Monday, May 20, 2024


 There the Holy Father goes again…

I have often wondered if Pope Francis has been or is under psychoanalysis or missed his vocation in life by not becoming a pop-psychologist or psychiatrist. 

Herein lies his Achilles heal that has caused so much division and/or polarization in the Church, using psychology against people he criticizes rather than sound theological, doctrinal and dogmatic teachings. 

We already know that he has diagnosed in the psychological way those who prefer the TLM to the Modern Mass or those who love both well celebrated. 

In his recent 60 Minutes interview, he described clergy and laity who love dogma and then boxed themselves in and he called that suicidal. That is a psychological diagnosis rather than a theological one. 

Then he said that leaving migrants where they are coming from is “madness” in the mental sense of the word. 

He also couches his statements in political terms and the politics of countries where he is not an expert, especially when it comes to illegal immigration. But this pope disdains canon and civil law and mocks as “doctors of the law” those who say a sane Church and a sane society have laws that need to be upheld, with dispensations here and there.

All of this, though, contributes to the ambiguity of this pope, the confusion he creates and the areas he dabbles in which are not a part of being a “pontiff” which means bridge builder. 

You should be able to watch the 60 Minutes interview here.


Nick said...

Turns out "making a mess" requires people to clean it up.


William said...

I'd rather watch paint dry.

Bob said...

He was shelved by his Jesuit superiors for being unstable and a devisive troublemaker...

misrepresented as a poor oppressed victim by progressive pals to JPII who brought him out of exile and to power...

where he pretended orthodoxy during JPII and BXVI, and where he then took off the sane mask when in power at the Vatican, showing his old Jesuit superiors knew him well...

A fine vintage blend of Goebbels and Peron, with heady notes of Mao and Huey P. Long, house self-labeled as Machiavelli 2013, while millions of discriminating tasters say more a bland Christmas fruitcake.

Bob said...

And Father for psychoanalysis, Francis admits going through such, which he claimed was a lot of guess he went through just enough to pick up the psuedo-lingo and declare himself cured...

likely he found it helpful, alright, in trying to sound scientific while saying very unintelligent and base things, the old "putting on airs" so popular among those not too bright but excellent schemers, same as any organizational climber able to whip out trite phrases and buzzword jargon. Whatta guy, hey?

Mark Thomas said...

Pope Francis represented Catholicism well via the clips that 60 Minutes has released. God was with His Holiness as our Holy Father radiated the love and truth of the Faith in which our Pope is steeped.

It is easy to discern as to why God raised Jorge Bergoglio to serve as His Pope.

It is easy to discern as to why Popes Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI thought highly of Jorge Bergoglio.

Pope Francis, in regard to holiness, mercy, love, and truth, has followed in our Lord Jesus Christs' footsteps. That was displayed via Pope Francis' responses, for example, to questions related to migrants, war, and the blessing/spiritual care of sinners.

Based upon the clips that 60 Minutes released, I view as a holy success Pope Francis' interview in question.


Mark Thomas

Tom Makin said...

I watched this. Nothing but a "puff piece". The only good that came out of it was his correction re: "blessing same sex unions". That said, given his correction, why do we need this stupid document (Fiducia Supplicans) in the first place? Oh, I know, to tee up the next one which will reveal all....

Fr Martin Fox said...

In the "60 Minutes" interview, the Holy Father makes a claim that simply does not match reality and is therefore indefensible: he claims that all he did with Fiducia Supplicans was allow blessings of "individuals" in same-sex unions, not the unions themselves.

Here is the inescapable problem with this assertion: he necessarily implies that blessing these individuals was forbidden prior to FS. Otherwise, it is absurd to claim he allowed something that was already allowed!

But it was absolutely not forbidden to bless individuals who were in same-sex unions. If he, or anyone who wants to speak for him, wishes to assert otherwise, produce evidence: please cite any magisterial document that was overturned by FS.

Now, a more reality-compliant (and generous) explanation would be merely was clarifying something already the case, and that all the pope wished to deal with was clerics who were being unreasonably stingy in this regard. But that would yield two problems.

First, he'd have to have brought receipts. Where, exactly, is this happening? How do you know individuals are asking for individual blessings, and being denied them? How significant is this problem, that it requires a worldwide declaration? Has the pope received letters from said individuals, describing these refusals?

Second -- and assuming, I'm sorry to say, that the evidence of widespread refusals of blessings simply does not exist -- the pope would then be in a position to state that the ambition of FS was actually very modest. He was simply providing a clarification, aimed at preventing any stinginess, just in case it might be happening...somewhere.

But had he said that, he would have solved one problem while creating another. The "conservative" critics of FS would have been almost entirely muted, although some might wonder aloud why such a clarification was even needed, but OK.

The new problem would be that FS would never have been celebrated as some breakthrough; it would then have been mocked by the "progressives" as crumbs.

Sadly, the Holy Father had the option of an irenic response: it was merely a clarification -- but chose an accusatory one, and embarrassingly, it relies not only on an easily demonstrated false presentation of FS's critics -- as noted, the notion that they object to blessing individuals -- but also, and more embarrassing, on a false statement about the status quo ante: that some norm, somewhere, forbade blessings being given to the people in question.

Meanwhile, the one thing that FS actually innovated -- as the prefect of the Holy Office (I can't recall it's new name) actually admitted -- was to undo one of Vatican II's many valuable observations: that blessings are inherently liturgical. Not so, says FS! Which is theologically incoherent, and if there are any serious theologians among the progressives, they see this plainly; but they are being forced to eat this, let us say politely, sandwich of unpleasantness.

Oh, and by the way: how, exactly, did this interview in any way undo the perception that Pope Francis doesn't like a substantial portion of American Catholics? That he doesn't understand them, and doesn't seem to want to try?

Cue you-know-who to explain, laboriously, that it's all the fault of dastardly media types, mangling the pope's plain meaning, or else the fault of too stupid listeners who can't figure it out. I think a simpler explanation is that our Holy Father doesn't deal well with criticism, and has accepted simplistic characterizations of significant segments of his flock on face value.

Tom Makin said...

Fr. Martin Fox absolutely nails this; game, set, match

Bob said...

I found Mark's comments to be a perfect example of hagiography excellence, with free toppings of maple syrup, chocolate syrup, not one but TWO cups of sugar, and a quart of clover honey....and still unable to mask the cow pie beneath, but a most excellent try.

Bob said...

After that holy success of an interview, as so wonderfully stated by our resident hagiographer, I'd like to see a show of hands from those who see future sainthood declared for Francis.

We already have one vote from Mark Thomas for sainthood before Francis kicks off.

Any others, for even after he dies? Based upon that interview, there should be a good show of hands, except from the sane people.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Let me explicate something that seems obscure to many. Here's what actually happens with blessings, at least in my own experience of 21 years. (I would love to hear other priests' variations on this, but I suspect their accounts will be similar.)

Someone either calls or emails about some sort of blessing, or else stops by the parish office, or asks you on the spot, wherever you might be.

In my experience, it is one of the following that is being sought:

- House blessing
- First Communion or Confirmation gifts
- Rosaries or scapulars, often to be given to others
- Newly opened business
- Throats (asked as Feb 3 approaches or has passed)
- Motorcycles or pets or herbs or Easter food or somesuch, related to a saint's day or something promoted somewhere and can we do it here?
- Not feeling well (may or may not be actually a request for the sacrament of anointing)
- Traveling
- Anniversary of marriage (often as part of Mass)
- Water, as in, the Holy Water thing is empty, or here are 50 bottles to be given away

Now, almost always in my experience, people give you some idea of the sort of blessing they want. It's not unheard of for someone to ask for "a blessing" without any other explanation, but it's rare. And if someone says, "Father, will you give me a blessing," I will ask, sure, is there something you want me to pray for? Not because I'm nosey, but because I know from experience, the request is most likely about something in particular (see list above); it's quite rare that someone wants a non-specific blessing...


Fr Martin Fox said...

But sure, let's go with that:

"Father, will you give me a blessing?"

"Sure, is there some particular need or situation you are facing?"

"No, I just want a blessing."

"OK. May almighty God bless you..."

According to Pope Francis, this blessing was denied people who were in same-sex relationships. Really? How does he know? More to the point, how would the cleric who refused the blessing know? Is there somewhere in the world that the cleric, before imparting a blessing, requests a questionnaire be completed? Asking about civil marital status?

For all I know, I've blessed hundreds of same-sex-married individuals! I cannot know and why would I ask? "Say, you aren't one of those folks, are you???"

By the way, what do you suppose happens if someone comes to confession and, for whatever reason, cannot receive absolution? I can always impart a blessing. Who says otherwise?

Let us suppose -- and this has never happened to me -- two people of the same sex approach, let's say holding hands and offering lots of displays of non-Platonic affection. And one of them said, "Father, will you give us a blessing?" Prior to Fiducia Supplicans, did anything prohibit a cleric from imparting an individual blessing to each of those individuals? NO. Nada.

Since this never actually happened to me, I can only suppose what I might have done. I think I'd have ignored the hand-holding and so forth, because it is so out-there that it would have to be an attempt to goad a reaction. I'd have either asked, "what sort of blessing" just to be clear; or else, followed immediately with, "May almighty God bless you..." -- you asked for "a blessing," you get a blessing. With that precise fact-pattern, no one before or since FS would be unclear about this blessing, and while I can imagine a cleric might have refused (again, receipts please), I doubt this exact scenario would happen very often.

We all know what would happen instead: a couple seeking specific approbation of a specific relationship -- the very thing Pope Francis assures us, now, must not happen and FS is not meant to allow!

So we have a document that -- per our Holy Father -- now allows something that was actually always allowed and never forbidden, and about which there is no evidence was denied to any non-trivial degree, because there is likewise no evidence there was ever a demand for it anyway. Whereas, the sort of blessing for which there was ample demand (and this can be proven easily), this document, Pope Francis tells us, does not allow.

So what was the point of Fiducia Supplicans?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Father Fox, I have been called to offer blessings for many people, sacred objects, homes and individual persons. As it concerns persons, it is usually after Mass when i am greeting them. They have a special need of which they tell me. If they don’t ask for a blessing I offer it to them and gladly.
I have never had a homosexual couple ask me to bless their union or to receive a common blessing from me. If they were at Mass, they received a formal blessing to conclude the Mass though. I think that is one of the highest collective blessings the Church has.

I have offering spiritual and moral counseling to homosexuals on an individual basis. Sometimes they have ended a relationship or it was ended by the other person. It pains them, they grieve. I listen to them and offer a blessing to assist them. This is an individual blessing.

If sins of unchastity are confessed in Confession by any individual, regardless of orientation, I presume there is a sense of sorrow, guilt and repentance. They are absolved. If I can’t offer absolution because the person said they’ll probably commit the sins of unchasity as soon as they get home, I offer a blessing instead, for the moral and mortal well-being of the person.

I’d like to know how many priests, since FS have been called by a couple, triade or more of people to altogether receive a blessing?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The pope continues to set up the straw man of the Church must be welcoming of all people. And yes, I think the Catholic Church i welcoming of all people of good will as long as they don’t create a scandal by their behavior in the Church during any liturgical celebration, Mass or otherwise. Do we welcome to Mass a woman who is topless, a man in a g-string or with butt exposed? The St. Patrick’s Cathedral fiasco of a funeral saw all of that and more, plus two men French kissing in the sanctuary during some eulogies. Is that to be welcomed.

The pope makes no distinction between persons who are welcomed but certain behaviors that are not, especially those that cause scandal.

Otherwise, any any given Mass I celebrate, especially in my parishes and now in a vacation Mecca, anyone is welcomed. In my past parish, we had Protestants who attended regularly, but never transitioned to being Catholic and even non-baptized persons. They participated in every way possible with the exception of receiving Holy Communion. If they died and requested a Catholic funeral , they received one.

I have never denied a funeral to an active homosexual. But in my life, I have not known Catholic homosexuals who flaunted that before me or insisted upon this, that or the other in a disrespectful way. Most homosexuals Catholics i know are very respectful of the Church and not causing scandal by flamboyant behavior in the Church. What they do in their private lives is a matter between them, God and their confessor.