Taming “The Constant Francis”

Seriously, I’m beginning to feel like all I do is read, write, and dialogue about Francis, all day long and all night; other work is slipping deadlines — book reviews; interviews; transcriptions; writers who need beatings; editors who also need beatings — all because of The Constant Francis whose impact on American Catholics is overstuffing my in-boxes, my comboxes, my social media threads.

I will need to tame this Constant Francis or I’m never going to get anything else done. I literally spent hours today talking Francis with people who are either still hanging by the rafters and howling that he’s ruining everything, or coming to figure out that triumphalist “piss on you, guys, we’ve got our pope, now” is both inaccurate and unfair to Francis and unhelpful to the work of the Holy Spirit.

Don’t get me wrong; I love talking Francis. But I am tempted, today, to boil everything down to what I have decided (at the prompting of Simcha Fisher) is my life motto: Just kiss it up to God and calm your ass down”, if for no other reason that I can then get other work done.

So, having applied my new motto, I’m providing you with some good stuff others are writing about Francis (and a new translation of the Scalfari interview) so the conversation can continue: Constant Francis Less One Voice for the rest of the day:

Let’s start off with Gerard Nadal (who is no one’s idea of a “flaming liberal”, Catholic or otherwise, and would be first to admit it), who has written three pieces in quick succession, all of them Must Reads:

His first I linked to a day or so ago, but if you missed it: Pope Francis: Rupture vs Change (“He. Is. Peter.”)

The second: Ongoing Fallout, Part I: wherein he explores “the face of true evangelism”

The third: Ongoing Fallout, Part II: discussing Francis’ thoughts about unemployed youth and the elderly, which offended so many.

In terms of fealty to the church, appreciation of Benedict and commitment to pro-life issues and so forth, Nadal is not second to anyone else, so if you need to know that in order to feel you can trust him, there you go. Don’t miss his pieces.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: has been processing Francis out in the open for all to see, and braving some snarks for it. Today he talks about getting used to Francis in unusual terms.

Archbishop Charles Chaput: Thoughtful remarks on the Spadaro interview

For those concerned about all the “hippie talk” they’re hearing, Frank Weathers, former Jarhead, asks, If a Doctor of the Church says it, then why can’t Pope Francis?

Fr. James V. Schall, SJ: Bergoglio and the Ultimate Questions

Joseph Susanka, who never pipes up about anything, says Chew before swallowing!

Francis Beckwith: Am I the Prodigal Son’s Brother?

Calah Alexander: kind of echoes Jesus in this piece, when he said “fear is useless, what is needed is trust”.

Katrina Fernandez, who has not been a happy camper, is making a very sound prayer

Father Robert Barron: the field hospital is open

Kathy Schiffer has more on that proselytizing line that also upset some.

Melinda Henneberger, on the Comity Factor of Francis and what it’s worth.

Quidquid recipitur ad modum recipientis recipitur: A Conjectore on Francis and the Atheist

Deacon Greg has relevant words from a Servant of God

Dr. Gregory Popcak: on the Hierarchy of Truth and other things.

Meanwhile, this is interesting: the Curial Reform Agenda Priority is Putting Families First

Kate O’ Hare: Bergoglio’s List: Francis’ Role in Saving Dissidents

Peter Wehner: Appreciation from a secular social conservative

Thoughts fromm Andrea Tornielli

La Stampa: Women Cardinals and Female Machismo

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Victor

    (((The Constant Francis whose impact on American Catholics is overstuffing my in-boxes, my comboxes, my social media threads.)))

    “IT” is OK Anchoress! At least me, myself and i know why you have not replied to my email now! :)


    I hear YA! Hey Victor, I’m only human! :(

  • David

    Francis seems to be the type of pope our Church needs. To the stir the pot to break us out of our comfort zones so that we can fully place our trust and faith in God, where it should be. Whatever the case, things will surely sort themselves out.

  • ATDP
  • Roughcoat

    Oh, heck, I’ll just say it. The pope come across as sappy and unmanly–a wimp. He expresses sentiments that are intellectually shallow, desperately platitudinous, and altogether cringe-worthy. Some are literally nonsensical. He’s the kind of priest that drives men from the pews. Not like J2P2, a real mensch. This guy ain’t a mensch. You think that’s a trivial concern? Then you don’t value the presence of men in the Catholic Church.

  • crossdotcurve

    What obsession with small-minded rules. Sickly and inward looking, if you ask me.

  • chris-2-4

    Today’s Feast day brings to mind all those beautiful sayings of St. Francis as well as all those dubious quotations as well. In light of the discussion, it seems it WAS fitting for the new Pope to take this name, seeing how prone to being misquoted on the internet they both are.

  • KarenDenver

    Ooooh, this is a handy lil’ roundup! Thank you! Just a thought: as a regular ‘PathCath’ reader, I would love to see something like this on a weekly or monthly basis (not just about Papa Francis, of course). Maybe like your picks for the highlights of the previous week or month from various bloggers.
    Also, best luck practicing that motto. I might adopt it myself.

  • MeanLizzie

    I used to do roundups all the time but they’re a lot of work — require a lot of reading, etc…I just don’t have that kind of time, anymore…not that I’m complaining. :-)

  • Victor

    Honestly Anchoress! I don’t know how you can do “IT” while praying at that?
    Please don’t ever stop praying for me but I insist that you take a well deserved rest! :)

  • stoney

    He’s a jebbie trained in the rot of the seminaries of the time. Whadda expect?

  • George

    If there is only one thingfor the American Church to learn from Francis (there are many,of course) it is that trying to fit the Church into neat little American political categories is damaging to the Church and it’s mission.

  • Matthew

    The Church survived Alexander VI and John XII, I am sure she will survive this guy.
    Being Peter does not make him a saint nor more importantly does is give him infallible prudence. As Catholics we seem willing to acknowledge inadequate popes in history but not to entertain the notion that we have one now.

  • TheReluctantWidow

    I think anyone taking the time to really read the interviews vs. just listening to the very subjectively chosen sound bites will realize that there is a tremendous continuity in message. The thing that strikes me, as a borderline extreme introvert who found comfort in Pope BXVI’s intellectual and quiet demeanor, is that Pope Francis is an extrovert. The man loves to be with people, he gains strength and faith from being with people, and so we are going to see a lot of him in the midst of people. Every Pope, Cardinal, Bishop, priest etc has a different charism, different areas of faith that draw their attention and energies, but really they are all about the same aim – winning souls and encouraging the faithful. The three popes I have been blessed enough to have as a leader in my faith, were/are all evangelists. They just have different modes of accomplishing the same task. I didn’t appreciate Pope Francis at first, but I do now. And, I don’t think it’s productive to imply that he’s “sappy, unmanly, dumb…” or any other derogatory comment. He’s just being authentically what God created him to be, just as JPII and BXVI, were their authentic selves. Sorry for the long comment but it’s really time to put away the snarky comments about Pope Francis.

  • http://www.lampofthebody.com/ Dave Zelenka

    We must all re-read and re-read again The Parable of the Lost Sheep. It seems to be in that parable that we can understand Pope Francis. Keep in mind that parable was first a response to the Pharisees and the scribes.

  • Frank

    Please, God, let this be a troll.