Drawing Stuff on the Pope’s Face

What is really remarkable about Pope Francis is his unremarkable, by-the-books Catholicism — for his is an odd religion with remarkable books to live by. The world rightly raves about the rumors that their Pope is sneaking out of the Vatican to feed the poor, but to the Catholic with the balls to read what his Church demands, these are acts of radical obedience, not radical discontinuity. The Church sayeth:

God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those who turn away from them: “Give to him who begs from you, do not refuse him who would borrow from you”; “you received without pay, give without pay.” It is by what they have done for the poor that Jesus Christ will recognize his chosen ones. When “the poor have the good news preached to them,” it is the sign of Christ’s presence…”Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2443)

What remains amazing is that Catholics are not sneaking out of houses and offices to feed the poor. Our Church says we are stealing from the poor by not giving to them. Considered in this light, Francis — in his undeniable compassion for the materially, spiritually, and culturally groaning — is performing the unremarkable action of not stealing from them. Catholic bloggers are all publicly damning themselves by calling this “a breath of fresh air,” involved as they are in a love affair with a religion that says, in no uncertain terms, that there will either be this very fresh air of mercy and justice in each and every life — or hell.

Our dear Pope calls himself a “son of the Church” and thereby reveals a delicious paradox. Living out the commands of the Church is an obedience so radical that it smacks of disobedience. Taking the Church as Holy Mother is an act of humble submission so out-of-place that it tastes of revolution. We find ourselves looking for the rule Francis is breaking, sniffing for the tradition he is flouting, for surely such a splay of out-there love — such a big, fat, kiss-the-diseased kind of warmth — is rebellion? And we are right, The Huffington Post is right, the look-dad-a-rulebreaker! impulse is absolutely right — but it is because the Church is a rebellion, and Francis is a son of the Church. He says…

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: “Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?” We must always consider the person.

…and our noses twitch like bloodhounds, looking for the “up-yours,” only to find a servitude to the demands of the Church who is the damn revolution, who goes so far as to reject all considerations of homosexuality or heterosexuality as possibly delivering identity:

The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation. Every one living on the face of the earth has personal problems and difficulties, but challenges to growth, strengths, talents and gifts as well. Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a “heterosexual” or a “homosexual” and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life. (Letter, Oct. 1986)

The immense value of Pope Francis has been a radical obedience to and an artistic expression of the Catholic Church. The immense value of this is that it has made Americans look all sorts of stupid.

The language of our current culture is limited. It is too small to fit a man like Francis. We have no readily available vocabulary to discuss Catholicism, and it’s about time we stopped pretending otherwise. We are utterly snapped in a dichotomy of the liberal and the conservative, the left and the right, our ideology and its established counter-ideology — what can we do with a man who obeys a higher order? Into what category can we wedge a man who loves gays and excommunicates priests who advocate the priestly ordination of women, a man reviled by Rush Limbaugh while saying things like:

Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this [but] human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defence of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offense against the creator of the individual.” (Evangelii Gaudium)

Consider the beautiful actions of The Advocate magazine, beautiful because they are the most accurate description of what the American mind must do with a man like Francis:

I am happy for their happiness. Francis has extended them a hand of authentic compassion. But surely I’m not the only one who delights in the poetry of the picture! Pope Francis exudes a tradition so nuanced, so rich, with such unique and specific answers to the worries and woes of the world, that we have been reduced to photoshopping our slogans on his face in order to fit him into our pre-ordained systems of thought. With realities like this, who need metaphors? We are drawing the language of our culture on the Pope’s face.

But this desperate need to brand and tattoo the non-conforming among us, our near-biological urge for all things to fit into their sacred place within The Very Important Culture Wars, all this only bears witness to the inability of Francis to be contained to the world — a happy handicap shared by every Catholic who wakes up and decides to be Catholic. The need to make something out of Francis is evidence that we cannot make head or tail of him.

In truth, I have little else to say besides the hope that we follow suit, all of us living lives bursting from this boring, abysmal tupperware of current culture. It is no difficult thing. We need only follow the example of our Holy Father, to become with him true sons and daughters of the Church. Being Catholic — not screwing around, really being the thing — is a panting pursuit of all the ways we become fully alive and fully ourselves. It is the liberty to be ourselves, and, in this marvelous singularity, to be wrenched from all reductions, all systems, imitations, fashions and passing fads. Let us live this Pope Francis stuff, this radical obedience that tastes like rebellion, to the point that our weary world is reduced to drawing what they want us to be on our faces.

  • Maggie Mae

    Thank you. Just thank you.

  • Gail Finke

    Beautifully said, Marc!

  • Montague

    Headlines read– MARC DOES IT AGAIN: simple honesty and more than a minute’s worth of thinking and reasoning smashes the labels of American impudence.

    Just like Francis, you amaze us all by writing what you always write. Don’t stop stating the obvious, blazing Truth, too large for myopic moderns to see.

  • Neihan

    Easily one of the best commentaries on Pope Francis, and our cultural response to him, which I’ve read. Thank you, Marc.

  • John S.

    Best piece I have read on Pope Francis, hands down.

  • HelenLee

    “In truth, I have little else to say besides the hope that we follow suit, all of us living lives bursting from this boring, abysmal tupperware of current culture.”

    While I do understand what you are saying here, more and more often lately I am struck by the clear understanding that the vast majority of people are living their lives trying to do what is best (as they see it) for their families, their friends, and their communities. We are living lives spending ourselves for our loved ones–I truly hope you don’t think that the “current culture” you see plastered by/in the media is the real culture.
    Most of us are doggedly working for the betterment of our children, our families. And that’s where culture really begins.

  • Okie_pastor

    I’m glad others are finally realizing what Christians have known for centuries. 1) Christianity is more than a religion. 2) Acts of Christian compassion abound all over the world 3) obeying Jesus can be seen as rebellion by a world that is opposed to him.(Jn 15:18) 4) Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father but by him (Jn 14:6)

    Maybe my prayers will be answered, and we will have a world wide enlightenment and Revival. PTL!

  • Strife

    Christ openly told the adulteress to “Go. And SIN NO MORE”. Are we to believe that Christ wouldn’t see the gravely disordered sin in the homosexual? Of course He would. And He would clearly call it out. Because that’s how radically paradoxical God’s Love for us really is. He’s willing to bring to light the horribleness of our sins and drive us to our knees in horrendous guilt and pain ….. in order to save us. Because He loves us too much to do anything less.

    The flawed reasoning this pope engages in, neglects the reality that it’s never been a question of God’s vision of us that we should be concerned about – but rather, it is OUR inability to see and recognize HIM when our souls are so deeply ingrained and blinded in mortal sin. A soul so cut off from God can easily fall into a permanent state of disconnection from God. But see, this “pope” talked past that Truth and even went so far as to strongly imply that any recognition of the grave sin of homosexuality is inherently hateful. This is an atrocious distortion of Catholic Theology.

    This false gospel of “Nice” and this false virtue of “Tolerance” is going to lead many a soul to Hell. May God help the Church in this hour of darkness and deception.

    • YoungModern

      9 But they hearing this, **went out one** by one, beginning at the eldest. And **Jesus alone remained**, and the woman standing in the midst.
      10 Then Jesus lifting up himself, said to her: Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no **man** condemned thee?
      11 Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: ****Neither will I condemn thee****. Go, and now sin no more.

      Jesus sent *us* away. He, whose station it was to condemn, did not. Who are we to usurp his mantle?

      • Strife

        First of all, the adulteress was remorseful and contrite of heart. Are the militant gay-activists contrite and remorseful. No. Not in the least. Secondly, the people in that passage were hypocrites. They had most likely committed adultery WITH the woman. Thirdly, they were trying to pass judgement on her eternal soul (as opposed to just her sinful actions) and her final fate by condemning her to death. That right is God’s alone, simply because we are not capable of reading our own hearts accurately much less our neighbors, which is exactly why we must correct each others wayward and sinful actions. No matter what our intent – certain actions are ALWAYS sinful. They’re called intrinsic evils. Like: homosexuality, abortion, contraception, etc.

        However, upon further inspection of scripture you will find that we are commanded to call out sinful BEHAVIOR (though not to pass final judgement on hearts or make hypocritical judgements) and to plea with sinners to change their ways. That is why the Lord commanded us to help our brother remove the speck from his eye.

        Oh and there’s this from Our Lord:

        “Go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them,tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church,let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” (Matt. 18:15-17)

        Also from Paul:

        “Do you not know that the saints [i.e. Christians] will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, matters pertaining to this life!…Shun immorality” (1 Cor. 6:2-18).

        Please, do the world a favor, learn the proper context of Scripture before you cite it. Because even the Devil can misquote God’s Word. And it always has disastrous moral consequences when he does.

        • Robert

          The proper context of Scripture that you quoted is for fellow Christians. As you see in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus is telling them to fraternally correct those that have heard the message but have strayed from it. They are fellow Jews or Christians. We know this because he tells them at the end if they have tried everything else, to then remove them from the community and let them be seen as a Gentile.

          The letter to the Corinthians is another Christian community. They have heard the Kerygma, the Good News, the Gospel Message. They have heard firstly that God, who is rich in mercy, has become man and died on a cross for the salvation of our sins. Our response is to become a new man and woman, to reject our old ways of life and to take in Jesus’ teaching.

          Pope Francis is teaching us how to share the Good News. He is preaching to those that do not even believe in sin, let alone God. He is imitating God in first showing unwarranted, undeserved mercy to those whose lives are sinful. Francis, makes it a point to show the most favor to the poor and destitute, the widow and orphan, the outcasts from society. He shows mercy to those that know not what they do. Francis saves his harshest words for fellow believers. He calls out Christians saying that if we do not help our fellow brothers and sisters we are pagans. Similar fiery reproaches to those of us who are not the man or woman we are meant to be.

          Francis’ action need to be seen through the lens of evangelization to make sense of what he is doing.

          • Strife

            First of all, many liberal “fellow Christians” in the Church are running with this “popes” Who am I to judge? and his God-loves-everyone-so-don’t-obsess-with-the-sin canards. Secondly, this “pope” makes no clear distinction towards a specific audience (believers or non-believers) in his mindless relativistic ramblings. He simply shot-gun blasts away with bilge and the entire world hears it and runs with it in scattered confused directions. Thirdly, his horrid bait-and-switch tactic of acceptance of homosexuals isn’t even a philosophical issue that is based primarily in “faith”, but rather, it is first and foremost a violation of the self-evident premise of Natural Law. And fourth – the vast VAST majority of people in this country (and the Western world) have been exposed to Christ and the Gospels and they have STILL rejected Him. In fact, most of the “unbelievers” pride themselves on their supposed superior knowledge of scripture and they endlessly dispute it all throughout the blogosphere. So let’s get real here. This notion of giving the “unbelievers” some sort of theological slack and a moral pass on these core moral precepts simply because they supposedly don’t know any better is laughable. They are quite familiar with the moral precepts of Christianity, and they aggressively reject them anyway. But hey, let’s see how Our Lord told us to deal with these types, shall we? Let’s dig the scriptural context of this:

            “Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.” – Matthew 10:11-15

            But what did Christ say His mission was for the greater world as a whole? He said this:

            Jesus; A Cause of Division.

            “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’” – Matthew 10:34-36

            But then, if a fellow Christian won’t listen, Our Lord told us to shun them. Just as we should the pagans and tax collectors:

            “If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.* If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile (pagan) or a tax collector.” – Matthew 18:17

          • Robert

            Strife, what you are overlooking is the fact of the New Evangelization.

            You write: “And fourth – the vast VAST majority of people in this country (and the Western world) have been exposed to Christ and the Gospels and they have STILL rejected Him. In fact, most of the “unbelievers” pride themselves on their supposed superior knowledge of scripture and they endlessly dispute it all throughout the blogosphere.”

            They have “supposed” knowledge, not actual knowledge. The vast majority of people do not know Christ and they have no idea what the Good News is. I have encountered many people on college campuses that have never had the Gospel preached to them. When I mean Gospel preached to them, see most of Acts, but especially 17:16-34.

            In Paul’s speech at the Aeropagus, he connects with the Athenians by any means: altar to unknown god, what you unknowingly worship I proclaim to you, etc.

            “The new evangelization in which the whole continent is engaged means that faith cannot be taken for granted, but must be explicitly proposed in all its breadth and richness” (Bl. John Paul II, Ecclesia in America, no. 69).

            “I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church’s energies to a new evangelization and to the mission. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples” (Bl. John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, no. 3).

            “To this end, it is more necessary than ever for all the faithful to move from a faith of habit, sustained perhaps by social context alone, to a faith which is conscious and personally lived. The renewal of faith will always be the best way to lead others to the Truth that is Christ” (Bl. John Paul II, Ecclesia in America, no. 73).

            Everything we do must be through the context of evangelization. People have NOT heard the Gospel and will not hear it unless we preach it.

            But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ 5 (by grace you have been saved). Eph 2

          • Strife

            Christ did not come to save the entire world. He came for many, not all. And He specifically came to divide the world- not to bring it peace through tolerance and dialogue.

            And if you want to see the fruits of this “New Evangelization” then I suggest you read the comments on Fr Barron’s youtube site. The world has heard the Gospel. The world rejects it.

            And again, all this “pope” is doing is spreading mass confusion AND scattering the faithful as a result. And if you can’t recognize that reality- then you should “evangelize” to yourself.

          • KP

            You are judging the fruits of the New Evangelization by comments on Youtube…? I think all your judgments need a better scale.

          • Strife

            Oh really? Let’s see the evidence of YOUR scale.

            Cite it.

          • KP

            Pardon me, sir or ma’am, but for all your citing and arguing about here, you do not speak with love. As St. Paul advises, though you can do all sorts of impressive things with your words, if you have not love, you are a clanging symbol. Speaking like this, you will never, ever, ever gain souls for Christ. It is the spirit of love which first draws people to a personal and decisive encounter with Him. From one Catholic sister to you, Pax +

          • Strife

            Pardon me ma’am, but uhm, perhaps you need to be reminded of Christ’s purpose in the world. Here, I’ll let Him tell it:

            Jesus; A Cause of Division.

            “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’” – Mathew 10:34-36

            You people keep ignoring this passage for some reason.

            Funny that.

          • KP

            My brother or sister in Christ, I cannot explain to you why these following passages differ so much from the one you shared, but they come from the same Holy Scriptures so I hope you will reflect on each one when you have the time and attention.

            Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

            John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

            John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.

            John 20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

            Philippians 4:6-7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

            Romans 14:18-19 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

            2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another,agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

            1 Peter 1:2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

            Mark 9:50 Be at peace with one another.

            1 Corinthians 7:15 God has called you to peace.

            James 3:18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

            Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
            Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

            Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body.

          • Strife

            To which I reply:

            Jesus; A Cause of Division.

            “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’” – Mathew 10:34-36

            You people keep ignoring this passage for some reason.

            And here’s the context you seem to have omitted from that same line about Christ’s Peace:

            “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. ***NOT AS THE WORLD GIVES*** do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” – John 14:27

            Uhm… Our Lord doesn’t mention “Nice” and Tolerant” in that Peace does He? Well no. No He Doesn’t.

            Oh and look at the footnotes on the word “Peace” in Christ’s context:

            “* [14:27] Peace: the traditional Hebrew salutation šālôm; but Jesus’ “Shalom” is a gift of salvation, connoting the bounty of messianic blessing.”

            Do you see the words “nice” and “tolerant” in there? Me neither.

          • KP

            I don’t understand what I am reading in the bible then. Please catechize me. What does peace mean in all the thirteen or so verses I gave to you? How does Christ give peace if He does not bring peace? I sincerely need you to educate me, so I can grow in my faith and understanding of Scripture. I don’t have the answers yet.

          • Strife

            Peace means a deep abiding understanding of God’s love within us and around us. And that Heavenly understanding will by its very nature be in deep contrast with the temporary self-serving feel-good emotion of “peace” that the world understands. This is why division is inevitable.

            God’s love demands a surrender of our own desires and will. The world will have none of that.

          • KP

            But then why does Jesus bless the peacemakers and the letters call for peace between people? Those are relational from person to person, in God, not just from one person to God. And why does Jesus both bless peacemakers and denounce peace? What does God’s love look like?

          • Strife

            Peace often means division and war. Depending on the receptivity of the adversaries. The Peacemaker is always seeking true peace. Even if that means the division of war. What does God’s love look like? Well, what does the face of God look like? Who can see that and live to tell it? No one.

            God is a paradox. His Love is a paradox. His Peace is a paradox. We can only strive to understand as best we can. And that is enough. We can never fully understand until we reach paradise.

            The reluctant warrior is always the True Peacemaker. He can do no more. He is required to do no less.

            “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” – G.K.Chesterton

          • Neko

            Peace often means division and war.

            What a shame you missed the Crusades!

          • Strife

            The Crusades were a Righteous endeavor against the invading Muslims. Perhaps you should actually learn a tad bit of actual history before you make a bigger fool of yourself.

          • Neko

            Strife, I’m not engaging with you any further. You’re a lunatic as far as I’m concerned. But I could not read your venomous bilge and keep my peace, I mean war.

            I hope your fever subsides.

          • Strife
          • m

            Please tell me , whose soul does he wish to condemn? Who is outside of the reach of his mercy?

          • Strife

            Who and what are you talking about? Who said anything about anyone condemning souls?

            Oh and, those who reject His mercy are beyond it. Our Lord warned about The Sin against The Holy Spirit.

            The Unforgivable Sin.

          • Strife

            Here’s what Scripture says about the “modern” pagans. See if this doesn’t sound eerily prophetic:

            “The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness. For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know the just
            decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” – Romans 1:18-32

          • Robert

            In this passage Paul uses themes and rhetoric common in Jewish-Hellenistic mission proclamation (cf ⇒ Wisdom 13:1-⇒ 14:31) to indict especially the non-Jewish world. The close association of idolatry and immorality is basic, but the generalization needs in all fairness to be balanced against the fact that non-Jewish Christian society on many levels displayed moral attitudes and performance whose quality would challenge much of contemporary Christian culture. Romans themselves expressed abhorrence over devotion accorded to animals in Egypt. Paul’s main point is that the wrath of God does not await the end of the world but goes into action at each present moment in humanity’s history when misdirected piety serves as a facade for self-interest. – from the footnotes of NAB.

    • Christopher Lake

      Strife, let’s deal with more than soundbites from the media which misrepresent what the Pope said. Pope Francis actually said, in regard to priests with homosexual tendencies, “Who am I to judge, if they are seeking the Lord and are of good will?” Do you know what “seeking the Lord and being of good will” mean in Catholic teaching? They mean, among other things, actually being open to God’s commands. This would include, for homosexuals and unmarried heterosexuals, seeking to live chastely and avoiding sexual sin. Priests are already commanded to live chastely anyway, and it was priests with homosexual tendencies whom Pope Francis explicitly said needed to be “seeking the Lord and of good will.” You are slandering this Pope, and you need to repent of it.

      • Strife

        Christopher, why not deal with ALL of his words. All of his contradictory and confusing words. I dealt with the specific quote cited in this article: “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: “Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?” We must always consider the person.

        Now, the misguided theology and misconstrued moral guidance of that shallow statement stands alone on its overt moral relativism. In fact, he didn’t address the specific moral context of the question (sinful actions), but rather, he simply avoided it by talking right past it and then misconstrued the morally acceptable judgment actions with the morally unacceptable judgment of heart. He simply answered his OWN question. That is inherently misleading and dishonest. And there is no follow up statement that puts that bilge into proper context. And that is exactly the problem with this “pope”. He spews the fog and confusion of moral relativism. Like a sophist, his statements do not give moral clarity, but rather, they sow more confusion and division among the Church itself, and they often run contrary to the teaching of Scripture as the Truth of our Tradition has always taught. This “pope” says a lot of things, and that is the problem. He can’t shut up. He simply loves himself some media limelight. And his basic theme is always the same: the moral relativism of “niceness” and “tolerance”. The cardinal rule seems to be “offend none of the world’s sensibilities”. And in the process, it’s a-okay to offend the Truth and the faithful flock who try to adhere to that ancient realty.

        This “pope” is a spiritual train-wreck. And he is the train-wreck the world and the Church have come to deserve with our acceptance of our sinful behavior. He was the choice of the liberal progressive clerics. And I think the Holy Spirit simply allowed those heretics to have their way.

        Mark my words Christopher, you and all the other “pope” Francis apologists are going to become exhausted with the endless never-ending decoding of his ongoing sophistry. The more this guy talks, the more the confusion will spread. Just look around, the majority of people who have already rejected the moral teachings of the Church and have embraced intrinsic evils as a moral good, like this guy because they think he has converted the Church to THEIR heresies and heterodoxies. How much Truth can he possibly be advancing when this lost world thinks so highly of him?

        “You are slandering this Pope, and you need to repent of it.”

        In the words of your “pope” Christopher: Who are you to judge?

        • Christopher Lake

          Strife, read the Pope’s words, which you quoted, carefully again. it is part of historic Catholic teaching that the existence of a human being is an objective good. The Church does not reject and condemn *persons*. She rejects and condemns *sinful actions*. There is a crucial difference. Please stop with your bile against the Pope and actually learn more about Catholic teaching, because in your venom against Francis, you are actually making very basic category mistakes.

          • Strife

            Christopher, perhaps *YOU* should read his words carefully. He was asked about sinful ACTIONS. i.e. “homosexuality”. That is clearly implicit of ACTIONS. Here’s his own words “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality.” See that? But he didn’t address their sinful actions. Instead he did a bait and switch and talked past the original point of the question (which was sinful actions) by addressing the objective good in the person themselves. But that was never the issue of the question. His deflected point is clear: don’t be “obsessed” with their sinful actions, just tolerate it. Because God loves us. How is that for crap-theology? St Paul himself must be reeling. Perhaps you should develop some basic skills of comprehensive understanding and critical thinking before you try to tackle the advanced cognitive exercise of comprehensive Catholic theology. Just a thought. Or better yet, actually read Scripture from a reliable source like the St Ignatius Study Bible.

          • Christopher Lake

            Strife, he was asked about homosexuality, and homosexuality is obviously not an action. For Catholics, it is not necessarily implicit of actions, any more than heterosexuality is implicit of the sin of fornication. That is an *assumption* you are making. According to the Catechism, homosexuality is a condition, and a trial, which the Catechism specifically says is not chosen by most of the people who have it. Homosexual acts *are* sinful. Homosexuality, in and of itself, is not sinful, as understood by the Church. You are so busy condemning the Pope that you aren’t even trying to learn from him– and your comments here are showing the bitter fruit of your lack of willingness to learn from him. I have the Ignatius Study Bible and enjoy reading from, and studying, it.

          • Strife

            Ahem. Straight from the Catechism:

            2357
            “Homosexuality refers to *relations* between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142
            They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

            Note the operative word “relations” as in ACTIONS.

            Note too, that it makes the distinction of “sexual attraction”.

            And in his original quote (“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality.”) why didn’t the pope specifically condemn homosexual actions? Instead he did the bait and switch of sinful actions with the objective truth of God’s unchanging love for all humanity, and never once did he address the intrinsically evil nature of the homosexual act itself. He intentionally left the false impression that God’s love is all that matters. And that sinful actions are inconsequential in the grand scheme of God’s love.

            So how many more ways are you going to attempt to spin his ridiculous crap-theology? Maybe it’s time you stopped idolizing this horribly flawed man.

          • Christopher Lake

            Strife, you are assuming that “relations” has to mean “sexual activity” in the Catechism’s statement there– but that interpretive assumption doesn’t even make much linguistic sense, when one looks at the *very next sentence*! “Relations*, in the way the Catechism is using the term in your quote, does not connote intimate sexual acts. Again, read the very next sentence in the Catechism, which makes it clear that “relations” is meant in a broader social sense, not in a specifically “in the bedroom” sense.

            The Pope’s comments are perfectly orthodox, taken in the *full context” of what the Catechism teaches about, respectively speaking, homosexuality, homosexual persons, and homosexual intimate *acts,”the latter of which of which are clearly taught to be sinful by the Church, but which the Pope was not addressing in statements. I note that you did not quote these statements from the Catechism, which actually provide the context for what the Pope’s statements:

            2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

            2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

            In the Catechism, #2358 is the context from which the Pope affirmed the objective goodness of the existence of *human beings* who, secondarily, also have homosexual tendencies. It is part of Catholic teaching that human beings do not *have* to be, and should *not* be, defined and/or enslaved by any of their tendencies though! Not you, not me, and not any person with homosexual tendencies! God’s vision of us, His power, and His grace are bigger than that! Perfectly in keeping with with Catholic teaching in #2358, the Pope is seeing people who have homosexual tendencies as *human beings first*, instead of *defining* them and *negating* based on those homosexual tendencies.

            #2359 is the context in which the Pope spoke of “seeking the Lord” and being “of good will.” For anyone who knows anything about Catholic teaching on sexuality, these phrases, by definition, include at least an *openness* to avoiding things which would *impede* that seeking of the Lord and which would *compromise* that good will. Homosexual sex is obviously included in those things!

            Should the Pope have stated, more explicitly, to the interviewer that he (the Pope) was speaking in terms of Catholic categories and using Catholic concepts in his language? A case could be made for that, and I might agree with it. However, we should also remember, though, that the Pope was being rightly mindful that people whom the world defines as “homosexuals” are seen by the Church as *human beings first*. The Church’s official teachings always affirm the existence of persons as an objective good. Great numbers of people who have homosexual tendencies struggle with despair, loneliness, self-hatred, and addictions of various kinds. Their suicide rates are disturbingly high (although one suicide is far too many!!). The Pope simply was trying to affirm that the *existence* of these fellow human beings, made in the image of the Lord, is an objective good. He was not affirming homosexual sex.

          • Strife

            I feel like I’m listening to Bill Clinton spin the use of “what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” Are you seriously going to attempt to scoop this BS into a defensive pile of obfuscation? Really?

            Not only is your obtuseness becoming tiring, but your apparent lack of basic reading comprehension is truly starting to annoy – whether it is unintentional or legitimately born out of ignorance. Take a look ONCE AGAIN at the actual text I copied from the Catechism:

            2357
            “Homosexuality refers to *relations* between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

            What did I note the first time? That’s right, the Catechism’s use OF THE WORD ***RELATIONS***. That means ***INTERACTIONS*** not just “attractions” because that would be REDUNDANT in this context. Do you get that? In the entire theological context of this passage it means ***ACTIONS***. And if not, what EXACTLY do you think the Catechism means by its use of the word ***RELATIONS***? Do you want to get pedantic pal? Just to cling to your ridiculous point? Okay. Let’s do that: How many things can ***RELATIONS*** possibly mean. Let’s look:

            RELATION – re·la·tion (r-lshn)
            n.
            1. A logical or natural association between two or more things; relevance of one to another; connection: the relation between smoking and heart disease. – *Well this definition can’t fit because the Catechism is dealing with an illogical and unnatural relationship.

            2. The connection of people by blood or marriage; kinship. – *Obviously no.

            3. A person connected to another by blood or marriage; a relative. – * No again.

            4. The way in which one person or thing is connected with another: the relation of parent to child. – *Nope.

            5. relations
            a. The mutual dealings or connections of persons, groups, or nations in social, business, or diplomatic matters: international relations. – *Not even close because the mere connections, or dealings, between homosexuals presents no moral distinction for concern from dealings and connections between heterosexuals of the same gender. So why would the Catechism make an issue of a non-related point? It wouldn’t. It’s not relative to the overall point.

            b. Sexual intercourse. – ***DING DING DING! WE HAVE A LOGICAL MATCH HERE!!!!

            6. Reference; regard: in relation to your inquiry. – *No. Because no previous reference was established in the Catechisms statement to refer back to.

            7.
            a. The act of telling or narrating.

            b. A narrative; an account.

            8. Law The principle whereby an act done at a later date is considered to have been done on a prior date. –

            *Obviously none of these are a fit here.

            Now do you see any definition that fits best into the overall context of the Catechisms passage? How about maybe…. just maybe…. (I know this may sound far-fetched) but maybe the Catechism is using the word (in its plural form) ***RELATIONS*** as a CONNOTATION FOR INTERACTION ? Lets find out shall we?

            relations [rɪˈleɪʃənz]
            pl n
            1. social, political, or personal connections or dealings between or among individuals, groups, nations, etc. to enjoy good relations -

            *Why would the Catechism passage even note this use of the word, because there is no sin involved with this connotation. And there is no distinction in this non-sexual relation between same-sex genders than there would be between heterosexuals of the same gender. So this definition would be pointless in the Catechism’s use.

            2. family or relatives -* Obviously not.

            3. Euphemistic sexual intercourse -*DING DING DING!!! OH LOOKY HERE? THERE’S AN OBVIOUS MATCH AGAIN!!!!!!

            Now instead of going back over “pope” Fwanky’s idiotic use of the word in his bait-and-switch context where he talks past homosexual actions, I’ll simply reiterate my original simple point ONCE AGAIN:

            WHY, OH WHY, did “pope” Fwanky FAIL TO MENTION THE GRAVE DEPRAVITY IN THE SIN OF HOMOSEXUAL ***RELATIONS*** (SEX ACTS CHRISSY. SEX ACTS) in his touchy-feely nice and tolerant diatribe about God’s love for the homosexual? God loves them. Great. God loves everyone. Great. Everyone’s a sinner. Great. God loves all sinners. Great. That’s sweet. Glad we got that cleared up. That probably converted veritable hordes of gays and lesbians into Christianity! Right? And they understood from “pope” Fwanky that their horrendous unnatural gravely depraved and completely dysfunctional acts of sexual abominations are absolutely VERBOTEN according to the Catechism AND the NATURAL LAW ITSELF – Right Chrissy? Right?

            The Homo-Nazis got that point right Chrissy?

          • miaceves

            Being offensive/sarcastic doesn’t get your point across better, you know.

          • Strife

            Really? St Anthony of Padua was accurately called

            ‘The HAMMER of The Heretics’

            Now why do you suppose that was? Because he (like me) didn’t suffer fools gladly when it came to Truth. And when intentional idiots begin to nag and whine using the same old exhausted tripe – I become impatient and intolerant. You can tell yourselves lies all day long. Just don’t insult my intelligence by making me an accomplice in your delusions.

            Oh and, actually yes. Being sarcastic and offensive most certainly DOES get the point across.

            It’s lovingly called a “spiritual 2×4 across the forehead”.

            And you’re welcome.

          • miaceves

            I didn’t say anything about my beliefs or yours, yet you’re insulting me already. I’m simply saying that insults are not conducive to the Socratic method or evangelization.

          • Strife

            When dealing with sophists – insults are often the ONLY thing that is conducive. Socrates has his limitations.

            But then, Socrates was fond of teenage boys after all.

          • miaceves

            Wow.

          • Strife

            Wow what? Socrates’ well documented homosexuality? Wow.

            Insults when dealing with sophistry? Wow what?

          • miaceves

            Wow, you were right all along. Your precise and relevant arguments have made me see the Truth.

          • Strife

            See. Now you’re using sarcasm. And why? Because what else is left?

            So tell me – how many homosexuals were converted AWAY from their depraved sex acts by “pope” Fwanky ‘The Tolerant’? Because he loves them and stuff and “pope” Fwanky doesn’t “obsess” over their gravely disordered sex lives so…… they don’t have to give up their twisted sex lives- Right?

            Because TOLERANCE! And FEELINGS!

            Because God loves loves LOVES them regardless!

            Right?

          • miaceves

            I was trying to make a point. My sarcasm didn’t help you listen to me any better. Did it?

          • Strife

            Of course not, because you were substituting sarcasm for truth. While I have been using sarcasm to SUPPLEMENT Truth. I’ve been hearing you from the start. Have you been hearing me? No.

            You and your ilk in here have adhered to this pope’s false gospel of “Nice” and his false virtue of “Tolerance”. And you are now playing by the Devil’s own rules: You’re actually trying to out-nice and out-tolerate the Father Of Lies. The Murderer From The Beginning. In fact, you’re being less tolerant of my adherence to my mean and rude ole orthodoxy than you are to the Homo-Nazi’s dedication to their nice polite homosexuality. And you think this is a winning spiritual strategy?

            Let me know how this works out fer ya.

            Because Truth always wears the nice and polite hat of white, and evil always wears the mean and rude hat of black. Right? Because the Devil is never a crafty insidious sumb*tch is he?

            Nah! Of course not. The Devil and God are both stereotypical cartoon characters.

          • JoFro

            So, do you like have a blog or something?

          • Strife

            Not yet. I’m resisting it. But the Holy Spirit might have other ideas.

            I have too many weaknesses to keep to myself, and God uses that brokenness to serve Him. And to serve Him openly.

          • JoFro

            Heard of Mundabor’s blog? You’ll probably like it! :D

          • Strife

            No I haven’t. I’ll check it out. Thank you.

          • Strife

            Ever read Ann Barnhardt’s blog?

          • JoFro

            I dunno! I’m kinda liking it!

          • Strife

            Oh course you are. Because passion attracts souls.

            “Nice” has its place and time, and so does a little “Cleaning of the Temple” as Our Lord demonstrated.

          • Christopher Lake

            Strife, I attempted to engage the substance of your arguments in my last reply to you, but I apologize if I was unclear, or if I seemed like I was engaging in obfuscation. I will try again.

            From a linguistic, contextual standpoint, the Catechism’s intent in the use of the word “relations” is clear, when, in the following sentence, those “relations” are described as having taken a great variety of different forms in different cultures down through the centuries. Do you truly think that the Catechism is speaking about *intimate sexual* acts in that sentence? It seems clear to me that it is *not* speaking about sexual acts, but what can I say? I would certainly hope that my reading comprehension is good. At the university I attended. I majored in English and minored in Philosophy and Religion and graduated cum laude.

            Again, the Pope is speaking as he does, in the statements at question, because he is speaking of people with homosexual tendencies as *human beings first*. The Catechism speaks of them in this way– because they are human beings first, made in the image of God, both before *and* after we consider their homosexual tendencies. The Pope is not denying the Church’s teaching about the sinfulness of homosexual acts. That teaching is clearly stated in the Catechism, and Pope Francis has described himself as a “loyal son of the Church.” You do know that when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he described a same-sex marriage bill in Argentina as the work of Satan, right? He is a consistent Catholic. In word and in deed, he treats people with homosexual tendencies with respect as human beings made in the image of God. He does not condone homosexual sex though. He loves *all* sinners, but he hates *all* of their (my, your, his) sins, because sin is an offense against God and is harmful to us and to others.

            I questioned whether I should write these last thoughts to you, but in the end, I decided to do so. I hope that you take them with respect, as they are intended, because it really does matter how our comments and replies come across to *fellow humans being* with whom we are interacting on the internet.

            Your reply to me here is, quite frankly, frightening. Surely you know that using all-caps, in the way that you are here, is commonly construed as shouting on the internet. This will not help to get any of your points across at all. Moreover, my name is “Christopher,” not “Chrissy,” as you derisively call me. Similarly, Pope Francis is not “pope” Fwanky. Your venom for him, and for me, personally, is palpable here. Addressing me in this way, while also using all-caps so much throughout your reply, really does make you look frightening and out of control. It makes me wonder if you speak to people, in person, as you have written to me, and to others, here. I hope that you will carefully consider my thoughts. God certainly knows that I am a sinner and that I have regular need to avail myself of the Sacrament of Penance. I strive to treat people with respect, on and off the internet, but I fail too at times. I thank God that He is merciful in providing us the Sacrament.

          • Strife

            Really Chrissy? Really? Those different forms throughout history ARE sexual actions:same-sex activities in pederasty, pedophilia, orgies, as part of pagan religious practices, culturally tolerated, limited to the aristocracy, between family members or extended relatives, as initiation rites, a practical utilitarian substitution, etc… etc.

            But tell me, why oh why would the Catechism even care (as a moral, much less a theological matter) about any other sort of “relations”?

            And again, I just dissected the entire array of the grammatical use that the word “relations” could even remotely have on its own, and when used within the even more limited context of this passage in the Catechism – the meaning is abundantly clear. So again, why would the Catechism even care about the benign definition of the word “relations” within the clear context of homosexual sexual activity, Chrissy? Riddle me that?

            Or better yet, describe EXACTLY what sort of “relations” the Catechism IS describing. And explain HOW those “relations” are even relevant to the context of the sin of homosexuality and why the Catechism would even be concerned with that?

            And you keep emphasizing *human beings first* Really? No kidding? Can you name ANY SIN that doesn’t involve THE HUMAN BEING FIRST? Do we commit sin in a vacuum of the soul? Somehow without the human being first and foremost? Well, no, or else it wouldn’t be an actual “sin” now would it? Well no. No it wouldn’t. But see, this emphasis of *human beings first* clearly establishes a false dichotomy between the intrinsically evil nature of homosexual actions, and the implied innocence of the sinner themselves. The possibility of the two do not negate one another. They are not mutually exclusive.

            Because, you see, whether or not the homosexual person is truly guilty or innocent within their heart via the definition of concupiscence or genetics or environment or the phase of the moon or “pope” Fwanky’s latest filter of Moral Reletavism of “Who am I to judge” bilge, or whatever …. it really doesn’t matter. And why? BECAUSE THE SEXUAL ACTIONS OF HOMOSEXUALITY ARE INTRINSICALLY EVIL. PERIOD. They are never ever ever acceptable as a moral good. End of story. BUT THIS POPE NEVER EXPLICITLY STATED THAT TO THE WORLD IN THAT STATEMENT. AND THAT’S THE PROBLEM HERE. He left a bait-and-switch half-truth with the world as he talked right past the moral crux of the matter. Because apparently ACTIONS only matter when they help the “poor”. But SINFUL SEXUAL ACTIONS ARE REALLY NO BIG DEAL WITH “POPE” FWANKY. Because “OBSESSION” or something. And because FEELINGS! trump everything.

            Did you hear that Chrissy? I had to shout because I simply can’t dumb it down for you. So, you know, with all of that higher learnin’ ya’ll have I thought I might have to SHOUT IT THROUGH YOUR EGO in a hopeless effort to appeal to what ever is left of your commonsense. Do yah git that perfesser? I’ll bet not. Because by now your pride is so bruised it’s fuming and your commonsense is now officially murdered and buried in the back 40 acres of your Id.

            Now, one last thing Chrissy, you just engaged in the textbook tactic of the Left. You just pulled a “Moby”. You just “concern-trolled” my position in an effort to shut me up. You’re attempting to create a collective “concern” in here of my use of CAPS and my complete lack of any respect for your idiotic and overtly PRIDEFUL position. And of course, since that poses a threat to your image and reputation, you are desperate enough to pull the ole “Hey whoa! This guy seems like he might be dangerous because… you know CAPS and slang names equate to climbing water towers with high-powered rifles or murderous killing sprees!” or some such implied nonsense. Well no, Chrissy. None of that is implied by my words in here. But that’s an easy dodge for you isn’t it Chrissy? Yeah. Yeah it is. It’s
            also pathetic and juvenile. I’m just a guy typing on a computer, as you are. So try to get your histrionic panties un-bunched and take it like a man. Mkay? Oh and hey, thanks for passing that tacit JUDGEMENT ON MY SOUL CHRISSY. Apparently you’re qualified to know my heart to the degree that you can predict my ultimate actions beyond the confines of this insignificant forum. You’re qualified to determine that my sarcasm and CAPS equates to psychopathic violence. Because, you’re “normal”. Outstanding. Do you also raise the dead, heal the blind, and make the lame walk, and think that a cigar is really a form of Freudian sexual repression? Do tell. On second thought, keep it to yourself. You’re an over-educated idiot and your predictable opinions bore me. I’ve been surrounded by that tripe most of my professional life. Hell, I used to spout that garbage myself. So save it.

            But hey, your pride is at stake here – and you have to do something because you’re certainly losing the hell out of
            this argument at the simplest level of commonsense and elementary sixth-grade grammar. Hence your attempt to elevate your diminishing stature with all of your marvelous scholastic achievements. So again – you’re just clinging to your pride and your idiotic excuses in order to save face. And your long-winded references to your academic achievements clearly verifies that observation. “Hey! I’m smart! I have degrees that tell me so! So there is no way I could be wrong about this! Because I have degrees that tell me I’m smart and stuff!” How very Pharisaic of you. I wonder how many more sarcastic insults it will take before you actually start posting your SAT scores and GPAs? Not many more I’m sure.

            But here’s the real crux of my ire in here Chrissy (and especially with you), I’m simply fed-up with all of you “pope” Fwanky apologists who continue to polish his turd-like words with a never-ending stream of cognitive contortions and psychobabble extrapolations and scriptural parsing and new and enlightened grammatical interpretations of the Catechism. Enough already. Enough of the excuses.

            What is so terrifying to you about the possibility that this “pope” really is a pathetic excuse for The Vicar of Christ, Chrissy? Tell me that.

          • Christopher Lake

            Strife, I did not pass “tacit judgment on” your soul. Yes, I admitted that your manner of engaging here frightens me, and that is even more the case with your latest reply, which is so filled with personal insults toward me, and continued, vitriolic disrespect of Pope Francis, that it is clear to me now that you are no longer interested in having a genuine conversation. Yes, I did speak of the Sacrament of Penance, in relation to how we engage with people on the internet, partially because of what I have seen from you here– and I spoke of *my own need* to avail myself of that Sacrament, sometimes, for my own behavior on the internet. However, I did not pass judgment on your soul, tacit or otherwise– not any more so than I did with myself, and none of us can *finally* judge him/herself. We can discern and make wise, faithful choices, based on that discernment about our behavior, but that is ultimately between you, God, the Church, and your well-formed conscience (well-formed by the Church and the use of right reason). I only spoke of what I have seen in engaging with you– a good bit of what seems like “shouting,” via much use of all-caps, and personal insults toward me and the Pope, including repeatedly addressing me and him as “Chrissy” and “‘pope’ Fwanky.”

            For anyone who is still reading these exchanges, other than Strife and me, please look again at his latest response to me. The personal contempt shown for me and for the Pope is visceral. I am all for having a respectful debate, but Strife, that is not what you are showing that you want from me here. You simply seem to want to rant and vent. I have tried to discuss and debate with you respectfully here, but that endeavor has led to your last reply, and the message I have received from it is loud and clear. You want to insult me and the Pope, because you think that we are “Modernists” who are in the “Church of Nice.” Blessed John Paul II, who is soon to be canonized, and Pope Benedict XVI don’t seem to share your views about the Catholic Church since Vatican II (even for all of the very real problems in the post-VII Church that they *did* acknowledge!). They express concerns, yes, but they also express hope, joy, and faith that the Spirit is still abidingly at work in the Church, producing committed followers of Jesus Christ. I am not hearing hope and joy from you at all. I do hear a very zealous kind of faith, but I’m not sure how to understand it, specifically in relation to how you write about Pope Francis and the Catholic Church, both today, and in the fifty years since Vatican II. If you think that the current Pope is so utterly awful, and that all of the Popes since Vatican II have been similarly awful, then I cannot help but wonder what your thoughts are, as to how the Church is ever going to come back to her senses, in your view (not mine), and elect a Pope which you would understand to be a good, faithful one.

            I love our current Holy Father. I don’t think that he is a perfect man, by any means, and I pray that he continues to grow into his role as Pope. I do think that he could choose some of his public words a bit more carefully at times. He himself has admitted to struggling with naiveté. Again, I pray for him. However, I don’t believe that I have begun to approach his level of radical commitment to Christ and personal holiness. This Pope is teaching me, and I am listening. He has challenged me to grow in holiness and to increasingly turn my back on any potential idols in my life. He is growing into his role, and I pray for him to continue to do so. He is a far, far better Pope than I could be, I know that without a doubt! Anyway, I truly wish you well, in Christ and His Church, for the new year. On that note, I will end my part of our discussion.

          • Christopher Lake

            P.S. Strife, as for Pope Francis supposedly thinking of homosexual sex as “no big deal,” in your view– this simply does not make logical sense, given his documented opposition, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, to the same-sex marriage bill in Argentina, which he described as the work of the “father of lies.” People who have little qualms with homosexual sex don’t tend to speak of Satan in relation to the legalization of same-sex marriage! Again, I wish you well in Christ and His Church for the new year. Now, I will go.

          • Strife

            Whoa. What? I’m vitriolic and insulting? Well Hallelujah! At least PART of my point sunk into your ignorant and self-righteous skull. GOOD! (OH THOSE DAMNED CAPS AGAIN!!!! THEY’RE SO VERY VERY PAINFUL!!!)

            Let’s see, in your effort to dispute your tacit judgement upon my soul you actually engage in MORE TACIT JUDGMENTS AGAINST ME. Brilliant.

            Now let’s boil down the entire motive of your position in here: FEELINGS!

            You whined ” I am not hearing hope and joy from you at all. I do hear a very zealous kind of faith, but I’m not sure how to understand it, specifically in relation to how you write about Pope Francis and the Catholic Church, both today, and in the fifty years since Vatican II.”

            First of all Vatican II sucked. And all of the popes since then have had varying degrees of suckiness (mostly minor) whenever they began to advance the “Spirit of Vatican II”. However, while all of these Popes rightly advanced the Joy and Peace of God’s Love for us, they did so by emphasizing the REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING OF THE CROSS AS THE ONLY WAY TO THAT PEACE AND JOY. And see, that’s exactly what you refuse to get. And that is what “pope” Fwanky intentionally avoids. You both seem to think that Christ is ultimately about some small worldly notion of HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY!!!. But listen son, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

            Tell me, why would you assume that this conversation should be entirely “nice” “tolerant” polite, and free of any anger or vitriol? Why? We’re talking about Eternal salvation versus Damnation. Can you think of any topic that warrants MORE highly-charged emotions than that?

            “The Spirit of Vatican II” which SUCKED, was beginning to be remedied with JPII and Benedict’s call back to the Redemptive Suffering of the Cross. HOWEVER, the Devil has seen to it that his horrid clerics in the College of Cardinals have replace “The Spirit of Vatican II” with the even suckier “Spirit of Fwancis”. And what is at the heart of this “Spirit”? LICENSE. License to give our sins a pass. To “tolerate” the sinful actions of others. To give ourselves a spiritual pass of accountability by NOT holding anyone else accountable for their INTRINSICALLY EVIL ACTIONS. And when exactly have you heard “pope” Fwanky speak the theological Truth of INTRINSICALLY EVIL ACTIONS? Well, you see, that might make people feel bad. And God forbid that anyone should feel bad. Because FEELINGS! are apparently the most precious and vital virtue of all. Right? RIGHT? Well, no. WRONG! in fact. Because if you actually read Scripture (and NOT just the Gospels like these Liberation Theology screwballs like Fwanky suggest. because you know, there actually IS quite few other Books in the Bible BEFORE AND AFTER the Gospels that actually GIVE CONTEXTUAL MEANING TO THE GOSPELS) you will find that Our Lord and His Disciples were actually quite OFFENSIVE to peoples FEELINGS on numerous occasions. In fact, Our Lord had NO TOLERANCE for sinful actions.

            And it’s quite remarkable that you should spew: “I am not hearing hope and joy from you at all. I do hear a very zealous kind of faith, but I’m not sure how to understand it..” Now ain’t that fascinatin’? Where did you ever get the silly-@ss notion that zeal for the faith was a bad thing? You say you don’t know how to understand it? Well my friend, dig this: Right after Our Lord gives us the touchy-feely sprit of the Beatitudes, He turns right around and gives us this little Spiritual 2×4 across our foreheads. Note how He throws down zealous righteousness with the LETTER OF THE LAW (that would include those pesky MORAL LAWS that hurt our precious feewings. WAH!!!! *sob*!) Here’s how Our Lord lays it down *with gusto* :

            Teaching about the Law.

            17* “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
            18Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part
            of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. 19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 20I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:17-20

            Now then, his very next passage definitely applies TO ME. His Teaching About Anger. And I am currently in direct violation of SOME of those Teachings. And I’ll gladly take the beating for that. And I’ll take it like a man: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

        • Caroline

          Wasn’t Jesus also enigmatic, refusing to answer the Pharisees’ questions the way they wanted, speaking in parables?

          • Strife

            The problem Caroline, is that Pope Fwanky is actually answering the world’s questions exactly the way the world wants to hear it. He’s actually selling people Christ without the cross and he’s signaling to his American flock that God is love, and the rest doesn’t really matter. And Christ’s merciful words are now being received not as love that requires redemptive sacrifice, but as license to excuse our sins.

          • JoFro

            I’m trying to like this Pope – I really am. I’ve even gone to the lengths of blaming the media for not covering his statements on abortion.
            But there are too many vague sounding statements that you expect from your local liberal Parish priest, not the Pope of the Catholic Church.
            Also, there is the whole “look, he’s so humble” attitude, which seems more like a false humility.
            It’s as though anything to do with Tradition for this current Pope is something bad.
            That the LCWR nuns are still waiting to be shown the door while the monks and nuns of the FFI are being divided up and broken down by the Pope’s right hand man tells me pretty much what this Pope thinks of tradition – and it’s worrying.
            I think many devout Catholics are aware of this – yes, even Catholics on the Patheos blog but they are afraid of saying anything against it because for years they have had to deal with lib Catholics who openly mocked and attacked the previous Popes, while still claiming to be “devout Catholics”
            They’re worried they’ll be doing the same thing the liberals did and it worries them and so, they’d rather show they are loyal than show that they think the Pope might be wrong – which is weird because as devout Catholics they’re loyalty lies not to the Pope but to his office, not to any high-ranking prelate but to the Bride of Christ and her spouse, our Lord Jesus Christ.

        • Neko

          I remember you. A convert and a zealot. Oh the great Tradition must trump all decency. Is this what you want?

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25765845

          Honestly, perhaps you should have some humility and learn from your betters like the Pope. Talk to your priest. You are out of control.

          • Strife

            This pope is no one’s “better”. There has never been a man who was more proud of his “humility” than this poser. And Homosexuality will always be a violation of Natural Law (our natural design). So what does your link about Islamic violence in that fish-wrap have to do with the time of day?

            And as far as zeal? Dig what Our Lord throws down about righteous Tradition of the Law. Can you taste the flavor of the zealot?

            “Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these
            commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:19-20

          • Neko

            Spare me the quotations, I know this story better than any other.

            I hate to see a man deranged by religion, I really do. And a Pharisee at that! May your God have mercy on you.

          • Strife

            Spare me your ignorance – you know nothing.

            You little gods are quite boring in your own captivated insanity of self.

  • A Neat Thought

    It’s funny, the slogan NOH8 on his face… just as it is supposed to represent a plea for no blind hatred toward the LGBT community, it can, in being seemingly branded to the pope’s face, represent a counterplea for no similarly blind hatred of the Church and her community.

  • Christopher Lake

    Thank you, Marc. This is truly one of the best pieces on our current Pope that I have read since the beginning of his Pontificate. You “get” Pope Francis. I wish that I had had your God-given wisdom at your age, but alas, I was not raised in a home with a strong Christian foundation of any kind. It’s never too late for conversion and deeper conversion though. I am living proof of that truth. Thank you for helping me to see, again, better than ever, how Pope Francis is calling everyone to conversion and deeper conversion, respective to where they are with Christ, who is the ultimate radical, the God-man Himself. God bless you!

  • irishpol

    And as our Modernist pope and our bishops “feed the poor” and promote secularism as the work of Christ, Catholics embrace homosexuality and humanism as the new religion. The “first” and greatest Commandment we have been told is to love the Lord with our whole hearts minds and souls; to love our neighbor as ourselves is the “second” Commandment. Your opening line of “living by-the-books Catholicism is utter nonsense. Either you don’t know the Catholic faith or you are simply making up lines to fit the theme of you story.

    This pope, and those that preceded him back to John XXIII, have all but abandoned teaching the the dogmatic truth upon which our Church was founded. The faithful are no longer taught the evil of sin. These popes and bishops no longer teach that the Catholic Church is the one true Church, but preach that any religion is acceptable as long as one is faithful to the rules of that religion. Even atheism will get you to heaven if you “follow your conscience” this pope tells us. And the secular world, especially the media love it. This pope is their guy. They’ve finally gotten a pope that is boldly eading the charge away from the true Catholic faith into the murky world of humanistic Freemasonry. God help those who foolishly follow.

    • Christopher Lake

      Irishpol, what gives you the Papal authority with which to decide and declare that “this pope, and those that preceded him back to John XXIII have all but abandoned teaching the dogmatic truth upon which our Church was founded.” You sound much more like a Protestant, analyzing and criticizing the Pope from outside the Church, than a Catholic who submits to what the Church herself teaches– that it is the *Church’s teaching authority* which has the divine authority to interpret Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. *You* do not have the authority to interpret Scripture and Tradition and then to judge all of the Popes since Vatican II as having (according to *you*) all but abandoned teaching Catholic dogmatic truths.

      • irishpol

        It is interesting to read your response. Your criticism of me demonstrates how little you know about your faith. You obviously are not even aware that it is your responsibility as a Catholic to know the truth about your faith––regardless of who might teach you otherwise. Yes, we certainly should follow the pope and bishops when they teach and proclaim the truth; but not when they teach heresy. And if you are not aware that popes have taught heresies in the past, you are completely benighted.

        The idea of drifting along in some kumbaya wonderland of the Church of Nice is foolish. Are you not aware how dramatically the Church has been ripped apart in the past 50 years? For some, perhaps you, the soapy humanism and redistribution of wealth catechesis being doled out by Modernist priests and bishops is the answer; but for Catholics who still want to follow the true Church, it is not. Still, you have a choice; learn the dogmatic truth of our Church and follow it, or blindly accept the Modernist teachings of this pope and most bishops.

        St Pius X saw this day coming when he condemned Modernism. You, apparently, are either unaware of this heresy or fail to understand how deadly it is. And there is one reason for this; you have not been taught. Perhaps you are too young to recall the Church before the Second Vatican Council. If so, you are not as fortunate as those who have.

        But it is interesting that you accuse me of “Protestantism”. If you were to better understood your faith and the history of the Church you would realize that the false ecumenism taught by the Modernist bishops is doing precisely that––Protestanizing the Catholic Church. Read about it and learn; rather than reflexively criticize those who have already made that effort.

        The “Modern” Catholic, of course, sees none of this. They are really not unlike the political liberals who know nothing about the Constitution, but are quick to criticize conservatives who insist on strictly following that Constitution and the rule of law. Similarly, traditional Catholics insist on following the dogmatic truth of the Church. But for those who are so foolish as to refuse to learn those truths and simply say “follow the pope” no matter where he leads, be aware, that when “the blind follow the blind, they both wind up in the pit”.

        Still, if you think this Modernist pope and bishops are leading you and others toward salvation, perhaps a look around you might wake you up. Of course you can do what the Modernist bishops do when confronted with these charges, they just blame something else––much like our current president. Nevertheless, here are just a few of the “fruits” that have resulted in the Modernist changes in the Church since the Second Vatican Council that you seem to want to embrace:

        unmarried Catholics live together with their “significant other” without so much as a whimper from the pulpit;

        homosexuality is completely ignored by the bishops and priests, and even this pope has refused to openly and forcefully condemn it;

        according to a recent poll, practicing Catholics are just as accepting of homosexuality as non-Catholics;

        married Catholic men and women practice birth control with impunity and actually believe that it is not sinful;

        over half of the Catholics who still attend Sunday Mass on a regular basis do not believe in the Real Presence;

        Mass attendance on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation is in a veritable free fall;

        The Sacrament of Confession has been so widely abandoned that even the USCCB considers it a serious problem that should be addressed.

        And that is only scratching the surface. And if it makes you feel better, you have plenty of company.

        • Christopher Lake

          Irishpol, I used to be a Protestant. Now that I am Catholic, yes, I do have to know my faith, but I know it through studying Scripture and Tradition, as *authoritatively interpreted” by the teaching authority of the Church. You presume to stand above that teaching authority and judge it to no longer be sufficiently “Catholic” according to *your* interpretation of Scripture and Tradition. Unfortunately for you, you are not the Pope or the Magisterium. About Vatican II, have you actually read and studied the official documents that were issued from the Council? There have obviously been many problems in the Church, post-Vatican II, but a great amount of those problems have been because of priests, nuns, and laity following the supposed “Spirit of Vatican II’ that has almost nothing to do with the actual *documents* of Vatican II. I have studied Vatican II at an orthodox Catholic graduate school, the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family Studies. The Council documents are sound. The implementation of them has been woeful to almost non-existent in many parishes. My parish is an exception though, and the fruits are visible to be seen. Thanks to good young priests, many other parishes are also now *truly* implementing Vatican II. Bringing back Gregorian chant and solid homiletics is part of that process.

          • irishpol

            There is little chance that I will disabuse you of anything you believe. The same may be said of me. Nevertheless, it might be beneficially for each of us to share our thoughts on where we differ in our understanding of the Catholic Church, as well as what is necessary for the salvation of mankind. I will make every effort to express my points as respectfully as I am able, and if my earlier comments were unnecessarily personal I apologize.

            First let me say that I believe we are both working the same side of the street; I genuinely accept the fact that you are a faithful Catholic who is doing what you believe is necessary to please Jesus Christ and to be with Him in heaven. The same can be said for me. Where we differ is our understanding of the Church as it is today. And yes, it is all about Vatican II, and yes, I have carefully read all of the Council documents, as well a great many of critical Council critiques. But I’m not sure one finds the “truth” in merely reading those documents. You see, the deviousness lies within the ambiguity that was intentionally built into them. That ambiguity has not only be well documented, but it has recently be affirmed by none other than Cardinal Kasper, an absolute Modernist Cardinal and close confidant of Pope Francis.

            For your information, I am not a convert, but a cradle Catholic. I am an old man but had the great fortune of being raised by devoted Catholic parents. I am a daily Communicant and have been so for over 30 years. I do not take my faith lightly. My purpose in commenting on these sites is not to annoy or harass others; it is only to do what I can to wake them up. I was an Altar Boy during the reign of Pope Pius XII, and watched with others as the Church changed. It actually began prior to even the beginning of the Council. The first changes to the Sacred Liturgy began in most parishes in early 1960, and remember, the Council didn’t even get started for another 2 and 1/2 years. But what you should know, is that when it did begin, all criticism as to what was going on in Rome was silenced. Catholic Newspapers (like the Catholic Standard and the Catholic Review) were told to publish only what they were told, or cease publishing. Almost all complied, and for that reason, virtually all catholics were left in the dark as to what was going on until high speed internet (2000?) truly threw “open the windows of the Church” and let the fresh spirit of truth flow through.

            In spite of the fact that the Church was founded by Jesus Christ and will never end, She has not always been “holy”. Church history is fraught with instances when popes and bishops lived contemptible and disgracefully immoral lives. Indeed, the entire Church for a great number of years refused to believe that Jesus Christ was actually God. This was the heresy of Arianism, which was warmly embraced by a pope––Pope Eusebius! Ultimately, St Athanasius won out and convinced the Church of the truth, but during that time he was exiled numerous times and even threatened with death. There are many other instances in Church history where popes and bishops have gone in a very wrong direction, but that is to be expected, because they are human. But each and every one of us have been given the dogmatic truths of the Church which we expected to learn and follow––regardless of whether we are told something to the contrary by the pope himself.

            Yes, there are many good and holy priests in parishes today, and you are blessed to have benefited in that regard. But the bishops are a different story. there are very few holy bishops. I know a statement like that is troubling for you, but it is the sad truth. And an even sadder truth is that priests who insist on adhering faithfully to Church dogma, who insist of preaching that there is such a thing as mortal sin and that there is a heaven and a hell, are not favored by the powers that be within the Church. The recent removal of Cardinal Burke (a staunch and rare traditionally leaning prelate) from the Congregation of Bishops and his replacement with cardinal Wuerl (a total left-wing progressive who recently removed a priest for refusing to allow an unrepentant lesbian to receive Holy Communion) was important in this regard. It is this Congregation that exercises a powerful voice in the identification and selection of future bishops. This action all but assures that future bishops in this country will not be those holy priests that you referred to, but rather, future bishops will be those priests who support the team.

            You mentioned about reading Vatican II, so let me make a suggestion for you. Read, instead, Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica. You can find it online and it’s not as obtuse as the title might sound. It is incredible, and it is one of the greatest Catholic works ever published. It’s immensely long, but it’s worth the effort. This work was the teaching document that was used for centuries by the Catholic Seminarians to teach young men how to be priests. And just so you know, it was the principle teaching tool used in Seminaries up until…wait for it…yes, Vatican II. It was superseded by other more “relevant” and “modern” works thereafter. I’d throw out some names of those who were considered more important, but they were Modernist and I’m sure would mean nothing to you.

            And just so we’re absolutely clear, I have absolutely no differences with the Catholic Church. My complaint is exclusively with the bishops. Unlike the Modernist popes and bishops, I believe that the Catholic Church is the ONLY Church. All other religions are false. And as Obama would say, period! That is not a politicly correct statement and it is absolutely inconsistent with Vatican II. But it is dogma, and dogma does not change. I also embrace the dogma of Religious Liberty––not the Vatican II version, but the traditional understanding of Religious Liberty that was taught for centuries. If you didn’t know, Vatican II teaches that man has a right to practice any religion. that is false and that is a heresy. There is only one Church, the Roman Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ,and that is the only religion that one has the “right” to practice. There are many other serious “errors” embraced by the Council, but I’m not sure that this forum or this writer is the best place for one to read about them. I would be happy to suggest any number of sources if you were interested, but I’ll simply let it go at that.

            Again, I apologize if I came across as being snarky or condescending, either in this post or my earlier ones. that was not my intention.

          • Christopher Lake

            Irishpol, thank you for your response. I appreciate it very much and agree with you about many of the objective problems in the Church. I actually wrote a lengthy reply to your response, but for some reason, even after seeming to have been posted at the site, it has disappeared. I’m not sure why, as I tried to engage your thoughts carefully and respectful. I do apologize for my earlier, somewhat confrontational way of addressing you. I simply do not agree with you that the recent Popes are Modernists, nor do I agree that the documents of Vatican II are not in keeping with the historic Catholic faith.

            Due to the length of my earlier, now lost response to you, I no longer have the time to thoroughly address all that you wrote– but I do affirm, as do the VII documents, that the Catholic Church is the one Church that was founded by Christ as necessary for salvation. Of course, the Church has also taught, historically, that it is possible for non-Catholics be saved, via invincible ignorance and good will, but the missionary mandate of the Church to all people remains. On these subjects. post-Vatican II, I recommend Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, “Redemptoris Missio.” If you haven’t already read that Papal document, you should be very encouraged by its Catholic evangelistic fervor! I also agree with you on the importance of studying the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. Blessings to you.

          • irishpol

            Thank you, Christopher; I’m sure we’ll talk again. Merry Christmas.

          • Christopher Lake

            You’re welcome, irishpol. Thank you for the discussion. I look forward to interacting with you in the future, should our paths cross again, in God’s providence! Merry Christmas!

  • http://www.exclusivechurch.com/ Lorenzo Fernandez-Vicente

    ‘The Catholic Church refuses to consider the person as a “heterosexual” or a “homosexual” and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God.’ You do not, you merely insist that the very fact that one is a creature of God means that attraction to the opposite sex should be inbuilt and a default position, the rest an aberration and disorder. The recent ‘theology of the body’ phenomenon and political will to ‘protect’ the traditional model of family makes you sound almost like a fertility cult.

    • Strife

      Uhm, all of nature is a “fertility cult”. It’s called Natural Law. And it is the basis of all creation. If a species cannot reproduce – it becomes extinct. Ergo, homosexuality is the ultimate evolutionary dead-end. Sodomy itself is completely contrary to the natural human paradigm. And please, don’t cite the worn out and pathetic examples of “homosexual” behavior in other species. The vast majority of those cases are examples of hormonal miscues from the estrous cycle. And even within the cited species those activity’s rare occurrence makes it a clear statistical anomaly.

      If anything, the homosexual movement is truly an unnatural Cult of The Culture of Death. And its god-of-self wages war on the natural design of Nature and Life itself.

      • Lamont Cranston

        Uhm, it might be called “Natural Law”, but apparently out in real nature same sex stuff occurs all the time. It’s strange what desperate lengths whiny bigots will go to in order to avoid reality.

        • Strife

          “uhm” yeah. And that “same sex stuff” is a statistical anomaly – even within lower species. But do you know what else happens all the time in nature and on a vastly larger scale? “Uhm” reproduction. How ’bout that? Crazy huh? Welcome to reality. Why, it’s almost as if all of creation were designed and guided by that most fundamental premise of all reality. No? Well, yes. Welcome to Natural Law. It’s quite self-evident. So what does that tell us about the rare occurance of “homosexual” activity in nature? Well, mainly, that it is a dysfunctional and a disordered action contrary to the natural order of life. In other words, dysfunction can and does occur in nature – but even a naturally occurring dysfunction is STILL a dysfunction.

          But hey? Why stop there? Since you see fit to take your moral cues from lower species, why not accept ALL their “natural” behaviors? Why don’t you advocate the moral acceptance of the rest of animal behavior: incest, pedophilia, pederasty, sex with other species, murder without conscience, cannibalism, the consumption of feces, the stealing of property, and in essence the survival of the fittest? Why are you so selective in your misguided hijacking of Natural Law? Why do you insist on avoiding reality with your unnatural bigotry? Why are you a “bigot” towards nature itself?

          • http://www.exclusivechurch.com/ Lorenzo Fernandez-Vicente

            So what does that tell us about the rare occurrence of “homosexual” activity in nature? Well, mainly, that it’s rare.

          • Strife

            Uhm… yeah. That’s my point. It’s rare. It’s an anomaly. It’s a statistical ABNORMALITY. It’s abnormal. Or for you ‘Young Frankenstein’ fans – It’s “abby-normal”

            Thanks for inadvertently reiterating my point. And for wasting 2 minutes of my life in replying to you.

          • http://www.exclusivechurch.com/ Lorenzo Fernandez-Vicente

            occurrence, double c, double r, e and your logic is as bad as your spelling

          • Strife

            Well, a typo – that certainly destroys my entire rationalization and logical progression of thought. When you can’t defeat the reasoning, point out the typing errors.

            You win!

            Well played sir. *golf-clap*

          • Strife

            Yeah, about that, before this you just posted

            “Natural Law has v little to so with the birds and bees.”

            Unm….. is v a word?

            Brilliant.

          • Strife

            Wait. What? I did spell it right. “occurrence”

      • http://www.exclusivechurch.com/ Lorenzo Fernandez-Vicente

        Natural Law has v little to so with the birds and bees. It’s classically defined as our rational participation in God’s eternal law. I don’t even know why I bother to reply to someone who’d insult me and call me a sodomite. But hey. it’s Christmas.

        • Strife

          Natural Law is first and foremost our observable natural design and function. And if rationally extrapolated through – yes, it does lead to the realization of the Divine Creator. You’re creating a dichotomy of thought that does not exist in the Law.

  • http://www.iris-hanlin.com/ Country Girl’s Daybook

    Well said, as always, Marc. Bless you!
    http://www.iris-hanlin.com

  • johnstan

    It is wonderful that Pope Francis’ spontaneity has resonated. Like his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, he is Catholic. I am a bit saddened that the Marc quotes Pope Francis (before he was pope) but doesn’t given him credit for:

    “Today, the Church provides a badly needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a “heterosexual” or a “homosexual” and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life”.

    The pope is Catholic. He excommunicates those in authoirty who seek to who defy the tenets of the Church. He loves the sinner but hates the sin. This is the Catholic Church. He is a son of the Church…as was Benedict and JPII before him.

  • $35730304

    Rush does not revile the Pope! He points out that his economics sound vaguely Marxist, and Rush has a different emphasis. But that doesn’t mean that we revile, hate, or abhor the Pope for erring a bit on the redistribution side. After all, we are really big on redistribution, when it is VOLUNTARY.

    • Msironen

      Considering the huge increase in productivity and profits but almost completely stagnant worker income in the recent decades, it’s clear that there’s a grand redistribution scheme going on.

  • Edward M Killilea

    sin v sinner

    the Pope will commend sin.
    ie homosexuality acts, divorce, abortion etc

    the sinner need not be commend by Francis, you or me that’s God’s problem.

    However the Church is not just sexuality morality, man v female ordination, economic egalitarianism Catholic/Christianity is much much more.

    It is the belief that God sent his Son to Redeem Man.

    For What??

    To get to heaven.

    Interesting question: When does a sinner get forgiveness?

    Only if one asks for forgiveness. Yes! One must ask.
    Forgiveness is not automatic.

    Fear of God v Mercy of God

    Interesting dichotomy

    Will God accept us if “I live my way”, if “No one can tell me what is moral/right”,
    if “I am what I am and the “officer Krupke” must understand”, .

    I would not bet on Forgiveness but again that’s God’s problem i.e. the Judgement the Punishment or the Mercy of Forgiveness

    Yes! There is a hell.

    His Way is the Church’s way.

    The Church doesn’t understand, is wrong, is not loving etc.
    I know better.

    Silly! the argument seems to be I v God

    Guess who wins in the end.

    ed killilea
    kearny nj

  • Blink

    Can someone explain to me how we can all be creatures of God and yet people with a homosexual tendency are “objectively disordered”? Surely God meant homosexuals as much as he meant heterosexuals? You talk of natural law and procreation, yet the Church also accepts evolution. If one looks at the role homosexuals often play in our society (in the arts for example) then it is clear that they evolved (there being an evolutionary advantage for communities) as a natural part of our society – as part of God’s deliberate design. The church cannot cherry pick evolution (although it seems to want to, just as it cherry picks Leviticus to justify prejudice against gays yet not those who eat shellfish or shave their beards).

    The church draws upon old Jewish law to justify a prejudice against a section of the community that even 2000 years ago the Greeks and Romans (from whom we get Logos – Reason) regarded as simply normal, because any Reasonable person could see they were. 2000 years ago! Jesus may have said he came to fulfill the laws, but he later added – that rest upon loving God and one’s neighbour as oneself. This rather prominent small print is simply ignored by the Catechism and weasel-legal arguments used to justify obvious un-Christian behaviour.

    What sticks in the craw is not so much the subject (gay people) but the obvious hypocrisy and irrational prejudice. Gay people today signify this in the same way that the church’s persecution of Jews came to do so (indeed, disgusting though it was, it could be argued that there was more solid Biblical evidence to back this up – yet now it is viewed with horror and shame).

    I think it is a tragedy that the Pope has been greeted by such delight by the “outside” world – a tragedy for the church. Because in their naivety in embracing a Pope who does not (yet) appear anything other than orthodox simply because he has indicated that he does not wish to persecute gay people and wants to act like a Christian should – by mingling with the poor – it shows how far the church has detached itself from basic Christianity, which is beautiful in its simplicity and the vast majority of ordinary people recognise, even if the “properly Catechised” do not.

    • TomD

      The homosexual inclination is objectively disordered, not the person.

      For more detail, see, especially para. 3 and 10:

      http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html

      and also the relevant sections of the 1994 English translation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 2357-2359, which can be found here:

      http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/epub/index.cfm#

      The Church teaches that certain behaviors and inclinations are disordered, not people.

    • BRWMT3

      I think you’re making the point, in a sense – that we as Catholics do not define persons as “heterosexual” or “homosexual”, but as persons – precisely because we are children of God. Frankly I think the cherry-pickers are those outside of the Church, particularly of the more “liberal” (for lack of a better word) persuasion, who wish to re-create God and His natural world in their own image and to pick and choose whom is worthy of human rights. To argue that there must be a God-ordained (or, at least, evolutionary) purpose to every predilection of the human mind and body is absurd. Where is the objective beauty and divine purpose in genital activity between persons of the same sex? Of course these things exist in the persons themselves, because there is the potential for beauty and purpose in every human life – a truth which the Church upholds more than any other entity, in her opposition to abortion, euthanasia, etc. But within the sexual act itself, Catholics see the purpose and beauty of God’s design only within the context of male and female – specifically, husband and wife. And you know what, if people don’t agree with that, fine – but don’t call it prejudice against persons, or hatred, or persecution. It’s a definition of sexual morality that excludes certain acts, along with many others that would also (and, in some cases, only) apply to heterosexual acts. The Church is consistent, rational and holistic in its approach to human sexuality. And I can’t possibly see how any serious study of the Catechism could conclude that the Church “ignores” Christ’s directive that we love our neighbor as ourselves, or that the Catechism justifies uncharitable behavior toward any person. That’s absurd.

  • Peter Hardy

    Just because that priest supported the ordination of women doesn’t mean that’s why he was excommunicated. Far from it if you look at the catalogue of his disobediences (whether just or not), and consider how many female ordination-supporting priests aren’t excommunicated.

  • http://deshackra.com/ shackra sislock

    Haha, I now feel what it is like to wait for a new publication ofThe Illustrated London News for something written by G.K. Chesterton, and be pleased. :D


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