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"Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" #409128 10/27/14 10:20 AM
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Talon Offline OP
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wink

If you have any sort of sympathies at all toward the headline, I beg you to please give this article a prayerful hearing. It's a year old, but still extremely relevant...

http://catholicstand.com/pope-francis-has-single-handedly-destroyed-catholicism/

Pope Francis Has Single-Handedly Destroyed Catholicism

JoAnna Wahlund • September 18, AD2013

…or so you’d think if you got all your information about Catholicism from blog comboxes.

Not surprisingly, Pope Francis has been in the news lately. The media jumped on his offhand comments about homosexuals, breathlessly reported on a letter he wrote to an atheist, and made much hay over an interview given by the Vatican’s new Secretary of State (the media was apparently under the impression that Pope Francis is a very clever ventriloquist, and he was the one talking while the new Secretary’s mouth was moving – at least, that’s what they reported).

A common refrain I’m observing in the comboxes of various Catholic bloggers lately, when said blogger discusses one of these media reports, goes something like this:

“The Pope needs to stop making remarks like this! They’re too easily misunderstood! No one should have to write an article after the fact explaining what the Pope actually said/meant. The Pope needs to deliberate for hours on end before so much as opening his mouth! Every word must be crafted with the utmost perfection so that the media doesn’t get the wrong idea!” etc., etc.

And, my favorite:

“This kind of thing never happened when Benedict XVI/John Paul II was Pope!”

To these people, I respond:

Really? That’s some pretty amazing selective memory you have going on there. Granted, I’ve only been Catholic for the last ten years, but I remember:

The Condom Kerfuffle, in which the MSM proclaimed that Pope Benedict said condoms were perfectly okay for everyone to use (when he actually said that in certain situations, the use of a condom could indicate that someone was trying to act in a moral fashion by not spreading disease, and that trying to act morally could be a good first step on the road to repentance).

Pope Benedict’s speech at the University of Regensburg, in which (according to the media) the Pope said that Mohammed was evil incarnate and all Muslims were going to hell. (The Pope later explained that his words had been misunderstood by Muslims.)

The publication of Benedict’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate, in which the MSM announced that the Pope attacked capitalism as always evil in any circumstance and wholeheartedly supported the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was, according to the media, Pope Benedict’s last ditch attempt to revive a dying church by resurrecting a dead language.

John Paul II’s release of Dominus Iesus in 2000 spawned dozens of newspaper headlines (one of which I remember seeing in my college newspaper) proclaiming that “the Pope says non-Catholics aren’t really Christians!”

In Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, John Paul II stated unequivocally, “Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren [...] I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful” (emphasis mine). Seems pretty straightforward, but the MSM headlines in response? “Pope’s words about women’s ordination spark debate” or similar.

I’m sure I could list hundreds of examples dating back decades, if not centuries, about how the media flagrantly and deliberately misrepresents a pope’s statements, leading to a need for the Vatican et al to issue a clarification. This is not a new phenomenon. The media does not exist to tell the truth – it exists to make people rich. Juicy headlines sell newspapers and garner millions of website hits, which generate revenue. “Pope Reiterates 2,000-year-old Teaching of the Church” doesn’t make money; “Pope Declares that All Atheists Go to Heaven” does. Truth has nothing to do with it, and this type of misrepresentation for personal gain is something that’s been happening as long as the papacy has existed.

Indeed, St. Peter himself could have been speaking about the mainstream media when he said, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)

Of course, in every combox you find at least one person lamenting that the current Pope is destroying the Catholic Church. One example:

“This is doctrinal immodesty, if I may use the phrase. Rather than clothe the precious doctrine of the Body of Christ in garments of sobriety, modesty and Prudence, the truths of the Church are being sold away [by Pope Francis, presumably] cheaply to the moral perverts and enemies of Christ.”

I’m very curious what the commenter in question would have had to say about some of the Church’s earlier Popes:

Pope Stephen VI (896–897), who had his predecessor Pope Formosus exhumed, tried, de-fingered, briefly reburied, and thrown in the Tiber.

Pope John XII (955–964), who gave land to a mistress, murdered several people, and was killed by a man who caught him in bed with his wife.

Pope Benedict IX (1032–1044, 1045, 1047–1048), who “sold” the Papacy

Pope Boniface VIII (1294–1303), who is lampooned in Dante’s Divine Comedy

Pope Urban VI (1378–1389), who complained that he did not hear enough screaming when Cardinals who had conspired against him were tortured.

Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503), a Borgia, who was guilty of nepotism and whose unattended corpse swelled until it could barely fit in a coffin.

Pope Leo X (1513–1521), a spendthrift member of the Medici family who once spent 1/7 of his predecessors’ reserves on a single ceremony

Pope Clement VII (1523–1534), also a Medici, whose power-politicking with France, Spain, and Germany got Rome sacked.

(The preceding examples are taken from E. Chamberlain’s book “The Bad Popes,” as summarized by Wikipedia.)

We once had a Pope who was murdered while engaging in the act of adultery – and the Church survived! After that, can anyone honestly believe that the Church will be utterly decimated and destroyed simply because the current pope made statements about atheists that were deliberately misconstrued by the media in order to boost ratings?! Perhaps the Holy Spirit is insulted by the implication that His protection of the Truth was considered so weak and ineffective. (Emphasis added by Talon)

So please, fellow Catholics, the proper response when reading a MSM headline about the Pope changing a long-held doctrine of Catholicism is not panic or rage or despair. Rather, it’s a yawn, an eye-roll, and a resigned sigh – as well as a realization that we’re once again called upon to engage in the new evangelization for the sake of the Kingdom in the realm of social media and among our friends and family.

Last edited by Talon; 10/27/14 10:39 AM.
Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: Talon] #409132 10/27/14 03:43 PM
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I am reminded of a story from the days of Napoleon Bonaparte. One of his relatives was a Cardinal, and they were discussing Napoleon's plans for the empire. Napoleon was engaging in a rant against the Church and said he would destroy the Church if they didn't comply with his wishes.

The Cardinal replied that he and his fellow clergy had been trying to destroy the Church for over 18 centuries and had not yet succeeded.

Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: Talon] #409133 10/27/14 05:48 PM
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Russ Douthat's column from this Sunday points out the limitations on papal infallibility in the context of the recent Synod and Pope Francis.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/opinion/sunday/ross-douthat-the-pope-and-the-precipice.html?mabReward=RI%3A13&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine

The link appears wrong, but the article is there on the Times' home page this afternoon.

Last edited by DMD; 10/27/14 05:49 PM.
Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: Talon] #409138 10/28/14 09:57 AM
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Here's the working link:
nytimes.com/2014/10/26/opinion/sunday/ross-douthat-the-pope-and-the-precipice.html

This article is very clear about where infallibility stands in relation to Holy Tradition, a teaching which Mardukum has mentioned and repeated correctly on numerous fora.

From the article:
Francis is charismatic, popular, widely beloved. He has, until this point, faced strong criticism only from the church’s traditionalist fringe, and managed to unite most Catholics in admiration for his ministry. There are ways that he can shape the church without calling doctrine into question, and avenues he can explore (annulment reform, in particular) that would bring more people back to the sacraments without a crisis. He can be, as he clearly wishes to be, a progressive pope, a pope of social justice — and he does not have to break the church to do it.

But if he seems to be choosing the more dangerous path — if he moves to reassign potential critics in the hierarchy, if he seems to be stacking the next synod’s ranks with supporters of a sweeping change — then conservative Catholics will need a cleareyed understanding of the situation.

They can certainly persist in the belief that God protects the church from self-contradiction. But they might want to consider the possibility that they have a role to play, and that this pope may be preserved from error only if the church itself resists him.

Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: Michael_Thoma] #409140 10/28/14 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma

They can certainly persist in the belief that God protects the church from self-contradiction. But they might want to consider the possibility that they have a role to play, and that this pope may be preserved from error only if the church itself resists him.[/i]


Pharisaical nonsense.

Resist his heroic love for people who the rest us wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole? Resist his profuse love for Christ?

What is it precisely from Francis that we should be resisting?

I seem to have erred in posting the original article, hoping that those who had such sympathies would actually read it. Instead, it looks like too many are grabbing the headline and running with it all by itself...not helpful. frown


Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: Talon] #409143 10/28/14 11:27 AM
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"He eats with tax collectors and sinners..." GASP!

"He said that if we destroy the temple in Jerusalem, he'll put it back together in three days..." GASP!

"He fails to wash his hands before he eats!" PROLONGED GASP! (dizziness sets in)

Better get him before he ruins everything for the rest of us, huh, boys?

Last edited by Talon; 10/28/14 11:35 AM.
Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: Talon] #409145 10/28/14 11:30 AM
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Well, if Pope Francis is a "heretic" - where do I sign up? grin

He's the only pope whose framed picture I have up. He has converted four people I know who resisted my pious overtures for years.

I guess it is me people should resist . . .

Alex

Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: Talon] #409147 10/28/14 11:38 AM
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I should have noted that I posted the NY Times article not really for purposes of advancing the discussion as framed initially regarding the recent Synod and Pope Francis, but I should have noted that the conservative Roman Catholic author actually has a rather EO take on the issue of primacy and infallibility and doctrinal development. All of which are explanations I have heard regarding those subjects from both Orthodox and Eastern Catholic clergy engaging in dialogue between our faith communities.

Unfortunately, apologists for both 'sides' reject this and look strictly and legalistically towards the words.

And I rather agree with Alex regarding the incumbent Pope.

Last edited by DMD; 10/28/14 11:39 AM.
Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: Talon] #409149 10/28/14 12:26 PM
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Thank you for clarifying.

Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: Talon] #409346 11/13/14 01:31 PM
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There were three Borgia Popes... so you are missing two in your list of bad popes! They were the worst in the course of the Vatican's history... One of these Borgia Popes had orgies in the Vatican... - can it be worse than that!

Best,

Christine

Last edited by Tryzub Rurikid; 11/14/14 05:41 PM.
Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: Tryzub Rurikid] #409421 11/17/14 10:45 AM
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I think it could have been worse than that . . .

Alex


Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: Talon] #409633 11/27/14 05:03 PM
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Greetings .... I have not written for quite awhile on this forum, but have occasionally been reading it. However the title of this post, "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" intrigued me. Admittedly I have not read it all, but I have read enough to feel that, are we so holy that we can be so judgmental of the man God has chosen, through His Priests. Anyone that can say "yes" to that question "thinketh too high of himself." I admit, there are things about my church (Western Orthodox) which both perplex me, and make me question, but when I come right down to it, I realize that they/he are far wiser than I, and generally has it has little effect on my personal relationship with our Lord.

abby

Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: Talon] #409647 11/28/14 01:05 PM
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I agree with totally - Pope Francis has not destroyed the Church - he is trying his very best to help the Church after all he is the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth and he is worthy of our respect!!!! Amen

Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: Talon] #409651 11/28/14 10:16 PM
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Traditionalist Catholics support the Pope . . . except when they don't.

Progressive Catholics don't support the Pope. . . except when they do.

Re: "Pope Francis has single-handedly destroyed Catholicism" [Re: StuartK] #409963 12/16/14 09:52 AM
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And we all esteem and revere our Stuart for his great wit and wisdom - which we always do!

Alex

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