Saturday, March 8, 2014



This is from the Mutual Enrichment Blog and so Catholic

7 March 2014


As you know, I have, since reviving this blog, declined to enable comments which abuse the Holy Father or the members of the English hierarchy, either individually or collectively. This will continue to be so. But, additionally, I shall not enable comments which seem to me in the least divisive; divisive vis-a-vis other Catholics; divisive vis-a-vis non-Catholics; or in the teensy weensiest bit uncharitable. 

This will be the blog that never upsets anyone! My decision results from the words of Cardinal Mueller about Ordinariate blogs; it is, I think, an immensely reasonable request on his part that, having taken advantage of Pope Benedict's generous offer of Full Communion with the See of Peter, we should not import into the Catholic Church the cheerful mud-slinging habits of our Anglican Patrimony.

 So you all need to become sensitive and unaggressive, like proper Catholic bloggers. I shall, myself, follow the same policy: I think the only possibly upsetting posts I have published recently were one which criticised 'ultra-ultra-traddies' of a sedevacantist disposition who do not believe that Novus Ordo Sacraments and Orders are valid; and another which took apart the Brentwood liturgist who wrote around telling the clergy that it was perfectly OK to use the old, now superseded, ICEL translation of the Missal if they didn't like the new one. I expect these people are all very sensitive types, and if, hitherto, they have sobbed into their unresponsive pillows in the lonely watches of the night because of what I wrote, I'll spare them that in future!

So - readers - please do not put me to the embarrassing unpleasantness of having to censor you! If your contribution fails to pop up, it will be because I deem it upsetting or divisive!


John Nolan said...

If you really want to put someone down, preface your remarks 'with all due respect', the operative word being 'due'. I'm with Hilaire Belloc:

'Heretics all, whoever you may be,
In Tarbes or Nimes or over the sea,
You never will have good words from me;
Caritas non conturbat me.'

Anonymous said...

"This will be a blog that upsets no one".

Well then Father I guess you won't be preaching the Gospel in good times or bad either. No opposing views will be tolerated, spoken like a true Neo-Con.

But the real reason has nothing to do with charity does it Father. It's because you can't really keep explaining away, on a daily basis, the stuff that Francis keeps saying. You can't do it because people aren't sheep and we will no longer blindly accept words that are not in accord with Catholic teaching even if they come from the mouth of this pope.

Most of the people who comment on this blog are intelligent and know their Faith. One of the unintended consequences of Vatican II is that when you priests underminded the traditional practices of everyday Catholics you also pulled the rug out from under yourselves. Catholics no longer just accept what "Father" says because we have seen where that has led our the brink of disaster.

The ship is sinking and you will not tolerate "uncharitable" comments. Well keep continuing down this road of the Neo-Con rose colored vision of today's Church. The result will be that your Church will be shuttered and closed within 10 years. In case you haven't noticed, all of your Neo-Con teaching has destroyed the Faith of millions. They no longer know or care or practice what the Church teaches. They don't care anymore, and you don't get that.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think on blogs, rather than resorting to name calling, like calling the Holy Father a disaster or someone ignorant or stupid, just leave the name calling out of it and critique the comment without denigrating the person.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The ship is sinking only in certain blog worlds. I have seen no change in church attendance from Pope John Paul to Pope Benedict and now to Pope Francis.
Pope Francis though has captured the imagination of the world in a similar way as Pope John Paul II.

I am willing to see how Pope Francis method of getting people to talk, especially the media, will play out in the long run. But there certainly hasn't been any major rush to my parish or major rush out of my parish and that's been consistent in all parishes I've been in for the past 34 years as a priest.

The only time I though the Church might well collaspe on the local level was during the height of the sex abuse scandal, which saw minimal numbers leaving in places that did not have numerous numbers of priest offenders (Boston and Philadelphia and perhaps Los Angeles are another story).

I would say if you are overly negative about the Holy Father, then Satan has won the day with you and probably through your excessive attention to the pope and negative blogs.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I might add that many conservative Caatholics are upset with Pope Francis because he is preaching the Gospel as Jesus did with words and actions. There is clearly a prophetic side to the Pope although I would admit that his imprecision of language causes manipulation of these words by the wrong people, but then clarification comes--which is a catehetical model, by the way. You experience something, think about it and then clarity comes.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Gene I deleted your remark precisely because you misrepresent the Holy Father and do so in the most disrespectful way. I won't tolerate it any more. It is one thing for the media to manipulate the pope but quite another for someone on my blog to do it. All that you wrote is false about the pope, false so stop spreading calumny. It is a mortal sin!

Anonymous said...

"I might add that many conservative Caatholics are upset with Pope Francis because he is preaching the Gospel as Jesus did with words and actions."

Now there you go again. I cannot imagine a good Catholic, conservative or otherwise, criticizing the pope because of his preaching the Gospel through word and action.

"I have seen no change in church attendance from Pope John Paul to Pope Benedict and now to Pope Francis."

I have. In my diocese, I've seen church attendance overall continue to increase. Principal Sunday Masses at most parishes are packed, sometimes SRO. New parishes are opening, new churches built. And the general quality of the liturgy is improving (if not at the same rate everywhere).

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Knoxville is a booming city and growing, unfortunately Macon, Georgia is on the decline, industries leaving as are citizens, mostly white flight unfortunately and the school system is abysmal and accounts for no new industries considering Macon. Houston County directly south of us is a different story and is increasing in size, mostly from disaffected citizens of our county!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Henry, the ones I hear criticizing the pope the most are those who can't stand his "social justice" stance which is very much in line with papal teachings since the 1800's. They don't like his style either, in terms of omitting the more monarchical or imperial aspects of the papacy for a simpler model. While I liked what Benedict was restoring in this regard, I know that many others were uncomfortable with it. Style and substance though are two different things.

rcg said...

John is so right. Unfortunately that phrase will set me on edge and incline me to resist any useful comments that follow. Rather an artful use of language that always actually communicates and charms. My grandfather used to correct me in a similar fashion and I had to laugh, although not at that precise moment. I also saved those Bon mot for use on others.

Rood Screen said...

I've said this before, but it bears repeating: every civilized adult needs familiarity with the basic principals of logic and rhetoric before expressing opinions publicly.

I've said this before, but it bears repeating: I agree with Henry. It is simply impossible for one to be a "conservative" or a "liberal" in good standing with the Catholic Church while also opposing the traditional moral principals proposed by Pope Francis.

Look, we all know Pope Francis has a different take from Pope Emeritus Benedict on prudential matters concerning the Roman liturgy. It's an acceptable difference of opinion, and yet these two men show nothing but respect for each other. That's called virtue.

rcg said...

Could it be, planned or not, that these two men physically represent the vetus and the novus living side by side, validly and respectfully?

Anonymous said...

I'll bet a penny to a plenary indulgence that in just a little while this whole post will be gone and forgotten and that Gene will be raving on as usual.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous at 8:03 p.m.:

You may be right but I hope you are wrong and that we will all become more mindful of the effect our words may have both on fellow bloggers and on other readers who may form their impression of Catholics and of the Catholic Faith by what they read here.

Anonymous said...

Father, with due respect, I remember a post from you where you said that the Pope opened his mouth too much and spoke too much off the cuff. You then pulled the blog.

Pope Francis himself contacted two traditional writers extremely critical of him and said he appreciated their comments. While I agree that we must be respectful to people I think that saying the Pope is a "disaster" is really just reiterating what a lot of people think. It is becoming almost the last straw. The only benefit I can see of it is that the SSPX are going to be getting a lot more through their doors. The great strides that Bl Pope John Paul The Great and Pope Benedict made are being undermined.

I think the Pope for his own sake needs to be aware of the concerns of the faithful. The Pope can grow in his office as Pope but he will not if every comment is censored and criticism is forbidden.

And what will then result is people having their own blogs which are likely to become very over the top.

I mean to be talking on the one hand for the need for evangelisation and then on the other hand Pope Francis more or less saying all religions are equal and calling a pentecostal "bishop" who has no sacramental orders "my brother bishop" is astounding from the Pope. There are definitely many in the Church who are prepared to fiddle while Rome burns and it is to the detriment of the Church.


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think it is important to be charitable in what we say in public forums, especially when what the pope says or any bishop or priest says today is easily transmitted around the world on the internet. It is one thing to say that when the pope says something that allows that something to be taken out of context and twisted by ideologues, that what the pope says could be a disaster. That is quite different from calling the Pope a disaster which is extremely uncharitable and thus a mortal sin.

So let's focus on what he says and the context and recognize the disaster is that people are spinning him and his words allow for this because these words are not a precise as these might be. But let us recognize that this happens in life. It happened to Pope Benedict with his comments on Islam that caused some people to get killed because these words were misinterpreted, but we must also recognize that Pope Benedict could have said it differently and diffused or prevented the negative reaction, but to call Pope Benedict a disaster for interfaith relations would be uncharitable.
The problem with what Pope Francis says is that it is not always clear, but the greater problem are those whose agenda makes them twist his sayings to accommodate their agenda.
As Pope Benedict suggests to Pope Francis and really to any of us who are ordained, what we say should be watertight and not easily manipulated.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Fr Hunwicke, and I enjoy his blog immensely. I find it slightly confusing that he is free to make the following comment on what Pope Francis said recently about the interest of the young people in the usus antiquior:

"One occasionally hears it said among clergy that, while it is understandable that the elderly should have an affection for the tradition in which they grew up, a preference for the Ancient Roman Rite when found among the young, can only be a fashion or a fad.

This reminds me of a lecturer at Oxford in the mid-1960s, Austin Baker, who quoted the view of the psalmist that never had he seen the poor and righteous man begging his bread, and commented: "It makes one want to say: 'You should try to get out a bit more'"."

So I ask is it okay to be critical of what Pope Francis says as long it is done obliquely and not a direct criticism of him?


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The Holy Father is entitled to his opinion and others who disagree with that opinion may state so in the most respectful way possible. And on top of that, we are not even certain that what is attributed to the pope in this regard is accurate. So prudence is always a friend of charity.

Anonymous said...

With due respect again, Father, I have heard absolutely dreadful things said by Catholics against Bl Pope John Paul The Great and Pope Benedict on many blogs which make a comment about "a disaster" pale into insignificance. But I have never seen any correction of these bloggers at all. It seems a double standard is being applied.

I have never heard any of the Popes speak before in uncharitable terms of the nuns, the priests, the laity as Pope Francis has spoken and, unfortunately, there is no way these comments have been taken out of context. I have seen the "Little book of insults". These comments from the Pope are dividing the Church. This is largely of his own making and the fruits of giving greater voice to the laity. It seems to me that many of the bloggers are suddenly afraid to speak out and it seems to me that many of the laity are feeling marginalised by this pontificate.

There has been more upset over the past 12 months than I have noticed previously. How long will it be tolerated? Before we can even think of evangelisation it is time for the rift in the Church to be healed, for example, for the name calling against those who have a love of the usus antiquior to stop - from the Pope down.