Planned Parenthood Mistakenly Angry at Pope

Planned Parenthood Mistakenly Angry at Pope September 26, 2015

Somehow Planned Parenthood has gotten the impression that Pope Francis expressed a very clear opposition to abortion while on our soil and has blasted him for it.

I have no explanation for this since I have been repeatedly assured by the Greatest Catholics of All Time in comboxes across St. Blog’s that our weak-kneed Che Guevara pope (the worst since Alexander VI!) utterly failed to speak against abortion and had given aid and comfort to Planned Parenthood.

Research continues in the struggle to explain the stark difference in perception between NPR and Planned Parenthood on the one hand and the League of Perfect Catholics on the other. Success is expected hourly.

"Perhaps read the piece on hell by Avery Cardinal Dulles. A quick sound bite simply ..."

Where Peter Is has a nice ..."
"Please see my accidental response to Neko."

Where Peter Is has a nice ..."
"Sorry--this was meant for Othobide."

Where Peter Is has a nice ..."
"Mother Teresa blessed the dying with water from the river Ganges, because in the Hindu ..."

Where Peter Is has a nice ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Marthe Lépine

    My impression is that the Greatest Catholics of All Times are not used to hear about abortion being a part (granted, an important part) of a greater body of Catholic teaching. For at least some of them, abortion stands totally alone as an issue, and until abortion has been eradicated, they are not interested in anything else. Of course the fact that this attitude also has the advantage to allow them to avoid scrutiny of some other sins related to their political affiliation is just a little additional bonus. So, if Pope Francis, as they hoped, had spent his entire time in the US condemning abortion and SSA, they would have been happy, but since he did not follow their agenda, he said nothing of any value. Or, more exactly, what he did say was too threatening for their comfortable sense of superiority.

    • Dave G.

      I think that’s partly right. So often the debate has been on a case by case basis. Almost as if each issue is an isolated point of debate, not connected to anything else. Which is probably an overstatement, but you get the point.

      But it can’t be missed that when it comes to these issues, with the exception of abortion industry itself, Pope Francis strikes a different tone. He’s mentioned the issue of gay marriage and gay sex very little – if at all. And yet the culture that allows for gay marriage almost necessarily allows for abortion. And the culture that has pushed the morals that demand abortion and allow for gay sexuality is nowhere near separate from the rank abuse and economic corruption and this era of greed.

      Which puzzles me. Pope Francis, in addition to being a wonderful personal witness by the person he is, also gets that issues don’t exist in a vacuum (but then, so did previous popes). Which, you’re right, I think has thrown some off. But yet he still seems to take a stick and draw a line between one part of the problems, where he strikes a conciliatory, if not welcoming, tone. And the other side of the line where it’s not hard to see who he thinks he is to judge. I still hold out that now, having gotten the attention of the media and that segment that defines most of our culture today (including most Catholics), he’s going to let the other hammer fall.

      He’s already gotten me to rethink wash cloths instead of paper towels and no longer throwing away food and not spending money of frivolous things in a dying world. But will he soon lash out so strongly at that other side of the cultural divide that has caused no small part of the suffering and dying in our world today (far more than capital punishment, ISIS, or the Iraq War), and is, at this point, accepted if not embraced by the majority of Catholics, at least in the US? That he has the different approach isn’t really denied by anyone. Why, and will it change, is the big question.

      • Andy

        In many ways Pope Francis is a Catholic teacher – he recognized that neither conservatives nor liberals are meeting what the church teaches in its broadness. So as a good teach should do, and he did it – he returned to basics. He returned to the dignity of each human at all stages; he returned to the need to support the family at all stages, He, through returning to the basics is calling each of us to examine how we are meeting what the church teaches.

        • Dave G.

          I think that’s true. I’m not sure I agree with your take on his take about the causes of abortion that you mention above. I don’t think consumerism or a throw away culture is to blame. I think those are the results of the same thing that leads to an abortion culture. I’m not saying he will say that, but I do think there’s more to it than that. To me, I think it all boils down that fundamental difference: is religious truth inspired or revealed? If inspired, that means it’s ours for the molding, and the individual doesn’t simply become important, but in a strange twist, is at one point the center of the universe, and on the other entirely insignificant. I think that has become a commonly held view that is behind many of the problems, such as consumerism or sexual license or abortion (which is here because of the sex promises). If revealed, then it means true despite what I want or how awesome I think I am or how much I demand the universe give me what I want without skinned elbows.

          • Andy

            Consumerism, the throw away culture are what molds how we view one anther – we have moved from what Jesus taught, what God revealed and what God inspired to thinking that we are capable of controlling our lives – a utilitarian view of humanity. Utilitarian views allow for, actually I think abet abortion, divorce, the myriad problems that confront us. I believe that if we move from seeing people as resources to be used, but seeing them as children of God, we will move away from the throw away culture.
            I would also suggest that we as ?Catholics miss what ?Jesus did, he talked to people, even those who were so opposed to Him. Conversation is the key to teaching, and teaching is the key to conversion.

            • Dave G.

              Absolutely. Conversation is the key. I think much of the divisiveness is the result of a media dominated culture that promotes those divisions in order to ramrod agendas. Unfortunately, many of us who recognize that problem I admit are sometimes the first to employ those tactics to point out the problem in others!

          • David

            “I don’t think consumerism or a throw away culture is to blame. I think those are the results of the same thing that leads to an abortion culture.”

            And, just out curiosity, can you briefly explain what you think is to blame for the abortion culture?

            • Dave G.

              Sure. The elevation of the self, the individual. As I said above, the belief that religion is merely inspired rather than revealed. That is, made up stories that are only relevant when measured against the supreme morals of today (which always seem to go back to everything being about me). Of course that then often ends up being a world in which I get to have everything I want, and consequences are everyone else’s problem.

              • David

                All that does is move the cause for abortion one rung up the causative chain, though. Pride is the chief deadly sin.

                And Pope Francis is attacking exactly that in his addresses. The idea that you don’t just exist by yourself, but as one, connected community of human beings in which every human being is created sacred with equal dignity and worth in the image and likeness of God contradicts the elevation of the self.

                • Dave G.

                  And that is a devastating blow to so much of what is the basic promise of the modern world. Start with that and work both avenues that still ultimately end up in the same place.

    • Alma Peregrina

      “My impression is that the Greatest Catholics of All Times are not used to hear about abortion being a part (granted, an important part) of a greater body of Catholic teaching.”


      I really can’t see how right-wingers and left-wingers are so blind to see that the Social and the Sexual Doctrine of the Church is exactly the same, only just applied to diferent persons.

  • capaxdei

    When we have completed our psychoanalysis of the Greatest Catholics of All Time, what do we do? Point and hoot?

    • orual’s kindred

      I would hope that these “psychoanalyses” are only part of an effort to point out errors committed by the Greatest, the Least, and the Waffling Middle Catholics of All Time. I would hope this also done with the view of helping one another grow in Christ. And, since all of these Catholics are sinners, that effort will likely continue for a while. New sinners being born every second, and all that 🙂

      But for the sake of speculation, what could be done after the psychoanalyzing is done? Speaking for myself, I could continue in all the Kumbaya hand-holding and Novus Ordo liturgical dancing while leading the world into economic turmoil, establishing a one-world Muslim caliphate, while also heralding the apocalypse, as a filthy non-conservative such as myself is wont to do 😀 Oh, also polluting the shades of Pemberly. But I hope, instead, to try to do what God calls me to do. No need to worry, I think, for I am sure I will fail 😀

    • chezami

      I was thinking more along the lines of “Stop giving their complaints and accusation credibility and trying listening to the Pope.”

  • Thibaud313

    Mark, as you know I am a sort of outsider within the League of Greatest Catholics. Like Batman. That’s it, I am the Batman of the League of Greatest Catholics.

    Indeed, unlike the League, which thinks that Francis is a Marxist/sodomite because he does not reject climate change and opposes unrestrained capitalism (like every Pope since Leo XIII), I have no problem with Francis because of his stances on the economy (I even got banned from Pat Archbold blog for defending Laudato Si !).

    However, I do have a huge problem with Francis because of his open support for the Kasper and Co (racist Kasper, pedophile-defenders Daneels and Mahoney and so on) side at the next synod. I fear that all of his actions (appointing almost only Kasper and Co synodal Fathers and ousting pro-Tradition Fathers as much as he can) and speeches on the matters show support for a complete betrayal of Tradition and Christ’s words at the next synod on matters of marriage and sexuality.

    Because of this, and only this, I have described Francis as “possibly the worst thing to happen to the Church since Arius”. And I stand by this. If, after the next synod, Francis supports the Kasper and Co line and abandons the doctrines of the indissolubility of marriage and the sinfulness of sexual relations outside of marriage between a man and a woman, he will be breaking with Christ’s words and 2000 years of Tradition, up to and including Blessed Paul VI and saint John-Paul II, claiming that the Church has been wrong for 2000 years, ipso facto dissolving the Catholic Church. Which would make him the worst thing to happen to the Church since Arius (and possibly since Judas EDIT : I retract that parenthesis. But I have to leave it to explain why latter in the conversation I expressed my retraction).

    So, my honest question is this : why do you think Francis appointed almost only Kasper and Co Synodal Fathers ? Are you concerned about this ? And what will you do if the Kasper and Co anti-Christ line wins out at the Synod ? Will you agree that it’s a bad thing and call for Francis to denounce this line in his post-synodal exhortation ? And if he does not, will you agree that’s terrible ?

    I agree that’s a lot of “if”, but I am honestly asking.

    • Andy

      My take – as a Jesuit he favors discussion and interaction. If only “one” side of an issue is invited then there is no discussion. I also think that many conservative focus only on those who have a stance that they do not agree with and “ignore” those with whom they agree – Archbishop Chaput, Archbishop Gomez and Cardinal DiNardo are also there. I also take great comfort n Pope Francis’ statement that he is a son of the church.

      • Thibaud313

        Sure that’s possible. And again, there’s lot of “if” in my worries. If the Synod does not reject Tradition and the Pope’s post-synodal exhortation does not either, I’m perfectly ready to eat my hat (figuratively and possibly literraly. I’d be so happy, I wouldn’t care).

        • Andy

          Unless it is a straw hat please don’t eat it, the synthetics would raise hell with your system. I as well pray for the synod and that the Holy Spirit will guide the synod. I am electing not to worry, because I do not believe that the synod will move against what has been church teaching for many years, centuries, eons.

          • Thibaud313

            You’re a wiser man than I am.

            Maybe I could bake a chocolate hat ?

            • Andy

              Only if you post a picture – my wife told me a derby hat can be made easily. Bless you.

            • capaxdei

              Wasn’t it one of Chesterton’s stories in which a man wore a cabbage on his head? People were afraid he lost his mind, but he’d only lost a bet.

              • Andy

                You are on a roll with the cabbage – that was dinner tonight.

      • Ken

        In a recent biography of Pope Francis the author said one frustration Pope Francis had as a Cardinal was that the Vatican would issue teachings without reaching out to Bishops or Cardinals to see what their thoughts were. The author said that the Cardinals and Bishops in Africa and Central and South America were especially frustrated by this. The feeling was that people in the Vatican living behind the church walls were telling people on the front lines what to do. Francis wanted to have a more open dialogue and to encourage buy in from the Cardinals and Bishops.
        I have no idea if that is accurate or not but it does seem to fit his managerial style more. I’m not saying I agree with it I’m just passing along an observation that seems to have some merit.

        • Andy

          That managerial style would describe every Jesuit I have known – lets talk about this seems to be their standard answer. The conversation may not lead where I would want it to – but at least I had the opportunity to weight in, which makes acceptance a tad easier.

    • Dan13

      Better to be Batman than Robin or, worse yet, the Wonder Twins.

      But I’ll give Cardinal Kasper’s argument in a nutshell (note his argument):

      1) There are sins of grave matter which under normal circumstances constitute mortal sins
      2) Adultery is a sin of grave matter
      3) Under some circumstances, a sin of grave of matter can be mitigated into a venial sin or in a few rare case even excused
      4) In a few cases of hardship, circumstances exist that can mitigate adultery into a venial sin
      5) Using pastoral care, a bishop can examine “divorced-and-remarried” or those married to a “divorced-and-remarried” person and the bishop can admit that person to communion.

      Note that some conservative theologians believe in #1-4 but think a person in that circumstance should make an effort to make a Spiritual Communion.

      Personally, I don’t think Cardinal Kasper’s proposal would be heretical as written. I don’t see it on a theological level as different from pastoral judgment that priests can use to admit drug addicts to communion. I do think it may be unwise and foolish on a pastoral level . What could y happen is that everyone will be admitted (sort of like how general confession is sometimes used in non-emergencies).

      But on the ultimate level, I have to believe that the Holy Spirit will guide the Synod, and I’ll accept the result.

      • David

        “But on the ultimate level, I have to believe that the Holy Spirit will guide the Synod, and I’ll accept the result.”

        Superb answer. Hopefully you can help the clown you were replying to understand this, as well.

        • Thibaud313

          “Clown” ? That was uncalled for. As I wrote previously, I may be crazy, and I kinda hope I am, because then my worries would be crazy too. So I think my self-awareness prevents the need for any name-calling. Also, I’m not a native speaker, so if I sometimes sound like Borat, it’s not voluntary (I mean, I’m not being funny. This is just my best English).

          The Synod itself is a purely consultative body. Several times in the past, Synods’ conclusions (which are simply advices for the Pope) have been rejected by the Popes in their post-synodal exhortation. A Synod has no degree of Magisterial authority, only the papal post-synodal exhortation will have Magisterial authority (and a post-synodal Pontifical exhortation is not mandatory either : after the Synod of 1971, Bl. Paul VI did not give any post-synodal exhortation, simply publishing the Synod’s conclusions with a non-commital preamble, saying he supported the conclusions in as much as those conclusions agreed with Tradition).

          Therefore, there is no need to believe that the Holy Spirit will guide the Synod. We may hope He will, but it’s entirely possible the Synod will reject any guidance from the Holy Spirit.

          We only need to believe that the Holy Spirit will guide the Pope if he chooses to publish a post-synodal exhortation. And if history is any indication, it may take years after the Synod (though, with Pope Francis, it’s possible it may take far less time).

          And for me, I confess that, in spite of other people valliant efforts, I cannot possibly reconcile the Kasper and Co line with Church Tradition (Kasper himself openly declared he wanted to reject those texts “from a previous century” like Humanae Vitae and Evangelium Vitae”). AND people who I know are not crazy (Cardinals Burke, Sarah, Vingt-Trois, Jimmy Akin) agree with me on that. And that’s why I’m worried.

          • David

            “So I think my self-awareness prevents the need for any name-calling.”

            I’ll decide when to call the names as I see fit, thanks. You shouldn’t be so offended, anyway; it’s a far cry from calling vicars of Christ Arius and possibly Judas.

            You’re right about the Synod just being an advising body. Why that means the Pope will contradict the doctrines of the Church and dissolve the Catholic Church ipso facto (both of which *cannot* happen) is a different question altogether ; but then again, you did admit to possibly being crazy, an assertion that I myself stand by. So I’ll cut you some slack, and speak to those who have retained their sanity.

            • Thibaud313

              Okay. I did not call Francis “Arius”. I said he was “possibly” the worst thing to happen to the Church since Arius (note that that is not necessarily an insult. Arius honestly believed he was doing the right thing, he truly believed Christ was not God. He was wrong, but well-meaning, he was not trying to destroy the Catholic Church out of spite or fear of the world) IF he contradicts Tradition in his post-synodal exhortation. Which he has not done yet. And, I hope, never will. And if he does, it would destroy the Church since it would prove that either 1) the Church has been wrong for 2000 years ; 2) Francis is not actually Pope and I don’t see how we can recover from that.

              I grant you that using Judas, even as an extreme hypothetical hyperbole was too much (and it doesn’t even make sense, without Judas, there would have been no Redemption). I retract that statement.

              Besides that, I think you may have somewhat misread me (again, my fault, not a native speaker). My reasoning is simply :
              1) the Synod is an advisory body
              2) therefore it’s not necessarily guided by the Holy Spirit. A Catholic would not necessarily need to agree with its conclusions

              (I think everyone must agree with 1) and 2))

              3) a Catholic would only need to agree with the Pope’s (not mandatory) post-synodal exhortation. Such an exhortation (which possibly will never happen and possibly not occur for years, so that another Pope may very well write it !) may be conform to Tradition (I never wrote that Francis will break Tradition. I wrote I fear he may do so, because he appointed Fathers who openly want to break with Tradition).
              4) If a Catholic found himself honestly unable to reconcile this hypothetical exhortation with Tradition, I’d see the three following logical courses of action for him or her :
              a) Admitting oneself wrong, basically saying to God : “I have no idea how this is in line with Tradition but I will blindly assume it is, until, either through better reasoning or through a miraculous revelation I actually see it”
              b) Concluding that Francis is actually not the Pope, but a usurper. Which is not 100% impossible (after all, there was a time there were 3 claimants to the papacy, each of whom with pretty good arguments), though at the moment I don’t see any reason to doubt that Francis’ election was legitimate. If one was to sincerely conclude that, that would be the greatest crisis since Arius since I don’t see how a legitimate Pope could actually be restored.
              c) Losing one’s faith and concluding that the Catholic Church was actually not creating by God the Son, Jesus-Christ, but is actually a purely human construct which can change its policy at will. For that ex-Catholic, that would de facto mean the end of the Catholic Church.

              • bill

                Haha, Francis is not a Pope. Incredible. Francis’s papal election is not legitimate. The Catholic Church is not valid. People actually upvoting the trainwreck of a post you made.

                I’m not trying to make fun of you, but what’s wrong with you, bro?

                • Thibaud313

                  Come on, I did NOT write that Francis is not a Pope ! I even explicitely wrote I did not see, at the moment, any reason to think his election is not legitimate ! Come on, re-read my trainwreck of a post and see you completely misrepresented me !

                  • Thibaud313

                    I am willing to be attacked for what I wrote, but not for the complete opposite of what I wrote.

                    Also I don’t think “people” upvoted my post. Only “Andrea” seems to like what I posted. Thanks Andrea !

                    • Thibaud313

                      What I actually tried to do is reasonably answer the question : “What should a Catholic do when he finds himself honestly disagreeing with the Pope on a matter in which the Pope is infaillible ?”.

                      One answer to this dilemma is the way adopted by liberal Catholics since 1968 and by anti-Francis Catholics since 2013 : stay in the Church, while openly disagreeing with the Pope (and bitching and moaning about it) : “I’m Catholic but I disagree with the Pope on this matter, even though he is infaillible about it”. This is completely illogical and I will never adopt such a position if I ever find myself disagreeing with the Pope on a matter in which he is infaillible (which is not the case “at the moment”. But I can’t see into the future can I ?).

                      I offered 3 alternative ways which I find logical :
                      1) obedience and docility within the Church : “I don’t see how the Pope can be right so please God show me how”
                      2) sedevacantism : “The alleged Pope is not the Pope”
                      3) apostasy : “Catholicism is wrong”.

                      Those 3 ways, unlike the liberal and the Francis-haters way, are logical, though of course only the first one has the advantage of not leading one into despair. And I believe that ways 2) and 3) (though logical and coherent) are disproved by the historical proofs that the Church was founded by God the Son, Jesus-Christ, and that He will not abandon her until the end of time.

                      I could have made myself clearer but I still resent being condemned for the opposite of what I think (man, maybe that’s what Francis feels like every day ?).

                    • Thibaud313

                      And I think that saying : “I am certain I will NEVER disagree with the Pope on a matters in which he is infaillible” is the equivalent of saint Peter saying to Christ on the Last Supper : “I will never leave you Lord, I will follow into death”. We all know how that turned out.

                      I find it much more humble to write : “I hope I will never disagree with the Pope on such a matter and I pray that if I ever do I will choose the path of obedience and docility and not lose my faith”.

                      And now I have 5 consecutive answers to my own post and look crazy.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Don’t worry about it. It seems to me that you have been trying to think too far ahead and thus increased your level of worry about the future to an excessive level, which can become, according to my own experience, a serious source of depression. Maybe you need to try to live in the present moment and wait to see what is actually going to happen, and in the meantime pray for the Holy Spirit to take charge of the situation.

                    • David

                      As someone said earlier: “It sounds to me lime you think he rigged the synod to get the results he wanted. Not very charitable.”

                      Indeed. Not to mention the guy is a Pope; his authority supercedes an advisory body; he doesn’t need “yes men” to act.

                      But even Pope Francis’s authority is subject to Authority, and this is where Thibs needs to stop being a crazy worrywort. If you read what the Pope said about various issues on his trip back to the Vatican, he himself says and knows that Church doctrine *cannot* change. Pope Francis knows what will happen if he attempts to change Church doctrine. No being can change eternal Truth; eternal Truth which was, is now, and ever shall be.

                  • bill

                    “At the moment”, he says. Read between the lines here, buddy practically has a foot out the door! Mark Shea, are you reading this? Why do you have people entertaining and propagating these lies and foolishness on your blog?

                    I’ll pray for you, Thibaud313. That’s the only way to deal with crazies.

                    • Thibaud313

                      Oh come on ! At the moment is just a oratory precaution ! I mean, if in the future Francis reveals he bought the election or is actually a Lizard-people, then I would obviously doubt the validity of his election. That’s a less than one in a quadrillion chance but I just wanted to note it, out of a desire for exhausivity (I can’t see into the future).

                      I can assure you, you are misreading me.

                      Thank you though for the passive-agressive : “I’ll pray for you”.

                      As I wrote, I was banned from Pat Archbold’s blog for defending Francis on Laudato Si’. It would really pain me to be banned from Mark Shea’s blog for allegedly attacking Francis. The irony !

                    • bill

                      Let me know how that turns out, Inspector Gadget. Hey, can Mark Shea play the eerie organ at the news conference where you prove that Pope Francis is a droid from the Andromeda galaxy?

                    • Thibaud313

                      Bill, it was obviously a joke. I’m trying to keep it light, even though we are discussing serious questions.

                      I don’t believe in lizard-people. Though if you look at pictures of some US politicians and actors, one may be tempted to doubt that (*).

                      Really sorry I failed to make myself clear.

                      My Master’s thesis was on the Social Doctrine of the Church. I praised Francis for his attacks against unrestrained capitalism and fiscal evasion in “Evangelii Gaudium”. I’m not a crazy Fox News-watching Francis-hater seeing him as a Marxist/sodomite because of his economic speeches (I’m probably way more socialist than him even ! After all, I’m French (**)).

                      Simply, I am deeply troubled by his appointments at the upcoming synod. The correct answer to my worries could be : “Well, wait and see, stupid”. Calling me “Inspector Gadget” is not (though I did like the cartoon. Catchy theme tune).

                      (*) That was a joke. It’s funny because some US politicians and actors look inhuman because of excessive plastic surgery. The joke is now not funny because I had to explain it.

                      (**) Joke. It’s funny because some Americans assume all French people are Communists.

                    • David

                      I hate to resume posting replies to you, but Pope Francis has those appointments to the Synod for the same reason Mr. Shea allows you to post on his blog: so that *all* voices can exercise their right to be heard, even if some of those voices are hopelessly wrong.

                      And, while the existence of antipopes isn’t a logical impossibility, it’s similar to accusing a widely-respected citizen in your neighborhood of being a murderer. In both cases, no; it’s not impossible for those things to happen, but you *damn well* (*DAMN WELL*) better have sound proof to justify your accusation before you even think about throwing that it around, even causually or lightly. So yes, take your own advice please, and either furnish that sound proof to justify your accusation, or shut the hell up. Quite frankly, any such proof won’t even come from a comboxer on the Internet, anyway.

                      As you were.

                    • Thibaud313

                      Thank you for your comment. I,once again, never accused Francis of being anti-Pope. I veered off topic to discuss the question of sedevacantism, but as you’ll notice if you re-read my many, many, many posts, I never once wrote Francis was an anti-Pope. I, in fact, wrote the exact opposite.

                      And, not to belabor the point, it is true that Francis may have chosen to appoint 95% of anti-Tradition supporters because he wants every voices to be heard (an unnecessary concern, since some anti-Tradition supporters were already nominated outside of the Pope’s picks, mainly from the German and Belgian delegations, but OK, maybe). But it is also possible that he appointed them because he supports those anti-Tradition supporters, a fact that is supported by the fact that he repeatedly highly praised their leader, Cardinal Kasper (who said that African bishops should not be able to express themselves on those issues. Then denied saying that. Then had to admit it when the reporter published the tapes. And gave a non-apology apology) AND by the fact that he ousted leaders of the pro-Tradition side, like Burke, which seems to go contrary to the concern of “letting every voices be heard”.

                      And I find that disconcerting. And I don’t think that’s unacceptable to write.

                      Though I thank you for forcing me to express myself in a much more moderate manner.

                    • Thibaud313

                      I just want to apologize to everyone involved in this lively debate. I came to this combox depressed by the articles on Francis appointing almost exclusively anti-Tradition Synodal Fathers. I think I was hoping for someone to cheer me up by revealing a recent unknown interview in which Francis said “Ha, ha, yes I appointed almost exclusively anti-Tradition Fathers but I completely disagree with them. You see, my goal is to have the sane, pro-Tradition Fathers from Africa and Eastern Europe proove to them they are completely wrong, the poor saps. And the reason I excluded pro-Tradition Fathers like Burke is that they told me they were exhausted and needed a vacation”.

                      Of course, that was impossible and so all I could get is people offering their sincere, but undemonstrable and counter-intuitive, conviction that Francis is appointing anti-Tradition Fathers and evicting pro-Tradition ones because he is actually pro-Tradition.

                      So all I managed to do is depress myself further and bum everyone else out. Which is the very definition of the sin of scandal.

                      And for that I apologize. I, like everyone else, will just have to wait and see. And if things go bad, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

                      And with that, I ban myself from comboxes for at least a week.

                      God bless you all !

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      I don’t live in the US (and by the way, I am French-Canadian), but the way I understood the problem with Cardinal Burke was that once he was back from the Synod he had been rather too much vocal with his criticisms, to the point of appearing to reject Pope Francis’ authority…

              • Hezekiah Garrett

                It sounds to me lime you think he rigged the synod to get the results he wanted. Not very charitable.

                We’re I in his shoes, I could imagine appointing Kasprr and his ilk to be 15% of the synod fathersfathers, trusting the Holy Ghost and 85% of bishops to keep the Church on the straight and narrow. That would give me the opportunity to say I had given the Kasper camp a fever shot and they couldn’t swing it, so shut the hell up. Ya dig?

                • Hezekiah Garrett

                  I didn’t mean for you to shut the hell up, I meant Kasper et al could shut the hell up…

      • orual’s kindred

        Poor Wonder Twins. Nobody wants to be them.

      • AquinasMan

        The nature of mortal sin doesn’t change on the basis of demographic stats. Once you are separated from Christ by mortal sin, there is only one way back:

        1. Repent
        2. Confess
        3. Amend (or intent to amend at time of absolution)

        That whole “go and sin no more” doesn’t get waved because of a difficult situation a person created by their own volition.

        I’m trying to figure out where, in the history of the Church, a de facto intrinsically evil sin can get busted down to “venial” status after the fact. The willingness of numerous intelligent individuals to countenance Kasper’s tripe is startling.

        • Dan13

          Intrinsically evil doesn’t necessary mean a mortal sin. For example, all lies are intrinsically evil. Some lies are venial sins and some are mortal sins. Whether or not a lie is a mortal sin depends on particular circumstances of the lie.

          Another example would be suicide. Church teaching is that suicide is a sin of grave matter. However, when someone kills him or herself, we hope that the particular circumstances of the individual case mitigate the suicide to a venial sin or perhaps–if the person was so mentally ill that he or she has no moral culpability–even excuse it.

          Cardinal Kasper believes that under some circumstances, adultery is a venial sin. I’d argue that Pope-Emeritus Benedict believes the same thing when he advised those in difficult circumstances to attempt to make a Spiritual Communion. After all, one in a state of mortal sin cannot make a Spiritual Communion. The main difference between Kasper and Benedict is probably that Benedict thinks that only God could determine a person’s state of grace in that situation (also remember at one point in Benedict’s time as a priest, he was favorable to Kasper’s position). I don’t know if Cardinal Burke’s position is to advise Spiritual Communion or to advise the people to remove themselves from the situation no matter the fallout (e.g., the breakup of a family with young children if a believing “wife” withholds sex from an unbelieving “husband”).

          But if mainstream teaching is to advise people in difficult situations to attempt to make a Spiritual Communion, I can’t see how Kasper’s proposal is heretical. Perhaps it would grossly unwise and foolish as bishops may be unable to make the correct decisions, not mention that some bishops may make a farce of any process.

          But one could say the same thing about the current Declaration of Nullity process and argue that the Church would be better served to advise those who argue that their marriages didn’t exist because of a lack of proper consent, that while they *may* be correct, that it would be better to err on the side of caution and not grant the “annulment.” In other words, not to have an Nullity process at all except for lack of form and clearly obvious cases.

          • Jared Clark

            However, there’s a serious problem there. A “second marriage” in these cases is not one, long, ongoing sin. A person, ignorant of the permanence of marriage, may commit a venial sin in his adultery, but upon learning the truth, he would no longer be ignorant. To continue the relationship as normal would be a mortal sin. He would have a duty to his family to seek a declaration of nullity and, while he knows he is impeded from marriage, abstaining from sexual intimacy.

            • Dan13

              A declaration of nullity isn’t always an option. The “first” marriage may have been valid. Or the person who wants to return the church isn’t the one that needs the declaration (i.e., he or she is “married” to a “divorced-and-remarried person) and the other person refuses to start the process.

              By “difficult cases,” it is meant as,

              1) A declaration of nullity is not an option
              2) There are young children involved
              3) The spouse refuses to live as “brother and sister” and a withholdal of sexual intimacy would break up the family

              The example Cardinal Kasper uses is of a woman who had left the church and “married”a non-believer who had been married before. After she has had children, the woman decides to return to the church but now is in caught between a rock and a hard place.

              So the question is what to do in the “difficult cases.” Thankfully, I’m not a bishop and can simply assent to whatever the church says on the matter.

        • Marthe Lépine

          It seems to me that you are saying that if a sin is of grave matter, it is always a mortal sin, which is a confusion. For example, if someone is totally unaware that a sin is of grave matter, which could happen because of a lack of appropriate instruction, that person is not guilty of a mortal sin. However, as soon as that same person becomes more informed and understand that an action is actually of grave matter, and still chooses to commit that action, then it becomes a mortal sin. This could happen, and probably does happen, for example when a person uses contraception without being aware that it is of grave matter, or has been led to trust the advice of people who are themselves mistaken or who have chosen to not accept Church teaching.
          But if I am wrong I am open to more correct information.

    • Jared Clark

      Is there any precedence in our history of the magisterium changing canon law in order to encourage sin? If not, it would seem that the charism of infallibility would prevent them from doing so

  • neoconned

    He also did not say anything about the recent Supreme Court decision on marriage when he addressed Congress, apparently…

    “Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. ”

  • Andy

    I cannot for the life of me fathom how conservatives who claim to have a depth of understanding and ability to recognize nuance have missed his messages, while those flighty and trapped in their own bubble on the left have heard it. It boggles the mind.

    • bill

      Perhaps because conservatives and liberals aren’t all that different at the end of the day. Both sides need help and a reality check.

      • Andy

        I agree –

    • Ken

      As Mark commented the other day there are people counting how many times he says “abortion.” It’s odd. I don’t quite know what to think of this. Is this a by product of a great evil that it’s also dividing people within the church that are on the same side of this issue? Seems to be a work of the evil one.

      • Andy

        It indeed may be the work of the evil one – that we cannot see how we are all alike and yet unique.

      • Tweck

        Sure seems to be. I’ve had a few unnecessary arguments with fellow Catholics over it, though I’m as much to blame for not engaging with humility.

  • Andy

    I hope everyone is listening to the Pope’s address this morning – he is addressing the macro-reasons why abortion is allowed – our own culture – a throwaway culture, a culture of consumerism that drives people to not have families.

    • orual’s kindred

      I’m drowning in his repeated calls to opt for marriage 😀 Holy Father, some of us are in the zero chance pile T__T

      • Sue Korlan

        And it’s important to note that those of us living chaste single lives are a true sign of contradiction in this world.

        • Tweck

          We also support sacramental marriage through our choice to live chastely! 🙂

          Knowing that has helped me more easily embrace the single Catholic lifestyle.

      • anna lisa

        orual’s k: late to the game here and I hope I’m not overstepping my bounds by saying so, but my daughter is only 21 and has told me that she is almost giving up on male humankind. The young men she is closest to at this moment are her six brothers, father, a couple of professors and two gay classmates. I told her I would give her a HUNDRED bucks if she would try Catholic online dating.

        I know that the last guy you dated wasn’t running a pot house in SF ( not that she knew when she dated him) but as I told my daughter–
        “Why do you keep searching for water in the desert?”
        The world has changed. At least narrow the parameters. Why not? what to lose?

        • orual’s kindred

          I do apologize for the delay. Disqus has been really weird and I’ve been very swamped >.< And you're quite welcome to say so 🙂 I could, perhaps, though maybe not anytime soon. I am rather occupied in my singleness. I'm not too happy (sometimes more than unhappy), but I do think my state in life is allowing my to help people in ways I would not be able to were I married. Thank you though! And my best regards to your daughter as well!

          • anna lisa

            It’s good to be swamped. I always find that if I have too much time on my hands I think too much!
            That’s really beautiful that your state in life allows you to help others, and you recognize it as something valuable.
            I can’t say I’m happy right now either. I’m so glad that a good priest once drilled into my head that feelings are transitory and not to be trusted too much.

            My father passed away on Sept. 21, I watched him dying rather shockingly for a month prior. Right now I have a whopping case of–post mortum depression– (is there such a term?)

            I’ve always felt like giving birth to another human being is in a way like dying. Now I know that for the soul to leave a body naturally it’s even more of a struggle.
            It sure sheds a different light upon this life to watch this happen. It’s sobering to realize that every last one of us are headed toward that same “birth” into the next life. How we helped others is the only thing that will go with us…

            • orual’s kindred

              It’s good to be swamped.

              I guess, though I rather prefer to not be 😀

              I am so sorry about your father. He, you and your entire famiky are in my prayers. As for your post-mortem depression: it’s only been a few weeks since he passed away, and even without the kind of ordeal you describe, I would expect the grief to take time. Please allow yourself some time.

              And as for myself, I haven’t got much that I can flatter myself about. Helping people, in small, mundane ways, is what the Lord has tasked me with, and I fail miserably enough. I have little consolation to look forward to, especially when the few people directly involved in my life pass away, as well as when I too go through the birth you speak of. More often than not, the tears, resentment and misgivings return to a few matters: who God is, who I am, and whether or not I am serious about obeying Him in love.

              • anna lisa

                I do the same thing–beat myself up over how mundane my duties are. How appropriate that I should answer you back with my Dad’s mouse pad, which has a quote of Mother Teresa. He used it for years and it will forever be my consolation:

                “We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”

                As my dear friend Father Joe, pounded into my head, love is not always a feeling. Obedience is about trying, and getting back up again when we fall.

                Orual, my father died alone.
                I had been at the beach all day. I had knelt at his bedside for weeks thinking that it was the end, praying the chaplet, the rosary, and silently asking God to deliver him. He clung to life–not because he wanted to, but because the separation of body and soul isn’t easy. Near the end, it was like kneeling next to a breathing body, laboring between two worlds.

                My sister sent us a text at the beach, saying that she thought he was dying. I rushed to his bedside, praying. I told him that it was okay to go; that he had fought the good fight. I told him for the umpteenth time how much I loved him (what a gift) My Mother, (somewhat in denial) kept force feeding him even though he didn’t want it. It took a huge effort on his part, just to please her. He would swallow, evn though it made him choke. When I begged her not to do it, she sent me away. She loves him so much, she was horrified at the thought that he was wasting away.

                So I went away and guiltily drowned myself in 2 glasses of wine, over and above the wine I’d had at the beach in the previous hours.

                I went to bed. Somewhere around midnight I felt/saw him standing next to our bed. It startled me and horrified me that he would pass without me being close by. I rushed to his bedside, only to find him as before, laboring to breathe, and making hand motions which somehow reminded me of my infants. I saw my mother on the couch next to him also sleeping fitfully and without rest. I prayed. I thanked God for that man before me who had given me my life. I kissed his hands and forehead. I noted that his body was hardly warm, but as I stood there swaying with sleep, I lied to myself, and told myself that he would be there for weeks just like that.

                I said “I love you” with tears, right before I left, and he couldn’t say it back, but he made a noise that I know was his best effort. I looked over at my mother. I felt that I should leave them alone. There was something sacred about that scene.

                I was the last one to see him alive.

                The priest who gave my father the last rites told me that I shouldn’t fret about leaving his side. He told me that the elderly priests in his community would do that–pass away quietly at the lowest ebb of the night, and often when nobody was in the room. Sometimes the priests watching had left for only minutes, and their dear old brother priest had quietly stolen away.

                Again, what he told me reminded me of birth, which often begins at the same time–at the darkest, and lowest ebb of the night, when everyone is sleeping.

                I console myself with the thought that we shouldn’t be afraid to die apart from those on this earth that love us. The ones we leave would just be fretting/uncomfortable and not understanding the full truth enough. Even one of the hospice nurses panicked the week before, seeing us distraught, encouraging us to call 911. She didn’t know him, but she panicked, which is not what a hospice nurse is trained to do!

                On the other side, there is a world of difference, there will be happy reunions and relief that that labor is over, that birth complete, –that gap finally bridged.

                What remains is that we are God’s beloved children. We would be content to stay in the womb, but he urges us on, even though it frightens us,–because He loves us, and there is a reason for our difficult journey.

                Orual K.. thank you for your prayers! We really need them on so many levels! Especially my Mom. He was her world. I am offering my profound sense of loss for you too!

                • orual’s kindred

                  We can do no great things; only small things with great love.

                  I think I wrestle with this as much as I derive consolation. After preparing for great things, and sensing others fearing and expecting me to fail spectacularly, living a quiet, humble life is sometimes a formidable challenge 🙂 After all, it’s easier to imagine doing grand feats than actually loving the people in my immediate circle, in the ways that are permitted to me. Yet the more I get to know about our Lord, it is harder to remain ignorant of how integral an aspect humility is: in His life, in His Person. What does it matter if people sneer about platitudes for the weak? How can I follow Him and not humble myself and submit to His will?

                  I thank you for the reminder. I thank your father as well. He is affecting the lives of people he has not even heard of. I hope this is some comfort to you.

                  And please listen to the good priests advising you. As you say, passing on while loved ones are unaware is not as horrible as people might be led to believe. Unless more than one person is dying in a given area, people pretty much go through the process alone. I don’t know why you should have felt, or still feel guilty, about your actions. I see no instance in what you’ve said where you failed your father. It’s not always easy, knowing the exact moment of a person’s passing. Please do not blame yourself for things that were not in your control. And please do not blame yourself for the choices other people make. If your mother refused to accept what was happening, that’s her decision. And if your father chose to go along with her denials, that was his choice. Even in dying, people can still be moral agents. You have been blessed to have spoken to him in his final days. And if you were also feeling uncomfortable about watching him suffer, what of it? That shouldn’t have to mean that your love was lacking. I rather think that seeing people suffer isn’t supposed to be pleasant! Even about the wine, though I’m not sure what the limits of wine consumption if (not too fond of alcoholic drinks), I see nothing that isn’t at the very least understandable. You are grieving; and as I said, you and your family are in my prayers.

                  And I thank you for your offerings and prayers. I need them.

                  • anna lisa

                    Hi Orual’s K.
                    I’ve been thinking about what you wrote and realized how much I would struggle with that Mother Teresa. quote if I didn’t have kids. I don’t know why it’s so easy to love them, even when they are little (big!) monsters. I am reminded of Jesus saying, “do not even the pagans love their own children?” Doing a million and one little mundane things for them just comes naturally. I don’t always do those tasks with the best attitude, but realizing that I’m balking or avoiding a task often reminds me to pray and offer that particular task. It’s like a guilty conscience warning system that starts alerting me to make it a divine thing.

                    I have a somewhat crazy extended family that challenges me very, VERY much at times. The advice about love not always being about sweet feelings, again, comes to my rescue, or I would feel like a miserable failure. It’s tough isn’t it? I could tell you some hair raising stories of wins and losses in that dept. Sometimes love has meant simply saying a prayer for a person that has hurt me, along with picturing them in my mind, and saying “I forgive you” day after day after day. Sometimes after communion, I feel like I have Him cornered and say, “Look, you’re going to have to do something like turn water into wine for me, otherwise I’m just stuck with myself.” How can he deny that one?

                    Humility. Yes. (sigh) Don’t we all dream of great things when we are young? I used to wish that I could be a missionary, –but maybe was a little bit too overindulged as a kid to ever muster it up. What a relief that the Little Flower is patroness of the missions abd never left her convent! –Which brings us back to the “little way”…(hope for all of us!)
                    and changing water into wine…
                    Why did Jesus do that at a wedding feast…?
                    -He knew that marriage needs it’s own kind of anesthesia!

                    Many thanks for the good advice and prayers! Thank goodness for the communion of the saints. This is my only explanation for my Mom keeping it together these past two weeks. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Andy

    So many, it appears to me, conservatives are concerned that the pope did not attack those who are pro-choice or believe that abortion is not an evil. Another thought – who did Jesus jump on? It wasn’t the sinners per se it was the pharisees, the business folks making money at the Temple, the self-righteous. He was basically gentle but firm with sinners – to the extent that he ate and drank with them.
    Rather looking for the pope to hammer the sinner – we need to look at ourselves and see how we are sinners as well.

  • FJH3

    Mark, you’re better than all the recent snark you are dispensing.

    • Stu

      All part of being an apologist.

  • Bernecky

    “This past January, Ms. Pelosi said that she knew more about having babies than the pope, and that a woman has ‘the right’ to an abortion.”

    Is Pelosi lucky or what. Anyone other than Pope Francis would’ve said: “By denying the American people their right to impeach, Pelosi, a gazillionaire, avoided her own ascension to the White House and made way for an unknown candidate who, unlike herself, hadn’t voted against the war and had nothing to lose by ascending.”

    Obama’s sole presidential accomplishment, to date: facilitating the continued smooth transfers of bank bailouts and war profits.

    • PalaceGuard


      • Bernecky

        He’s of woman. He has as much interest in condemning or praising a particular one as he has in condemning or praising himself. What’s left, if he’s to do something, but to practice being one.

        This is unconditional love.

        We met it not long ago, in the secular world. It went by the name Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      I really thought my cousin’s attempt to copulate with a wasps nest was the stupidest thing I had ever seen.

      To quote Bob Dylan, “If not for you…”

  • donttouchme

    They sound infuriated. He has “taken a back seat when it comes to reproductive health and women’s rights.” By contrast, he’s in the driver’s seat on the politics of climate change. Why is he just riding along with them in the back seat on abortion, they’re asking.

  • iamlucky13

    “I have been repeatedly assured by the Greatest Catholics of All Time in
    comboxes across St. Blog’s that our weak-kneed Che Guevara pope (the
    worst since Alexander VI!) utterly failed to speak against abortion and
    had given aid and comfort to Planned Parenthood.”

    Citation? Who make these comments, and when?