Thursday, September 26, 2013


This morning at the chapel of his place of residence at the Vatican Motel 6, our Holy Father Francis once more clarified the need to read, study and know the Cathechism of the Catholic Church. It is not set aside by Pope Francis either for himself or the Church.

The Cathechism teaches clearly on all the issues that progressive Catholics believe Pope Francis will change. These Catholics are delusional or dishonest or stupid or do not believe the CCC is normative teachings for the pope and all faithful Catholics.

Here is what the pope said this morning as reported by Vatican Radio:

Pope Francis at Thursday Mass: the languages of knowing Jesus

(Vatican Radio)To know Jesus, you have to get involved with Him, as pointed out by Pope Francis at Mass this morning in the Casa Santa Marta. The Pope said that Jesus is to be encountered in everyday life. He indicated the three languages needed to know Jesus: that of the mind, that of the heart, and that of action.

Who is He? where does He come from? In remarks after the readings at Mass on Thursday morning in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence in the Vatican, Pope Francis focused on the question that Herod posed about Jesus – a question that all those who encounter Jesus eventually ask. The Pope said that the question is one, which, “one can ask out of curiosity,” or “that one might ask for safety.” He noted that, reading the Gospel, we see that “some people begin to feel afraid of this man, because he could have led them to a political conflict with the Romans.” One wonders, “Who is this man, who makes so many problems?” Because, the Pope said, “Jesus [really does cause trouble]”:

“You cannot know Jesus without having problems. And I dare say, ‘But if you want to have a problem, go to the street to know Jesus – you’ll end up having not one, but many!’ But that is the way to get to know Jesus! You cannot know Jesus in first class! One gets to know Jesus in going out [into] every day [life]. You cannot get to know Jesus in peace and quiet, nor even in the library: Know Jesus.”

Certainly, he added, “we can know Jesus in the Catechism,” for, “the Catechism teaches us many things about Jesus.” He said, "we have to study it, we have to learn it.” Thus, “We know the Son of God, who came to save us, we understand the beauty of the history of salvation, of the love of the Father, studying the Catechism.” Nevertheless, he asked, how many people have read the Catechism of the Catholic Church since it was published over 20 years ago?

“Yes, you have to come to know Jesus in the Catechism – but it is not enough to know Him with the mind: it is a step. However, it is necessary to get to know Jesus in dialogue with Him, talking with Him in prayer, kneeling. If you do not pray, if you do not talk with Jesus, you do not know Him. You know things about Jesus, but you do not go with that knowledge, which He gives your heart in prayer. Know Jesus with the mind - the study of the Catechism: know Jesus with the heart - in prayer, in dialogue with Him. This helps us a good bit, but it is not enough. There is a third way to know Jesus: it is by following Him. Go with Him, walk with Him.”


Harvey Weinstein said...

"You cannot get to know Jesus in peace and quiet, nor even in the library"

Barely a week since his "big interview" and Pope Francis is stepping in it again! If the above quote is true, I guess that invalidates every person who seeks Jesus in solitude and quiet. Monastic orders are a waste of time. No wonder we are not permitted so much as a minute of silence at Mass. We can't know Jesus if there's any peace or quiet! Keep those Glory and Praise hymns going and turn up those amps! We've got to know Jesus and quiet only hampers the process! What was St. Anthony of the Desert thinking anyway?

Seriously, Pope Francis is doing us no favors with his 60's style calls to activism. I know, I know, we are supposed to care for the unfed masses who clutter our city streets, but this is getting ridiculous. About the only thing I can say in his defense is he seems to have a pattern of saying something that can be misconstrued and then hitting back the next day with a clarification or reassuring comment that he is still in line with Church teaching. But this roller-coaster ride is getting old fast.

John said...

What about all those librarians?!

This must be a translation issue. He can,t possibly be making all these gaffs.

Besides, being a Jesuit he must have spent above average time in libraries.

I give up!

Anonymous said...

What about the Spiritual Exercises and all the retreats his brother Jesuits manage? The key to any retreat is silence. The Spiritual Exercises won't work without peace and quiet.

What the heck is going on here?

Gene said...

Silence would be a great option for the Pope just now...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I know that Europe including Italy have an even lower percentage of Catholics attending Mass compared to the USA. Pope Francis has touched Italians and the tremendous crowds we see at his Wednesday audience are Italians for the most part coming from all over Italy to see and hear him. There were over 100,000 in the square on Wednesday just for a Wednesday audience. In the past 15 to 20,000 was thought to be tremendous.

This pope is stirring things up and getting not just Catholics talking but the world. I would no knock this. People are taking notice and if Catholics and others would just do the three things Pope Francis suggests in the homily synopsis I print, how could we go wrong?

Traditionalist Catholics who have an antipathy toward this pope should be very cautious. The Holy Spirit may be doing something we should not oppose.

Anonymous 2 said...

Thank you Father McDonald! I could not believe what I was reading in this thread and then was very gratified to read your comment.

Yes, it_is_getting ridiculous, Harvey, and I am on the point of giving up myself, John – because of these constant attacks and complaints against the Holy Father.

For goodness sake, people. Context is everything. Was Pope Francis addressing an audience of cloistered monks and nuns? Somehow I doubt it. His remarks, therefore, have to be interpreted in their proper context. If you want to find fault with him (as I suspect many readers of this Blog do), then of course you can read him uncharitably so as to do exactly that. If you are not trying to find fault with him, then you will read him differently. And so, we can ask: Do we really think the Holy Father was repudiating the entire contemplative monastic tradition in which prayer IS action? Doesn’t the question answer itself? I mean, really?

Gene said...

Perhaps it is merely a matter of careless language...but, then, a Pope should be a bit more circumspect in his choice of words and in his statements, I would think...

Gene said...

A tangential question, but appropriate none the less: Does nothing transcend context...which is to ask, "are there no absolutes?" Is our culturally applauded "situation ethic" to be complemented by a "situation dogma," and a "situation theology?" We already have a "situation liturgy" in the NO, and were treated to a situation Eucharist in Dixie cups. Maybe we can nickname this Pope the "Situation Pope."

Anonymous said...

As I read our Holy Father's heart lept with joy.!

Everyone on this blog knows EXACTLY what he is truly saying...even the fault-finders here actually know what he is truly saying.

Pater Ignotus said...

I suspect this traditionalist apoplexy is far more a result of careless hearing than careless language.

Nothing Pope Francis has said could lead a reasonable person to conclude that he is throwing our dogma for "situation theology."

However, there are many who, speaking from the perspective of a kind of ecclesiastical "particularism" - a theory that each group has a right to promote its own interests and especially independence without regard to the interests of larger groups - have concluded that if this pope does not present the Faith in terms familiar or acceptable to him/her, then the pope is somehow departing from said Faith.

Context is everything, and one person's context isn't sufficient, especially when it comes to hearing what the pope is saying.

In theological terms, context" can be thought of as the "analogy of faith."

John Nolan said...

A week ago El Pais ran an article suggesting that Pope Francis was planning to appoint a female cardinal, and indeed could do so according to current Canon Law. The article was translated (none too well) from the Spanish, so we have references to "canonical law" and "female deaconesses". There are quotations from Phyllis Nagano of the NCR and an (unnamed) Jesuit priest. The gist of the argument was, with my comments in brackets:

1. There were women deacons in the early Christian communities 800 years ago. [only a millennium out in chronology, a mere trifle. 800 years takes us back to Innocent III and the High Middle Ages].
2. Since it isn't a question of dogma, the Pope could have 'deaconesses' tomorrow if he so wished. [Dogma is not the same as doctrine, and in any case Canon Law and Tradition do not permit female ordination].
3. You don't have to be a priest to be a cardinal, merely a deacon. [Since 1917 you have had to be a priest, and John XXIII furthermore required cardinals to be consecrated as bishops in most circumstances].
4. According to the unnamed Jesuit, Francis wouldn't hesitate before appointing a female cardinal and "would enjoy being the first pope to allow women to participate in the selection of a new pontiff". [It makes the pope into some kind of capricious Roman Emperor, like Caligula when he made his horse a consul].

Nothing that Pope Francis has said or done can justify this sort of speculation. The writer, Juan Arias, was for many years the Vatican correspondent for El Pais; born in 1932 he studied theology, psychology and philology at Rome University, was ordained a priest but like many others in the wake of Vatican II, left to get married.

Harvey Weinstein said...

Concern, bewilderment? Yes.

Antipathy. No. Never!

Come one. He's the pope!

Anonymous 2 said...

To answer your question, Gene, yes, of course there are absolutes that transcend context. But isn’t that a different question? Was St. Paul a “truth relativist” when he spoke as an “audience relativist” by tailoring what he said and how he said it to the particular audience he was addressing, so they had the best chance to “hear” the truth he was trying to communicate to them? Isn’t that what Pope Francis often does, as discussed in a recent thread? And isn’t that he was doing here again, that is, he was not addressing cloistered religious?

Anonymous said...

Father MacDonald : Thank you for your service to the God and to the flock. I pray daily for good vocations to the Church and you are an answer to that prayer. I hope God blesses us with more good and holy priests that are able to teach people in a compassionate way to follow His divine laws. I wish I could share your optimism about Pope Francis, but at this point my emotion is one of anxiety. I would be the happiest guy in the world if I could attend Holy Mass as you celebrate it. True progress has been made in many parts of the country to move the needle away from what I would call the Casual Form of Mass to a more reverent way that is in the spirit of the Communion with the Saints. There is much work to be done to repair the damage done after Vatican II and I fear we might be experiencing a bump in the road. God Bless You.

John Nolan said...

I think Gene has a point, and Pater Ignotus also has a point. Pope Francis has made more public utterances in six months than Pius XII did in nineteen years. He's like someone who late in life suddenly finds he has an adulatory audience and it's turned his head. However, as far as the media are concerned, the initial interest has all but evaporated - what seems significant to the small minority of Catholics, liberal or conservative, who read the Catholic press or visit Catholic blogs, passes most people by.

The issues addressed by the Holy Father are not seen as being widely relevant. The media interest in John Paul II in the early years of his pontificate was much greater, since the Cold War was at its height and the Pope was quite rightly seen as a key player on the world stage.

Henry said...

Father Z points out that Francis’ daily fervorini are not part of his ordinary Magisterium.

So perhaps those on all sides, parsing his informal words of personal opinion so minutely, ought to lighten up and not take every (perhaps literally) passing though so seriously. Many or most of try out thoughts aloud that in the end we wouldn't go the stake for. Or after careful thought might express quite differently.