Up to bat for Pope Francis…

[Go here for a follow-up to this piece.]

Who, me?

Yes.

This evening a friend mentioned some comments in the Holy Father’s recent Epiphany homily, which he found very unsettling:

“One aspect of the light which guides us on the journey of faith is holy ‘cunning’. This holy ‘cunning’ is also a virtue. It consists of a spiritual shrewdness which enables us to recognize danger and avoid it. The Magi used this light of ‘cunning’ when, on the way back, they decided not to pass by the gloomy palace of Herod [!], but to take another route. These wise men from the East teach us how not to fall into the snares of darkness and how to defend ourselves from the shadows which seek to envelop our life. By this holy ‘cunning’, the Magi guarded the faith.”

While I admit that this gave me an initial chill as I recalled the pope’s claim that Jesus was “pretending” about his anger, I reassured my friend that the “cunning” statements didn’t bother me. I get the pope’s point, see a certain wisdom in it, and on the whole I think it’s one of his better homilies. (He must have been reading the script!)

Viewing the video of the homily confirms that he was reading a transcript, but–I think he knew that he was deploying a very risky term in “holy cunning”. If you begin watching at about 1:00, you’ll notice how the Holy Father rolls along with the transcript in front of him, but then (1:18) pauses for several moments, looking up from the transcript to discuss “holy cunning” (la santa “furbizia”).

Pope Francis’s mind works on multiple levels at once, which I think accounts for many of the malapapalisms that we’ve witnessed in the past several months. He thinks he’s saying all he needs to say to his audience, since his larger, reticulated point makes sense “in his own head”. This bit about “holy cunning” is a perfect example.

The term (“sancta quadam vafricie” –> “la santa furbizie”) has a legitimate and somewhat respectable pedigree that apparently begins with Erasmus, though I believe Erasmus says he got the idea from St. Jerome. Erasmus explained “sancta vafricie” as a tactic for winning converts by concealing some harsher realities until the audience is won over by softer appeals, and he alluded to St. Paul’s method of “becoming all things to all people” as mentioned in I Corinthians 9:19ff. (The ol’ missionary bait-and-switch, if you’re not careful.) Another facet of the term’s pedigree is almost certainly its place in that manual of social persuasion and winsome Jesuit cavils, The Art of Worldly Wisdom by the Jesuit Baltasar Gracián y Morales.

And yet there’s another layer.

In the video you may notice the very faint grin that lightens the pope’s face when he looks up from the transcript (off-the-cuff time!). Given how passionate a fan he is of soccer, I am positive that he is alluding to the Italian “furbizia” style of bending the rules in order to rattle opponents on the field.

So, there you have it.

I am not a dogmatic Francis-hater.

I think he hits some real home runs sometimes, such as his Epiphany homily, but I also think his wordplay with “la santa furbizie” highlights a recurring problem with his sense of pastoral diligence. Recall his recent interaction with Cdl. Meisner. Pope Francis all too easily assumes–expects–that everyone “gets” the layers and layers of nuance behind his otherwise very volatile and frankly vulgar terms. He doesn’t “get his audience” as often as we like to give him credit for. Worse, when controversy starts, he can rarely be bothered to elucidate his own convoluted layers of meaning. Hence the meme, “What Did The Pope Really Say?”

I mean, even though I loved the sermon, and gained a stellar new favorite quotation from it, I’ve been in the trenches of “discerning Pope Francis” too long not to notice some trademark ironies and shibboleths in the closing section of the homily:

“[The Magi] teach us not to be content with a life of mediocrity, of ‘playing it safe’, [cue typical jab at doctrinal security and traditional humility; clerical mediocrity and doctrinal safety were also derided in the Spadaro interview] but to let ourselves be attracted always by what is good, true and beautiful… by God, who is all of this, and so much more! And they teach us not to be deceived by appearances, by what the world considers great, wise and powerful [said Esquire’s Best Dressed Man in 2013 and Man of the Year twice over]. We must not stop at that. It is necessary to guard the faith. [From doctrinal and catechetical confusion, perhaps?] Today [?] this is of vital importance: to keep the faith. We must press on further [another trope from the Spadaro Manifesto], beyond the darkness, beyond the voices that raise alarm [i.e. those expressing concern–instead of keeping total silence–about theological half-truths and pastoral recklessness], beyond worldliness, beyond so many forms of modernity that exist today. We must press on [once again] towards Bethlehem, where, in the simplicity of a dwelling on the outskirts [BEHOLD THE PERIPHERY!], beside a mother and father full of love and of faith…”

As someone with a missionary heart, and a multilingual background, I’ve always treasured I Corinthians 9, which is perhaps why hearing Erasmus’s notion of “holy cunning” in the pope’s homily did not really bother me. What I will grant, though, is that it would have been an even better sermon without the provocative valorization of cunning–which is, at bottom, a form of deceit–and I think Erasmus is a pretty thin reed upon which to mount a “virtue” of cunning. But hey, I’ll just chalk it up to “Bergy being Bergy” and call it a night.

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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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45 Responses to Up to bat for Pope Francis…

  1. Branch says:

    I wonder if it’s like being wise as serpents.

  2. tamsin says:

    Interesting read on furbizia written by the soccer fan. The manipulation of other players and referees by feigning anger or injury.

    Isn’t furbizia somewhat, er, promethean? To steal fire from heaven because heaven will not give it to you if you ask straight out? (…still smarting from reading Merton yesterday.)

    As a parent, I’m not a fan of furbizia. How can I hope that my children will not lie to me, if I lie to them? I’ve known parents who seem to embrace manipulation, who use words to manipulate their children, figuring that it will teach their children how to manipulate others with words, to get on in the world. Because sophistry works.

  3. BenYachov says:

    > the pope’s claim that Jesus was “pretending” about his anger,

    God has no emotions that is Thomism Natural 101. God’s “anger” is merely his divine will to justice. Thus in His divine nature and divine person of the word Jesus can’t literally get angry. In his human nature his Soul beholds the Beatific vision so it is not in a state of original sin so he is not subject to any disordered passions. His human will by virtue of the Incarnation has total domination over his lower human nature.

    Pretending is just another way of saying feigning. The issue is did Pope Francis actually say Jesus was trying to deceive the Apostles in some way? No he did not.

    This nitpicking is tedious & radtrads have reverted to the useless teats they where when John Paul II was alive.

  4. Tony Jokin says:

    All of this could have been avoided if Pope Francis simple said “BE PRUDENT!” in what you do so that you can avoid sin,evil, temptation and unnecessary confusion. But no…… it has to be “holy cunning” which itself raises the question of whether such a phrase is prudent.

  5. Tony Jokin says:

    I think you are missing the big picture here.

    In using the word “pretend” without any further clarification, the Pope introduces the concept of a “pretending Jesus”. So from the perspective of a lukewarm, fallen away Catholic or a non-believer, that gives room to discard many things that Christ said as hyperbole, exaggerations, or mere pretense.

    Now I would also like to point out a logical blunder in your conclusion making. If trads accused Bl. John Paul II of saying similar statements that left people hanging, then the sole conclusion is not that trads are picky. There is the other conclusion that trads are right and such confusing statements have been made by both Popes.

    Instead of tackling the issue that such statements lead to unnecessary confusion, you simply try to launch an ad hominem attack. Even if all trads are loonies and suffering from OCD, that still does not mean that their concerns are invalid. Either you give reason to think the concern is invalid (in this case its quiet impossible considering the fact that the Pope has said it and it certainly is a confusing statement on its own) or you have to accept their concerns as true.

  6. The most salient irony, of course, is that by trying to wend my way through the doubt and disorientation implicit in so many of Pope Francis’s statements, I am practicing what I suppose he thought he was conveying with the term “holy cunning.” In his Epiphany sermon, he explicitly warns us “not to be deceived by appearances”–or, by extension, by mere surface meaning–but to “go deeper”. That’s what this blog is all about.

    Likewise, Pope Francis presents the Magi as models for how “not to fall in the snares of darkness, and how to defend ourselves from the shadows which seek to envelop our life.” [LONG PAUSE]

    “By this ‘holy cunning’,” he says, “they guarded the faith,” and the lesson I suppose I can take from him is that it behooves me to guard my own faith just as cleverly as the Magi did. “We too need to guard the faith,” Francis continues, “guard it from darkness.” [PREGNANT PAUSE]

    “Many times, however,” he adds, “it is a darkness under the guise of light. This is because the devil … disguises himself at times as an angel of light. And this is where a holy “cunning” is necessary in order to protect the faith, guarding it from those alarmist voices that exclaim: “Listen, today we must do this, or that…’.”

    Quite so. I refuse to be rattled or marginalized by activist sermonizing to do “this or that”, much less always in a “new way”. Likewise do I refuse to conform to a pious blindness, when Our Lord told us to remain awake and watchful, and to make sense of the signs of the times. Taking a page from Pope Francis, then, I prefer to bring the gifts of my mind and will to the Infant King and guard the gift of faith that He has given me, and what’s more, to guard it as a whole.

  7. “Hey, kids, what’s you learn at Sunday school today?”

    “The Pope says to play dirty for God!”

    Welcome to Peronistan and the Church of Gaud (es decir la Ecclesia Peronista).

  8. Branch says:

    Have you been able to make any sense of what is meant by always in a “new way”? New in reference to what? And, what is the significance of newness in itself?

  9. BenYachov says:

    Bull****! There is no big picture.

    It’s nitpicking lunacy! Two can play at this game.

    By implying Jesus really got angry without any further clarification you are implicitly denying the divine immutability of the Divine Nature & or implicitly claiming Our Lord’s human nature was subject to the effects of original sin or at best they lead to unnecessary confusion in these matters.

    Loyal Catholics have as much right to voice their concerns on these issues as Radtrads.

    Or is it one standard for thee and not for me?

  10. tamsin says:

    In honor of today being Baltasar Gracion y Morales’ birthday, I’m searching through his Art of Worldly Wisdom, and he recommends the following:
    ccxliii Do not be too much of a Dove. Alternate the cunning of the serpent with the candour of the dove. Nothing is easier than to deceive an honest man. He believes in much, who lies in naught ; who does no deceit, has much confidence. To be deceived is not always due to stupidity, it may arise from sheer goodness. There are two sets of men who can guard themselves from injury : those who have experienced it at their own cost, and those who have observed it at the cost of others. Prudence should use as much suspicion as subtlety uses snares, and none need be so good as to enable others to do him ill. Combine in yourself the dove and the serpent, not as a monster but as a prodigy.

    I do not want my children to experience the injury of deceit in my home, but we do observe it day to day, without pleasure at the cost of others, in the news or books or movies.

  11. ErnstThalmann says:

    What’s ‘a matter with you guys? Don’t you know that a little deceit never hurt anybody? Why we have the example of Jesus, Himself, who was faking it when He appeared to be angry with the disciples in the Gospels. And we have this information on the Pope’s authority. Come on, lie a little, you’ll fee better.

  12. ErnstThalmann says:

    “God has no emotions that is Thomism Natural 101. God’s “anger” is merely his divine will to justice. Thus in His divine nature and divine person of the word Jesus can’t literally get angry. In his human nature his Soul beholds the Beatific vision so it is not in a state of original sin so he is not subject to any disordered passions. His human will by virtue of the Incarnation has total domination over his lower human nature.”

    Radtrad, schmadtrad, here’s a another anachronism from the era of neo-scholasticism, the period of the theology of the manuals. I’m in something of a rush at the moment but I’ll be back with commentary on this fossil.

  13. Tony Jokin says:

    Ben,

    I am not sure you understood me. You CAN voice concerns and you SHOULD.

    Then what is the issue you ask? The issue is that instead of voicing concerns or addressing them, you tend to just make a ad hominem attack. Right in your post you made a distinction between radtrads and loyal Catholics as if there is no one who is a radtrad and a loyal Catholic. Of course, you may have defined them in your head to be disjoint subsets but that doesn’t mean everyone understands the terms as you do.

    So yes, by all means voice concerns and address them. My point was to refrain from ad hominems. The main concern raised here is that Pope’s words are once again confusing and lends itself to error. So if we were to look at this objectively

    1) Did the Pope actually say the accused phrase? Check, he did.
    2) Do the words lend themselves for the theologically incompetent average Catholic to believe in a “pretending Jesus” as true? Check, because it seems to be the most reasonable conclusion an average Catholic can draw from it.

    So if you want to act as a “loyal Catholic”, your responsibility is to show how the above (1) and (2) is false or unlikely. I said it was “quiet impossible” because frankly I do not see how common sense can disagree with (1) and (2).

    You are of course welcome to show us here and I am sure everyone would be much relieved if you CAN do so.

  14. Branch says:

    Or, perhaps there’s such a thing as righteous anger. Christ was also fully human, capable of experiencing emotions. If there is no such things as righteous anger, then it’s difficult to explain the episode with the money changers.

  15. Yup. As always, the shepherd speaks and the sheep are scattered. He said, she said, Francis said, etc.

  16. BenYachov says:

    >Or, perhaps there’s such a thing as righteous anger.

    Righteous anger in terms of human emotion is possible & not sinful but all the Spiritual writes I read say we should avoid even righteous anger(something I can’t master myself).

    This implies that Christ as Our supreme example wouldn’t even indulge in that emotion in his human nature since it would serve no good purpose.

    God is not really angry in the literal emotional sense when he hurles the lighting bolts or sends fire from Heaven to burn the wicked. I see no reason to believe Christ must be literally angry in his human nature if he deepens his voice or frowns at his disciples when they misbehave.

    He is still “angry” at them in that he is willing justice against their injustice.

    OTOH I am not dogmatic about this opinion but the question is why are the Radtrads> What gives them the right to put their private theological opinions above the Pope’s and accuse him of heresy?

  17. BenYachov says:

    >The issue is that instead of voicing concerns or addressing them, you tend to just make a ad hominem attack.

    I don’t care. The radtrads treat the Pope in a savage manner with ad hominem attack so I do the same to them. Let us see if they are men enought to take what they dish out.

    >as if there is no one who is a radtrad and a loyal Catholic.

    It’s like saying you can be Pro-choice or a liberal disdent and a loyal Catholic? Sorry but Radtrads are not Traditionalists or loyal Catholics. They are anti-Semites, backbiters, complainers, detractors,geocentrists, conspiracy nutters, and they profess tradition but deny it in their actions.

    Personally I wouldn’t mind one bit if the Church abolished the Paul VI litergy and brought back the St Pius V. I think it would be a great idea good riddens but unlike the Radtrads I don’t think it’s the end of the Church or the world if it never happens.

    I am a Trad not a Radtrad.

    >1) Did the Pope actually say the accused phrase? Check, he did.

    Did Jesus say “If thy right Eye offends thee pluck it out?” Yes, does this mean he advocated sinful self-mutilation which is against both Judaism and Christianity? No.

    I know what the Pope says I want to know what he means.

    >2) Do the words lend themselves for the theologically incompetent average Catholic to believe in a “pretending Jesus” as true? Check, because it seems to be the most reasonable conclusion an average Catholic can draw from it.

    Are you so stupid as to believe if the Pope said everything “clearly” as you define it the rabble wouldn’t still misunderstand it or the media wouldn’t twist it?

    Take the truism “God has no emotions”. Every idiot I quote this too thinks “God does not love or care”.

    The Bible isn’t perspicatious & it is God’s Word. The Pope doesn’t have to be either. The Loyal among us should simply read Francis threw the Church. It’s not fraking hard genius!

    >So if you want to act as a “loyal Catholic”, your responsibility is to show how the above (1) and (2) is false or unlikely. I said it was “quiet impossible” because frankly I do not see how common sense can disagree with (1) and (2).

    Such an argument would bore me & it is irrelevant & a red herring.

  18. BenYachov says:

    Thomist Tradition & Scholasticism are “fossils”?

    Speaks for itself.

  19. BenYachov says:

    Gee that is awful! That is worst then some other idiot who once said “Be as wise as Serpents but as harmless as Doves”. What a fraking moron!!!!!

    SERPENTS????

    Are not serpents symbols of the Devil? Wasn’t Eve tempted by a Serpent? So we are being told by this un-named moron to be wise like Devils?

    That jerk Pope Francis & the twit who said the above deserve each other’s company!

    SARCASM MODE cancelled.

  20. Branch says:

    So then, Ben, was Jesus pretending? Or was He sinning, since He didn’t avoid righteous anger? How about when He cursed the fig tree?

  21. BenYachov says:

    Really!

    “Holy Cunning”…”Wise as Serpents” who makes up this S***!

    Hippies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    SARCASM MODE re-cancelled.

  22. Branch says:

    Ben, it’s a quote from Scripture and I was wondering if that’s what Francis was trying to appeal to in explaining the “holy cunning” he was preaching.

  23. Branch says:

    What gives the Pope the right to put private Ignatian meditation above sound homiletics?

  24. BenYachov says:

    >Ben, it’s a quote from Scripture

    DUH!!!!!!! REALLY??????????

    Apparently the word “Sarcasm” is not a clue too some people?

  25. ErnstThalmann says:

    I’m going to refer you to Gerald O’Hanlon’s, The Immutability Of God In The Theology Of Han Urs Von Balthasar. While von Balthasar was hardly the only theologian in the 20th century to have addressed the antiquated notions of impassibility and immutability in God that were taken into the theological tradition from Greek philosophy, there have been others, among them Jurgen Moltmann. While I have not read O’Hanlon’s book myself – rather, my familiarity is with the source material itself – it has the advantage of incorporating insights from recent scholarship and organizing von Balthasar’s treatment of the question for you. If after having read this book or, preferably, the original writings, you still feel that “god has no emotions”, come back here and we’ll examine your complaints.

  26. BenYachov says:

    @Branch
    >So then, Ben, was Jesus pretending? Or was He sinning,

    Pretending isn’t sinning. What? You really thought below that I didn’t know “Wise as Serpents” was spoken by Jesus?

    Clueless and dull!

    >since He didn’t avoid righteous anger? How about when He cursed the fig tree?

    He willed the fig tree to die as a metaphor for judging Jerusalem with whom he had judged for rejecting him. Anger is his will to justice.

    >What gives the Pope the right to put private Ignatian meditation above sound homiletics?

    He is the Pope and can do as he sees fit.

    You are not the Pope so don’t get ideas above your station.

  27. BenYachov says:

    Where as I think hysteria over Von Balthasar’s conditional & theoretical Universal-ism is a tad over done. I prefer Thomism and lately I am leaning toward Benezism and away from Molinism.

    I dont’ dogmatically assert Jesus never felt mere natural human anger but I see that it is possible and it is ok for the Pope to talk about it.

    Pope St. Pius X believed firmly in infant damnation & thus instructed midwives to make sure children in danger of death where baptized so they may avoid Limbo.

    Pope Benedict XVI believes Un-baptized infants are likely saved by some extra-ordinary means of God. Thought he instructs the faithful not to neglect Baptism.

    They are entitled to these secondary opinions, to express them in homilies and use them for teaching & pastoral purposes barring a formal doctrinal ruling.

    Live with it.

  28. Branch says:

    He didn’t care much for the “pretending” (hypocritical) of the religious leaders of His time. And what would be the point of His pretending with the money changers?

  29. BenYachov says:

    >He didn’t care much for the “pretending” (hypocritical) of the religious leaders of His time.

    Not morally the same thing. Pretending to be angry to prove a point is not the same thing as pretending to be righteous.

    Sometimes when I yell at my kids I don’t feel anger at all. I just know a loud deep voice
    will get the obedience I require.

    Does that mean I am doing something immoral pretending to be angry?

    Not at all.

    >And what would be the point of His pretending with the money changers?

    You watch too much TV. He need not feel anything to pick up whips and drive out the cattle. What you think God the Trinity was hot with human emotional anger when He struck down the Egyptians?

    But to be fair I don’t hold this dogmatically.

    He could have had righteous human emotion in his human nature. But he doesn’t need it.

  30. Deuteronomy 4:2. “2 You shall not add to the word that I speak to you, neither shall you take away from it: keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

    Proverbs 30:6. “6 Add not any thing to his words, lest thou be reproved, and found a liar”.

    It reminds one of Fr. Z’s mantra. “What Does the Scripture Really Say?” sounds like a reasonable question to ask any preacher, even the pope.

  31. It is worth raising YET ANOTHER IRONY in this dispute.

    As I noted in my original discussion of this topic, we’re not even sure if the pope said that Jesus does or does NOT get angry. Originally the Vatican news site read, “Jesus does not become angry”, but was then changed to read, “Jesus does become angry”. Meanwhile most other sources present the claim as, “Jesus does not become angry”. Keep in mind that in the homily in question, Francis was speaking in general (“In the Gospel…”), not about a particular verse or episode (viz. he cites Emmaus as one example of his general claim).

    Here’s the rub:

    If the pope said that Jesus does become angry, then he flouts BenYachov’s denial that Christ experienced emotions like anger, since he will have said that Jesus, throughout the Gospels in general, could have experienced moments of actual anger.

    On the other hand, if the pope said that Jesus does not become angry, then he really did make up, apparently out of thin air, the utterly novel claim that, on every occasion in the Gospels which shows Jesus angry, frustrated, irritated, etc., Jesus was dissembling for effect. We in the business call that “docetism”.

    It’s quite a bind.

  32. Tony Jokin says:

    Ben,

    You said: “Are you so stupid as to believe if the Pope said everything “clearly” as you define it the rabble wouldn’t still misunderstand it or the media wouldn’t twist it?”

    I think that is where the disagreement lies. I am indeed “stupid” enough to think that. I am also “stupid” enough to see that it is true from empirical evidence. Pope Benedict XVI was rarely the target of such twisting. It happened once and even then there was a swift response. Pope John Paul II was twisted rarely as well (to my knowledge). However with him, sometimes reporting the facts of some of this actions themselves can usually lead to confusion (like the kissing of a certain text).

    Anyway, the point is that there is such a thing as exercising prudence and clarity in what one says in order to not confuse your audience. As much as I respect Pope Francis and hold firm to the belief that he is a good man underneath it all, I must conclude that Pope Francis has failed in this regard. His comments have not lead to confusion and twisting not once but many times now. Yet the number of clarifications he has made are almost unknown. Silently pulling problematic interviews from the Vatican website is also problematic because the errors in these interviews were publicized (obviously not as “errors”) all over the world.

    So do I respect the Pope? I do. Do I obey the Pope? I do. For your information, I am not even a trad in the traditional usage of the term because in my whole life I attended the TLM only twice out of curiosity. So I think calling me a radtrad (if that is what you are thinking of doing) is also unfair. But from where I stand, I cannot just pretend a problem does not exist. Pope Francis does lack clarity and prudence in his homilies, interviews and even in some of his writings.

    He states things in a way that is different from the traditional sense and also in a way which lends itself to the notions of God, Catholicism, mercy, love, sin and even Christ that the world desires. So the world as you can see has become very happy with Pope Francis. Instead of seeing a figure of John the Baptist in the seat of Rome that continuously reminds them to change their lives around, they have a Pope who finally makes them feel good about THEMSELVES. That is sad and problematic.

    Now you will again say that its not the Pope’s fault that the media misrepresents him. But is it not his fault? Why is it that Pope Francis has such a “tough” time with the media compared to Pope Benedict? I think the obviously and most charitable conclusion we can make here is that the Pope has simply not communicated matters with clarity or prudence. That must obviously change.

  33. ErnstThalmann says:

    Ben,

    I was asking you to read O’Hanlon’s book. If you can’t do that, your objections to my description of the neo-scholastic take on immutability as anachronistic can’t – and won’t – be taken seriously. Its not enough to run away by giving an account of which subset of Thomism you happen to prefer. An exhaustive reading of von Balthasar’s, The Theology Of Karl Barth, would disabuse you of the need to engage at such levels anyway. The question of predestination and its post-Reformation cul de sacs have been long surpassed. They are now largely irrelevant. You may as well take a nap.

  34. Pingback: He said, she said, God said… | FideCogitActio : "Omnis per gratiam" fidescogitactio @ gmail . com

  35. BenYachov says:

    You are living in a fantasy land.

    >I think that is where the disagreement lies. I am indeed “stupid” enough to think that. I am also “stupid” enough to see that it is true from empirical evidence.
    Pope Benedict XVI was rarely the target of such twisting. It happened once and even then there was a swift response. Pope John Paul II was twisted rarely as well (to my knowledge).

    But empirical evidence suggests the media is worst today & more partisan then they where back in JP2 & B16 day. They are living their John XXIV fantasy with Francis laying palms at his feet because he is from South America & not Europe. In time they will shout “Give us Barabbas!” when he doesn’t give them women priests and gay marriage.

    >Anyway, the point is that there is such a thing as exercising prudence and clarity in what one says in order to not confuse your audience.

    The audience is already confused but for those who wish to read Francis in the worst possible light no amount of clarity is possible & they will confuse others with their reckless charges and nitpicking.

    Like what the Pope said on conscience a while back lined up rather neathly with the Catholic Encylopedia 1919. But Codg still misread it & falsely accused the Pope of heresy.

    He hasn’t changed or recanted.

    >So I think calling me a radtrad (if that is what you are thinking of doing) is also unfair.

    Did I call you a Radtrad specifically?

    Well?

    >He states things in a way that is different from the traditional sense and also in a way which lends itself to the notions of God, Catholicism, mercy, love, sin and even Christ that the world desires.

    Ambigous charge. All the Pope’s have different styles since language changes over the centuries.

    >So the world as you can see has become very happy with Pope Francis. Instead of seeing a figure of John the Baptist in the seat of Rome that continuously reminds them to change their lives around, they have a Pope who finally makes them feel good about THEMSELVES. That is sad and problematic.

    No the world is throwing Palms at his feet & sooner or later they will shout “Give us Barabbas!”. They are projecting on him what they want him to be(like the Jews did with Jesus) rather than what he is & they will be disapointed & I will laugh my arse off.

    >Silently pulling problematic interviews from the Vatican website is also problematic because the errors in these interviews were publicized (obviously not as “errors”) all over the world.

    To this day I still don’t know if John Paul II endorced the PASSION OF THE CHRIST or not. Boo hoo! Cry me a river buddy.

    Francis hasn’t even been Pope a year and your are wetting yourself.

    Sad.

    >I think the obviously and most charitable conclusion we can make here is that the Pope has simply not communicated matters with clarity or prudence.

    Rather JP2 wasn’t under a microscope hyper reading every word…well that is not true. See the issues of THE REMNANT during the 90’s for the RADTRAD bashing.

    They shut up with B16 because they saw him as their Pius XIII fantasy but if they put the same effort into hyperanalizing him as they do Francis I have no doubt they would come up with something.

    I am unconvinced.

  36. BenYachov says:

    .>Pope Benedict XVI was rarely the target of such twisting.

    Francis hasn’t even been Pope for a year. BTW are you aware of the “Pope Benedict endorsed condoms for gays and to stop the spread of AIDS” mishigoss?

    That was fun.

  37. Don’t feel bad, folks, it’s just: Ben’s invincible normalcy bias strikes again.

    BenJ, If you think that I read the pope in the worst possible light, then your head is farther up your ass than I ever imagined.

    I haven’t recanted my claim about the pope’s error about conscience for two reasons. First, your flailing, spittle-flecked attempt at a rebuttal of the points I made at Dale’s blog were wide of the mark. Second, I haven’t presented my fully articulated claims about that error, so my position is not subject to recantation prior to being presented as a whole.

    It’s obvious, though sad, how piqued your interest is in my argument, since you’ve myopically jabbed at me for months about it, trying to goad me into the same semi-rational state which you generally inhabit (at least as far as your notorious online presence is concerned).

    Slow your roll and buzz off if you’ve got nothing further to add to this thread. You’ve entered the Highly Blockable Zone again.

  38. Yes, and smiling Cdl. Bergoglio was right there to lambaste the Holy Father.

  39. Way to leave on a low note, Ben. I’m taking nothing down, and certainly not on account of you. Keep lurking. You’ll see.

  40. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Big man with a keyboard (or five). If you’d flung as much shit on deck as you’ve slung around here (not to mention your famous antics in other venues), you’d be in the brig with me, Frothy.

    Tell me again how you’re “done” with and “gone” from this blog.

    Sigh.

    #getABetterHobby

  41. NOOO! I want you to stop sniping! This is not about points. Take your ego to mend somewhere else. Seriously, man. You’re putting on a sad display. You deny that I’ve made any salient critiques yet you CAN’T. LET. ANYTHING. GO. I’ve struck a chord, we get it, but your normalcy bias needs its due. Just Move Along.

  42. Pingback: The loyalty that dare not speak its name… | FideCogitActio : "Omnis per gratiam" fidescogitactio @ gmail . com

  43. Branch says:

    I’m beginning to see Ben as a victim of the real Francis Effect.

  44. Normalcy bias. Cognitive dissonance. Denial. Projection.

    “THE FRANCIS AFFECT”

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