francis' handpicked henchman--this is a good reform and liberalizing the Vatican's money and bookkeeping practices and making it transparent is a wonderful liberalization and I am in favor of it completely. All of us should be!

But the other scandal is the one that is doctrinal and of concern to those who are faithful, orthodox Catholics. 

Oddly enough, Cardinal Pell is the ring leader of the orthodox concern. But there is no scandal or skulduggery in what Cardinal Pell organized during or before the Synod on the family and marriage.

He was able to get about 13 cardinals to sign a letter of concern that was given to Pope Francis concerning some skulduggery with the synod last year and perhaps this year, that things were rigged in favor of heterodoxy.

This should have been a private letter to the pope, but someone leaked it? Who? The orthodox, faithful Catholics in the curia? I think not--it was the heterodox and they did it to humiliate poor old Cardinal Pell on this front too. One thinks that it might be the same group that is opposing Pell and the Pope on financial reforms in the Vatican.

I am not even sure you can call these people who are so immoral and unethical heterodox. I think they have long since abandoned the authentic Catholic faith in particular and Christianity in general. They are criminals who are greedy and see in their positions in the Vatican a sugar daddy. It really is disgusting and one thinks that perhaps not only reform is needed but also an exorcism. It is the smoke of Satan and the roar of the lion and the fulfillment of the prayer of St. Michael, that Satan prowls the world seeking the ruin of souls, but not only of souls, but also the Church!

How odd that we would have two scandals simultaneously and from the same source!



Gene said...

Well, Francis certainly got his poor Church, poor theology, poor practice, poor Liturgy, poor representation, poor witness, and poor Pope (as in performance). God, let's hope he doesn't double down or we'll all be handling snakes.

Gene said...

Tangentially, but of significance for believers, a Tea Party Candidate won the Governor ship of Kentucky by a landslide, the Virginia legislature maintained a Republican majority despite the sleazy efforts of that worm, McAuliffe, and Houston rejected solidly the LGBT lovers legislation. I just love it! Perhaps there is hope even for the Church.

Julian Barkin said...

Gene enough! Man you are a primary source of literal and spiritual despair here on Southern Orders. That is a sister sin to sloth/acecia by the way. I don't know why Fr let you back on. If you seriously cannot say anything worthy of our Church and our Pope, then please avail yourself of us and go join a church more suitable to your "values." Likely though your church will be schismatic from Rome and Holy Morher Church though. Personally I'll stick to believing in our Church as having the four Marks, regardless of which man ascends the papacy.

Gene said...

Oh, it was also a huge victory for the NRA as they defeated the Bloomberg cabal efforts to manipulate a gun control agenda into play.

Gene said...

Wow, Julian, you are really upset! Am I really powerful enough to send you and others on the blog into despair? Are you and others really so weak that my words and comments can control you to that degree. You better grease up your rosary, man. I am very faithful to the true Church and waiting for it to re-appear, and I am nowhere near despair...disgust, certainly. Anyway, go have a drink.

Jusadbellum said...

I like reading both Gene and Fr. Kavanaugh, for different reasons.

Both are well read. Both have 'fire in the belly'. Both write in a way that makes me want to meet them in public. Both are probably a riot at a party or get together.

Both write with the elan of conviction for their viewpoint and that's refreshing. You know what you get with either of them.

A fellow layman, I like the plucky Gene going toe to toe on theology. But I defer to our resident clergy in those areas which we must acknowledge them to be subject experts on.

Even as I've argued with Fr. K on say, guns or altar boys, I don't think he is bereft of reason. He has arguable reasons for his positions. I disagree with them but still, his opinions aren't resting on 'nothing'.

So yay for diversity I say.

JBS said...

Gene, while the primary sympathies expressed in your comments are not far from our own, your approach is not always as constructive, persuasive or insightful as it seems it could be.

Marc said...

Jus, I think it's funny that you think that Catholic priests have more theological expertise than Gene... Suffice it to say that he has both more university education in theology than Catholic priests, but he also has the practical experience of a pastor, a chaplain, and a Christian to back up that university teaching.

Gene said...

Jus, re: my theology credentials...ThM in theology from Chicago and M.Div/MA from Vanderbilt. Ordained Presbyterian minister for 18 years, and life long theology student. If the resident clergy on this blog are examples of theological acumen, then I am a brain surgeon.
Kavanaught is a modernist...a progressive. I seriously doubt his belief and his devotion to other than Leftist causes. You are far too generous.

George said...

Were you at Vanderbilt when Father Mitch Pacwa was there?

Gene said...

George, I knew of him, and we may have overlapped, but I think he finished a year or two before me. Isn't he on the board of Ignatius Books or something? He is a Jesuit, which makes him immediately suspect with me, but I know nothing about his theology or beliefs.

Jusadbellum said...

I've found that it's always more accurate to be magnanimous than not. Fr. K is not light weight intellectually. He's got some 'book learnin' under his belt and he's been a pastor for decades just like our host. So that's not nuthin.

Disagreeing with a man's politics or prudential decisions is one thing. It's entirely another to disagree with a man's faith. Theology or philosophy...sure. Faith....I'm much more cautious.

So, might Fr. K be possessed of modernist or progressive ideas, crack pot theories? Probably. But note, he's not verbose, so there's that, and he does get to the point.

Look, we're talking about taste here. I like you guys. I have my reasons. It's a diverse group here and that keeps everyone sharp. I think there's too much 'preaching to the choir' in society as it is. We need to talk with (argue, debate, contend...but talk) folk whom we disagree with.

The lack of public debate, public argument is a real social loss.

Gene said...

Jusad, bless yore pea-pickin' probably think Jeb Bush is a conservative. LOL! RE: lightweight. No, Kavanaugh falls into the bantam weight class.

Jusadbellum said...


Ah, no.

It's never wise to demean people whom we merely disagree with. Just because I disagree with Fr. K on half a dozen topics doesn't mean I'm more educated or that he's less educated. Degrees and book learning have nothing to do with a particular argument. You either can and so do muster a good set of arguments or you don't. Invoking authority (doctorate degrees) really is a distraction.

So I can simultaneously agree that he's got intellectual chomps AND is wrong in a couple of particular areas. Being wrong about guns or politics or best practices doesn't automatically make someone "stooopid" or uneducated.

I think you and he are very similar precisely because you are both theologians. I'm not. I'm a philosopher by trade. So I don't really care where you studied or for how long. I only care about the argument and evidence you muster.

And so I can see in what you muster and how you muster it, that you (and He) have a formidable mind on your shoulders, quick wits, and evidence of being widely travelled. I might still mop the floor with both of you on a particular topic without thus proving myself necessarily smarter.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jus....Jus....Jus. Please allow me to disabuse you of the notion that Gene and I are "very smiliar" - in any way. I'd be happy to meet you for lunch and discuss the differences - you know where to find me!

Gene said...

Wow, Jus, you really have disturbed Kavanaught! That's funny.

Jusadbellum said...

I just think both Gene and Fr. K are well read, show evidence of having travelled widely, are capable conversationalists, and would be a riot in a party or get together. Both write with conviction.

So, while we disagree on topics, I for one don't harbor any emotional angst or aggression towards either. It's not personal to me that Fr. K and I disagree about gun policy or even politics.

Both do us the honor of paying attention to posts - another similarity. Seriously, to react is to pay the compliment of caring enough to say so. So even disagreement is in a fashion, to honor one another when one could just as easily simply ignore them.

Thus I, Jusadbellum, think - entirely via a cocktail of perhaps elusive syllogisms - that Gene and Fr. K share more similarities than their ideological and theological diversity would otherwise lead one to suspect. Just as Prof. Robert Georgia and Cornel West can be good friends, I think you two guys could too if only on the bed rock of your mutual love of Jesus.

As for meeting, I fear Macon is a bit too far to drive. But one day perhaps....

Gene said...

Aw, man, Jus, you're killin' Kavanaught!! LOL! The only possibility of he and I getting along would be if I got hit by a bus and he was there to give me last rights, or if we met somewhere like B&N or Kroger by accident with him in street clothes and we began talking about literature or music or something and discovered some common interest. As soon as the conversation turned to politics or religion...*poof* up goes my invisible shield and he turns intro a pumpkin.

Jusadbellum said...

I would pay to see that encounter. Or you two on a dock arguing over whether it's better to fish or cut bait. Whether beer tastes great or that it's less filling is more important.

The odd couple. Can't you hear the musical score already?

Gene said...

Well, if Kavanaugh likes to fish, that is a start. I hate domestic beer and prefer bourbon or scotch. I will drink lager.

Jusadbellum said...

Gene have you considered taking Fr. K (and Fr. McDonald) to a range sometime - to show them what guns are? I mean, this being the south, everyone should know what it's like blasting clay pigeons or punching holes in targets....and see how movies and shows are so wildly inaccurate.

Alternatively, fishing. It's biblical. Our Lord obviously caught fish. It might do them all well to go fishing wherever it is you fish.

I could see a man's man weekend with BBQ, sheet, some fishing, and then having a rip snorting theological tour de force over ribs and bourbon while the fire crackles and pops. Of course you might need to do it on a weeknight so the padres could make it.

Gene said...

Anonymous 2 said...

For comments that I meant to post on this thread but inadvertently posted on the wrong thread, see the thread “This Makes No Sense Unless It’s the 1970’s All Over Again and Then It Makes Sense” (originated November 5). Sometimes this computer technology just gets the better of me. =)

Anonymous said...

One can only HOPE that Gene and Fr Kavanaugh achieve the rapprochement Gene envisions - and soon.

Jusadbellum said...

So tentatively we have fishing while drinking lager as a possible venue of "dialogue". No guns. No weapons (other than wits)?