The Catholic Herald in the UK has a good profile of Francis


Meanwhile, in the secular attack media, it looks like the first line of assault to take shape is “He’s a fiendish fascist and a coward who washed his hands in the victims of the Argentinian junta.”  Think “Ratzinger the Nazi” and you more or less get the picture of the campaign the principalities and powers are quickly assembling.

Meanwhile, places like Rorate Coeli continue to wet themselves that he’s a damn librul.  One guy over in Fr. Z’s comboxes has already declared him an antipope while RC is dramatically having the vapors at “the horror“.

So, damn librul and reactionary monster.  Sounds promising to me!

If you hear a thing being accused of being too tall and too short, too red and too green, too bad in one way and too bad also in the opposite way, then you may be sure that it is very good. – G.K. Chesterton

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  • Ryan

    Rading that stuff by the traddies, I’m reminded that if you talk to traddies here in Denver, they will declare Chaput to have been a total disaster and an enemy of tradition, etc, etc. To any reasonable person, Chaput’s time here was an obvious success, but these traditionalists are utterly lacking in perspective. So, I also doubt all these local views coming from traditionalists in Buenos Aires. Traddies have shown they are willing to calumny anyone who doesn’t cowtow to them, so everything they say should be treated with great caution.

    • TMLutas

      I find it useful to ask people who I find fit the model you describe what is their description of success and how we would get to that state. It is an exercise that usually allows for some delicious verbal jujitsu as these people tend to expose themselves as head in the clouds, radicals with unrealistic goals on impossible time frames. It is not a set of labels that they are used to and occasionally shocks them into salutary reflection on what success really would look like and how to realistically accomplish it as well as what their part in the process should be.

  • Noah D

    I consider myself blessed beyond measure to have lived in the papacies of Blessed John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and now (I hope) Francis I.

    Especially considering what I’m learning in my Medieval Europe class, and that’s with a good, even-handed dyed-in-the-wool Medievalist professor…

  • Thomas Tucker

    The comments at Rorate are hilarious. Those guys really illustrate the old adage about being “more Catholic than the Pope.”

  • Jordan

    Honestly could not stop laughing reading that thread on RC.

    • Thomas Tucker

      They really are beyond parody, and have no self-awareness of how ridiculous they are.

  • Faith-Free

    There’s a big difference between Benedict’s stint in the Hitler Youth and Francis’s support for the Junta, and to try to obscure the issue by blurring the two together as though they’re equivalent is a rather pathetic attempt at obfuscation.

    • RS

      I wish I were as blessed as you to have all the answers about this man’s past in under 7 hours since his election was announced to the world.

      • dan

        That Faith-free is something else.
        Just say a prayer for the person.

  • TMLutas

    I hope that this is not accurate “Where do his political sympathies lie? Certainly not on the Left. Those who know him best would consider him on the moderate Right, close to that strand of popular
Peronism which is hostile to liberal capitalism.” If I understand peronism properly (and it seems to be a bit of a mess so I could very well be wrong) that would make Pope Francis a corporatist. I hope to read up on his actual views. Does anybody have some good sources for this?

    • Kevin Tierney

      Corporatism is a pretty loaded concept. Even distributism, looked at from a certain point of view, is “corporatist.”

      I’m not a distributist, nor am I a dye in the wool capitalist. Then again the Pope’s economic views don’t concern me. He isn’t a consumerist, and he isn’t a socialist. As long as he’s not one of those things, one can make Catholicism work.

      • TMLutas

        All theology, to work, needs an accurate understanding of the world-as-it-is. It is the combination of accurately understanding the world and applying Christ’s message to it that makes an effective Catholic and that’s never more important than in the case of the Catholic who is Pope. So I agree that for certain values of work, Catholicism can be made to work if the Pope avoids certain obvious errors. My assertion is that it will work better the more errors the Pope avoids. Economics is one of those fields that is not essential to understanding Christ but if you get it wrong, things get progressively weird and dysfunctional.

    • Dan C

      He has avoided liberation theology. You would find this appealing.

      He has not been too fond of free market capitalism. He has many public comments against it, and some comments calling out the wealthy as not doing enough for the poor,

      He is less clear about exactly how he fits. I suspect European economic liberalism is out. Socialism is out. It is likely he has a high degree of respect for governmental authority, and the role of government in the lives of its citizens. But this is supposition based on culture and some previous relationships with the government.

      • TMLutas

        There is nothing wrong with a Catholic, especially a priest, saying that the rich should do more for the poor. It is a critical part of what makes capitalism in reality better than the caricature that socialists like to paint it as. If that is what Pope Francis is doing, then hurrah! he’s doing it right. But that’s not the peronist critique of capitalism as I understand it. Peronism seems so incoherent, however, that I think it best to not do more than pray that the Pope has clarity in these issues and to wait for information (ideally from his own words) on what the truth of his position actually is.

        I am somewhat encouraged at the idea that the Pope believes in getting out there in society and living the gospel. A 5 star chef who makes a good wage does more for the poor when he teaches them to cook nutritional and tasty meals within the bounds of food stamps than he would if he were taxed an extra $500 a year so the local poor can buy an extra ho-ho a year each. This sort of thing is orthogonal to the usual conservative/liberal fights and exactly where the Church should be.

  • ryan

    You can also be sure that the Traddie Rage will turn against Benedict XVI. It’s already starting. They’re going to denounce him for being a traitor and a lazy old coot who should have died in office and protected the Church from “modernists.” Next stop, sedevacantism.

  • Terry

    I just visited Rorate – unbelievable. One commenter even wrote, “I will not obey.”

    Dissenters will be dissenters.

    I am so happy we have a Pope again – and this one loves the poor Jesus. The first great sign was when he came out on the loggia without the mozzetta and the papal stole, and stood there, Ecce Homo style – no waving, no fan fare. I couldn’t be happier!

    • Andy, Bad Person

      I stopped reading Rorate forever just yesterday when I read a comment, that was left up, that essentially hopes Pope Francis dies soon.

    • Dan

      “I will not obey.”
      Oh, please tell me they’re not seriously considering schism!

  • ryan

    The traddie comments at Fr. Z’s blog are equally hilarious. Here’s one exchange:

    Sane person:“God bless our Holy Father. I’m thrilled, and I love him. I stand with Peter.”
    Traddie: “You are thrilled with the election of a man who hates the faith? You stand with Judas!”

  • Kevin Tierney

    Father Z finally was able to get something up, and he gives basically the kind of attitude that should be given by true traditionalists.

    Here’s what he wrote. As with anything Fr. Z does, agree or disagree, you skip it at your own loss.

  • Greg

    I knew something was ringing the memory bell. Then I found it. Good ol’ Chesterton…
    “They were content to follow Francis with their praises until they were stopped by their prejudices;
    the stubborn prejudices of the skeptic. The moment Francis began to do something they did not understand or did not like, they did not try to understand, still less to like it; they simply turned their backs on the whole business and “walked no more with him.”
    No man will get any further along a path of historical enquiry in that fashion. These skeptics are really driven to drop the whole subject in despair…” – from St. Francis of Assisi by GK Chesterton

  • Alister

    I found myself in a rather head-spinny moment this morning, when I had non-Catholic leftist friends of mine declaring “So much for progress!” on one side, and Trad Catholic friends declaring “So much for Tradition!” on the other, both declaring what a terrible Pope he’ll be for his attitudes on exactly the same topics.

    Whereas the more I read about the guy, the more I’m filled with hope for the future of our church.

  • EdL

    America Magazine also has a series of quotes that seems to offer a glimpse into Pope Francis’ priorities:

  • EdL

    a series … seems …
    Yeah, subject verb agreement. At first I thought I made a mistake.

  • EdL

    subject-verb agreement
    Oops! Forgot the hyphen.

  • EdL

    No wait a minute. I introduced a dependent clause with the relative pronoun “that.” The quotes … seem…
    That’s how it should be. Sorry.

    • Dustin

      Nope. “Series” is the subject, even with the interposed “that.” Either “a series of quotes that seems to offer. . . ” or “a series of quotes seeming to offer . . . ” You were right the first time. It’s still a singular subject.

    • Bill M.

      Even if you had been wrong, charity would have inclined us to ignore the error. :)

  • Molly

    Not so much thinking “Ratzinger the Nazi” as the situation with Pope Pius XII. Although in this case it seems as though he was almost stuck in an even harder position, as in order to “save the lives” of some of these people he would’ve had to endorse heresy. No one is asked to put their own soul in eternal peril to save someone else’s earthly life.

    • TMLutas

      Pope Francis seems to have pulled the needed rabbit from the hat (if we are speaking about the incident of the two liberation theologist jesuits taken by the junta of the day), neither endorsing the two jesuit’s liberation theology, nor allowing them to end up dead.

  • antigon

    Regarding Saint Francesco’s, in addition to Xavier, Dr. deSales & Il Poverello, the early (immediate?) successor to Loyola as head of the Jesuits was St. Francesco Borgia, relative of Lucretia, Cesare & of course Papa Alessandro Sesto. May Papa Francesco prove more like the saint in that family than its Pontiff!

  • Terry Davis

    That Chesterton will make for a mighty fine Facebook status, especially since it sums up my thoughts about Francis nicely. Thanks for posting it.

  • Kate

    Thank you for the post!

    It seems like some people have actually found a way to put tradition above God, or mercy, or love. Have they really lost sight of the most important. This is not a modernist Pope. He is a gentle soul and will win converts just by being who he is.

    The Holy Spirit knows what we need more than we do. If he becomes a martyr after this, just imagine the explosion of conversion we would see in the world immediately.