At the Register: Predictable News Flash: Pope Mistranslated

Gawrsh, who could have predicted that he didn’t actually say the weird things they said he said.

A couple of other things:  when he said “I’m humble enough,” I’M PRETTY SURE THAT WAS A SELF-DEPRECATING JOKE.  He must be aware that the press is always going on about his humility, and it must bug him.

The other thing is, he said that youth unemployment and lonely seniors are the greatest evil in the world, or something like that.  Obviously he doesn’t think that’s true.  This tells me that (a) it was yet another bad translation; or (b) he’s a blabbermouth who exaggerates, because he’s a Latin American.  Either way, not a heresy, not the end of the world.  Get a grip, folks.

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  • richard

    I’m not lonely.

    • StumbleBumble

      Nor am I. I got Jesus and Mary and Joseph, my Guardian Angel and the entire Church to look after, to pray for, and to hope for and to ask that our Lord Jesus look kindly upon all who have nothing but negative things to say about our Holy Father. Nothing new under the sun.

      P.S. I too am Latin American and much like Papa Francis, I enjoy a good conversation and would not consider myself a blabbermouth…let alone Papa Francis. Maybe that is it, eh? A clash of cultures? But that is not of the Lord…respect? Yes…and fraternity, even moreso.

  • OldWorldSwine

    Sounds like he’s doing some meta-analysis of social decay. Abortion, euthanasia and the collapse of marriage didn’t happen in a vacuum. Many young people ARE alienated from their heritage and don’t know what place they should have in society, don’t see the point of having children. Many old people ARE lonely and see no point to living another day.

    It sounds like something Mother Teresa might have said.

    • StumbleBumble

      And maybe, just maybe…in order to promote a real conversation among all believers, he has taken himself out of his own comfort zone and has decided to share his own thoughts and impressions of the Church with every one who will consider what he has to say whether we/they/me like it or not.

      I’m in! Good material for reflection, for growth and for dying to my own wants and comforts.

  • He was very clear that he believes the “worst evil in the world today” is unemployment and loneliness.
    I would have thought something along the lines of sin, abortion, euthanasia etc., but nope! It’s unemployment. That should make Obama and Nancy Pelosi happy.

    • Rachel

      Have you ever thought that maybe those problems, unemployment and loneliness contribute to abortion, euthanasia, broken marriages, etc? Abortion and these other issues do not happen in a vaccum. Take a look at this study: . It lists the reasons why women have abortions and many of them have something to do with unemployment or trying to establish one’s self in a very difficult economic environment by being in college, etc. Are these excuses? Perhaps. But it does help to see that some of the economic issues like chronic unemployment, the demand for higher and higher degrees just to get a decent job, broken families, etc do contribute to the abortion statistics. If we want to fight abortion, we need to also find ways to address these other underlying issues.

      • You beat me to it, Rachel. Maybe the Pope’s point is that all these ills and sins are interrelated, and need to be addressed as such. We can’t fight abortion, for example, while ignoring the reasons *why* people abort.

        • Rachel

          Exactly. They go together. This is also why I’ve been disillusioned with the “pro-life” movement. For over forty years, the emphasis has been almost entirely on the pre-born. In the last decade or so, concern for the mother has increased some but what about after the child is born? What about when they are older? When many of these women are in poverty, government assistance, etc. These are also pro-life issues. So are the peace issues. I think we need a greater comprehensive pro-life movement. my hope is that this will happen more and more. I don’t know if its a generational thing or not but it is the younger people I’ve spoken with who seem to get it that we need to expand our horizons to dealing with the reasons why people abort. Unfortunately, its the older generation who have said (somebody has said this to me before) that we have to deal with abortion first before issues like poverty, unemployment, etc and that if abortion is declared illegal then everything else will be corrected. That is the wrong idea to have and I think this is exactly what Pope Francis is talking about in regards to our “obsession” with abortion, et al. In addition, the orthodox Catholic media do tend to focus primarily on the abortion/contraception/gay marriage issues. I’ve heard enough Catholic radio, watched EWTN, and read many blogs to see that these are constant reoccurring themes while economic and peace issues are nearly non existent (one in a while they are discussed but not enough).

          • jenny

            “…. but what about after the child is born? What about when they are older? When many of these women are in poverty, government assistance, etc. These are also pro-life issues. …”
            Very well said….

          • jenny

            I watch EWTN Frank Pavone and other pro life programs….
            and hardly see any talk about how to support the unborn child…financially/ emotionally/ medically.
            …hardly any words about the father who usually is the main cause of abortion – I am talking
            about fathers who ” disappear ” . Isn’t the father a criminal by killing his child through starvation? Or is the mother supposed to work double in order to make double $$$$ and feed the unborn child?

          • Ah, but if she works long hours she’s a neglectful mother! But if she doesn’t, she’s a welfare queen, sponging off society! Father? What father? It’s all the fault of women!

          • Jordan

            Right. If you just willed it hard enough, you wouldn’t need assitance.

          • Dan C

            I would suggest that followers of Fr. Pavone are reliably nearly libertarian. As such, they approach such matters with little thought of systemic intervention, and wish upon the local churches, community volunteer organizations, and local charities the responsibility to manage the difficulties. They would suggest “government programs” are not the answer. It is a different point of view than, again, the latest social encyclical.

        • jenny

          When the Pope said that we talk too much about abortion, maybe he wants to shift the focus from abortion to the cause of abortion.
          A scenario would be a stable family, where the news of a new baby is received with :
          – father :…. what …pregnant, how come ? didn’t I tell you not to get pregnant, ….that we do not have $$$$…?
          – mother: … sorry, my fault that I got pregnant …
          – father … yelling and shouting , and slamming the door…
          – mother: …crying alone…I am sorry my baby, my fault I got pregnant ..
          Simsha , where is your book with the hard cover showing the priest/ mother/father @confession ?
          Latter in the day, the mother goes to confession:
          “…. bless me father, I have sinned…I did not listen to my husband, and I got pregnant….”

          …just a thought…..

          • Dan C


            “Question: The issue of the family. A month ago you were in Valencia for the World Meeting of Families. Anyone who was listening carefully, as we tried to do at Vatican Radio, noticed how you never mentioned the words “homosexual marriage”, you never spoke about abortion, or about contraception. Careful observers thought that was very interesting. Clearly your idea is to go around the world preaching the faith rather than as an “apostle of morality”. What are your comments?

            Pope Benedict XVI: Obviously, yes. Actually I should say I had only two opportunities to speak for twenty minutes. And when you have so little time you can’t say everything you want to say about “no”. Firstly you have to know what we really want, right? Christianity, Catholicism, isn’t a collection of prohibitions: it’s a positive option. It’s very important that we look at it again because this idea has almost completely disappeared today. We’ve heard so much about what is not allowed that now it’s time to say: we have a positive idea to offer, that man and woman are made for each other, that the scale of sexuality, eros, agape, indicates the level of love and it’s in this way that marriage develops, first of all, as a joyful and blessing-filled encounter between a man and a woman, and then the family, that guarantees continuity among generations and through which generations are reconciled to each other and even cultures can meet. So, firstly it’s important to stress what we want. Secondly, we can also see why we don’t want something. I believe we need to see and reflect on the fact that it’s not a Catholic invention that man and woman are made for each other, so that humanity can go on living: all cultures know this. As far as abortion is concerned, it’s part of the fifth, not the sixth, commandment: “You shall not kill!”. We have to presume this is obvious and always stress that the human person begins in the mother’s womb and remains a human person until his or her last breath. The human person must always be respected as a human person. But all this is clearer if you say it first in a positive way.”

            The early part of the pontificate was spent identifying that the Church has to identify that which it was “for” not against. In fact, each encyclical is framed as such. Even Love in Truth, which only occasionally mentions abortion does make the link to abortion as a consequence of injustice.

            Benedict said, “We need to tell the world what we are about.” Also, his encyclicals labelled economic charity and justice as the work for members of the Church. Francis is not new. Just unavoidable.

            (Benedict quote above from Amy Welborn.)

      • jenny

        ..well said….

      • Yes, I’ve considered it and I still think its GARBAGE. There is TRUE EVIL in the world today and being lonely or unemployed doesn’t even make the top ten list.
        Where did ANY Apostle or Jesus say being lonely or unemployed was EVIL or a priority in the world? That’s what I consider and reflect on, Jesus and the Apostles and what they taught.

        • SpeSalvi

          I dunno…I seem to vaguely recall some teachings about people being ultimately judged based on whether they feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned (Matthew 25:31)
          Are those things not speaking directly to loneliness (visiting the sick and imprisoned) and even unemployment (is not employing someone the ultimate in feeding and clothing them)?
          If those are the goods that we are judged on, then are not their opposites (not caring about the lonely and unemployed/poor) evil?
          Does He not say it was those who fail to consider the lonely and poor are the goats who will told to depart from Him?
          So I think we have good indication that Jesus did indeed say these things are a priority. I find it hard to fathom how anyone even moderately familiar with scripture and church teaching could think these things are not worthy of reflection.

          • And HOW did Jesus end Matt. 25 the Sheep and the Goats? With a lesson on GOING TO HELL. Has the Pope mentioned that? He tells the love and warm fuzzy stuff, but not the need to repent or you go to HELL. Jesus spoke more on HELL than anything else in the Gospel, it would be nice if our Pope would MENTION it with his Church of Nice interviews. JMO

  • Dan C

    I work with those alienated from work. From active participation in Creation, who, through injustice, not laziness, do not get their just due. It is crippling. It destroys and is the apple from the tree from which much other evil falls.

    Francis is a man accustomed to ghettoes and favelos of Latin America, who was a mature man during right wing oppressive regimes that crushed labor and bereft economies through cleptocracies. He knew the chronically unemployed in Buenos Aires, or so his biographies lead us to believe.

    These economic evils are highlighted in Cartitata in Veritate and one can also understand that these economic injustices are centerpieces of a society now embracing many life-destroying activites.

    Why do conservatives not appreciate the the difficulties of chronic unemployment, of generational unemployment? I do not get it, except in the old days of the 1980 “moral majorities” which ruled in local towns who claimed that the unemployed were lazy and got what they deserved.

    The sense of the roots of societal evil are absent on the right wing. Truly the problem of Francis for the right is that you all ignored the two encyclicals of Benedict: God is Love, and Love in Truth. But you lapped up all the liturgy quotes.

    • jenny

      …so right, if I do not have work , what am I supposed to do ? Wake up in the morning and do what? drink, drugs, steal, sex? …we can break all 10 commandments….
      No work , no $$$$. When I get hungry, what am I supposed to do, steal food?
      I really believe that lack of work is evil , and brings more kinds of evils…..

      • Dan C

        Again, I offer you Benedict’s encyclicals, particularly Love in Truth. Again, I note that this type of comment comes from a predictably Republican-voting person, Catholic or not. I also note, this individual is likely to be anti-abortion. The tribal grouping of political opinions like this with those indoctrinations that have come been issuing forth from political conservative groups since Reagan (and the deliberate creation of the welfare cheat/welfare queen mythology) will repel anyone with different sympathies from anti-abortion actions or proclivities. Quite frankly, I hear this commonly from pro-lifers and as such, avoid identification as a pro-lifer. Because I have different sensibilities about economics. Not because I support abortion.

        Why would groups as disparate as Native Americans, African Americans, low-income Asians on the West Coast, or Chicano and Hispanic groups all end up with the same set of behaviors when poor? Why are impoverished Aborigines in Australia behaving like impoverished African Americans in US inner cities? Maybe we need to understand that the dynamics of poverty in a capitalist society create certain evils.

        Believing that each person wakes up every day with full competence to meet the days’ moral challenges and chooses evil like a carton villain who chooses to do evil with a hand-wringing cackle is a particular indulgence of the right wing. As such, they can ignore the consequences of the unjust economic systems and the human catastrophes that result, and what these systems seem to do to the humans at the bottom.

        Such thinking as this is a moderate re-iteration of Benedict, However, Benedict was deliberately misread by the right wing, with more conscious misrepresentation than the MSM is purportedly doing. As such, Francis is such a shock.

        • Rachel

          exactly Dan

    • Spastic Hedgehog

      I’m so glad someone brought up Caritas in Veritate because that was the first thing I thought of when I read the quote. You don’t have to travel far on the Internet to realize that lonely people are *everywhere* and they fill that loneliness with all kinds of un-Godlike things. Even Augustine gets at this when he writes about how restless our hearts are until they find God. And it isn’t just the poor. Isn’t loneliness in some way at the root of consumerism: if we buy enough of or the right stuff we will feel complete? If we have more stuff, we will be loved? If we have the right stuff, we will control our lives, not God?

  • Jordan

    That comment section is disgusting. I’m completely fed up with the army of chicken littles whose heads explode at every opportunity. It’s getting harder to read even blogs like yours, Simcha (by that I mean ones that remain more or less level headed, like a normal person), because of all the crap that leaks in from the freakout crowd, even if you’re not combing through the comments section. Makes me sad 🙁