07 October 2013

A Fairly Devastating Reality Check

I can't really argue with this commentary by Christopher Ferrara in The Remnant.  If you are trying to make an honest assessment of the statements of this pontificate you really must read it.  Scanning leaves is one thing, but stepping back to look at the tree is another.  And, surrounding that, is the forest...

Romam vado iterum crucifigi


Karen said...

I almost feel like I should copy and paste my last comment to the post of 10/4/2013.

People, please read "The Fourth Secret of Fatima" by Antonio Socci. The same cover-ups were going on then, although regarding a much graver issue than the Pope's interview.

Only the Rosary can save us from all of this, along with complying with Mary's requests as much as we are able.

This pontificate is not going to be easy for faithful Catholics.

Thank the Holy Trinity for the protection of the deposit of the Faith!! Someday, it will be brought out of the cobwebs and actually promoted by the Pope and bishops because Mary promised her Immaculate Heart would triumph!

In the meantime, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us!!!

StGuyFawkes said...

Dear All,

There may be a "reality check" within the "reality check." If you go to "The Remnant" link which Tim offers and double click the business of the Holy Father disdaining "spiritual bouquets" you find another VERY interesting quote. Just after the Holy Father critcizes the "pelagian" current he says,

" The second [concern] is for a Gnostic current. Those Pantheisms... Both are elite currents, but this one is of a more educated elite... I heard of a superior general that prompted the sisters of her congregation to not pray in the morning, but to spiritually bathe in the cosmos, things like that... They concern me because they ignore the incarnation! And the Son of God became our flesh, the Word was made flesh, and in Latin America we have flesh abundantly [de tirar al techo]! What happens to the poor, their pains, this is our flesh..."

He is obviously tuned into the problems with the LCWR and their local outpost on Boyle Street.

Is this part of what he means by "balance."

thetimman said...


You know already that I think there is something very big going on here. The Pope is a man of great ability and compelling personality. I still think that he may be the one who consecrates Russia. Our Lady's plans cannot be thwarted. Like Benedict with Summorum Pontificum, it really doesn't matter what his intent is in doing it. Mary will take care of the outcome.

I agree we need to pray for the Pope, because it may take a catastrophe (should I say a bigger catastrophe than the last fifty years) to bring this about.

X said...

I totally disagree that this Pope is a man of great ability and compelling personality, I find him to be an inept bumbler and fumbler. No doubt he is a child of Vatican II but he lacks the formidable destructive diplomacy and cunning of of a Bugnini or a Casaroli or even a Bernadin. Now they were some scary guys. Watching Pope Francis is like watching a bad stand up comic bomb on the stage. If you've had a few and you're in the right mood it can really be funny. He has somehow managed in a few short months to turn tragedy into farce. I love this guy! I love the fact that he kicked the conservative Catholics and the professional Catholics and the pro-lifers and all who had made a separate peace with the new order square in the teeth. They certainly had it coming. He makes the headlines no doubt but fear not, a light bulb always burns brightest just before it burns out. Pope Francis represents not a new beginning but the end to our long Babylonian captivity, though he will probably be the last to know it.
Still, true to his roots he will NOT consecrate Russia.

Anonymous said...


OK, I'm awake. . . where's the encyclical?

What, none yet? Not even a Papal bull?

Yawn. Before I go back to sleep, the most notable thing I saw in that Remnant article (and its accompanying comments, which, frankly, are kind of a fever swamp) was a continuing effort to take the Holy Father's comments in the least charitable light possible if you are one who believes in a smaller, more orthodox, and (this is the most important point) mostly sinless Church.

Yes, yes, I know, we can all beat our breasts and say that we are already sinners, and so of course the Church is not sinless. True enough. But we are all already IN the Church. And practicing. We are not the audience for Pope Francis' evangelization efforts.

It is true that there is a conflict between the vision that the Holy Father has for the Church than that of most bloggers/commenters here and at Remnant and at Rorate. His vision is bigger, messier, and more welcoming - a field hospital for sinners, perhaps. The Remnant's vision is, well, a remnant: smaller, more doctrinaire, more authoritarian and self-policing on liturgical and moral matters.

As StGuyFawkes writes, there is often as much criticism going toward the left from the mouth of Pope Francis as there is toward the right. If the left is too hippy-dippy loony to listen or understand, well, that's not my problem. And yes, there are willing accomplices on the left selectively reporting. No surprise there.

Don't get me wrong, with the Jesuits, I'm a full believer in 'trust but verify', but hyperventilating over every utterance of the Holy Father is counterproductive, and opens those of us on the right up to fair criticism. It's not like there was a drumbeat of support on the right for JPII's criticism of materialism, after all.

SLPS Parent

Anonymous said...

Would someone please explain the phrase, "consecrate Russia?


Anonymous said...

Karen writes: "This pontificate is not going to be easy for faithful Catholics."

I wonder how she defines "faithful Catholics."

I consider myself a faithful catholic and find Pope Francis refreshing and inspiring.

Margaret V.

Steve said...

Yes -- what Margaret V said. Plenty of cafeteria Catholics (of the Rad Trad variety) who are eager to shred this pope. Evidently, they think that makes them more Christ-like...or more Catholic...or more something. They are proud of their animosity toward Pope Francis. Strange.

Karen said...


Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, where she gave them a visionof hell and a vision and message concerning the future. She asked for penance and prayer, particularly the Rosary, and she requested that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart or "she (Russia) would spread her errors throughout the world." This consecration has never been performed.

If you are interested in Fatima, EWTN is airing a special on 10/10 at 2pm ET and 10/12 at 5 am ET. Much of what you will hear is factual. However, concerning the third secred of Fatima, there is much disagreement and doubt. Fr. Andrew Apostoli who wrote a book on Fatima and Cardinal Bertone who was prominent in the Vatican at the time the secret was to be published (Sr. Lucia said Our Lady told her the secret was to be published in 1960) are not necessarily going to give you the entire picture. I suggest you also read The Fourth Secret of Fatima by Antonio Socci for a fuller understaning of the secret.

SLPS Parent,

I'm not being uncharitable toward the pope; just expressing my opinion, and apparently that of many others, who wish the Holy Father speak explicit words concerning Catholic teaching. We have two generations now of Catholics who have been either poorly catechized or not catechized at all. At this point in time, we need word for word explicit teaching from him, not just all-inclusiveness, which gives those who really know little to nothing about what the true Catholic faith teaches, the idea that they have free reign to continue living their unCatholic lifestyles.

I suppose you could go back to sleep. I'll be praying while you nap.

Karen said...

Margaret V and Steve,

Faithful Catholics are those who have been well catechized in the One True Holy Catholic Faith and try to live it through prayer, faithful Mass attendance, and reception of the sacraments (which unfailingly results in a well-formed conscience) and a courageous attempt to attain the virtue of Mary and the saints.

This is in no way saying that either of you are not faithful Catholics. I'm just giving you the definition you were wondering about.

I am not eager to "shred" the pope. On the contrary, I pray for him constantly to lead us in the battle we are facing here on earth. We need him to be extremely strong and doctrinally explicit at ALL times because of the number of souls who are in danger of perishing due to the watering down of the faith over the past 50 years. I love the Holy Catholic Church and the Holy Father but I fear for the Church who is so fragile in the Western world right now. We need a pope who will not only lead, but TEACH, and not just in encyclicals. People hang on his every word.

Instead of attributing "criticism" and "shredding" to my words, listen instead for the fear, concern and longing for a strong shepherd.

It's strange to me how when someone expresses concern for the Church and the ability of the Holy Father in carrying out his excruciatingly crucial position of spiritual leader of a clueless world, you so immediately attribute lack of charity.

Steve said...


Here's part of what you wrote: "This pontificate is not going to be easy for faithful Catholics."

You seem to regard the Pope--Pope Francis--as something less than a "faithful Catholic" because what he is teaching is at odds with the emphases you would like to see him pursue. You seem to regard those who welcome his positive attitude, his emphasis on compassion and God's mercy and God's creative love, as something less than "faithful Catholics." You ignore the fact that SOME of us faithful Catholics (faithful Catholic-Christians who are nonetheless struggling sinners, just like you) are overjoyed to live to see this papacy. For some of us faithful Catholics, this papacy is not causing us dismay at all. Are we being challenged by this pope to reach out to the world and to place more emphasis on compassion and charity and to look more critically at our materialistic tendencies? Yes, most definitely--but that is hardly a cause for dismay.

There are plenty of us "faithful Catholics" out here who are very, very happy that Francis is pope. May God bless him always. (May God bless you as well. No snark here. We are all God's sons and daughters.)

Jane Chantal said...


Do you hope that persons to whom the Church reaches out in compassion and charity, will be inspired by that outreach to embrace the Church's teachings on sexuality?

Steve said...

Jane, like you (I imagine), I hope that all of us can answer Christ's call to faithfulness and love more fully. Plenty of people (maybe the vast majority of us human beings, for that matter) fall into sexual sin. There are plenty of broken marriages out there, for instance, because husbands and wives have cheated on each other and disregarded their marriage vows. There are plenty of women who have been sexually exploited by men; plenty of people of all ages, sadly, who have been abused and in some cases been turned into products in our capitalistic society. Yes, I hope that each of us -- no matter our sins -- can turn away from our sins and become better followers of Christ. There's plenty of sin in this world, and just about all of us have some repenting to do. And each of us, of course, is in need of God's great gift of mercy -- the gift that Christ died to give us.

StGuyFawkes said...

Dear All,

The issue seems to be our Pope's seeming to be so modern, or modernist. It does just as well to say that he appears to be not only in the world but of it. To be "of the world" for a Catholic is treacherous business, particularly when it is a matter of adopting modern opinions and proclaiming them with the credibility of the Bishop of Rome.

I worry too. Pope Francis is dancing on a high dive slicked with Vaseline. It's only a matter of time before he makes an enormous fall and who knows if there is even water in the pool to break his descent.

Nonetheless, having considered the peril, I offer some thoughts for our consideration.

1.) Pope Francis may not be so much a child of the Council as someone who wants to re-boot the discussion that was aborted by the Council, to whit: "How is the Church to perform Her evangelistic mission in the context of "modernity" (Note: modernity does not equal modernism.)

2.)"Modernity" is distinguished by certain known features: secular states, rampant atheism, uncontrolled capital formation, the perversion of education into blinkered specialization.

3.) Evangelism requires engaging the heathen (that is modern citizens) with love and an original acceptance of the modern heathen as he is. This means addressing their immediate existential needs. One can do this without succumbing to paganism. It only means that one must encounter the barbarian and work with the material at hand.

4.) I think of the latter part of the Church's mission is best exemplified in women who work with women who have had abortions. The first thing is to offer unconditional love. Doctrine and catechisis will come in due course as it must. But the first thing is to get the distraught soul to start talking.

5.) Let's consider whether Pope Francis isn't trying to get the world and he Church to start talking. I mean talking to each other. This hasn't happened in a long time.

6.) It's natural to say, "Oh, every time Mother Teresa's nuns feed the hungry down on N. Grand that's evangelization and what more dialogue do we need? However, this misses the point.

7.) The Holy Father wants to engage the world ideologically, not from the perspective of doctrine but of dialogue. Dialogue is the watchword of the apostates. They will dialogue so as to buy time to continue their evils.


9.) Go get your copies of the Summa Theologiae. Every article written by the Angelic Doctor is in fact a Platonic dialogue with adversaries and unbelievers. Each article begins with a generous reaching out that accepts and acknowledges the amount of truth, however little, the opposing views may contain.

10.) I think this is what Our Pope is doing. I hope this is what he is doing. It's dangerous as ...well...Hell. But it has to be done.

St. Guy

Karen said...

St. Guy,

Awesome comment! You have given me much to think about. I am still very worried. Dialogue (the very word gives me chills even though the strict definition can be practiced positively): St. Thomas was very skilled and obviously inspired by the Holy Spirit, but I'm not so sure Pope Francis is as skilled. I sure hope so, though.

Yes, talking is good. I'll pray that it will lead to something wonderful and not just the same circles and dead ends that have been going on for years.

Let's hope there is water in that pool though, and that he has a good swan dive.

Jane Chantal said...


It is good to remember that capitalism – like sexuality – can be expressed in a healthy way, or it can be corrupted by persons whose perspective is skewed by disordered appetites.

Sexual exploitation finds its greatest opportunity to flourish unchecked in economically struggling societies. Capitalism, for all its imperfections, has lifted more people out of poverty, worldwide, than any other economic system.

Throughout two millennia, in wealthy societies as well as in poor ones, the Catholic Church has worked diligently to help those who remain in poverty and in other forms of misery. Sadly, its efforts are currently threatened by a presidential administration that is bent on persecuting it for refusing to abandon its mission.