Friday, January 26, 2018


Crux has a summary of an interesting debate about Pope Francis from a progressive Catholic, Austen Ivereigh, who loves Pope Francis and a conservative Catholic,  Ross Douthat, (who writes for the New York Times) who is discomforted by Pope Francis.

Press the title for the full Crux article:

Douthat, Ivereigh spar in Dallas over legacy of the Francis papacy

I side with Ross Douthat because he makes sense as most traditional/orthodox Catholics do whereas progressive/heterodox Catholics makes little or no sense and certainly aren't logical.

Here is a secular take on the same thing in Dallas:

After stumble in South America, what does Pope Francis' papacy mean for Catholics and the world?

Here are some sound bites from the Crux article that make my point with my comments in red:

(First, what most of us who are orthodox fear and find mystifying is that lukewarm Catholics or what some call coloring book Catholics as well as the secular world, be they believers or not, love Pope Francis for watering down the Catholic Faith and making it just another NGO. Those who beleive what the Church teaches, as challenging as it is for them personally to follow through, are thrown under the bus! This is polarizing and creating great anger!)

Ivereigh, who authored a 2015 biography of Francis, The Great Reformer, made a case for a “hermeneutic of continuity,” maintaining that “the Francis papacy builds very beautifully on Benedict’s papacy, and so much of what Francis is doing was foreseen, anticipated, and enabled by Pope Benedict.”

In response to the increasing tides of secularization, the Church had grown “distant, dogmatic, more interested in itself than humanity,” argued Ivereigh, taking “refuge in ethics,” rather than discipleship.

“We were converting our faith into an ideology, and what people knew about us was what we’re against,” Ivereigh said. (Such nonsense it is incredulous! Our Catholic Faith splendid truth he calls an ideology and emphasis on doctrine replaces discipleship! What kind of silliness is this and is Pope Francis really promoting this? I hope not because anyone can be a good person and in terms of being good could follow Jesus as a "dead hero!"  But Jesus is the living Lord and teaches us the truth, not an ideology. And is the Church isn't concerned with both/and but rather with either/or, then we are self-absorbed! We are more self absorbed in the Church today under Pope Francis then we have ever been in the past 50 years!)

To Change the Church, Douthat urged caution over what he described as a “Catholic swing toward a more Anglican model of communion,” in the Francis era, which, in his view, has also reopened a host of other connected theological questions.

“I think his [Francis’s] at times carelessness and dismissiveness around doctrine and doctrinal continuity - doctrinal continuity that goes all the way back to the person of Jesus Christ…has led to a situation where the Church is lurching in certain ways to not literal, but a kind of de facto, schism on certain issues,” Douthat warned. (Russ Douthat makes sense here and shows how dumb Ivereigh's analysis really is!)

When asked why Francis has not responded to the dubia - questions submitted to Francis by four cardinals seeking specific “yes” or “no” answers regarding the reception of communion - Ivereigh said Francis was not allowing confusion to fester, but rather to answer the dubia would be to undermine the very process of discernment called for by Francis in Amoris.

“It’s actually a challenge not just to his magisterial authority, but to the whole process of the Synod itself, which was a process of ecclesial discernment,” said Ivereigh, “so Francis can’t answer those dubia directly in some sort of letter without undermining the whole process of the synod.” (All Pope Francis had to do was to meet with the cardinals of the dubia, have a frank discussion in private and then issue a communique that a consensus had been reached and the pope could have said quite easily, if it were true, what Iverigh just said! But no, Pope Francis, marginalizes those of us to inculde his closest collaborators and creates more tension, anger and polarization  in the Church!)

Meanwhile, Douthat disputed the idea that any sort of definitive interpretation has been offered.

“I would mildly dispute that the Holy Father has made clear what the precise and proper interpretation of Amoris Laetitia is,” said Douthat.

He went on to argue that defenders of Amoris want to effectively defend Church teaching on marriage, while at the same time promoting new disciplinary practices that fail to adhere to the doctrinal and ontological realities of marriage.

“There is this constant insistence that we are defending indissolubility…which is well and good,” said Douthat, “but in practice you are evacuating it of all meaning.”

“This leaves the conservatives in the uncomfortable position of essentially dissenting from something that the pope is clearly teaching,” he said. (Amen to that!)


Anonymous said...

The original Chair of Peter has been retired and replaced by a modernist beanbag. The advantage of the beanbag is that it can conform to your shape to accommodate the sitting Pope which ever way he feels comfortable.

Victor said...

Answering the dubia would indeed throw a wrench into the pope's call for discernment on matters of adultery. Here is what Antonio Spadaro, a close confident of the pope, if not the closest, said in an RNS interviwew:

"The problem is that the church must learn to apply the practice of discernment better and more deeply and not just apply rules in the same way for everyone. The church must be attentive to people’s lives, to their journey of faith and to the way in which God works in each person. So a pastor can’t be a pastor by applying general rules to individual people. The church has to grow in discernment. That would be also one of the most important topics of the next synod…"

In other words, rules are relative to the person, a perfect example of post-modernism where all truth is relative to the person and his situation, an extreme form of individualism. So, as a born adulterer, not even the 6th commandment applies to me because only God knows how I suffer with only one woman in my life.

Traditionally, a Christian is meant to judge the actions of the person, not the person because only God can know the person in order to judge him properly. With this kind of discernment that has been turned around, that the person judges himself and no other mortal is to judge his actions.

Simply stated, this idea of discernment for the Church with a "God of surprises" is tinkering with heresy. And this idea of discernment is the key to this papacy.

Anonymous said...

From an interview of Douthan by Tyler Cohen (agnostic):

COWEN: When you see how much behavior Islam or some forms of Islam motivate, do you envy it? Do you think, “Well, gee, what is it that they have that we don’t? What do we need to learn from them?” What’s your gut emotional reaction?

DOUTHAT: I think that Western civilization is decadent, and that decadence has virtues — among them, the absence of the kind of massive bloody civil wars currently roiling the Middle East. But, at the same time, there is a sense in which, yeah, there are parts of Islam that are closer to asking the most important questions about existence than a lot of people are in the West. And asking important questions carries major risks and incites levels of extremism that we’ve tamped down and put away, but that desire for the extreme and the absolute and the truth about things that animates some of the best and some of the worst parts of Islam, I think it’s better for human beings to have that desire than not.

Blog author's commentary: "I like Cowen's question, but Douthat's answer get me to one of the things I dislike most about religion: the assumption that secular people are shallow, that they never think about the "important questions." I first encountered this in C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, in which secular people are too obsessed with getting ahead or having fun to take things seriously, and the lower-ranking demon is instructed to make sure they stay too busy with one or the other to pause and reflect. Reflection is dangerous, the senior demon says, because it might lead people to God.

I find this dismissive and irritating. I am not particularly interested in either getting ahead or having fun, and I reflect continuously. I simply don't find that the teaching of half-mad Iron Age prophets provide a very complete understanding of the universe or my own place in it."

Anonymous said...

Amoris Laetitiae is formally heretical.
It can never form part of true Catholic teaching.
Therefore the individuals who created and promoted it must be examined and if necessary judged on what they believe.
As long as my proposals are not followed then schism will widen in the mystical Body of Christ.
Signed:John Larkin.

TJM said...

The enemedia is blocking this news about President Trump:

"For the first time in the course of his duties, a U.S. President, Donald Trump, declared his solidarity with members of the March for Life, and officially declared that for the U.S. January 22 stands as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. For that humanitarian gesture in defense of moral-ethical values and the sanctity of life starting at conception the institutions International Center for the Defense of Human Life and the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights have the honor of awarding President Donald Trump their highest award: “The Medal of Life.”

Yes the American enemedia is really looking out for us!

Anonymous 2 said...


Perhaps the mainstream media are not reporting the first claim in the quoted passage because it isn’t true. There is nothing special about Donald Trump in this respect. All Republican Presidents since Ronald Reagan have declared such a day:

And perhaps they are not reporting the second claim about the Medal of Life because they cannot verify it. I tried to do so and failed. Thus I Googled the International Center for the Defense of Human Life and got no results. I did find the Lawton Foundation but an internal search for “Trump and Medal of Life” again yielded no results:

I also Googled the quote you give and this is what I found:

A few other sites just repeat the Townhall website text. Ironic that a site with at least partly fake news should accuse others of fake news.

And here is some relevant CNN coverage reporting on Trump’s “solidarity” with the March for Life and his declaration of National Sanctity of Life day for good measure. This article also discusses how Trump has “evolved” on the issue:

Wouldn’t it have been so much better for the outlet you quote to have reported the truth: that the March for Life was under-reported by the mainstream media as compared with, say, the Women’s March? As it is, the quoted site loses credibility. They seem to have dropped the ball on this particular story, although their general reputation for factual reporting and accurate sourcing seems high:

Perhaps you will have better luck verifying the Townhall story. If so, please share the results of your researches with us.

Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. I also find nothing on the White House website about the Medal of Life, which is suspicious.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the other aspects of Thrump's life that make him an outstanding moral signpost for 'Murica

Five children by three different "wives"

The regular denigration of women, calling them "fat." "pig," "slob," "disgusting animal."

Speaking to Esquire magazine, ""You know, it doesn't really matter what [they] write as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of ass."

1992: In an interview with New York Magazine, Trump uttered this charming phrase about women: "You have to treat 'em like s----."

He has no respect for marriage - note the three "marriages" he has under his belt already. Further, he demands a prenuptial agreement, which foresees or anticipates divorce: "One is a good woman who very much loves her future husband, solely for himself, but refuses to sign the agreement on principle. I fully understand this, but the man should take a pass anyway and find someone else."

Oh, yes, let us award "Medals" to men such as Trump . . .

James J. said...


From the CNN Politics article link you provided.

"As president, Trump has governed as an anti-abortion commander in chief."

The appointing of pro-life Neal Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

The re-instating of the Mexico City policy.

"If all Trump did was work to fulfill his four major promises, he would already be the most pro-life president we have ever seen -- but he shows no sign of stopping there," Marjorie Dannesfelser, the president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, wrote on Friday.

Whatever his faults, Pres. Trump is much better on the pro-life issue than his "virtuous" predecessor.

As far as the president and his previous marriages and his crudeness and vulgarity;no one of good character would say these are good.

King David and others in scripture had quite a bit of baggage also.

Anonymous said...

"As far as the president and his previous marriages and his crudeness and vulgarity;no one of good character would say these are good."

Of course not. But Trump's supporters overlook the fact that he is not a man of good character; that he is, in fact, a man of low, vulgar character. His egregious faults are universally dismissed ("Fake News"), rationalized ("locker room talk"), or excused (Trump's not a politician so he doesn't act like politicians.)

"Locker room talk," "Not a politician," and/or "Fake News" are not excuses for vulgar, denigrating speech, reprehensible behavior and the scandal that it engenders, and incessant lying.

TJM said...

Kavanaugh at 8:41,

And Bill "Horndog" Clinton was a man of good character? His behavior was certainly rude and vulgar (have you forgotten what he did with the cigar?). Have you forgotten his myriad trips to Pedophile Island?

And Obama, who never met an abortion he didn't like, and trampled on the religious freedom of the Little Sisters of the Poor was a man of good character?

Pulease, spare us your sanctimonious commentary

Anonymous said...

Neither Clinton nor Obama is President. Why not bring up Andrew Jackson's bigamy of Thomas Jefferson's concubinage? Because they don't matter.

Pedophile Island is a fantasy of Fake News sources.

Whataboutism is just another rationalization for trumps foolishness and crudeness.

TJM said...

Kavanaugh at 10:13

Just pointing out your hypocrisy. Actually Pedophile Island is well documented.

Continue to support the party of intrinsic evil. I am sure that will go well at the Pearly Gates for you.

Anonymous said...

Pedophile Island is Fake news.

Google It. YES, you will find a gazillion links, all of them sourceless and repetitive.

Oh, and you will also find this little tidbit: "NEW YORK—A woman who claims in a lawsuit that she was lured into a sex-trafficking ring run by billionaire Jeffrey Epstein contends that the depravity began at a Florida resort now known as the winter White House: Mar-a-Lago."

Now, who is it that owns, runs, and is making money on Mar-a-Lago? Hmmm...?

From the same Politico story, "“When you hang out with a guy who has a reputation like Jeffrey Epstein, multiple times, on private jets, on weekends, on trips, on places at least where it’s been reported not very good things happen, it would be good to know what our former president was doing, especially because it appears he’s going to be part of a campaign ticket on the other side of the aisle,” Priebus told Bloomberg in 2015."

"When you hang out with a guy who has a reputation like Jeffrey Epstein..."

And Epstein was a member of Mar-a-Lago, owned by who? Hmmm......

TJM said...

Kavanaugh at 1:31

Fake news? LOL. Look at this:

Horndog Clintoon was there 26 times. He sure isn't spending time with his Mrs.

I know, if you're a member of the Abortion Party, all is forgiven. FYI, alleged Democrat "catholics" voted against late term abortion again today. So our law is on par with Red China's on abortion. I thought libs wanted to be more like"sophisticated" Europe. In most countries there you can't get an abortion after 20 weeks.