Monday, November 22, 2010

WDTPRS? The Pope - what did he really say?

It's not just about condos either.

Peter Seewald's book promises to be a best seller after all the press it has generated.  So far I think everyone clearly understands how brilliant and compassionate Benedict XVI really is - and of course, that he is above all, totally Catholic and faithful.  After all, he is the Pope.

I especially like these snippets from Catholic News Service, which help dispel a few other myths about what the pope really says/thinks:
Communion in the hand:  "He said he began distributing Communion on the tongue during papal Masses not because he was opposed to Communion in the hand, but to "send a signal" about respect for the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist."  (See! - your hands aren't really going to turn black and fall off in the casket after you are dead just because you received in the hand.)
Intolerance and discrimination:  "The pope said the church's task is threatened by a "new intolerance" that would limit religious expression in the name of non-discrimination, for example in banning the display of crucifixes in public schools, or in condemning specific church teachings.  "When, for example, in the name of non-discrimination, people try to force the Catholic Church to change her position on homosexuality or the ordination of women, then that means she is no longer allowed to live out her own identity," he said.

Contraception:  He defended the 1968 encyclical "Humanae Vitae," which taught that artificial contraception in marriage is morally wrong, but said the church needs to find ways to help people live the teaching and show tolerance to those who have problems with it.  (I'm so surprised people didn't take off on this one - 'show tolerance to those who have problems with it.')

Fr. Maciel:  Pope Benedict said Father Maciel remains for him "a mysterious figure," one who lived an immoral and twisted life but who built up his religious order with dynamism -- a "false prophet" who nevertheless had a "positive effect."   (For me this one needs a lot more explaining.)
Catholic blogs and the kitch they schlep:  "I don't read many blogs except for Abbey-Roads and a few other academic blogs.  Actually Georg discovered Abbey thinking it had something to do with the Beatle's - we both love Lennon/McCartney music.  Anyway - he got me interested in it - it's very clever - although sometimes Monsignor gets upset with some of the things Terry says - and that amuses me to no end."  Asked about some of the more commercial blogs by priests and the kitch they attempt to pawn off on Catholics, the Holy Father just rolled his eyes and waved off the question after pretending to stick his finger down his throat as if to make himself vomit.
Photo:  No - it is not packaging for what you think - it is a button, sold on another site.  What?


  1. michael r.2:17 PM

    Grinning ear to ear. :)

    Yeah, I wonder what the cut is on the sale of the book. I know I won't be buying it there. I'll wait until it hits my library.

  2. Terry

    I think what Benedict is trying to say is that people can be misled by false prophets, nonetheless, they could still be influenced by the good in their works to do good. St. Augustine famously called such people thieves. They stole the good which is not their own, and used it to glorify themselves. The good is still good, even if taken by thieves, and one can still learn the good through such thieves. Augustine said such thieves, however, pile even more condemnation on themselves for such actions.

    We can look similarly to history. Many of the greatest saints were taught by, and influenced by, figures who would be rejected by the Church.

  3. Thanks Henry - that is very helpful.

    Michael - I'm glad you are smiling.

  4. Anonymous5:49 PM

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  5. Robin7:13 PM

    Terry, your second-to-last paragraph is priceless. You are a riot!

  6. I find alot of how the Popes and other philosophers write very confusing...even in my studies of JPII's encyclicals I would have to read each paragraph several times to get the basic jist..

    But I also do not have a liberal arts background....mine is math and science, and am an engineer by trade....just the facts ma'am, and cut to the chase and minimialize the flowery Victorian language thank you...most things ARE in black and white, and dancing around subjects bores and frustrates me..

    I Do like this one line, quoted from above: "in the intention of reducing the risk of infection," that would seem to me that if one is infected with HIV/AIDS, or other diseases such as herpes, hepatitis, etc that are spread by sexual contact, that the intention of the condom wearer is the prevent the spread of the disease, and not to contracept, then it's ok....but it is not clear..

    Clear instruction SHOULD read: If the primary purposes of wearing a condom is to prevent spread to your beloved partner of a potentially fatal or disfiguring disease HIV/herpes/hepatitis etc, and NOT for contraception then it is permissible..

    One has to only go to Africa and see the millions of AIDS orphans who have lost both parents to HIV/AIDS to have it sink home that SOMETHING must be done..and you can't stop people from having sex, anonymous or with multiple partners...and yeah I can go to confession and receive absolution for having sex outside of marriage, but it's NOT going to stop me from getting HIV/AIDS if I have unprotected sex with an infected person..

    I think that's what Pope Benedict was getting at....


  7. OT... but I couldnt help myself today. Blog was misbehaving.

  8. What a painful situation for our poor Pope.

    It would be a mistake to conclude the Pope is saying that HIV infected prostitutes who recklessly continue to be sexually active, even when they are wearing condoms is a good that Saints can learn from.

    It would also be contrary to the Catholic religion to say condoms are ok so long as they are not being used for contraception.

    One thing for sure - we'll be hearing 'splainin in the not too distant future.

    Meanwhile, here's a lesson for your saintly readers, if you plan on getting stinking drunk and driving home from your Thanksgiving dinner at Aunt Fran's, the first step in moral responsibility is not to put anyone else in the car with you. For the sake of value and dignity to human life, send your children home with somebody who is sober, cross your fingers and glorify yourself.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Keep up the good work, my son.

    p.s. when are you putting up the next work of art over at your other blog?

  10. All i will say about that next to the last paragraph is that someone in the Vatican does occasionally read my blog.


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