The Liberal Running our Church Has No Media Savvy

The Liberal Running our Church Has No Media Savvy July 25, 2014

I miss his predecessor John the Baptist.

He has *got* to stop these casual interviews with the press. With dangerously confusing messages like “Why do you call me good? There is none good but God.” and “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” and “The Father is greater than I” and Jesus calling the Holy Father “Satan”who knows *what* the Church teaches these days? 

Ever since the Council of Jerusalem departed from the Traditional Faith of Real Catholics and started letting the riff raff in the evangelists have been going nuts with this confusing liberal message of “grace” instead of Law. And now we have *four* different gospels delivering a baffling and contradictory message. Jesus needed to get out in front the press and write his own gospel. But instead, he let the message get hijacked by liberals. There’s no hope for the Church. We’re all doomed unless the Pharisees can take charge of the Church and save it from Jesus’ sloppy liberal egotism and fake humility!

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  • AquinasMan

    I think Francis has amazing media savvy.

    • chezami

      Clearly you are not Reactionary material.

      • Catholic & loving it

        I’m the Reactionary of Reactionaries. To not react is to survive, to react is to live!! Pope Francis is a secret liberal Protestant Atheist seeking to destroy the Church! Don’t tell me to tone it down, Mister (Kidding)

  • BillyT92679


    • Petey

      dammit, I was going to post just that

  • Dave G.

    I can see why people are concerned. Sure, like most things today, they might be getting too worked up over things. That seems to be our way. We go to the mattresses over just about anything. I think it’s because we have the time to do so. Still, several have admitted, regarding different statements made by Pope Francis, and different topics he’s adressed, that they can either see why folks are bothered, or are themselves concerned. Ross Douthat, Fr. Baron, Fr. Longenecker – that’s a pretty broad group admitting to seeing some legitimate concern. They’ve also defended Pope Francis against those who go well beyond the mark in their criticisms. So even if every misunderstood statement was on purpose, there are still some who wonder about the overall impact his style.

    • Dan C

      I have seen Longenecker and Akin both try to explain away matters that Francis clearly said and which were even more clearly stated…in support of “liberal” interpretations in the media by Benedict. My complaint was two-fold: Benedict did not broadcast his ideas better and Francis needed to more boldly state his comments so that Akin and Longenecker could not spin them away from Francis’s obvious intent.

      • Andy

        I agree – Pope Benedict was and is a scholar – he was trained as a scholar and as such would present his thoughts in that scholarly fashion – one that can invite discussion or at least provoke thought. I struggled with his writing, not his fault, mine, because I like things that are complicated cleared up – he challenged my intellectual Catholicism so to speak. I can see why many people would take away from Benedict’s writing what they wanted or could ignore it as being esoteric. Pope Francis is a pastor – he is used to talking to non-scholars, and as such he is more blunt. He challenges my actions as I he doesn’t really leave lots of room to think. As a Catholic I need both.
        The one thing I will note is that reliance on the media – of either stripe or whatever – when looking at what Francis says is foolish. They, the media, are looking to make money and so will present what he says in the most inflammatory manner – that sells, and so the corporate masters are happy. I spend lots of time looking for translations of what he says when the media reports for example, “Francis supports gays as priests”.

        • Dan C

          Caritatas in Veritate is pretty straightforward. Just not with the desired conclusions some would want.

          Again, and this point was several times the focus of many posts of apologists “explaining” how Francis didn’t really say non-Christians can get into Heaven, which is a big big problem among a certain type of Catholic (who are conservative and who do not mind Evangelicals in Heaven, just Hindus) fail to read Benedict again in a sermon from the 1960’s that is utterly clear.

          Compare that with Jimmy Akin’s post about atheists believing in God and salvation. Akin reveals more about himself than about acceptable teaching in the Church.

          • Dan C
            • capaxdei

              Jimmy Akin, quoting Lumen Gentium, said it’s an open question whether those without faith “can be saved without faith” or God will give “them the helps that they need to come to the point of faith and thus be saved.”

              In 1964, Fr. Ratzinger preached that “whether other people can be saved and how” is not our problem.

              In what way is what Fr. Ratzinger preached in 1964 contrary to what Jimmy Akin wrote in 2013?

              • Dan C

                I suggest you are seeking to downplay the strength of this statement by Ratzinger:

                …Everything we believe about God, and everything we know about man, prevents us from accepting that beyond the limits of the Church there is no more salvation, that up to the time of Christ all men were subject to the fate of eternal damnation. We are no longer ready and able to think that our neighbor, who is a decent and respectable man and in many ways better than we are, should be eternally damned simply because he is not a Catholic. We are no longer ready, no longer willing, to think that eternal corruption should be inflicted on people in Asia, in Africa, or wherever it may be, merely on account of their not having “Catholic” marked in their passport.

              • Dan C

                Now: let us look at Akin. He says about atheists and Francis:

                “This is what the press, etc., have been interpreting as him saying that they can be saved.
                But he doesn’t actually say that.
                Believers also need to follow their conscience, and doing so will result in them having right behavior. But if they don’t follow their consciences then they sin and need to ask for mercy with contrition and a sincere heart.
                What are atheists supposed to do if they don’t follow their consciences?
                Pope Francis does not address this question.”

                Further he makes sure that he is ready and willing to assure his audience that the Church does not anywhere say they really will be saved, and goes on to speak well of Ralph Martin, citing him here.

                Akin says an obviously different point than Ratzinger. Ratzinger is clearly teaching that these folks in Asia and Africa are not condemned because they do not have “Catholic” printed in their passport. While Akin is clearly saying Francis is not saying at all that atheists are permitted salvation. There is a marked difference in the arguments and the teaching. I am not a subtle man, so to pick up these glaring differences is quite easy.

                • capaxdei

                  Differences are not contraries.

                  Akin — invoking the authority of Cardinal Grillmeier — asserted that how those who do not have faith can be saved is an open question.

                  Ratzinger asserted it’s an irrelevant question.

                  I’m not sure you realize that, in both cases, the question — be it open, irrelevant, both, or neither — is not *whether*, but *how* those who do not profess faith in Jesus can be saved.

                  • Dan C

                    Ratzinger has a stronger statement than you describe.

                    • capaxdei

                      Then that should make it all the easier to answer the question:

                      In what way is what Fr. Ratzinger preached in 1964 contrary to what Jimmy Akin wrote in 2013?

                    • Dan C

                      I gave the long quote. You read it. You want something that requires less context , you will not get it.

                      Historically, this was often applied to Protestants. Now, Akin limits this to atheists in this discussion and Longenecker will indicate that one has to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior in an Evangelical type formulation. But they’ll let in the Protestants.

                      I think often the salvation limits are placed due to personal reasons. I like Ratzinger am prevented from thinking that salvation is limited by requiring the Catholic passport. Because that is what he said. (If you want Baltimore Catechism clarity, you won’t get it.). But the true teaching talks about limiting salvation to those inside the Church. Protestants are not in the Church. I suspect that actual formulation is rejected by these two convert apologists.

                    • capaxdei

                      Does Akin’s 2013 piece assert “that beyond the limits of the Church there is no more salvation, that up to the time of Christ all men were subject to the fate of eternal damnation”? No.

                      Does Akin’s 2013 piece assert “that our neighbor, who is a decent and respectable man and in many ways better than we are, should be eternally damned simply because he is not a Catholic”? No.

                      Does Akin’s 2013 piece assert “that eternal corruption should be inflicted on people in Asia, in Africa, or wherever it may be, merely on account of their not having ‘Catholic’ marked in their passport”? No.

                      Replacing “Catholic” with “Christian,” do any of the answers change? No.

                    • capaxdei

                      “I suspect that actual formulation is rejected by these two convert apologists.”

                      Given that their reputations are intimately linked to the question of whether they accept Catholic teaching, you ought to have more that suspicions before making such a claim.

          • Andy

            I am not debating the message of Caritatas in Veritate – of all of his writing this was in some ways the most accessible. However, in CinV was wrapped in theological scholarly structure. Key is structure – theological scholarly structure is designed not to lead always to a concrete end-point, but rather to engender conversation and ideally engender or require thought and introspection. It is this thought process that makes it easy for people to ignore what Benedict says when not writing about faith, it easy to say he is not an economist, because he is not writing like an economist. It is the structure that allows for people to ignore the message. Look at some of the comments of people you have encountered here on this website.
            The apologists explaining Francis are another story – they I think find his bluntness uncomfortable because as much as he afflicts my sense of action – he afflicts their sense of inaction.

    • Dan C

      Douthat has rarely spoken on Francis. Garnett once noted honestly and clearly that Francis and he differed dramatically on issues of politics and economics and (with what I take as honest humility) indicated he would need to learn from him. He has rarely spoken about Francis since. And his aggressive, near-libertarian approach to policy has toned down a bit since the 2011-2012 libertarian highmark in Catholic conservative thought.

      • Dave G.

        I didn’t say he spoke about him often. I merely said he, like others, have expressed various levels of opinion on Francis’s approach. Him, Fr. Braron, Fr. Longenecker. Theirs is far more restrained than the bitterness and cold “smack” (as my kids would say) that Catholics who tacked to the Left used to give to Pope Benedict and especially Pope John Paul II. I knew fundamentalist Protestants who gave JPII more positive reviews than the liberal Catholics I knew. So while there are those who are obviously crossing the mark when it comes to Francis (just like Benedict and JPII before him), and mostly on the conservative side Francis’s case, there are those who are more balanced who have admitted to various levels of concern, or at least understanding why some would be concerned.

        • HornOrSilk

          Give me one Pope Francis over the lot of them. Wait, God did.

          Dave, stop with this game

          • Dave G.

            What game? My opinions? My observations? What?

            • HornOrSilk

              It’s not “observations.” It’s constant finding excuses to ignore Francis. It is also equivocating the different levels of questions some might have on some aspects of Francis’ thought as if they offer the same kind of criticism as you do, which is not the case. It’s a game to distance yourself from what makes you uncomfortable by finding scapegoats.

              • Dave G.

                Who said anything about ignoring Francis? In fact, to date, I’ve said nothing at all about anything Francis has said. At all. Period. It’s not an opinion I’ve offered. I’ve merely pointed out on various occasions that different individuals have expressed different opinions about Pope Francis. So, given that I have not yet expressed any of my own opinions about anything Pope Francis has said, please enlighten me. Tell me all about my criticisms of Pope Francis, since you seem to know.

                • Dave G.

                  Oh, and in case you need a little help, here is the Official Premiere of my Thoughts on Pope Francis: Wait and see. He’s not been Pope long enough to really know what he wants to do, what he intends to do, and how effective he will be in doing it. It’s enough for me to observe that the Catholics who were at times ruthless in their criticism and sometimes outright dislike for Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have done a 180 and are now preaching the eternal demand that all Catholics everywhere love and admire the Pope [Francis]. Same with the media and culture in general. So something has happened, that’s for sure. Just what, and how much of it accurately captures Pope Francis’s mission, and how much of it is way off the mark, will remain to be seen. Which is why I prefer to wait and see. That’s my official opinion. Please, feel free to expand on that.

                • HornOrSilk

                  Typical game playing. QED.

                  • Dave G.

                    Explain. You accuse me of having opinions I don’t have. I point out you accuse me of having opinions I don’t have. I explain what my opinion is, which is not what you accused me of saying. And you say it’s a typical game played? It’s like watching a bizarre SNL skit without the humor.

          • AquinasMan

            There’s a fine line between God giving us Francis, and God letting us have Francis. You’re not inferring that conclaves are infallible are you?

            • capaxdei

              The problem is that, whatever we say about God giving or letting us have Francis can also be said about God giving or letting us have his critics. There’s not much hay to be made in anyone’s favor down that lane.

              (I suspect, by the way, that the traditional distinction between God’s positive will and His permissive will is an artificial one we have to make until we know and love Him as He should be known and loved. Was Jesus making such a distinction, do you suppose, when He prayed in the garden that the Father’s will be done?)

  • Hematite

    I have some loved ones who also have issues with some of our Holy Father’s reported statements. I have suggested that they see how Pope Frances deals with the uprising I am almost shure will transpire at the upcoming Synod on the Family of the last-gasp “Spirit of Vat II” crowd. If he defends orthodoxy there, then most doubts should be erased.

    • Andy

      I have not heard/read of anything he has said that is not orthodox. He states bluntly, clearly and forcefully, but he is orthodox. I think what worries folks who are worried is that he does not leave room for equivocation. I suspect that the crowd that is worried will remain worried because of that.
      What we have to do is ignore the press snippets and look for the whole statement.

  • reconverted idiot

    Haha, brilliant! I love His Holiness. He is just awesome. I wouldn’t want to play chess with him. I wouldn’t presume to guess what he is up to, I suspect many things but I’ll gladly wait and see. Two things: First, some ‘catholics’ I met when I first decided to go to mass a good while back at the beginning of my reconversion to the faith: they offered me some printed “messages” (which I’ve since discovered were from Megudgerwhatsamicallit, now I know about that) which I took, read, and discarded; while in that conversation the woman whose “work” this was opined that Pope Francis is the Antichrist. I almost called her a heretic, but I’m glad I didn’t: the right word is apostate, I think. I soon found another church and during the first sermon there the priest talked about some email spam he was getting… you’ll never guess who from….!!!! Since attending there I have been richly blessed with many graces, way beyond that little spark of Sensus Fidei which redirected my steps back then. Secondly, I read the other day about His Holiness’s little talk some time back about “adolescent progressivism”: not only was it timely for someone I was evangelising, but it led me to the book “The Lord of the World”, by Robert Hugh-Benson, which I read in a single sitting (I just couldn’t put it down, I’m still lolling at how my little Sensus Fidei had helped me to arrive at certain propositions in relation to my own experiences which were echoed word for word, literally, in that book). I appreciate that some Catholics are a little bewildered by Holy Father’s activity, but I’m not any more, if I ever was. I’m not privy to his thoughts, his aims, nor his game-plan, but as far as I ‘get’ what he’s doing, I’m really starting to like it.

    • reconverted idiot

      Correction: thanks to a timely post from Mark today, I realise now that the ‘messages’ I was offered by the woman I speak of above, was of the “Maria Divine Mercy” bunch.