¡Hasta siempre, comandante!

On the one hand…

“The [Second Vatican] council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit,” he said. “But after 50 years, have we done everything the Holy Spirit in the council told us to do?” … The answer, he said, is “no.”

Catholics seemed willing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the council’s opening in 1962, he said, but they want to do so by “building a monument” rather than by changing anything.

At the same time, Pope Francis said, “there are voices saying we should go back. This is called being hard-headed, this is called wanting to domesticate the Holy Spirit, this is called becoming ‘foolish and slow of heart'”.

13 April 2013

You cannot turn back, we have to always go forward, always forward and who goes back is making a mistake,” [Pope Francis] said.

9 March 2015

But then on the other…

[I]f human society is to be healed now, in no other way can it be healed save by a return to Christian life and Christian institutions. When a society is perishing, the wholesome advice to give to those who would restore it is to call it to the principles from which it sprang; for the purpose and perfection of an association is to aim at and to attain that for which it is formed, and its efforts should be put in motion and inspired by the end and object which originally gave it being. Hence, to fall away from its primal constitution implies disease; to go back to it, recovery.

— Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum (15 May 1891)

[T]to restore all things in Christ and to lead men back to submission to God is one and the same aim. To this, then, it behoves Us to devote Our care — to lead back mankind under the dominion of Christ; this done, We shall have brought it back to God. When We say ‘to God’ We do not mean to that inert being heedless of all things human which the dream of materialists has imagined, but to the true and living God, one in nature, triple in person, Creator of the world….

[W]e must use every means and exert all our energy to bring about the utter disappearance of the enormous and detestable wickedness, so characteristic of our time — the substitution of man for God; this done, it remains to restore to their ancient place of honor the most holy laws and counsels of the gospel; to proclaim aloud the truths taught by the Church, and her teachings on the sanctity of marriage, on the education and discipline of youth, on the possession and use of property, the duties that men owe to those who rule the State; and lastly to restore equilibrium between the different classes of society according to Christian precept and custom.

— Pope Pius X, E supremi (4 October 1903)

Whenever we make the effort to return to the source and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel, new avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today’s world.

Evangelii Gaudium, 24 November 2013

“For me, [explains Pope Francis,] the great revolution is going to the roots, recognizing them and seeing what those roots have to say to us today. There is no contradiction between [being a] revolutionary and going to the roots. Moreso even, I think that the way to make true changes is identity. You can never take a step in life if it’s not from behind, without knowing where I come from, what last name I have, what cultural or religious last name I have.”

—  13 June 2014

[According to Cardinal Kasper, Pope Francis] “wants to initiate a new beginning for the church,” Kasper said, but not by destroying tradition. Rather, “Pope Francis stands in a great tradition, reaching back to the earliest beginnings.”

“He does not represent a liberal position, but a radical position, understood in the original sense of the word as going back to the roots, the radix.” By reaching back through time, he is, in fact, “constructing a bridge to the future.”

7 November 2014

Continue to Brian Williams’s latest blog post at One Peter Five for a slightly less turgid analysis than mine.


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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15 Responses to ¡Hasta siempre, comandante!

  1. Tony Jokin says:

    Nice collection of quotes.

    I think the Pope Francis quotes toward the end that sound favorable toward “going back”, might have a different idea of “going back” in mind. It might be something like abandoning organic development from the days of the early Church till Vatican II. Then he tries to formulate an entirely new direction from the the origin or “roots”.

    So as an example, I think he would be OK with abandoning all the traditional interpretations that have developed on Scripture passages. He will go back to the original text and start from scratch and come up with new interpretations. The only issue is, then all one is really doing is projecting ones own mind onto the text than trying to grasp the intended meaning of the author. But the way Pope Francis has at times interpreted Scripture during homilies suggest that he find that perfectly fine.

  2. Tamsin says:

    I would like there to be backwards-compatibility, in worship as in theology (theo-logic).

    Progressives will be the death of us. In the beginning was the Word. But now we have word salad. Does the Pope believe there is such a thing as Divine Justice? How does he solve the theodicy problem, by the way? grrr

  3. Brock Fowler says:

    We hear this all the time: in politics too. The implications are that: we should not have returned to orthodoxy from Arianism; we should not have addressed sexual abuse in the Church, because that would be “going back” to when there was less; and we should never repent of new sins or worse sins.

  4. Would it be churlish of Raider Fan to write that what some of our prelates say reminds him of the late 1960s and Pat Paulsen?

    “If nominated, I will not run – and if elected, I will not serve!”

    With those stirring words, Pat Paulsen began his noble quest for the presidency of the United States! And although he never actually won, he proved to be very good at running. In fact, in ran in 1968, 1972, 1980, 1988, 1992, and 1996. As those campaigns ground on, Pat Paulsen became the comic relief, when a good laugh was sorely needed. His deadpan comic delivery allowed him to be funny and to also make the occasional serious point.

    Paulsen began his quest for the presidency on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1968, where his weekly editorials had become very popular. He actually managed to get on the ballot several times, and garnered more than his share of protest votes. His humble opinion of himself was that he was “just a common, ordinary, simple savior of America’s destiny,” and he would silence any criticism from his opponents with a simple, “picky, picky, picky.” Armed with his stirring campaign slogan – “I’ve upped my standards. Now, up yours!” and the rallying cry of his supporters – “We can’t stand Pat!” – Paulsen sallied forth into the murky political waters.

  5. Pingback: Modernists attempt to re-write Scripture and early Church history to their own benefit. Does Pope Francis? | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics

  6. The exhortations of Our Pope have to do with an undefined and undeferentiated agenda (although, one would have to be completely lacking in intellect not to understand his preferred path – past is prologue with him) but it does appear to fit quite nicely with what one might called the progressive agenda.

    So, despite all objective measurements of Catholic practice having perilously plummeted since Vatican Two, the hierarchy keeps praising that council as the obvious work of the Holy Ghost and the hierarchy demands more of the same only intensified and applied to even more areas of Catholic life.

    If this is not a train of progressive enthusiasm continually building up stem and about to fly right off the tracks of sanity, then BAC does not know what it is.

    Lord have Mercy.

    If only our hierarchy were in denial and perplexed about what followed in the wake of the council rather than convinced that all they do is the work of the Holy Ghost.

    And what layman is going to convince the hierarchy that what they claim is the work of the Holy Ghost is not the work of the Holy Ghost?

    Forget it. It is over

  7. Tamsin says:

    Kasper et al want a do-over.

  8. Tony Jokin says:


    “And what layman is going to convince the hierarchy that what they claim is the work of the Holy Ghost is not the work of the Holy Ghost?”

    What you mention is probably the heart of the issue.

    Since almost by definition, the work of the Holy Ghost today is held in mind as being contrary to all human reason and incomprehensible through reason, there is nothing to challenge someone who claims they are acting under the influence of the Holy Ghost. Once reason is abandoned, everything is just surrendered how one feels. I think that is what we see today in spades. We can’t question the actions of our parish priests because the priest is under the impression that he is acting according to the influence by the Holy Spirit. So he “MUST BE RIGHT!” in his mind.

    I find it disrespectful to the Holy Spirit as well. I was always taught that the Holy Spirit enlightens our mind with gifts like wisdom, understanding and counsel so that we can know using right reason what we ought to do. But today, the Holy Spirit is used to abandon reason and elevate feelings to a level of fact.

  9. God is not the author of confusion (I Cor 14;33). The earliest council (in Acts 15) SETTLED hotly contested and urgently pressing questions for the good of the Church. Unlike V2, it did not UNSETTLE established answers, expressions, practices, and objectives for the good of the Church’s public relations. Preserving the Church DESPITE the implementation of V2 is the true work of the Holy Spirit.

  10. Amen, Tony. The Gifts of The Holy Ghost

    Fear of the Lord

    appear to be largely ignored and the fruits of the Holy Ghost


    are clearly being resisted by the mass of the hierarchy. From the Pope descending throughout the hierarchy, we are being called denigrating names, we are mocked, we sees the Pope uncomfortable around pious persons (the kid whose hands were poised in a classic prayer position which the Pope broke-up )and the hierarchy is racing as fast as it can to implement more and more change but where o where is there evidence within the hierarchy that they manifest the bolded fruits of the Holy Ghost?

    Once again, one has to watch what is being done rather than what is being said.

    O, and as for the Holy Father going out of his way to preside at the 50th anniversary of the Lil’ Licit Liturgy of Pope Blessed Paul VI, well, what about the Pope apparently not having on his schedule a plan to offer the Holy Thursday Mass?

    That would seem to indicate that the Pope thinks Presiding at the Lil’ Licit Liturgy is more important than him offering the Holy Thursday Mass.

  11. Re the Pope’s no plan to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass


  12. drprice2 says:

    “Always forward!”

    Sounds like the program of an enlightened caudillo, and not the Servant of the Servants of God.

  13. drprice2 says:

    Oh, nothing. I’m sure it’s just me.

  14. joe m says:

    ““There are voices saying we should go back. This is called being hard-headed, this is called wanting to domesticate the Holy Spirit…” Rhetoric like this allows for no discussion and is thus a but insulting. All the new ideas are good, and any opposition is hard-headed, even if the results of the game plan prove disastrous. “The Prophet is always right.” “The Holy Spirit is with me… Period.” Of course, we note the lack of any holiness abounding in Church precincts, when the sex scandals, banking scandals, and parish closings all argue for the proliferation of unbelief. But hey, Holy Spirit… the adjective means nothing, it’s all about the authority invoking His name gets you. The office of Pope deserves respect. The men who inhabit it only inhabit it. They come and go. Some speak well, others speak nonsense.

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