Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Both Rorate Caeli and Whispers in the Loggia are reporting the same thing which has neither been denied or confirmed by the Holy See's Press office.

Off the cuff remarks with a group of religious and priests from South American report that Pope Francis said the following:

Of the Curia!
In the Curia there are holy people, truly, there are holy people. But there's also a current of corruption – there's that, too, it's true.... The 'gay lobby' is spoken of, and it's true, that's there... we need to see what we can do.

The reform of the Roman Curia is something that almost all the cardinals sought in the congregations before the Conclave. I sought it myself. [But] I can't do the reform myself, these matters of management.... I'm very disorganized, I've never been good in this. But the cardinals of the commission are going to carry it forward. There's [Oscar] Rodríguez Maradiaga, who carries the baton [as the group's coordinator], there's [the Chilean Francisco Javier] Errázuriz, they're very organized. The one from Munich [Reinhard Marx] is also very organized. They will take it forward.... Pray for me that I make the fewest mistakes possible."

Of the Pelagians (ultra traditionalists):
"I'll share two worries of mine. One is a pelagian current that's in the church at this time. There are certain restorationist groups. I know them as I took to receiving them in Buenos Aires. And you feel like you've gone back 60 years! Before the Council... you feel like it's 1940 again... One anecdote, only to illustrate this – not to make you laugh – I took it with respect, but it bothered me; when they [the cardinals] elected me, I received a letter from one of these groups, and they told me; 'Holiness, we offer you this spiritual treasure: 3,525 rosaries.' Why they didn't say 'we're praying for you,' let's wonder... but this [thing] of taking account [of prayers]... and these groups return to practices and disciplines I lived – not you, none of you are old – to things that were lived in that moment, but not now, they aren't today....

Of the Pantheisms (ultra progressives, post Catholics, ones stuck in the 1970's)
The second [worry] is over a gnostic current. These pantheisms... they're both currents of elites, but this one is of a more formed elite. I knew of one superior general who encouraged the sisters of her congregation to not prayer in the morning, but to give themselves a spiritual bath in the cosmos, such things.... These bother me because they lack the Incarnation! And the Son of God who became our flesh, the Word made flesh, and in Latin America we have this flesh being shot from the rooftops! What happens to the poor, in their sorrows, that is our flesh.

The Gospel is not the ancient regime, nor is it this pantheism. If you look to the outskirts; the indigent... the drug addicts! The trade [trafficking] of persons... That's the Gospel. The poor are the Gospel....

Of Religious women who are dying on the vine for their Pantheisms (the old maids!):
There's something else that bothers me, but I don't know how to read it. There are religious congregations, very, very small groups; a few people, [who tend to be] very old.... They don't have vocations, that I know, [whether] the Holy Spirit doesn't want them to continue, maybe they've finished their mission in the church, I don't know.... But there they are, clinging to their buildings, clinging to money.... I don't know why this happens, I don't know how to read it. But I ask you to be worried about these groups... The handling of money... is something that needs to be reflected on.

MY COMMENT! I think there's enough here to alarm a great number of people!


Gene said...

Maybe it is the way it is being written or reported but, forgive me, it sounds like the pre-senile babbling of someone lost at the mall...Not very encouraging.

Marc said...

Of course, last month the Pope asked people to pray three Aves for him. Presumably, in order to do so, one would need to count them...

I don't believe this story. It lacks a truthful ring to it (when's he last time a pope accused anyone of heresy, after all?). I'm surprised Rorate Caeli reported it.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

These are off the cuff remarks spoken in Spanish and then filtered first to an ultra progressive organization in Chile I believe, so there are some filters going on.

But I think some of the Pope's themes opposed to the SSPX as being backward looking and the Progressive groups that are post Catholic seem to ring true. That there is a gay cabal in the Vatican seem like the Holy Father if he said it needs to be more circumspect with his remarks and I think the Vatican is trying to teach him this, but he's his own man. But he has a new role and a high profile one at that. He's not that so-called simple Cardinal in Argentina anymore and every word he speaks is taken as infallible which of course these words are not. But hopefully the Holy Father knows in the age of instant communication (And I fear he may not understand this as he supposedly has never sent an email) that he has to be careful as Pope of what he says, very careful.

ytc said...

Truly the rudest language I've heard from a Pope ever.

Since when has it been bad to pray for the Pope or, furthermore, to tell him exactly how many these or those have been prayed for him? Clearly, some are not so familiar with a thing called a prayer bouquet. Since when has it been Pelagian--denying original sin--to PRAY FOR THE POPE AND COUNT IT?

Marc said...

That's a good apologetic, Father. Just remember that this Pope is always speaking off the cuff. His daily homilies are not written. So, he apparently fancies himself a good extemporaneous speaker. And thus far, he has acquitted himself well in those homilies. It seems odd he would be some different otherwise, doesn't it?

At any rate, whether these statements are true or not, one thing is clear: we have gone through, what, three or four popes now who cannot reign in the people around them when it comes to undermining them and leaking information?

This pope has admitted there is a "gay lobby" in the Curia, but he isn't the one to fix that because he's "not an administrator." Something is badly broken, and those who are supposed to fix it are the ones responsible for breaking it in the first place!

This whole thing is just crazy!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, the Holy Father has named several cardinals to help him in the administration area and I suspect he will implement their recommendations. He would be wise to wait a year to get all the facts and then move on these recommendations.

YTC, again we have to keep in mind that this is reported second hand with all the filters of a progressive who placed it first on a progressive website and then picked up by Rorated Caeli and then by Whispers in the Loggia.

I'm not clairvoyant, but I suspect the Holy See will make a comment on the proper interpretation of these words or claim the Holy Father never said them. I would hope it is the latter because I am alarmed that he would be so blunt, He's the pope! He's the pope! He needs to be more circumspect in what he does or there is going to be chaos and schism in the Church.

Marc said...

Sorry. Father, in my experience, the way to fix a broken bureaucracy isn't to create more bureaucracy to oversee it. So, I have no faith this group of cardinals will fix the Curia. But, I guess the Holy Father does get an "A" for effort, at least.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

We don't know the veracity of the comments attributed to him but the Holy Father says he's not an administrator. He could have easily have chosen these advisers and kept it a secret and then acted as they recommended and made it entirely his own. I don't think the pope should be the administrator of the Vatican that should be the Secretary of State who evidently dropped the ball very badly thus damaging the papacy of Pope Benedict who trusted those under him a bit too much.

Hammer of Fascists said...

The contents of all of these off-the-cuff remarks--those of Popes JPII and BXVI as well as those of Pope Francis--show the danger in deifying, as it were, everything a pope says, or viewing each pope as establishing his own discrete magisterium. I don't think it's healthy to extend "religious submission of intellect and will" to sound bites or pastoral remarks. I imagine if one concantenated every remarkable comment that one of these popes uttered, and attributed some sort of magisterial authority to the resulting document, one could quite justly accuse the pope of a large number of (mutually contradictory) heresies and other undsavory things. For instance, if I were to write the headlines for this statement, it would read "POPE DISSES ROSARY." (And I found his blowing off of those Rosaries and the people who offered them highly offensive. If that makes me the heretic, so be it.)

My point is that these aren't doctrinal pronouncements, and they aren't meant to be, and it's dangerous to take them as much more than personal opinion. Modern canon law, as I understand it, emphasizes the context of papal pronouncements as a key part of determining the weight of authority they have. My own argument is that off-the-cuff remarks have no official weight whatsoever, because any other approach would cause insoluble problems of both the PR and doctrinal variety. (The former is bad enough already.)

This isn't a Spirit of VII problem; it's an inherent danger of making one's self available to the media in the modern world. If nothing else, it shows why there should be vigorous debate of such statements rather than passive acceptance.

Unknown said...

I think that it was a mistake to label traddys as having a pelagian current. I am traddy and I don't know of any who hold Pelagian views. Not one traddy that I know of says that Adam's sin was to set a bad example while not imputing that on the rest of humanity; while Christ's role was to counteract that.

I would argue that a good number of traddys actually support Augustine's views, much moreso wherein they oppose Pelagianism.

While the Holy Father does "speak off the cuff," and some of it is good, I think that this is misguided. And since he's "speaking off the cuff," it is open to criticism.

This was a mistake. And this is a mistake to head a part of your post "Of the Pelagians." It is simply inaccurate to speak that way of a heresy which has no bearing on traditionalists.

Gene said...

Yeah, I don't see the Pelagian thing with traditionalists. That is the progressive/humanist line...we are going to build a heaven on earth if we have to destroy lives to do it.

ytc said...

Anon 5,

danger schmanger. For as long as modern communications technology will exist, the Popes are going to have to get over that and just accept as a reality of life that they have to watch and control every single syllable which passes Their Holinesses' lips.

Hammer of Fascists said...


But it isn't that easy. When you have a press corps just waiting every moment of the day for you to slip up, living in a fish bowl for 10 or 20 years--no matter how closely you watch what you say, you're going to slip up.

And is the solution to submit every single comment to curial spin doctors? Even if that could be done, I doubt it would be a good idea.

Art Fleming said...

"Pelagian"? Really?

Let's hope he didn't really say that. How utterly ridiculous.

I'll offer three (three is the number I shalt count, and the number I shalt count shall be three) Hail Mary's for him.

Unknown said...

Father McD,

What is your understanding of the Pelagian heresy and Pope Francis' use of it with regard to those of us who are traditionalist? I am interested to hear your take since you used it in a way that assumed that we, who are traditionalists lean toward that particular heresy, with the header, "Of the Pelagians."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Without giving more evidence of what he meant by calling ultra traditionalists Palegians, I don't think that most people who he would consider "pre-Vatican II" fit the classic definition of it.

Maybe he thinks that those who don't want the Holy Spirit to bring newness to the Church are in this current? Palegians in this context would be, "Pelagianism is the teaching that man has the capacity to seek God in and of himself apart from any movement of God or the Holy Spirit, and therefore that salvation is effected by man's efforts." SSPX thinks it has the complete truth and the Pope doesn't, this too would be a form of gnosticism.
So, I would venture to say that progressives in my mind fit the bill more than traditionalists, but traditionalists who sever ties with the Bishop of Rome and strive to form a separate Magisterium (or anyone, progressive or traditionalist) would be in the Palegian camp veering toward gnosticism.

Marc said...

Father, no offense intended here, but you don't seem to understand the complexities of the SSPX position; yet, you continually invoke your false perception about them. If I recall, these people who hate the Pope delivered a spiritual bouquet of over 2 million rosaries to him.

The Pelagian current in Traditionalism refers to the devotions such people engage in. I've heard this charge before - those who invoke it are claiming the Traditionalists believe the use of Catholic sacramentals saves them. It's a distortion of the truth to negate the use of traditional devotions along the lines of those who sought to incorporate everything into the Mass as if the Mass were the only source of grace (and I believe we have discussed that false tendency here before).

In other words, if the pope said these things, he doesn't know what he's talking about since he is addressing a caricature, anyway.

Gene said...

*sigh* Does no one remember their History of Philosophy courses or their History of Doctrine courses?
Time to review the early Church heresies and re-read St. Augustine on Pelagianism...(you, too, Pope Frsancis).