Friday, November 25, 2016

POPE FRANCIS CONFUSES AND CONFOUNDS BECAUSE HIS AMBIGUITIES GO BEYOND CONSERVATIIVE/LIBERAL, ORTHODOX/HETERODOX CATEGORIES. JUST AS THERE IS A POST-CHRISTIAN THRUST TODAY, FRANCIS HAS A POST-VATICAN II THRUST!

‘This isn’t ordinary time’: Spadaro on the Jesuits’ historic gathering
Pope Francis visits the Aula with all the delegates, and posing with Pope Francis are Superior General Arturo Sosa, and Orlando Torres. [Credit: Image courtesy of the Society of Jesus.]
Crux has an interview with the closest collaborator of Pope Francis, Fr. Joseph Sparado. It is very telling and quite frankly captures the anxiety that both progressive and conservative Catholics have in Pope Francis post' Vatican II ethos. You can read the interview in its entirety HERE.

Below my comments here, I post snippets of that interview. On one hand Pope Francis appreciates what Pope Paul VI try to do with the Jesuits in the 1970's when they along with most male and female religious orders lost their identity, lost members, lost vocations and were on the road to extinction because of it. One would think this would resonate with more traditional Catholics that Pope Francis did not see the manner of renewal of religious orders and by extension, of the Church of the 1970's which led to a loss of identity of not only religious orders, but of the Church in general, which has seen an unimaginable decline in membership due to that loss of Catholic identity.

Yet, Pope Francis' "post Vatican II" emphasis (and I use post as one would understand "post-Christian") seems to many to be the same old that leads to the same old loss of Catholic identity. Just ask the four cardinals that have pushed Pope Francis against the wall and the bishops who support them, not to mention rank and file clergy and laity.

Pope Francis acknowledges the polarization in the Catholic Church as well as in the world of politics. I am not sure though, that His Holiness acknowledges that he is the source of this recovery of confusion in Catholicism which his two immediate predecessors worked so hard to remediate, one of whom is still living and surely must feel the sting of this movement backwards.

As I mention in my previous post, the greatest problem with those who are anxious about Pope Francis approach him with the logic of deductive reasoning whereas Pope Francis has abandoned those kind of reasoning for deductive reasoning. What strikes me about this is that inductive reasoning is more feminine than deductive reasoning which is masculine and ties into His Holiness' concern about legalism and rigidity which tend to be more masculine characteristics than feminine.

In fact the Vatican II Liturgy is more feminine in this regard (flexible, not regimented or prone to a scrupulosity of rubric fidelity) as is the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Here are the money quotes from Fr. Sparado who surely has inside knowledge of the mind of Pope Francis who is tenacious in bringing the Church into a post-Vatican II existence. He acknowledges though, that there is anxiety in the Jesuits about the next pope who can be as vicious as Pope Francis in breaking with his predecessor:

The Society of Jesus is right now called to take part in a reform of the Church that in some ways goes beyond what we are used to. We have long thought of ourselves as being out in front, in the trenches and at the crossroads. But now one of our own is pope, and the frontier has shifted in an unexpected direction, so that we are no longer “conservative” or “progressive,” liberal or traditional.

As an Argentine provincial, Bergoglio attended the historic GC-32 in 1974-75, and eight years later, when he was rector of the Colegio Máximo, he was present at GC-33.
The period between these two general congregations was the Society’s most turbulent in modern times: as you say, a time of a fall in vocations in the midst of deep disagreements over the way of understanding and living the issue of justice in the mission of the Society.
The most critical moment came with the intervention in the Society by St. John Paul II in 1981 after the then General, Father Pedro Arrupe, suffered a stroke. In his place the pope placed a vicar-general to govern the Society for a time prior to calling a General Congregation to elect his successor. Fr Paolo Dezza - later made a cardinal - governed the Society as a pontifical delegate for two years.
On December 3, 1974 Paul VI addressed GC-32 with a speech which Bergoglio deeply appreciated. The speech revealed both his love for the Society as well as his anxiety that it was diluting its identity and mission. The underlying risk he perceived was that of falling into ideology.
So it was no surprise, in a way, that Francis gave the delegates at this GC a book bringing together the texts of the speeches Paul VI addressed to the Society in 1974-5. In fact the book the pope gave us included a copy of a note in Francis’s handwriting, dated 8 December 2015, which reads: “We should be grateful to Paul VI who loved, did, prayed, and suffered so much for the Society of Jesus. Francis.”

In the light of this history, I’d say, in sum, that Francis has opened up a new space for fidelity between the papacy and the Society.


In his Q&A with the congregation delegates which you published yesterday at La Civiltà Cattolicà, Francis expressed his deep concern at casuistry and rigidity in a number of seminaries, contrasting these with discernment, at the heart of Ignatian spirituality but also, he says, of the “great scholasticism” of St. Thomas of Aquinas. And he repeated the invitation he made to the Jesuits in Poland to teach spiritual discernment in seminaries. Did you, in your discussions in Rome, discuss how that could be done? Will you be writing to seminary rectors to offer to teach St. Ignatius’s rules for discerning spirits? 
Certainly the congregation delegates reflected on the importance of discernment, both in the discussion about the governance of the Society and in the drawing-up of the document relating to it. But I think the Society, prodded by Francis,  is also recognizing that this is also a mission. Discernment is at the heart of Jesuit spirituality, but we need to realize that nowadays we are being called not only to live it but also to teach it, specially in places of formation such as seminaries.
The pope is asking us to form priests in the discernment of spirits, because this will help people in their concrete situations.  In life not everything is black and white; mostly the shades are gray. We are being called to teach how to discern within the gray. 
The reform of the Church for Francis rests on two pillars: discernment and mercy. The Society is called to take part in this process of reform putting their spiritual goods at the disposal of the Church. We haven’t yet discussed how to do this, but I’m sure that this will be discussed by the individual provinces and by the regional conferences.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a rogues gallery! The Jesuits. Who have done more than any other order in the Church to purposefully undermine the Faith. In the 1960's it was the Jesuits, and this was admitted by various Jesuits decades later, who held renewal conferences for orders of nuns throughout the world and encouraged them to abandon traditional religious life and to give in to their own personal preferences. And know we have the worst of the bunch sitting on the throne of Peter. What in god's name were those cardinals thinking electing a bishop from South America and a Jesuit to boot. The Jesuits need to be disbanded ASAP never to return.

Gene said...

What do you call a Jesuit in Hell? Tour guide.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh! A Pope from South America! What in God's name were the cardinals thinking? Whatever it was, it wasn't your shameful "continental racism," your equatorial bigotry.

Remember when Nathaniel asked, "What good can come from Nazareth?"

What good, indeed.

TJM said...

Pope Francis will only succeed in making the Church smaller, less influential,and less a force for good, ergo, a liberal "success story."

DJR said...

James Martin, John Bentz, Jason Welle (Love Wins).

https://thejesuitpost.org/2015/06/lovewins/#post-facebook-comments

Dialogue said...

I'm having difficulty understanding the meaning of this post. "Discernment" sounds like a good thing, and "rigidity" sounds like a bad thing. But how, concretely, are these applied to practical situations in the Church? Does he mean that adherence to the Apostolic Tradition and to the Roman liturgical tradition is rigidity, while acceptance of modern morals and of contemporary rituals is discernment?

Father McDonald, how can it be that "Pope Francis did not see the manner of renewal of religious orders"?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I suspect the rigidity that Pope Francis refers to is of the traditionalist variety.

It sounds like this: "Mortalium Animos said 'So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics:...". [While it is true that approval had not been given in official channels, Catholics had participated in a variety of ways in prayer with other Christians prior to 1928.]

Therefore, some on the rigid/traditionalist side, oppose any participation in ecumenical prayer, such as that which Pope Francis recently participated in in Lund, Sweden. They condemn it, they condemn those who participate, and the malign and decry as "false Catholics" those who are so engaged. Catholic bishops who are engaged in prayer and dialogue, as our former bishop, Raymond W. Lessard was with the Anglican communion, can expect to be castigated by, among others, The Wanderer publication.

However, since that time, 1928, The One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church has, with the highest authority, decreed that Catholics and Christians can and should pray together for unity.

"In certain special circumstances, such as the prescribed prayers 'for unity,' and during ecumenical gatherings, it is allowable, indeed desirable that Catholics should join in prayer with their separated brethren. Such prayers in common are certainly an effective means of obtaining the grace of unity, and they are a true expression of the ties which still bind Catholics to their separated brethren. 'For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them'." (Unitatis Redentigratio, no 8)

Rigidity stems, in my opinion, from a lack of understanding of the nature of the development of doctrine. (I'm not going to respond to any commenter who declares that doctrine can't or doesn't develop and evolve. It does.)

John Nolan said...

To describe the catastrophic collapse of the traditional religious orders in the wake of Vatican II as a 'renewal' is positively Orwellian.

However, if we adopt the new definition of the word, we can truly say that Vatican II renewed the Church, in the same way that the atomic bomb renewed Hiroshima.

Anonymous said...

Religious orders have been founded and have "collapsed" throughout the history of religious orders. To suggest that the "collapse is 1) novel or 2) surprising belies a lack of knowledge of religious orders.

What IS surprising is that a select few have lasted more than 300 or 400 years.

George said...

Discernment, as a technique composed and advanced by St. Ignatius, is a spiritual method,an interior operation involving prayer, the will, the heart, and the mind towards spiritual advancement in making choices and decisions in concert with what God would want us to do. It's purpose as I see it,is to develop and make use of this particular gift of the Holy Spirit within ourselves. I'm not that knowledgeable about Ignatian spirituality other than a cursory familiarity with some of the method, but it seems Pope Francis' approach is to use it pastorally. Not being that acquainted with St Ignatius' writings, I do wonder if this is this an application which can be gleaned from anything he wrote. Certainly in reading the lives of the Saints we can see a high degree discernment operating in their interactions with others. The problem is that very few are at the necessary level of spiritual development and what is discerned in others may not in fact conform to actuality. I say this not about the easy cases where a persons actions and way of life are so obviously evil but rather in those cases where what seems to be apparent to us outwardly is deceptive and not at all reflective of reality.

DJR said...

"In certain special circumstances, such as the prescribed prayers 'for unity,' and during ecumenical gatherings, it is allowable, indeed desirable that Catholics should join in prayer with their separated brethren. Such prayers in common are certainly an effective means of obtaining the grace of unity, and they are a true expression of the ties which still bind Catholics to their separated brethren. 'For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them'." (Unitatis Redentigratio, no 8)

Since the promulgation of that document, the Protestants have fragmented even more, and the majority of them have moved even further away from the Catholic Church, embracing homosexuality, "gay" marriage, female "clergy," and abortion (they already were lost re contraception and divorce/remarriage).

All the interfaith meetings in the world will not help one iota to achieve unity, as Our Lord obviously has not blessed them. There is no evidence that they have produced any good fruits whatsoever, as the Protestant landscape evidences so aptly.

The way forward was articulated by the Blessed Virgin at Fatima. Until that is heeded by Catholics in general and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in particular, there will never be unity with the "separated brethren."

In fact, they are going from bad to worse.

TJM said...

Unlike Father Kavanaugh I see the rigidity in the Church is squarely found with the liberal/progressive variety, who despite the wreckage of the last 50 years , lack the introspection or humility to see that the traditionalist side may have the better argument. I guess being a liberal means "never having to say you're sorry."

John Nolan said...

Anonymous @ 6:44

The scale of the collapse (in scope and time) is by any standards remarkable. And if to say so 'belies a lack of knowledge' I can only agree.

However, I expect you meant the opposite, viz. 'betrays a lack of knowledge'. As someone posted recently on this blog, sloppy language usually means sloppy thinking.

I'm not surprised that you decline to identify yourself.

Gene said...

TJM, "Never having to say you are sorry is arrogance," a character trait that is defining for both Kavanaugh and the liuberal church.

Dialogue said...

I have directly witnessed pastoral, catechetical and liturgical "rigidity" from various sorts of clergy, religious and laymen. It seems to be related more to one's spiritual maturity than to one's theology.

Since I don't understand what "discernment" means these days (outside of a Jesuit context), I'm not sure if I've seen it or not.

Gene said...

Francis is not ambiguous about anything important to him...for instance, he is grieving over and praising as a great man a mass murdering Communist dictator.

Anonymous said...

And today in Rome Pope Francis sent a letter to Cuban dictator Raul Castro saying he is grieving and praying for Fidel. How much longer can this blog keep making excuses for Francis???

Dialogue said...

Gene,

As long as they don't own a gun, use styrofoam plates or harsh anyone's mellow, they see nothing to be sorry for.

H. P. Kolvenbak said...

"What a rogues gallery! The Jesuits. Who have done more than any other order in the Church to purposefully undermine the Faith."

I agree! That Mitch Pacwa and that Joseph Fessio have done immeasurable harm to the Church. When will they and their ilk be silenced, I ask you!!!

Carol H. said...

I just learned that our bishop will not allow for ad orientem except during TLM Masses. I assume that this is to prevent priests from following Cardinal Sarah's suggestion made a few months ago.

How can he do such a thing? Is it really within his power to do so?

Mark Thomas said...

Certain folks are upset about Pope Francis' response to Fidel Castro's death. I recall vividly the following posts by Father John Zuhlsdorf upon Usama bin Laden's death:

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/05/usama-bin-laden-rest-in-well-whatever/

"I may say a prayer that he repented and God is merciful. I am bit concerned at the cameras on the young people jumping around like IDIOTS whooping and hollering because someone was killed.

"I would rather see Americans welcome this news with a quiet nod of the head than with squealing in the streets. (cf Proverbs 24:17) It seems to me that his death isn’t something to strut about as if it were a gold medal win at the Olympics."

Proverbs 24:17: "Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and when they stumble, do not let your heart exult."
==========================================================

Mass said for Osama Bin Laden?

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2011/05/mass-said-for-osama-bin-laden/

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

In regard to Pope Francis' response to Fidel Castro's death, I recall that Rome issued the following statement during Pope Benedict XVI's reign:

""Osama Bin Laden - as everyone knows - has had the gravest responsibility for spreading hatred and division among people, causing the deaths of countless people, and exploiting religion for this purpose.

"Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace.”

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Dialogue said...

Mark Thomas,

What is the connection between the response of Pope Francis and the two responses you mention? Neither Benedict nor that priest seems to be grieving over or praising bin Laden.

Anonymous said...

When is Francis leaving for Cuba to say the funeral Mass for Castro. You know he wants to don't it soooooo badly. He might even wear the green army fatigues and the beret and the boots. You know he can't wait to discard that cheap cassock he feels forced to wear for the present.

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

You must have difficulty understanding English and are starting to sound a bit unhinged from reality. Neither Pope Benedict nor Father Z said they "grieved" over Osama Bin Ladin. Go over to Father Z and make your papalostrous statements on Pope Francis and he will eviscerate you.

Mark Thomas said...

Dialogue, I believe that the connection is as Father John Zuhlsdorf noted in 2011 A.D: As Catholics, we are called to treat the "enemy" in charitable fashion. That is why Father Zuhlsdorf referenced Proverbs 24:17:

"Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and when they stumble, do not let your heart exult."

In the case of Fidel Castro's death, we are called to respond in similar fashion. We are called to exhibit charity in regard to Fidel Castro. We are called to sympathize with his family, as they lost a loved one.

As Catholics, we are called to employ Fidel Castro's death as an opportunity to promote peace. That is what His Holiness Pope Francis has done.

As Catholics, we were called to recognize the following, as was the case during Pope Benedict XVI's reign, when Rome responded to Usama bin Laden's death.

"Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace.”

Again, that is what Pope Francis has done. He has responded in Catholic fashion to Fidel Castro's death. That doesn't mean that we are called to ignore the many victims who suffered as the result of Fidel Castro's many evil deeds.

We pray for Fidel Castro, his victims, and hope that all involved are with God (or are being purified) in Heaven.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Anonymous 2 said...

Mark Thomas:

I expect you will be viewed by many here as committing the newly fashionable sins of (feminine) inductive reasoning (via analogy) and nuance, but the following article from Crux about the evolution of Fidel Castro’s relationship to the Catholic Faith and the Catholic Church may lend you some support:

https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2016/11/26/fidels-faith-remained-mystery-end/

Of course, I imagine these inconvenient facts will mean little or nothing to those “real men” who are sooooo quick to rush to judgment about this matter and so much else besides.

Dialogue said...

We should not celebrate the death of any man, but we should celebrate the end of this man's terror. I know several of his victims, and I'm grateful they need no longer fear El Infidel. But, he has an ignoble brother...

Mark Thomas said...

Certain "traditional" Catholic bloggers attacked His Holiness Pope Francis for...oh, my...having exhibited Christian charity in regard to news of Fidel Castro's death.

From one "traditional" Catholic blog in regard to Fidel Castro's death..."May He Burn in Hell."

Also from that blog: "Poor Jorge must be in deep mourning. His fellow commie is dead and he, and the communist revolution, has lost one of their big guns. Who knows, Bergoglio could always set the wheels in motion for his beatification. May Fidel rot in Hell with all commies!"

I wonder whether "traditionalist" bloggers are aware that "socialist" Pope Francis, following his 1998 A.D. visit to Cuba, authored a book in which he condemned Fidel Castro's repressive regime?

In 1998 A.D., Pope Saint John Paul II visited Cuba. Then-coadjutor Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio, "accompanied Pope Saint John Paul II to Cuba in January 1998 A.D. as a Latin American church delegate."

Archbishop Bergoglio was urged by certain Vatican officials to write a book about the Apostolic Visit to Cuba, which he did, entitled "Dialogues between John Paul II and Fidel Castro."

As the Huffington Post noted, in the book, "Bergoglio harshly criticized socialism and by extension Castro’s atheist revolution for denying individuals their “transcendent dignity” and putting them solely at the service of the state."

Austen Ivereigh, who authored a biography of Pope Francis, noted that then-Archbishop-designate "Bergoglio was highly critical of Cuba’s crackdown on freedoms."

Once again, certain "traditionalists" have misrepresented Pope Francis.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Anonymous 2, thank you for the link to the Crux article. As the article made clear, despite the claims of certain traditionalists, His Holiness Pope Francis did not praise Fidel Castro's regime.

Instead, Pope Francis displayed Catholic charity. For that, he was denounced by Catholics who were enraged that Pope Francis did not share their hope that Fidel Castro would "burn in hell."

Blessed are the peacemakers...except according to certain "may Castro burn in hell" traditionalists.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

DJR said...

I wonder if similar condolences would have been forthcoming from the present pope, had he been pope at the time Hitler died.

Like Fidel Castro, Adolf Hitler was at one time the leader of his nation, was a baptized Catholic, was responsible for the death of many people, and is now deceased.


Condolences from Pope Francis to the German nation:

On receiving the sad news of the death of Adolf Hitler, former Führer of the Third Reich, I express my sentiments of sorrow to family members of the deceased Führer, as well as to the people of this beloved German nation. At the same time, I offer prayers to the Lord for his rest and I entrust the whole German people to the maternal intercession of our Lady of Altötting, patroness of Germany.

Francisco, PP.


Is there someone who believes that Pope Francis would have written such a letter?

Dialogue said...

Mark Thomas,

You keep referring to "traditionalist" blogs. This is not such a blog. Why do you frequent such blogs, and why do you argue against them here?

DJR said...

"Once again, certain "traditionalists" have misrepresented Pope Francis."

Perhaps "traditionalists" do this because they feel that Pope Francis misrepresents them.

"I always try to understand what's behind people who are too young to have experienced the pre-conciliar liturgy and yet still they want it," the pontiff said. "Sometimes I found myself confronted with a very strict person, with an attitude of rigidity. And I ask myself: Why so much rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something, insecurity or even something else. Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid."

Who has the greater duty towards the other, "traditionalists" or the Vicar of Christ?

Jusadbellum said...

I studied with Jesuits and have a fairly good grasp of Ignatius' writings and spirituality. I've done the Spiritual Exercise too. So when people blather on about how seminarians are "too legalistic" I can only say that one begins to discern spirits only after one has become firmly rooted in absolute love for Jesus Christ as revealed in the Church. Not before!

Only once one has a firm foundation in objective truth can one wade into the sea and discern how to find practical APPLICATIONS of the principle. But if one does not first know and love the principle, how could your applications of it ever be accurate or helpful in guiding a soul back to the Lord?

If you don't know, love, and serve the "ideal" then you will run the immediate risk of deciding that any deviation from the ideal is a-OK and "the best we can expect".


TJM said...

For those of you who haven't seen Pope Francis' statement on the death of an evil, murderous, dictator, here it is:

"On receiving the sad news of the death of your dear brother, His Excellency Mister Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, former president of the State Council and of the Government of the Republic of Cuba, I express my sentiments of sorrow to Your Excellency and other family members of the deceased dignitary, as well as to the people of this beloved nation. At the same time, I offer prayers to the Lord for his rest and I entrust the whole Cuban people to the maternal intercession of our Lady of the Charity of El Cobre, patroness of that country."

This is the statement of a Pope unhinged from reality. Castro was a monster and Pope Francis should incur the strongest possible censure from the College of Cardinals.

TJM said...

Cardinal Zen apparently thinks Pope Francis is "naive." Take a gander at this:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/28/pope-china-vatican-deal-would-betray-christ-says-former-hong-kong-bishop

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR:

Ah, the Hitler card. We know it well. I suppose it was only a matter of time before dear old Adolph was mentioned in this context, just as he is mentioned sooner or later in so many others (Iraq and Saddam included) in an attempt to shut down further inquiry.

TJM:

And, of course, you have researched the history of Vatican and papal relations with Cuba and the Castro regime (and related criticism of the U.S. embargo) over the past few decades and you are privy to all the considerations that may have entered into the decision to send this telegram of condolence?

Anonymous 2 said...

TJM:

Does Cardinal Zen mean the Pope is naïve just like the U.S. government and U.S. corporations have been naïve in supporting WTO membership for China and in doing business with the Chinese (I imagine Wal-Mart must be the most naïve of all)? Or is more permitted in the name of Mammon than in the name of Christ?

TJM said...

Anonymous 2,

Thanks for the laughs.

The Pope should speak truth to power. He failed miserably. It is one thing to say he would pray for the old devil's soul, quite another to say he was sad over this vicious killer's death. You do not have to research anything when the plain meaning of Santita's words are like a slap in the face.

Cardinal Zen is speaking of matters in the spiritual realm, but an old lefty you like, a slave to Mammon, politicizes everything. Government's do not exist to promote the spiritual, just the temporal. Cardinal Zen wants the Church to be free of government interference in order to preach the Gospel unimpeded by political considerations.

DJR said...

Anonymous 2 said... DJR: Ah, the Hitler card. We know it well. I suppose it was only a matter of time before dear old Adolph was mentioned in this context, just as he is mentioned sooner or later in so many others (Iraq and Saddam included) in an attempt to shut down further inquiry.

And the reason Hitler is mentioned is because it shows the duplicity of those engaging in the discussion.

The same people who excuse things in their favorites would never, ever do so if Hitler were the person involved.

People who have no problem with encomia to Fidel are the very same ones who would never, ever countenance a similar encomium to Hitler, even though the two share many of the same evil characteristics.

And, of course, when that fact is shown, those people make statements about "the Hitler card" in an effort to shut down the discussion. That way, they don't have to admit to their hypocrisy.

We all know the answer to my initial question. The pope would never write such a thing for Hitler. The communist Fidel gets a nice note though.

How gracious.

TJM said...

DJR,

Precisely. Fidel was an evil, corrupt man, who made hijself fabulously wealthy at the expense of the Cuban people. Liberals have no problem with their corrupt favorites, Fidel, Hillary, and let's not forget Senator Oldsmobile of Massachusetts, a "catholic" who promoted abortion and left a young woman to drawn. Yes,it's quite a Pantheon

Anonymous 2 said...

TJM:

“Government's [sic] do not exist to promote the spiritual, just the temporal”

In that case why criticize the Pope for not speaking truth to power? For that matter, why seek to reverse Roe v. Wade? Are you not hoist on your own petard?

DJR:

No, the Pope would never write such a thing about Hitler, or Stalin. But I put to you the same question I put to TJM: And, of course, you have researched the history of Vatican and papal relations with Cuba and the Castro regime (and related criticism of the U.S. embargo) over the past few decades and you are privy to all the considerations that may have entered into the decision to send this telegram of condolence?

Both of you: Isn’t the real truth of the matter that this man Francis can do no right at all in your eyes and that you will look for any and all opportunities to attack him?

DJR said...

Anonymous 2 said... DJR:

No, the Pope would never write such a thing about Hitler, or Stalin. But I put to you the same question I put to TJM: And, of course, you have researched the history of Vatican and papal relations with Cuba and the Castro regime (and related criticism of the U.S. embargo) over the past few decades and you are privy to all the considerations that may have entered into the decision to send this telegram of condolence?

Both of you: Isn’t the real truth of the matter that this man Francis can do no right at all in your eyes and that you will look for any and all opportunities to attack him?


The answer to your last question is, at least from me, no. Pope Francis has done some good things, but one expects that from a pope.

If pointing out a person's shortcomings/errors is an "attack," then I know of no greater "attacker" than the pope himself. His pontificate has been one long string of "attacks" since Day 1.

If the pope, who has the greater duty towards charity (after all, he is Christ's Vicar) has no qualms about "attacking" all kinds of people, why should anyone else have any such qualms?

The reason people are opposing the pope is because his actions are destructive to our Faith and our Church; therefore, in keeping with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, they speak out.

The pope himself has called for parrhesia and publicly told people to "hagan lio."

Now that people are taking him at his word, others object?

Okay.

And, no, I haven't researched everything there is to know about Cuba. Had I been able to do so, would that make a difference?

Do you ever comment on current events? Are you privy to all the considerations that may have entered into those events?

Using such criteria, no one in the world would ever be able to make a judgment about anything.

What I can say is that I have met Cubans who have suffered under the communist regime in Cuba. In fact, an elderly Cuban couple who lost everything and fled their homeland were just at liturgy last Sunday.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to act in this type of situation.

All I have to do is ask myself: How would I like it if my family members were being imprisoned, murdered, impoverished, et cetera, by a persecutor, and when that persecutor dies, the head of my family writes a letter of condolence to the family of the persecutor?

Where is the letter to my family?

As I said, this isn't rocket science. It's normal.

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR:

Thank you for your response.

“And, no, I haven't researched everything there is to know about Cuba. Had I been able to do so, would that make a difference?

Do you ever comment on current events? Are you privy to all the considerations that may have entered into those events?”

Yes, I think it might make a difference. And yes, I do comment on current events. While not being privy to_all_the considerations that may have entered into decisions surrounding those events, I do make some effort to discover the pertinent facts. I do understand, of course, that we live in an era when many people do not do this but rely instead on their preferred tribal “news sources,” which are so often sources of lies and fake news. I am not saying you fall into this category, but I am saying that perhaps this is why judgments are so often extremely bad judgments nowadays.

If you begin with a presumption_against_the Pope and then do nothing to put yourself in a position to rebut this presumption, as you seem to do (at least on this matter; on others too?), this is not responsible lay participation in keeping with the teachings of Vatican II.

And yes, while conceding the evils committed by Fidel Castro, I have researched the matter and can see some good reasons why Francis may have sent this telegram nevertheless. Why won’t you do the same? Perhaps you will reach a different judgment on the merits, but it is a good practice to follow the maxim that informed understanding should precede judgment, at least on matters that are appropriate for deliberation, as this one is.



TJM said...

Anonymous 2,
.
You obviously failed logic. Your statement is a non sequitur. The Pope committed an egregious error in his little billet doux to Castro 's evil brother. The Pope, better than anyone, should know the myriad of evils committed again the Cuban people, and Christ and His Church. If not, we have a clueless mope on the Chair of Peter. Pius XII must be weeping.

Anonymous 2 said...

TJM:

As you have not even bothered to do the research, you do not have all the pertinent facts to formulate either the major premise or the minor premise for the relevant syllogism. You are in no position to accuse anyone of having failed logic.

DJR said...

Anonymous 2 said... "If you begin with a presumption against the Pope..."

I don't "begin with a presumption against the pope."

On the contrary, my observation is that it is the pope who begins with presumptions against others.

The examples of this are numerous.

DJR said...

Cardinal Zen: Pope would be betraying Christ if he makes deal with China.

“You cannot go into negotiations with the mentality ‘we want to sign an agreement at any cost,’ then you are surrendering yourself, you are betraying yourself, you are betraying Jesus Christ,” Cardinal Joseph Zen told The Guardian this week.


“If you cannot get a good deal, an acceptable deal, then the Vatican should walk away and maybe try again later. Could the Church negotiate with Hitler? Could it negotiate with Stalin? No,” he said.


Anonymous 2: See the reference to Hitler? Surely you understand why it's there.

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR:

“See the reference to Hitler? Surely you understand why it's there”

To remind us of Pope Pius XI’s Concordat with Hitler (negotiated and signed by Cardinal Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII)? Of course Catholics generally defend these two Popes on this point but then again they were not Pope Francis.




TJM said...

Anonymous 2 is still talking around in circles. Research? On what, pray tell? Anyone who isn't braindead knows that Castro was an evil man and did terrible things to the Cuban people, including the clergy. I was around when this dirty, greasy man took power, as was Pope Francis. Pope Francis simply could have said, I am praying for his soul, period. Throwing in utter nonsense about sorrow was over the top. Pope Francis is his own worst enemy. He creates problems for himself, and derivately for us, the faithful Catholics who pay the freight.

TJM said...

Anonymous 2,

This one's for you:

"There appears to be an awful lot of sympathy for the devil out there these days.
The death of Fidel Castro, a mass murderer masquerading as a “president,” exposed the bizarre romance liberals have with tyrants. Many world leaders expressed condolences to the Cuban people upon the death of their so-called leader, a man who oversaw the murder of tens of thousands, imprisoned political opponents, gays, anyone who challenged Castro’s status quo.
There is no religious freedom in Cuba — there was room for only one god and that was Fidel. There was no free press, of course, no personal freedom, only fear. The actual number of those killed by the Castro brothers and their murderous associate Che Guevara can never be known only because of the number of disappeared opponents, gays, academics and the educated.
As with Joseph Stalin, Castro needed to purge the country of anyone who might be able to educate the people about what was really happening and how they could resist and take their country back. Communication and information, to this day, remain out of reach for the Cuban people — as does their freedom.
But even Pope Francis, yes, a liberal but also a man of faith and an Argentinian who understands what Castro did to the Cuban people, sent his “condolences” to the people of Cuba over the “sad news” of Castro’s death.
That’s like sending a sympathy card to the families of Ted Bundy’s victims after Bundy was executed."

DJR said...

Anonymous 2 said... DJR:

“See the reference to Hitler? Surely you understand why it's there”

To remind us of Pope Pius XI’s Concordat with Hitler (negotiated and signed by Cardinal Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII)? Of course Catholics generally defend these two Popes on this point but then again they were not Pope Francis.


Wait. Do you know all the facts concerning the signing of those concordats? If you contend you do, can you tell us how you came to that knowledge?

Do you know what those two prelates knew and what they were thinking at the time?

If not, should you be commenting on that?

Anonymous 2 said...

TJM:

It is not my responsibility to do for you what you should be doing yourself. I have told you that there is pertinent information to be discovered. Now do the research. It is not hard to find. It took me all of 10 minutes max. The fact that you still refuse to make any effort to discover inconvenient facts is very telling. Is it really so scary to emerge from the bubble in which so many seem to want to live nowadays?

Also, as I have requested of others such as Jan, please give a citation when you quote a passage or rely on a contentious or controversial assertion by someone else.

Anonymous 2 said...

TJM:

Let me add to what I wrote before. I want to be absolutely sure you get my point.

Our differences are hermeneutical. The narrative I bring to Pope Francis’s actions is that I presume that, as the Holy Father, he has good reasons for what he does. Before I criticize him (or indeed any Pope), therefore, I have a responsibility to try to discover what those good reasons are or might be. This is what I did with respect to the telegram of condolence, and when I did the research I found the good reasons.

You seem to bring a very different narrative to Pope Francis’s actions, that is, you seem to presume that Pope Francis could not possibly have_good_reasons for doing something like sending the telegram of condolence because he is a liberal, lefty, progressive, communist, or whatever dismissive or derogatory term describes your characterization of him. Hence you refuse to undertake the research necessary to the exercise of responsible lay participation in the affairs of the Church.

I suggest, then, that my hermeneutic and narrative is the more Catholic of the two and yours is—well how should I put it—the more Protestant?

Even more ironic is the contrast between your highly critical stance towards Pope Francis and your apparently highly deferential, dare I say gullible, stance towards Donald Trump, who is a merely temporal figure with no special authority over us.

TJM said...

Anonymous 2,

Based soley on his statements and actions, I have concluded that Pope Francis is a throw-back to the hermeneutic of disruption and he is a typical 1970s Jesuit, which is not a good thing for the Church. Judging his actions, he's a standard "liberal", as long as you agree with him you are fine. If you uphold the deposit of the Catholic Faith, he morphs into a vindictive bully and displays NONE of the mercy he spouts off about ad nauseum. Moreover, he is an intellectual lightweight, afraid to respond to the Cardinals' dubia because it would expose his true position on communion for adulterers. I have learned this is consistent with his practice in Argentina. Cardinal Pell, a man's man, has criticized him for taking umbrage over the Cardinals, saying, why is he afraid to respond to their questions.Ironically, the more "liberalization" the Church pursues, the more Catholics vote with their feet and leave. The Church in South America is a basketcase today, largely due to the approach of people like Pope Francis to cheapening the Faith through slogans and bromides. Pius XII he aint'

Anonymous 2 said...

DJR:

I did some research. Please see also my responses to TJM about presumptions.

Indeed, talking of presumptions, isn’t it rather presumptuous to criticize Pope Francis without bothering to do any research into his possible “good reasons”? Before you answer, consider this question: If it had been Pope Benedict or Saint Pope John Paul II who had sent this telegram, would we even be having this discussion? And before you then conclude that they would never have done such a thing, well, that is another reason why you need to do the research.

Anonymous 2 said...

TJM:

“I have learned this is consistent with his practice in Argentina”

Please explain exactly how you have learned this. Also, we are still waiting for a citation to a source for the passage you quoted.



TJM said...

Anonymous 2,

On Father Z's website who is a stickler for accuracy. Go over and yell at him.

Anonymous 2 said...

TJM:

I went to Father Z’s blog and could not find the passage you quoted even when I searched under “Cuba” and “Castro’s Death.”


I did find it in the Washington Times, however:


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/nov/30/the-left-shows-sympathy-for-fidel-castro/