His anti-ideology meds, that is.
“The Holy Father wants bishops in tune with their people,” [U.S. nuncio] Vigano said, noting that he visited the pope in June. “He made a special point of saying that he wants pastoral bishops, not bishops who profess or follow a particular ideology.“
Not long before this, the pope had, more or less, explained his desire in the following way:
…the Pope warned Christians against behaving as though the “key is in [their] pocket, and the door closed.” He reiterated that without prayer, one abandons the faith and descends into ideology and moralism. … Sometimes, he said, “they give us reasons” as to why they are closed: They give “excuses, justifications, but the fact remains that the Church is closed and the people who pass by cannot enter.” … The “lack of Christian witness does this,” he said, and “when this Christian is a priest, a bishop or a Pope it is worse.” … “The faith passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology. And ideology does not beckon [people]. In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith…. “The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, … distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. … [Their] attitude is: be rigid, moralistic, ethical, but without kindness.
Despite all this, some clerical troglodytes just will. not. fall. in. line!
“It is scandalous that so many Catholic politicians are responsible for enabling the passage of this legislation and even twisting the words of the pope to rationalize their actions despite the clear teaching of the church,” Paprocki said.
That could be directed at House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Catholic who invoked the words of Pope Francis during a floor speech in support of the same-sex marriage bill. Pope Francis, speaking to reporters in July, said, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
During his speech, the Chicago Democrat said, “For those that just happen to be gay — living in a very harmonious, productive relationship, but illegal — who am I to judge that they should be illegal?”
Paprocki, though, quoted statements made by Pope Francis in 2010 when he was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina. He said a same-sex marriage bill being considered there was a “situation whose result may gravely harm the family. … At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts…”
Paprocki said Francis “is saying that same-sex ‘marriage’ comes from the devil and should be condemned as such.”
We have already seen how Pope Francis, ever feckless et quasi sine retractationem, has made life harder for a cleric remarkably similar to Bp. Paprocki, so why should an ongoing tension surprise us?
Here’s my problem.
I am told that closed churches are ungood, yet I am also told that closing churches to bad people is good. I am told that denouncing same-sex schmarriage activism is noble and simply Catholic, but that calling it a satanic ploy is uncharitable and counter-productive. I am told that Pope Francis is changing “the tone,” yet, I am told, he is not backing down on “the issues.” I am told that “the teaching of the Church is clear” (…which is plainly false), yet I am told that enunciating the Church’s teaching in the face of fresh error is tactically misguided. In other words, I am told whatever I need to hear in order to believe that Pope Francis has a coherent, uncontroversially orthodox, and salvifically effective approach to the world.
What non-fringey Catholic parish has ever said that “a same-sex attracted person [is not welcome to come] into the church”? This sounds like a typical Francisian false dichotomy: if you denounce gay activists, you are hardening the lines of the culture war, and thus scaring off well-meaning “gay” seekers. Yet this mystification is supposed to vanish when we say that we have to stay strong on, or committed to, the “fundamental” issues.
But what is strong about saying something like this?
So much is written about the gay lobby. I still haven’t found anyone with an identity card in the Vatican with “gay” on it. They say there are some there. I believe that when you are dealing with such a person, you must distinguish between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of someone forming a lobby, because not all lobbies are good. … If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?
We do not need another Orwellian whitewash (see Louie Verrecchio’s blog for more follow-up insights); we need to hear exactly what the pope means by “gay.” For, if by “gay” he means simply those drawn to homosexual temptations, then he should say as much (long, long ago (2001), it wasn’t so hard to make these small, key distinctions); but if by “gay” he means actively homosexual persons, then such persons are ipso facto not of good will (cf. CCC 2357 ff.).
Which is it? We are to be “clear” on the non-negotiable moral issues, yet not “rigid” on the “tone”?
Another false dilemma.
As Randy Engel notes in a barn-burner of an open letter to Pope Francis, and as I have tried to note before, nonchalantly using the term “gay” endorses the entire “gay” program. As Engel writes:
When I first read your response to Scamparini [on the flight back from Brazil], I must confess that my attention was not drawn immediately to the Ricca scandal, but rather to the fact that you used the term “gay” or “gay person” no less than five times.
… I must assume that your unfortunate decision to use the politically correct language of gayspeak was deliberate. In normal times this action might have been overlooked with a wink and a nod, but in wartimes it smells of treason and corruption.
The war of which I speak is the war being waged by faithful Catholics and other civilized men and women across the world against the forces of organized sexual perversion. … The words we speak determine the thoughts we have.[See here!] It is by controlling language, a form of Pavlovian conditioning, that the Collective seeks to change the dominant shape of reality.
Unlike the word, homosexual, or the more traditional term, sodomite, the word “gay” is used by the Collective and its sympathizers to denote a “consciously united resistance to homophobic and heterosexual deployments of power relations.”  It is the task of the Homosexual Collective to transform the homosexual or sodomite into a “gay” man, and to define, control and validate “authentic” homosexual identity and behavior and all other aspects of “gay” life.
It’s hard not to lose the thread in this post, so let me cut my losses with a parallel example.
Bishop David Zubik, the Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, told a district judge this week he would not comply with the HHS mandate under any circumstance.
The decision was made because the mandate endangers “the integrity of our beliefs,” the bishop said.
How does that bishop sound any less contrarian and ideological than Bp. Paprocki about the Rainbow Sash and “gay marriage”, or even any less “belligerent” than Cdl. Bergoglio in 2010 about “gay marriage”? I venture to say that he is in harmony with them, and that, far from being “belligerent,” he is just being Catholic in a fallen world. If it happens that our current pope now feels that such belligerence is a tactical error, so much the worse for our current pope, and those who back him in such a misjudgment.
If Bp. Paprocki is being unnecessarily ideological and “belligerent”, then how is Bp. Zubik not doing the same? And where does it end? If Pope Francis wants more pastoral and less ideological bishops, doesn’t this pontifical injunction compromise Paprocki’s and Zubik’s close-minded courage? Then again, if their moralistic defiance can be twisted to fit right in with Pope Francis’s more “fundamental” commitment to “the issues,” doesn’t that compromise his pastoral coherence? You can’t use Pope Francis’s hardline, cultural-warrior background as a lens for interpreting his liberal oracles of late, and then use his liberal oracles of late to put hardline culture warriors in their place.