Francis Confounds the Associated Press

Via Matthew Schmitz’ twitter feed, where he notes a sense of “disorientation.”

I can just hear the mainstream secular press.

WAIT! WHAT? I thought we had a read on this guy! He was gonna shut up about abortion, already! Next day he’s telling doctors not to perform them, and sayin’ each aborted kid has the face of Christ? WHAT? That’s like the WORST THING HE COULD SAY when people are actually listening!

This feels like Charlie Brown and Lucy and the Football! It’s almost like he’s teasing us, like he just wants to get everyone’s attention and then he’s going to sneak stuff like that in there? Don’t play with us, Pope!

But at least he said money is the root of all evil, so, good. We can work with that! He’s a liberation theologian, right? Right? He’s not going to turn around tomorrow and say that God even loves the wealthy is he? He’s not going to say something dumb like Joseph of Arimathea models a wealthy person who uses his riches and influence to further the will of God, or something he is? Don’t TEASE us, Pope! Don’t shake our faith in you! You are the us we’ve been waiting for!!!”

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  • Manny

    I’ve been thinking about this. I don’t think people can keep blaming the media. One can blame the media if this were the first or second time, but now how many times has Pope Francis had to clarify himself? Every other week? There’s an issue with his style here. I don’t recall Pope Benedict XVI having to clarify himelf very often. What Pope Francis said in the interview is mostly spot on. But there are those ocasional lines that discombobulates everyone, Catholic, non-Catholic, and the media. He can’t keep going on like this.

  • Christian Schmemann

    In reality, because of globalization the entire world has to practice unfettered capitalism. Many countries make courageous attempts to mitigate the worst aspects of unfettered capitalism, but since America is- for the time being, the economic superpower, so its practice of soulless unfettered capitalism is something that the rest of the world is simply forced to go along with.

  • Christian Schmemann

    Yes he did, and yes he was right to do so.

    The Holy Father did not say that we should stop mentioning these issues; he said that we should not talk about these issues in isolation. The Church cannot help but to speak against abortion- and this is the one front on the Culture Wars that has had success.

    If society permits a situation where you go to work and are informed that your job just got shipped to China where the boss’ production costs are half of what you were being paid, you will not be able to provide for your family, and you will start using contraceptives because you will not be able to afford the kids you already have- to say nothing of any more kids. If you are pregnant in this situation, you may well contemplate abortion. It is reported that 75% of all abortions in America are sought because of economic concerns- that is the mother cannot afford to raise another kid (or everybody will be sleeping rough and homeless).

    So yes, unfettered capitalism must be replaced by a well-regulated capitalism that is forced by the State to allow all people to have a reasonable minimal level of security and develop their full human potential.

  • Christian Schmemann

    I think every Pope in the modern era, starting with Leo XIII has been at least a good Pope- and Leo XIII saw right through both laissez faire capitalism and statist socialism.

    For the record, I see a lot of continuity between John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis I.

  • Christian Schmemann

    I have friends from the former Soviet bloc, and they claim that American media is every dumber than the former Soviet press. Pravda is a better media outlet than most the American broadcast media outlets.

    Personally, I get my news from the BBC and der Spiegel.

  • Gordis85

    Very much what Jesus would do! Viva il Papa!

  • Paul

    After reading your blog I checked the web to see how much coverage the media gave these remarks compared to the “America” interview. Predictably there was scant reporting. My point is, the press will use half truths to undermine church teaching and mislead people of good will who don’t make the effort to stay informed on such matters. This is illustrated by 40% of weekly mass-attending Catholics voting for Obama,, champion of abortion in 2012.

  • JojoXray

    I just pray that Francis has the fortitude to keep the rabid liberal catholics at bay. They would absolutely destroy the church inside 10 years if they had the power to do so.

  • Paxton Reis

    In addition to biases and preconceptions, the processes and activities associated with modern media have changed. Stories and commentary need to be published immediately thus bereft of meaningful context and analysis. Unfortunately, it is a symptom of our fast pace, interconnected media and internet age: No longer do news organizations have time to prepare in reporting stories and, often, commentary.

    Stories can be published immediately so media sources need to respond in kind so to achieve ratings etc. No longer do we need to wait for the morning paper or the nightly news for coverage on current events; coverage can occur in real-time though obviously far too often devoid of substance and context.

  • Paxton Reis

    I think we need to be patient with them and use moments like this to insert a deeper context. Maybe it will not have an immediate impact but at least the door has been cracked home for this dialogue and we have an opportunity to plant a seed. God’s time is deeper and more profound then our time, so we can only do so much and patiently wait.

  • Victor

    God knows that His Holiness is doing His Best. Would you not agree Manny:
    God Bless

  • DeaconJohnMBresnahan

    If the media covers politics and world affairs as incompetently and ignorantly and with as much liberal bias as it does the pope and the Catholic Church, then the news media is just a waste of time and money. They obsess on a few lines and miss the whole story in context making them look like total fools.

  • Manny

    Well, I live in America and i don’t find it souless. America still has a higher percentage of beliving Christians than the rest of the developed world. In fact how about you check out all those atheists is those socialist-lite European countries and tell me if they have a soul.

  • Manny

    He’s doing great, but he’s confusing the heck out of not just the media. My point is you can’t just keep blaming the press. Anyway, whatever he’s doing it’s working…lol.

  • Augustine

    Indeed, I had to correct my mother on the expectations that the press gave her about the Church. Unfortunately, I sensed that she believes the press more than me.

  • Augustine

    So, basically, you don’t believe the words of Our Lord that He’d be with the Church always and that she would prevail?

  • MeanLizzie

    I had precisely the same experience with my MIL this weekend. Her generation is well-trained to believe that if the press says something, it’s b/c it’s true. And yeah, more credible than her own daughter. :-)

  • Victor

    (((Anyway, whatever he’s doing it’s working…lol.)))
    Seems like “IT” Manny! Hey “Who” knows, maybe he’s taking lesson from sinner vic?
    Go Figure brothers and sisters :)

  • Augustine

    So, a society out of which people who are responsible for such “unfettered” capitalism somehow would somehow produce people capable of exercising state power in an opposite way? Where are these angels?

    No one can be this utopian after over a century of history attempting this utopia against economic laws and human rights.

    Rather, the economic system we have today is the merger of corporations and the state, which, according to Mussolini, is the very definition of fascism. And, as Lenin said, fascism is capitalism in decline.

    So, if one wants to reform the economic system we live in, one should break this merger at first and perhaps try truly capitalism unfettered by both the state and monopolists, which has never been tried.

  • TerryC

    I think it should be “he tell the audience what they NEED to hear.”

  • steve5656546346

    Unfortunately, there is no happy face to be put on this interview.

    No, it is not that he taught heresy. No, it is not even that his words could not be understood in some good way.

    It is that he knew how the media spins things, and did not adjust his words accordingly. And it simply is not true that the fundamental problem in the Church is speaking up abrasively on minor issues: it is that it has been nearly silent on some very large ones at the level of the priests and bishops.

    His word will be thrown back in our faces for years.