Please note once again that — technically — I am not defending whatever happened in this ceremony [regarding the statues and indigenous Amazonian spirituality at the Synod] as perfectly orthodox and hunky dory. What I’m doing is vigorously denying that the critics dead set against it have adequately proven and documented their case that it is definitely blasphemous idolatry.
It’s two different things. The prudent person reserves judgment until all the relevant and necessary facts and proofs are in.
What I definitely do believe is that a lot of hysteria and irrationalism are occurring: among the usual radical reactionary suspects (Lifesite News, Michael Voris, Taylor Marshall, One Peter Five, The Remnant et al, ad nauseam), and also among an ever-increasing pool of otherwise orthodox Catholics who are either outright anti-Francis or [more and more] suspicious of him as some kind of subversive heretic.
All along, it’s not so much that I have been defending Pope Francis and thinking everything he says and does is absolutely wonderful; (couldn’t be better!) — even though I am routinely considered a “Francis defender”. Rather, I have consistently argued that the accusations made against him have failed to conclusively establish that he has espoused any heresy or radical departure from Catholic moral tradition. Conversely, there is much compelling counter-evidence, I think, that he has not done so.
It’s like being on a jury. If the jury decides not to render a “guilty” verdict, their view is “not guilty” as opposed to “innocent.” It’s not saying that “he definitely did not do this crime, and we are absolutely certain of that.” It’s saying that “we do not have enough evidence and proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, to decide that he is guilty. We think there is enough doubt to not be able in good conscience to render the verdict of guilty.”
The task of the apologist is to determine what are good and bad arguments for any given proposition. I’ve been doing apologetics for now 38 years. And I apply that methodology and attempted objectivity and rationality to Pope Francis, as well as the usual extreme reverence that Catholics ought to always extend to popes and the office of the papacy; also to Holy Mother Church, which is both infallible and indefectible.
Replies to Critiques of Pope Francis (Dave Armstrong) [139 of my own articles]
Documentation: Pope Francis is Orthodox, Pro-Tradition and Against Modernism (Dan Marcum, Catholic Answers Forum, 1-9-15)
The Politically Incorrect Francis—14 Shocking Statements (Paul Kengor, Crisis Magazine, 3-22-19)
Pope Francis On . . . [31 different issues] (Mark Mallett, The Now Word, 4-24-18)
Reactionary Influence: Correctio & June 2016 Criticism of the Pope [10-3-17; expanded on 1-24-18]
Forcing Pope Francis Into Our Own Image [9-18-15]
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