Wednesday, September 23, 2015


I just finished teaching our 2rd, 3th and 4th graders in our school. What a delight and how open they are to God and His truths although they have tons of questions!

I teach the Baltimore Catechism to each class and I go once a week. Today's class is the first chapter on why we exist.

This caught my attention in the Baltimore Catechism as it concern Pope Francis and the thrust of his teaching magisterium:

"As followers of Jesus, He wants us, His sheep, to love one another, to help one another, to be kind to one another..."

Doesn't this tie in exquisitely with what Pope Francis said to the American bishops today? Here is an excerpt:

"Harsh and divisive language does not befit the tongue of a pastor (or any Catholic for that matter), it has no place in his heart," said Francis. "Although it may momentarily seem to win the day, only the enduring allure of goodness and love remains truly convincing."

The Baltimore Catechism  quoted above is what Pope Francis teaches.


Lefebvrian said...

I couldn't agree more. In fact, to get started, here's a list of divisive things one might say that could do to be avoided.

Calvin of Hippo said...

Lefeb, LOL! So true...also typical of Leftists...criticize in others the very tactics you employ.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I've listens to Pope Francis use these terms in the Italian language and he does not use them in a mean spirited, malicious, evil way, but rather in a humorous way and often self-deprecating way.

I read what you two have written and all I can see his contempt, hatred, disrespect and shrillness. It does not befit a Catholic to treat the Holy Father in such a way and in a public forum. He is our Holy Father and while we may not like this, that or the other His Holiness is still our Holy Father and thus to show contempt, to deride, to disrespect him breaks the 4th Commandment and for adults to do it and publicly is very, very serious!

Lefebvrian said...

So, it's not divisive if you do it in a joking way -- that's good to know. And, of course, it must be in Italian too, right? Ridiculous.

Can you point out one quote from what I've written where I have shown hatred, disrespect, shrillness, or derided or shown contempt for the pope?

Jdj said...

Thank you, Father.

Jusadbellum said...

I agree on the advice to avoid being harsh but it's literally IMPOSSIBLE to utter any affirmation that is immune from "divisiveness" - the moment someone disagrees with our affirmation, it can be deemed, by them, to be "divisive".

So let us say "there is one God" and the polytheist will complain we are being divisive.

Let us say "marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman" and a polygamist and LGBTQWERTY zealot will condemn us for being divisive.

I THINK I get what the Pope is trying to say and if it's that we ought to strive for a calm and gentle approach, an approach that is brimming with altruistic brotherly love, then yeah, I get it. But he is not a technically astute theologian (or philosopher) and so his language cannot be held to that standard.

This cuts both ways. One, we should be a bit more circumspect in critiques, but also these quotes can't be used on par with more official Papal statements.

Now, who here thinks the MSM and Democrats will be "nuanced" in quoting a felicitous turn of expression of the Pope if they think they'll be able to get maximum mileage out of it with low information voters as in "who am I to judge?"?

rcg said...

Christ Himself said he came to divide us. I think the Pope is making us think, but I am not comfortable with what he sets in motion. We are too far separated from our understanding of our faith in a factual manner. The citation from the Baltimore Catechism highlights it: how many of us know the catechism well enough that even a simple objection does not leave us puzzled? I am afraid Pope Francis assumes too much.

Anonymous said...

While the website Lefeb linked too was admittedly rather mean-spirited, the list it provided, out of whatever motivation, is pretty damning if accurate. An insult delivered in a light and joking tone is still an insult. Some of my worst childhood memories include an insult followed by a comment to the effect of "Lighten up, I was just kidding." At best such a statement seems to suggest plausible deniablility, at worst complete insensitivity to the feelings of the person being insulted. So I must respectfully disagree with Fr. McDonald on this one, even if every one of these insults was uttered in a joking tone.

George said...

There is a lot of "sturm and drang" in today's society and in our day to day existence and therefore it is not surprising that it is in our civil discourse as well (if much of it can even be called "civil'). I suppose it could be said that the Holy Father has formulated his phraseology to fit the current milieu. It could be his style of saying things just happens to fit the disputatious and censorious approach to disagreement so prevalent today, while still managing not to be vulgar or malicious. There is also an attitude on the part of some that because someone disagrees with them, what is just a personal opinion or religious belief becomes hate speech.
I went to the link that Lefebvrian provided and my own impression is that there are a lot of quotes that would apply to Cafeteria Catholics and those of a similar "spirituality". I wonder if those types of Catholics would get that same impression on reading them? Of course there is something there for everyone, including bishops and priests. One thing that can be said is that Pope Francis has a style of saying things that is a lot different than that of predecessors.

Paul said...

There has been division since the first bite and there will always be division as long as this age survives.

I'll cast my lot with Christ's Church and the Vicar Of Christ. People did the sin, people condemn themselves to Hell, people have divided themselves. Snarky comments and the pointing out of alleged hypocrisies does not move one closer to Heaven -- the final, permanent, separation.

Anonymous said...

I read the Little Book of Insults some time ago and I was dismayed by the comments made by Pope Francis of others. I don't find them in any way humorous or self-deprecating but rather demeaning and insulting to many good intentioned people. The Little Book of Insults is good in that it shows exactly what comments have been made and it is an eye opener.

This is what the writer wrote of the book:

"Each Pope has his own teaching style, and it is obvious that with Francis, adherence to protocol and upholding custom is not his way. His strength is communicating parts of the Catholic faith in a simple, direct and visible way.

But bluntness is a double-edged sword, and some of his speeches and sermons have offended some of the papacy's biggest supporters. This, of course, counters the image of Francis as the “gentle, pastoral shepherd.” In sifting through media reports, I was shocked by how often the Pope criticized Christians and by the severity of his insults.

I felt inspired by conversations with members of the clergy to compile a compendium of papal invective, calling it, tongue firmly in cheek, “The Pope Francis Little Book of Insults.”

It is not a real book, of course. (This should have been obvious by the fact that I offered a 20% discount to anyone who directed one of the Pope’s insults at a bookstore cashier.) Rather, it's an online litany of the surprising and sometimes slashing one-liners in Francis' verbal arsenal.

Indeed, here's some of the names the Pope has actually called people: "pickled pepper-faced Christians," "closed, sad, trapped Christians," "defeated Christians," “liquid Christians,” "creed-reciting, parrot Christians," and, finally, those "watered-down faith, weak-hoped Christians."

Catholics who focus on church traditions are "museum mummies," the Pope says. Nuns who fail to inspire faith in the church are "old maids," and the Vatican hierarchy has at times been "the leprosy of the papacy," in Francis' words.

Indeed, men of the cloth face the brunt of Francis' fulminations. He has called some of them “vain” butterflies, “smarmy” idolators and “priest-tycoons.” He’s described some seminarians as potential “little monsters.”

The Pope didn't say these things just to insult people, of course. Rather, he was often making a larger point about the kind of church he wants to lead: open, merciful and unafraid.

MORE ON CNN: Pope Francis: No more business as usual

But at the same time, some Catholics have felt alienated by Francis’s criticisms, as if they are under attack. In blasting the status quo, it can sometimes seem as if the Pope is slighting the most faithful members of the church."

I agree 100% and I don't think it is right in any way to defend such comments.


Anonymous said...

Francis the talking Pope...

Anonymous said...

The Holy Father is very popular especially but unfortunately among people who bash the Church and agitate against Her teachings proposed in the 10 commandments, by Jesus Christ, saints through the ages, and popes of recent times: St. Paul VI, St. John Pau Il, and Benedict XV. .

We, Catholics, know and experience the culture war against us every day. In war-time collaborators and those who give aid and comfort to the enemy are not treated kindly. Why are we our worst enemies? Does the end, a more popular Church before secularists, justify the means? Ultimately, the price to pay might turn out to be further disunity among us and gradual but inevitable corruption of basic teachings of the faith; potentially, a tremendous price to pay, and for what? It is not clear to me that there is any pay off in the long-run.