All righty, then!

“The church is not a refuge for sad people, the church is a house of joy… [and] when a Christian becomes sad, it means he has strayed from Jesus. … However, great are our limits and our dismay, we are not permitted to be downhearted and vacillating in the face of our infirmities.”

Pope Francis, 16 Dec 2013

“[Pope Francis has] breathed a kind of new spirit into the Church.”

Fr. Robert Barron, 13 December 2013

1 For the sins that you have committed before God, you shall be carried away captives into Babylon by Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon. 2 And when you are come into Babylon, you shall be there many years, and for a long time, even to seven generations: and after that I will bring you away from thence with peace. 3 But now, you shall see in Babylon gods of gold, and of silver, and of stone, and of wood borne upon shoulders, causing fear to the Gentiles. 4 Beware therefore that you imitate not the doings of others, and be afraid, and the fear of them should seize upon you. 5 But when you see the multitude behind, and before, adoring them, say you in your hearts: “Thou oughtest to be adored, O Lord.” 6 For my angel is with you: And I myself will demand an account of your souls. 7 For their tongue that is polished by the craftsman, and themselves laid over with gold and silver, are false things, and they cannot speak. 8 And as if it were for a maiden that loveth to go gay: so do they take gold and make them up.

Baruch 6:1-8

Any press is good press, right?

Right?

pope francis advocate gay cover

The most influential person of 2013 doesn’t come from our ongoing legal conflict but instead from our spiritual one — successes from which are harder to define. There has not been any vote cast or ruling issued, and still a significant and unprecedented shift took place this year in how LGBT people are considered by one of the world’s largest faith communities.

Pope Francis is leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics all over the world. There are three times as many Catholics in the world than there are citizens in the United States. Like it or not, what he says makes a difference. Sure, we all know Catholics who fudge on the religion’s rules about morality. There’s a lot of disagreement, about the role of women, about contraception, and more. But none of that should lead us to underestimate any pope’s capacity for persuading hearts and minds in opening to LGBT people, and not only in the U.S. but globally.

The remaining holdouts for LGBT acceptance in religion, the ones who block progress in the work left to do, will more likely be persuaded by a figure they know. In the same way that President Obama transformed politics with his evolution on LGBT civil rights, a change from the pope could have a lasting effect on religion.

(The Advocate‘s Person of the Year: Pope Francis – BY LUCAS GRINDLEY – DECEMBER 16 2013 2:23 PM ET)

Perhaps they gave him, er, I mean, the Church such high praise to celebrate the Pope’s 77th birthday.

Or not.

Not to be bested by America delivering “the first gay President”, the Catholic Church surges ahead in the pop charts by debuting its first gay pope. But hey, as long as he keeps trending, Jesus keeps getting honored, am I right, or am I right?

Indeed, according to this New York Post article, Colin Nykaza, 32, director of Young Adult Outreach for the Archdiocese of New York, “There’s a new spirit in the church right now. I’m hearing that young adults love Pope Francis. After all, he’s taking selfies with them.”

Let that sink in for a moment.

According to the director a major evangelistic outreach to the rising generation, “there’s a new spirit in the church,” and, happily, “young adults love Pope Francis because he takes selfies with them.” By all appearances, Nykaza would be backed up by leading prelates. In this age of chronic glibness, “taking selfies with the kids” is respected as cutting-edge evangelism. On top of that, while the pope can’t be praised enough for “making inroads” into the opposition, and “breaking down” old hostilities based on sheer charm, if I ended up on the cover of The Advocate, my pastor would want to know about it–“We need to have a talk.” This is elementary Christian morality:

2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.

2286 Scandal can be provoked by … fashion or opinion. … This is also true of … manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. “Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!”

Clockwork Orange - brainwashingI suppose that I’m so much a Pharisee that I forgot how Pope Francis, through absolutely no fault of his own, keeps getting used by the nefarious secular media in exactly the same way that all prior popes were. After all, we know that it’s S.O.P. for pro-abortion groups, gay rights activists, and atheists to fawn over the Catholic Church as a beacon of hope-and-change, right? Of course not, but, since we’re talking about “this pastoral pope,” he gets a pass.

Sorry, clunky old traditionalist brain here, I’ll try to keep up.

Must. Think. Happy Thoughts.

From the same article:

“In a world where you have to defend your religion more and more, he’s given us the freedom to come out and talk about ours more,” says Lauren Bishop, 29, a publicist who lives on the Upper East Side. Bishop attends Mass about once a month with friends.

“He hasn’t made me go to church more, but it’s made me more comfortable with seeing that Catholicism isn’t such a distant, unrelatable religion,” says Bishop. “When I read the story about him being a bouncer, I thought, ‘This is so awesome.’ I love that, at one point, he was just like us and feeling his way through.”

[Domenick] Canale says that he, too, believes he can practice his faith now without feeling like he’s on trial. “For the first time, I’m not on the defense, and I am happy that his message is getting out.”

Oh, don’t worry, Mr. Canale, his message is getting out, all right. He’s making sure of that. But woe to those who would question him. Such sad souls will be taught to be gay, in due time.

And, lo, as a maiden which loveth to go gay, so shall they beat their frowns into smiles, and all the nations shall sing forth a gay song unto the Lord! (Permutations 6:3)

About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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30 Responses to All righty, then!

  1. Sad souls being taught happiness, in due time. Like in North Korea. It gets crazier and crazier….

  2. unknownsaint says:

    What does he mean sad Christians? Does he mean they are sad to be Christian? That being sad is unchristian? That if you are sad one day you might go to hell? That being depressed is a mortal sin? Can I just put this on auto repeat: What does Pope Francis mean? Then some neo-catholic will come along on his auto repeat and say: Well, what I think Pope Francis is trying to say here is [fill in the blank].

  3. Branch says:

    Does this mean that devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows is on the chopping block?

  4. vermontcrank1 says:

    Pope whoamItojudge has just applied the sacramental of defenestration to the Canonising Procedure and judged a Jebbie a Saint and so our Pope does judge when it is will to do so.

    As an aside, have you ever looked at his daily schedule? There is no way I could do that at my age – I am the same age as Israel – whereas he is 77.

  5. c matt says:

    Permutations – isn’t that the one book of the Bible Luther ripped out with some justification?

  6. tamsin325 says:

    “you didn’t read it”
    “you didn’t read it carefully”
    “you need to read it as though he was talking to you personally, asking you to examine your own life and faith and works; he’s being pastoral”
    “you read it as though he was talking to you personally, but he’s Pope of the World, he’s talking to the whole World, not to American Catholics”
    “you need to read it as it was written: by a Pope would came from Argentina and has never known anything other economic system than Peronism”
    “you read too much into it”
    “you. it’s all your fault. you have failed to read the Pope as he deserves to be read”

  7. Iiiigggzactly.

    I have every confidence that you took those expressions from actual threads and conversations. I’ve seen pretty much exactly the same drivel over and over again.

  8. ErnstThalmann says:

    “The church is not a refuge for sad people, the church is a house of joy… [and] when a Christian becomes sad, it means he has strayed from Jesus.” – Pope Francis, 16 Dec 2013

    ‘m sorry but at my most authentic I just can’t come away from something like this without an expression of appropriate – and healthy – emotion. What is this guy trying to be, anyway, the poor man’s Norman Vincent Peale? Sadness as sin? Job, when he lost his ten children, was really being punished by God despite what’s been reported? Yesterday, he publicly humiliates Cardinal Burke and makes certain that the Congregation For Bishops will have no CDF input for the first time in 100 years, and today this garbage? What need is there for further speculation as to the direction this clown intends to take the Catholic Church? And, yes what need is there for quibbling about his meaning. The man is a disaster and an embarrassment.

  9. ErnstThalmann says:

    One wonders if torture enthusiast Jimmy Akin will offer another of his 9 point “pooper-scoopers” for this one?

  10. “The first gay Pope”? As compared to President Obama?

    Even for you that’s over the top.

  11. “American Catholics” would be me. or at least I’m one of those people.

    Go figure.

  12. Proph says:

    It is all really quite infuriating — at best joy is a fruit of holiness, not a cause of it, at worst it is totally irrelevant to holiness — why then all the jibber-jabber about happiness?

    Many people are quite sad for legitimate reasons as I related in a post at my own blog recently; many are depressed, alone, forgotten, widowed, orphaned, suffering from failing health or tightening finances or the apostasy of children or friends — and it is all good and well to say that if they were holy enough that they would rejoice in the Lord alone, that the Eucharist would be enough for them — but it seems to me that is quite an extraordinary level of holiness and people need guidance to get there, not scolding!

    This is the new pastorality and it looks an awful lot like the pastorality of the Pharisees with all their obscene fixation on external appearances to the exclusion of interior realities.

  13. ErnstThalmann says:

    “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:1

    Yes, I’ve been struck with the Pharisaical in Francis as well, most notably the studied and ostentatious poverty. This showmanship has all the earmarks of the Pharisee. I’d have more confidence in the man if I knew nothing of his poverty.

  14. ErnstThalmann says:

    He’s referring to President Clinton and his having been called the first black President. A most apt observation, i’d say.

  15. Fr. Z uses the term “The first gay President” for President Obama quite a lot.

  16. I put the link in the post: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/newsweek-cover-obama-gay-president/story?id=16338110

    The idea is really less controversial than it sounds, and believe it or not, it’s not a smear against him. It simply conveys what calling Clinton the first black president, and Obama the first gay president, conveyed: they were the first of their kind whose constituency depended heavily on those identity groups, and whom those groups felt they could finally “claim” as part of their media image.

  17. vermontcrank1 says:

    Today, the Catholic News Service is reporting that he said if we don’t serve we are pagans and he went on to say that Jesus didn’t ask us to be perfect, so, Matthew is now out I guess;

    Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.

    I know my reaction can seem like leaden pedantry but that is the very first thing that popped into my mind when I read the news story.

    O, and what’s his beef with pagans? I thought they were all good, baby.

  18. Ibn Yaqob says:

    You are such an amazing idiot Codj!

    You as an individual are utterly void of the ravages of intelligence.

    Pope Francis had fought tooth and nail against legalizing Gay Marriage in Argentina as a Cardinal Archbishop & he has said nothing substantially different about gays that B16 or JP2 haven’t also said.

    In fact he hasn’t said anything different then what that guy from Duck Dynasty said (sans the mechanics of sex). Yet the liberal gay media burns the Duck Dynasty guy but make Francis person of the year?

    That just tells me the gays & the media are as stupid as you.

    You whole argument here is to fault Francis for not earning the automatic hatred of the usual suspects!

    That is it in a nutshell.

  19. Brock Fowler says:

    The problems:

    1. Your name calling is absurd, unCatholic, and an error in argumentation. So it the Popes, but that is for another time…

    2. There is no word count requirement: therefore, the Pope could just leave off saying the problematic things.

    3. So, what would the motive be for somebody to say things that are quite orthodox–which is his job after all–and then ALSO say things that SOUND like he is contradicting himself?

    4. When he says something in one forum–especially years ago–you can hardly expect that average person to know that: and he is speaking pastorally to all the world–not just well formed Catholics..

    I could go on…

  20. Don’t bother, Brock. Trust me. The sounding brass wins in the end.

  21. IbnYaqob says:

    >1. Your name calling is absurd, unCatholic, and an error in argumentation. So it the Popes, but that is for another time…

    But it’s OK’s to cast unjust aspersions on the Pope & mock him? Your double standard is duly noted.

    >2. There is no word count requirement: therefore, the Pope could just leave off saying the problematic things.

    This is a stupid, useless & ambiguous standard. Anything any Pope says can & will be spun by people with an agenda. I know because I read “quotes” from pre-V2 Popes in anti-Catholic Baptist literature that claims Popes teach Plageian heresy & worship of Our Lady as some type of goddess etc….

    Why are clueless gays any different?

    Remember Pope Benedict’s quoting Emperor Emmanuel on Muhammed? Who knew Muslims would kill an Orthodox Priest over that?

    Also you are forgetting Francis hasn’t said anything about Gays B16 & JP2 also said.

    JP2 once visited a Gay “Catholic” Church in San Francisco. He condemned unjust discrimination against gays & he let them know gay sex is bad. But he didn’t go all Fred Phelps on them.

    Gays at the time praised his visit.

    >3. So, what would the motive be for somebody to say things that are quite orthodox–which is his job after all–and then ALSO say things that SOUND like he is contradicting himself?

    I would read him directly and ignore the middle men. (Rush is wrong btw) I would also ignore any analysis by any jerks who are SSPX sympathizers too.

    >4. When he says something in one forum–especially years ago–you can hardly expect that average person to know that: and he is speaking pastorally to all the world–not just well formed Catholics..

    Like I said Francis & the Duck Dynasty guy both said homosexuality is sinful, that they love gay people, they don’t judge gays & leave that to God and both advocate preaching the Truth in love.

    Yet GLAAD called Duck Dynasty dude a gay basher but made the Pope a person of the year?

    Seriously? Neither B16 nor JP2 to my knowledge ever actually lobbied the governments
    of their own perspective countries to ban gay “marriage”? Francis did.

    Yet for some reason Francis is good in their eyes of Gay media wonks but his two predecessors are anti-gay meanies?

    That just tells me they are idiots & propagandists.

    But to get mad at the Pope because he has failed to get the usual suspects to hate him.

    Well what do you expect? These are people who think Obama didn’t lie about Healthcare.

    I wil tell the truth and follow the Pope & defend him from unjust attacks. Both without and within the Church.

  22. She has been warned! No flight-attendant smiles allowed, and certainly no frowns!

  23. IbnYaqob says:

    Wild Bill D from the Catholic League hits this one out of the Park!!!

    http://www.catholicleague.org/pope-gays-women/

    Codg it is simply sad and pathetic when anti-Catholic gays and so called “loyal” & “Traditional” Catholics are on the same page.

    It’s also ironic…….

  24. unknownsaint says:

    quoted from a combox to me after I was questioning Pope Francis’ meaning: “Pope Francis’ words and meaning were, I thought, perfectly clear given their context as well as his other statements. Perhaps if you spent more time reading the words of the Holy Father (including those of BXVI and JPII) you’d understand him better.
    Jesus’ words often need to be explained as well (hence why priests do homilies). Do you believe it’s okay not to follow Jesus’ words (and/or slander Him) if you don’t understand them?”

  25. IbnYacob says:

    ???????

    This crossing stuff off Mishigoss makes no sense much like your complaints against Pope Francis.

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