There are a lot of members of the Broad Chorus of Catholic Thinkers posting articles, videos and podcasts online. So much in fact that one really doesn’t have the time, energy or computer bandwidth to read all the good things being written up and slapped on a web page. And so I decided to bring examples of a 132 of them together in one post. It consists of bits of Orthodox Catholic thoughts from the Catholic Rigorous Vortex and the Liberal Hippie Catholics and everyone else in-between.
The diversity of thought within Catholic teaching, like variety within the strictures of sonnets, is one of its most beautiful features. It is nevertheless important to listen, as much as we can, to a broad chorus of Catholic thinkers. I have found great consolation in the fact that someone holier and smarter than myself has likely asked my questions already; my job is to find them and to listen, and then to make as many people as possible read block quotations about it.
Sharon Kabel , OSB vs. UFO: Stanley Jaki and the Theology of Aliens (June 16, 2021)- OnePeterFive
But of course with so many samples of things to look at in one semi-long post, several nifty, pithy and unique writings and more can get lost in the shuffle. So I decided to take what I gathered and break it up into smaller posts based on themes instead of particular individual Catholic websites. I even added a few other things not found in the larger collage of writings.
In this issue I present to you tunes from the BCCT on…
15 Things You Didn’t Know About Pope Francis
Pope Francis and The Continuity With Benedict
The continuity between Francis and Benedict is real, and it becomes very clear when we distance ourselves from reductionist dichotomies that worldly ideologies constantly try to impose. When we free ourselves from a culture war mindset and take an eagle-eye view of history, the lines that connect both pontificates are obvious.
When we run into a contradiction between the Magisterium and our own presumptions about the faith, we must rediscover a hermeneutic of continuity. Yes, we must read Francis in light of the foundation laid by Benedict. But we should also read Benedict in light of Francis’s developments. We should not try to see, preach, or sell rupture where it does not exist. Rather, we must seek to understand that both truth and mercy, both Benedict and Francis, complement each other.
This is how we acquire a fuller and more comprehensive understanding of the truth. Only then will it be possible to truly evangelize our world.
Pope Francis and Confusion
Pope Francis and Criticism
Some time ago I made it a policy to not criticize Pope Francis. My attitude to the Vatican corruption, immorality amongst the hierarchy, financial skullduggery and Pope Francis’ ambiguous teaching was simply, “He’s the Pope. He’s from a different culture and background. What can we learn from him? Is he a great pope? Time will tell. Is he a bad pope? I give him the benefit of the doubt and realize, sometimes we have good popes. Sometimes we have bad popes. Sometimes we have incompetent popes. Maybe before long we will have a different pope.”
Why complain about the Pope if you don’t like him? You can’t do anything about it, so just get on with doing what you can do with what you have where you are. Be real. Be local. Live the faith and perhaps your prayer for the pope will be that of Tevye for the Czar.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker Pope Francis: Catholicism in Confusion August 13th, 2019
Pope Francis and the Kind Gaze
What if each of us embraced the aesthetic of love, as Pope Francis calls it, turning on one another the “kind gaze” that views each person as valuable, loveable, and precious to God? The kind gaze does not discriminate, judge, measure, or exclude. The kind gaze sees the divine image in every face rather than imposes an image it prefers or insists on. This great worth in every person is what the pope calls beauty in the 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (On Love in the Family): “Love opens our eyes and enables us to see, beyond all else, the great worth of a human being.
ALICE CAMILLE Catholicism gives us a common language (and it’s not Latin) –(June 13, 2022) U.S. Catholic (uscatholic.org)
Pope Francis and Listening to Him
Pope Francis approves this message.
Ubi Petrus, Ibi Ecclesia. The famous quote from St. Ambrose of Milan which translates to – Where Peter is, there is the Church.
It is a statement identifying that the unity of the Church is centered on Peter, the papacy. Without the papacy, there is no Church. To discredit the Pope himself is an assault on those who are weak in faith and could potentially abandon the faith.
Making snide remarks about the pope, printing them, circulating them among average citizens, how is that different from what Martin Luther did. He too thought that the Pope was corrupt and needed to be straightened out; that what he was doing was right.
Does the pope sometimes say things that are confusing or could be said better? Sure, EVERYONE does. But to raise those quotes to such a high level as the lefties do, or to denigrate them so badly as the opposite camp does is a disservice to the faithful.
Where Peter there is, there is the Church – even if a given Peter does need assistance or even correction – it shouldn’t be going on in the secular press and certainly shouldn’t be going almost as sport among Catholics.
Pray for the Holy Father, instead of sniping at him OR distorting and using him.
– Michael Voris: It always comes back to the Pope (3/13/14) Church Militant
Pope Francis and Social Media
The use of digital media, especially social media, has raised a number of serious ethical issues that call for wise and discerning judgment on the part of communicators and all those concerned with the authenticity and quality of human relationships. Sometimes and in some places, media sites have become places of toxicity, hate speech and fake news.
In my Message for this year’s World Communications Day, I spoke of listening as the first and indispensable ingredient of dialogue and good communication, and asked journalists to develop their ability to “listen with the ear of the heart.” More than to anyone else, the “apostolate of listening” belongs to you as Catholic communicators. For communication is not just a profession, but a service to dialogue and understanding between individuals and larger communities in the pursuit of a serene and peaceful coexistence.
Listening is likewise essential to the synodal journey that the whole Church has undertaken in these years. It is my hope that, in your communication, you will contribute to this process by assisting the holy and faithful people of God in our commitment to listen to one another, to the Lord’s will and to grow in the awareness that we participate in a communion that precedes and includes us.
Message of the Holy Father to the Participants in the SIGNIS World Congress [Seoul, 15-18 August 2022] (15 July 2022) | Francis (vatican.va)
Pope Francis and the Stories of a Generation
Pope Francis and Pachamama
“Some thieves broke into a church, stole some statues, and threw them into the river. Perhaps the perpetrators consider themselves a pack of modern St. Bonifaces, tackling pagan idols head on, plus a little bit of Jesus with a whip, cleansing the temple.
There are a few problems with this approach. One is that stealing and vandalism are sins, full stop. If your goal is to defend the Church, then you really need to start with defending the ten commandments.
The second problem is it is by no means clear that the statues they stole and threw away are actually idols.Everyone wants to imitate Jesus in the one time He showed some temper with the whip in the temple. Dude, you are not Jesus. It’s a much safer bet to imitate Him in the other 99% of the Gospels, like when He preached the good news, when He fed His sheep, when he gave over His body, and when He fixed His eyes firmly on the Father and then told us to do the same.
Oops, that’s what the Pope did, too. When in doubt, pray an Our Father.
It’s really easy to imitate outward actions. A saint did this, so I will, too! But let me tell you: The real work that every Christian is compelled to do is interior work. And it’s hard. And it doesn’t get a lot of views on YouTube. But it is what will save your soul.”
SIMCHA FISHER The only thing I will write about the Amazon Synod, October 21, 2019 I have to sit down.
Pope Francis and the Trip to Canada
Pope Francis and Reasons Not to Bash Him
Pope Francis and Vatican II
Pope Francis Generation Podcast
Pope Francis is a Current Model of Corporal Sanctity
A rosary said is worth 50 times more than the giving of bread. But we must never discount the value of giving of bread, lest we turn into Scientologists. Our Catholic faith is always and forever a religion of both/and, a middle road that unites the spiritual with the physical in every act that brings us closer to sanctification. Pope Francis, a current model of corporal sanctity, recently said, “You pray for the hungry, then you feed them. That’s how prayer works.” Note how these two acts, one spiritual and the other corporal, are united in the simplicity of his words?
T.J. BURDICK Spiritual > Corporal (June 22, 2022) (catholicexchange.com)
Pope Francis is in a Kid’s Movie
Pope Francis is Not a Heretic
The Open Letter has many other flaws, but its chief one is that it fails to make the case that the present pope is guilty of heresy. To do that, it would need to show the following:
- The Magisterium has infallibly defined some specific truth
- It has infallibly defined that this specific truth is divinely revealed, creating a dogma
- The pope has been baptized (that’s easy)
- The pope’s words or actions indicate that he refuses to believe the dogma
- His words or actions cannot be understood in a way consistent with the dogma
- He does so obstinately
If you can’t do those things, then don’t waste the public’s time.
In particular, don’t waste our time citing irrelevant documents that don’t prove your point, and don’t waste our time—as the signatories of the Open Letter do—with loopy charges regarding a pastoral staff that the pope has carried or a cross he has worn.
It’s one thing to ask for clarifications, voice concerns, or express disagreement, but making charges of heresy is another matter.
Pope Francis is Not That Liberal
My claim is that Pope Francis is actually not all that liberal in matters of doctrine and ecclesial discipline, but is rather revolutionary in his approach to moral theology. If you look at all of the pet issues of the Catholic Left over the past fifty years it is clear that Pope Francis has thrown very few favors in their direction. He has not granted the Catholic Left its desire for women priests and deacons, married priests, contraception, abortion in certain limited circumstances, the moral goodness of homosexual relations, unfettered divorce and remarriage, open table fellowship with Protestants, and so on. Furthermore, he seems rather traditional in his Marian piety, his devotion to the saints, Eucharistic adoration, emphasis upon Satan/spiritual warfare, and the power of the Sacraments in general, especially confession.Larry Chapp, Cardinal McElroy and the Moral Theological Project of Pope Francis | Gaudium et Spes 22
Pope Francis is Worth Listening To
A pope who openly and repeatedly speaks about the language of the devil, the father of lies, the war against God, and prayer to the Holy Family as a way to combat it clearly isn’t trying to win points with the progressive media. Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner accused him of medievalism for these remarks, but that didn’t intimidate him or others. And she was forced to withdraw the criticism.
It may only be a personal reaction after hearing so many different political, liturgical, and theological views about Pope Francis, but any pope who can seriously assert again that sin exists, that it’s more than a matter of mere human weaknesses and errors, that the whole of the old Christian drama as a contest between God and Satan is still the center of the Faith — and the reason that the Church exists — just may have something fresh to say to the world.
Robert Royal, The Devil and Pope Francis (catholiceducation.org)
Pope Francis On…
THE Pope can be confusing, his words ambiguous, his thoughts incomplete. There are many rumours, suspicions, and accusations that the current Pontiff is trying to change Catholic teaching. So, for the record, here is Pope Francis…
On his vision for the future Pope (who turned out to be him):
On Paul VI and Humanae Vitae:
On euthanasia and end-of-life issues:
On population control:
On redefinition of marriage and family:
On “gender ideology”:
On persons struggling with their sexual identity:
On homosexuality in the priesthood:
On Interreligious Dialogue:
On the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood:
On the devil:
On the environment:
On (unfettered) capitalism:
On migrants vs. refugees:
On fidelity to the Catholic Faith:
On God’s Word:
On the Sacrament of the Eucharist:
On the Mass:
On the Sacrament of Reconciliation:
On prayer and fasting:
On the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary:
On the “end times”:
Mark Mallett, Pope Francis On… – The Now Word (markmallett.com)
Pope Francis the Comic Strip
Pope Francis and Pope John Paul 1
On October 13, Pope Francis gave his approval for the beatification of Pope John Paul I, who is best known for having one of the shortest pontificates in history: just 33 days. We have to look back to 1605 to find a shorter pontificate, the 27-day papacy of Leo XI. Pope Francis, in contrast, has now reigned for more than 8 years. There are, however, many similarities between the two men.
Both popes took a papal name which hadn’t been used before. In fact, they are the only two popes in over a millennium who have done this. John Paul I took his name to honor the preceding popes and signal his desire to continue the implementation of the Second Vatican Council, and Francis took his name to honor the great saint of Assisi, who was known for his love of Creation and of the poor. Prior to John Paul I, the last time a pope was the first of his name was Pope Lando, who served as pope for about six months from 913 to 914.
In many ways, the pontificate of Pope Francis has developed and continued themes dear to his predecessors St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, even though the Pope’s many detractors try to obscure this fact. Alongside this more frequently discussed continuity, it might also be said that Francis has taken up and brought to fruition the unfinished pontificate of Pope John Paul I.
Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I, pray for us. Bless your successor Francis, and the Church you led for so short a time.
Pope Francis and Pope John Paul 2
Despite his many duties as Pope, John Paul II always found time to pray. “He knew well that the first task of the bishop is to pray”, Pope Francis said, noting that this is the teaching of St Peter in the Acts of the Apostles. “The first task of the bishop is to pray”, the Pope repeated. John Paul “knew this, and did it”.
Already in the Old Testament, we can see how God was uniquely close to His People. This closeness culminated in the Incarnation, when Jesus Himself dwelt among His people. John Paul followed the example of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, drawing near to both the great and the small, to those close by and those physically far away.
Finally, Pope Francis said, St John Paul II was remarkable for his love of justice. But his love for justice was a desire for justice completed by mercy. And so John Paul was also a man of mercy, “because justice and mercy go together”. John Paul, who did so much to promote the Divine Mercy devotion, believed that God’s justice “had this face of mercy, this attitude of mercy.”
Pope Francis: St John Paul II a man of prayer, closeness, justice – Vatican News
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