Combox Star Chamber Reactionaries Across St. Blog’s Deliberate, Figure out What’s Wrong with Francis

Turns out his problem is that he’s just a garrulous old fool who runs off at the mouth and gives the MSM all sorts of opportunities to misunderstand him.  No wonder comboxers who are more Catholic than him panic and declare him a traitor.

That sort of thing never *ever* happened when good Popes like Benedict were in charge. And Reactionaries *never* freaked out and called *him* a traitor.

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  • W. Randolph Steele

    And, of course, the MSM is too stupid or evil to understand what the Pope REALLY was saying. Only US TRUE CATHOLICS ETC know THE TRUTH!!! Frankly, I’m sick it. A commenter on the Pope’s interview summed up best “90 percent of the people the pews have no idea about any of this and this is where all the trouble starts” For most of us this is about as important as all those angels dancing on the head of a pin.

    • IRVCath

      Which is why more catechesis is needed.

      • Paxton Reis

        Which is why this is a wonderful opportunity to evangelize.

        • PalaceGuard

          Which is, I believe, precisely what Francis is doing, based, in part, upon the admirable perception that it is bloody difficult to offer faith, hope, and charity at the end of a ten-foot pole.

      • Chris

        Or even more, more proclamation of the basic Gospel message.

        • michicatholic


      • W. Randolph Steele

        No it isn’t. You assume that people haven’t been taught well enough and this isn’t true. Most of us were very well taught we simply may or may not attach as much importance to things that matter a lot to you. In fact, I’m sick of hearing about “more catechesis” for everything. I am a former seminarian and I did very well in theology. My wife is a pastoral associate with a Master’s Degree in theology and we don’t agree with you. The average person in the pews is guy just trying to do the best they can and don’t care about these “combox controversies” and they are right.

        • Dan C

          Exactly. I am tired of the “poor catechesis” nonsense. Hogwash. Dan

          • Obpoet

            Before I converted, I used to take misguided pleasure in asking Catholics about the Immaculate Conception. Over 90% of them mistook it for the virgin birth. You are correct, catechesis is not poor, it is abysmal.

            • Alex Marsh

              It’s got better. I converted to Catholicism (from I’m-not-really-sure-what-I-believe-so-probably-Agnostic) quite recently, and they have improved it. They made sure to look at what we understood and what we didn’t, and hammer home the stuff we didn’t. We even got given copies of the catechism to study, so we wouldn’t forget. I still refer to mine.

            • michicatholic

              And that’s going to kill them and send them to hell, I suppose. Not.

      • michicatholic

        No. It’s why conversion to actual Christianity is needed.

        • Donna

          You know, you say things like this, but then I read your disparaging comments about your fellow Catholics above. You say they wouldn’t know orthodoxy if they saw it; that they spout nonsense; that they’re all about skirting the minimum, they don’t read the bible, they run over you in the church parking lot and on and on. Do you get on your knees and sincerely thank God that you’re not like the rest of those dumb sinners? Pope Francis (or Papa to many, and what’s the big deal that you feel the right or the need to correct another poster on that point?) draws so many to Christ because he radiates love, which is a very powerful and attractive force. Anger, bitterness and an attitude of superiority toward others will never further a conversion toward Christianity.

          • michicatholic

            I’m only telling the truth, Donna. It’s about time somebody did. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.
            I know what the real problem is: I broke Catholic Commandment #1–Always speak in platitudes so everyone feels affirmed and no one ever has to face any (gasp) specific ideas or (gulp) actual communication.

            • Donna

              No, you’re not speaking the truth. Luke 18:9-14 contains the Truth – The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.

              9He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.c10“Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.11The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector.12I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’d13But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’e14I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”f

              • michicatholic

                Mere mention of conversion gets this. Apparently Catholics don’t want to be converted because it might improve them. They’d rather stay “humble” and ignorant.

    • S. Murphy

      “this” what? ‘These combox controversies’ which ones? Abortion? You don’t see a relationship between ‘love your neighbor’ and ‘don’t shitcan your baby?’

      • michicatholic

        How about the relationship between merely “like your neighbor some” and “don’t run over him in your panic to get out of the church parking lot while leaving mass?”

    • michicatholic

      Yup. For the insiders, this is a tragedy. For everyone else, if they noticed, it was a mildly good thing, IF someone else in the Church, who has to administer it on a local level, remembers he said it a month from now–or even comprehended what he said–which is a big fat improbable “IF.”

    • enness

      Well, the New York Times does show a particularly dogged determination to distort and sensationalize.

  • StumbleBumble

    “No wonder comboxers who are more Catholic than him panic and declare him a traitor.”

    Nothing new under the sun as it will pretty much be this way until the Good Lord calls Papa Francis home…in the meantime, I am on board with my Papa.

    • michicatholic

      He’s probably not your papa unless there’s something we don’t know. He’s the pope.

      • Heather

        … which is derived from the same word we get “papa” from. And which IS “Papa” in Italian.

        • michicatholic

          If he’s speaking Italian, then why is the rest of the sentence in English?

          • Heather

            The point was that the word “pope” means “papa” and in fact in some languages is the exact same word. Using it in English is an informal expression of filial affection. Why on earth is that inappropriate?

            • michicatholic

              Because in English we don’t talk that way.

  • Maggie Goff


  • ganganelli

    This can only come off as butt-kissing but it really is remarkable how closely Mark’s Catholicism matches the Pope’s. Not obsessed about things liturgical such as the old mass, altar girls, etc. Pro-life and pro-family but in a way that tries not to alienate those trying to do their best in this wounded world. Consistently anti-war and anti-torture(which brought him a lot of heat from the Catholic right). And deeply suspicious of our hyper capitalist economic system that caters to the rich and oppresses the poor.

    To steal a line, it’s like reading Francis through Mark Shea.

    • B.E. Ward


      • michicatholic

        (Like I’d ever have to look all that far to find a scandal. LOL)

    • Dan C

      Benedict was this way too, and JP2 was also, when he avoided his right wing handlers. Let’s just say that most conservative apologists and bloggers avoid Benedict’s actual words and deeper texts for a reason. There are about six repeated quotes no longer than three sentences of Benedict that make the rounds.

      • contrarian

        Hi Dan C,
        “Benedict was this way too…”
        I think you’re right about Benedict regarding some things wrote–he’s probably much more ‘in line’ with JPII and Francis on a whole host of things. Yet we should remember why he, as opposed to JPII and Francis, is held in high esteem in trad circles. Regardless of the quotes that make the rounds–and more importantly, the ones that don’t–Benedict will forever be a hero in traditional circles because he lifted the insane restrictions in place regarding the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass. Before the changes that Benedict brought, TLM-loving/preferring Catholics were at the mercy of bishops who more often than not forbade it, and cared rather little that Catholics in their diocese wanted it offered.

        I mean…it’s crazy to look back at how things were, and what the ‘official’ rules were prior to Benedict’s Motu. Priests were *forbidden* from celebrating the TLM by their bishop, and the rules were such that being ‘properly docile to a bishop meant going along with something…well, insane.

        Can you imagine that? A priest who wanted to celebrate the TLM when his bishop didn’t want him to was being ‘disobedient’ by offering the TLM.
        Dark days, those were.
        So for this reason alone, Benedict is a hero to many.
        As for what else Benedict wrote, well…that will of course be batted around and debated by every Catholic under the sun, including trads. To most trads, Benedict was a problematic theologian who, while clearly very intelligent, wrote some wince-worthy things. But regardless, he is a hero because of his Motu.

        • TedCoates

          “Insane”?? Hyperbole of the week award…

        • Dan C

          I recently noted the biggest proponents of Benedicts theology and encyclicals have been liberals. One need only read Vox Nova prior to 2010 to see that.

        • michicatholic

          Politics, politics, politics. Is that what the Church is really about after all? I seem to remember something about a Nazarene or something like that. Does anybody remember him?

      • michicatholic

        Agree. People used to cherry-pick Pope Benedict’s stuff something awful. They didn’t understand 90% of it, but they picked out the fragments that they could use to shove their favorite cause down everyone else’s throat. I think that’s one of the reasons he resigned. Nobody was really listening to anything. They were all pointing at the weird red shoes and wishing he’d wear yet more lace or ermine or something. Even Pope Benedict can only manage to get so much froufrou on his body and no more. Eventually it gets so heavy you can’t move. 🙂

      • chezami

        It’s a bit like the way in which the one and only thing conservative Catholics remember Paul VI ever saying (apart from Humanae Vitae) was the remark about the smoke of Satan in the sanctuary. You’d think it was an infallible definition. The pope is, for an awful lot of Catholics, a flag, not a teacher.

        • michicatholic

          That’s 100% true. They take the money line and throw it around to make their own points. That’s how the game works.

    • michicatholic

      I’d like it. But liking a post about Mark Shea. Eh. Should I?

  • Tony

    Mark, I’m with you on your overall take on Pope Francis, and there’s so much to gleam from that interview, but I did find it disheartening the way he went out of his way to make the point on homosexuality, abortion, and contraception. The question from the interviewer was very interesting, “what should a women do who had an abortion, and her conscience bothers her,”. And he totally switched gears with his answer, I just found it disheartening,

    • Dan C

      His point was with regard to the Culture War. I actually like it myself. It spoke to me, affirmed something I had been saying.

      • That’s why I like the pope. 😉

    • michicatholic

      It’s glean. Glean. Gleam is that sparkle in a book-lover’s eye just before you get broadsided with a dictionary. Unabridged. Webster’s. Large Print.
      Exhibit #2,947,577,689,999,999 for the argument that Catholics don’t really ever read the Bible.

      • Heather

        Right. Because a typo in a slightly archaic word totally means that someone is Biblically illiterate.

        • michicatholic

          It does when it’s a word that’s used in at least 23 different contexts in Scripture. Anyone who actually has any knowledge of Scripture would have known the word. (RSV-Catholic Edition)

    • Usually that means the interviewee had a message that was waiting for an appropriate question and this one was considered “close enough” with no prospect of getting a closer one during the remainder of the interview. The Pope wanted this message to go out. He seized the moment to get the job done. It’s not the best segue ever done in the history of interview journalism but hardly cause to be disheartened in my opinion.

  • $16977560

    Poisonally, I get sick and tired of those who get sick and tired every time the Pope dares to disagreedy with them.
    It’s downright disenheartening.
    The wurst part is, he ain’t a True Blue “Merican!
    Whaddaya think of that, huh?

    • Rachel

      exactly David!

  • Elmwood

    One thing is certain, the Holy Father doesn’t like the Vetus Ordo or Tridentine mass. I’m afraid to go there now, I feel there is something wrong with it.

    I think i’ll stay with being Byzantine. It’s like being a minority president–you can do no wrong.

  • Zaida

    Hey, everything else aside, thanks for posting that intro to All In The Family….doesn’t that count as the best intro to any show ever….says so many things on various levels….always makes me think of a friends graddad who used to say “those who miss the good ole days never lived through the good ole days…” as well as an old african american lady who once said “let me tell ya – those were not “the days” for us!”….anyway, I LOVE that intro, and love that show! (and I loved Pope Francis’s interview….)

  • Chatsworth

    Pope Francis is just fine. Mark Shea, however, is not so fine. His obsessive, hate-filled rants against perfectly normal orthodox Catholics seem just a touch hypocritical in blogs where he appears to regard himself as the embodiment of a welcoming outreach. Yes, calling fellow Catholics bed-wetting wusses is a sure sign that you are filled with Christ’s spirit of love. That sort of hate and bitterness never prevails in the end.

    • HornOrSilk

      I sometimes find Mark to be in error, and he knows I will argue with him (and he will sometimes delete my comments, when I do, and I don’t agree with him doing so). However, “bed-wetting wusses” is low-key compared to the kind of remarks radical trads on the net to those they oppose (or the Pope, from time to time). And, really, if we look at the history of polemical literature in the Church, saints say much worse than this, too. Argue over points, not qualities of the messenger. Frustration happens, but don’t let it rule you every day so you can’t accept the good which someone you disagree with in one place does in other places.

      • Stu

        I always thought that one’s deportment was more about their own self respect rather than attempting to compare their actions against those of others and simply trying to stay above the minimum.

        • michicatholic

          For some people. And then again some peoples’ self respect is all about skirting the minimum. In fact, that seems to be a common thing among Catholics.

          • Stu

            As humans, we certainly do seem to meet the lowest standards we set for ourselves.

        • Newp Ort

          Up yours, Stu!

          • Stu

            Oh yeah!!!???

      • michicatholic

        Some saints may have been frank (or Francis as the case may be), but having a potty-mouth does not make one a saint. Necessary and sufficient are two different things.

        • chezami

          Potty mouth?

          • michicatholic

            Okay, trash mouth. Better?

            • michicatholic

              Actually I am told that St. Jerome was quite eloquent in some ways. I don’t think the presence or absence of fancy language, pro or con, is one of the things they’re looking at when they decide whether someone is actually holy or not.

          • Guest

            Actually I am told that St. Jerome was quite eloquent in some ways. LOL

            I don’t think the presence or absence of fancy language, pro or con, is one of the things they’re looking at when they decide whether someone is actually holy or not.

          • enness

            I know, that’s a pretty mild idea of a potty mouth. I know people who cannot seem to get through a day without copious profanity.

        • HornOrSilk

          Who said it made someone a saint? However, it also didn’t detract from their sainthood.

    • Dan C

      “Orthodox” is a term once thrown around extensively on the internet, especially prior to the 2004 election. It meant “conservative” and the self-proclaimed orthodox (who was just a political conservative) bought a whole load of nonsense along with their anti-abortion considerations. Respectable folks became a little more circumspect with using the term.
      Orthodoxy and Catholic Conservative are not synonymous. Mark Shea criticizes conservatives who you label orthodox.

      • michicatholic

        Most Catholics wouldn’t know orthodoxy if they saw it. They all think they’re orthodox no matter what nonsense comes out of their mouths.

    • michicatholic

      There’s plenty of hate and distortion to go around. Mark’s not the only one slinging cowpies. Not by a long shot. [Pun intended.]

  • wlinden

    i can not understand why some commenters think, as they kept insisting through Benedict’s reign, that there is some magic formula which can not possibly be misunderstood or deliberately distorted by people who have already made up with passes as their minds to hate TheChurch, and if only TheVatican would express things JUST right, these things would not happen.

    People, They ARE out to get you, and are determined to force anything emanating from TheChurch into what they want it say.

    • michicatholic

      A little bit paranoid, are we?

      • enness

        Do you believe in Satan or not?

        Some do his will unwittingly, but they do it all the same.

        • Since Satan is simply, the enemy, one would have to be pretty credulous not to believe in Satan. Who among us does not believe that the Church has enemies? You don’t even have to believe in the supernatural to believe in that.

          Matthew 16:23 is a great illustration. Nobody believes that Peter was demonic. That wasn’t the point.

          • michicatholic

            OH goodie. A hunt for enemies of Catholics. Can I vilify and hate everyone??? And make them hate us til they have a justified reason for kicking the stuffing out of us. Can I, can I, can I????

            • Ok, so you don’t believe in the modern relevance of Matthew 16:23. Any other parts of the Bible you’re throwing out today or just that bit?

              • michicatholic

                You’re supposed to love your enemies and wish them well. Matthew 5:43-48. You’re not supposed to vilify them. If you vilify them, and they come after you, you only have yourself to blame. Particularly if when you vilify them, you’re doing exactly what you’re vilifying them for, and they know it. This is not rocket science.

                • There is a difference between vilification and pretending that the Church does not have enemies. Without enemies, no Church should ever invest in locks for its doors. It would be a waste of money. Background checks on personnel would be another waste. The Pope should immediately dismiss the Swiss guard as well.

                  That said, loving your enemies is also essential. The two are not contradictory in the least.

  • I’ve come to the conclusion that Pope Francis is serious about the idea of converting the Church to a field hospital. This has profound implications, not all of them good. A field hospital is for reducing the number of about-to-be-dead so that they can survive long enough to get follow on treatment.

    What is the follow on treatment in this model when the Church is the field hospital? The answers I’m coming up with so far are disturbing.

    • S. Murphy

      Well, go offer your services as a long-range planner. Or analogy-tweaker. ;-}

      • You mistake me for someone criticizing or trying to push things in a different direction. I’m in the position of someone who’d been predicting general war since 1910 and I just heard the mobilization call.

    • michicatholic

      Conversion to Jesus Christ, who is the real reason the Church exists but many Catholics have forgotten that.

      • How does the field hospital model affect conversion to Jesus Christ? What is the likely result of adopting this model? What are the benefits and what are the pitfalls of the model?

        What I’m getting is, in western theological terms, concentrating on diverting people from hell to purgatory because in the present environment for vast swathes of the world’s population, that is the best that we can do. That is a profound indictment of how badly the Church has fumbled its mission.

        • michicatholic

          I don’t think that’s an over-exaggeration at all. The Church in the West has totally blown it by playing culture politics for more than a hundred years, instead of preaching the Gospel. We had goals and objectives, what can I say?

          • I don’t think that the latin rite was alone in fumbling. Don’t try to grab all the mea culpas for yourselves. Lots of those to go around.


            • michicatholic

              No. It was a total failure to evangelize and pass on the Gospel to Catholics. You can’t blame the general culture or the media for this one. Catholics have done this to themselves.

              • No what? I’m not blaming either the general culture or the media. I mentioned rite because I’m not a latin and think it’s not solely a western issue.

        • michicatholic

          Seriously, do you not know how “the field hospital model affect(s) conversion to Jesus Christ?” [FACEPALM]

          • No, I actually don’t, because the model seems to break down for a lack of follow on treatment options. So what is Francis trying to say and what model is he looking at? Is it the Alan Alda MASH model of the Korean War? Is it the modern “golden hour” scientific measurement metric centered treatment model? Those are two pretty different things. So which is he talking about in your opinion, since my question is facepalm worthy. Surely you already know.

        • MarylandBill

          In my understanding of the Church’s teaching, it seems likely to me that in every age, the vast majority of the faithful have had to endure purgatory before entering heaven. So wouldn’t that be a big win?

          • Field hospital tactics are nobody’s plan A. They are the best response available to avoid even worse outcomes. Triage deaths, purposefully allowing people to die because they are too complicated to handle in the limited time available are a stark fact of life during regular surges of casualties.

            I don’t particularly see how that’s a big win. Nobody does that unless they have too few workers to do better.

  • CatholicJames##Scott+~

    Bill Donohue whom some say is twice the man Mark Shea is(but I have suggested he is half the man Mark is but it’s hypocritical for me to sling around the fat jokes with this gut of mine. But I digress) has written the definitive analysis of the Pope’s words.

    • Stu

      Best line…

      “Pope Francis is delightfully frank…”

  • enness

    Yes, the obvious conclusion from this interview is that the Pope is too stupid (excuse me, ‘innocent’) to understand the M.O. of the likes of the New York Times. Or something.
    How quickly they turn…

  • ivan_the_mad

    “No wonder comboxers who are more Catholic than him panic and declare him a traitor.”

    The brouhaha on the Internet since the election of Francis, caustically critical of his words and actions, calls to my mind the Catholic Encyclopedia on heresy: “The impelling motives are many: intellectual pride or exaggerated reliance on one’s own insight; the illusions of religious zeal …”.

    • Andy

      well written.