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Darrel Manson

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

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If the translation is correct then I amen this loudly.

 

“The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?”

 

 

 

Vatican Radio has additional quotes from this homily.

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Ross Douthat:

I will own up to sometimes being one of those doubtful conservatives, who worries about some of the pope’s choices even as I welcome others. Some of my doubts are probably rooted in what John Allen, the indefatigable Vatican correspondent, described as a kind of “older son” problem, after the dutiful firstborn sibling in the New Testament who resented the effusive greeting that his returning prodigal brother received. It isn’t a perfectly analogy, but it will serve, in the sense that it really can be hard for those of us who admired the previous pope, and tried to be defenders of the faith amid the bleakest moments of the sex-abuse crisis, to watch the love affair between the press and Francis, and see his words and deeds covered as though their Christian spirit was something that he alone had invented, something entirely absent from the Petrine office until now. When the internet went gaga recently over the photos of Francis with a little boy who had wandered on to the altar, for instance, it was easy enough to imagine the kind of off-color jokes that would have greeted the same images under the last pope, and to resent, on behalf of the much-misunderstood Benedict, the difference between the coverage then and now ….

This is a human reaction, but not a wise or Christian one. It is no small thing to have people looking anew at Catholicism after so many years of scandal-induced skepticism, no minor achievement to have the media fascinated by the kind of living iconography that Francis has created in just a short period as pope. And there’s no good to come from brooding on the slights and unfairnesses of the past if that means ignoring the potential graces of the present moment.

But I would still stress that “potential,” because for the moment I think conservatives do have legitimate reasons to be uncertain whether the new thing that Francis is aiming at will ultimately be a synthesis and a breakthrough for the church, or whether what we’re seeing is just the pendulum swinging back toward the progressive style in Catholic theology, in ways that may win the church a temporary wave of good publicity but ultimately just promise to sustain the long post-Vatican II civil war.

For an example of what I mean, consider this long address by one of Francis’s closest advisers, Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga of Honduras, which was delivered last month at a conference at the University of Dallas. It reads as a kind of sketch of an agenda for the church in the Francis era, and my reaction to it was not that different from some other conservative Catholic bloggers: It struck me as a sometimes-eloquent exposition of part of the church’s mission, part of the Catholic worldview, part of the church’s understanding of itself – but it seemed to stress those parts at the expense of other aspects, other elements, that are necessary for the whole. The Cardinal’s horizons seemed very worldly, his concerns were almost exclusively economic, his vision of the church’s mission in that arena had a political and left-wing and sometimes half-baked and conspiratorial flavor … and while some of his social-justice themes would have been at home in a document from either of the previous two papacies, he seemed to give short shrift to many of the issues and arenas – devotional and doctrinal, theological and liturgical, social and cultural – that lie close to the heart of Catholicism fully expressed and understood.

It felt like an address, in other words, that could have been delivered by a progressive prelate in 1965 or so, before subsequent developments exposed some of the problems with a Christianity focused too intently on the horizontal rather than the vertical, social injustice rather than personal sin, the secular rather than the transcendent. Even has Francis has been eloquently warning against seeing Catholicism as a worldly “ideology” or letting the church become an N.G.O., then his friend and ally’s vision seems to risk falling into a version of exactly those traps. . . .

Rod Dreher also commented on that cardinal's speech here ("You have to read this address. It can leave no doubt as to how revolutionary — for better or for worse — the current pontificate intends to be. . . . I’ve gone through it twice, and found much to agree with, but also a rather shocking lack of the sense of the transcendent, or of personal conversion and repentance. This is straight-up Catholic social-gospel leftism.") and here.

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Eugenio Scalfari (La Repubblica) says that some of what he published in his interview may not have been said by Francis:

 

In a meeting with the journalists of the Foreign Press Association of Rome, Scalfari maintained that all his interviews have been conducted without a recording device, nor taking notes while the person is speaking.

 

"I try to understand the person I am interviewing, and after that, I write his answers with my own words," Scalfari explained.

 

He conceded that it is therefore possible that "some of the Pope’s words I reported were not shared by Pope Francis."

 

Scalfari said that, at the end of the 80-minute conversation, he asked Pope Francis permission to report the conversation. The Pope agreed, and Scalfari offered to send him the text before its publication.

 

According to Scalfari, the Pope told him not to "waste time" in sending him the text, saying, "I trust you."

 

Scalfari said he nevertheless sent his text of the conversation to the Vatican on Sept. 29, together with an accompanying letter.

 

In the letter, he reportedly wrote: "I must explain that I wrote up our conversation in order to let everybody understand our dialogue. Keep in mind that I did not report some things you told me and that I report some things you did not tell me, which I wanted to insert to let the reader understand who you are."

 

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A technical question concerning Evangelii Gaudium (something I'm looking forward to perusing through):  Is there a difference between an Apostolic Exhoration and an Encyclical?

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A technical question concerning Evangelii Gaudium (something I'm looking forward to perusing through):  Is there a difference between an Apostolic Exhoration and an Encyclical?

 

Yes. Encyclicals are more authoritative, though Apostolic Exhortations are still among the more important forms of papal teaching. 

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Time's Person of the Year.

 

 

When, on March 13, Bergoglio inherited the throne of St. Peter—keeper of the keys to the kingdom of heaven—he made the same request of the world. Pray for me. His letter of retirement, a requirement of all bishops 75 and older, was already on file in a Vatican office, awaiting approval. Friends in Argentina had perceived him to be slowing down, like a spent force. In an instant, he was a new man, calling himself Francis after the humble saint from Assisi. As Pope, he was suddenly the sovereign of Vatican City and head of an institution so ­sprawling—with about enough followers to populate China—so steeped in order, so snarled by bureaucracy, so vast in its charity, so weighted by its scandals, so polarizing to those who study its teachings, so mysterious to those who don’t, that the gap between him and the daily miseries of the world’s poor might finally have seemed unbridgeable. Until the 266th Supreme Pontiff walked off in those clunky shoes to pay his hotel bill.

 

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I couldn't even get through the first page of that article. Just more over-the-top demonization of Benedict, followed by clueless astonishment that Francis criticized unchecked free-market capitalism very much as Benedict did.

 

Are people's memories really so short? I mean, I know Rolling Stone wasn't paying attention back then, and neither was Glenn Beck, but when Benedict came out with Caritas in Veritate it was downright scandalous for conservative American Catholics. People like George Weigel tied themselves in fucking knots trying to deal with it. I'm glad that people are liking the new pope, but when things like this come along and remind me that millions of people loosely following the story think it goes "Look Pope Francis is following the teachings of Jesus isn't that a novelty LOL", I find it discouraging and sad.

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Rushmore, I want to hug you. 

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Rushmore, I want to hug you.

Well, who am I to judge?

Edited by Nick Alexander

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Rushmore, I want to hug you.

Please feel free to do so, if the opportunity ever arises.

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Rod Dreher:

 

The Catholic NYT columnist (well, the orthodox Catholic NYT columnist) Ross Douthat, writing about Pope Francis’s controversial ringy-dingy to the Argentine woman, points out that the pontiff is playing a dangerous game with his phone calls. . . .

 

Douthat identifies a third peril, one that he says “my own assumptions about the nature of the church tend to rule out.” You should read his column to get the whole picture, but the gist of it is — and he uses this word — “schism.” That is, if Pope Francis pushes hard to change Catholic teaching on divorce, marriage, and communion in a major way, the tensions between the Church’s historic teaching and its revision would stand to break the bonds of communion among some Catholics. Writes Douthat, “Which is why Pope Francis probably is not actually considering it.”

 

The word “probably” is doing a hell of a lot of work in that sentence. That a Catholic writer as careful and non-excitable as Ross Douthat can’t say with confidence that the Pope is not considering a radical move that could force a schism — well, that tells us a lot about this papacy. As I said, Douthat is an orthodox Catholic, one who believes that the Holy Spirit protects the Church from teaching error on faith and morals. What happens if it appears to many Catholics that this Pope and the bishops united to him change Church teaching in such a way that they have taught error? This is the question that some of my traditionalist Catholic friends are facing right now. This is the first time I’ve seen it raised by a Catholic who is not a traditionalist. This column ought to be read as a warning. All these often charming media gestures Francis undertakes could be leading somewhere very, very dangerous for the Catholic Church.

 

This is all a lot more serious than almost anybody in the media, and many Catholics outside of traditionalist circles and a small but apparently growing number of conservative Catholics, seem to get. . . .

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With regard to Dreher's last two articles and Douthat, I am reminded in all of this that we are talking about the ALLEGED content of the Pope's phone call. We actually don't know what he told her, or what the details of her life are, or if she actually understood correctly, or if he actually told her to break Catholic teaching. I'm just saying this is a lot of bother over the ALLEGED contents of a phone call of which we actually know nothing!

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