Showing posts with label Phil Lawler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Phil Lawler. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Vaticanists on Pope Francis: "Fewer Interviews, Your Holiness. They Only Cause Confusion."

 (Rome) "Interviews are not my forte," said Pope Francis at the beginning of his pontificate.  How right he was. But why then does he give so many interviews? That is what numerous Catholic observers have asked themselves in their comments since the recent flying press conference on the return flight from Mexico to Rome. Some have come to a clear conclusion and even dare to call  out to him. Their wish is: "Less interviews, Your Holiness."
It is contemplated with a certain melancholy that canny supporters   in the first bewildering months after the election of Pope Francis, attempted to persuade Jorge Mario Bergoglio not to give interviews. Interviews are a form of communication that would not suit Francis because of the improvised nature of the answers.

The illusion and the return flight from the World Youth Day

The Catholic world was disabused in the return flight from World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. Since then,  the infamous phrase  "Who am I to judge?" has become an unofficial, but more permanent and authentic motto about this pontificate.
In September of the same year, a no less controversial interview followed with the Roman Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica and the very singular conversations with atheist Eugenio Scalfari.  Since then there has been a dizzying height of papal gushing  at each impromptu press conference in the assembly line. Thus, Francis has changed the form of communication of the Popes, who had hitherto basically waived interviews.  It is with good reason that they thought this.
Last week there were comments on a bandwidth from A for abortion to Z  for Zika virus, from John Paul II. to Donald Trump, from walls to Moscow.

A contradictory Pope

The Pope speaks and contradicts himself and contradicts his own conflicting and he does not even seem to notice. Opinions differ to the latter.
It is more likely that he knows exactly what he says, and has accounted for certain reactions and effects, wherewith he wants to achieve conscious or at least tacit acceptance. While it seems true that he adapts his speeches to his audience, never the less, the coincidence of the statements is not in the game.
The subsequent corrections, semi-corrections and pseudo-corrections by Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi SJ, therefore, provide for no lack of tragedy and embarrassment. Frequently, the subsequently filed corrections were at best, half-hearted disclaimers. Lombardi, who enjoys no direct access to the Pope,  thereby has multiplied the impression,  to wish to deny something, because it contradicts the Church's teachings, but is  inhibited in this because the statement  might actually concur with the opinion of the pope, or, given a denial, tape recordings could later be presented to prove the contrary. It's a fatal situation.

Reaffirming through half-hearted contradictions

The egg dance about the shocking Pope interviews with Atheist Eugenio Scalfari is unlikely to be bested. But the word  "Scalfari Magisterium' was coined, which carries the core of capitulation in itself.
Subsequently, only Lombardi  denied   informally that Francis had assured Scalfari  that "all remarried divorcees who want to be admitted to communion". At the same time Lombardi explainedthat there would be no official correction. There was also to be no denial. Absent correction, what Scalfari claimed was validated. The overriding conclusion: Pope Francis really said it just as  Scalfari announced it to the world.
The same applies to Scalfari's Pope interviews from 2013 and 2014, now reprinted in a  neatly bound  anthology by the official Vatican publishing with Pope interviews. Since then,   theologians are arguing whether and to what degree the interviews are part of the ordinary papal magisterium.

The Pope as Smoke Machine

Mists around Pope Francis  rise  and he very diligently sets off smoke grenades.
The Vatican expert Sandro Magister explained this papal procedure by using the example of the debate on the legalization of "gay marriage" in Italy: The Pope speaks and acts and sends out signals that are promptly understood by the world to be taken in a certain contradictory manner to the Magisterium. At the same time the Pope and his Adlati who act as smoke grenades to throw good Catholics in confusion and thus to lead them by the nose.
In an almost mocking way, Pope Francis said on his return from Mexico in one breath that he would not  interfere in the political affairs of Italy, and interjected himself at the same time in the political affairs of the United States.
Both times the statements targeted  in perfect focus on encouragement and praise from the same political page. In both cases, the Pope attacked the respective opposition against the ruling political left.  In both cases, the papal statements meant political interference, in Italy by demonstratively asserting noninterference with which he stabbed  Catholic families in the back, defending against their  remarkable action against the legalization of "gay marriage"  and gender ideology, in the US. by  thick headed interference against the most promising challenger to eight year long leftist government. The excommunication-shy Pope,  who has only "excommunicated" the Mafia, but figures like Emma Bonino, who  by her own admission is a child murderer 10,000 times over, and abortion-, divorce-, gender- and euthanasia advocate, he previously dubbed  "Great" and therefore put her on the same level with Pope Paul VI., excommunicated with astonishing thoughtlessness the Presbyterian and thus non-Catholic, Donald Trump from the Christian world.

Political bias does not do justice to the Petrine ministry

The political bias that   the Pope carries before himself like a flag,  might do well for his position as head of state, as Italy is the big neighbor of Vatican City, and the USA is the only remaining superpower. But governments change and tomorrow, Matteo could indeed reign in Rome,  but not Matteo Renzi of the Left-Democrats, but Matteo Salvini of the Northern League. And in the US,  tomorrow maybe Donald Trump will be sitting in the White House. Notwithstanding this: His position certainly does no good as head of the Church, as the successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ. The decisions and statements of the Pope should only  be obligated to his mission to proclaim the truth and to strengthen brothers.
Statements and actions must be measured against their consequences. Which résumé do the Pope's never denied statements about homosexuality, the divorced and remarried , on intercommunion or the Zika virus be drawn? The world reads them as a license and Catholics argue about whether the Pope had already mean it, as he had said it. The one marching resolutely forward with "papal blessing"  and the others are paralyzed in conflicts of interpretation.

The Pope interviews that "at best create confusion in all cases"

Phil Lawler, editor in chief of CatholicCulture asked about the recent flying press conference: "How dangerous was the most recent pope interview? Let me recount." Lawler's "recounting" led to a damning: The many words of the Pope would "in the best case scenario, cause confusion". Lawler's conclusion:
"The frequent public interviews of the Pope and the unfortunate list unfortunate responses have become a predictable source of confusion, frustration and even embarrassment for believers."
His  urgent recommendation follows:
"Pensive Catholic leaders should use their influence to convince the Holy Father of the fact that he was right [in which he once said that interviews were not his strength] and that he is wrong now when he  uses interviews as a regular part of his public office."
The situation of the famous Vatican expert Edward Pentin from New Catholic Register isn't different.  Pentin wonders whether the controversial interviews are not too high a price to be paid, in view of the confusion that this "informal" style creates "by a pope who is not a moral theologian".
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: MiL
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Catholic Dissenters Define "Catholic" Education

At least they're dying out at a prodigious rate, but Gnosticism, like Modernism of old, is as old as the pyramids.

Catholic Educators who Aren't Catholic

In an editorial eulogizing the late Mary Daly, the Boston Globe lets the cat out of the bag. Daly “came to describe herself as a ‘radical lesbian feminist’ and a ‘post-Christian,’” the Globe notes. How, then, did she justify her position in the theology department at Boston College: a nominally Catholic school? The Globe has its answer:

Daly was one of many scholars who, through their efforts to use their positions at Catholic universities to pull the church leftward, tacitly acknowledged its central role in the lives of the faithful, and its vast influence in society at large.

Exactly. Like all too many of her colleagues in Catholic theological circles, Daly used her academic post not to build up the faith but to tear it down—or, to be more accurate, to exploit it for other purposes. At a time when St. Josemaria Escriva was urging his followers in Opus Dei to turn the ordinary work of the secular world to the purposes of the Church (that is, their sanctification), leftist professors were encouraging students to turn the work of the Church to the purposes of the secular world (that is, their politicization). The Globe editorial puts it differently, but the message is recognizably the same:

Daly was in the thick of a vibrant debate within the Catholic world over how to respond to the social changes of the era.

In academic life, Daly and her allies had ample opportunity to influence the world: to “pull the Church leftward.” They not only trained the next generation in their classrooms, but by controlling the levers of academic power they determined who would be given the appropriate credentials—the PhDs—to teach the following generations as well.

For years, a fifth column has been active in Catholic academic circles. By the 1970s, the damage they had done was evident enough to a few perceptive Catholic scholars, who began founding a new generation of Catholic colleges and universities explicitly devoted to the teaching magisterium of the Church. But at established schools like Boston College, Notre Dame, and Georgetown, the subversion continues.

The influence of these “post-Catholic” scholars extends beyond academic life, too. The Boston Globe is not ordinarily interested in theology; the editorial tribute to Mary Daly was obviously written by someone who had drunk deeply from those intellectual streams. (Notice the awkward use of the adjective "vibrant," a dead giveaway that the author is a liberal Catholic.) Nancy Pelosi can cite professors at Catholic schools to justify her political stands.

The treason of Catholic scholars is not news. What is new, in the Globe editorial, is the candid acknowledgement that some Catholic theologians are motivated not by a different vision for the good of the Church, but by a cynical desire to exploit the Church for the sake of their favored social causes. They acknowledge the Church as a potential force for social change, not as the Bride of Christ, the Mater et Magistra. They are opportunists, not Catholic theologians.

Still, rest assured that they will continue cashing their paychecks, and miseducating our children, for as long as we afford them the opportunities.

Link to Catholic Culture...

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Theological Dunkirk of the CoE

According to Howlingly Absurd at Angelqueen, "this is the Anglican Communion's Theological Dunkirk as they await the Liturgical Overlord and the Moral D-Day Invasion."

Phil Lawler has another perspective altogether and perhaps a more sobering and realistic one as he takes into account that many Anglicans will be concerned about leaving their lifelong and inter-generational parsonages, their subsequent financial support as there will be no severance packages for them, and the precariousness of entering an ecclesial reality apparently as precarious as the one they left in the first place.

Realistic expectations about Anglicans
By Phil Lawler | October 21, 2009 3:24 PM


There's a natural, healthy excitement in Church this week, caused by the Pope's bold move to welcome Anglicans into the Catholic fold. But after that first flush of excitement, let's step back just a bit and assess the likely outcome.

Will there be millions of Anglicans battering down the doors of Catholic churches next week? Not likely. Hundreds of thousands, then? Probably not.

The Anglican Church is sinking, and the Pope has thrown a lifeline. But there are several reasons why Anglicans-- even tradition-minded Anglicans-- might not grasp it.

First there are practical matters. Anglican clergymen have salaries and pension funds, and in many cases they have families to feed. There will be financial questions to settle, as well as legal questions about the ownership of parish properties and the administration of church programs.

Second there are the purely human considerations. Many Anglicans will find it difficult to walk away from the parish with which their families have been involved for generations, where their parents and grandparents were baptized and married, where their ancestors helped to build the church and now lie in the parish graveyard. Leaving the Anglican communion, for them, might mean leaving behind some bitterly disappointed relatives and friends, as well as some cherished memories. It will be wrenching; it might not happen right away.

Next there are the suspicions and fears that will doubtless remain, even after the Pope issues his apostolic constitution. Conservative Anglicans might glance nervously at the Catholic parishes in their neighborhood, notice the theological novelties and the liturgical abuses, and wonder whether they might be leaving one untenable situation only to enter into another. Working from the opposite direction, liberal Catholics-- including some in the hierarchy-- might discourage Anglicans from entering the Church, recognizing that an influx of conservative believers could tilt the entire Church toward a more traditional outlook.

For some conservative Anglicans-- notably in Africa-- there is no special incentive to enter the Catholic Church, because the Anglican communities in their regions remain firmly in the hands of their fellow conservatives. The worldwide Anglican communion may be falling apart, but in Africa the faith is buoyant, and the faithful are far less likely to see any need for dramatic changes.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there are many conservative Anglicans who have no desire to enter the Catholic Church under any circumstances.

The Anglican communion, one must remember, is divided in two different ways. There is a clear liberal/conservative split, which is evident in the highly publicized battles over issues such as homosexuality and the ordination of women. Catholics readily recognize that division; we have the same problem in our Church. But in the Anglican communion there is another division, between the "high church" and "low church" traditions. Those two ways of classifying the Anglican faithful produce very different divisions. Within the Roman Catholic Church, "liberals" tend to disagree with "conservatives" consistently, across a whole range of issues: doctrinal, moral, and liturgical. Not so in the Anglican communion, where one can find high-church liberals and low-church conservatives.

The distinction between the "high" and "low" Anglican traditions can be traced back to the 17th century, when some parishes within the Church of England clung to the sacramental rituals they had preserved from their days as Catholic communities, while others-- more heavily influenced by the Reformation-- jettisoned those ceremonies to adopt a self-consciously simpler style of worship. The battle between "high" and "low" approaches has continued on different fronts over the centuries. At the risk of oversimplification, one might say that today the heirs of the "high church" tradition in the Anglican communion emphasize the patrimony they have received from the universal (Catholic) Church, while those of the "low church" tradition think of themselves as children of the Reformation.

In the 19th century, the Oxford Movement spoke explicitly of the "Anglo-Catholic" tradition, and today the heirs of the Oxford Movement-- including the members of the Traditional Anglican Communion-- still think of themselves as Anglo-Catholics. For them, the Pope's invitation may prove irresistible.

But Anglicans from the other, "low-church" tradition, who think of themselves as Protestants, will not succumb so quickly to the magnetic attraction of Rome. Many of them may be conservative, in the same way that Evangelical Christians are conservative, on questions of theological doctrine and moral principle. They may be estranged from their more liberal co-religionists. But they do not see the Catholic Church as a potential refuge. Thus Bishop Martyn Minns, a leader of the Anglican Church in North America-- a group formed to counteract liberalism in the Episcopal Church-- told the New York Times: "I don't want to be a Roman Catholic." He explained simply: "There was a Reformation, you remember."

Still, there is much speculation about the numbers. This article Lawler posts is almost as grim, expecting not more than 1,000 priests and identifying some of the pitfalls, like expected defections later on. It has additional links to other sources and articles dealing with women's ordination and Forward in Faith (FiFo) who specualate that at least a dozzen Bishops will convert.