"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Pope of surprises ... I guess.

Watch out how you paint him.

 The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, "is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful." "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered." - CCC

Fallout from the Holy Father's visit to the Philippines.

Apparently the Holy Father surprised people because he spoke out against contraception and gay marriage and spoke in support of, and the need for support of the family:
Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi later confirmed with Catholic News Service that the Pope had been referring to same-sex marriage among other distortions to both marriage and the family. 
"As you know, these realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces which threaten to disfigure God's plan for creation and betray the very values which have inspired and shaped all that is best in your culture," he said. "[resist] ideological colonization that threatens the family"

These comments from the Pope are consistent with comments he made in the past while Pope and as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, then-Cardinal Jose Maria Bergoglio. Speaking before an audience from the international Marian movement in October, the Holy Father said "the family is being bastardized" and decried "new forms of unions which are totally destructive and limiting the greatness of the love of marriage." His comments came only a few weeks before he exclaimed, "children have the right to a mother and father" at the Vatican-sponsored "Complementarity of Man and Women" colloquium in November. - Source

The Pope has consistently held up Catholic teaching when it comes to these questions - before becoming Pope he was very clear in his stance against same sex marriage.  The 'faithful remnant' chose to ignore these facts and ran with anti-papist/anti-Catholic  news reports from secular agencies and Catholic blogs and Catholic 'tabloid news portals' such as Pewsitters and other start up sites.

One particularly shrewish Catholic blogger, self-congratulates and pretty much heaps self praise upon herself and other crackpot bloggers such as Ann Barnhardt, Steve Skojec, and other fear-mongering-divisive 'faithful remnant' sites claiming the influence of the Catholic blogosphere goes to the Chair of Peter itself.  In other words, the Catholic blogosphere believes they've somehow forced the Pope to become more Catholic?!  Amazingly ridiculous.

I seriously think many of these folks are deluded malcontents. They are like drunks hanging out at their neighborhood corner bar - arguing and fighting and looking for new fights to get into - just for the sake of congratulating themselves for the win - and if they should lose a round, they start to denigrate and shame their 'liberal' opponent to death.  So today, after they are forced to acknowledge that the Pope is faithful, they ALL go on the attack against secularists, who have no interest in Catholic teaching save to find ways to circumvent it or destroy it.  Suddenly, everyone with a Catholic blog-site muscles up all their sarcasm and derision to hurl insults and told ya so's against the cultural enemies of the Church.

What a bunch of blowhards.  Don't forget to hold out your tin cups to support yourself - especially now while the hits are coming in.

Be sure to support the online 'faithful remnant' priests too.  You know - the ones who wander the 'digital continent' like gyrovagues.

'Gutsy lady' 
Catholic-blogger-type A-O.



  1. Way to slam the Radicals Misrepresenting Traditionalists Terry! This is so true. Some may be craftier at hiding their sentiment with words or speaking 1/2 truths to say "I am not a rad trad" but most people can tell they are liars with their words and their true sentiments are as you have spoken.

  2. And that, dearTerry, is why I don't read "Catholic" Blogs. People interpret what they hear or read according to their own prejudices.

  3. It's a huge surprise to some that Pope Francis is actually Catholic. They fail to see how he can possibly be so when he refuses to wear fancy vestments and exiled Card Burke for that very crime.


  4. Pretty much why you're the only one I read anymore.

  5. He then went on to judge a pregnant woman for having an eighth child - she is irresponsible and tempting God - while on the plane back home.

    1. I'm sorry you're so lonely. Be more charitable. Understand the words of others according to what they actually say and, if their words are unclear, what you know they mean. When referring to what others say, don't leave out important parts that change the meaning or point, like you did here with Francis's comments about a woman he met. These are the ways to combat your loneliness. With God's help, it can get better!

    2. Joshua,

      How do you know what I know or don't know what words mean? I have no idea why you are making this about me rather than engaging the point.

      (I have explained on this blog elsewhere that my blog name is in reference to the crisis we find ourselves in. I am part of the existential peripheries. It is a metaphor.)

      On to the real point, which I'll summarize:

      -The Pope says that openness to life is necessary for a marriage to be valid
      -He makes a reference to Paul VI, the commission for life and the challenges married couples face
      -He says that Paul VI made the "refusal" (to permit contraception use) not only because of the challenges just referenced, but because of "Neo-Malthusian" ideology that was attempting to control humanity
      -He then says, however, that this openness to life does not mean we must "make children in series." He explains: "I rebuked a woman some months ago in a parish who was pregnant eight times, with seven C-sections (cesareans). “But do you want to leave seven orphans? That is to tempt God!"

      -He alludes to the fact that she was not practicing "responsible parenthood" as Paul VI, whom he calls a "prophet" taught.

      -Later, he comes back to this woman who was expecting her eighth (child) and already had seven who were born with caesareans:

      "That is an irresponsibility. (That woman might say) 'no but I trust in god' But God gives you methods to be responsible. Some think that, excuse me if i use that word, that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits. No. Responsible parenthood! This is clear and that is why in the church there are marriage groups, there are experts in this matter, there are pastors, one can seek and i know so many, many ways out that are licit and that have helped this."

      So, as I said originally, he judged a woman for having her eighth child. She is irresponsible, according to Francis.

      He was definitively pronouncing a judgment on her and her decision to continually be open to life.

    3. What I was referring to was that you know he didn't mean or say "eight children is always irresponsible" yet that's what your summary accused him of. You know he was referring to the dangers associated with repeated cesareans, but you left that part out. You knew this because you read the stories that mentioned it. And your reason confirmed it because you know 1) no pope would ever say or imply more than seven kids is irresponsible, per se and 2) you know there is a lot of risk involved with many cesareans. So the only logical conclusion is that he was judging the woman putting her life at risk when she has a full family to attend to. You came to this conclusion like everyone else, but then thought it would sound better to leave it at "he judged her for having 8 kids." You're a smart person, as evidenced by your comments, so such simple conclusions are well within your reach. That's how I know what you know.

      So why do you choose to live in the "existential peripheries"? I don't get loneliness as an apt metaphor for living in the midst of "the crisis we find ourselves in." If we're in such a crisis--and I agree the Church is in some sense "in crisis"-- is isolation the right response? Doesn't the gospel ask us to get out there and mix it up?

      To conflate St. Paul and St. Clair, can the foot say to the hand, "that ring is tacky" and can the hand say to the foot, "how dare you talk to me like that, you!" and smack him? No, the hand and the foot are of one body.

    4. I know he didn't mean or say that. What I said originally is true: he judged a woman for having an eighth child - not per se - but in her particular situation.

      I don't know much at all about cesareans, and I don't pay much heed when the worldly lecture Catholics about "risks". I do know that doctors will try to put women on birth control immediately after giving birth because of the "risks", for instance.

      The problem is that this woman may know the risks, and may be trusting in God despite that. Yet she is judged, definitively, by the who am I to judge pope, as being irresponsible and tempting God. THAT is what I would never expect a pope to say or imply. That is what I was taking issue with initially.

      You don't know what I know or what I was thinking of in my original post.

      "Rome" (Catholicism, our Faith) is a "lonely place" because of the crisis, because of the confusion that is everywhere. It is "lonely" to feel alienated within one's own "home".

      Beyond this, there is no point in defending myself to you or anyone else. And shallow pep talks repulse me.

    5. You're right about not needing to defend yourself to me or anyone else. 100%. I wasn't looking for that. I was just asking questions about your theme/metaphor.

      You're also right that it's lonely to be alienated in your home. I've felt that before and I couldn't agree more. But no alienation is inevitable--it just can't be so with God. That's not shallow pep talk, just a simple truth. (It's dangerous to confuse these two.)

      For what it's worth, repeated cesareans are a big deal. My wife's OB is 100% pro-life, doesn't prescribe birth control, doesn't do sterilizations, does VBACs, encourages and celebrates large families, etc.--truly amazing man. He has another patient whom we are good friends with. She had six cesareans and at the end of her seventh pregnancy her uterus ruptured in a major way. She and the baby were saved (long story, possibly involving a legitimate miracle), but afterward he told her that if she were to get pregnant again, her uterus would likely rupture again and that, barring extreme luck/possibly another miracle, she and baby would be at great risk. He told her this knowing the large burden this carries for a couple who fully follows the Church's teaching on sexual expression. Considering the family that depended on her, for her to knowingly get pregnant again, even trusting God to protect her, would have been wanton and foolish and deserving of rebuke. (I use the past tense because she ended up having a later hysterectomy due to complications from the rupture.) Maybe that's like the situation the pope was referring to. I have no idea.

    6. Here's a funny (and sadly real) headline from this story: "Pope Francis: Christians should not ‘make children’ and ‘be like rabbits’" (Seattle PI)

      "Christians should not 'make children'" That is about the best Francis-related-intentional-misreading I've seen.

    7. Jackie Parkes - Catholic Mother of 10 has some very good comments to an article at the Catholic Herald by Francis Philips (I think Philips is unmarried and childless) - Jackie totally gets it - as do you Joshua. I hope to at least publish her comments when I get a chance. Of course secular media will run with this, but Catholics know what and how the Pope said what he did. They know the context and one would expect they would know what he meant.

      On one level it is funny - on the other hand, it's quite sad that it is used against the Holy Father and innocent Catholics for whom he speaks - not simply by secular critics but the more obtuse among religious people who are on constant watch to catch the Holy Father in some error.

      Anyway - thanks Joshua for your good comments.

    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    9. Joshua, I think I'll leave it here, with a link to what Joseph Shaw wrote on the matter. I am in agreement with his excellent commentary:


  6. About a month ago, the Pope said this: "In a world often marked by selfishness, the large family is a school of solidarity and sharing; and this attitude then becomes a benefit for the whole society." (From Zenit, http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-address-to-the-italian-association-of-large-families)

    1. You are ALWAYS a God send. Biggest hug ever!

    2. My pleasure. It all has to be seen in context!

  7. +JMJ+

    One particularly shrewish Catholic blogger, self-congratulates and pretty much heaps self praise upon herself and other crackpot bloggers . . .

    You've got to stop making these snide remarks about me behind my back, Terry.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.