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Darrel Manson

Habemus Papam! Pope Francis of Argentina (Was Benedict to resign)

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It looks like the last single non-Italian pope before John Paul II was Adrian VI (1522–23)

Wait. I thought they were almost all single. scratchchin.gifwink.png

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The last pope to use a brand-new papal name (not counting the amalgam name John Paul) was exactly 1100 years ago, in 913, when a pope decided to use his given name. No joke: He was Pope Lando. For some reason, still the one and only!

And now a wag on Twitter, responding to my tweet about Pope Lando, has credited him with writing the encyclical De Imperio Reverberante, where we find the stirring words, "You truly belong here with us among the clouds."

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SDG wrote::

: While Pope Francis is a Buenos Aires native, his parents belong to Argentina's large Italian community, as you might guess from his middle and last names (Jorge Mario Bergoglio). In fact, his parents were both immigrants. So Pope Francis is much more Italian than I am Dutch.

Oh, interesting. Hmmm. And apparently he has both Argentinian and Italian citizenship. So maybe he's not really "non-Italian" after all?

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: While Pope Francis is a Buenos Aires native, his parents belong to Argentina's large Italian community, as you might guess from his middle and last names (Jorge Mario Bergoglio). In fact, his parents were both immigrants. So Pope Francis is much more Italian than I am Dutch.

Oh, interesting. Hmmm. And apparently he has both Argentinian and Italian citizenship. So maybe he's not really "non-Italian" after all?

Not Italian-born, at any rate. Not an Italian native.

Edited by SDG

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Finally... Viggo Mortensen talks about Pope Francis.

I know this is a weird parentheses, but I understand you have an accidental connection to the new pope. You guys are fans of the same soccer team in Buenos Aires.

Yeah, that’s right. I mean, those pictures of him that have been circulating all over the Internet – with the San Lorenzo flag, and you see a brick sort of background to it? That’s inside a small chapel that I actually donated some years ago to the team. The idea was that it was an ecumenical place, meaning that it was open to people of all faith, even, as we said when we dedicated the chapel, a place where anyone could come to be in peace and meditate and seek tranquility for all, even those who don’t believe in anything. And sometime after that, he came to consecrate it, to bless the place. The picture was taken then. He’s been a fan since he was a little kid. He grew up with that team, he did a lot of his work as a Jesuit priest in that neighborhood, which is a pretty poor neighborhood. There’s a lot of problems in that neighborhood: poverty, drugs, crime. He comes from that Jesuit tradition of helping the needy. But yeah, he’s never made secret his passion for the team. To other Argentine soccer fans who aren’t fans of San Lorenzo, if they thought we were unbearable until now … it’s gonna be untenable for them, I suppose.

We’re the most inventive fans — with our songs, cheering the whole game. It doesn’t matter if we’re losing by 10 goals, it never stops. So now it’s even worse. (Laughter.) But of course, you get a lot of ribbing too. “If you guys can’t win the championship now, then you guys are pathetic.” It’s a funny thing. To be honest, I don’t really care about any pope. It’s not something I think about much, to be quite honest with you. I love San Lorenzo, and I don’t really care one way or another about the pope. But if there’s got to be a pope, he might as well be a fan of my team.

Do you know anything personally about Bergoglio? I’m not sure how much time you’ve spent in Argentina in recent years. Have you had any dealings with him?

Yeah, I know about him a lot. I’m not just sitting at a desk, going through his history. I know initially when he was named there were a lot of rumors circulated about his complicity with the dictatorial regime in the ‘70s, and that was disproved. There were even lots of photographs, supposedly showing him giving communion to Jorge Videla, the president, the dictator. All those – it was proven it was not him, it was another priest. There’s a lot of malicious gossip, and I suppose it’s not just a left-wing thing, or right-wing thing. It might be people who don’t think much of the Catholic Church, people who have grudges, and so forth. I don’t think you get to be pope without making some enemies, like you do when you’re president. But all in all, he seems to me a lot more humane, more humble – he’s more human than the last pope, certainly. He’s more personal – he’s engaged with people when he speaks.

So there’s some controversy. But for the couple of people who have come out and said, “Oh, he’s complicit,” well they’re not speaking for the couple priests who were abused by the regime and kept in prison and tortured and stuff like that. People who knew him well – human rights activists, including the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1980, and also a woman judge who in 1973 was kicked out of the country — people who have been treated really badly and, if it was true, would have every reason to speak against him, have come out staunchly defending him. So I don’t really feel like he was someone who was in – he definitely doesn’t have some huge secret that’s been disclosed.

I mean, I guess, it’s like World War II. The church as an institution was definitely complicit with the Nazis to some degree and the same is true in Argentina: The church is definitely guilty of a lot of things during that period, but I don’t see that he was, frankly.

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The pope likes San Lorenzo? Cool. Guess this means my choice to buy a San Lorenzo jersey when I lived in Argentina ten years ago, instead of becoming a fan of La Boca or River, the two biggest teams that most of my classmates supported, was the right way to go. thumbsupup.gif

Edited by Stephen Lamb

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It's been a little while now since Pope Francis' election and I don't pretend to be an expert commentator on ecclesiastical affairs in the Catholic and Anglican Churches, but it seems to me as if they've both followed the same path since electing their leaders. Both Rowan Williams and Pope Benedict XVI have reputations as being brilliant theologians whereas both Archbishop Welby and Pope Francis have been praised for their more pastoral approach to leading their churches.

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Huffington Post:

Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics

"The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!".. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

I don't know too much about Catholic doctrine, but does "redeemed" mean the same thing as "saved"? It sounds like Francis was saying everyone can do genuinely good acts (which is also how I've understood the passage in Mark he was preaching on), but those acts aren't salvific in and of themselves; they're more of a starting point for dialogue and working together.

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Huffington Post:

Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics

"The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!".. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

I don't know too much about Catholic doctrine, but does "redeemed" mean the same thing as "saved"? It sounds like Francis was saying everyone can do genuinely good acts (which is also how I've understood the passage in Mark he was preaching on), but those acts aren't salvific in and of themselves; they're more of a starting point for dialogue and working together.

HuffPo is being retarded. Of course.

They get it wrong right from the headline: "Pope Francis Says Atheists Who Do Good Are Redeemed, Not Just Catholics." Anyone can read the story and see that Pope Francis never said this. He says that everyone is redeemed, including atheists, without restriction—atheists who do good, atheists who do evil, everyone. He never says atheists "who do good" are redeemed.

In other words, the pope is talking about the universal condition of mankind as a result of what Jesus has done in the past: He has suffered and died for all of humanity, and thereby redeemed us all.

The Catholic Church has always taught that redemption has already been accomplished for all, but that's very different from saying that the fruits of redemption are received by all (i.e., "all are saved").

Notice how later the article slips from the pope's use of the past tense ("The Lord has redeemed all of us") to the future tense: " not all Christians believe that those who don't believe will be redeemed."

In other words, the Huffington Post writer doesn't recognize that redemption and salvation are not the same thing.

Further reading: Brandon Vogt, Mark Shea.

Edited by SDG

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I don't know too much about Catholic doctrine, but does "redeemed" mean the same thing as "saved"? It sounds like Francis was saying everyone can do genuinely good acts (which is also how I've understood the passage in Mark he was preaching on), but those acts aren't salvific in and of themselves; they're more of a starting point for dialogue and working together.

No, in Catholic teaching redeemed and saved are not synonyms. That headline is very misleading.

Redeemed means Jesus suffered and died for us; saved means we have achieved salvation. Since Jesus suffered and died for everyone, everyone has been redeemed (even Judas and Hitler were redeemed); whether or not someone is saved depends on the choices they make in their life.

The Catholic Church does teach everyone is capable of doing good, because everyone is created in the image and likeness of God and has been redeemed. Also, the Catholic Church teaches it is possible for everyone, even atheists, to achieve salvation through good works and striving to do what is right.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 1260:

...Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved...

Mark Shea goes into greater detail here.

EDIT: SDG beat me by about ten seconds.

Edited by Evan C

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I think Rod Dreher is making much out of little. An admission that the CDF can make mistakes in its disciplinary measures is hardly tantamount to a declaration that orthodoxy doesn't matter. On the contrary, further on in the same document, the Pope's remarks about Pelagianism, Gnosticism, and Pantheism make it clear that he is concerned about the very real practical and pastoral consequences that unorthodoxy can have.

Edited by Rushmore

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I haven't read a transcript of the entire interview, so this may only be reductionist "liberal spin" on yet another very complex and nuanced theological discussion, but it seems hopeful. To me anyway. 

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You gotta read the whole interview that the NYTimes is sound-byting. It's an incredible interview.

 

I posted this today on Facebook... reluctantly, as I feel a bit uncomfortable making any kind of claims related to the Pope or the Catholic Church.

 

 For what it's worth, I've heard a lot of statements about how Francis is redirecting and redefining the church. As I mentioned to a friend, I think Francis has, so far, done more to *clarify* what the course of the ship really *is,* rather than to alter its course. Loudmouthed misrepresentatives of Christianity and Catholicism give the world a very false understanding of the ship itself and its course. Francis is proving a fine communicator of the ship's true course. I haven't heard anything yet that I think the last two popes would have denied. It's all a matter of what aspects of the church you emphasize. And Francis's emphases, right now, are timely and helpful. They help counteract misunderstandings about the church that come, in part, as a result of sound-byte culture and the popular image of the church as defined by people who hate it.

 

Edited by Overstreet

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Rod Dreher:

 

I know what the Pope means here, and he’s right: there is so very much more to Christianity than its teachings on sexuality and abortion. But this is where I think he goes badly wrong: his remarks will be received as the Pope saying that this stuff doesn’t matter all that much. Francis can’t claim he was misquoted or that the article gave the wrong emphasis, because he personally approved it before publication. He may not have intended it this way, but it will be taken as such by a people, especially in Europe and North America, who have closed their hearts and minds to the Church’s unchanging message on these topics, precisely because these are the hardest things for modern people to accept. A conservative Catholic priest friend wrote to me after reading this:

 

Words fail.  If this keeps up, everything is going to be much harder. I can’t say it surprises me; the man gave an eighty minute press conference to the assembled press corps on an airplane. But it’s terribly naive, in a time when people graduate from Catholic elementary and high schools, college, and don’t know the most fundamental things about the Faith, not to realize how selectively people will pounce on this kind of thing. I feel sorry for the people in the Church who are working hard on Christian education and formation, trying to repair the damage of forty-five years. The legs are being chopped out from under them.

 

I think this is exactly right. I love his style — seriously, I do — but I am sure the liberal Pope has been very, very naive in his words here. Look at the weight the media, who amplify his words, put on the homosexuality, contraception, and abortion parts of a very long interview. The world wants to be told, “It’s okay, do what you like.” He no doubt doesn’t mean at all for that to be the lesson of his words, but that’s how they will be received. For liberals and Moralistic Therapeutic Deists within Catholicism, it’s springtime. For traditionalists and conservatives in the Catholic Church, it’s going to be a long winter. It was easy for conservative Catholics to be strong papalists under John Paul II and Benedict. This papacy is going to be a time of trial for them.

 

People forget, but John Paul II, for much of his papacy, was strong and extremely charismatic. He was adored by millions. But far fewer actually listened to him, and obeyed. Francis will learn.

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His favorite artists according to the HuffPo article on the interview:


AND WHO ARE HIS FAVORITE ARTISTS?

_"`La Strada,' by Fellini, is the movie that perhaps I loved the most. I identify with this movie, in which there is an implicit reference to St. Francis."

_"I have read The Betrothed, by Alessandro Manzoni, three times, and I have it now on my table because I want to read it again. Manzoni gave me so much. When I was a child, my grandmother taught me by heart the beginning of The Betrothed: `That branch of Lake Como that turns off to the south between two unbroken chains of mountains...'"

_"Among the great painters, I admire Caravaggio; his paintings speak to me. But also Chagall, with his `White Crucifixion.' Among musicians I love Mozart, of course. The `Et incarnatus est' from his Mass in C minor is matchless; it lifts you to God!"

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I used to believe these things. Then I stopped for a while. Now I'm starting to believe again... this notion that God raises up certain individuals at unique times in human history, to emphasize certain things about Grace that are maybe being neglected by the Church. Look, it's easy and convenient for me to say because I'm pro-gay marriage, but the fact is, those are not the things that resonate the most with me. It's stuff like this:

I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner. 

 

 Sure, other Pope's have made similar statements. But his actions-- his homespun simplicity and rejection of the ostentatious trappings of the papacy--  coupled with these kind of statements, seem to have a winsome honesty and power that is desperately needed right now.  

Edited by Greg P

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... a winsome honesty and power that is desperately needed right now.  

 

Agreed. Hopefully I will be more than just impressed with him, but contemplate how to let it season my own speech and behavior in the next few hours, the coming weeks, the rest of my life. Perhaps it's a good time to go back and read Thomas Merton again, who evidenced this kind of grace again and again in his Sign of Jonas journals.

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You gotta read the whole interview that the NYTimes is sound-byting. It's an incredible interview.

 

I posted this today on Facebook... reluctantly, as I feel a bit uncomfortable making any kind of claims related to the Pope or the Catholic Church.

For what it's worth, I've heard a lot of statements about how Francis is redirecting and redefining the church. As I mentioned to a friend, I think Francis has, so far, done more to *clarify* what the course of the ship really *is,* rather than to alter its course. Loudmouthed misrepresentatives of Christianity and Catholicism give the world a very false understanding of the ship itself and its course. Francis is proving a fine communicator of the ship's true course. I haven't heard anything yet that I think the last two popes would have denied. It's all a matter of what aspects of the church you emphasize. And Francis's emphases, right now, are timely and helpful. They help counteract misunderstandings about the church that come, in part, as a result of sound-byte culture and the popular image of the church as defined by people who hate it.

Yes, the interview is incredible, and I think your comment from facebook is very accurate and considerate.  Francis' interview does a terrific job of clarifying and refocusing Church teaching which the media has obfuscated throughout the years.  I think the interview will challenge all (Catholics and non-Catholics) to really consider what it means to follow Christ. 

 

The only part of the interview I disagree with is the comments about Mozart and Beethoven.  I also find Wagner borderline insufferable (with one or two exceptions).  But I'm glad Francis enjoys him.

 

 

And when I read the selectively excerpted NY Times article, which very inaccurately smeared Benedict as well, all I could think of was this:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsNZvfCGv3k

Edited by Evan C

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Rod Dreher:

 

I think this is exactly right. I love his style — seriously, I do — but I am sure the liberal Pope has been very, very naive in his words here. Look at the weight the media, who amplify his words, put on the homosexuality, contraception, and abortion parts of a very long interview. The world wants to be told, “It’s okay, do what you like.” He no doubt doesn’t mean at all for that to be the lesson of his words, but that’s how they will be received. For liberals and Moralistic Therapeutic Deists within Catholicism, it’s springtime. For traditionalists and conservatives in the Catholic Church, it’s going to be a long winter. It was easy for conservative Catholics to be strong papalists under John Paul II and Benedict. This papacy is going to be a time of trial for them.

 

People forget, but John Paul II, for much of his papacy, was strong and extremely charismatic. He was adored by millions. But far fewer actually listened to him, and obeyed. Francis will learn.

 

 

This is completely detached from reality. I promise you, the Pope knows what he's doing. Even if you don't like what he's doing, as Rod Dreher seems not to, this idea that it simply hasn't occurred to him that he might make things more difficult for conservative apologists, whose success must self-evidently be a top priority for any pope worthy of the name, is silly and, even if unintentionally so, highly disrespectful.

 

The only part of the interview I disagree with is the comments about Mozart and Beethoven.

 

Are you sure you're Catholic?

Edited by Rushmore

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Greg P wrote:
: Look, it's easy and convenient for me to say because I'm pro-gay marriage . . .

 

Yeah, and this, I think, is the source of Dreher's concern: The world is already heading in that direction, so should Francis really be making it *easier* to go in that direction? It's one thing to say we need better balance; it's another thing to tip the balance in the other direction. It reminds me of this bit from The Screwtape Letters:

 

The use of Fashions in thought is to distract the attention of men from their real dangers. We direct the fashionable outcry of each generation against those vices of which it is least in danger and fix its approval on the virtue nearest to that vice which we are trying to make endemic. The game is to have them running about with fire extinguishers whenever there is a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under. Thus we make it fashionable to expose the dangers of enthusiasm at the very moment when they are all really becoming worldly and lukewarm; a century later, when we are really making them all Byronic and drunk with emotion, the fashionable outcry is directed against the dangers of the mere "understanding". Cruel ages are put on their guard against Sentimentality, feckless and idle ones against Respectability, lecherous ones against Puritansm; and whenever all men are really hastening to be slaves or tyrants we make Liberalism the prime bogey.

 

Hence Dreher's concerns about the way Francis's statements play right *into* our culture's desire for Moralistic Therapeutic Deist soundbites.

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Greg P wrote:

: Look, it's easy and convenient for me to say because I'm pro-gay marriage . . .

 

Yeah, and this, I think, is the source of Dreher's concern: The world is already heading in that direction, so should Francis really be making it *easier* to go in that direction? It's one thing to say we need better balance; it's another thing to tip the balance in the other direction.

 

The balance doesn't go in only one direction at once. It's more complicated than that. We live in a reactionary age, and this means that while mainstream culture pursues "Moralistic Therapeutic Deist soundbites," a very large faction within the church goes excessively in the other direction. The face of conservative Christianity, as far as much of the world is concerned, is a stern and legalistic one. For example, we have a reputation for being more concerned with condemning the sin--or keeping from being legalized--than loving the sinner. Not all of that is our fault, but some of it surely is, and Pope Francis clearly considers it his business to address that. He talks like that because he's the spiritual head of the whole Church, including its most conservative factions.

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