Pope Francis Contradicts Himself!

On that thing he never said in the first place!

Just after (reportedly) announcing “Abortion fiesta!  No problem! Lighten up, Catholics!” he now tells doctors not to perform abortions!  Press baffled!

Chesterton, as is his custom, gets the confusion of the media, which was exactly the same a century ago:

The great temptation of the Catholic in the modern world is the temptation to intellectual pride. It is so obvious that most his critics are talking without in the least knowing what they are talking about, that he is sometimes a little provoked towards the very un-Christian logic of answering a fool according to his folly.  He is a little bit disposed to luxuriate in secret, as it were over the much greater subtlety and richness of the philosophy he inherits; and only answer a bewildered barbarian so as to bewilder him still more.  He is tempted to ironical agreements or even to disguising himself as a dunce. Men who have an elaborate philosophical defence of their views sometimes take pleasure in boasting of their almost babyish credulity. Having reached their own goal through labyrinths of logic, they will point the stranger only to the very shortest short cut of authority; merely in order to shock the simpleton with simplicity. Or, as in the present case, they will find a grim amusement in presenting the separate parts of the scheme as if they were really separate; and leave the outsider to make what he can of them. So when somebody says that a fast is the opposite to a feast, and yet both seem to be sacred to us, some of us will always be moved merely to say, “Yes,” and relapse into an objectionable grin. When the anxious ethical enquirer says, “Christmas is devoted to merry-making, to eating meat and drinking wine, and yet you encourage this pagan and materialistic enjoyment,” you or I will be tempted to say, “Quite right, my boy,” and leave it at that. When he then says, looking even more worried, “Yet you admire men for fasting in caves and deserts and denying themselves ordinary pleasures; you are clearly committed, like the Buddhists, to the opposite or ascetic principle,” we shall be similarly inspired to say, “Quite correct, old bean,” or “Got it first time, old top,” and merely propose an adjournment for convivial refreshment.

Nevertheless, it is a temptation to be resisted. Not only is it obviously our duty to explain to the other people that what seems to them contradictory is really complementary, but we are not altogether justified in any such tone of superiority. We are not right in making our geniality an expression of our despair. We are not entitled to despair of explaining the truth; nor is it really so horribly difficult to explain.  The real difficulty is not so much that the critic is crude as that we ourselves are not always clear, even in our own minds, far less in our public expositions. It is not so much that they are not subtle enough to understand it, as that they and we and everybody else are not simple enough to understand it.  Those two things are obviously part of one thing, if we are straightforward enough to look at the thing; and to see it simply as it is.

Mirabile dictu, the Pope can emphasize that the encounter between Jesus and each human person (aka, “Love the Lord with heart, soul, mind and strength) is the most important thing and yet also say that the defense of innocent human life (aka, “Love your neighbor as yourself”) is also important.

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  • Stu

    As someone who believes the Pope could be more careful with his words, I will also be happy to say that this exchange looks like he “played” the media just as bad a Putin “plays” Obama.

    • http://canfrancisbringmeback.wordpress.com/ ganganelli

      Putin “played” Obama? The President got a middle east country to give up its chemical weapons without a shot fired. Hope he gets “played” like that a lot more often.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        The president did that? And here I thought it was Russia that made that all happen. All Obama did was saber-rattle and almost get us into yet another war.

        • http://canfrancisbringmeback.wordpress.com/ ganganelli

          Yeah and I’m sure without that “saber-rattling” Putin would’ve just coincidentally happened to call for the removal of Assad’s chemical stockpile on his own…lol.

          • Donna

            If anyone gets credit, it should be John Kerry. If he hadn’t made a hypothetical statement for Putin to run with, Syria would have been bombed by now. Seriously, though, rather than give credit to Putin or Obama or Kerry, how about acknowledging that all that happened after Pope Francis’ day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria?

            • wlinden

              “Look at John Kerry, an abject creature…”
              “I abject!”

            • http://canfrancisbringmeback.wordpress.com/ ganganelli

              The way it all worked out was clear evidence of the hand of God working through his sinful creatures. Deo Gratias.

              • InsaneSanity

                Ah, Syria has yet to turn over any Chemical weapons as of yet, and is now demanding the US to pay 1 billion for him to do so. Putin is now saying there is no guarantee that they will turn them in, so let’s not get all teary eyed about this at this point. Claims of victory are extremely shortsighted. And if this fails, then Obama will look like an utter fool; then again if the shoe fits…..

      • InsaneSanity

        Ah, the same President who has no issues dismantling babies in their mother’s womb. Oh, he’s such a hero! Go take your worship of false idols elsewhere.

        • http://canfrancisbringmeback.wordpress.com/ ganganelli

          Nice, thoughtful reply. Pope Francis will be making people like you very uncomfortable in the coming years.

          • InsaneSanity

            Truth hurts, doesn’t it. Your political hero and philosophy is no friend of the Church nor this Pope. Looks like you are already making another idol in Pope Francis – making him what you want him to be. My guess is that it will be YOU who will be mightily surprised and ultimately disappointed.

        • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

          If every single discussion about the president’s policy is going to be nuked by a reference to the fact that he’s pro-choice, then there’s no point in discussing anything.

      • emiliani

        Oh, sweet!! This is WAY better than even I imagined. So, when exactly were all those weapons taken out? Wow, that was really fast…he must not have had very many. By the way, did you happen to read yet how Syria has already missed their first deadline for weapons inspection/disposal? I’m sure it was just an oversight on their part; I’m sure they’ll make up for lost time by doubling their speed next week. Dude, even Dems are saying he got hosed. Just let it go.

  • Sean P. Dailey

    What’s the cite for the Chesterton quote?

  • W. Randolph Steele

    I just love the spin. Pope Francis is a pretty smart pol. He knows how to balance what he says. This was clearly intended to mollify conservatives and thereby keep his middle of the road stance.

    • chezami

      Mollify? Conservatives? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Good one!

    • WesleyD

      Spiro Agnew criticized the press for its “instant analysis” of every statement the president makes.

      If it weren’t for the 24/7 news cycle and the internet, the average American would have learned about Francis’ Thursday statement and Francis’ Friday statement at the same time, and we would have avoided 24 hours of wrong speculation. And the new speculation — “this was to mollify conservatives”? Do you really think that Pope Francis reads American blogs? I don’t think so.

      Let’s step back for a moment and look at what he says. Thursday he says that Jesus is central and we shouldn’t discuss abortion “out of context”. Friday he discusses abortion IN THE CONTEXT of a relationship with Jesus: every unborn baby “has the face of Jesus”.

      Note the new thing here. Not “abortion violates natural law, as I will show you by quoting Aristotle and Aquinas”. Not “abortion violates the right to life enshrined in the U.S. Constitution”. No — abortion is wrong in the context of our relationship with Jesus.

      If a conservative is someone who thinks all morality should be discussed in terms of natural law, and never in religious terms, then yes he will disappoint those conservatives. So did Jesus, who did NOT say “Every time you did these things, you were not in accord with Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics.” Jesus rather said, “Every time you did this, you did it to me”.

      • KG

        WesleyD, Pope Francis actually said just the opposite in his comments today: “In all its phases and at every age, human life is always sacred and always of quality. And not as a matter of faith, but of reason and science!”

        Natural law is the law of reason. The pope doesn’t have to quote Aquinas or Augustine or Aristotle or anyone else to make a natural law argument. When he cites “reason and science” and says it is “not as a matter of faith” I don’t know how he could be any clearer that this pertains to natural law and not special divine law. There is no division between the moral law taught by Christ and the moral law of reason. What’s different, with Christ, is the law of grace.

        • WesleyD

          Good point; you are quite correct.

          I myself believe in natural law. Even so, I have never met anyone who became pro-life because of natural law arguments. However, I have known people who became pro-life because they accepted the Gospel — and once they knew Christ, they soon realized that every person created in his image was truly precious.

          So it seems to me that this is the “context” that the Holy Father was talking about. I can’t prove this from his comments Friday, for as you said, he did refer to the sacredness of human life as being derived from “reason and science”. He also said that the baby facing abortion has the “face of Christ”, and not only the face of Christ, but the face of Christ when he “experienced the refusal of the world” in his condemnation and crucifixion. Based on what I have seen of Francis since his election, I think that the Christo-centric perspective is most central in his view, but that’s just my opinion. But I’m happy either way!

    • emiliani

      As a Jesuit Bishop, he’s no moron, that’s for sure. And if he’s been a student of his order and world history, as I suspect he has been, and he’s been reading the copious records of his Order in South America, then there’s simply no way he’s as naïve as some are thinking he is — and he’s head and shoulders above the rest of us mediocrities. Shea uses the PERFECT Chesterton quote for the media noise today. They simply can’t imagine that there’s a consistent religious principle that says value/protect human life, love/forgive the sinner, and the necessity for prisons, capitol punishment, and just war. Though I didn’t read Chesterton until after my conversion, I learned very quickly how Catholic Teaching isn’t always “either/or” but “and”. I simply don’t believe this is in fashion in polarized America right now…and I consider it a grace how effortlessly I came to understand this principle so early on. They can’t see how these issues can possibly fit together any more than they can see that there is unity in Trinity.

  • http://canfrancisbringmeback.wordpress.com/ ganganelli

    The Pope knows exactly what he’s doing. He is authentically pro-life(not just anti-abortion) and by the end of his reign we will live in a much better world.

    Mark my words. Within a year or so, no Catholic politician will be able to get away with voting to kick 170,000 veterans off of food stamps and pass himself off as “pro-life”.

    • emiliani

      Maybe some of those 170K would be better served working to provide for their families, just like some of the tens of millions of those who aren’t veterans. If I know anything of military men, I can guarantee they’d rather have jobs and work and keep Food Stamps and other in-kind aid for the truly desperate. Food stamps for millions of the able-bodied is a serious admission to significant problems in the American economy. We’ll mark your words, though. And next week/month you’ll say something similarly ridiculous about politicians not getting away with voting against health care for veterans or some useless jobs program in Tempe, AR.

      • HornOrSilk

        Maybe if real jobs with livable wages were given out, foodstamps would not be. And yet, so few really want to stop the handouts to the rich (free stadiums, TIFS, millions of dollars given to motivate a “business” to move in to a given location, etc.) Taxes are collected by the poor to pay for the rich and the poor are not given proper job opportunities. Stop blaming the poor.

        • Mark S. (not for Shea)

          Bravo.

        • Andy

          I wish I had written this – well done!

        • InsaneSanity

          Well, the reality is that some poor are to blame for their own situation in life. Both of you are right.

          • emiliani

            Sorry, not “some” of the poor in the U.S — MOST of the poor, or at least a good half of them!! The vast majority of the cause for the homeless, for instance, is spiritual and psychological and physical — not societal. Factor out substance abuse and family/personal dysfunction (we won’t count mental illness which is a major contributor), and homelessness would be substantially lower. In other words, you could give many of these folks good paying jobs, health insurance, free food, and just about anything else, and they’d still end up on the street homeless and jobless after a year or two. Take a look at lottery winners for a bit of a picture … and most of those folks weren’t dysfunctional, desperate, and poor. Come on, folks. If we can’t state the obvious truths about reality, then there’s no helping anyone.

            • http://canfrancisbringmeback.wordpress.com/ ganganelli

              Wow…what insight. You mean that if you are born to a crack addicted mother in a trailer park in Kentucky, you are likely to end up in the same situation?

              Maybe in addition to cutting food stamps, we should end universal education as well. That will teach the poors.

              • Chesire11

                Baby steps…gotta start with baby steps…

              • emiliani

                I think a lot of us would support getting rid of what “universal education” has come to mean in this country. But this is what y’all do: you’re constantly unable to address an argument (that a great many of the poor here, unlike other countries, are in poverty due to their own decisions and dysfunctions) and simply refute it factually or with common sense, so you keep changing the topic. Constantly. This inability, Gang, is the result of the “universal education” we have now; yet you think you’re making some devastatingly profound point. You actually make my point for me, though you don’t realize it: we’ve never, ever had more “universal education” than we do now, yet the poverty we have here in the U.S. isn’t affected by it in the least: the drop out rate for inner city blacks in most major cities is nearly 50%. 50% — let that sink in. It proves my point and refutes yours: you can provide education (services), free breakfasts and lunches (food), and hand out free I-Pads and laptop computers (resources) and still they drop out. 50-60 years ago those drop outs were joining the military, getting married, or having to work to support themselves; but that’s not why folks are dropping out now, for vast majority of them. (I’ll let you Google why teens are dropping out now — but I’ll give you a hint: most has to do with dysfunction of one kind or another.) Is Washington D.C.’s, Chicago’s, and Dallas’s problem the lack of access to “universal education,” or something else — like the absence of fathers and mothers / husbands and wives, and drugs? You can pretend to care about the poor, but if you’re unwilling to admit this basic fact, and tailor anti-poverty programs according, then you actually don’t care about the poor one bit. You can’t educate away vice, addiction, anti-social inclinations, or dysfunction. In fact, Gang, I’ll bet if you could replace “universal education” with “whole and intact families,” I’ll bet the poverty rate and crime rate in those communities would drop by 80%-90%. We all know it … we’re just waiting for you to come around, which hopefully you will one day. By the way, this doesn’t mean ignoring these poor, it means focusing our attention on the real issues driving poverty. Doing anything else isn’t helpful to the poor, any more than ridding the symptoms while ignoring the underlying medical cause to a medical problem “helps” the patient.

                • http://canfrancisbringmeback.wordpress.com/ ganganelli

                  Oh man you are thick, aren’t you? Read what the Pope has to say about the poor and see if it matches up with what you say.

                  The dropout rate is high in the inner cities and in Missituckybama because UNLESS you have the IQ to go to college and major in some government protected industry like medicine, engineering, etc. you have virtually no chance of earning a living wage.

                  50-60 years those same kids could work at a factory and support their wife and kids on one income. But that was before we let the capitalists ship all those jobs to China to save a buck.

                  As the Pope said on Sunday, “We must say, ‘we want a just system! A system that makes all of us move forward,’” he encouraged. “Man and woman must be at the center, as God wills, and not money.”

                  • emiliani

                    You simply have no idea why inner city youth drop out, since you obviously don’t live in or next to, work in or next to, run a business in or next to, or know anyone who lives in the inner city. It’s apparently easy for you to look at the pervasive and endemic pathologies and excuse them or look past them, because it doesn’t affect your life one bit. You can theorize about the problems and the solutions of the inner city because you’re not involved in the least bit with the inner city. I’m not sure why, but you’d rather patronize them and hector/lecture the rest of us for our causing the problem to these helpless, defenseless victims of the inner city. But it never quite works the other way: WE never cause the troubles and problems of the super-rich and famous — because, well, their addictions, exploitations, and dysfunctions are self-inflicted. I won’t bore you with the stats, but I’d prefer to identify marriage-lessness, single-parent homes, dysfunctional peer orientation, nihilistic cultural affinities, rampant drug use/trafficking, and lawlessness/criminality as closer to the true causes of poverty and dysfunction in the inner city today. I only say it because I happen to know. Show me a “typical” inner city drop-out and I’ll show you someone from a dysfunctional/broken home and family (a needless redundancy if there ever was one); gang affiliation; drug/alcohol abuse; or premarital sexual activity and pregnancy. Your patronization knows no bounds, however, when you claim that there are simply no jobs for these folks — you know, who lack the IQ and know how to land a cushy “government job”. (That’s some comment there, Gang. You’re giving hope to some of the old Social Darwinists that they were right after all about the poor.) And this “truthy” explanation you offered is perfectly proven by the tens of millions of high IQ, highly skilled Mexicans/Central Americans, Chinese, and Middle Easterners who have flowed to this country for government jobs — you know, at the same time inner city unemployment has soared. But if you think it, you say it, then it must obviously be true, right? What you say makes all the sense in the world, if I lived in your fantasy world. Keep mouthing your platitudes, however; maybe someday you’ll spend some time in the inner city and finally get to know the real problems. Or maybe I’m wrong. Readers can make their own decision. But, as Chesterton says elsewhere, we call people dysfunction, addicted, broken, and the like because they can be functional, sober, whole, and perfect — a son of God!!

                    • http://canfrancisbringmeback.wordpress.com/ ganganelli

                      Except that we know perfectly well that the drug use of the affluent is as high if not higher than those in the inner city.

                      Look, I’ll make this real simple. Would YOU rather be the child of a Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or would you rather be born of a meth addicted woman living in the sticks in Kentucky?

                    • emiliani

                      Gang, you keep trying to make this about me for some reason: I’m mean; I’m ignorant; I’m thick; I’m, I’m, I’m. I will continue, however, to make my comments about the situation of the people I’m writing about, instead of me or you. (Parenthetically, why do you argue in this manner?) This is a page out of the Democratic playbook: people who disagree with Dem positions aren’t just wrong, they’re evil. Gang, what do you or I have to do with this thread? I could NEVER imagine asking you whether you’d prefer being the child of a Kardasian or some crack ‘ho. Your question actually proves my point, though I’m sure you won’t see it that way: the crack addict is presumably the worst option precisely because of her choices and the addiction she acquired at some point in her life, while Mitt seems like a pretty decent guy. And just know one more thing: your arrogance in continuing to rip on the “sticks” of Missakentucky (or whatever you wrote) is awful and off putting. You really should think about this attitude of superiority of yours. Jesus, and countless “hick” saints, were ripped for precisely the same humble surroundings of their lives and youth. You, however, apparently seem to think there’s something inherently morally superior about living in cultivated urban centers and metropolises of the country — a very interesting attitude, to say the least. Again, I’ll allow your words and comments to reflect on you and your position, and the reader can again decide who has the better argument.

            • Chesire11

              Well, I have to hand it to you…every last word of what you wrote is indisputably truthy.

            • HornOrSilk

              What nonsense. What put them in the spiritual situation they are in? While spiritual reality is indeed behind it, the problem is not the poor (Christ said blessed are the poor not damned are they for being sinners) but the rich who ignore them and the situations which create injustice. That’s the spiritual problem

              • emiliani

                I never mentioned the rich, never said a word about it. Thanks for bringing it up, though. Like the original article says: far too many here glum on to “help the poor” and “compassion and charity to the poor” while ignoring the prohibition and censure of indolence, sloth, and feelings of entitlement. Here we go again: many simply can’t fathom that BOTH teachings are true. It’s simply beneath the dignity of man to give him what he can and should, in fact, earn and provide for himself and his family; doing so undermines his dignity as a child of God. You can pretend you’re doing a noble thing, but you’re undermining his dignity. I know saying this sounds cruel to many of you, but that’s because you’ve never been poor, and you’ve never known how much ridiculousness occurs in gov’t aid/programs for the poor (just look at the Obama phone to get some idea). At the same time, it is our responsibility to help the truly poor and needy: our salvation depends on it. See, both reside, paradoxically, together.

                • HornOrSilk

                  I know you didn’t mention the rich. That is the point. You ignore the real spiritual conditions creating the problems. The rich, the greed they have, and the power they have to create the context in which they poor live. The poor have less options, and often any option is imperfect, and so people like you will blame them for “choosing wrong.” But ignore the reason why they act in a certain way, the real spiritual problem which has caused the poor to be unable to do otherwise. And so you claim it is sloth, etc, but you know, this is exactly what many claim against monks, priests, etc…

                  • emiliani

                    Talk to a dozen folks really struggling in life: drug/alcohol addiction, gang affiliation, etc. — I’m sure you know who I’m talking about. Not one of them, if you ask them, will blame a rich or powerful person for their state in life or their struggling circumstances. Most will actually blame themselves or they’ll blame life circumstances that really set them back: sexual abuse, death/divorce of parents, etc. Jesus never said what you did about the rich — that the reason their souls are imperiled is because of some nonsense about their making of the reality that poor people live and struggle under. You’ve been listening to some neo-Marxist bull crap instead of the Gospel. The rich are imperiled for a couple main reasons that I can tell: One, they’re self satisfied and thereby self-deluded: thinking themselves rich and comfortable, they’re oblivious that they’re really poor and wretched; they confuse material well being with spiritual well being. Second, their preoccupation with material wealth and goods instead of spiritual ones. They become more concerned about acquiring more and holding on to what they have than charity, alms, and stewardship — problems, I daresay, everyone has. As far as I can tell, these aren’t temptation and preoccupations of the rich and powerful. These are temptations we all must overcome, as demonstrated in the parable of the Sower and the thorns. Riches are just one of many possible stumbling blocks, as well as the love of riches, laziness/sloth, envy, hatred, and the like. It’s so easy to blame folks who have absolutely nothing to do with a particular poor man’s problems because it excuses them from having to do something about it. Ultimately, you’re fine with undermining responsibility and the dignity of man, for if we’re not responsible for ourselves, then someone else is and we get a pass. I can’t remember the last time I sinned because of someone else; but I can tell you a billion times where my inclination tempted me beyond my willingness to withstand. And I don’t go around blaming the rich, the hot, or the whatever — I blame myself. How in the world can you ever repent of anything if others are responsible for you state and sin? Come on, man: let’s treat everyone like responsible men and not irresponsible children.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      Nice change of topic: the poor being poor to drug/alcohol addiction (which is rampant in all classes).

                      I love it. The preferential option for the poor is now Marxist. I bet Jesus was a Marxist revolutionary by not telling everyone why Lazarus was a beggar and it was all Lazarus’ fault and not the rich man’s fault after all.

                    • emiliani

                      Yeah, it actually is, the way y’all state it. The Bible verse is that the Love of Money is the root of all evil, which applies to the Rich and the Poor. The Old Testament had it right, as does the New: it is an abomination to favor the poor over the rich, to advocate and commiserate for the poor over the challenges and struggles of the rich, which is what you neo-Marxist do. You idealize and identify with the struggle of the poor, while you scarcely have anything to do with them. You don’t work with the poor; you don’t live among them; you have nothing to do with them–except when you say that rich folk are their real problem. You don’t know their challenges, you don’t know their hardships … and, frankly, you don’t care to. Unlike you wannabes, I actually do work with severely under-privileged kids and families. And what I say is the truth; while what you mouth is empty-headed platitudes. I’m not talking about the working poor. I’m talking about the truly destitute. Folks who couldn’t keep a job if you hired them and did the work for them. Folks so mired in dysfunction, brokenness, and addiction that the like that you simply don’t have the capacity to understand it; yet you have the unmitigated gall to blame others for their predicament … when they don’t even do it. But like some say about virulent anti-Catholics: Wow, you’re poorer than the destitute!! You’ve got plenty of faux compassion to go around the block. If you ever meet one of the people you’re so casually talking about with such expertise, maybe they’ll set you straight. It’s clear I can’t, however. The poor in Sudan are poor despite their best efforts; the poor here in America are poor for a very different reason. If you can’t understand or appreciate that difference, then you’re a complete buffoon.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      Thanks, you just called the Catholic Church neo-Marxist. Enough with you.

                    • emiliani

                      Yeah, that’s exactly what I said. Actually, I said you and folks who argue like you do are the neo-Marxist — which is why I actually used the word “you”. I know that may seem to you like a tricky slight of hand, but it really isn’t. I also said that the Church doesn’t favor the rich OVER the poor, which they don’t. I’ll be interested where you get your understanding of theology and philosophy if you think I’m wrong on this matter. Feel free to actually make an argument and cite a reference — starting with the catechism, for instance. No, you can’t do that, though. Again, you missed the key word “OVER”. I think I see the problem: you’re an average reader who can’t read carefully enough to understand what someone is actually saying, and confuses trite, glib, and sanctimonious condescension with being profound, and right. You probably went to college, or took some college-level course work, where you just inserted your opinion into whatever your read or listened to; of course, no one could disabuse you of your nonsense, so you just kept doing it over and over, and other students rolled their eyes at your “profundity”. But you sound compassionate and caring, and every-so edgy, so you probably got through with a solid B to-B+ average (although with grade inflation, maybe that’s an A- to A average now). Your reading skills don’t allow you to understand, you simply can’t follow a straight-forward statement, argument, or thought. It really is weak, and you really should be a bit more shy than you apparently are. You can argue with me, call me wrong, refute me, call me obnoxious, or whatever; but can you at least get my arguments right first? From what I can tell, you live in a world dominated by emotion and platitude, so of course you project (like an inkblot test) whatever it is that comes to your imagination first. I say one more time: you have NO idea about the condition of the poor and destitute in this country. None. You don’t live there, you don’t work there, you probably don’t even allow yourself to walk, drive, or fly by, through, or over there; you don’t know anyone there, don’t work with anyone there, and are completely oblivious about what you have no experience with. I recommend you volunteer with your parish’s jail/prison ministry and get to know some people and simply ask them some honest questions while you get to know them. Oh, yeah, and LISTEN!! You think and pretend their problems in America are with jobs and the greedy rich, when 90% of their problems reside interior to themselves (like everyone else in this country): substance abuse, extra marital sex, single-parent families, fatherlessness, abortion, criminality, broken families, sin, trauma, mental/emotional problems, and no active faith or faith community. Not ONE person (not one!!) on this entire thread has corrected what I’ve said, or stated anything to the contrary, which instead of giving you pause, makes you more bold in your assertions. But your know-nothing self can pop off like you know something. Just do yourself a favor and bite your fingers before thinking about typing anything on the subject next time … or refute something with a coherent, connected thought and argument. You can’t, so you don’t. The church is not a advocacy group or relief agency. It is the chosen vessel for salvation. It serves the poor and lowly because Christ did and does. But it doesn’t make excuses for the dysfunctions and sin and pathologies of the poor like you do … any more than it makes excuses for the extravagance and abuses and dysfunction of many of the so-called rich. See the balance? Well, no you don’t.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      You said the preferential option for the poor is neo-Marxist. The preferential option is Catholic teaching. You really don’t know what you are talking about. And what you do is show that with your rambling rants on here.

                    • emiliani

                      I knew you’d live up to your previous accomplishments in reading comprehension!! Nice. Since you don’t refute anything I say, we’ll just agree to disagree. The word “you” is imperceptible to you, as is the word “over”. Both words change the entire meaning of the sentences I wrote, which is why you can’t allow yourself to read them. And you can’t refute or argue one thing I say, so in your hissy-fit you say I’m accusing the Church of being Neo-Marxist. I never said it. I don’t accept that lie, sorry. What I’ve said remains: most people, the poor included, are responsible for their sin and their circumstances. (The mentally ill, for example, are NOT responsible — get it?) I just don’t happen to make excuses for those who lack money or vilify the “rich” (whoever they are), like you do. Have a blessed day.

                    • HornOrSilk

                      You said the preferential option for the poor is Marxist. Sorry, you just ramble on and show little understanding of anything outside of your ideology

                    • emiliani

                      That’s why the Church supported Liberation Theology, right? Except the Church didn’t (go ahead and look the term up). The “poor” isn’t an excuse for you to verbalize your crap. And believe me, you’re speaking straight crap. Why can’t you argue even one point I say? Why can’t you? My goodness!! I speak so much nonsense that you can’t even refute ONE of them!! Horn, how about this: refute ONE thing I say? Why are you so weak? Why are you so pathetic? Why can’t you contradict even ONE thing I say? Are you this pathetic? If I’m so evil and unrighteous and unchurched, my comments should have teed the ball up for your complete annihilation. Why can’t you destroy me with facts and straight-forward argumentation? Come on, big boy, shut me down; prove me wrong. Oh, you can’t; so you’re completely silent. Shame on you. You’re such a moron that you can’t explain why I’m wrong in one thing I say–not even ONE thing. Wow, you’re impressive; yet you keep popping off like you’re in you’re in an Intro to Religion course … and you have no clue what you’re talking about. Come on, tell us your GPA — you know I called it to a tee. Why can’t you set me straight with the facts? We’re all waiting with baited breath to see/read the genius you think you have in excess to smack me down; instead, you have nothing. You don’t set me straight. Typical moral/philosophical/theological bankruptcy!! You’ve now been unveiled…which means you’ll change your screen name to talk further madness. You’re so weak and pathetic. HA HA HA!! Why don’t you go ahead and say what I said that was wrong, then we can reset our argument. Wow. My problem is that I keep thinking folks like you have something to say and have an argument to make. My bad. Well, unless you prove me wrong — which you haven’t so far. Goodness gracious, please keep your mouth shut from now on. We’ll actually respect you more.

              • emiliani

                Hmm, now we’re getting somewhere. So Christ said, blessed are the poor … whether they were meth-heads, slothful, gang bangers, drug dealers, or a number of other things many of the poor are? Wow, you just came up with something no one has ever said in 2000 years of Church history. Congrats, Horn. Well, that’s not entirely true: what you just said goes along with a certain group of folks who violently “loved” the “poor” over the “rich”. You can Google it and find out who they were. And yet I’m the one who should be done away with, huh Horn?! Nice. Maybe, Horn, just maybe, you can take a few minutes to pass this by your parish priest … if you even go to Mass anymore, that is. (Can you tell me how often you go to Mass, by the way? Come on, we deserve to know … and you should have the courage to tell us!!) Your questionable exegesis of Luke is why we slide over to Matthew, who sheds some more light on your supposed explanation: Blessed are the “poor in spirit.” Oh, but that’s different, isn’t it? That changes the meaning and significance, doesn’t it!? And, though you think you know it all, “the poor” meant something in the Old Testament — but I won’t patronize you, like you do the “poor” (you can look it up for yourself).

        • Chesire11

          Well said!

          Why is it that some people imagine that charity to the wealthy is laudable, but relief for the poor is fostering dependency?

          • emiliani

            Who the hell said what you’re saying? Name ONE poster on this thread who said what you’re saying: that welfare for the wealthy is “laudable”? If you can’t, why are you posting such absolute garbage? I’m serious. I’d like to know where you actually came up with the crap you mentioned as germane on THIS thread. I swear I get so frustrated at people like you … people who simply can’t read for understanding or content — and who then think they made a devastating retort or contribution to the conversation!! You say something no one says — something almost indefensible — and then applaud your rhetorical acumen by refuting it. You follow your boy, Barack. He’s the unmitigated worst at concocting straw men arguments all the time. Just please stop.

            • Chesire11

              Cool you jets, buddy. Your gratuitous rudeness does nothing to strengthen your argument, which appears to consist primarily in making intentionally provocative statements, then immediately retreating into defensive whining about how misunderstood you are, and sneering at other peoples’ opinions. That is both juvenile, and cowardly, to say nothing of hypocritical. After whining about people making assumptions about who you are and what you believe, you are awfully hasty to assume that I am a supporter of Barack Obama (I will be charitable and assume that your reference to him as “boy” was accidental, though how anybody could be so oblivious as to make a slip like that is truly beyond me).

              Grow up an learn a little humility. Then perhaps we can talk.

              • emiliani

                I’ll do that. And you go ahead and look up sanctimony … and maybe we’ll be able to talk when you finally start paying those college loans of yours that are paying huge dividends. Once again you can’t respond to ONE thing I said. Just point out any of the many poster who mentioned welfare to the rich being laudable. You speak in demagogic hyperbole, then you can’t handle it when you’re called out. You invent half of what you write, and then have the audacity to misquote me proving your point. Then you ask me for a little humility. It’s quite something. It’s insane. I’ll move on. I can’t take it anymore.

        • Obpoet

          Wages are fine. In fact they are infinitely more than they used to be. It is stuff. Stuff just costs too damned much.

        • emiliani

          So, according to you, jobs should be “given out,” right? And who “gives” them out, Horn? To whom? Or are just wages “given out” (as opposed to earned)? Shockingly, I wasn’t responding to the points you’re bringing up, Scorn. I suppose when I’m at this site I have to not only respond specifically to something someone says, but I’ll also have to spend six days figuring out how all you folks will misconstrue my point and come up with a million and one completely unrelated comments. Can’t you people follow the actual conversation? You have absolutely NO idea what I think of corporate welfare, gov’t-approved/sanctioned monopolies, predatory business, carve outs, or any of the other things you so cavalierly mention in your post — but you assume you know me. You don’t; before you assume you know me or what I’m saying, why don’t you do yourself the favor of sticking to what I actually said and leave the inferences to others.

      • Chesire11

        Ummm…most SNAP recipients are children, elderly, or the working poor.

        • emiliani

          Nice. And what exactly does SNAP have to do with the original point I was responding to? …or do I now have to anticipate all the ridiculous, non sequitar comments that may result from my spot-on comment about 170,000 vets voted off of food stamps? And I guess it needs to be said ’cause too many people aren’t thinking too much: while it certainly is moral to pay a person’s actual medical expenses for particular services rendered to the poor, it is quite another thing to pay for 10-30 years of insurance they may not ever actually need. Supporting a man when he loses his job is a lot different than paying his unemployment insurance for 20 years, Chesire.

          • Chesire11

            The cuts were to the SNAP program. Your comment “Maybe some of those 170K would be better served working to provide for their families, just like some of the tens of millions of those who aren’t veterans,” very strongly implies that they are slackers, content to sit back and let the rest of us pay their way for 20-30 years.

            In point of fact, the majority of people on programs like SNAP are not loafers, but are hard working Americans. According to the Catholic principle of solidarity, we have a moral obligation toward their care.

            • emiliani

              So typical. You offer no evidence and make no further argument — well, with the exception of misquoting me yet again to support your contention about what I never said. It’s incredible, Ches. Do you have no shame? Is there an ounce of integrity in your method of argument? Maybe instead of stretching your fingers out before typing your response to me, you could pick up a dictionary and look up the word “some”. And while I salute your use of “solidarity” in your post, I sure wish you’d look up “subsidiarity”. That we have the Federal Gov’t, with State implementation, handing out EBT cards like they were condoms at a high school health clinic, hardly qualifies as appropriate application of subsidiarity, which is of course why fraud is so rampant in SNAP, Medicare, Medicaid, and the like (probably costing all of us at least a hundred billions of dollars–and that’s a low estimate!!). Why don’t you go ahead and disabuse me of my erroneous points … or we’ll just agree that you have nothing to say (despite your protestations), that you really know that what I’m saying is spot on (despite your factless protestations), and agree to move on with our lives.

      • enness

        Read: “veterans don’t work”/”just aren’t trying hard enough”
        I’m sure that will go over very well with the ones I know.

        • emiliani

          I never said veterans don’t work or aren’t trying hard enough; however, most of the poor (veteran and otherwise) are poor because of dysfunctional, irresponsible life choices (crime/gang affiliation, teenage pregnancy, etc.), various types of addictions, family dysfunction/breakdown, mental illness, and their recent immigration with concomitant language/cultural challenges. I defy you to go out in your community and find one homeless dude who doesn’t fall into one or many of those problems (veteran or not). Now, I don’t say that to blame the poor; but if we can’t honestly admit what the problem is we can’t help them — you can’t cure anything for which the cause is unknown.

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      Really wish I could share your optimism that “we will live in a much better world.” The Church may get better under our dear Holy Father, but as for the world… I don’t know about that.

  • Mike

    Meanwhile, in a Melbourne newspaper today:

    “Dissident priest Greg Reynolds has been both defrocked and excommunicated over his support for women priests and gays . . . under the authority of Pope Francis who made headlines on Thursday calling for a less rule-obsessed church.”

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/church-dumps-rebel-priest-20130920-2u5jp.html#ixzz2fTnrEFzm

    • Athelstane

      Of course, in fairness, these proceedings were set in motion in the last pontificate.

      In any event, papal involvement in individual cases like this is likely to be minimal to nonexistent. But that goes for Benedict as well.

  • Rosemarie

    +J.M.J+

    Ah, now the pope’s made a “bizarre u-turn” (AP’s words), according to the MSM. Sooner or later they’ll turn on the Holy Father big time.

    If they were really listening to what he’s been saying (rather than hearing only what they want to hear), they’d realize that stuff about unborn children’s faces being the Face of Christ is totally consistent with his words about human dignity and loving others.

    But they mostly missed those words because when they listen to *any* Pontiff all they ever hear is “Blah blah blah abortion blah blah blah blah gay marriage blah blah contraception.”

    • Robert Harris

      *woosh*

      That’s the sound of the point sailing over your head.

      • Rosemarie

        +J.M.J+

        Whose head?

        • Robert Harris

          Yours, and that of everyone else who is trying to co-opt the agenda of a man who doesn’t even think much of the USA into your own petty culture wars. He’s the Pope, not Cardinal Dolan. I don’t know why so many right-wing, American Catholics have this delusion that the people who are influential in the Church and the worldwide Catholic media (except for those of who are Americans in the first place) are thinking so much about us just because we’re a world super power. He or anyone else has no reason to think of this country as anything more than a modern version of what Rome was, and it, too, eventually fell, which is probably what’s going to happen to the mess that is this country sometime, perhaps even in my lifetime if things keep going the way they are (and that’s to both sides of the political spectrum, not just the one I like less). The presumption that his words have any particular meaning for the idiotic politics of this nations is further proof that the ego of this country is the size of a Goodyear blimp. If anything, they’re probably thinking, depending on any given subscription of thought that is widely held in this country (of which there are pretty much largely two; there’s a two party system for a reason, and there is a spectrum that runs liberal to conservative for pretty much the same), that whoever likes them for whatever reason will read whatever they want to into their words.

          • Rosemarie

            +J.M.J+

            Um, where did I say anything about the pope thinking about the USA?

  • jenny

    I think that the Pope is right when he said that abortion, contraception , etc. have to be seen in a context. Talking about abortion, I think that the context he is referring to, is about the joined responsibility of both man and woman on the decision to abort. So far, the church associates abortion with women only, but, what about men ? How is it called the sin of a man who kills his unborn child by starvation and lack of emotional/ medical care, after he places his unborn child in the womb of the woman? If it takes two to make a child, than it also takes two to have an abortion. So, are there priests who ask in the confessional, if men have an abortion?
    The context of abortion that the Pope is pointing to, is missing the father part….Or is it only the woman responsible to care for the child ? Any books, prayers meetings, rallies, march for life about fathers aborting their unborn children?

    • Jared Clark

      Actually, yes. “Silent No More” reaches out to any parent of an aborted child, not just the mothers. And, yes, it is a gravely evil sin for any person to encourage, enable, or provide an abortion, not just the mother’s. The reason women get more focus is a consequence of the decision legally being the mother’s, but the Church does not focus on the mother alone.

      Furthermore, the context the holy father was referring to, as said by Mark, is Jesus. We are the Mystical Body of Christ, not a group dedicated to ending the legality of two or three different sins. He is reminding us that we are Christians, and that all our moral stances are consequences of this.

    • http://www.likelierthings.com/ Jon W

      The context of abortion that the Pope is pointing to, is missing the father part….Or is it only the woman responsible to care for the child ? Any books, prayers meetings, rallies, march for life about fathers aborting their unborn children?

      I don’t know about other Catholics, but in my circles, fatherhood and men’s responsibility is a pretty huge issue. I don’t see people ignoring it at all.

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    If the conservatives are mad at you and the liberals are baffled at you (or vice versa), then there’s a pretty good chance you’re doing something right.

  • BillyT92679

    Pope Francis is downright Shea-vian.

    • Alma Peregrina

      No. Shea is downright franciscan…… Wait, that didn’t sound right :P

  • Francisco J Castellanos

    Say whaaat? He is NOT a closet progressive!!??? He, he, I love Pope Francis. A stumbling block to the conservatives, and foolishness to the liberals. It’s gonna be a great ride.

  • James

    I don’t think JP2 or B16 ever got an endorsement from NARAL.

    • Rosemarie

      +J.M.J+

      Looks like they bought into the press spin, too. But I think they posted that before his message to the GYNs. How do they feel now?

      Did you see the answer to that meme on Bad Catholic? (Warning, salty language, sorta):

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2013/09/dear-naral.html

    • chezami

      Another illustration of the Reactionary tendency to believe whatever the Left says about Francis rather than pay attention to Francis.

    • enness

      NARAL, by the admission of the late Dr. Nathanson, perjured themselves to the Supreme Court. What is your point?

      They have to have a fall guy character, too. No “Good Pope” without a “Bad Pope.”


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