I wonder the same thing as Terry Nelson

Why are Catholics so worried about the Pope and what he says?

It’s been mystifying to me that so many people want to massage what the Holy Father says and seem so embarrassed by him.  I agree completely with John Allen that Francis is part of the solution, not the problem, when it comes to the Church’s recent woes.  I love the guy.

  • Sean O

    Because many Catholics thought they KNEW what the church stood for on many issues. They didn’t. Francis is saying what the church has always said, but he is saying it more clearly. It is upsetting to Catholis whose world views that were often more formed by political party allegiance rather than their Catholic faith. For self satisfied folks the experience is jarring.

  • HornOrSilk

    Sean speaks some of it, but there is another reason. A lot of Catholics during the last two papacies were of a “Pope only” mentality. That is, they ignored bishops and the rest of the Church and thought only what the Pope said matters. So, becoming effectively ultra-montanists, when the Pope goes against their ideology, the only response is what we see now: treating the Pope as they treated their bishops before.

    • Rachel

      Part of that is also the wide mistrust of the bishops since we’ve had a few bad apples so for some Catholics, they look to the pope for guidance on everything. I’m not trying to justify it though.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      I’d agree with that except one little point: If they had actually been listening to either Blessed John Paul The Great or Papa Benedict, they would have heard *exactly* the same teachings as Francis has given. There’s been no real change at all for a true ultramontane. After all, the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, not Christ himself.

  • Andy

    My take goes along with HOS an Sean, but I would add that his very clear way of speaking and acting on what the church teaches together are much harder to ignore. He is making all of us uncomfortable to some degree but I think those who as HOS says became “ultra-montniasts” are now having their world view called out. I love his straight forwardness and his ability to speak to all of us.

  • lspinelli

    Part of it too is that Fortress Katholicus mentality that Mark talked about a couple of posts back.

    I’m quitting reading a good portion of the Catholic blogosphere because I can’t take the vitriol that’s aimed at Francis. (I’m sure I won’t be missed, since I’ve only been to the Novus Ordo.) There’s so much crazy floating around those blogs, i. e. Maria Divine Mercy, Freemasonry, antipopes, renaming the seceded South “Dixie” and being ruled by a Catholic Monarch, etc. etc. etc.

    No discernment and an astounding lack of common sense. It is indeed, as was brought up in that post, fear that’s driving this ship.

  • Sam Schmitt

    I’m not worried about the pope, just about all the people are misinterpreting what he says.

  • Dan C

    I hear this stuff about “misinterpreting” what the Pope says, and in general, the news gets it right.

    Most complaining folks want all the qualifications hat accompany a comment on mercy, etc. They can’t handle what they will call “mercy without justice” in a papal statement. They really sound like the elder brother in the Prodigal Son, in my opinion.

    The degree of “misinterpretation” has been no greater in the MSM than in religious blogs who are constantly rushing to tell us “what Francis is really saying” so as to throw cold water on the message of Divine Love.

    • Matthew

      Dan:
      Does this include when Fr. Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, has to come out and tell us Francis “is really saying”?
      Matthew

      • Dan C

        Yes, pretty much.

    • Mary E.

      Hmm, I’m thinking about your statement that “the news gets it right.” That depends on the news outlet, and how much they are

      • Mary E.

        Sorry, hit the “Send” button too soon. To pick up the thread, that depends on how much the news outlet is quoting. If they are emphasizing certain points, such as the Pope’s call to revisit the role of women within the Church while leaving out crucial qualifying points, such as his reaffirmation of the Churches position on the ordination of the women, then they are not getting it right. Instead, they are presenting a partial view that can easily lead to misunderstandings if the reader does not go back to the original source and read the Pope’s entire statement. Of course, journalists can’t reproduce the entirety of his remarks every time they report on one of his speeches, or interviews, or homilies, etc., but what they choose to include and what they choose to omit can influence the perception (and reception) of what he has said.

  • Chesire11

    …because handlers vetting statements has ever stopped the media from misconstruing what the Church or the Pope is saying. Regensburg Address ring a bell with anyone? “Dominus Iesus,” perhaps?


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