Oh, Francis-haters, you sound very lovely when you get played that way.

Good heavens, I’m completely disgusted at some of the comments I’m reading about Pope Francis’ “snub” of some concert.


Here’s the only completely sensible thing I’ve heard: this is a big deal about nothing.  As one commenter pointed out, maybe the guy had diarrhea and didn’t feel like telling anyone.  Maybe an old friend is on his death bed.  Who the heck knows?  We don’t.  I’m fairly sure it wasn’t just a passive aggressive fabrication when “an archbishop told the crowd of cardinals and Italian dignitaries that an ‘urgent commitment that cannot be postponed’ would prevent Francis from attending.”

Here’s the thing:  you outraged ones, do you seriously not realize that you’re getting played by the media?  Some pissy cardinal got mad and told the media that it was a story.  It’s not.  Think I’m wrong?  Do you really think that Benedict went to every last thing on his schedule for eight years?  Really?  He never skipped anything, ever?  Or if he did skip something, were you there to see how he let people know he wouldn’t be there, and were you also there to see how Francis let people know he wouldn’t be there?  And Benedict did it right, and Francis did it wrong, every time, because if Benedict did it wrong, then the media would have written a story about it?  And Francis deliberately arranged for there to be an empty chair, but Benedict definitely and personally made sure that nobody was disappointed ever?  You know this?  Because of all the stories you’ve read, written by the totally impartial media, whom you have always trusted in the past to get all the details right about all things Catholic?

Please.  You. Are. Getting. Played.  If you don’t like him, fine.  (I think you’re nuts, but what do I know.)  But if you’re seriously calling him “tyrannical” for not showing up at a concert, or refusing to pray for him because, according to a transcript of some unscripted discussion, you think he’s not properly grateful for prayers, then you have a serious problem.

The same goes if you like the pope, and you have read a few stories and have concluded that he is Sending a Signal to the Musico-Ecclesial Complex about how, from now on, we will be scraping all the gold leaf off St. Peter’s and melting it down to buy clean needles for addicts and christening gowns for the children of prostitutes.  People.  Get a grip.  He’s a very interesting pope.  But this just plain isn’t a story.

Yeah, I feel kinda bad for the people who practiced their music and then didn’t get to play for the pope.  That stuff happens sometimes.  But I have no sympathy for people who are just horrified, just bowled over with revulsion and dismay, at his rejection of everything that has been sacred to us lo these many years.  Because the people who are the most horrified are the same people who pooh-pooh their fellow Catholics who leave the Church over truly painful issues — things like divorce and remarriage, or the abuse scandal.  You expect the entire world to just . . . . get over stuff, and yet you are climbing up your own assholes over an empty chair at a concert.

Yeah, so, that’s what I think.

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  • I wasn’t aware he sent any message. Link?

    • simchafisher

      I pulled the quote from the Reuters article I linked to, above. It says “Minutes before the concert was due to start, an archbishop told the crowd of cardinals and Italian dignitaries that an “urgent commitment that cannot be postponed” would prevent Francis from attending.” Thanks for catching that – I will word it more precisely.

  • HeatherRenshaw

    I love that I just nearly ran into a wall because I was so raptly reading your post. Carry on.

  • richard

    Much ado about nothing.

  • Barbara Fryman

    I love the idea that B16 was evil/perfect and Francis is perfect/incompetent. I just had this discussion with our pediatrician who thought Benedict was too austere, and Francis is perfection on toast.
    My take is they are different parts to the same Body and I am blessed to witness God’s handiwork.

    • June1111

      Amen! Where is our mercy? 🙂

  • DeirdreMundy

    Fr. Z had an interesting conspiracy theory— He pointed out that all the curia and muckety-mucks were at the concert and stuck there for the duration once they arrived. So…if you wanted to have a secret meeting with someone who had important information on the inner workings of the Vatican……

  • Colet C. Bostick

    You so salty. Lurv it!

  • Erin M.


    That article by John Allen was a great analysis of this incident and all the ridiculous media spin around both Francis and Benedict.

  • Guest

    Sing it Simcha! Woot woot

  • Katie TLC

    Sing it Simcha! Woot woot