Sunday, June 26, 2016

When the Pope called people 'animals' ...

Seminarians gathered in Rome for the Pope's talk.

He might have meant to say, 'Don't treat people like animals' ...

Monsignor Pope, whom I admire very much, appears to be offended by the Holy Father's remarks.  It seems to me he may think, as do other priests, that the Holy Father doesn't like priests.  That's sad.

I hope the Holy Father will respond to Monsignor's concern:
Please, Holy Father: Enough of these ad hoc, off-the-cuff, impromptu sessions, whether at thirty thousand feet or at ground level. Much harm through confusion has been caused by these latest remarks on marriage, cohabitation, baptism, confession, and pastoral practice. Simply cleaning the record in the official transcript is not enough; this is an era of instant reportage and lots of recording devices, tweets, and Instagrams. 
Just this priest’s perspective. But I can assure you, dear reader, that the impact hits priests hard, and I cannot deny a certain weariness and discouragement at this point. I realize that such remarks of the Pope are not doctrinal, but just try and tell that to gleeful dissenters and the morally confused or misled in this world. 
Let us pray for our Holy Father and for the universal Church. - NCR

It is what it is I suppose.

Obviously several priests feel this way.  It is really unfortunate that they do.  I sincerely hope the Holy Father will respond directly to the concerns Monsignor expressed.  (I would go to Rome and speak to him personally if I felt that way.)

However, I keep wondering about the Church in Latin America and South America - what is different?  North Americans seem to have difficulty understanding other cultures.  Maybe that's part of the problem?

Locally, in this archdiocese, I've heard of priests treating people badly.  Pastors talking down to the pious seeking spiritual direction, turning the not so faithful away because they won't baptize their little 'bastards', mocking and degrading parishioners and visitors for kneeling-not kneeling-what they wear-holding hands-etc-etc-etc.  Some of these priests who blew female penitents off but doted on the big contributors or offered preferential treatment for teen boys from single parent households have been suspended, others left ministry, a couple have been sent to jail - not for treating people like animals necessarily - but acting like animals and abusing them in other ways.  If you've ever lived or worked in a parish, a rectory, or a Catholic institution, you know what I'm saying and you also can understand the Pope's hyperbole concerning brother priests.  I suspect the Holy Father speaks from experience - and that he himself has been guilty of the same clerical-isms.

But what do I know?  I know nothing because I'm just a layman, steeped in sin since birth.

Here's a thought: Just imagine if a priest called a person an animal, or worse,  a rat-bastard-queer. 

Would that be bad?

"'Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?'  Jesus turned and rebuked them ..." - Luke 9:51-62

I pray for the Pope several times a day - and I pray for priests too.  Especially those most in need of mercy.

The Holy Father welcomes animals and eats with them.


  1. Ok,the top photo is of heaven, right? Because I'm pretty sure it is for me.

    1. Haha - that's the name of the photo - are you on tumblr?

  2. I do agree with Monsignor Pope though. As much as I like Pope Francis, he does sow a lot of confusion with his spontaneous remarks, charming though he is as he delivers them. I don't think it's a matter of cultural differences at all.

    I'd be disappointed to get to heaven and discover, "Oh, no, they're all golden retrievers!" A nice breed, but...

    1. And I remain strangely at peace. I suppose that's scary then? Oh well. He's my pope - I'll keep him. :)


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