Is Francis…

building Benedict’s Church?  They certainly seem to be on the same page a lot.

  • Illinidiva

    Of course they agree on Catholic doctrine, but they have completely different ideas about the Church. Benedict believed in a “smaller” and “purer” Church that involved everyone who met Benedict’s purity test hunkering down in Fortress Katholic. This I think is why many of the reactionary types like Benedict (along with his fussy liturgical style). I don’t think that neo-traditionalists thought that Benedict was going to get rid of Vatican II completely but he agreed with their absurd belief that the Church in the West was facing severe persecution. I don’t think that anyone is going to be put in jail or martyred or forced to renounce their beliefs. The most serious issue of religious freedom in the U.S. is the Birth Control Mandate, which will probably be overturned by the Supreme Court. Even that doesn’t rise to the level of persecution.
    Francis wants the Church out in the streets and he wants to proclaim the Gospel of Joy to the world. This doesn’t mean going along with the world; it means sometimes telling hard truths. (The Emperor has no clothes as O’Malley said in his quite excellent sermon at the March for Life.) However, it also doesn’t mean turning away from the modern world because it is too “scary” or “corrupting.” Nor does it mean casting out sinners without mercy or rejecting certain types of Catholics as not pure enough. This strategy means that the Church risks getting a bit bruised and rejected, but it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t worth it.

    • ivan_the_mad

      Take heart, you are mistaken about Benedict. He did not want a smaller and purer Church, the inaccurate attribution of the thought comes from a book entitled Faith and the Future, published in 1970 (ever so slightly preceding his pontificate). The book consisted of reasoned reflection and speculation. In it he does not state that he wants a smaller Church, but reflects on the possibility of a smaller Church by the turn of the millennium and its implications.

      I’ve even found a small but relevant excerpt courtesy of the Oracle at Mt. Google. You should also find, if you care to investigate, a great continuity between the two regarding evangelization.

      • Illinidiva

        I think that Benedict was much more inwardedly focused and more interested at protecting the Catholic identity. I think that he saw the Church as a personal safe haven against the big and scary secular world. It was a safe haven for someone who grew up in Nazi Germany. Apparently, Father Ratzinger was so upset by the German student riots in the 1960s that he retreated even farther into the safe confines of the Church.

        Moreover, his biggest fans interpreted what were personality quirks, a specific background (growing up in Nazi Germany), and some fussy concerns (like the liturgy) as being in line with their worldview. Father Z and his readers seem to think that they are being persecuted despite living in 21st century America. Obama isn’t going to round up conservative Christians and dump them in camps and the Church isn’t controlled by liberal priests and LCWR type nuns who are forcing people to attend clown Masses and vote Democratic. The greatest “persecution” in the Church today is the Birth Control Mandate, which is probably going to get overturned by the Supreme Court. However, despite these facts if someone went to neo-traditionalist websites,he/ she would conclude that conservative Catholics are facing great persecution. Christians who live in Syria or who lived in Nazi Germany get to make such claims of martyrdom, but Americans do not get to do so.

        My belief that the main reason that the neo-trads dislike Francis is because he isn’t interested in their tales of woe. Unlike Benedict, they cannot twist Francis’ words and actions into their siege mentality. Not only that but he is letting the barbarians and unwashed masses into the pure Fortress Katholic and even wants the pure to welcome these sinners.

        • ivan_the_mad

          I think it’s rather apparent that some see what they want to see in a pope in order to comfort their own prejudices. I would encourage you to avoid attributing to Benedict the misinterpretations of others. He is a good and holy man upon whose work and thought Francis has continued to build and expand.

          I do agree that, relative to the plight of many other Christians in the world, calling the HHS mandate religious persecution does become hyperbole; however, I do not think the mandate should be opposed any less for that.

          • Almario Javier

            The problem is that in modern political discourse, the threat has to be portrayed as apocalyptic before, it is believed, voters will act. The liberals scream that if they don’t get what they want, America will end up a backward clerofascist state; the conservatives say that if they don’t get into power Catholics will be hunted like dogs. Otherwise, people won’t pay attention to the social problems they mean to expose and treat. The problem is we have become too apathetic about real if “minor” problems that we only respond when it is portrayed as apocalyptic.

        • Andy

          Your comments about Pope Benedict being more inwardly focused on protection Catholic identity are correct – that is because he is a Catholic theologian, and most theologians regardless of denomination/faith tradition/whatever have that as their focus. Not a bad thing at all; in fact I would be concerned if it were not true.
          My problem with Benedict is that in his academic way of writing it took far to long to grasp what he was trying to say – my problem as I said, not his.
          I do find the hyperbole of persecution I read in the Catholic blogosphere to be counter-productive and in many ways off-putting. I have no problem with opposing the HHS mandate, merely that it is not a prelude to the end of Catholicism in the US.
          Francis frustrate many because he is much more blunt and clear in what he says – he has for me taken some of what Benedict said and has challenged me to live it – he has taught it if you will. He is clear that our mission is to reach all people not those just like us.
          As ivan said – take heart I think that the CAtholic church has a place for all of us, not just a few.

          • Paxton Reis

            “Francis frustrate many because he is much more blunt and clear in what
            he says – he has for me taken some of what Benedict said and has
            challenged me to live it – he has taught it if you will.”

            Exactly! And his non-European/Western perspective guides his thoughts and words, and what he communicates is disturbing for many of us in the West who live a materially comfortable life with ready access to food, shelter, entertainment, etc.

            He is a fresh and different voice in the world, but is not communicating anything different compared to the previous popes in my life-time.

            There is a pop-media infatuation with him currently as I think some belief (falsely) that Pope Francis is going to change Church teachings on a number of matters. His approach though is to uphold it and communicate the beauty of such teachings vis-a-vis humankind’s relationship and purpose with God. Fr. Barron has discussed engaging the world with the beauty the Church can offer. This is a way to plant a seed and notify the world the door is open. We do not need to win an argument or win the convert here and now; we are called to plant the seed and have an openness that God’s will will take hold.

    • Joejoe

      The birth control mandate is definitely persecution. But the gay issues are the ones that are going to cause arrests and fines. Martyrdom is likely a ways off but is still on the table.

      • Illinidiva

        No. It really isn’t and is remedied by the Bill of Rights and the Courts. And the gay people I know just want the ability to get married at City Hall and enjoy the civil benefits associated with that.

        • Joejoe

          And punish adoption agencies who won’t adopt to them. And force bakeries to bake cakes for them. And get people fired for “hate” because … well, because they can.

          • Illinidiva

            “And punish adoption agencies who won’t adopt to them.”

            When an agency decides to take grant money from a government (or private organization), the agency has to accept the rules of that grant.

            “And force bakeries to bake cakes for them.”

            People who are racist also cannot discriminate on the basis of race.

            “And get people fired for “hate” because … well, because they can.”

            That happens if you say insensitive things about anyone.

            • Alma Peregrina

              “That happens if you say insensitive things about anyone.”

              You said insensitive things about Pope Benedict XVI: a person I deeply care about because he was instrumental in my conversion.

              Are you ready to face firing and jail because of your insensitivity? Or does that works the other way around only?

              • Illinidiva

                Well.. Calling someone the f word on air is a bit more serious than me criticizing Benedict. And people in the U.S. don’t receive fines and jail terms for hate speech.. someone anti-gay will be allowed to say it.

                • James Scott

                  So I guess the “only works the other way around only” is the answer here?

                  • Illinidiva

                    Don’t use officially banned slur words against gay people on air.. Easy enough.

                    • chezami

                      There are officially banned words?

    • chad

      I hope you let the Lord take the chip off your shoulder to the same degree you want traditionalists to have their chips removed. It takes away from the many coherent things you say. What you think is fussiness has brought many people back to, or in deeper union with the church. That is what our Father wants, yes? Fuzziness in the liturgy has let many people slip away. What is not important to you can be important to others.

      • Illinidiva

        I think that it is fine for people to be edified by a certain type of worship. The Eastern Catholics certainly have very ornate worhship services and no one condemns them. The Maronite Catholics, however, don’t demand that everyone worships like them. Many neo-traditionalists, however, want a return to the pre-Vatican II Church. They want all Catholics to worship like them and appreciate their Mass. Some people prefer the Rolling Stones to Mozart and not everyone has the same worship or spiritual style. We are all individuals.

        I think that the neo-traditionalists would be seen as the Maronites (or even as the Anglican Ordinate types) rather than as the red-haired stepchild they are now if they would do the following things:

        1. Understand that people are different and have different styles of worship. No, the Vetus Ordo Mass isn’t spiritually superior and more fulfilling that the regular Mass. Yes, liturgical dance is part of worship for certain cultures and yes, people can receive Communion by Hand reverently (and Communion by Tongue irreverently.) And please stop obsessing over Internet clips of Masses you aren’t attending or writing letters complaining about how a priest wasn’t following the rubrics.

        2. Remove all the nuts from their movement. I’ve always thought that the neo-trads should be the ones most involved with getting rid of the SSPX and assorted kooks and radicals. And I’m assuming that they can find a better spokesperson than the blowhards and bullies they have now.

        3. Stop judging the sex lives and marital situations of others. The amount of tantrums over reconciling remarried divorcees with the Church in certain quarters is just odd. And no gay people aren’t prone to sexually abuse kids. And the children of divorcees, gay couples, single parents, etc. should be allowed to receive the Sacraments and Catholic education.

        • chad

          Don’t you think a traditionalist has an almost identical list for liberals? You have an impediment to appreciating things from a conservative view. It is shared by most people regardless of left or right. I like your second point, and believe liberals should engage in similar rigorous critique of their peers. Take care to expect no less of oneself than is expected of others. It does sound like you expect them to conform to your view while despising them for those same tendencies. I think that is confusing.

          • Illinidiva

            See I’m a libertarian. I’m a live-and-let-live sort of girl. I don’t really care how others want to worship; I do care that they demand that I worship like them. I don’t care if they have twelve children (as long as they can afford them); I do care that they choose to screech that I am an evil harlot and sinner for not being a submissive homemaker.

            As for point #2, the SSPX and other far right types engage in hate speech. If the Catholic left does something kooky like endorse China’s one child policy, then I’m willing to criticize them.

            And I don’t find it at all hard to follow. I hate hypocrites, Pharisees, and bullies and the neo-trads tend to attract all three. If they were minding their own business and still getting attacked, then that would be one thing. However, they are so vocal in their attacks on others and proclaiming their own Catholic purity; this is what annoys me. (See Father Z and Michael Voris.)

            • chad

              Hogish. Washish .. live and let live. That is about the last quality I would assign to your plethora of posts. :-)

              • Illinidiva

                Yes. Neo trads have made my personal life miserable growing up so I think the whining is funny.

                • chad

                  Yes, we know and have heard of your misery. You seem to take yourself quite seriously while feigning a live and let live philosophy. I just think you are dishonest. Whining about whiners. Being a hypocrite while calling others hypocrites. Complaining about people who are particular to good translations while complaining about the new translation. On and on you go.

                  Maybe you do it purposely to jab at those you despise. Perhaps you get a therapeutic endorphin happy time. You may just enjoy being inconsistent to keep a sense of power. Or maybe your intellect causes you grief. Only you would know, with some self-examination. You would benefit from the 12 steps. Fr Emmerich.

                  • Illinidiva

                    Eyes roll.. Back to the kitchen for you.. How dare a woman have opinions.

                    • chad

                      ah yes… the big bad chad takes down another innocent.

                    • Rosemarie

                      +J.M.J+

                      When did chad say anything about a woman not being allowed to have opinions?

                    • James Scott

                      Rosemarie is a women.

                      Believe me I know.;-)

                • Guest

                  “Benedict believed in a “smaller” and “purer” Church that involved everyone who met Benedict’s purity test hunkering down in Fortress Katholic”

                • Paxton Reis

                  We are all hypocrites and capable of moments of darkness and light. Try something radical and forgive those you made your life miserable. Get away from the anger that causes you to state things about Benedict believed in a smaller and purer Church…hunkering down in the fortress Katholic

                  • Illinidiva

                    See.. these people never experience any consequences for their actions. They get to happily go around hurting others and getting rid of anyone they don’t like in the Church.

                    • Rosemarie

                      +J.M.J+

                      Does holding a grudge against them for all these years make them experience any “consequences”? When we don’t forgive it hurts us much more than those who did us wrong.

                    • Illinidiva

                      I am just tired of people getting away with things and love it when someone exacts revenge. I also have no desire with engaging with such people again because I’m not an abuse victim.

                    • Paxton Reis

                      You are carrying too much on your shoulders. If engaging them brings you so much bitterness and pain, move on. Pray that at some point those who have hurt you will change their ways–like prodigal sons and daughters–step back towards God, towards love, and towards forgiveness.

                • Paxton Reis

                  This has been attributed to Martin Luther King: “How hard it is for people to live without someone to look down upon–really to look down upon. It is not just that they feel cheated out of someone to hate. It is that they are compelled to look more closely into themselves and what they don’t like in themselves.”

                  • Illinidiva

                    Yeah. Why don’t you post that on Father Z’s blog.

                    • Paxton Reis

                      I don’t go to that blog, though feel free to cut & paste to share it. Planting a seed will and can bring justice in the long-run.

    • Almario Javier

      Au contraire, Benedict’s words about a smaller if purer Church were less an endorsement of the phenomenon, but an acknowledgment that it existed and basically noting that that’s what the waves of secularization leaves him and his successors to work with. Obviously, Francis is taking said smaller Church, and doing what seems to be wonderful things with it.

      It does frustrate me that both his erstwhile supporters and his critics seem to take those words and take it to mean he believed that a “smaller, purer” Church was a good thing. He merely said it could be worse, but hardly something to aspire to.

      As for traditionalism: I don’t know what it’s like in Illinois – I live in Orange County. But if the priest who celebrates the EF there is unaware of the fact that people have legitimate differences of worship, I’m the head of the Holy Office (in fact he’s been at least once been critical about people disparaging some of the faithful priests in the diocese, even where he doesn’t share their liturgical tastes – maybe because even his Order has approved variations from the ’62 and ’70 Missals?).

      The problem is the Internet magnifies the voices of the nuts. There are reasonable traditionalists with a significant blog presence (I’m thinking Fr. Pope in Washington and that FFI friar until the Franciscans told him to not speak on TLM matters to avoid feeding the trolls, essentially). But most of them, being clergymen, catechists, etc. can’t police all the trads, given they have duties like any other persons who work for the Church. Of course, for me it becomes hard to adopt an uncompromising attitude towards the “nuts” – I know some of them, and at least among laymen, they are more misguided and poorly catechized than actually malicious)

      As for excluding access to sacraments… the problem is that the Church believes that marriage is indissoluble bond between a man and a woman. So divorce and remarriage assuming the first marriage was valid is a grave sin, and Scripture says they (like you and me when we commit any grave sin) cannot recieve Communion without eating and drinking condemnation upon ourselves. I’m confident there is a solution conformable to those parameters, though – but that’s for the canon lawyers and the Holy Office to decide.

      On gay couples, and unmarried couples’ children generally: The problem is with Catholic education, that some people might be misled into thinking that it means the Church sees nothing wrong with the public behavior of their parents. Of course, this speaks to a broader problem – parents seem to expect that Catholic school or CCD will take care of all their religious ed needs. Not so. They are supplements, not replacements for the domestic catechesis. That is the root of all the controversies, from the idiots on both sides – they both have a point, but they undermine it by thinking Catholic schools are the be all and end all of Catholic education, instead of a very useful supplement.

      • Illinidiva

        “As for excluding access to sacraments… the problem is that the Church believes that marriage is indissoluble bond between a man and a woman. So divorce and remarriage assuming the first marriage was valid is a grave sin.”

        The sin is adultery because it assumes that the couple is having sex. People living together who aren’t married should also not be receiving Communion. Neither should someone who is emotionally or physically abusing his or her spouse or someone who spent the time before the Mass viciously gossiping and criticizing all the people that she didn’t like. However, the divorced and remarried Catholics are the only ones singled out for condemnation.

        “but that’s for the canon lawyers and the Holy Office to decide.”

        The thing that took me aback is the upset that even the idea of annulments or some sort of solution triggers in the neo-trad types. It is like a personal slight to them for some reason. How about this they don’t judge other people’s broken relationships and people won’t judge their intolerant comments?

        “On gay couples, and unmarried couples’ children generally: The problem is with Catholic education, that some people might be misled into thinking that it means the Church sees nothing wrong with the public behavior of their parents.”

        First, I’ve heard suggestions that priests refuse to even baptize these kids or give these kids the Sacraments or any instruction. Secondly, it seems that only some sins lead to refusal. For instance, let’s suppose that one of the parents is having an affair or the husband has abused his wife. These are both public scandals, but they don’t warrant denial of a Catholic education.

        ” Of course, this speaks to a broader problem – parents seem to expect that Catholic school or CCD will take care of all their religious ed needs. Not so. They are supplements, not replacements for the domestic catechesis. ”

        Of course, a child should learn about God from Mom and Dad. However, to receive Communion and Confirmation, a child must attend the preparation courses. Children denied the preparation courses are essentially being denied the Sacraments. Also, most parents enroll their children in Catholics schools because they are better than the public schools in the area either academic wise or atmosphere wise. I went to Catholic schools because of the academics.

        • Almario Javier

          The difference is it’s easier to hide the sins you mentioned (to my sorrow) than the ones people commonly call for, like the divorced-and-remarried, the gay couples, etc. Public scandal, in effect, is usually hard to hide. Because the default in modern society is heterosexual and (at least theoretically) married, the sins that can be covered up more effectively are less prone to excite public scandal.

          Of course, that gives me another thought: the reason priests (I know the laity often seem to want to bar people from the sacraments for all sorts of unsupportable reasons) are sometimes reluctant to administer sacraments in those cases, is that in many of them they are only supposed to be administering them to children If there is a well founded hope that the kids will be raised Catholic. Kind of hard for a religion that considers, say, homosexuality to be a mortal sin to expect same sex couples to impart that to the children. With unmarried couples, it becomes an either way thing, though I have yet to see, even among the Trad priests (in good standing naturally) actually deny a kid the sacraments or schooling based on the fact his parents are not married.

          Oh, and that’s my problem with the state of Catholic education – it’s become more about attracting the upper middle classes and sports teams and elitism than their original purpose, to provide an education integrated with Catholic teaching. Academics is all well and good, but if that’s all that the Catholic school is there for, would it not be better to simply dismantle the whole system and just stick with the secular private academies?

        • Paxton Reis

          “Benedict believed in a “smaller” and “purer” Church that involved everyone who met Benedict’s purity test hunkering down in Fortress Katholic”

          This is a shallow and inaccurate reading of Benedict. Yes,
          being a European his perspective is Euro-centric (similar to the US-centric view we hear from those critical of the Vatican here in the US). Benedict saw and experienced a church in decline across Europe. He wrote and discussed about a Church that would become small and that would have to start over again, and to be open to those lonely in the modern world.

          He noted the early Church began small but was not
          partitioned off. It took care of the sick and poor, thus bringing others to the faith. In “God and the World” with Peter Seewald, Benedict (then Cardinal Ratzinger) talked of this smaller church being open and missionaries (yeast to the world as described by Jesus) to the world, and will “have to finds ways of bringing the gospel into the spheres of life of those who do not believe” (this
          is right from Vatican II). The church “will have to develop a great deal of imagination to help the gospel remain a force in public life.” His comment about a smaller church noted a reality of a decline in baptisms in Europe, not his pessimism of a declining church and satisfaction of a “purer” church (in fact this seems, “Church that involved everyone who met Benedict’s purity test hunkering down in Fortress Katholic”, to a canard.) He went on to add “The traditional Church can be very lovely, but this is not something necessary” and described smaller communities being the yeast to the world.

          Not surprisingly, there is much much more to Benedict than the caricature of “God’s Rottweiler” or someone satisfied with a smaller, purer Church. According to Benedict, “the consciousness of not being a closed club, but always being open to everyone and everything is an inseparable part of the Church.”

          Francis is stating the same in his own way, and with a perspective from the Southern Hemisphere, which will be pointed and challenging for those of us in the developed world.

  • freddy

    Surely they both want to build Jesus Christ’s Church? Or is that just trite and we have to start thinking of papacies in terms of “administrations” and “legacies?”

  • MitchellJ

    Both Benedict and Francis seem to have their orientation towards the faith as one deeply rooted in the existential philosophy of religion of the twentieth century. If you read philosophers like Romano Guardini, Martin Buber, Gabriel Marcel, or even Karol Wojtyla’s philosophy texts, you get a picture of the philosophy that is deeply personalist (as opposed to individualist, or collectivist), notions of man being on the way or to put it in church speak ‘we are a pilgrim people.’ Remember Francis did some prepwork for a possible doctorate in theology in Germany where this sort of christian existentialism was in the water. Benedict and Francis were drinking from the same philosophical waters. Their vision of the church seems very similar, Ratzinger’s comments about a smaller purer church aside (which were a prediction of the future, if the institutions of the church fall away, then yeah you will have less people hanging on to their faith for cultural reasons). Also Francis is big on Communion and Liberation, who Benedict was a major supporter of. They are very thoroughly similar. It is their style which is different I don’t see substance being really any different.

    Illinidiva is spouting nonsense here, if all you read is news articles rather then documents and speeches by the men in question then I get how you would come to that conclusion but it is a specious conclusion to say the least.

    • Illinidiva

      I do think that they have two different focuses. Francis is really interested in expanding the Church’s reach to the peripheries. Benedict was more interested in fortifying the Catholic identity.. for instance his liturgical obsession. (All English speaking Catholics are still suffering with that one because of the hideous new English Mass.) Benedict’s view of the Church also tended to be Euro-centric. However, unless you considered the SSPX the peripheries, I don’t think there was much an impulse for reaching out to the peripheries.
      Both popes obviously agree on Catholic doctrine. However, they have two different ideas of the Church. It isn’t so bad to have people with different ideas and visions about an institution. However, it is difficult to argue that Francis is building Benedict’s Church when the two differ on the main premise.

      • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com/ Kevin Tierney

        Except the fact they don’t differ on their main premise…….

        • Illinidiva

          On Catholic doctrine.. no. They have different mission statements for their papacy.

      • Rosemarie

        +J.M.J+

        >>>All English speaking Catholics are still suffering with that one because of the hideous new English Mass.

        I’m an English-speaking Catholic and I love the new translation. It brings out the deeper meanings of the text; I’ve discovered things that I never knew were in the original prayers.

        • Illinidiva

          It is poorly worded English.. I don’t even know what that ridiculous roof thing before Communion is.

          • Rosemarie

            +J.M.J+

            You mean where the liturgy paraphrases Scripture: “The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. ” – Matthew 8:8

            We’re echoing the sentiments of the centurion, whom Jesus praised. The original Latin always said that: “Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum, sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea”

            “Sub tectum meum” is Latin for “under my roof.” The new translation aims to be more faithful to the original language.

            • Illinidiva

              And it explains nothing what is taking place during Communion. Lord, I am not worthy to receive you suggests the act of receiving Communion.

              It is poorly worded and literal English via Google translate which gets away from the meaning of the Mass. The German bishops, who aren’t wussies like the American bishops, actually pushed back against the bad German translation and stopped it. Latin doesn’t translate as easily into the Germanic languages as it does into the Romance languages (obviously). The commission went for literal translation rather than meaning.

              • Rosemarie

                +J.M.J+

                The Church has used that prayer in the Mass for centuries. It was even retained in the current order of Mass while other elements were changed. It expresses the fact that Jesus is coming to us and that we need His grace to make us worthy. It relates to the metaphor of our bodies as a “house” that we should make ready for His Presence. It explains *exactly* what is taking place in Communion.

                Can we improve upon the inspired words of Sacred Scripture? This more correct translation shows more clearly the connection between Liturgy and Scripture than the faulty translation did before. I don’t think it’s poorly worded at all; I find it very lovely and meaningful.

                • Illinidiva

                  Yes… Lord I am not worthy to receive you. That is what is happening.

                  “Can we improve upon the inspired words of Sacred Scripture? This more correct translation shows more clearly the connection between Liturgy and Scripture than the faulty translation did before.”
                  See this is the issue with many conservative Christians; they take things too literally. There are many translations of the Bible and both the former Mass translation and the new one convey the same message.. The Roman soldier didn’t feel worthy of letting Jesus come to his house. However, of the two, the old translation made more sense in the context of the Mass.

                  BTW, as a test of literalism, do you believe that Adam and Eve actually existed?

                  • Rosemarie

                    +J.M.J+

                    If they convey the same message, why do you object to the more accurate translation? Above you said ” it explains nothing what is taking place during Communion.” Now you say it conveys the same message?

                    We need literalism in translation to avoid theological errors. For instance, the old translation of the Creed stated: “He was born of the Virgin Mary and became man.” This could be misinterpreted to mean that Jesus didn’t become man until after His birth. It is imprecise language; the corrected rendering clearly shows that He became man at the Incarnation.

                    Or consider the phrase “one in being with the Father.” “Being” is a broad concept open to many possible definitions. It is sometimes used to indicate a person, such as in the phrase “human being.” If one applies this definition to the word “being” in the old translation of the Creed, then one could conclude that Christ is one Person with the Father, which is wrong. “Consubstantial” may not be a familiar term, but it means “of the same substance.” This is more accurate; the Father and the Son share the same divine Substance yet are two distinct Persons.

                    So the new translation is more precise, and if it gives people more to think about or research about their Faith, that’s not a bad thing. It should be an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the Catholic Faith, which we sometimes become too “comfortable” with, thinking we know all there is to know about being a Catholic.

                    As for Adam and Eve, I do believe there was an original pair of humans given souls by God, but I don’t take the first three chapters of Genesis hyper-literally. IMHO, God created life on earth through a process which scientists call evolution. The first homo sapiens may well have descended from earlier homonids but then received a soul from God, setting them above the animals. Our first parents disobeyed God, which caused the Fall and original sin. Whether or not that disobedience involved a literal tree, fruit and snake I don’t know; it could be symbolic language. Yet it conveys a very real truth; humankind is fallen and in need of a Savior, Who is Christ the New Adam.

                  • Alma Peregrina

                    In portuguese “under my roof” IS the “Vatican II mass”. That’s how it was translated to portuguese since after the Council. AND, as someone said to you before, it is the most accurate translation of the original.

                    We don’t have any fault whatsoever that brittish people made, as you said, a “mess” and translated it inaccurately. The bible quote is the real meaning of Communion. It is a metaphor. It is interesting that you reject “roof” because it evokes a “condo” to you and then proceed to acuse us of being literalists.

                    Also, as for someone that rejects eurocentrism, I find your obsession over german-brittish translations in detriment of the translation followed largely accross the world rather amusing.

                    Just like I find your attitude amusing: Reaching to the peripheries doesn’t include those yucky antisemitic traditionalists. Jesus ate with sinners and prostitutes but just, you know, the ones you’re fond of. The others should be excluded from the Church. How, er, traditionalist of you.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Yeah.. I don’t want to mess with the Portuguese translation. And I am not sure where you are but my understanding is that Brazilians have a very quirky Mass and were spared the translation police. As for the English version, it has to do with idiomatic language issues that the Vatican didn’t take into account. And I am obsessed with the English translation because I have to endure it.

                      And the SSPX is essentially the Pharisees. Jesus was quote critical of the Pharisees even though they were sinners.

                    • margaret1910

                      Wow, I am (almost) speechless. Perhaps, the Portuguese translation did not have the problems of the English? Please get over this obsession. You are aware that in 1970, many words were changed and all of us had to just endure it, whether we liked it or not? I, personally, like some of those old changes, dislike others and ultimately accept that it is not all about me and what I like and dislike.

                      Somehow, I would guess that a huge country such as Brazil, has a wide variety of interpretations of the liturgy. You sound absolutely ridiculous when you assume that other countries all walk in lock-step (quirky..really?) while the great US has diversity!

                      Also, to listen to you, it sounds like the SSPX is some powerful bunch of folks who are just waiting to leap out of the shadows with their albino assassin monks and take over the Church. They are not that big, not powerful at all and have essentially zero influence.

                    • Illinidiva

                      “Wow, I am (almost) speechless. Perhaps, the Portuguese translation did not have the problems of the English? Please get over this obsession.”

                      Yeah.. When I don’t have to hear mangled English at Mass I will. I’m assuming that the Brazilians don’t have to endure a mangled translation.

                      “You are aware that in 1970, many words were changed and all of us had to just endure it, whether we liked it or not? I, personally, like some of those old changes, dislike others and ultimately accept that it is not all about me and what I like and dislike.”

                      Unless you understood Latin, I’m not sure what the whining was about. Most people couldn’t understand the Latin so it didn’t matter.

                      “Somehow, I would guess that a huge country such as Brazil, has a wide variety of interpretations of the liturgy. You sound absolutely ridiculous when you assume that other countries all walk in lock-step (quirky..really?) while the great US has diversity! ”

                      The Brazilians have a better liturgical translation because unlike the American bishops, the Brazilian bishops aren’t Stepford wussies. They allow a good liturgical translation as well as liturgical diversity.

                      “Also, to listen to you, it sounds like the SSPX is some powerful bunch of folks who are just waiting to leap out of the shadows with their albino assassin monks and take over the Church. They are not that big, not powerful at all and have essentially zero influence.”

                      See.. What annoys me is that there were many lapsed Catholics and people on the peripheries of the Church because we were ostracized by supposedly faithful Catholics. The neo-trads did a great job bullying my family in different parishes. Their precious spawn bullied me to the point of an eating disorder in Catholic schools. I don’t remember Benedict caring about his followers actions in this regard. In fact, I don’t remember him reaching out to people like my family at all… It was just suck it up and let people abuse us and frankly I am tired of being abused.

                      In contrast, the SSPX was given special audiences and handholding. They were giving bite-size explanations of Vatican II to make them feel better.

                      So I’m sorry.. a bunch of anti-Semites got special help to understand Church teachings, but the millions of Catholics who were ostracized by the Church didn’t have any outreach. I didn’t feel welcome in the Church, but my tormentors and abusers felt extra welcome.. The cliquish, extra pure Catholics who are the “in-group” at my parents’ parish loved Benedict about as much as they loved being bullies. (They hilariously spend time whining about Francis.) Under Benedict, “Bishop” Williamson and gossipy neo-trads were welcome, but Illinidiva and her family were trash.

                    • margaret1910

                      I am hearing that some people in the Church hurt you deeply. I am sorry for that. Truly, I am. There can be no excuse for treating people as horribly as you describe.

                      The only other thing I will say is that you are being disingenuous if you think that Latin to vernacular was the only thing that changed. Oh, and our missalettes were transliterated, so, yeah I knew what was going on. My parents did not “whine” about the changes, nor did they encourage us to do so. My point is that a lot more than a few words changed in 1970..we dealt with it and I bet you can, too.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      Brasil has a deep problem with protestantism (erecting the Cristo Rei statue in Rio was extremely controversial, for instance). At World Youth Day I’ve visited some towns and I was absolutely shocked to see that in some streets there was an evangelical church almost every three houses (no exagerating). Brasilian people are extremely emotional and get moved very easily by that type of worship. Evangelicanism is on the rise and in some places there are sects that abuse this to make money (google universal church of the kingdom of God).

                      I don’t know much about brasilian catholicism history, but I would wager that the catholic church tried to accomodate those feelings in their liturgy. I don’t know if they are right or wrong, but I tell you: their masses are more protestantized than any other place I’ve visited. I don’t judge them… if it works for them, fine. But I don’t think that they can be appealed to as the more rigorous translators of the “Vatican II” mass.

                      If some brasilian brother/sister finds any fault at my comment, please forgive me and charitably correct me. I’m from Portugal, and I’ve only been in Brasil during 2 weeks.

                    • margaret1910

                      Alma, I know nothing of Brasil or Portugal from first-hand experience. My only point was about the translation from Latin to Portuguese.

                      There is more to the liturgy than the translation. The Brasilian liturgies may be more “protestantized”, although I would still caution that Brasil is a very large country, and I doubt all parishes are the same.

                      I hope you did not take my comment as denigrating yours. We all have our own experiences and yours are as valid as anyone’s.

                      I have traveled a bit in Europe, but have never been to Portugal. One day, I hope that I will be able to travel to your country.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      Don’t worry. I didn’t take offense, I was just trying to shed some light on your comment, based on my experience. Just making some conversation :)

                      Of course that generalizing to such a large country is wrong. I only said that “their masses are more protestantized than any other place I’ve visited.” Which is true.

                      But I loved Brasil very much and I was very moved by my peregrination there.

                      As for Portugal, I really hope you come and visit us. You’ll see that we will receive you with our arms opened. But don’t stick just with Lisbon, the capital. Portugal has many other places that are much, much, more beautiful.

                    • margaret1910

                      Thank you, Alma. Fair enough. You can only observe what you have seen.

                      No worries, that is not how I visit countries. I prefer to get out into the more rural areas, small cities, villages, etc. Not that I ignore the major cities. There are many beautiful things to be seen in the cities as well.

                      The bigger the country, the more difficult this is to do. As an American, I have met many Europeans who say “I have visited America! I have been to NYC and Miami.” sometimes Los Angeles. Most of the US is not on the coasts, but it is a vast country..hard to get out into the flyover country unless they have family here. When I was last in Italy, staying at an aguroturismo (my daughter and I were the only Americans..Europeans were from Poland, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, England, Czech Repulic, etc) we had a fun conversation with the Czech couple. They had no idea that I come from a region that has a very strong Czech community. There are whole towns that are almost all Czech, who still keep to many of the Czech traditions, although their families have been here for 150 years. They were fascinated.

                      There was also a Swedish family that did not know that their King visited Lindsborg, KS back in the day before he was king. Lindsborg is still quite Swedish, which is why he came.

                      I am more than open to suggestions as to where to go in Portugal. Pictures that I have seen show many beautiful areas.

                      I have always experienced great kindness in my travels in Europe. I have no doubt that the Portuguese will also receive me with great kindness and open arms! Hope I make it there some day.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      I like your way of thinking. Indeed, visiting only the cities can’t give you a full perspective of a country.

                      Portugal has gorgeous rural areas. I highly recomend the vineyards of the Douro river (where Porto wine is grown) or the landscapes of the Azores islands or the Gerês mountains.

                      As for cities/towns I recommend (by order of preference) Sintra, Évora, Oporto, Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra… and, of course, Fatima.

                      Hope that helps! :)

                      Pax Christi

                    • margaret1910

                      Absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      I’m from Portugal. But the brasilians also respond “I’m not worthy to receive you at my house…”. So, you can’t appeal to those quirky brasilians to justify your translation.

                      And you are a pharisee to the SSPX. You exclude them from communion and criticize Benedict for giving them a chance. You don’t want to forgive the faults of others and ban whoever commits the sins you find abominable. Just like SSPX.

                      If you think Christianity is about dividing “us vs. them” in which “us” are the “good” sinners and “them” the unforgivable pharisees, you are sadly mistaken and don’t really know what Christ really meant. Every… single… one… of us is a sinner and a pharisee. You too.

                      Jesus also ate at pharisees’ houses and He even called a certain Saul to be an Apostle, go figure. It is true that the pharisees rejected Jesus, but He did reach out to them.

                      SSPX deserved to be reached out, just like any other. They are free to accept or reject, but if we didn’t go to meet them then the fault of their perdition would be OURS. So, be wary of the stick you use to judge others: I didn’t find anyone on this thread so similar to SSPX, so entrenched in liturgical matters, so willing to not reach out, so keen on rejecting from communion and forgiveness, so judgmental (of Benedict) than… well, you. If you would like to go down that path, fine. Be warned that your self-righteousness might turn against you, just like SSPX self-righteousness will turn against them on That Day.

                      I don’t like SSPX, neodocetist ultratraditionalists… nor progressists, for that matter. But I would enjoy it very much if we could all be under the same “roof”. That would be communion, that would be, indeed, Christ.

                    • Illinidiva

                      I’m a fan of liturgical diversity. What I am not a fan of is Rome dictating rules on the liturgy to me, including bad English. And I’m only obsessed with the liturgy when it affects me. I really don’t care about other people’s Masses. Live and let live.

                      And if the SSPX was only about the liturgy that is fine. Their main beef with the current Church is the denouncement of antisemitism. If they were just about preserving the old Church traditions that would be fine, then I’d be supportive of them having their Mass. But right now I have the sympathy for them that I have for them is on par for the sympathy of Klansman who feels oppressed by the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

                      As for Benedict, I am sure he was a lovely and personally holy man. However, I think that he had had an inward focus and would have served the Church better by retiring and writing books.

                    • Alma Peregrina

                      OK, since you’ve just rephrased everything you’ve previously said and that other comenters have addressed, I’ll just focus on this:

                      “However, I think that he had had an inward focus and would have served the Church better by retiring and writing books.”

                      No, he would not, because I also am Church. Benedict was instrumental in my conversion. Someone as Francis would never have caught my attention. The opposite would be true – I would be vary wary and cynical of someone as Francis. But Benedict got to me, he seduced me into the Church. And now I’m doing my best to serve my Church. I’m an oncologist and a catholic fiction writer. All thanks to Benedict and the Holy Spirit acting through him.

                      You’re clearly not the Holy Spirit (as is shown by your contempt for sinners and inability to forgive), so if you get in a fuss by some liturgical words imposed on you by Rome, then I think the HS should be more upset by you trying to impose on the Church your own idea of what a pope should be.

                      I love Francis and I respect him very much. But for me (and just for me, at least), Benedict will always be my pope… or as the portuguese affectionately say, my Papa.

              • James Scott

                >Lord, I am not worthy to receive you suggests the act of receiving Communion.

                I reply: So what should you say? “Lord I am so totally awesome you are lucky I hang out with you!”?

                Do you have something against humble gratitude before God before receiving the gift of his body.

                Seriously?

                >It is poorly worded and literal English via Google translate which gets away from the meaning of the Mass. The German bishops, who aren’t wussies like the American bishops, actually pushed back against the bad German translation and stopped it. Latin doesn’t translate as easily into the Germanic languages as it does into the Romance languages (obviously). The commission went for literal translation rather than meaning.

                It seems rather straight forward to me. All Catholic children are taught the story of Jesus healing the Centurion’s servant . This Roman pagan who trusted so much in Jesus he knew all Jesus had to do is simply say “Your servant is healed” and he would be healed.

                We are called to have equal trust in the words of Jesus.

                • Illinidiva

                  Lord I am not worthy to receive you.. Actually this is what is happening in the Eucharist. We are receiving Jesus in our bodies; Jesus isn’t coming to hang out at my condo.

                  • Rosemarie

                    +J.M.J+

                    Roof doesn’t indicate condo. It’s a metaphor. Liturgy doesn’t speak a prosaic language; it often has symbol and metaphor which lifts us above the mundane and gives us something to contemplate. The original translation tried to drag the language of liturgy down; the current translation is more faithful to the original Latin, which is the standard text.

                  • margaret1910

                    Hmmmm..four comments on a few words in the liturgy. It appears that you, too, are “fussy” and “obsessed with the liturgy”. :)

                    • Illinidiva

                      I’m obsessed when it affects me when I attend Mass. I have to listen to that abuse of English every time I attend an English Mass. I’d prefer the fussy authorities in Rome hadn’t been obsessed with fixing what wasn’t broken. I also think that it was the first step to getting rid of the Vatican II Mass. I think that the next step was removing the ability to take Communion by hand.

                    • Rosemarie

                      +J.M.J+

                      The Church has no intention whatsoever of getting rid of the Ordinary Form (OF) of the Mass (It’s not the “Vatican II Mass”). If that were so some traditionalists would be celebrating, but the Church has made it very clear that the OF is here to stay. Benedict XVI had no intention to do so, either. None at all.

                      The Church just wants the translation to accurately reflect what is in the original texts. The OF wasn’t written in English; the original is in Latin. The Latin is the standard. The new translation is more faithful to the original and textual fidelity is not a sin. As I explained elsewhere, it is important to avoid doctrinal confusion that imprecise translations can cause.

                      Maybe you should stop looking at it as an “abuse of English” and think, “What can this new translation teach me?” That’s its purpose, to bring us into a deeper understanding of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

                    • margaret1910

                      This is almost beyond parody. As I understand it, if the liturgy changes in a way that you like..it is a good thing. If it changes in a way that you do not like..it is a bad thing. Newsflash..you are not responsible for the liturgy..those fussy authorities in Rome are.

                      What you “think” is not evidence. Once again, there is no such thing as the “Vatican II” Mass. You can refer to it as the new Mass, or the Mass of Paul VI, but it is not the Mass of Vatican II.

                      My fussy liturgical self must say, one does not “take” Communion; one “receives” Communion, regardless if it is in the hand or on the tongue.

                    • Hezekiah Garrett

                      I really admire how you voice your personal subjective opinions as authoritative facts, with absolutely no consideration or curiosity for the Other. It demonstrates a refreshing commitment to narcissism.

      • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

        Sorry, Illinidiva, but you have shown no evidence that you have ever read anything by Benedict, or really followed his pontificate.

        Eurocentric? No interest in the peripheries? I guess for you it did no good for him to make two trips to Africa and two to Brazil, and visit Cuba, Mexico and Turkey (doesn’t get much more peripheral than that). The special Synods on Africa and the Middle East? They don’t matter, I guess. Are you serious that Francis never reached out to any peripheries but the SSPX? You never heard of the Anglican Ordinariate? Or all of Benedict’s other magnificent work for Christian unity? Strange activities for someone who supposedly wanted a “smaller Church.” Come on, can’t you do any better than that?

        Most of the leftist platitudes and rhetoric about Benedict you are mouthing seem to come straight from the National Catholic Reporter (and I don’t mean John Allen’s articles). Strange for someone who supposedly values her independence of mind.

        • Illinidiva

          “Sorry, Illinidiva, but you have shown no evidence that you have ever read anything by Benedict, or really followed his pontificate. ”

          No, I never understood what he wrote or said and just ignored him because I was disappointed he was elected in 2005. The Church had a chance to think big in 2005, but thought disappointingly small instead.

          “Eurocentric? No interest in the peripheries?”

          I think that Francis will travel less than Benedict, but has more interest in the peripheries. I also think that Benedict’s concerns were Eurocentric; his vision of the Church argued that the Church in the Global South should adopt the European Church. Seriously, he said fussy, heavily Latin based Masses in the peripheries. He even said fussy Latin Masses at World Youth Day. And during one of his trips to Brazil (Aparecida Conference), he accidently implied that colonialism was a good thing.

          ” Are you serious that Francis never reached out to any peripheries but the SSPX? You never heard of the Anglican Ordinariate? ”

          Benedict welcomed fussy and insular Anglicans into the Church because they were as socially conservative as he was (yucky women ministers…) and did so in such away that upset the rest of the Anglicans.

          • margaret1910

            So, because you were disappointed in the election of Benedict XVI, you read nothing he wrote, listened to nothing he said, and yet, you are whining because the traditionalists (not my word) are doing exactly the same thing to Francis? Sounds hypocritical to me. Or just plain stupid.

            • Illinidiva

              Actually, it would be refreshing if the traditionalists spent the entirety of Pope Francis reign not whining about him. The numerous temper tantrums across the web are what is annoying. Additionally, the hypocrisy is too good to pass up. The traditionalists are all about obeying the Pope. I’ve always thought it was fine to disagree with popes without being struck by lightening.

              • margaret1910

                I absolutely agree. And, I would appreciate you not having what amounts to childish and silly complaints about the previous Holy Father. Honestly, I read your comments..Benedict was “obsessed”, “fussy”, blah blah blah. Benedict XVI was a gift to the Church and the world. Guess what? I think Francis is also a gift to the Church and the world.

                • Illinidiva

                  Oh.. I’m sure that Benedict was a lovely man, but that didn’t mean that his papacy wasn’t troubled. It was. There were numerous concerning things with it… accommodating the SSPX, trying to eventually get rid of the Vatican II liturgy, etc. Benedict also promoted quite reactionary people like Cardinal Burke.

                  • margaret1910

                    Benedict XVI was not trying to “get rid of the Vatican II liturgy”, which does not actually exist, by the way. There is no such thing as the Vatican II liturgy. Vatican II did not promulgate a liturgy. Benedict never suggested that the newer liturgy was invalid, illicit or anything of the kind.

                    He did reach out to the SSPX, who responded with arrogance, spitting on his out-stretched hand. He did not “accomodate” them. If you didn’t notice, they rejected his offer and that was the end of it. I see nothing wrong with reaching out to disaffected Catholics and trying to return them to full communion with the Church. I note that Francis is also reaching out to disaffected Catholics and encouraging them to return to full communion with the Church.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Yeah.. those disaffected Catholics don’t include radicalized anti-Semites. It seems like Benedict wanted to reach out to reactionaries and Francis wants to reach out to normal Catholics who feel hurt.

                    • margaret1910

                      That is just silly. Not all members of SSPX are anti-Semites, although some certainly are. Of course, any pope should reach out to all disaffected Catholics..whether they fall on the reactionary or radical side. It just seems to me, that you want to dislike Benedict and will not listen to anything good that is said of him.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Most are.. that is the selling point of their sect. And I noticed a lot of reaching out to the SSPX during Benedict’s pontificate and not a lot of reaching out to other disaffected groups.

                    • margaret1910

                      No, it is not. Their intense dislike and rejection of Vatican II is their selling point. Given that you have said that you basically ignored Benedict, I am not surprised that you paid less than no attention to what he was actually doing. Perhaps you might read his first encyclical? Closest thing to a “mission statement” that one ever gets for a pontificate.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Which translates into their intense dislike for Nostra Aetate.

                    • margaret1910

                      From a quick look at google, it certainly appears that Nostra Aetate was a major problem for Archbishop Lefebvre. So, I will agree, provisionally, that SSPX has an issue with it. Which, in and of itself, does not support your assertion that the SSPX is anti-semitic. Fair?

                    • margaret1910

                      Replying to myself to make one thing very clear. I am not fond of the SSPX. I consider them to be arrogant and reactionary. I have some sympathy for their love of the TLM, but that is as far as I am willing to go.

          • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

            Illinidiva, I have to agree with Margaret here – your shallowness of understanding of Benedict matches perfectly with the shallowness of understanding of those traditionalists who read an isolated phrase by Francis out of context, then go bonkers with their misunderstandings. And you proudly admit you know nothing about Benedict’s writings while ignoring his pontificate, all the while you continue to . . .pontificate about it, as though you actually knew something. I could go on correcting your hilarious misapprehensions about Benedict, but what would be the point?

            This will probably amaze you but I once felt as you do about Benedict. When he was elected, I knew next to nothing about him, except that he had a reputation for criticizing trends in the Church in a rather negative light; I got this from articles about the Ratzinger Report and similar things. I had never read any of his books. So when he was elected Pope, I felt disappointed for a bit. Why couldn’t it have been someone like the Franciscan Cardinal Hummes of Brazil, who had such a reputation for defending the poor? And he would have taken the name Francis, of course! (Yes, believe it not, that’s what I thought).

            Nevertheless, I was heartened by Benedict’s smile on the balcony the first night. And it took time, but I began to learn more about him and my opinion became warmer. When I finally got time to read the first volume of Jesus of Nazareth, I was hooked. I love Pope Benedict’s writings. (Anyone who thinks they are hard to understand needs a remedial reading course). Then he came to visit the United States, and believe me, the Catholics here in New York received him with joy and followed his talks and homilies attentively. By coincidence, not long ago, I met a Jewish lady who was at the Park Avenue Synagogue the night Francis visited (She was a daughter-in-law of the rabbi who welcomed the Pope). It was abundantly clear from the way she spoke how highly the family thought of Benedict. I truly love this Pope; he was an immense gift to the Church.

            You see, I’m not without sympathy for you. So believe me when I say that I can guarantee you personally that knowledge is infinitely better than ignorance defended by prejudice. Learn more about Benedict before offering more opinions, I beg you.

            I really mourned when Benedict resigned. And then Cardinal Bergoglio, a religious from Latin America who loved the poor was elected Pope, and it was Cardinal Hummes who urged him “don’t forget the poor.” And he took the name Francis — I felt I had just jumped back eight years in time and had my wish fulfilled! God really has a whimsical sense of humor. . . I love the new Pope as well, though in a different way. We Catholics have been unusually lucky in our leaders these last few years, and should thank God for them.

            • margaret1910

              Lori, I felt the same way! I had made the foolish mistake of listening to the media and I was very disappointed in the election of Benedict. Actually, I had done a lot of reading about the various cardinals, and I had a favorite candidate. LOL, my candidate was…Bergoglio!

              I climbed off the ledge and started reading more about Benedict XVI and found that he was NOT what the media had told me. I bought his books and was amazed by his brilliance, his kind and gentle spirit and his love for God and His Church.

              The false dichotomy that is being portrayed between Francis and Benedict XVI reminds me of 1 Corinthians; I follow Paul, I follow Peter..(paraphrased).

              • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                Margaret, LOL! Back in 2005 I paid no attention to Bergoglio. I didn’t really this time either, before the election, except that from his picture he looked “more like a Pope” than some of the others, so I must have sensed something about him. If I thought about him at all, though, it was followed by “he’s too old.” Well, what do I know?I should have guessed something from the fact that so many voted for him in 2005. I pray that he has as long a pontificate as possible.

                It is so painful to hear the ignorant media talk about Benedict the way they do. They certainly did it while he was Pope, but why so much now? They definitely don’t need to bash Benedict to make Francis look good – he looks good on his own. Nothing about his thought or beliefs are that different from Benedict. They just have a certain picture of Benedict from the time he was elected and never changed it. As for the “fussiness” and “obsession” about liturgy and vestments people keep citing — I laugh whenever I think of him appearing on the balcony for his first blessing with the sleeves of the old back sweater he was wearing sticking out of the sleeves of his cassock. The fact that he seemed so unconcerned about his “image” was one of the first things that drew me to him.

                • margaret1910

                  I am sure that the ongoing desire to put Francis and Benedict XVI in opposition by denigrating Benedict is just wishful thinking. Those who do this WANT Francis to be who they want him to be. They hated grandpapa (shorthand for pope emeritus, lol) Benedict and they want Francis to be the anti-Benedict. I find the constant dissing of Benedict very painful, too. May God Bless and keep both of them.

                  Oh, I may have first focused on Bergoglio because he had a degree in chemistry..like me! So, I read up on him and his love for the poor, and became a fan. Still am. :-)

            • Illinidiva

              I’m sure that he was a lovely man but two words… Cardinal Burke. How does Cardinal Burke and his promotions square with Benedict as a moderate.

              • margaret1910

                I don’t know that much about Cardinal Burke, other than that I believe his expertise is in canon law. What, exactly, is your issue with him? And I don’t think anyone here has described Benedict as a moderate, whatever that means.

                • Illinidiva

                  The fact that he is a nasty unpastoral bomb thrower who wants to get rid of Vatican II. And he has been controlling the appointments of U.S. bishops, his ultraconservative friends have been getting appointed.

                  • margaret1910

                    Which bishops, exactly? I am really interested, not being difficult here. I would definitely say that Cardinal Burke is something of a traditionalist.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Cordileone, Paprocki, Lori, Chaput, Sample, Finn, etc.. My favorite is Finn who was convicted of covering up for a child abusing priest. He is being protected by Burke and hasn’t been fired. Even Dolan was associated with Burke. (And I consider Dolan a politician, not a pastor.). I’m trying to figure out any bishops appointed by Benedict in the U.S. who would b considered pastoral. I consider O’Malley as pastoral.

                    • margaret1910

                      How, exactly, is Burke “protecting” Finn? He is no longer a member of the Congregation for Bishops. Pope Francis can “fire” him if he wishes. (I do not disagree that what Bishop Finn did was outrageous and unconscionable.)

                      Archbishop Chaput was not raised to the episcopate by Benedict. Benedict moved him to Philadelphia. I suppose some people consider that a promotion, lol. I would consider it a great burden.

                      Cordileone was also not raised to the episcopate by Benedict. Benedict made him Archbishop of SF. I don’t know much about him..although I get the impression that he could be considered a traditionalist. If traditionalist means that he has celebrated the TLM.

                      I think Cardinal O’Malley is a very fine bishop. Oh, look, he was made a Cardinal by Pope Benedict! And, before you say it..no, Benedict did not “have to”. Just because you are Archbishop of Boston, and it is traditionally given a red hat, does not mean that it is written in stone.

                    • Illinidiva

                      “How, exactly, is Burke “protecting” Finn? He is no longer a member of the Congregation for Bishops. Pope Francis can “fire” him if he wishes. (I do not disagree that what Bishop Finn did was outrageous and unconscionable.)”

                      I don’t think that Francis has done enough on the sexual abuse issue. I would like to see mass bishop firings on this one. I also don’t think that Benedict did enough on this.. Cardinal Law and Cardinal Rigali were allowed a say in bishops’ appointments. Seriously, why those two, especially Cardinal Law, weren’t ostracized is beyond me. Cardinal Law should currently be carrying out a sentence of penance and prayer as was given to Maciel for his despicable actions in Boston.

                      “Archbishop Chaput was not raised to the episcopate by Benedict. Benedict moved him to Philadelphia.”

                      Chaput volunteered for it apparently because it came with a red hat. And his idea of pastoral care is kicking the children of gay couples out of Catholic school.

                      “Cordileone was also not raised to the episcopate by Benedict. Benedict made him Archbishop of SF. I don’t know much about him..although I get the impression that he could be considered a traditionalist. If traditionalist means that he has celebrated the TLM.”

                      The guy is head of the archdiocese of San Francisco and thinks that gay people have cooties. See any issues there.

                      “I think Cardinal O’Malley is a very fine bishop. Oh, look, he was made a Cardinal by Pope Benedict! And, before you say it..no, Benedict did not “have to”. ”
                      O’Malley was carted around as the guy to clean up sexual abuse dioceses and I’m not sure how he could be denied a red hat because it would have meant that Benedict wasn’t supportive of his efforts. (I also don’t think that Cardinal Sean would have been appointed to the Archdiocese of Boston if it wasn’t for his expertise on cleaning up after bishops like Law who covered up for child abusers I don’t think that he would have been appointed archbishop. He is way too pastoral for JPII and Benedict. They liked fire-breathers instead.)

                    • margaret1910

                      I have never heard that Cardinal Law had a voice in choosing Bishops during Benedict’s pontificate. Evidence, please.

                      Where did you hear that Chaput volunteered to go to Philly? I have never heard anything like that. And, I had not noticed that he was given the red hat? Perhaps Pope Benedict forgot?

                      Cordileone thinks gay people have cooties? lol

                      Cardinal O’Malley..yeah, Pope Benedict WAS supportive of his efforts in Boston. What makes you think that he was just acting as though he was? Oh, look..The Archdiocese of Boston in particular has been greatly blessed by
                      Pope Benedict’s care and concern. In all of my conversations with him he
                      has always asked me to assure this local Church of his prayers and
                      encouragement. I will always hold the Holy Father’s 2008 meeting with
                      survivors of clergy sexual abuse, and our presentation of the Book of
                      Names of living and deceased survivors, as one of the most powerful
                      experiences of my life and priesthood.

                      All I can say is that you must have Vatican sources that put Rocco Palmo to shame. I am also impressed that you can read the minds of popes so well.

                    • Illinidiva

                      ” have never heard that Cardinal Law had a voice in choosing Bishops during Benedict’s pontificate. Evidence, please”

                      http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-accepts-resignation-of-cardinal-bernard-law-from-vatican-post/

                      “Where did you hear that Chaput volunteered to go to Philly? I have never heard anything like that. And, I had not noticed that he was given the red hat? Perhaps Pope Benedict forgot?”

                      Rigali is still under the age of 80 years old is the reason why.

                      “Cordileone thinks gay people have cooties? lol”

                      And his outreach with the gay community has been what other than to offend them?

                      “The Archdiocese of Boston in particular has been greatly blessed by
                      Pope Benedict’s care and concern. In all of my conversations with him he has always asked me to assure this local Church of his prayers and encouragement.”

                      I highly doubt that you are a close collaborator of Benedict’s so as to know his mind. And yes stating that his prayers are with a diocese is basic “pope speak.” What is he going to say.. That he hates the people of Boston?

                      My one question is that if there had been no abuse crisis would O’Malley be appointed a major archbishop and cardinal. I think not. Please provide me with the name of one archbishop of similar pastoral quality in the U.S. appointed by Benedict.. One.

                      ” me to assure this local Church of his prayers and
                      encouragement. I will always hold the Holy Father’s 2008 meeting with
                      survivors of clergy sexual abuse, and our presentation of the Book of Names of living and deceased survivors, as one of the most powerful experiences of my life and priesthood.”

                      If Benedict wanted to get a grip on the problem, then why was Law provided with a cushy retirement in Rome away from the authorities and why weren’t there massive bishop firings?

                      “All I can say is that you must have Vatican sources that put Rocco Palmo to shame. I am also impressed that you can read the minds of popes so well.”

                      Assumptions are based on what I read by Palmo and elsewhere.

                    • margaret1910

                      I see from the story that you linked that Cardinal Law was a member of the Congregation for Bishops. Meh..I doubt that he was very influential, but I do wish Benedict had kicked him to the curb. There is no way that a man with his background should have any say in who should be raised to the episcopate.

                      Still no real evidence that Chaput volunteered for the Philly position.

                      My quotes were not my personal opinion, but that of Cardinal O’Malley. And, Benedict was not the Pope when Cardinal Law was allowed to retire to Rome. Sure, he could have removed him from St Mary Major, and I personally would have liked him to do so. I just don’t see this as particularly egregious. Apparently, Pope Francis didn’t, either.

                    • margaret1910

                      Sorry my quote from Cardinal O’Malley was a bit garbled.

                      “The Archdiocese of Boston in particular has been greatly blessed by Pope Benedict’s care and concern. In all of my conversations with him he has always asked me to assure this local Church of his prayers and encouragement. I will always hold the Holy Father’s 2008 meeting with survivors of clergy sexual abuse, and our presentation of the Book of
                      Names of living and deceased survivors, as one of the most powerful experiences of my life and priesthood.” Cardinal Sean O’Malley

                    • Illinidiva

                      I agree with you that Francis has been lax with child abuse and still advocate mass firings. A majority of the U.S. bishops should be sentenced to lives or prayer and penance for their handling of the abuse crisis.

                    • margaret1910

                      I did not say that Francis has been lax with child abuse. I am not at all sure that I would advocate mass firings. If it were up to me, there certainly would have been some bishops that I would have “fired” and sent away to a life of prayer and penance. However, it is not my job to make these decisions.

                    • Illinidiva

                      I said he has been… I think that quite a few bishops need to be fired. Apparently, the latest archdiocese to file for bankruptcy is Helena. The scandal is pretty widespread.

                    • margaret1910

                      Sorry, but you said “I agree with you that Francis has been lax with child abuse..” when replying to me. I interpret that as you agreeing that I said that Francis has been lax with child abuse. I did NOT say that. At this point, I have no opinion on how Pope Francis is handling the abuse, because I don’t know yet how or what he is going to do.

                      Not that it matters, but I don’t think Helena is an archdiocese. I did see that they filed for bankruptcy.

                    • Illinidiva

                      It was a rumor that I heard about Chaput, so not the most reliable source. But it does fit his profile; he comes off as the ultimate brown-noser and career climber.

                    • margaret1910

                      And now you can magically read Archbishop Chaput’s mind and character. Please provide evidence that he is “the ultimate brown-noser and career climber” or just admit that you know nothing of him except that his personality grates on you or that you, personally, disagree with some of his decisions or viewpoints.

                      Actually, I think it is fine to disagree with an individual bishop’s decisions as a matter of prudential judgment. But when you are casting aspersions on a bishop and making horrific statements about his character on the basis of a “rumor”, then you are engaging in calumny. Calumny is a grave sin. You should be ashamed.

                    • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                      Yes, we already know you can magically read Benedict’s mind, though you haven’t read anything by him and never followed his pontificate. You can just read his mind, that’s all.

                    • Illinidiva

                      I did hear about Benedict’s papacy every time I had to defend the Church from one of his scandals. All the Jewish people I know were especially upset about the entire Bishop Williamson situation. And again, please tell me one pastoral bishop that Benedict appointed in the U.S. (and by pastoral I’m looking for O’Malley type of bishop.)

                    • margaret1910

                      Bishop Williamson was expelled from the SSPX. I am aware that the Jewish people were appalled by the lifting of the excommunication of the SSPX Bishops, particularly Williamson. He was not excommunicated because of his idiotic ideas about the Shoah, and the lifting of the excommunication had nothing to do with said idiotic views.

                      Given that you have said that you knew nothing about Pope Benedict..”No, I never understood what he wrote or said and just ignored him because I was disappointed he was elected in 2005.”, then you had no way to defend what he did or said. Because you did not read or listen to him. You simply accepted that he was a bad or ineffective Pope without any sort of evidence. The only reason you have given, is that you were disappointed in his election. Respectfully, that is NOT evidence of his “scandals”.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Yes. I disapproved of his election and he did nothing to actually disprove this over his term. And the big scandal for me was the SSPX talks. Yes, Williamson is the most outspoken of the group, but the entire group was antisemitic. The ADL, Wiesenthal Center, etc. all warned about the entire group; Williamson is just more honest about his beliefs and doesn’t communicate in dog whistle like the others. And that really is evidence of incompetence on Benedict’s part.. either he was in such a bubble or he was ignoring the elephant in the room.

                    • margaret1910

                      I don’t care for the SSPX, but reality is that the excommunication of their bishops had absolutely nothing to do with their alleged anti-semitism, and the lifting of those excommunications, likewise, had nothing to do with anti-semitism. They were excommunicated for illicit consecrations to the episcopate.

                      Do I think that the SSPX hierarchy has issues with Judaism? Yep, I do. Even so, those talks came to nothing. The SSPX continued to insist that Pope Benedict and the whole Church should knuckle under to their position on VII. Pope Benedict said..NO. So…what is the problem? That he talked to them? That anti-semitism was not the primary issue?

                      My understanding of you, is that you think that Pope BXVI should have never reached out to this group, because their sins are so egregious that they cannot and should not be reconciled to the Catholic Church. Or, that he should have reached out to other groups whose sins are lesser? According to you, naturally.

                    • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                      Funny, everyone I know in New York considers Cardinal Dolan a marvelous pastor. And “ultraconservative? Most ultraconservatives consider him a modernist heretic! Once again, don’t judge by the news or mere externals. You have a habit of doing that.

                    • margaret1910

                      Lori, Illinidiva just wants to reject Cardinal Dolan as a pastoral sort because it messes with her narrative. I think Cardinal Dolan is another fine bishop and a really funny guy. We are lucky to have him.

                    • Illinidiva

                      Dolan is a politician who played culture warrior during Benedict’s reign and now is totally about the poor. He does have a joie de vivre which is lacking in most U.S. bishops which is great. But Dolan is willing to go where the wind blows. There is a reason why for all his showiness O’Malley got all the press attention in Rome.

                    • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                      Illinidiva, that is complete nonsense. Dolan has always been about the poor. You just weren’t paying attention. He been at New York’s soup kitchens giving out turkeys from his first Thanksgiving here. He has constantly talked about the Church’s option for the poor. I know, I’m in his diocese. Just as he still is holding a firm line on the cultural issues like the HHS mandate. True, he’s no longer the most visible leader on that issue, since he’s no longer president of the USCCB. And Dolan was every bit as prominent as O’Malley during the lead-up to the conclave in Rome, and both were equally courted by the press and touted as possible Popes.

                      I’m beginning to get an idea of what is really bugging you from your post up above where you complained about how trads bullied you while you were growing up, but Benedict “coddled” them while having no time for you and your family. I do sympathize, and am sorry anyone in the Church hurt you.

                      On the other hand, being hurt is no excuse for denigrating others; certainly your attempts at comments on what is going on in the Church bear little relationship to reality, and it’s because they are driven by emotion rather than logic or acquaintance with the facts.

                      I hope you realize that the entirety of the “New Evangelization” in the Church this past 20 years or so has been about reaching out to disaffected Catholics of all stripes. Benedict was clearly doing everything he could with this effort. It’s a very hard road; no one knows quite what to do, but they are trying. Maybe no one in your locality tried tried to reach out to your family, but why on earth would you blame Benedict for this? Did he know you and your family and deliberately slight you or something? Your hostility toward him makes no sense.

                      Did it never occur to you that Benedict reached out to the SSPX because it’s his JOB to do just that? He’s the Pope, he’s in charge of Christian Unity. He doesn’t have to like the SSPX or the people in it to do that. Many of them aren’t too likeable. They are still souls that need saving and it’s his job to keep them in the Church and away from schism. That doesn’t mean he liked their positions, however great a fondness he had for traditional liturgy. That’s really not what the SSPX is about. Many of their notions were unhealthy and dangerous to the Church. Benedict knew that better than anyone. He still had to try for healing, and for a change in their hearts. It’s his job to pasture the sheep – all of them. And all he got for his pains was bitter rejection. And you apparently blame him for this too.

                      It’s hard to say this, and I don’t know how to say it gently, but it seems to me you are still stuck in a world of childhood hurt. It’s hard to grow up sometimes, but please make an effort if you want to communicate to others – we often don’t understand your special language.

                    • Illinidiva

                      The neo-trads felt buoyed and confident by the situation. They didn’t feel challenged to reach out to anyone. Benedict confirmed that they were the extra-special elite and made them feel good about their efforts to exclude others. The thing that I think that most dislike about Francis is the fact that he isn’t giving them gold stars for their exclusionary efforts and is actually letting riff-raff into their pure little fortress. They are finally getting a dose of their own medicine.

                      Yes, perhaps Francis efforts will lead to nothing but at least someone is making these efforts. It is the first time I’ve heard a pope speak about how it is bad to bully and exclude others. Francis’ two predecessors gave the impression that they were okay with the efforts to exclude others.

                      And yes, I do blame Benedict because he sure moved mountains to make sure that a small group of schismatic anti-Semites feel welcome in the Church, but said nary a word to the disaffected Catholics. And he emboldened his biggest fans to begin throwing out the “riff-raff” who weren’t pure enough.

                      As you said, the SSPX had notions that were unhealthy and dangerous to the Church. Why exactly should such a group not be ignored and encouraged to leave? Francis has taken this novel approach to just ignoring them, which is really the best way to deal with such a group. The SSPX estimates that I’ve seen are less than a million. Why make such a group important or elevate a group like that?

                    • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                      “As you said, the SSPX had notions that were unhealthy and dangerous to the Church. Why exactly should such a group not be ignored and encouraged to leave?”

                      So then it’s you who really wants the smaller and purer Church?

                      But seriously . . . right in the next breath after you accuse Benedict of accepting bullying and wanting to exclude people. Please tell me exactly when and in what words he did either of those things?

                    • Illinidiva

                      “So then it’s you who really wants the smaller and purer Church?”

                      The Womenpriests movement also has concerns about Church doctrine. I really didn’t see Benedict going out of his way to meet with women looking for female ordination or provide them with any special encouragement or accommodation. For instance, he could have offered to meet them halfway and propose women deacons. He didn’t because their ideas were contra to Church doctrine and he knew that they would never accept a compromise (nor was he willing to allow compromise on women deacons.) How is the SSPX different from womenpriests movement? (I think that that the SSPX is even dangerous with their association with extremists. The women priests are just kooky ex-hippies.)

                      If the SSPX decides to return to the Church by fully accepting Vatican II, then they should be fully embraced. There are conservative movements out there for them to join. However, there should have been no meetings with Fellay to make him feel more important than he is. And there shouldn’t be any special accommodations and handholding.

                      “But seriously . . . right in the next breath after you accuse Benedict of accepting bullying and wanting to exclude people. Please tell me exactly when and in what words he did either of those things?”

                      This is definitely what his biggest fans, the neo-trads, got from him. And I don’t remember hearing him ever welcoming people back to the Church. I actually never heard him suggest that the Church was wrong.

                    • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                      Why did the Pope not act to try and compromise with the LCWR or women-priest wannabees while he did with the SSPX? You already pretty much gave the answer to the first part. These women want what the Church can’t give.

                      You missed the big reason why Benedict was so anxious about the SSPX as a group and did everything possible to help them back in the Church. It’s simple.

                      Bishops.

                      The SSPX has validly (though illicitly) ordained bishops who are in apostolic succession. That means the possibility of a real schism. They can validly (though illictly) ordain priests. They can draw thousands, if not millions of disaffected faithful to them because they offer the possibility of a church with sacraments. This is a big deal for the Vatican for obvious reasons. A major schism would be a disaster for the Church. Thank God it hasn’t actually happened yet.

                      The women who are defying the Church and being “ordained” can never have real ordination as priests, much less as bishops. Everyone in the Church, (with the possible exception of the ordainees themselves) knows these women are not being ordained and can never offer anything but a hollow parody of the Mass. They can’t have bishops, so they can’t have a church.

                      Benedict (and now Francis) are indeed trying to keep the women in the Church, but when a woman foolishly excommunicates herself for faux ordination, she takes only herself and perhaps a very few others like her along with her. The Vatican evidently thinks the biological solution is best.

                      Those aging sisters in the LCRW will be out of their positions due to their age soon and into their sisters’ nursing homes. Most have spiritually and emotionally checked out of the Church long ago, but are scared to leave the Church or their orders because that’s where their pensions and old age care are. It’s sad. The Vatican just has to do the best it can to keep the leaders in check and encourage the younger sisters, many of whom just look askance at the nutty women they have on top. So the Vatican visitation of the sisters and the work they are doing to dialogue with the LCWR and get them to see reason are a carefully considered pastoral plan. Most who wrung their hands over the “harsh” treatment of the sisters all over the media don’t realize what kind of real “harshness” the Church could have inflicted. I just pray that both situations will end well.

                      So Benedict didn’t spend all that time with Fellay because he wanted to show Fellay he was a special guy, but because he was desperate to save the Church from schism. And anxious to get all the anti-semites of every degree to accept the Council, including Nostra Aetate. Pope Francis, however distasteful he finds it (I understand the trads and SSPXer’s in Argentina are an especially poisonous bunch) will have to do the same because it’s his duty as Pope and safeguarder of Christian unity to prevent schism.

                      Pope Francis didn’t just offer his blunt but salutary admonitions to the traditionalists in Evangelii Gaudium. He also spoke of “the attraction of gnosticism, a purely subjective faith whose only interest is a certain experience or a set of ideas and bits of information which are meant to console and enlighten, but which ultimately keep one imprisoned in his or her own thoughts and feelings.” (no. 94)

                      Wise thoughts. What is the real faith we profess? Not ourselves or our own feelings, for sure. But Jesus Christ, first and foremost.

                      Well, I have a deadline for work Tuesday morning, and am burning the midnight oil tonight and tomorrow night, so I’ll have to drop this discussion here. I hope Illinidiva, that you’ll consider what I’ve said.

                      Oh, and I should tell you that I mostly agree with you about the clumsiness of the new translation of the Mass. But that discussion will have to be for another time. :-)

                    • Illinidiva

                      “These women want what the Church can’t give”

                      And the SSPX does as well.

                      “The women who are defying the Church and being “ordained” can never have real ordination as priests, much less as bishops. Everyone in the Church, (with the possible exception of the ordainees themselves) knows these women are not being ordained and can never offer anything but a hollow parody of the Mass. They can’t have bishops, so they can’t have a church. ”

                      The Pentecostals don’t have sacraments either or valid ordinations but they attract lots of converts to them in places like Latin America. It is a huge issue in Brazil. I think that the Church should be concerned with any group attracting followers away from it. The Pentecostals in Brazil have attracted more people away from the Church than either the SSPX or the womenpriests. The SSPX have less than 1 million followers. They are a very minute sect. The Womenpriests are even smaller. There is more risk of people becoming Protestants than people joining the SSPX. The SSPX appeals to a small group of people who are very whiny.

                      “Most who wrung their hands over the “harsh” treatment of the sisters all over the media don’t realize what kind of real “harshness” the Church could have inflicted. I just pray that both situations will end well. ”

                      I agree with you that the LCWR has been quite a light punishment.

                      “So Benedict didn’t spend all that time with Fellay because he wanted to show Fellay he was a special guy, but because he was desperate to save the Church from schism. And anxious to get all the anti-semites of every degree to accept the Council, including Nostra Aetate. Pope Francis, however distasteful he finds it (I understand the trads and SSPXer’s in Argentina are an especially poisonous bunch) will have to do the same because it’s his duty as Pope and safeguarder of Christian unity to prevent schism. ”

                      Again, people will go to Protestant sects without Sacraments willingly. And the SSPX has little attraction. All that Benedict did was give the head of a Protestant sect that no one heard of quite a publicity jump. I had frankly never heard of these guys before Benedict started talking with them.

                      “Pope Francis, however distasteful he finds it (I understand the trads and SSPXer’s in Argentina are an especially poisonous bunch) will have to do the same because it’s his duty as Pope and safeguarder of Christian unity to prevent schism. ”

                      Francis I think will ignore him. I think that he is concerned about the lost sheep but I don’t think is very concerned with lost sheep who proclaim anti-Semitism.

                    • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                      deleted and moved up above where it belongs.

                    • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                      Traditionalist Catholics who care about the sacraments and who become disaffected will naturally go to the SSPX. Those who have never been properly catechized about the sacraments and would not know one from a hole in the wall — and they are many — will be prey to Pentecostals and other Protestant groups. Even a mere million is schism is important to the Pope

                      You never heard about the SSPX until Benedict starting talking with them? Seriously??? You are apparently the only Catholic in creation who hasn’t. They’ve only been a thorn in the side of the Church and of every Pope for the last forty years. Get a clue already! I mean, before you continue pontificating about everything, learn a little bit about the
                      Church.

                    • Illinidiva

                      And the majority of the disaffected Catholics become Protestants or nones. Isn’t it more important to reach out to those other than the anti-Semites? Who actually cares if they have the Sacraments? So what? There are more people in the former group to reach out to.

                      And yes, they didn’t teach about the anti-Semites when I was in Catholic school and I thought that Mel Gibson was actually Catholic. I studied the group after Benedict started courting them and learned from Jewish friends that they were anti-Semites and associated with pro-Nazi groups during WWII.

                  • peggy

                    Why I jump in here, I’ll never know. As others have noticed, your prejudicial commentary are not worthy of serious response.

                    Alas, I am near StL where Card Burke was abp for some years. He continued where his predecessors left off to get some things right with an ethnic Polish parish. The parish left the protection of the Catholic Church is now under the control of a now-laicized priest from Poland. It espouses the homosexual agenda, etc. It remains unaffiliated. The parish board members were openly defiant of the Church. Burke reached out to parishioners who were deceived and offered reconciliation with the Church and to set right any falsely provided sacraments (ie, marriages and baptisms) that the Polish former priest presided over. He also established another Polish ethnic parish home. Sadly, the property and its history are now lost to Polish Roman Catholics in the area. The former parish is under the control of a wayward self-directed group. I don’t know whether they were once Catholic or just other activist types. But the beloved parish is lost and many souls with it. All because the parishioners put ethnic pride and property above their Catholic faith.

                    You will say he made a mess of things. The parish was defiant and stubborn. They took things to the brink. He managed it as well as any one could have. He was generous, as he should be, with offers of reconciliation.

                    I have never heard a bombastic word from this man.

                    Please, if you are as uninformed as you admit, perhaps you should simply keep your slander and libel to yourself.

                    • margaret1910

                      Thank you, Peggy. I was aware of the story of the ethnic Polish parish. I was not aware of how far Cardinal Burke went to offer reconciliation. Sounds almost pastoral! (sarcasm for any who don’t recognize it)

                      Catholic is Catholic. Full stop. There is no American Catholic church, French Catholic church, Polish Catholic church, etc. There are certainly some ethnic differences in how we celebrate the liturgy, or which Saints to whom we have special devotion, but in the end, we are either Catholic or we are not. All Catholics are in communion with Rome and subject to the Pope, whoever that may be.

                    • peggy

                      Happy to oblige. Peace. You have more patience than I do with the Diva here.

                    • Illinidiva

                      It was a money issue. St Stanislaus had a specific charter with the archdiocese that afforded it independence and Burke wanted to get his hands on the parish money to pay for lawsuits.

                    • peggy

                      Stop it.

                      Why do I do this again? Your comments are scurrilous slander against good men of God. Shame on you.

                      Honey, StL bishops have been trying to set that charter in line with Catholic tradition for almost as long as the parish existed. Card. Burke wanted to get it resolved. With the hardened hearts there, the outcome has been unfortunate. Abp Carlson continued to resolve the issue, but he trusted public courts, which claimed knowledge and authority over Catholic canon law. It has ended sadly.

                      Please stop. You are effectively a troll. Shame on me for feeding you.

                    • Illinidiva

                      This was a property dispute. St. Stanislaus has a deed. They get to keep the property. Those are the rules. This dispute is never going to be resolved because there are too many hurt tensions. If Burke wasn’t such a dictator and was a pastor, this wouldn’t have spun out of control. I’m happy that Francis kicked Burke off his perch on the Bishops’ Committee, where he was effectively controlling appointments to the American Church. Hopefully, the appointments to different diocese will yield more O’Malleys and less neo-trad types like Burke.

                    • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                      Illinidiva, Cardinal Burke was only one member of the Congregation for bishops, not its head, and not even the only American. What secret information do you have to suggest he was controlling the whole operation?

                    • Illinidiva

                      He was controlling the bishop appointments in the U.S. I’m not sure how but he was. It is shocking that a large majority of American appointments during the last three or so years are neo-trads from the upper Midwest who are associated with Burke. Even Dolan is associated with Burke (although Dolan is an Irish pol obviously and not a neo-trad.) Please tell me one pastoral American bishop who has been appointed during the last few years.. This is because Burke has been controlling the process. For me a huge sign good or bad about Francis will come with the appointment of the Chicago archbishop as I live there. Is it an O’Malley type or a sour Chaput culture warrior type or a neo-trad like Burke (or God forbid Burke himself.)?

                    • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                      Your problem is that your definition of “pastoral” is so narrow that hardly anyone can meet it (only ONE of the many bishops Benedict appointed in the U.S is really pastoral — just one? Really?) In fact, you definition is so narrow you are probably the only one who holds it. Why not be a little more broad-minded?

                      And I have no idea what you even mean by “neo-trad.” And “culture-warrior?” Are you against Chaput because he’s resoundingly pro-life? So is Cardinal O’Malley – in fact, he helped found the March for Life. Are you upset that Chaput has supported Summorum Pontificum in his diocese? Yes, horrors! — in spite of the fact that he himself has said he has zero interest in the TLM, he wants to implement this pastoral provision of Pope Benedict for those who do want it. So once again, I’m confused. If you could make things more specific, I might be more enlightened.

                      As for your alleged supervillain Burke, I’m not surprised that he knows lots of other American bishops, but that doesn’t mean there’s a conspiracy. I have to admit that the one time I heard him speak in an interview, I was not impressed with him (for one thing, his monotonous delivery nearly put me to sleep), but I know too little about him to criticize him, so I won’t do it. Maybe he’s as bad as you say. But judging on merits alone the bishops Benedict elevated, including Chaput and Dolan, I’d say he did a great job. It’s really too early to say if and how Francis will change things.

                    • Illinidiva

                      “Your problem is that your definition of “pastoral” is so narrow that hardly anyone can meet it (only ONE of the many bishops Benedict appointed in the U.S is really pastoral — just one? Really?)”

                      Actually, O’Malley wasn’t appointed by Benedict he was appointed by JPII. I don’t know anyone who Benedict appointed were pastoral. Please tell me.. And I consider neither Chaput or Dolan pastoral.

                      ” In fact, you definition is so narrow you are probably the only one who holds it. Why not be a little more broad-minded? ”

                      I think that we have a different definition of pastoral. I consider someone like Cardinal O’Malley and then Cardinal Bergoglio pastoral. For me, pastoral means actually getting down and dirty with the people and living a humble lifestyle. It doesn’t mean being a culture warrior bomb-thrower like Chaput or a politician like Dolan. Neither Dolan or Chaput “smell like their sheep.”

                      “And I have no idea what you even mean by “neo-trad.”

                      Someone who hates Vatican II and is weirdly fixated on returning to the 1950s. I think that a large majority are men in blue collar positions. My theory is that many are facing economic hardships and like to blame their personal problems on the decline of the social structures of the 1950s. They also like the fact that they get to boss their wife around in traditional Catholicism because it makes them feel better about themselves.

                      “And “culture-warrior?” Are you against Chaput because he’s resoundingly pro-life? ”

                      No I’m pro-life myself. I’m against the type of pro-life Chaput has. He has the ugliest vision of God and the Church of which I’ve ever heard. It is a great vision of the “Church of No.” His message is essentially that God hates you and you are going to burn in Hell. I thought that this article contrasting the difference between the two sermons at the March for Life was telling. http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/abp-chaputs-sermon

                      The fact that Chaput couldn’t mention women in crisis pregnancies was quite telling.

                      Another thing that I disliked about Chaput was when he allowed a school to kick out the kindergartener whose parents were gay. Again, it isn’t the little girl’s fault about her parents situation. Chaput strikes me as someone who would willingly deny little kids baptism and the sacraments because he didn’t like their parents’ situation.

                      “So is Cardinal O’Malley – in fact, he helped found the March for Life.”

                      Yes and his approach is much different than Chaput’s. He doesn’t mock or condescend to his opponents. I actually saw his sermon on Rocco Palmo’s blog for the March for Life and thought that it was quite good. I don’t think that the people there liked the sermon however because it was challenging.

                      “Are you upset that Chaput has supported Summorum Pontificum in his diocese? Yes, horrors! — in spite of the fact that he himself has said he has zero interest in the TLM, he wants to implement this pastoral provision of Pope Benedict for those who do want it.”

                      As did Cardinal Bergoglio in Argentina. However, I doubt that Chaput would pastorally engage a more liberal group. Let’s say Sant’Egidio wanted to open a specific ministry in Philadelphia. I very much doubt that they would get it.

                      “So once again, I’m confused. If you could make things more specific, I might be more enlightened.”

                      Again, as I’ve been trying to mention forever when I stated that Benedict and Francis have different ways to engage the world. People can have similar views on Church doctrine, but live in completely different worlds (and I assure you that all Catholic bishops agree on moral issues. Evil liberal boogeyman Cardinal Bernadin was a big pro-life advocate.) Chaput and O’Malley agree on doctrine, but it seems like the two live on completely different planets. Chaput sees the world around as full of people looking to destroy the Catholic Church and gets in defensive mode. He lashes out and mocks them. O’Malley (and Pope Francis) look at the same world and see many damaged people searching for God and sees the opportunity to engage them.

                      I think that the reason why everyone is missing my point is because posters are equating Church with views on doctrine. Yes, all the bishops are Catholic. I’m suggesting that there is something more to a worldview than where someone stands on abortion. I think that most conservative Catholics agree with Chaput’s assessment of the situation rather than with O’Malley’s (or Pope Francis). They believe in the same doctrine but have completely different worldviews.

                      “As for your alleged supervillain Burke, I’m not surprised that he knows lots of other American bishops, but that doesn’t mean there’s a conspiracy.”

                      Many have been associated with him.. Such as his former students and former priests that personally knew him, not someone he once met at the USCCB’s annual conference.

                      “But judging on merits alone the bishops Benedict elevated, including Chaput and Dolan, I’d say he did a great job.”

                      As I consider neither Dolan or Chaput to be “pastoral.” Dolan is a New York politician (and probably fits well with that city), but he is most obsessed with getting his picture on TV. I think that the most dangerous place is in between Cardinal Dolan and a TV camera. As for Chaput, I voiced my opinion about him above.

                    • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                      There’s so much I could say here I hardly know how to begin. Nor am I going to have time for much, but just a couple of points.

                      I don’t necessarily disagree with your main points about being pastoral. Of course, pastoral includes being with people in a real way; modern pastoral style also requires simple and humble living to be effective. It definitely requires other points as well, but let’s start there. You have left off a lot in your judgments of people even according to your own criteria. You never mentioned (or perhaps don’t know) that Abp. Chaput sold the episcopal mansion in Philadelphia and moved into the seminary; he did the same in Denver. He has a poor and humble lifestyle. He has a great reputation for being a hands-on bishop. I know from the comments by people in Denver when he moved.

                      No, you have a laser-beam focus on one or two incidents, and your main source is NCR, and their determination to divide bishops into political categories. For the March for Life sermon, you just played back Michael Sean Winters commentary verbatim, instead of going to the actual sermons. I read both sermons (O’Malley and Chaput) and found them both outstanding in their own ways. A difference of focus is not a bad thing. At any rate, Winters is just plain wrong about one thing: Chaput did mention the men and women affected by abortion. Go to the text. At any rate, you can’t judge a bishop by one sermon. Go to other sermons of his and you will probably find more focus on the unborn and pregnant women. But the intellectual and ideological bent of the sermon is not wrong or unpastoral. Young people are not stirred up only by compassion. When asked to fight — and believe me, this is a fight — they are also moved and fired up by an understanding of the principles they are fighting for. I have read a number of Abp. Chaput’s sermons. He is a brilliant intellectual and a great writer, but he is also pastoral. You will not know this, unless you drop your slavish adherence to NCR commentary and actually read him.

                      Your treatment of Cardinal Dolan and the press is also colored by the same gang – it certainly doesn’t come from the personal experience of Cardinal Dolan we have here in New York. First, his presence with the press has been life-changing for many in the media. He goes frequently the few blocks from his residence to the Today show. Those who know him can assert that he does this not to get his name and face in the news, but to present the presence and teaching of the Church to the world. He does it for pastoral reasons as well: to evangelize those in the media. There was one filmed segment in a story about the cardinal where Matt Lauer confessed that his understanding of the Christian faith had been greatly changed by knowing Cardinal Dolan both in and outside their interviews (I got the impression he was not a believer, but that Dolan had really made him think about things). Did you know that just before the conclave last year, Dolan celebrated a special Mass for members of the press in the grottoes of St. Peter’s Basilica? And asked some of the newspeople do the readings? And why would he have done that? (Cameras, as far as I know, weren’t present). He did it as a pastoral outreach to people who often don’t understand or are hostile toward the Church. And of course, as a consequence, it might improve the reporting.

                      Second Cardinal Dolan doesn’t kowtow to the press. He is not afraid to offend if necessary. He has taken after the New York Times in no uncertain terms for its treatment of Pope Benedict and the abuse crisis, particularly the odious and inaccurate articles by Laurie Goodstein. He castigated the press again when the flap arose over Pope Francis’ misquoted remarks about some in the Church “obsessing” over doctrine. He pointed out the real obsession with sexual teachings of the Church lies with the media. He did this at a press conference right in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. At the same time, he approaches people in the media kindly. I remember his acknowledgment of Goostein (after the above-mentioned flap) when she asked him a question in a press conference when he was elected USCCB president. He just just looked at her when she said her name and with great gentleness and even sadness, said, “Yes, Laurie, I know who you are.” That struck me very greatly. I guess God bless him and let’s have more of the same approach.

                      I don’t have time for any long discussion of the children of gay parents in Catholic schools. This is a subject on which there is pro and con, and bishops like Chaput and O’Malley have different approaches. On the one hand, the religious education of all children should be cared for, especially if they are baptized. They shouldn’t be punished for their parents’ sins. On the other hand, what kind of confusion and stress will there be for children in a Catholic school to hear — as they will in the course of their doctrinal teaching– a teaching on homosexuality that directly contradicts the beliefs and actions of their parents? It could greatly disrupt the home as well as the school. (To eject children after they have been in a school is undoubtedly worse than making a judgment call to not accept them to begin with and explain why to their parents). The point is, it’s a judgment call for the school. Sometimes the bishop will intervene in one way or another. But don’t let one decision of this kind lead you to judge a bishop harshly.

                      I have to go. I probably won’t have time to write again. But please reconsider what you are doing to yourself by perpetually feeding your own outrage. It’s a form of self-medication and not a good one.

              • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

                I’ll wait to find out if you know anything more about Cardinal Burke than you do about Benedict before making a judgment.

                • Illinidiva

                  Please tell me something pastoral that Burke has done.

                  • margaret1910

                    Please define pastoral. Without using the root word.

          • Hezekiah Garrett

            Internet comboxes being as they are, it is nigh unto impossible to make shrill histrionics really stand out.

            I, for one, salute you!

            • margaret1910

              Although, I agree that Illinidiva is rather color-blind, I don’t think that she reaches the level of histrionics. Her opinions are way too emotional, ignoring actual evidence, but I wouldn’t call her a troll. I could be wrong.

          • Fr. Denis Lemieux

            You know, I happen to be a (minor) scholar in Ratzinger’s writings (did my STL thesis on his Mariology) and have read just about everything he wrote that is in English.

            I just need to say that the entire thrust, the dominant theme, of this man’s life has been to engage with secular modernity, with atheism, with communism, with positivism, with every ideological current happening in the 20th century, in a genuine dialogue that is characterized by thoughtful reflection and sympathetic listening.

            He has reached out, over and over and over again, to virtually everyone in the modern world, and has largely been rebuffed and ignored in so doing, because he does not reach out in a spirit of capitulation, but of real dialogue.

            But since you find his writings difficult and haven’t read them, I guess you’re going to miss all that… and yet you still feel qualified to make sweeping comments about the man!

  • Rosemarie

    +J.M.J+

    In a related story, here’s a sensible, positive piece on Pope Francis from today’s NY Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch just like Fox News:

    Meet the new pope — same as the old pope
    http://nypost.com/2014/01/31/meet-the-new-pope-same-as-the-old-pope

    (To top it all off, the writer is a self-proclaimed atheist. Yet he seems to “get” Church teaching more than Shaw does.)

    • http://www.subcreators.com/blog Lori Pieper

      I agree, Rosemarie. Excellent article. By the way I fixed the link;

      http://nypost.com/2014/01/31/meet-the-new-pope-same-as-the-old-pope/

      (Yours needed an “e” on the end. Not that it’s visible here with the shortening of links).

      • Rosemarie

        +J.M.J+

        Thanks for fixing the link. I didn’t realize it was broken. I fixed it in my post as well.


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