"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.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Seems as if everyone is turning against Pope Francis now.

I didn't say that! You said that! Did I say that? I didn't say that! 
I think that's so funny that you think I said that! I didn't say that! 
Why do you think I wouldn't know that! I know that!

Will he even be welcome in the United States when he visits?

The Pope is mean.  Mean spirited.  He's forgetting the middle class normal people ...

He's always haranguing, harping, exhorting, lecturing.

Elizabeth Scalia is tired of it.

Carl Olson complains:
My impression is that many Catholics are weary of the seemingly constant addresses, homilies, interviews, texts—many of which read like lectures—that come from the Holy Father.
Personally, I gave up long ago trying to parse and explain everything that Francis says. - CWR
Who asked you to?

Who appointed these people to parse and explain everything the Pope says?

Who said Catholics have to read or listen to everything the Pope says?

Before MSM and social media obsession with celebrity and gossip, people got along fine - Catholics didn't know what the Pope said or did or didn't do on any given day, and few outside seminaries paid attention to encyclicals. How many people jumped through hoops to implement Humanae Vitae?

On the other hand, how many people grabbed every piece of literature JPII produced and made films and founded institutes and cultural centers to celebrate his every thought?  Nothing wrong with that - but popes like him come along once in a millennium.  Not a few decried the personality/celebrity cult which surrounded him, while liberals thought he was a horror.

What about Benedict - the guy who ran from the wolves?  His doctrine is promulgated and preferred to the way Pope Francis teaches - even if one happens to be Novus Ordo Catholic.  Again, Progressives/liberals hated him.  Yet Francis echoes his predecessors - he simply has a 'pazzi' style.  As Olson points out at the end of his essay: "Popes, as important as they are, come and go; the Word of God endures forever."

That's true.  That's the faith.  Editors, pundits and bloggers come and go too.  

People have to get over the personality cult they wish to create, celebrate, and maintain around those who lead.  It's often a subjective interest to do so on their part anyway, since so many self-appointed apologists are eager to bolster and promote their private opinion and agenda in the first place - getting papal endorsements adds to their credibility.  Look - the pope spoke about idolatry - buy my book on the subject.  Religion is a business, if you haven't noticed.  The Pope isn't a king or a celebrity - much less a CEO, he's not the Second Coming - he is Christ's Vicar on earth.  He occupies the Chair of Peter.  Catholics have lost supernatural faith and judge everything subjectively - while their chief concern often seems to be about how things affect them, how, what the Pope says makes them feel.  I think many online Catholic pundits are disintegrated - so worried the Web spiders aren't picking up their content, they have pretty much forsaken or seriously neglect their spiritual life.  Hence, they focus way too much on matters that are not their responsibility.  

"Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, 'Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.'" - Luke 11: 45

Remember the blog, "The Cafeteria is Closed"?   It has never been closed.  We can all be cafeteria Catholics at one time or another - and that's the problem.  Each of us want to be served 'our' way.

I come across bloggers and Catholic writers online who seem to be constantly whining about this or that - and now days, the whine is especially focused upon Pope Francis.  Normal, ordinary people seem to love Pope Francis - but somewhere in the highly-degree'd, upper middle-class-suburban Catholic bourgeoisie is a group of bloggers and media personalities complaining they are offended, put off, alienated, insulted - and abused.  They're just not comfortable any longer.  

C'est dommage.

Fr. Blake says priests are quitting 
the Roman dicasteries ... because the Pope is mean?


  1. Personally, I gave up long ago trying to parse and explain everything that Francis says. - CWR

    Who asked you to?

    Perfect answer, Terry. Don't these people have a life? Maybe weeds to pull, or hosta to trim?

  2. I think you are too insulated in the Catholic blogosphere. Yes, far too many Catholic bloggers do not hesitate to tear into the Holy Father. If they don't like what he says or does, they call him a heretic.

    But talk to the average Catholic, most of whom do not even read Catholic blogs (and I'm beginning to think no one should be reading Catholic blogs). The average Catholic is very supportive of Pope Francis because he sees the Holy Father as someone who truly loves God and humanity. They see a Pope who is doing everything he can to spread the great message of Christ's love and mercy. These Catholics don't pick on every word and action, parsing it to see what they can criticize.

    I am coming to believe that the Catholic blogosphere is one of the worst scourges in our world today, causing spiritual death and destruction everywhere in its path. That includes both lay and clerical bloggers.

    1. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I only visit three Catholic blogs these days. All three give a good view of Pope Francis and that is affirming for me because I need to be encouraged and our Holy Father is encouraging.

      "Normal, ordinary people seem to love Pope Francis"

      An understatement if ever there was one. Myparish is a big vibrant Spanish speaking parish and all love him and respect him and pray for him. The priests use some of our Holy Father's words and examples to lift up the faithful.

      Not one uppity blogger is mentioned...not one. If these folks are tired and whining and taking it upon themselves to tell the rest of us just what Papa Francis says, grow a garden, get out and walk along the beach, ride a bike or best of all, go sit with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and ask him to help you come down from your own self-important blogger pedestal.

  3. Well the odd thing about it is that some of the women at Patheos complained about how the Synod needed to include single parents, unwed parents, ss parents, welcoming this and that trans person/family and so on - but now they're complaining the pope is ignoring the normal middle class family. WTH?

    Recently I wrote about a Minnesota Mom who blogs about the most elevated topics on line - raising children in a stable home - her family is the family culturally threatened, but who remains faithful to Catholic teaching, quietly raising solid Catholic kids. The Synod IS for that family.

    On the other hand, Patheos and similar online portals are the ones lobbying and calling attention to all the strange notions of family and gender, pointing to them as the peripheral fringe which is most in need of pastoral care. Yet apparently now - they feel their open-minded middle-class model of multitasking Catholic family life is being left out, or worse, scolded and shamed. It's crazy to me. It's like the SSPX crying persecution and suppression because they aren't lifted up as the model of Catholic perfection..

    Catholic in Brooklyn is right on - the Catholic blogosphere is one of the worst scourges in our world today, causing spiritual death and destruction everywhere in its path. That includes both lay and clerical bloggers.

    I include myself in that. Seriously - it's a cesspool. The irony being that it is supposed to connect us to others, yet it is the most isolating phenomenon in contemporary life.

    1. Well said, Terry.

    2. But you are one of the better bloggers out there Terry. This blog is NOT a cesspool of sin, rather it's a light and just occasionally as most people are prone to do, make the odd post with the furor of those other ones.

  4. I think you could make that comment about the blogosphere in general, Terry, not just the Catholic ones. But this is the way of the world nowadays. Whether we like it or not, the world is connected in ways that won't go away. With the advent of the 24 hour news cycle, we're always going to have chatter, and we're always going to have response. The more isolated people think they are, the more outspoken they'll become. I don't write about religion much anymore, because there's no reason for people to give me any credence other than I'm a smart and articulate guy who writes well. People do read my television writing and give it credence, because I've come to be an expert on certain aspects of it and my opinions do have credibility. But you don't need to be an expert to be a blogger - just opinionated. Again, that horse is out of the barn and it's not coming back.

    You think the Catholic blogs are bad - you ought to read the political blogs. Or the sports blogs. Or the opera blogs. Or the classic television blogs. You know why? Because people disagree; always have, always will. The challenge is that we've been encouraged, ever since Freudian psychology became all the thing, to quit repressing, to share our feelings. Combine that with the general feeling, as I alluded to before,that most people think they're without a voice, and this is what you get. It's not just Catholicism, it's conversation in general.

    Two points where I respectfully disagree with you: first, on Fr. Blake's comments. To the extent that the chatter about the Pope being difficult to work with is correct, then it's completely understandable that he makes it difficult on those below him, who pass it on to their own subordinates. It's never been a secret that many prelates hate working in Rome, whether because they see it as a moral cesspool or because they're frustrated in their attempts to minister to people instead of become bureaucrats. If the heat is being passed down to you, and if you have a chance to get out of it, you take it. You go back to your home diocese, and you do the work you became a priest to do. I think Fr. Blake is among the mildest of critics of the Pope, and taking a dig at him is beneath you.

    Second, the ordinary Catholic may love the Pope, but we've also agreed in the past that the ordinary Catholic is poorly educated, barely literate in the faith, and mostly sharing the same vices that non-Catholics have. What about those who actually take their faith seriously, who are the more-than-once-a-week Massgoers? I suspect that while many of them love the Pope, the percentage would be far less. One of the priests at our parish remarked that there's hardly a day goes by that he doesn't get frightened calls from parishioners who've heard or read the latest from the Pope (not always through intermediaries, but often his very words) and are scandalized by what he's said. Father has to tell him that when the Pope gives a personal interpretation of something, or gives his personal opinion, he cannot give scandal because he does not speak infallibly, but it shows the worry in the Catholic population. Not the SSPX, not the Remnant, but the general population. Not 50%, but not 5%. You cannot underestimate the amount of divisiveness out there. Not all of these people - maybe very few of them - are cranks.

    So I agree with much of what you say, Terry, but do not underestimate the amount of worry out there, and don't lay it all at the feet of the bloggers. While it's true that much of what they write is execrable, they wouldn't be able to do it - nor would their words continue to be passed around - if there wasn't already concern out there. Myself, I continue to believe that this is the Pope of our Chastisement.

    1. The Pope of our Chastisement? What does that mean?

    2. The Chastisement is a period of suffering mankind will endure prior to the Second Coming of Jesus. It is predicted in the prophecies of Fatama, Garabandal, Akita, Lasallette, and maybe Medejore. I am not too familiar with Medejorie since it is so controversial. Others may know about that one. It is a time to be dreaded where good and bad will suffer. It is said those who live will wish to be dead. Many bloggers out there believe we are at the threshold of theses times. The upcoming 100 year anniversary of the Fatima apparitions in 2017 hold significance for some. Hence the Pope of the Chastisement comment. Hope this helps explain the reference.

    3. Thanks Wallace.

  5. "the Catholic blogosphere is one of the worst scourges in our world today, causing spiritual death and destruction everywhere in its path. That includes both lay and clerical bloggers."

    That's a line from an early Woody Allen movie, right?

    In the real world there are things like starvation, war, terrorism, sexual trafficking, child conscription, easy divorce, fatherless children, child abuse, pornography, abortion, contraception, widespread cohabitation and the hook-up culture, increasingly depressed wages, untreated mental illness, godless indoctrination of our children in schools, trash that comes from the music and entertainment industries, etc.

    Only a tiny percentage of people in America and the world even know there is an online Catholic world, much less blogs. I was a die-hard 24/7 Catholic for two years before I even found the online Catholic world. I only know a few Catholic guys who read Catholic stuff online, and they only dip their toe in once in a while. As far as the worst blogs, haven't we noticed that it's the same people commenting year after year? Their readership is small.

    Anyway, Summer is time for vacation, family, works of mercy--not getting sucked into the pseudo-reality of Catholic chatosphere. In a way, it's all like a video game for self-important, data-hungry religion nerds (guilty as charged).

    1. Well put Mr. Wolfe and thank you. ^^

    2. Thanks for the reality check Scott!

  6. Sterling post! One of your best ever and I've been reading your blog for almost as long as you've been blogging. Thank you.

    1. Aw... so anyway - this was one of the most unplanned posts I ever did. LOL!

    2. Aw... so anyway - this was one of the most unplanned posts I ever did. LOL!

    3. The Holy Spirit moved you :)

  7. St Stephen of Muret said something I think apropos about the blogosphere, "It is plain stupidity, wanting to listen to sermon railing against faults you never commit, rather to one touching on your own misdeeds, when a sharp lecture about those would do you more good." (from his Maxims). The blogosphere wants the Pope to only speak about sins of others, and complains when they see themselves criticized.

    1. And since our sins or imperfections are so diverse, then the criticisms/corrections/complaints are incredibly diffuse, and it all sounds like the Tower of Babel. Or a clamoring demos of millions of whiny, needy people.

      There's a certain glory in silence (as Aristotle said), and most of us (including the pope) need to learn that lesson.

  8. Each Pope has his own special mission. Pope Francis is no exception. If you read God' Bankers by Gerard Posner you will get a sense of the mess he inherited and is trying to clean up.he has said his time is short. He is free of the Curia and determined to build a Church that acknowledges the poor and treats people with Christian charity. What a novel idea!

  9. For too long there was silence while people manipulated others, betrayed their trust and then smeared them behind their back and spread ugly rumors and robbed them of their confidence.

    I'm still convinced our Holy Father is still the voice crying out in the wilderness since we have become fat in our complacency and comfortable in our lethargy of "it's all about me" silence.

    Let him speak while he still has c the will and strength to do so. Let people who want to listen and learn do so. From his trips and audiences, I see no sour faces (not to say there aren't any though) I have only seen joyful faces and support.

    I remain hopeful and lift up Papa Francis in prayer always. Despite all the negative clamor read about and talked about he remains a prime example of what it means to carry one's cross and press on in the face of it all with joy because his faith lies in Christ and not in man.

  10. Thanks for sharing your whining about my whining. I'd rather be wining and dining, but whining and whinging sometimes has to do...

    1. No problem. Wishing you every success.


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