Saturday, September 21, 2013

This Is What We Get!

After all of the commotion and bantering about concerning what I consider to be the most imprudent interview a Pope has ever given, we are now going to see the whirlwind that is coming behind it. Now many bishops and priests are going to be more lax than ever before, if you can imagine that! Although you would probably be hard pressed to hear a sermon about the immoral acts of abortion, contraception or sodomy in most parishes over the past 50 years, which is why we are in the state we are in, you are probably going to be targeted now by "fellow" "Catholics" for even talking about them. It is clear the liberal clergy and laity alike are taking this open door for all it is worth. You think the Church was weak before in not combatting evil in the world? You haven't seen anything yet! The permissive tone of the last 50 years just got more permissive. According to Archbishop Dolan, we should not even address these issues in a negative tone. Really? Lets look at a video and then some recent comments by laity and clergy in light of the Pope Francis' latest interview. The video is very telling. The theology coming from these guys sounds like certain Protestant sects. I do not think I am over reacting here. See for yourself.

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James Salt, executive director of national nonprofit Catholic United, said he was “overjoyed,” adding that he’s eagerly anticipating how conservatives will respond.

“Pope Francis is saying what every faithful lay Catholic knows: to be effective in the modern world, the Church must refocus on what Christ actually taught us: to proclaim God’s love and good news for the poor, the vulnerable and the forgotten,” Salt said in a statement. “For too long, right-wing activists have distorted and co-opted Catholic teaching to suit their agendas. Pope Francis put a stop to that today.”

The real message, according to Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski, is that the church must "rediscover that the door to a person's soul passes through his heart."

"The pope is still Catholic," said Wenski, who met with his priests to discuss the interview. "He has not made any reversals of church doctrine, and he cannot. However, I think what the pope is doing is pushing the reset button. He is saying we can make all the cerebral arguments we want about the issues of the day, but those arguments fall on deaf ears or get misinterpreted if we don't first try to reach the person through the heart."

“Pope Francis is re-articulating church teaching," said Archbishop Gregory Aymond, of New Orleans. "But he’s doing it with heart. He’s doing in a way that reaches out to people. He’s calling us to explain church teaching, to be patient with people, to walk with them in their questions and ambiguities. And if they reject the teaching, to still be there for them as companions in the Lord. Pope Francis is not dialing back on the issues. I think he’s dialing back on how we teach the issues. And how we call the people — not out of fear, but in openness of heart.”

Officials at the diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., agreed.

“He talks about Church ministers as merciful, like the Good Samaritan, who washes, cleans and raises up his neighbor not as detail oriented bureaucrats,” read a statement from the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa. “The Gospel message that Jesus Christ loves you and has saved you should be primary.

U.S. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who as head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken a lead role in voicing the U.S. church's opposition to contraception and gay marriage, said Francis’ interview confirmed what has already been apparent.

“… [T]hat he is a man who profoundly believes in the mercy of a loving God, and who wants to bring that message of mercy to the entire world, including those who feel that they have been wounded by the Church,” Dolan said in a statement issued Thursday. “As a priest and bishop, I particularly welcome his reminder that the clergy are primarily to serve as shepherds, to be with our people, to walk with them, to be pastors, not bureaucrats! It is becoming more evident every day that we are blessed with a Pope who is a good shepherd after the heart of Christ.”

On Friday, Dolan, while appearing on “CBS This Morning,” said Francis’ words sent shock waves throughout the church.

"Every pope has a different strategy," Dolan said. ''What I think he's saying is, 'Those are important issues and the church has got to keep talking about them, but we need to talk about them in a fresh new way. If we keep kind of a negative finger-wagging tone, it's counterproductive.”

The Vatican's senior communications adviser, however, insisted Friday that Francis was not questioning the papacies or priorities of his predecessors.

"The pope is not condemning his predecessors," Greg Burke told The Associated Press. "What he is saying is 'We've spent a lot of time talking about the boundaries. We've spent a lot of time talking about what is sin and what's not. Now let's move on. Let's talk about mercy. Let's talk about love.'"

Read more:

“Breaking news, Pope Francis: There is already a profound theology of women," said Sister Maureen Fielder, a Catholic nun and longtime advocate of women’s ordination in the Catholic Church.
“There are libraries of feminist theology just waiting for you, and others, to dive in.”

Under previous popes, liberal Catholic nuns, politicians and theologians were castigated by church leaders, said John Gehring, a writer and advocate at the group Faith in Public Life. Now “the air is starting to clear,” he said.

“Pope Francis is rescuing the Catholic Church from those grim-faced watchdogs of orthodoxy who in windowless rooms reduce Catholicism to a laundry list of nos,” Gehring said.


Steve Dalton said...

Matt, I respect the Papal office, but this Pope is a disgrace to that office. I honestly believe he doesn't understand the importance of his position or the function of the same. He doesn't even want to be known as the Pope, he insists on being called the Bishop of Rome. He even refuses to wear papal clothes. What would a private in an army think of a general who refused to wear his uniform? I pray God will get a hold of this poor confused man, and scream, "You're the Pope, act and talk like one, or I'll find someone else who can do the job right!

John Bugay said...

Matthew -- I found this post from a link at Beggars All. I want to thank you again publicly for removing a blog post that was showing up negatively in my Google Search results.

I did manage to get a very good job (in software sales and consulting), although it took longer than I would have hoped.

In any event, I've been picking up on articles like this one from "conservative" Roman Catholics who don't like this pope. Here are a couple more that you may be interested in:

For what it's worth, the Called to Communion gang, who cherish the kind of epistemological certainty that "the papacy" brings, are taking comfort that Francis has not yet pronounced any dogmas. That's the bottom line for them. Maybe they are holding out that "the next pope" will swing back to being conservative. However, maybe this pope has unleashed forces (he was elected by all the "conservative" cardinals appointed by JPII and BXVI) that maybe those two popes tried to put back into the bottle, but too late.

In any event, one might have seen this sort of thing coming. Probably not to the degree with which we're seeing it.

I feel sorry for guys like you, although for the official Roman Catholic Church (the "hierarchy"), I wish them all the trouble they can drum up for themselves.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Hi John, I am glad you found employment. As far as the Pope goes, infallibility is not the issue, its prudence. JPII made many poor appointments which explains the the current climate in the Church. The Pope can create problems by acting imprudently, that is nothing new in the history of the Church. Ultimately we as Catholics should understand that Jesus Christ rules the Church and we should not be ultramontane. Am I worried that he will formally try and proclaim heresy? No. Do I think he could cause serious problems in the Church by making imprudent decisions? Yes.