Thursday, January 29, 2015

What the Pope said ...

Today's homily makes total sense to me.
The Pope pointed out that the author of the Letter to the Hebrews gave some very important practical advice: ‘Do not absent yourself from your own assemblies, as some do.’ He said this happens when we’re at such assemblies, in the parish or community and we judge the others, when there’s this kind of scorn towards the others. This, Pope Francis stressed, is not the new and living way of Jesus.
“They scorn the others, they stay away from the community as a whole, they stay away from the people of God, they have privatized salvation: salvation is for me and my small group, but not for all the people of God. And this is a very serious mistake. It’s what we see and call: ‘the ecclesial elites.’ When these small groups are created within the community of God’s people, these people believe they are being good Christians and also are acting in good faith maybe, but they are small groups who have privatized salvation.” - Vatican Radio

Now to whom do you think the Pope was expressing this teaching?  Who is he talking about?  Who is he talking to?  Me, for sure - and maybe you.   How can we be ecclesial elites?  We see it all the time online when we use our labels for one another, add our academic or religious initials/credentials behind our names, proclaim ourselves, attributing to ourselves some authority, correcting and admonishing - even the Pope ... and so on.  When we look around our parish we see the same dynamic.  We ourselves can be guilty of this notion of elitism.

Getting tired of what the Pope says?

No one is forcing us to listen, much less comment on what he says.  Who has appointed any of us his spokesman?  That said, as I responded last night on another blog, I simply do not understand the confusion, nor the anxiety over what the Holy Father says and does, explaining:

I don't know what is not to get or to be upset by? I see Francis in continuity with his predecessors - he's just more accessible and candid. I wonder if the confusion could be the result of many Catholics being unfamiliar with the Scriptures. Certainly they may have some scholarship - but do they read and ruminate the Scriptures?   
St. Therese carried a small New Testament with her always - Francis suggests we do the same - something he has done and continues to do. I think he lives the Gospel very simply. I do not believe for a minute there is any artifice or any duplicity in him whatsoever. 
I really do feel badly that otherwise faithful Catholics find him so troubling. I often think of how the many very devout Catholics, those follow apparitions and who read private revelation which speak of a warning and an illumination of conscience and a chastisement to come, are acting now. Protesting and complaining, calling the Pope out as an abusive father. For me Francis has been warning us, he has laid bare the conscience and hearts of many; something I find especially moving for myself, inspiring compunction and repentance in myself, and I think in others. It seems he has been calling us all to repentance - almost daily, often urging the faithful to go to confession.  What is the call of the Gospel?  Repent and believe the Good News.  Yet so many seem to be stopping their ears and ripping their garments in response. 
Francis is the man who occupies the Chair of Peter as Vicar of Christ, he follows in his predecessors footsteps, after him, another will take his place. - My comment on another post.
Again - I don't know why I involve myself in these discussions.  Ignorant, steeped in sin since birth, who am I to say anything?



  1. I've stopped reading even 'solid' Catholic websites. Stopped watching Raymond Arroyo last year (he's so bitchy and gossipy). It's all I can do to keep the commandments. Who cares what the Pope is saying & doing - really. Keeping it local as much as I can and worrying about the state of my own soul. It's more than enough.

    1. I forgot to thank you/credit you for the photo.

      I've never liked Arroyo for that reason.

    2. I can't believe you said Raymond Arroyo looks like Pee Wee Herman.


    3. Keeping it local...I really like that.

    4. I actually have said that before. But he really lost me years ago with the M. Angelica voice impersonations.

  2. You know, Terry, the end of the "who am I to talk?"-line of thinking is that no one is worth listening to, that no one can tell anyone anything. So you apply that reflexive circumscription of authority to yourself, which is your right (and I think I get where you're coming from. I think Paul would too --1 Cor 4:4-6). Others apply it to others and end up without any respect of other opinions, so perverted that they get to a place where they can tell the pope what's what regarding faith and morals and not be ashamed. (My mental picture for this is a certain blogger screaming into a phone, "Oh yeah, Francis? That's the way it is? Then I just hate you and I hate your a** face." Unless it's the first day of Lent, then it would be ash face.)

    That being said, there are people who "aren't worth listening to." However, that's a status they earned by being a jerk instead of not saying all the right things. No one has all the wisdom. So, quit your blog if you need to, but it would be a tragedy if you did it because you concluded you're not worth listening to. If you did that, 1) you would be a poor judge of your contributions and 2) the terrorists would win.

    1. I'm not sure I am worth listening to - but thanks anyway Joshua. ;)


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.