This is my Pope! Axios!

“Augustine says in his Rule: ‘Show mercy not only to yourselves, but also to him who, being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger.’ … But fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected. … [T]he fraternal correction which is an act of charity is within the competency of everyone in respect of any person towards whom he is bound by charity, provided there be something in that person which requires correction. … Since, however, a virtuous act needs to be moderated by due circumstances, it follows that when a subject corrects his prelate, he ought to do so in a becoming manner, not with impudence and harshness, but with gentleness and respect. Hence the Apostle says (1 Timothy 5:1): ‘An ancient man rebuke not, but entreat him as a father.’

– St. Thomas Aquinas, ST II-II Q. 33 a. 4.

HT to Pertinacious Papist for the following video. It’s just… sublime. It also seems like an Eye of the Tiber skit, but it’s legit. Enjoy.

“Connecting with the God within. .. It wasn’t about religion.” — “But few go deeper than this.”

I have cited these remarks by Pope Francis about “the real” St. Francis before, but the video is too good to pass up.

On a related front, this update from Fr. Z is very heartening (and not lacking in that old-time Ratzenfreude feeling):

Over at Fishwrap (aka the National Schismatic Reporter), venomous writer Michael Sean Winters threw a spittle-flecked nutty about the appointment of Most Rev. Leonard Blair as the new Archbishop of Hartford.

I won’t go into the details of MSW’s spittle-flecks.

I’ll just observe that, under Pope Francis, bishops are not being penalized for involvement in the doctrinal assessment of the LCWR.  They are being promoted.

The catholic left is working harder and harder to maintain their hopey changey patter about the most wonderfulest fluffiest pope ehvur.

They will eventually turn on Francis.

In a similar spirit of papal pride, I give you the following quotation from the Holy Father’s most recent general audience, to an audience of 80,000:

The communion of the saints, then, “…goes beyond the earthly life, goes beyond death and lasts forever. This union between us goes beyond and continues in the afterlife. It is a spiritual union that comes from Baptism, that is not broken by death, but, thanks to that Christ who is risen, is destined to find its fulfillment in eternal life. There is a deep and indissoluble bond between those who are still pilgrims in this world, among us, and those who have crossed the threshold of death into eternity. All the baptized here on earth, the souls in purgatory and all the saints who are already in heaven form one big family. This communion between earth and heaven is realized especially in the prayer of intercession.”

As I say, when Pope Francis is good, he’s really good.

Let me close by clarifying, albeit not for the first time, something important.

Space_PopeI am not hoping to prove that Pope Francis is a heretic or a modernist or a reptilian plant, and so on. I love him as the Holy Father, as the Vicar of Christ, and it is precisely this filial awe which spurs me to reject the odd and harmful missteps which I, and others, see in his witness as being beneath his faith and office. Just because I embrace my Christian right and duty to object to ambiguities and errors in his non-magisterial voice at times, does not mean I withdraw my loyalty from him as the universal pastor of the Church. I have admitted before (even citing 1 Timothy 5:1!), and I admit it again now, that I have failed with regard to the last stipulation St. Thomas mentions in what I cited from ST II-II q. 33 a. 4. In case I was unclear: In the past six weeks or so, I have at times sinned by allowing my pain and confusion to lead me unduly and sarcastically to deride some of Pope Francis’s foibles (cf. CCC 2481). Interestingly, though, especially in light of the recent fracas at Dale’s blog about the risk of a “papal personality cult,” the opposing defect takes some drubbing in CCC 2480. We all need grace.

In any case.

The bottom line is that I pray for Pope Francis everyday and stick up for him when I can. The more I learn about him, the more I see how profoundly riven he is. Even before he was pope, he was torn between radically and powerfully divergent currents in Argentina, in the Jesuit order, and in the Church at large. I think his current pastoral persona is a reaction against his former self as a cleric; hence, I think the inconsistencies we see in his witness at times stem from this ongoing process of de-programming his past self in order to become, well, the kind of Pope he apparently wants to be. Obviously, the kind of papacy he is forging is not to my taste, but I hope it’s apparent that I do not hate the man Bergoglio, and I am proud to promote the Pope when he speaks and acts in the way the above material indicates.

As I wrote before, ultimately I just care what Pope Francis does, not what complex and probably incoherent ideological impulses he may harbor beneath the hood. My problem arises when those complex currents are exposed and my codgitator gets sucked into the hydraulic of what I detect there. I also agree with Dale that there are not a few troubling clouds on the Pope’s horizon of pastoral aims. Until those worries are confirmed, though, let’s keep praying for our Honey Badger Pope and never shy from trying to bring (i.e. convert!) others into the march towards hope that we enjoy as Christians.

Remember O Christian one life

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About Codgitator (Cadgertator)

Catholic convert, of a Zorbatic bent. Freelance interpreter/translator. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of two-going-on-three. Multilingual, would-be scholar and fairly consistent fitness monkey. Writing and academic interests: interface of religion and science, history and philosophy of science, ancient and medieval philosophy, cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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8 Responses to This is my Pope! Axios!

  1. Crude says:

    One of the first encouraging signs I saw with Pope Francis was when some liberal Catholic at.. I forget what rag, wrote an editorial in the wake of Pope Francis continuing the LCWR crackdown, saying, ‘You know, maybe this is a sign we’ve been wrong. We all agree Francis is a good pope, the pope we need. If even he thinks there were problems with these nuns, perhaps there really were.’

    Lots of outrage.

  2. c matt says:

    That video reminds me of the spoof “Mr. Spirit of Vatican II” character on Dale Ahlquist’s Chesterton show on EWTN. I can’t recall the name, but he is the prototypical “Mr. Nice”. Only this is for real? You simply cannot make this stuff up. I will say the guy has a pretty good voice and plays well.

  3. Brock Fowler says:

    A general observation. You seem feel the need to frequently clarify that you are not a hater: and you are probably correct to do so. However, that is really too bad, and it reminds me that we constantly need to say things like: opposing homosexual marriage, does NOT mean that we hate homosexuals! To the contrary!

    Most leftist arguments that we all face come down to this:

    1. I’m a good person.

    2. I believe X.

    3. You don’t believe X.

    4. Therefore, you are a bad person.

    For 50 years we have disputed #4: no, honestly, we are not bad people! To unjust judges…

    I take the approach of Ann Coulter (a terribly witty comedian sometimes mistake for a political commentator) to amount to this: no, the wrong premise is #1! They are NOT good people. Those who slander others, and support damaging approaches that only serve to make themselves feel superior, are horrible people! And how the left howls!!! Vanity challenged!

    Now, orthodox Catholics are not leftists! But the attacks on the person, rather than on the idea, are nevertheless common–especially in conversations with other orthodox Catholics. Odd.

    On some other sites (mostly traditionalist sites), you seldom will see such apologies and explanations: it does not follow from that that they are haters. It just (usually) means that they expect their audience to already know that. But, the internet being what it is, some of those who stumble onto those sites do not realize that at all. And the turmoil continues…

  4. Hey, I just want you to know that I read this after I responded to you again, and it does answer some of my questions. I mean, unlike some of those blogs you linked to, you seem to be genuinely trying to “get” Pope Francis, and that at least I’d agree is the right thing to do.

    Remember, we are looking at this from the point of view of Euro-Americans, and the Pope is not Euro-American (South America being separate). The Church is massive and growing in places where the biggest issue is not Modernism but Animalistic African religions. I think we need to remember that the Pope is speaking to the global Church; when he says things that sound like liberal buzzwords to us you have to remember that Euro-America isn’t even the most Catholic area anymore. We’re just the loudest. I think a lot of these things that we go on and on about not being issues might very well be issues in places where Catholicism is relatively new and growing. I’m not sure, but I think it’s very important to remember that “we” don’t even make up the majority of the world’s Catholics, and yet we’re making by far the most noise. Something to consider.

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