Sunday, November 2, 2014


UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE! Another article reminding heterodox traditionalists to cool their jets. You can read the whole article at its source The Daily Beast, HERE! But here is a good pieice of advice from the same article and source:

It’s almost as if the Catholic Church was recently baptized in a vat of irony: so-called traditionalists—the same people who insisted that liberals fall in line behind John Paul II and Benedict XVI—are petulantly calling for schism and for bucking Church hierarchy. What makes it even more absurd: Francis isn’t all that liberal. He cares profoundly and deeply about the poor, but he rarely speaks about supporting women, holds the line on contraception and abortion, and is only selectively pro-environment. In keeping with official Church teaching he believes in the reality of evolution, and in keeping with official Church teaching he believes in the power of exorcism. The Pope is Catholic, go figure.

Traditionalists appear to be buying into the media spin about which they themselves complain. In doing so they are actually bolstering Francis’s lib credentials. Perhaps the hawks should settle down, stop drinking the libertine media Kool-Aid they’ve been protesting about for so long, and act like the pro-hierarchy traditionalists they claim to be.

This is from Sunday's morning's edition of CRUX by John Allen. You can read the full article HERE, but this is the part everyone here should read and take to heart, especially my right leaning heterodox, pseudo-protestant, pseudo-eastern orthodox readers:

Francis and evolution

Earlier this week, there was a brief media frenzy over comments Pope Francis made about science and the theory of evolution.

Saying that God does not wave a “magic wand” but rather allows the universe to unfold according to its own laws, the pope said on Monday that “the evolution of nature does not conflict with the notion of creation, because evolution presupposes the existence of creatures which evolve.”

The line initially was styled in some quarters as a breathtaking departure with Catholic tradition, which of course it wasn’t.

Other commentators already have pointed out how papal teaching since at least the 1950s consistently has asserted there’s no conflict between evolution and creation. In 2007, for instance, Benedict XVI famously called it “absurd” to posit a contradiction between the two.

Granted, there was brief spell of confusion in 2005 when Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria, authored an opinion piece for The New York Times in which he appeared to endorse intelligent design. Some wondered if the Catholic Church was moving closer to a fundamentalist insistence on reading the Bible literally, and thus rejecting scientific accounts of the development of species.

Schönborn, however, quickly made it clear that what he was objecting to wasn’t evolution as a scientific theory, but rather “evolutionism,” meaning a philosophical position that allows no room for God in accounting for the origins of the universe or of life.

That’s basically the standard Catholic line: Yes to evolution as a way of explaining how species change over time, no to ratcheting evolution up into a proof of atheism.

In other words, what Francis said on Monday represented no novelty. How, then, do we explain the 24-hour period in which his comments were widely described as historic?

First, when it comes to framing the activity of this pope, we have a problem of narrative. Francis has been cast by the media as a maverick who’s turning Catholicism on its ear, and thus, far too often, everything he says or does is understood through that filter. It all has to be revolutionary, even when it clearly isn’t.

Second, we have a problem of context. Because Francis has strong appeal even in secular circles with little background in religion, many people are now paying attention to a pope for the first time. They tend to assume everything is happening for the first time under Francis, with no sense of how it fits into the bigger picture of Catholic teaching and tradition, to say nothing of the records of other recent popes.

That’s an especially galling omission in this case, given the actual occasion for Francis’ remarks: The unveiling of a bronze bust honoring Benedict XVI by the Pontifical Academy for Sciences, an event designed precisely to recognize the various ways in which Benedict supported and encouraged scientific inquiry.

In a tribute to his predecessor, Francis called Benedict a “great pope.”

Francis praised “the strength and penetrating quality of his intelligence, his important contribution to theology, his love for the Church and for human beings, and his virtue and religious character.”

“Far from dissipating with the passage of time,” Francis said, Benedict’s spirit “will seem ever greater and more powerful in each passing generation.”

In other words, if ever there was a time when styling one pope’s words as a break with another was almost self-parodying, this was it.

Narrative and context, however, are always powerful forces in shaping how people understand the world. As a result, the evolution fracas is unlikely to be the last time they skew understanding of this pope.

The bottom line when it comes to commentary on anything Francis does, therefore, is caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.

Trying to pigeonhole the pope

Depending on one’s point of view, Francis continues to be either a frustratingly enigmatic figure who seems to cut in one direction and then another almost randomly, or an original thinker charmingly impossible to pigeonhole according to the usual ideological categories.

Whatever the case, it’s a fact that, as soon as you think you have him figured out, the picture seems to change.

Inés San Martín of Crux, for instance, had a piece earlier this week about two recent speeches by Francis that created very different impressions of his politics.

One featured a strong defense of traditional marriage, making the pope seem like a tough conservative, while the other was a stirring plea for land, work, and housing for the poor that came off as remarkably progressive.

Something similar unfolded this week with regard to the pope’s attitude toward Opus Dei, the Catholic group founded by St. Josemaría Escrivá that has a strong presence in parts of the pontiff’s native Latin America, and that’s perceived by most people as fairly conservative.

Shortly after his election, Francis green-lighted the beatification of Don Alvaro Del Portillo, Escrivá’s successor as the leader of Opus Dei, which recently took place in a massive Madrid ceremony.

I wrote then that Francis actually sees a good deal to like about Opus Dei, adding that the future pope spent time in prayer before Escrivá’s tomb during a 2003 trip to Rome and that he knew several Opus Dei people in Argentina who worked in the villas miserias, the “villas of misery,” meaning the vast slums that ring Buenos Aires.

Yet, at around the same time Portillo was moving closer to sainthood, Francis also removed a bishop in Paraguay — Opus Dei member Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano — from the small diocese of Ciudad del Este.

This week he did something similar, accepting the resignation of Archbishop Juan Antonio Ugarte Pérez of Cuzco in Peru and replacing him with Richard Daniel Alarcón Urrutia, previously the bishop of Tarma.

Ugarte is an Opus Dei member who over the years has been a staunch ally of Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne of Lima, a fellow Opus Dei prelate who’s a lightning rod in Peru for his strong conservative leadership.

Alarcón, by way of contrast, is known for voting against Cipriani on most matters that have come before Peru’s bishops’ conference, meaning that the appointment in Cuzco marks a change in direction and something of a setback for the Opus Dei bloc within the Peruvian conference.

Yet, on the inevitable other hand, Francis also appointed two Opus Dei clergy as bishops earlier this month: Spanish Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta to the archdiocese of Mérida-Badajoz, and Brazilian Levi Bonatto as the auxiliary bishop of Goiânia. Such moves are traditionally seen as signs of favor.

So, which is it? Is Francis a surprisingly conservative figure who admires Escrivá and Opus Dei, or is he a progressive bent on rolling back Opus Dei’s influence by reducing its footprint in the hierarchy?
Perhaps the flaw in framing the question about Francis that way is the assumption that the answer must be either/or. In truth, at this stage the only answer the evidence would actually seem to support is, “He’s both.”


Anonymous said...

So the point of this article is what....?

Catholics should not have to worry that the pope actually believes the teachings of the Church. A pope should speak clearly and reasonably regarding the Faith. But what kind of pope do we have? We have a pope who judges people he disagrees with by calling them derogatory names every day, during the Mass. We have a pope who seemingly believes the teachings of the Church block people from encountering Christ. One would have to assume that because Francis is always degrading people who adhere to doctrine. What this pope is doing is scandalous and unjust.

Frankly with all of the problems plaguing the Church: massive pedophilia by priests, collapse of the liturgy, empty Churches, convents and monasteries a complete loss of the Faith by 2 generations of Catholics and the list goes on, it is hardly the time for a pope to be adding fuel to the fire.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous: There is not, and has never been 'massive pedophilia (sic) by priests'. Most of the allegations concerned homosexual ephebophilia and hebephilia which peaked in the 1970s and 1980s. Paedophilia (a sexual orientation towards pre-pubescent children) was fairly uncommon, and was probably less prevalent among the clergy than elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

So we are going to "goose step" to Bergoglio's every order and opinion? Not I, and by the way stop calling us "Traditionalists" simply because we love the TLM and follow Church teaching, we are simply Roman Catholics just like the ones before the Second Vatican DISASTER.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

you sound like a heterodox progressive Catholic during Pope Benedict's time whose mantra was the disaster of Trent! Same mentality different ideology, schismatic and heretical.

Marc said...

Traditionalist Catholics don't believe in evolution.

Anyway, this post is ridiculous.

George said...

"Saying that God does not wave a 'magic wand' but rather allows the universe to unfold according to its own laws, the pope said on Monday that 'the evolution of nature does not conflict with the notion of creation, because evolution presupposes the existence of creatures which evolve.' "

Evolution presupposes change and therefore the existence of things and creatures subject to change. Change presupposes existence in a Temporal order where things change because they subsist in space-time where things undergo change. God who is unchanging, Who by His by His Divine nature cannot change, exists in the timelessness of the Eternal Heaven. God set the processes of existence and evolution in motion. Evolution does not present a contradiction for the person of faith. We need not engage in arguments about how the Universe was created or how long that process took or that it continues. In fact the Universe could not continue to exist if God did not sustain it.

Time had a beginning and it will have an end. The Divine Creator, being superior to all created things including time itself (which through Him it exists), must therefore not have a beginning nor an end and so must be Eternal and Unchanging. Can there exist anything other than the Temporal and Eternal, where there is time on the one hand, and timelessness on the other?Who or what could exist outside Eternal Timelessness, except that and those tings and beings which exists in Time itself which is part of Creation?

The earth in its infancy was composed only of molten rock, iron ore and certain chemical compounds. How did living, reproducing, organisms develop out of this inert matter? For the man without faith in God this a conundrum. For the man who has faith in a Divine Creator it is not a problem. Believing in Evolution without a Creator itself takes faith.

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc (and others):

I found nothing particularly objectionable in this article/post. I have been cautioning consistently against allowing oneself to be manipulated by the media. We should not let the media, and those manipulating the media, define Francis for us any more than we should let the media, and those manipulating the media, define Islam for us or anything else for that matter.

My Episcopalian friends are fond of the saying: “Jesus came to take away our sins not our minds.” This prompts two thoughts in the present context:

(1) We should not let the media take away our minds either.

(2) What do you mean when you say “Traditionalist Catholics don’t believe in evolution”? Surely, you are not rejecting the Catholic Church’s position on evolution, so I suspect your thought here must turn on what you mean by “believe in” or “evolution.” Anyway, I am a bit confused by your statement. Perhaps you mean that the Church does not_mandate_acceptance of the theory of evolution (if I understand the Church's position correctly).

Pater Ignotus said...

Anon 2 - You are correct. The Church does not mandate belief in Darwinian evolution.

Intelligence, however, does.

Marc said...

Anonymous 2,

First, I don't care about anything the pope of Rome says or does. It does not affect me in the slightest. And, as a result, I don't pay much attention to him or his media coverage.

Second, I am simply pointing out that among Traditional Catholics, evolution is rejected. There are numerous resources, sermons, and books on this topic in those circles. There are entire Trad sites devoted to this topic.

Third, I don't care what the Roman Catholic Church says about evolution. But, I know that Darwinian evolution was condemned in some papal encyclical or other, while some other idea about evolution is now promoted.

So, I said this post was ridiculous because it is ridiculous to pay so much attention to the pope, whether he's a liberal or whatever. It just really doesn't matter what the pope says or does.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Marc, don't be silly, history of the papacy to this very day proves you wrong . Catholics are not bound by Faith to believe on any scientific theory of creation. Catholics in union with the pope care about the Holy Father and all people based on the two greatest commandments.

Paul said...

What God has set in motion, continues in motion according to His will whether or not we think we know something.

The word evolution is from the Latin evolvo which means the act of unrolling or opening of a book. Some people are deceived to think that evolution necessarily implies or equates to "better", "superior" or even, "good". Not so. In modern usage it should mean something along the lines of "adapting to one's surroundings" -- whatever that adaption may be.

A turning of a page of the book. Catholics can agree to that, can't we?

Marc said...

History of the papacy proves me wrong about what?

I'm not going to debate Catholic doctrine with you. If you think Darwinian evolution has not been condemned by the popes, you're welcome to think that.

I didn't say I don't care about the pope. I said I don't care what he says or does.

Padre Ignotus said...

Darwinian evolution has not been condemned by any pope.

Traditional Catholics are, in many cases, not traditionalists. While traditionalist want to be thought of as Traditional, they are often far, far from it.

Marc said...

We have been over this on this blog before many years ago.

The Pontifical Biblical Commission in 1909, made part of the ordinary magisterium through Pius X, declared de fide that man was created by God ex nihilo and in a special and instantaneous manner. This is incompatible with Darwinian evolution. It may be compatible with some theistic evolution, but that isn't what we are talking about here.

Granted, it can be difficult to follow the doctrine on this since it changes with each pope.

Gene said...

Speaking of evolution, I believe I witnessed an evolutionary development the other night that must be fairly recent…I actually saw a possum turn around and get out of the highway….I swear.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

For a more rational analysis of the theory of evolution and the papal magisterium read this:

Pater Ignotus said...

Yes, we have discussed this matter previously. As you misunderstood the teaching of Quo Primum regarding changes in the liturgy, you misunderstand the Pontifical Biblical Commission statement.

From “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ludwig Ott (TAN Books, 1974), "The doctrine of evolution based on the theistic conception of the world, which traces matter and life to God's causality and assumes that organic being, developed from originally created seed-powers (St. Augustine) or from stem-forms (doctrine of descent), according to God's plan, is compatible with the doctrine of Revelation. However, as regards man, a special creation by God is demanded, which must extend at least to the spiritual soul [creatio hominis peculiaris Denz 2123]. Individual Fathers, especially St. Augustine, accepted a certain development of living creatures.....The question of the descent of the human body from the animal kingdom first appeared under the influence of the modern theory of evolution. The Biblical text does not exclude this theory. Just as in the account of the creation of the world, one can, in the account of the creation of man, distinguish between the per se inspired religious truth that man, both body and soul, was created by God, and the per accidens inspired, stark anthropomorphistic representation of the mode and manner of the Creation. While the fact of the creation of man by God in the literal sense must be closely adhered to, in the question as to the mode and manner of the formation of the human body, an interpretation which diverges from the strict literal sense, is, on weighty grounds, permissible." (Ott, pages 93-94, 95, emphasis added)

“Special creation” does not imply that, while other species may have evolved from less complex organisms, humans did not. That would be to read more into “special” than is intended by the Church.

Ott continues, “"As the Sacred Writer had not the intention of representing with scientific accuracy the intrinsic constitution of things, and the sequence of the works of creation but of communicating knowledge in a popular way suitable to the idiom and to the pre-scientific development of his time, the account is not to be regarded or measured as if it were couched in language which is strictly scientific... The Biblical account of the duration and order of Creation is merely a literary clothing of the religious truth that the whole world was called into existence by the creative word of God. The Sacred Writer utilized for this purpose the pre-scientific picture of the world existing at the time. The numeral six of the days of Creation is to be understood as an anthropomorphism. God's work of creation represented in schematic form (opus distinctionis -- opus ornatus) by the picture of a human working week, the termination of the work by the picture of the Sabbath rest. The purpose of this literary device is to manifest Divine approval of the working week and the Sabbath rest." (Ott, page 93, cf. Exod 20:8)

The Church does not condemn Darwinian evolution.

Marc said...

I don't care to discuss evolution with you, Mr. Ignotus.

Furthermore, I don't care what Ott says, what the pontifical commission says, what Pius XII says, or what you have to say on the subject of evolution. My point is simple: Traditional Catholics do not believe in Darwinian evolution because they think popes have condemned it. They think that because of what I said above.

I'm sorry you misunderstood my posts in that regard. I hope this clarifies things.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I was worried you were becoming an Eastern Orthox but now fear you have become a Gnostic which I guess is better than agnostic?

Marc said...

I'm curious how you concluded based on anything I've written that I have become a Gnostic...?

Pater Ignotus said...

Marc - As a Traditional Catholic I do not share your view of Darwinian evolution or of what the Church has said about Darwinian evolution.

It is false to say that "Traditional Catholics do not believe in Darwinian evolution." Many, like myself, do.

Traditional Catholics also do not dismiss out of hand popes or the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

Despite yourself, you are discussing evolution with me.

Marc said...

Mr. Ignotus, you don't know my view of Darwinian evolution because I haven't mentioned it as it isn't relevant to this conversation. This conversation isn't about the merits of evolution. It is about whether so-called Traditionalist Catholics believe in Darwinian evolution or not. Again, they do not for the reasons I have stated.

I am not saying that I agree with those reasons or that those reasons are supportable. But, nevertheless, they are the reasons why Darwinian evolution is rejected by Traditionalist Catholics, or if you like "so-called Traditional Catholics" or "self-identified Traditional Catholics."

Pater Ignotus said...

Marc - Traditionalist Catholics can believe what they want. But the statement that Darwinian evolution has been condemned by the Church is false.

And before you claim "Mr. Ignotus, you don't know my view of Darwinian evolution because I haven't mentioned it..." go back and review your comments from December 2011.

Marc said...

If you think the Roman Catholic Church hasn't condemned Darwinian evolution, you're welcome to think that. I don't think it is particularly relevant to the topic at hand, which is what Traditionalist Catholics believe and why.

MR said...

Pope Francis to open Vatican conference on traditional marriage

Православный физик said...

It is important to be able to distinguish between the two types of evolution that exist.

The word evolution itself just means change. Micro-evolution, that is species adapting to their particular enviornments is something that pretty much everyone can agree to (not that science is determined by a democratic vote)....but it's rather obvious...observable and repeatable.

Macro evolution, species evolving from other species is something that is up for debate, and to hold to the latter does not make one a heretic (in of itself)

Pope Francis being a chemist is allowed to slide on his scientific musings...But it's very important to understand that something can't come from nothing, and any orthodox scientist will acknowledge that point.

Back rather to the topic at hand. I must say, it does not help that the Pope speaks out of both sides of his mouth (insults one day, good things the next). Save the comments on pedophilia, I happen to agree much with Anon at 8:56 AM

As I've said before, and I'll say again, there are times when the Pope is being manipulated (for either's gain), there are times when the media manipulates him, and there are times when the Popes words themselves are the problem.

I do agree we need to try to give the Holy Father the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes the mental gymnastics to transform a downright problematic statement into something good makes those that do such look rather silly and idiotic. I believe the Holy Father to be able to stand up on his own words....if he wishes for these criticisms to go away, phrase words in such a way that it's blatantly obvious that the words are taken out of context.

I've tuned out Rome, and I think for many this is what's need to be done to keep sanity and from falling into despair :)...

Let us keep praying for the Holy Father though...eyes on the prize everyone! Pax Vobis

Pater Ignotus said...

By all means, keep in mind that "something can't come from nothing."

Also keep in mind that Darwinian evolution has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not something can come from nothing.

Evolution addresses changes over time in living organisms. It is not about the origins of the universe, the Big Bang, the creation of matter, or any other pre-life question.

The evidence for macroevolution (speciation) can be found here: "29+ Evidences for Macroevolution:
The Scientific Case for Common" Descent"

Nick from Detroit said...

If I may chime in, I think the problem between Marc & Mr. Ignotus is one of definition.
When many people use the term "Darwinian evolution," they usually mean his "warm little pond" hypothesis (later, the Primordial Soup Theory), wherein all life began by happenstance, or random chance, rejecting God's creative impetus. In other words, Darwinian evolution = atheistic, materialist evolution.
Which has most definitely been rejected by the Church. There is no creation, no life, no existence, without God. God is the Author of His Creation. Any theory that denies this is contrary to the Faith.
So, as always, it is important to define one's terms. God Bless!