18 September 2015

Strange Times...

...when a piece written by a Catholic apologizing for a papal visit isn't easily dismissed.

From The Eyewitness:

As a Catholic, I wish to apologize...

....to non-Catholics, for the silly rock star-like visit of the Pope of Rome to America. In all its tawdry glitter, its obvious Hollywood-style PR, its sick-making gushing by talking (air)heads on TV and elsewhere, it is a supreme embarrassment to simple Catholics, and to the dignity of the Office of the papacy.

When Pope John Paul II came to the US in 1979 there was a bit of celebration and hoopla, not all of which was bad, that accompanied him, and overall he kept as much of his dignity as was possible.

But in the case of our current Pope that is not so. He revels in the spotlight. He enjoys (way too much, I'm afraid) the adulation, gushing and celebrity. As of this writing everything we know about his visit reeks of phony tinsel and pumped-up enthusiasm, the worst aspects of Madison Avenue personified in one man.

I must also apologize, in advance, for what will surely be more thoughtless remarks which may come from the lips of Francis, if past events are any indication. I cringe when I imagine what he might say.

I as a Catholic am profoundly sorry to see this and I ask my non-Catholic friends and readers to realize that this is not normal, not proper and not holy. It is nothing other than a circus of excess, a jamboree, and it fills me with a deep sorrow over the sullied reputation of the Catholic Church. Glancing over the lineup of events and personages who will be involved in this pseudo rock concert leaves me with a sense of dread for the future. That it fits perfectly with the ethos of your typical Sunday Mass in most American parishes is an observation one cannot avoid making.

This extravaganza is not the Catholic Church; it is instead the cheapest of theatrical excesses. The real Church can be found in a quiet chapel or church somewhere, with God present in the Tabernacle, and quiet prayers being said by those who know why they are there.


Long Pants said...

What do you mean "isn't easily dismissed"? By Whom? This is just a rant by some blogger. You're certainly not posting proof of universally embraced fear and loathing over Francis. You've simply found a cyber-buddy who vents about the same things you do.

Anonymous said...

FTA: "...this is not normal, not proper and not holy."

I wonder if this person's idea of normal proper and holy consist of tambourines, drums, and liturgical dance.

Michael Dowd said...

Of all the keepers of the "devastated vineyard" since Vatican II Pope Francis is far and away the worst. For all serious Catholic trying to practice their faith he is utterly dispiriting by his engagement in secular concerns, his collusion with the enemies of faith, his heaping of insults on serious and committed Catholics, etc. One can easily conclude that he has no faith himself and rather fancies himself as a politician rather than a religious leader. Let us pray for his conversion and that his reign will be mercifully short.

Dymphna said...

I wish that the popes would cut these visits out. They waste money and accomplish nothing. Just because JPII was a supserstar doesnt mean that every pope has to follow. Aged Parent is just some blogger but aren't we all? Is he not allowed to express his opinion?

Anonymous said...

Apologetic? Hardly. More like embarrassed and ashamed. Like witnessing ones own father forsaking his duties to his wife and partying with another woman.

Better Pants.

Steve said...

Oh, give me a break. It's Pope Francis and his habit of speaking to the world, rather than huddling away in the Vatican, that embarrasses the writer? It's Pope Francis and his desire to tell the world that Jesus loves everyone, rather than decades of cover-up of the sexual abuse scandal (including by the JP2 era Vatican, where a deaf ear was turned to complaints about Marcial Maciel and many others) that embarrasses this writer? Really? Get a grip. Something tells me that this writer would also be complaining about the "spectacle" of Christ himself if he had been alive at that time.

The anti-Francis mania of your blog (and the sources to which you link) is amazing. You truly do believe you're more Catholic than the pope, even though you are obviously filled with much hatred for the Holy Father. I'm so thankful that most Catholics are not like you. No, despite what you tell yourself, you are not more Catholic than the rest of us -- only more ready to condemn a good, holy man who is doing his best to communicate with the world about God's love for all of us.

thetimman said...

Steve, thanks. I will try to use your calm and charitable standard of judging me when I speak of the Pope. Well, maybe on second thought, I can do better than that. Thanks for the pep talk, though.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Steve!!!
I sometimes think I am sitting on a wooden bench in a cold church listening to Jonathan Edwards or Cotton Mather when I read this and similar blogs.

I remember when a youthful JPII took to the ski slopes and joined the youth. JPII certainly used the media and technology available as he traveled. Perhaps today he would be criticized as Francis is criticized here? Who is to say, that if he had enjoyed good health in his last years as pope, he would not have embraced the faithful and not so faithful by participating in their activites. Part of JPII's mission as well as Francis' mission is to bring people closer to God, that they may experience God's mercy and love. If this is accomplished with taking a "selfie" photo, or laughter, or genuine compassion, then why criticize?

Why must the pope remain separated from the people? Did Jesus separate himself from the crowds? Did he refuse the hospitality of the wealthy? Jesus allowed women (oh gasp) to caress his feet and hair with oils, and seemingly enjoyed their kissing his feet. Just because the storytellers of the bible did not include behaviors such as dancing, singing, or participation in games, does not mean Jesus abstained from doing so.

Jesus spent his life among the people, not sitting in brocade robes and living in some edifice built by the poor. We do not know if he possessed a "dress-up" wardrobe to wear to the synagogue. We do not know if or when he paused in his preaching to work long enough to earn some money to sustain himself. We do know that He asks us to "come follow me."

Forgiveness, mercy, love....acceptance of the human condition...that is what we are supposed to practice. Lamenting that the pope does not "act properly" suggests we have lost our way.


thetimman said...


It is very easy to say these things. Who could be against love and mercy, right?

Of course, true love embraces the truth, and does not confirm people in error to be "nice."

And real mercy is forgiveness after a call to conversion, not a killing of the conscience of sinners.

Those "dress up" priests and bishops seem to understand this, and it's not because they "dress up." They "dress up" because they know this. They know who Christ is, and who they are, and who we are.

This is a war for souls. Surrender is not compassion.

With all due respect, it is time to use our whole persons to follow Christ-- and that would include our brains.