Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Pope grants interview to Belgian Catholic newspaper

Pope Francis granted an interview to Tertio, a Catholic weekly newspaper in Belgium - ANSA
Pope Francis granted an interview to Tertio, a Catholic weekly newspaper in Belgium - ANSA
07/12/2016 11:24
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has granted an interview to Tertio, a Catholic weekly newspaper in Belgium, on themes ranging from the fruits of the Jubilee of Mercy to his hopes for a synodal Church.
In the wide-ranging interview, Pope Francis reflected on the openness to transcendence inherent in the human person, the scourge of religious fundamentalism, the price of war, the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, and his desire for a synodal Church.
Healthy laicité vs. laicisme
The desire to separate religion from public life, he said, “is an antiquated stance”, recalling the distinction between laicité and laicisme.
The Pope said: “There is a healthy laicité, for example, the laicité of the state. In general, a state organized on the principle of laicité [el estado laico] is a good thing. It’s better than a confessional state, because confessional states end poorly.” However, he said, laicisme “closes the doors to transcendence, both transcendence towards others and, above all, transcendence towards God”. 
Openness to transcendence, he said, “is a fundamental part of a human being”. Thus, when a political system does not respect this, it “prunes, cuts off the human person”.
War and religious fundamentalism
Moving to the theme of war and religious fundamentalism, Pope Francis said “no religion as such can foment war”.
He said terrorism and war are not related to religion; rather, they “use religious deformations to justify their acts”.
He said “all religions have fundamentalist groups; all; even our own… But those small religious groups deform, sicken their religion, and from there they quarrel, make war, or cause division within the community, which is form of war.”
Third World War fought piecemeal
Turning to Europe, the Holy Father said that 100 years after the First World War we are still in a state of world conflict, a “Third World War… fought piecemeal”.
“We say ‘Never again war’ but at the same time we produce weapons and sell them to those who are at war with one another.”
He said had read an economic theory which advances the idea that, when a state’s finances aren’t going well, it wages a war to balance the budget. “This is an easy way to grow rich, but the price is very steep: blood.”
Jubilee of Mercy inspired by the Lord
An important part of the interview was dedicated to the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Pope Francis said the idea of a Year of Mercy did not come to him “suddenly”.
He said it had been prepared by his predecessors Paul VI and John Paul II, as well as by St. Faustina and the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday.
The Pope recalled that the idea for an Extraordinary Jubilee came out in a conversation with Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.
“I felt that the Lord was asking this of me”, he said. “I don’t know how the idea formed in my heart… I believe the Lord inspired it. And evidentially it did much good.”
Unity in diversity: a synodal Church
The interview then turned to the issue of Vatican II in the world today and the synodality of the Church.
“The Church,” he said, “is born from the base, from the community.” Thus, “there is either a pyramidal Church, in which what Peter says is done, or a synodal Church, in which Peter is Peter but he accompanies the Church and helps it grow – he listens. Further on, he learns from her and seeks to harmonize, discerning that which comes from the churches and returns it.”
The Pope said the last two Synods on the family were the “best experience of this” because they express the “unity in diversity” of the Church.
“Everyone [at the Synod] said what they thought without fear of being judged. And all actively listened, without condemning. Afterwards, we discussed like brothers in groups.”
“A synodal Church means this movement from above to below, from below to above”, affirming that the Church “needs to advance in this synodality”.
A word for priests
The final reflection of Pope Francis was for priests, whom he invited to always love the Virgin Mary, to allow themselves to be gazed upon by Jesus, and to “seek the suffering flesh of Jesus in their brothers; there you will find Jesus”.


Rood Screen said...

An essential component of Liberation Theology is the pastoral practice of establishing base communities as centers for reforming theology. While much attention in the 1980's was rightly cast upon the Marxist component of LT, theology-from-the-base is really the heart of the movement.

Once the Francis revolution is complete, the Vatican will become a sort of supportive mouthpiece announcing the various theological developments from among the marginalized peoples of the world. The Works of Mercy will give way to the reformation of social structures, the Apostolic Tradition will give way to the poetic expression of the experience of oppression, the Roman liturgical tradition will give way to ritualized redistribution of personal assets, and morality will be redefined in primarily economic terms.

TJM said...

Mercy for everyone except faithful Catholics!!!!

Jusadbellum said...

Except that during the first synod the official document did NOT reflect what was actually said AT ALL and thus provoked the 'revolt' which we all witnessed in real time. No one was talking about gay 'rights' and adulterers going to communion. Those concepts were smuggled into the mid-term document prompting bishops and cardinals to start going public with their contributions.

The whole dubia brouhaha is also witness to the fact that "dialogue" is not a genuine 2 way street but one party (typically German) putting out a line and then refusing to actually make the case for their doctrinal and pastoral changes while the other side proposes a dozen theological, historic, and practical reasons why the German claims are wrong and don't accomplish what they claim they will in terms of people actually seeking the Lord rather than their own libido.

And then the Pope nods, declares the 'dialogue' has succeeded and comes out with a document that is mostly orthodox but has 5 paragraphs that are sufficiently vague to allow the Germans to declare victory and throws everyone else into confusion and fear that perhaps the German heterodox vision IS the Pope's vision too and of course no one wants to confront the Pope.

So in classic political correct fashion, people begin to self-censor and go to ground, afraid of standing out from the crowd least they get too far ahead or behind Peter.

The Germans don't seem to be operating under the same apprehension.

John Nolan said...

Neville Chamberlain was better at finance than he was at foreign policy, but I was unaware that he declared war on Germany (3 September 1939) in order to balance the books.

Gene said...

Certainly, John Nolan. Not only that, but we declared war on Japan so we would have an excuse to build an atomic bomb and drop it on them in a fit of racist revenge, thus insuring our domestic energy needs for decades, and also to get Toyota and Mitsubishi to come here after the war and build small cars for coeds to drive, thus increasing our revenue and tax base. We were very forward thinking and prescient. I think we declared war on Germany to insure that the supply of delicatessens and jewelers in the US would not be diminished and so that college professors would continue to have a steady supply of used Mercedez Benz's to drive.

Anonymous said...

"Unity in diversity" isn't that the calling card of the Anglican communion? I guess that's essentially what Catholicism is now liturgical-wise, just as you have high, broad, low church Anglicans you now have high (Latin), broad and low church Catholics.

As someone who is Eastern Orthodox and attends an EO parish, but has one Catholic parent, this is just something that I have noticed. It doesn't seem to do anything good for unity in Catholicism. Having administrative unity under the pope doesn't really reflect actual unity on the parish level

DJR said...

Pope Reported to Request Allies to Attack Cardinals. Monsignor Pinto, when asked about that, won't answer.

From NCRegister

His comments took place just days after the Holy Father visited Msgr. Pinto and the Roman Rota. A reliable source has told the Register that Francis had instructed Msgr. Pinto at that event to say something publicly critical of the cardinals. The Holy See Press Office has not responded to the allegation.

Asked if the Pope did make such a request, Msgr. Pinto told the Register he was unable to answer that question “by phone”. He went on to say: “The dean has certainly been in contact with the Pope. He came to see me on the 18th, but it’s not necessary that the Pope tells me about that. That's what I can tell you.”

Rood Screen said...

John Nolan,

What he says does make some sense in the Argentine context. War there has been used for purposes other than those stated publicly, with the invasion of the Falkland Islands (which have never had Argentine inhabitants) being the most obvious example. Almost everything he says makes some sense in the context of his homeland, a context which can seem to be his sole frame of reference.

DJR said...

Edward Pentin (a practicing Catholic) dicusses a "reign of terror" allegedly going on in the Vatican. States Pope is working behind the scenes to attack his critics and get his associates to do so also.

REGINA: What reaction to the dubia do you see, on the ground in Rome, from your Vatican contacts?

Edward Pentin: The reaction has been interesting so far: almost all the College of Cardinals and the Roman Curia have remained silent, neither supporting the cardinals, nor, more importantly, coming out in support of the Pope and his decision not to respond.

If silence is taken to mean consent for the dubia, then one could therefore argue that the vast majority are in favor of the four cardinals. That can only be speculative of course, but it could conceivably be true as for months one has heard from one significant part of the Curia that they feel great unease about what is happening.

The phrases “reign of terror” and “Vatican martial law” are frequently bandied around.

REGINA: And the Pope’s reaction?

Edward Pentin: The Pope’s reaction, of going so far as to question the cardinals’ mental state, has been read as a manifestation of his own anger at having his agenda taken off course.

And instead of taking the four cardinals at their word (they have said they are acting primarily out of charity towards the Holy Father, justice and deep pastoral concern), they are seen as adversaries.

I understand he has also been working behind the scenes to ensure his agenda is not thwarted. From strategically placed articles in L’Osservatore Romano to equivocations from those who publicly criticized the Dubia when asked if the Pope had asked them to do so, Francis has been acting, as one observer put it, like a “behind-the-scenes political lobbyist.”

In the three weeks after the dubia were published, the Pope gave three interviews to the world’s media, each of them aimed at legitimizing his position while denigrating his critics.

Lastly, it’s important to point out that simply by matching facts with words coming from the Pope and his allies, it’s clear there is significant lying and deceit taking place, as well as calumnies and the besmirching of reputations of those labeled to be “on the right” just because they are publicly critical of Amoris Laetitia, or merely report on such criticism.

It genuinely pains me to say all this, because as a Catholic journalist one doesn’t wish in any way to diminish the Petrine Office, but I feel I have an obligation to report the facts on what is happening.

TJM said...

Edward Pentin, has said what must be said. Just like Obama, Francis, has lowered the dignity and prestige and authority of the office he holds. Time for him to go.

DJR said...

The idea that only a few cardinals are involved in what is going on regarding Amoris Laetitia is belied by the facts.

In fact, the opposition to the pope's actions/inaction is spreading.

Many clergy and religious attend meeting in Rome regarding Amoris Laetitia.

“What is newsworthy is the existence of a meeting that attracted cardinals, bishops, priests, seminarians, religious in large numbers, and lay people alike, all anxious to defend the immutable truth of Christ, specifically His words on marriage.

"Many priests were present: priests in cassocks, the old and the young – especially the young! Sixty or eighty priests, coming as neighbors or from afar, anxious above all to find authorities expressing the Catholic truth, but also the assurance of not being alone."

Anonymous said...

I was disgusted to read the Francis's latest comment on fake news. For Francis to even mention this type of thing sullies the papacy and I agree with Damian Thompson who suggests Francis turning 80 might be an appropriate time for him to retire.


John Nolan said...

Ian Kershaw, in his excellent biography of Hitler, points out that in the Third Reich Party functionaries, and indeed individual Party members, were encouraged to act without waiting for direct instructions. As zealous National Socialists they would know what the Führer intended, and mistakes resulting from an excess of zeal could be overlooked. This principle was called 'working towards the Führer'.

It is assumed by many that Francis wants to admit the divorced and remarried to Communion without the condition of sexual continence, but cannot say so directly. Therefore national Conferences and indeed individual bishops and priests, correctly reading his mind, can go ahead and do so, in the knowledge that they are 'working towards the Pontiff'.

Victor Fernandez and Antonio Spadaro have emerged as the key figures in Francis's 'kitchen Cabinet'. What they say is revealing, and should not be dismissed as their private opinion.

Anonymous 2 said...


Perhaps Pope Francis should have avoided the use of such a graphic image. One reason is because it gives people such as the author of the article you link an opportunity to practice the tactics of distraction from the main point. And the main point is that fake news is a HUGE problem. It is also one that I have done my best to combat on this Blog for some years now, including when fake news sites have been cited by you. Thankfully, though, the problem is receiving the public attention it deserves.

Ironically, the author of the linked article has the gall to suggest that Pope Francis can get away with things that Donald Trump could not. Admittedly, he does this in reference to the media, which are finally calling Trump out for all his lies (that is, for virtually everything he says) but it misses the point that, despite this demonstration of Trump’s pathological mendacity, so many of his supporters still give him a pass, including those who actually (and gullibly) believed what he told them during his campaign.

We Catholics have a responsibility to the Truth in all its forms. This means we must not be low information Catholics but even more it means we must not be false information Catholics.

And Pope Francis has every right to take fake news personally after the fake news stories about him too, including the fake news stories that he had endorsed Bernie Sanders and, several months later, Donald Trump:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2, I have not published fake news sites at all. The problem is that you don't like the fact that many Islamists are being shown through video etc not to be the peace loving people that you claim them to be. You will not accept the truth and so you cover over the truth by calling it fake.

Angela Merkel has called for banning of the burqa wherever legally possible and has now said that she will not have the open door policy again that she had in 2015. A bit late now that Germany is dealing with the fallout of her foolish decision. No doubt you will call that further fake news.

But I get back to my point of Francis' use of such a disturbing term. The overriding seriousness of which is it cheapening and undermining the papacy in the eyes of the world. That is much more serious to the Church and to Catholics generally than a bit of fake news. Particularly, as people now know if they want real news they don't turn on CNN or read the New York Times.


Anonymous 2 said...


I did not think you would acknowledge your previous posting of fake news stories but would double down. I can only speculate regarding the reasons for this, but without evidence to the contrary I will in charity give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you continued to believe them due to confirmation bias even when an unbiased person would have accepted the evidence demonstrating their falsity. Your continued state of denial is evidenced by your dismissive reference to “a bit of fake news.” It is not “a bit.” It is massive and extremely dangerous, and it is the duty of all Catholics everywhere to combat it in the name of the God of Truth. I am sorry you cannot see that.

I am not going to re-litigate all our previous exchanges. And by no means am I saying that you have posted only fake news. Some of the stories were accurate. But several were not. One example may jog your memory. You once posted a video of a crowd of Muslims at a border in Europe throwing down bottled water and other supplies offered by the Red Cross (true) allegedly because they objected to the symbol of the cross (false). The Red Cross themselves, who were actually there on the ground, explained that it had nothing to do with the cross but the real reason was the frustration of the crowd at being kept at the border in the pouring rain for hours. And there are numerous other examples of such nefarious lies being spread by manipulators with evil intent in the links you have posted.

But, as they say, we seem to live in a post-factual world, and this post will doubtless have no effect on you. So, hey, let’s send some more people to the Moon so we can get some more lunar cheese. Oh, sorry, I forgot, the Moonshots were staged.