Tuesday, October 1, 2013



I copy the following from Whispers in the Loggia! He got it from the Italian Daily Paper, which like The New York Times is politically left-leaning and critical of the Church, Pope Francis personally called the reporter and arranged for the interview. We don't have the complete interview translated into English. You can see the La Republica headline and story in Italian HERE!

MY COMMENT FIRST: The most explosive comment comes at the end about women in the Church. However, we know the Holy Father has excluded women's ordination. But I suspect he will name women to high Vatican offices and as Prefects. He might even grant them the title of "Cardinal" as one need not be a priest to receive this title. But I don't know. The Holy Father has constantly referred to the Church as Holy Mother and sees the Blessed Virgin Mary as our Mother and the Mother of the Church. He highlights the feminine in a traditional way in this regard and he doesn't want to masculinize the role of women in the Church. The truly feminine is perfectly acceptable as it regards Holy Mother Church, the Bride of Christ which the Church is and our Holy Mother, Mary most holy. I can tell you, if any pope had spoken this way when I was in the seminary in the 1970's that pope would be rediculed. But not this Pope, which tells me he has won over the progressives in the Church like the Trojan Horse! I would caution traditionalists not to become like progressives who disdained Pope Benedict. Don't be like them in your attitude toward our current Holy Father. The Holy Spirit has placed him as pope and for a reason that will become quite clear in time.

But let's face it folks, on the parish and diocesan levels women out number men in leadership roles. I will describe my parish staff. Our school principal, all of our teachers except for one, our Director of Religious Education, our Youth Director are all full time paid "ministers" and this includes also our full time Director of Music! Our administrative staff is primarily women. The only men who are full time paid staff are our school's coach, our parish's Director of Parish Administration, and the three priests! We are outnumbered! We also have two deacons, but they are not paid full time staff members but have other jobs.

This is Rocco Palma's take:


"I Am the Pope" – In Fresh Interview, Francis On Church's New "Beginning"

In the latest proof of his desire to reach out from behind the walls – and along the way, remind the Establishment he inherited who's Boss – today's cover of Italy's largest-circulation daily indeed blared a second major interview in 12 days with the Pope, this time given to one of the country's most prominent atheists.

As Eugenio Scalfari tells the story, the pontiff called the La Repubblica founder out of the blue to arrange a meeting as a follow-up to their exchange of letters over the summer. With Francis going over his schedule in front of him – "I can't on Wednesday, Monday either; would Tuesday work for you?" – the Pope booked the Domus sit-down on his own.

Saying he had no idea how to end a call with the Pope, when Scalfari asked if he could "hug [Francis] through the phone," Papa Bergoglio replied "Sure, I'm hugging you too. Then we'll do it in person. See you soon." Once they came together – with jokes about trying to convert each other as they first met – the 4,600-word extravaganza that ensued touched on everything from the journalist's non-belief to movie picks, politics and a "court" mentality in the church which Francis termed "the leprosy of the papacy," admitting that church leaders were "often... narcissistic, flattered and badly excited by their courtiers."

Even as the first meeting of his new "Council of Cardinals" opens this morning, though, the pontiff's first concern lay elsewhere. "The gravest of the evils that afflict the world in our time are the unemployment of the young and the loneliness in which the elderly are left," Francis said, reprising a theme he's frequently addressed in other contexts. "The old need care and company; the young need work and hope, but they don't have each other, and the problem is that they don't seek each other out anymore.

The young are "shackled in the present," the Pope said. "But tell me: can one live shackled in the present? Without a memory of the past and without the desire to throw oneself into the future....? Is it possible to continue like this? This, for me, is the most urgent problem that the church has in front of it.... It's not the only problem, but the most urgent and the most dramatic."

Asked about secular politics, the pontiff turned stronger still: "Why are you asking me about that? I have already said that the church will not occupy itself with politics."

Explaining that he was obliged to address himself "not just to Catholics, but all people of goodwill," Francis – who reportedly never voted in Argentinian elections as a bishop – explained thus: "I've said that politics is the first among civil activities and has its own arena of action which is not that of religion. Political institutions are secular [laiche – lay] by definition and work in an independent sphere. All of my predecessors have said this, at least for many years, albeit with different accents. I believe that Catholics tasked with political life must keep the values of their religion before them, but with a mature conscience and competence to realize them. The church will never go beyond its task of expressing and publicizing its values, at least for as long as I'm here."

Indeed, it was on the internals of church governance where the Jesuit Pope struck his most determined notes – or, as he described his governing style, his utmost "firmness and tenacity." Francis said that the formation of his unprecedented "Gang of Eight" – which he termed "my council" – marked "the beginning of a church with an organization that's not only vertical but also horizontal." While that's yet another reference to the concept of synodality as the core of the impending Curial reform, in this instance Francis stretched the boundary even further.

Saying that the "defect" of the Roman Curia is that it's "Vatican-centric" and "cares for [its own] interests which are also, in large part, temporal interests," Francis declared that he "doesn't share this vision and will do everything to change it.

"The church is, or must return to being, a community of the People of God," the Pope said, "and the priests, pastors, bishops with the care of souls, are at the service of the People of God.

"This is the church, a word that's a different case from the Holy See, which has an important function but is at the service of the church."

Referring to his late confrere, the progressive Milanese Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, the Pope said that when the prelate spoke of "the accent of Councils and Synods, he knew well that it'd be a long, difficult path to proceed in this direction." Stacking himself against the saint whose name he took – whose tomb he'll visit on Friday – Francis preceded the comment by saying that he "certainly [isn't] not Francis of Assisi and I don't have his strength or his holiness, but I am the Bishop of Rome and the Pope of Catholicism." Eight hundred years since the original Francis, however, Bergoglio returned to one of his pontificate's first expressed thread, noting that the Poverello's "ideal of a missionary and poor church remains more than valid.

"This is consistently the church that Jesus and his disciples preached," Francis said.

As for the church's role in the modern world, the pontiff – the first bishop of Rome to be ordained a priest after Vatican II – underscored his adherence to the path charted out by the Council, but only after "personally" embracing his predecessor's contentious thought that "to be a minority [church] could even be a strength."

"We must be a leaven of life and of love," Francis said, "and the leaven is infinitely smaller than the mass of fruit, of flowers and trees that grow thanks to it.... [O]ur objective isn't proselytism but listening to [people's] needs, desires, disappointments, desperations and hopes. We must restore hope to the young, aid the old, open ourselves to the future, spread love. [We must be] the poor among the poor. We must include the excluded and preach peace. Vatican II, inspired by Pope John and Paul VI, decided to look to the future with a modern spirit and to open [the church] to modern culture. The Council fathers knew that opening to modern culture meant religious ecumenism and dialogue with non believers. After then very little was done in that direction. I have the humility and ambition to want to do it."

While walking his visitor to the door of the Vatican guesthouse, in a sudden aside the Pope told Scalfari that his reforms "will also speak of the role of women in the church," reminding the interviewer that "the church is feminine." He didn't specify his intended result.

More to come.



John said...

The Pope seems to be well into a personal program of revolution.

No matter Francis' intentions, the present pontificate is rapidly becoming a left-leaning ideological exercise.

If history repeats itself first as tragedy and then as farce, tragedy may be coming now.

Fortunately, the fate of the Church is in the hands of the Lord who will never fail us.

Gene said...

So, the Pope continues in his progressivist ways. I think we know what to expect. It is just possible that the Holy Spirit has chosen this Pope as a judgement upon the Church for her increasingly secularist leanings. He even spoke about needing a "more profound theology of women." Now, just what the Devil might that be? Gyno-theology?

Vox Cantoris said...

When one wakes to a world where the Vicar of Christ publicly states that "The most serious of evils that afflict the world in recent years are youth unemployment and the solicited in which the old are left" when I nursed my mother to the day she died in my home and raised my son who is now 24, gainfully employed, on the other side of the continent, one can imagine how hard it is to hold my tongue. Truly, these are problems which afflict modern society due to globalist economic dominance and family breakdown; but, "the most serious?"



Murder of innocents.

Human slavery.

Religious indifference.

Radical secular atheism.

Abuse of drugs and exploitation of the poor.

Sodomic cultural domination and the destruction of marriage.

Exploitation of the poor and feeble minded?

Breakdown of the family.

I thought the "most serious of evils" were these.

The fact is, youth unemployment and abandonment of the elderly are not evils, they are symptoms of the evils I've just listed.

But who am I too judge.

Oh, and "modernism" is a heresy.

John Nolan said...

You cannot be a Cardinal unless you are a priest (Code of Canon Law 1917). John XXIII further specified that except in exceptional circumstances Cardinals must be bishops, and the revised Code of 1983 includes this.

So-called 'lay cardinals' had received first tonsure and were in minor orders. The last of these died in 1899. The subdiaconate and minor orders were in any case abolished by Paul VI (an unfortunate decision).

Pope Francis's comments about the Curia are puzzling. Since it is the Church's central bureaucracy it is bound to be "Vatican-centred". Considering the Church has over a billion adherents, it is quite small, since it is not concerned with the day-to-day running of the Church. To devolve its responsibilities to synods and councils of nominated bishops is hardly likely to lead to greater efficiency, and giving national Episcopal Conferences even more power and independence would be a disaster, not least for individual bishops whose diocesan responsibilities have already been usurped by centrally-appointed committees.

Another problem is that Francis probably owes his election to the votes of the curial cardinals (and the failure of the conservatives to unite behind a single candidate). Popes are not appointed by the Holy Ghost, a point made quite trenchantly by Benedict XVI. "An old man in a hurry" (a term famously applied to WE Gladstone) is capable of doing serious damage, particularly if he has too much confidence in his own judgement and doesn't take advice. I have lived through one disastrous papacy (1963-1978) and believe me, that's enough for one lifetime.

Gene said...

Vox Cantoris, Indeed. Unemployment of youth as a major evil. Please. How about the sloth that leads to unemployment? We are in for a long and dark pontificate...

Gene said...

Oh, and Vox, one small addendum..."modernism" goes beyond heresy. It is unbelief.

Henry said...

How has it come to the point that presumably intelligent people are discussing seriously such vacuous stuff?

MikeL said...

I'm trying not to proof-text, but this extended discussion from near the start of the interview has me concerned that Francis is, I hope unintentionally, giving comfort to those whose conscience is not troubled by abortion, euthanasia, etc. Emphasis mine.

Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?

"Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good."

Your Holiness you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that's one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope.

"And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place."

Pater Ignotus said...

If the Vatican Curia is "Vatican-Centered" then it has forgotten it's mission - to serve the Church. Only a tiny portion of that Church is at, in, or near the Vatican.

(I would suggest that Congress has become "Congress-centered," forgetting that their proper responsibility is governing a nation, but that's another discussion for another day.)

Many (most?) institutions have to come to terms with this problem. When a bank discovers that it has been devoting its time to making bank directors wealthy while ignoring the financial needs of the depositors, it is too "bank-centered." When a drug manufacturer fails to crack down on shoddy quality control because it would be too costly to do so, it has become to "manufacturer-centered" or "share-owner centered."

Parishes often fall under the same spell, placing maintenance above mission.

This is what I think Francis is getting at.

Pater Ignotus said...

Francis' words: "But it has one defect: it is Vatican-centric. It sees and looks after the interests of the Vatican, which are still, for the most part, temporal interests. This Vatican-centric view neglects the world around us."

Neglecting the (Catholic Church) world around us is what Francis sees as problematic.

Gene said...

"Everyone has his own idea of good and evil..." Um, wanna run that by me again, Pope..???!!! More careless language...

OreamnosAmericanus said...

Father, as a therapist, I suspect that you are engaging in "reaction formation". This means that you find your natural responses to this Pope unacceptable and so you overcompensate on the other side.

When you say "This Pope Has A New, Refreshing Style!", I suspect that deep down you are utterly dismayed.

As you should be.

Gene said...

DrAndroSF...or maybe just plain ol' denial...LOL!

Henry said...

Gene, why do you accuse Pope Francis of using careless language that will inevitably be misinterpreted? Why not credit him with enough intelligence to know what he is saying, and what effect it will have? Do you really think that his intent is unclear, and that he is not deliberate in pursuing it?

Anonymous said...

I found this quote from the 14th Century theologian (and Franciscan) William of Ockham. It answers the question as to whether or not a pope can be a heretic:

Student: Those authorities are enough for the said assertion. Would you therefore bring forward some examples?

Master: That a pope who enters [office] canonically can err against catholic truth is shown by many examples. Now the first example concerns blessed Peter, the chief of the apostles, whom divine providence permitted to err after he was raised to the papacy for this reason, so it seems, namely so that his successors, far inferior to him in faith, constancy and holiness, would not think that they are unable to fall into error. For blessed Paul clearly asserts that blessed Peter erred against the truth of the gospel when he says in Galatians 2[:11]. "But when Cephas was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.' And that he was to be blamed because he erred against gospel truth he shows when he adds below [Gal. 2:14], "But when I saw that they walked not uprightly unto the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, 'If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as the Jews do, how dost thou compel the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?'" We are given to understand by these words that blessed Peter deviated from the truth of the gospel. That he did turn away from the faith we find in the decretals at 2, q. 7, para. Ecce, where Gratian argues, from the example of Paul rebuking Peter, that subjects can rebuke their prelates. He responds to this argument by saying that this is permitted when prelates turn away from the faith as Peter turned away. Thus he says the following at that place, "Paul rebuked Peter who was the chief of the apostles. We are given to understand by this that subjects can rebuke prelates if they have been blamable." And to this argument he responds saying, "But this is easily rebutted if we attend to why he was rebuked. Peter was forcing the Gentiles to live as do the Jews and to fall back from the truth of the gospel and he made a party with the Jews, secretly refraining from Gentile foods. But it is the same whether one turns aside from the faith oneself or one drives others away from the faith by one's example or one's words. This example does not prove, therefore, that prelates should be accused by their subjects, unless they happen to have turned away from the faith or to have forced others to turn away." [col.495] It is clear from these words that blessed Peter fell into error by not walking rightly according to the truth of the gospel.

Student: Do modern doctors maintain that blessed Peter erred against the faith?

Master: Thomas Aquinas plainly maintains this. For he says the following at 2, 2, q. 33, article 4, "... to resist someone to their face in front of everyone exceeds the proper measure of fraternal correction. And therefore Paul would not have rebuked Peter in this way unless he were in some way his equal in respect to the defence of the faith. ... It should be known, nevertheless, that when danger threatens the faith prelates should be reproved by their subjects even publicly. For this reason, that there was imminent danger of a scandal, Paul, who was subject to Peter, publicly reproved him on a matter of faith."

Anonymous said...


In all sincerity and with my fondest respect for both you and the pope, I think you are in a state of denial about the pope. I am sure it is even more difficult for you than for the laity to deal with this because he is, in a sense, the CEO of the Church and you are on the front lines, representing the firm. The pressures of your fellow priests surely adds to it. But I stand by my assertion: I fear you are in denial about what we have for a pope. Little by little, with each new interview, he is telling the world that in his view, the objective truths of the Catholic faith are no longer objective truths. We are entering into the tyranny of relativism. We must pray, sacrifice and be willing to suffer to save our Church. The gravity of living under a pope like this is indescribable. The enemies of the Church are rejoicing now and the majority of the clueless sheep in the flock are just baaaa-ing along. We have a hard road ahead of us.

Anonymous said...

Pornography is not evil. It is art. Art to be enjoyed, to give pleasure. I am confident this Pope will soon remove all stigmas from the art of pornography, just as he is ordering the small minded to stop obessesing over abortion and same sex issues.

More power to the great Pope Francis to drag us out of the repressed dark ages!

Geoffrey Britain said...

Pope Francis declares that each person “must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them” and calling efforts to convert people to Christianity “solemn nonsense.”

I wonder how he reconciles that view with Christ's declaration that "no man cometh on to the Father but through me"...

Logically, squaring that circle appears impossible.

Personally, I suspect that the Church is so desperate to recover from its scandals that it has inadvertently elected a Pope who implicitly rejects portions of Jesus' message.

Gene said...

Well, Henry, you do have a point...

Veritas said...

“must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them”

Indeed, and if someone conceives that it is Francis and his new Church that is the evil?