Wednesday, March 12, 2014



MY COMMENTS FIRST: Style over substance. There are two groups in the Church united over one thing and that is the style of the Pope. But they are united for the wrong reasons. The progressive type Catholic, throw-backs to the 1970's, my generation of Catholics, like Pope Francis' simple style and they believe it to be a symbol of his theology and doctrine, a post-Catholic kind of thing where there is great rupture between the pre-Vatican II Church and the post-Vatican II Church.

The traditionalists believe the simple style of Pope Francis is what the progressives believe about it, that this pope is a throw back to the 1970's way of doing things and being Church. They despise it and  like the progressives who despised Pope Benedict, they despise Pope Francis.  In this regard, the two extremes in the Church are cut from the same fabric and use the same ideologies to discredit the pope, whether that be Pope Francis or Pope Benedict.

I must say that I've deleted many negative comments about Pope Francis by so-called traditionalist Catholics because, quite frankly, they remind me of the rhetoric of progressive Catholics toward Pope Benedict. These shrill comments show how far the Catholicism of some in the Church has plummeted into ideological diatribes and far from Jesus Christ, whom the pope is merely the vicar. I am embarrassed by these comments and know many good, authentic Catholics who live their Catholic lives away from the internet but who would be appalled by the vices and voices of negativity toward a sitting or retired pope. It just isn't Catholic. It is the worst of Protestantism in terms of "anti-popery!"

This secular article below tells the obvious about Pope Francis. His style is different and his way of governing is different. His pastoral outreach is different. But doctrinally he is on the same page with Pope Benedict. They have different pastoral positions, there is no doubt. But each pope brings his own style to every papacy. Just look at Pope Pius XII; Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I, Pope John Paul II; Pope Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis. 

The progressives said Pope Benedict would outlaw the Ordinary Form of the Mass and return to using the tiara. They were wrong. The traditionalists say that Pope Francis will outlaw the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and allow for women priests, divorced Catholics to remarry in the Church, and allow for gay marriage and civil unions all with Church endorsement. They are just as silly and wrongheaded about Pope Francis as the silly and wrongheaded progressives were about Pope Benedict. 

Vatican City (AFP) - In his first year, Pope Francis has blown a breath of fresh air through the Catholic Church that has been felt across the globe.

Contrary to the way he is frequently depicted, the first pope from the southern hemisphere is no revolutionary in terms of doctrine.

But there is no doubt that he has shaken up the way things are done at the head of the Church, triggering concern, reticence and even a degree of opposition within the Vatican establishment.
Elected exactly a year ago on Thursday, Francis quickly developed a rapport with the faithful far beyond the confines of the Holy See.

Now 77, he has also appealed to many non-Catholics with his common touch, his grace and ease with ordinary people and his emphasis on the Church serving the interests of the world's poor.
Partly as a result, the expectations vested in him have been huge.
Twelve months after he accepted his election with the words "I am a great sinner," the Church has not been transformed, no rules have been abolished and the rituals at St Peter's continue to follow their timeless rhythm.

But in terms of style, a lot has changed.

Naturally spontaneous, Francis speaks easily, gives interviews and says what he thinks and, in turn, he is credited with encouraging a new spirit of open debate across the 1.2 billion-strong Church.
People like, and seem convinced by, his projection of the image of the pope as an ordinary man.
He has been described variously as a Marxist, pro-gay, a supporter of women priests and allowing the clergy to marry: none of them with any real basis.
A theme this pope returns to repeatedly is that of mercy, which has had profound implications for the way issues such as homosexuality, divorce and abortion are addressed, even if there has been no change in Church teaching on any of them.

Francis's message seems to be, "avoid judging and condemning others". He has been severe in his criticism of what he calls "armchair bishops" and careerism within the clergy, reminding priests that they should be close enough to their flocks to take on "the smell of their sheep".
- Contrast with Benedict -

It is all a world away from that of his German predecessor Benedict XVI, now cloistered in a monastery on the Vatican hill. The two men have a great mutual respect and are said to get on well, but they could not be further apart in their respective approaches to the job.
In the newspaper and souvenir kiosks of Vatican City, postcards bearing the shy and serious face of Benedict are now usually to be found hidden away behind those of his more dynamic successor.
Only the soon-to-be-canonised John Paul II can rival the current pope in the eyes of the faithful.
This popularity, combined with a certain curtness in his management style, has not won universal acclaim in the small world that is the Vatican.

"There are some who think that he has stripped the papacy of its aura, (that) this pope has become too accessible, too close to the people," said Andrea Tornielli of the website "Vatican Insider".
Traditionalists have criticised some of Francis's interviews with mainstream newspapers in which he has seemed to cast doubt on some Church teachings.

His search for new ways of handling practical problems like the treatment of believers who have divorced and remarried has accentuated his reputation for innovation, which has not pleased everyone.

The cardinals who massively backed Francis's elevation gave him two mandates: reform the Church and its central government, and reinvigorate its missionary work at a time when much of the Western world is turning its back on Christianity.

He has started to accomplish the first of those mandates. The clergy have not been spared from criticism by a pope who has not shied away from tackling in-fighting and sidelining corrupt or incompetent figures.

He has started to restructure the governance of the Church and has asked private companies to audit its accounts and working methods.

His second mandate, a new evangelism, is closer to Francis's heart and its success, he believes, depends on re-establishing traditional family structures as a means of ensuring that faith is transmitted to a new generation. Two upcoming synods will address this question.

At the same time, Francis has also begun a consultation on issues of homosexuality, cohabitation outside of marriage, and divorce, and how the Church should respond. For him it is a way of reconnecting with sections of society that had become estranged from the Church.

Francis has also continued Benedict's zero tolerance approach on paedophilia, insisting that offending priests must be defrocked -- while failing to fully satisfy the demands of victims' organisations who suspect him of seeking to minimise the damage the scourge has done to the Church.

For many, Francis's strength lies in the direct connection he appears to have with the ordinary people of a globalising world seeking meaning in their lives.


Anonymous said...

Francis' message seems to be avoid judging or condemning anyone.........except for those Catholics who believe and try to live everything the Church teaches.

And where is this Church that is judging and condemning people? Where is this Church that obsesses about doctrine, abortion and gay marriage? Where is this Church that has done nothing for the poor, the sick, the elderly in the past 2000 years? Where is this Church that hasn't really preached the Gospel until Francis became pope? Where is this Church that Francis is always condemning? Because the Church I have known since birth has preached the Gospel, feed the poor, clothed the naked. I don't know this cruel uncaring Church that Francis keeps taking about and judging so negatively. Where does this Church exist Father, please tell me.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

While I know nothing of the South American culture and Argentina's in particular, I do know that it is heavily influenced by Europe in general and Italy in particular. Thus Pope Francis, who parents were native Italians is very Italian and more of the "peasant class" of Italians, such as of my mother's family of that period in the early 1900's. This is not a derogatory comment.
Pope Francis connects with Italians because he is so Italian in his mannerisms, style of speaking and use of symbols, non verbal symbols. He also has an extremely Italian sense of humor.

This pope is calling heresy a heresy and this hasn't been heard from of pope since the Council. Those who are being the heretics are acting like heretics always have and deny it. Because our current culture is so-sensitive psychologically, these soft heretics are crying crocodile tears. It goes against the culture of praise they experienced growing up.

The ugliest comments we have on the internet are from progressives and traditionalists, both groups that I claim are cut from the same psychological cloth in terms of personality but formed in differing ideologies. Both groups are a mix of Pelagians and Gnostics and really can't be classified in the strictest sense. They are sour-pusses too! The pope is right in his diagnosis and their dour and mean outlook on life does not attract people to our Church, but pushes them away and those who might have some inkling of staying in the Church are also pushed away by them.

I think Pope Francis is referring to groups that are divisive in dioceses and parishes.

But make no mistake, this pope wants to include sinners in the Church, he wants them to examine their conscience and he wants them to repent, express sorrow and go to Confession. He want them to work toward making regular their live in the Church where there are irregularities and he wants priests and nuns to help them to do this and not remain in the status quo.

Pope Francis is reinvigorating the faith of Italian Catholics, especially Romans who are quite disillusioned with the Church and now for a few centuries. There is an anti-clericalism in Italy precisely because the Church has taken unpopular political positions and used the government to enforce Church discipline.

That is the danger of mixing religion and politics and using politics to control people in the Church. This creates a backlash and an anti-clericalism and weakens the Church. the pope knows this.

Anonymous said...

Francis connects with people who don't believe what the Catholic Church teaches because they think he agrees with them. I wonder why they think that.

"Blessed are you when they insult you and utter every kind of evil you FALSELY because of my sake."

Well Francis doesn't have to worry about that one because the whole world loves him. Will he disregard the Lord's own statement on marriage or will he "tolerate" divorce and remarriage out of a false sense of compassion? He has already started preparing the church for tolerating remarriage that is what Kasper's speech and this upcoming synod are all about. That is why the world adores him. It has nothing to do with living in a motel that has twice the square footage as those evil papal apartments. It has to do with making people feel comfortable in their sinfulness. That is the ugly truth no matter how it is rationalized.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

you are cherry-picking what the pope has said and more clairvoyant than I am. And evidently you don't remember the 57 year old Pontiff, Blessed John Paul II in his heyday. It was far more the celebrity than Pope Francis is.

I have never heard a pope in my lifetime speak as much about sin, corruption and the need for the Sacrament of Penance that Pope Francis.

What planet are you living on?

Anonymous said...

"What planet are you living on?"

Earth is the planet I'm living on Father.

Did Christ say to go out to the whole world and preach the Gospel or did He not say that?

Does Pope Francis preach the gospel to the Jews or does he believe this is unnecessary because their covenant with God still stands? Does Pope Francis call Muslims to the Gospel or does he say obey the Koran as your mother taught you and be a good Muslim? Does Pope Francis call his Pentecostal preacher friends to the truths of the one true Church established by Christ Himself or does he kneel at their feet and ask for a "blessing"? Does Pope Francis call an atheist to find Christ or does he call this solemn nonsense?

What planet are you living on Father?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

What he says about these things is what my pre-Vatican II parents taught me and prior to the Council living here in the South. And that kind of mentality of my parents and of Pope Francis will win more converts to the faith than the shrill kind of thing you are advocating.
I can remember in Catholic school in the south prior to Vatican II that we were taught to respect our Protestant brothers and sisters and that when they lived their faith they often lived it better than many Catholics live their faith.

The point was that we Catholics should take our faith as seriously as our Protestant and Jewish brothers and sisters and actually live it, especially the two greatest commandment!

Now what Church do you belong to?

Anonymous said...

Now what church do you belong to?

You never answers my questions Father.

Does the pope call Protestants, Muslims and Jews to find Christ or does he not?

Pater Ignotus said...

Anonymous is living on earth, to be sure. The only problem is that that earth is stuck in the 1850's.

Is the Truth the same today as it was then? Of course.

Is the way in which we preach and live the Truth the same today as it was then? Of course not.

It is easy to stand and hurl condemnations across the chasm that divides us from non-Christian religions. But it accomplishes nothing.

It is far, far more demanding to step across that chasm, to recognize in those-who-are-not-us the goodness that is found in their beliefs and lives, and to build upon that commonality.

We spent centuries condemning each other and damning other Christians to hell, and that brought us no closer to the unity that Christ desires for the Church.

While European powers dominated the world politically, militarily, and economically, we sent missionaries to "Heathen Asia" and to "Deep Dark Africa" to European-ize them, only to find that, in many cases, they weren't interested in wearing corsets, drinking tea, or bowing down to a king or queen who was thousands of miles away, or giving up their rich natural resources. So we slaughtered them.

Times have changed, and generally for the good.

Gene said...

Pi, we did not slaughter them. We brought them all here and dumbed down the entire culture to accommodate them. Get with it!

Rood Screen said...

Pater Ignotus,

As an avid tea drinker, I feel I must point out that tea is a product of Asia and West Africa, where it is far more popular than coffee.

John Nolan said...

PI and Gene,

Good polemic, both of you, but historical balderdash. Asia, Africa and, for that matter, the Americas actually embraced European culture - look at modern India, Japan, South Korea - even China, with its great cultural heritage, is governed according to a system devised by a 19th century German philosopher and put into practice (disastrously) by a 20th century Russian.

One of the uncontested facts of history is the extent to which European culture and technology has, in the last 500 years, come to dominate the world; and one of the main beneficiaries has been the Roman Catholic Church.

Also don't forget that Christianity would not have survived, let alone spread, without the Roman Empire, both in the East and in the West.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - Yes, we can see that effect in you all too often!

George said...

The invention of the printing press
is regarded as the one of most important events in history. The person who made this contribution to the world,Johannes Gutenburg was a Catholic.
It was the Catholic Church through her members that was responsible for developments in so many different fields of study,from the natural sciences to the social sciences. It was through her members that countless numbers of the poor and sick and lame were cared for. It was from her that many went out to evangelize and convert the world to the Gospel of Christ.

Anonymous 2 said...

Pater Ignotus, Gene, and John,

We could argue all day about the proper interpretation of the historical record. My own view is that each of you has painted part of the picture and that the whole picture is much more complex and not easily reducible to one single perspective.

But isn’t all that somewhat beside the point? Much more to the point, surely, is what Pater Ignotus says in the rest of his comment at 10:05 a.m. And here I find it difficult to disagree with the position that he so powerfully and eloquently articulates.

John Nolan said...

Pater Ignotus

"Is the way we preach and live the Truth the same as it was then [the 1850s]? Of course not."

Speak for yourself. We're not talking here of the dim and distant past, but the time of John Henry Newman. Was his world so very different from ours? Are his preaching, his writings, his life of witness to the Truth no longer relevant? The importance given to his beatification by Pope Benedict XVI a mere three-and-a-half years ago would suggest otherwise.

Etenim si incertam vocem det tuba, quis parabit se ad bellum? (1 Cor. 14:8)

Pater Ignotus said...

John - I think that if God's plan had included Peter ending his life in Athens rather than Rome, the Church would have survived and spread just fine. And if the site had been Alexandria, Carthage, or Peshawar, God's plan would have been fulfilled.

God did not require the Roman Empire for the spread of the Gospel.

As to America embracing European culture, I would suggest the Cherokee and the Creeks, the Iroquois and Abenaki, the Chippewa and the Powhatan would have a different view altogether. And lest we forget, the Canaris, Chibchas, Moche, and Inca of South America would also dispute your claim.

Newman was a product of his time, as we all are. I'd say the world is now a very different place in many ways, not the least being the demise of the influence of religion in the West.

New circumstances demand new strategies and new ways of making the Gospel known. In Newman's day one could expect that religious leaders would be, at least, listened to and taken seriously. As you must admit, that is no longer the case in much of the West.

George said...

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, whose life ended toward the end of the last decade of the 19th century, was one of many great saints and blesseds
of that period, one of those of course being John Henry Newman. Her life and writings as well as his and all the others testify as strongly to the Truth today as then and they ring out to us like church bells resounding across a treeless vale.

George said...

Anonymous2's first paragraph points to a certain phenomena where some take a more or less simplistic approach to what has transpired in that part of the world. I don't think it fair to say Europeans "slaughtered" Africans and leave out among others Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe and the genocide of the Tutsis by the Hutus. One should not look just at what Europeans did to exploit African natural resources but recognized also(and more importantly) that they brought Christianity to that Continent where it is now prospering.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Father, I totally disagree with your comments that it is only traditionalists who are making derogatory comments about Pope Francis. I know many conservatives who don't go near the Latin Mass who are very upset with Pope Francis and make it plain. That includes priests too. A very small percentage in the Church may be pleased with this pontificate so far but they are mostly liberals from what I can glean - the rest won't criticise the Pope because he is the Pope.

I will be interested to read your comments on Pope Francis a year from now, particularly after the Synod on the Family - I think that many may be singing a different tune.


Anonymous said...

Father, I think that Pope Francis with his comments is the most divisive person in the Church and, unfortunately, you seem to be adopting the same style. I totally agree with what Anonymous says that the message I have got from Francis' papacy so far has just been totally negative towards good Catholics, priests and nuns. I have read that he was apparently known for this manner and language in Argentina.

Unfortunately, you seem to be adopting the same style as Francis. In every group there are those who are extreme and you shouldn't be labeling one group of people in the same manner that Francis does. My take on him is that he is nothing whatsoever like his namesake St Francis.

I have defended every Pope since the Council. Except for his defence of the poor there is very little I can find to defend Pope Francis over. My take on Pope Francis is he is negative. He and you, Father, need to remember that you are priests first and foremost to all Catholic people, not a select few whether poor or otherwise.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Popes have a tendency to be divisive for some. Pope Benedict certainly created division between himself and the more liberal or progressive side of the Church, especially academia.

Pope Francis emphasizes a new pastoral approach for the Vatican (not new on the grassroots level, I might observe). This is resonating very well in Europe where priests are far more clerical and aloof than here in the United States and far more distant from their congregations.

Pope John Paul II told priests in Europe, early on in his papacy to get out of the sacristy. To go to the people and he modeled that type of activism.

What Pope Francis decries is a kind of nobility in the clergy that disconnects them from the flock, where they don't know the flock except in an academic sort of way and the ministry is marginalized simply to an Old Testament concept of priesthood, where one doesn't get dirty but only touches that which is clean.

I don't think it was this way in the Catholic Church of the USA even prior to Vatican II. Priests were more accessible than in Europe with its tradition of monarchy applied to the Church.

Anonymous said...

No, Father, I mean divisive in the sense that he is singling out different groups in the Church and bashing them. There are ways of saying things, and to be honest I have even wondered if the Pope has a mental problem. I just cannot believe some of the things that have come out of his mouth, especially when I compare the beautiful sermons of Pope John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict, Pope Paul VI and Bl Pope John.

I read the following comment from an Argentinian on several blogs in the first weeks of Pope Francis' papacy. I thought at the time it had the ring of truth the way it was phrased but I was prepared to wait and see. Regretfully, I feel Pope Francis has confirmed a lot of what this man says. I think there is much more to come and we had better fasten our seat belts. This is what the man from Argentina had to say:

"While it is correct to give Francis some time to act, please do not fool yourselves.
I am Argentine, I live in Buenos Aires since I was born. I am 40 years old, father to four kids. I helped and hosted priests from the FSSP and the Institute of the Good Sheperd when they visited Buenos Aires. None of them was granted a single minute with Bergolgio. We visited a dozen churchs in the City, begging the priest in charge to allow the visitors to say the Mass. By direct order of Benedict, it was impossible. Only one priest allowed a Mass, and immediatley received a phone call from Bergoglio in person, who insulted in the most vulgar terms. I know this because that poor priest is a dear friend of mine.

Bergolio is a vulgar man, badly mannered, who shows a falsa attitude of dialogue and humility, but inside (when the doors are shut) he is tiranic and violent with everyone daring to secondguess him.

Bergoglio publicly defended Bishop Maccarone, after it was revealed that he had contranatura realtionships with a taxi driver (a video was available). Another extraordinary priest of Buenos Aires (Mons. Gustavo Podestá) dared to critize in his sermon "those who defend the indefensible" and within 24 hs was sacked by Bergoglio and sent home for ever (his flock in tears). Mons. Podestá even published in the parochial web page that "Mons. Bergoglio requested my resignation with great charity accepted it by telephone".

I could tell a lot more. Church in Argentina is a mock of the true Church, as regards liturgy, doctrine and public defense of pro-life agenda. And this is to thank to our new Pope.

I think that the cardinals were utterly unaware of the true nature and records of Bergoglio. A wwell devised trapp was set; it appears that Abril y Castelló collected the votes. This cardinal is also well known in Argentina since he was a Nuncio here, and was responsible for many horrendous nominations of modernist Bishops.

Believe it looks awfully bad. This has to be, nevertheless, contemplated in the Divine Plan. Perhaps a chastisemen for the world and the Church.

Kind regards,

Antonio Lara
16 March, 2013 16:25"

Anonymous said...

Father, if the Pope wants to include sinners in the Church, doesn't that then extend to "sour pusses"?

With respect, the Faith has always been pretty weak among Italians. Very few have followed the moral teaching of the Church - although they are not alone in that. The backlash against the Church and anti-clericalism is purely and simply because the ordinary Catholic in the pew wants the Church to accept their immoral lives. Lack of catechesis since the Second Vatican Council is what is to blame. These Catholics are enamoured with Pope Francis, simply because they think he is going to relax the Church's moral teachings.


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Antonio, I do not know the religious culture of Argentina but I suspect it is a melting pot of culture and the Italian heritage is strong there as well as the Spanish and also indigenous.

What I do know is that in South America in general and Argentina in particular there are radical factions, ultra left and ultra right, both religiously and politically speaking. I also know that the Hierarchy in many South American countries sided with the ruling class, the rich which is much more stratified there than here, the proportion of poor to rich and in the extremes. The USA has always had a very strong middle class with some rich and some poor but not as extreme as in South America.
There has also been a clear delineation of Church and State and no national religion other than secularism.
From what I can tell the extreme group in the Church that gave Cardinal Bergoglio the most difficult time were the ultra-conservatives, usually rather affluent and maybe aligned with the dictatorships there.
The most abysmal behavior I have ever seen in a Catholic Cathedral happened in Bergoglio's former Cathedral when at an interfaith Service remembering the Holocaust ultra conservatives and right wing Catholics, perhaps schismatics, interrupted the service, took over the microphone and yelled and screen and mocked the Blessed Virgin Mary by praying the Rosary in protest and in a riotous way.
If I experienced that from the right wing of the Church, I'd do what Pope Francis is doing too!
There are right wing Catholics, sometimes schismatics who reject Vatican II's call for ecumenism, interfaith dialogue and dialogue with the world as well as religious liberty, not to mention, liturgical reform. They are on the fringe in rejecting the Magisterium of an Ecumenical Council, not Pope Francis.

Gene said...

In my weaker moments, I often wonder if Luther and Calvin are looking over the precipice of Glory shaking their heads and saying, "We told you so!" Christ have mercy!

Gene said...

Fr, the good news is that you don't need to go to the gym anymore. You get all the exercise you need stretching, reaching, and bending over backwards defending this Pope. I dare say that you have attained olympian status by your efforts.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Gene, I am doing what any good Catholic should do, whether we be clergy, religious or laity. I learned that from the Baltimore Catechisms. It really is basic to Catholicism and it certainly isn't Protestant or schismatic.

Gene said...

Certainly, FR, we support and defend the Papacy as a concept and principle. However, we see how one weak or wayward Pope can shake the faith of many and raise serious questions in others.
Those of us with theological backgrounds can (most often) separate the True Faith and its dogma and doctrine from the vagaries of time, place, and person…many of the flock cannot. Even so, such shenanigans on the part of a Pope disturb devout Catholics whether doctrinally educated or not.

Anonymous said...

Fr. McDonald, I don't know how to have or feel more personal loyalty to the Papacy as the vicar of Christ and the necessary bond of unity in the Church. Perhaps one index of such loyalty is a concern with perceived unworthy behavior by any pope, both because of it can weaken the faith and unity of the Church. and because in itself it seems to betray a lack of respect for the Office on his part. To defend such behavior would betray a lack of respect on my own part.

Anonymous said...

Let me commend to all here what Fr. Hunwicke, so incomparably erudite and eloquently expressive on all things, says at his Mutual Enrichment blog today:

"Now we have a Bishop of Rome who is less consummate a theologian, and is a man naturally given to coarse and combative expression. And, despite the journalists and the spin-doctors, he is in fact very distinctly less humble than his predecessor. This does not make him any less estimable as a Sovereign Pontiff . . . . . It does not in any way diminish the fulness of the Magisterium which he possesses. But Things have Consequences. When a man expresses himself with a knock-about vulgarity, even if that man is the Vicar of S Peter, it seems to me that the structure of the exchange makes it congruous for people to respond to him in the way invited by his own chosen style of dialogue. . . . . Even if you are a pope, you must expect to get what you ask for."

"We need to clear out of the way the fawning superstition that faithful, obedient Catholics, episcopal, clerical, and lay, are supposed to regard the bishop of Rome as some sort of god-like superman who never makes mistakes and is above criticism . . . . It would be a pity, and a waste, if Francis were to be remembered only for his Spanish slang, his media gaffes, and his rather mannered public displays of 'humility'. Viva il Papa!"

Fr. Hunwicke says much more. Surely it has not been said better.

Pater Ignotus said...

"We support and defend the Papacy as a concept and a principle. However..." What complete and utter rot.

Why not "We support and defend the Bodily Resurrection of Jesus as a concept and a principle. However..." or "We support and defend the concept of Transubstantiation as a concept and a principle. However..." or "We support and defend the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a concept and a principle. However..."?

Faith is not a "concept and a principle." At that level it is nothing more than an academic game or a topic for a debating society.

Faith is lived - and in the Catholic Church, part of living that faith is not taking upon oneself, no matter how well-versed one is in Protestant theology, the position of passing judgment on bishops.

And just who are the "We" you presume to speak for? Did they take a vote and choose you as leader and mouthpiece?

There are millions of devout, committed Catholics around the world who do not share your shock and horror. In any case, much of this shock and horror is self-inflicted and has little to do with Pope Francis.

Anonymous said...

Henry, God bless you for that last comment (@9:40 AM).

Gene said...

Oh, listen to old Ignotus get outraged. What a laugh...

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - If I ever said that I "support and defend" some aspect of Catholic teaching "as a concept and principle" you would have gone ballistic, accusing me of being a liar, being a terrible priest, being an apostate, etc etc etc.

You adhere to the Catholic faith only when it suits your preconceived notions of right-wing politics, when it satisfies your personal taste, or when it makes you feel superior to others.

I am not outraged. I am glad, though, that your true colors are being revealed.

Gene said...

Well, Ignotus, you refused to confess that you believed in the Real Presence and the bodily resurrection when asked by another blogger, saying it was a trap and beneath you to answer. Would that come under "concept and principle?"

I don't know where you get the idea that my Catholic faith has anything to do with "right wing politics." That is just another of your stereotypes and dismissive taunts.
Now, just how would my Catholic faith make me feel superior to others? Given the antics of the current Pope, it actually causes me to feel a bit sheepish around others, especially my former Calvinist colleagues and friends who are right there with the old "I told ya' so."
As far as you being a liar and apostate, those things are givens in my estimation. Perhaps you are a good Priest to those of your ilk who seek you out or to those who know no better...

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - No matter what answer I might give to any question asked, you would never accept it or regard my answer as truthful. And that is because unless people agree with you and never question you or correct you, you perceive them as enemies.

The "concept and principle" involved in my refusal is your incompetence to judge the Faith of any priest as being (or not being) in accord the Faith of the Church. The only person competent to do that is our diocesan bishop. And, as you know, I have that approval.

I have no doubt that we will again hear your boastful commentary on how bishops can't be trusted - but you, with your Protestant doctrinal education, can be - to know what is and is not the Catholic Faith.

Yes, your politics are radically right-wing. You repeat the same tired Tea Party bilge such as, "All he (Obama) can do is use executive orders and ham-fisted methods. This is not even mentioning that foreign governments consider him a laughing stock. Obama has no foreign policy other than bowing and scraping before other national leaders."

Then, to add your own racist slant, you add, "It really is reminiscent of the old shuck and jive acts."

Further, "I will not pray for that man. I wonder how many Catholics will still vote for him...anyone who does vote for him is an enemy of the Church and the country. My only prayer for them is that their suffering is proportionate to their sin. Literally, to Hell with them."

Are your politics right-wing? Yep.

Valentine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pater Ignotus said...

Val - Most of the Tea People I have heard are radically right-wing. They're generally woefully in-informed, especially as concerns American history, science, and Catholic Social Teaching.

Sure there are other right-wingers out there, but, as far as I know, they're not posting on this blog.

Gene said...

Ignotus, I am flattered that you keep such close track of my posts. My conservative politics have nothing to do with my Catholic faith.
Anyway, I guess i'll go back to that little apartment you keep for me in your head…LOL!

Gene said...

I guess we can assume from his posts that Ignotus has both front feet in the liberal trough…LOL!

Anonymous said...

Father, from what I have read Cardinal Bergoglio actually got on well with the SSPX in Argentina.

The FSSP are a legitimate order in the Church. Antonio Lara also writes that Cardinal Bergoglio refused to allow the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin or ad orientem. So that means you would have had problems celebrating Mass that way in Argentina, Father.

Living in a diocese myself where the Bishop refuses to grant permission for the Latin Mass either the OF or EF or to allow the OF said ad orientem and the young priests who have done so have been treated very harshly, I can well understand Antonio Lara writing in the way that he does.

This is the point that everyone is making - Pope Francis preaches love and charity. The problem is he is not extending that to everyone in the Church. This is the same with the bishop in my diocese. Everything and anything is tolerated except the Latin Mass. I don't belong to the SSPX but I know this bishop has treated members of the SSPX better than faithful Catholics. This has been the theme in the Second Vatican Council - no charity that I can see - all lip service. The most uncharitable priests I have met, unfortunately, are those priests now in their 60s and 70s - except for one or two who themselves were kicked out when they refused to conform to the innovations - ten years will see them out and then the Church will be rebuilt because the majority of our young priests have the Faith, whereas I have doubts about my bishops and most of that vintage of priests who spent their time on the golf course and did nothing pastoral - no catechesis.

Before the Church can begin to evangelise she needs to mend the wounds in the Church first. They go very deep, otherwise what is being practised is a false charity and a complete and utter sham. It has been a most horrible 40 years to have been a Catholic and I and others have felt a complete alien in the Church all these years. But for the fact that I was taught the faith by good priests and nuns I would have left long ago. To be honest I find more charity and belief in protestants - at least they haven't embraced wicca, New Age and all those new fangled things that you can come across in any Catholic church these days.

I completely endorse Fr Hunwicke's comments.

And I do believe that the Church is headed for schism if Pope Francis continues in the manner he is going. As it is many of us are hanging on by the skin of our teeth.


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I don't know the dynamics between ultra conservative Catholics in Argentina and the ruling class, especially its dictators, I really wonder about that and the link and thus Pope Francis' antipathy toward right wingers in the Church. He has had very negative experiences with them and their pickled peppered faces I suspect.

But I have personally witnessed Pope Francis celebrate the OF Mass entirely in Latin and on several occasions and he has celebrated the OF Mass at least twice ad orientem.

John Nolan said...

Jan, in which diocese do you live? No priest has ever needed the permission of his bishop to celebrate the Novus Ordo in Latin; in fact any Mass may be in Latin unless it has been specifically scheduled as a vernacular Mass. Of course, if a diocesan priest refused point-blank to say any of his Masses in English, then the bishop might well intervene.

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