Friday, September 1, 2023



Progressives who under the papacies of Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict, constantly decried their backwardness, now are crying foul with orthodox Catholics voicing concern for Pope Francis’ backwardness to the 1970’s. 

Yes, both progressive and orthodox Catholics are not very nice, sometimes, in their criticism. It may well be a mortal sin against charity.

But we are maturing, awkwardly, in not deferring to a particular pope when His Holiness acts in an arbitrary and authoritarian way, not only with matters of discipline but now with matters of faith and morals and then manipulating an outcome by saying the Holy Spirit is leading us in denying what He (the Holy Spirit) had previously led the Church.

When this happens, healthy critique of a particular pope and the institution of the papacy, which has no checks and balances, is needed and ways to remedy it must be found.

On his high altitude “talking too much” on the way to silent Mongolia, the Holy Father may have exacerbated the rage in the Ukraine towards His Holiness and then he tells Americans to move on from their rage toward him from insults hurled at unnamed American Catholics. And he says diplomacy is hard.

All of it is in CRUX:

Pope praises Russian composer, tells American Catholics to ‘move on’


rcg said...

This is confusing. Pope Francis wants someone to make a mess, but who? Making a mess of other people’s stuff is vandalism. Maybe he means that he has moved on from his dust up with Catholics in the USA. Or is it we that should move on? And if we move on does it mean straighten up the mess we made and get our house in the order *he* wants? Will the Mongolians be lauded for their historical contributions as documented by Pope Innocent IV.

I still think it is best if this papacy continues for several more years to make modernism at least embarrassing if not an actual emetic.

Anonymous said...

Prayers for Pope Francis, as well as all who travel with His Holiness. Prayers for our brothers and sisters in Mongolia.

In regard to the initial announcement of the current Apostolic Visit to date:

Our brothers and sisters in Mongolia have, expressed tremendous love and respect for Pope Francis. Our brothers and sisters in Mongolia have expressed tremendous joy in regard to the opportunity to be amongst Pope Francis. That, in turn, uplifts my spirit.

I stand with my brothers and sisters in Mongolia. They uplift my heart and mind.

Via their joyful, enthusiastic communion with the Vicar of Christ, our brothers and sisters in Mongolia are one in, and with, God.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Reuters has rendered the context of the "move on" remark as follows:

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Pope Francis acknowledged on Thursday that his recent remarks calling out the U.S. Catholic Church as "reactionary" have ruffled feathers, and added that he wanted to "move on" from the controversy.

"They got angry, but let's move on, move on," Francis told a journalist on the plane taking him to Mongolia.


Mark Thomas

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Mark, thanks for pointing out how incoherent the pope is and not even the press can interpret his rantings. Some have taken the “move on” to mean, yes I insulted every Catholic in the USA without naming any group and I am not going to apologize for the insult, so let’s move on.

Or, it could mean, yes, every Catholic in America, since I didn’t name any group, needs to move forward, “avanti” and stop living in the past when there was clarity and coherence of doctrine, morals and pastoral practices. Let’s go forward with incoherence, changing doctirne and morals and pastoral practice to accommodate the world, the flesh and the devil.

Or it could have meant that all the Catholics he insulted who live in America have to get with the pogram and follow Germany, especially Berlin’s bishop and the head of the synodal way there who are leading us forward to my final destination.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I am very curious about what might be in the background on this "move on, American Catholics" story.

In my experience visiting Rome many times (but none since Covid), lots of other American Catholics are there at any given time; and you will certainly see them in St. Peter's, including at public audiences. But I recall stories in recent years reporting that attendance at papal audiences has dropped significantly, and not just after Covid.

American Catholic organizations are preeminent in providing funds to the Holy See and related organizations, the Knights of Columbus in particular. Do you recall the scandal from a few years back involving an attempt to get a large amount of money from U.S. Catholics to a hospital in Rome? Was that Wuerl? I recall the rich American Catholics who sat on the governing board of whatever American organization it was, that was asked for the money, started asking lots of questions, and that helped bring it all to light.

Third data point: isn't it true that Peter's Pence has seen a very significant drop in receipts over recent years? Can there be any doubt that American Catholics contribute significantly to that fund? Are they continuing to contribute as much as before.

Fourth data point: for various reasons, some hard to discern, Pope Francis does not seem to think much of the American church. His choices of cardinals have been ideosyncratic in general, and who can miss the slight toward Gomez, the archbishop of Los Angeles, and one of the highest-achieving Hispanic Americans in the Church? The recent verbal swipe at American Catholics was far from the first, and American Catholics know this.

And yet, while you can find all manner of nastiness online, posted by visible American Catholics, that doesn't express the bigger picture in parishes. In my prior parish, which was pretty conservative politically and theologically, there were certainly folks who didn't care much for Pope Francis, yet they prayed for him and recognized him as successor of St. Peter. My sense is that except for some very bitter or extreme folks, those who are turned off by him are still willing to applaud when he says or does things that they appreciate. He hasn't entirely lost that audience; yet these repeated slights only worsen things.

Here's the thing we Americans may miss: our activism and our use of the money lever to express disapproval isn't something most Catholics in the world can do. Remember: in Europe, it is very common for vast sums to come to the Church via tax collections; but the vast sums that Americans have contributed to the Church are voluntary and almost all under the direct control of individual Catholics. We vote with our dollars, and I can imagine from the perspective of Rome, that seems odd and distasteful, but it is a reality.

Who is it who whispers in the Holy Father's ear to say, "that doesn't help"? Even his most devoted American prelates, who he clearly favors, may well be calling to urge the pope to take a different tack.

Maybe the "move on" comment means something more like, "Oops, can we change the subject?"

Anonymous said...

Father McDonald said..."Some have taken the “move on” to mean, yes I insulted every Catholic in the USA..."

Then "some" are wrong as Pope Francis did not come close to having insulted "every Catholic in tHe USA."

Pope Francis was asked about criticism directed at him that has originated within the United States. Pope Francis responded correctly that within the United States, there "is a very strong reactionary attitude." He termed that as "a climate of closure."

However, he did not insult "every Catholic in tHe USA." Pope Francis had noted that "you can experience this climate in some situations." Again, that is "in some situations."

Pope Francis added that tensions are found within "some sectors in the United States..."

The transcription of Pope Francis' question-and-answer does not support the notion that he had insulted "every Catholic in the USA."


Mark Thomas