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Are you still trying to understand Pope Francis? Join the club.

For those of us who are struggling to understand the Holy Father’s way of thinking, Nick Miroff of the Washington Post has provided a few very useful insights. First he cited the influence of Argentina’s Juan Peron, a populist strongman who was not a conventional leftist, but certainly not a rightist—in fact, a demagogue who defied easy categorization. The New York Times and The Economist agree that Peron, who controlled Argentina during his formative years, had an important influence on Pontiff’s thinking, especially on political topics.

Unfortunately, that bit of analysis does not enable us to predict how the Pope will respond to public issues. Peron himself was unpredictable; it was always much easier to say what he opposed than to know what he endorsed. (Does that sound familiar?)

But Miroff followed up with another column arguing that Pope Francis is “neither a liberal nor a conservative. He’s an evangelist.”

Okay, but what does that mean? Miroff predicts that “partisans of the culture war” will constantly be frustrated by this Pope, because he avoids taking positions that might interfere with his primary goal, which is to encourage people to test the waters of the Catholic faith. Pope Francis has little patience for debates about who is inside, and who is outside, the Church; he wants to concentrate on bringing more people inside. Thus Miroff writes:

He will likely continue to stake out positions on major social questions -- like his remarks on divorce -- but probably to the extent that they further his goal of getting clergy to stop thinking of themselves as gatekeepers of the faith…He wants the church doors open, and for priests and parishioners to stop worrying so much about who walks through them.

http://www.catholic culture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=1122
I disagree.

"goal of getting clergy to stop thinking of themselves as gatekeepers of the faith."

The church is made up of the Teaching Church (clergy) and the Learning Church (the laymen). This is from the catechism of Pope St. Pius X. So does Francis want the laymen to start teaching the clergy?

"He wants the church doors open, and for priests and parishioners to stop worrying so much about who walks through them."

What that REALLY means: you don't have to give up your sin: communion for everybody! If you commit adultery every night with your fake wife, or got sodomized last night by your fake husband, you can "take": communion, too. Who is anybody else to judge? Certainly not the mean gatekeepers, the clergy.
(08-15-2015, 12:50 AM)Poche Wrote: [ -> ]He will likely continue to stake out positions on major social questions -- like his remarks on divorce -- but probably to the extent that they further his goal of getting clergy to stop thinking of themselves as gatekeepers of the faith…

The talk about priests doing 'gatekeeping' en masse and the Church substituting mercy for legalism... It's so surreal. In a sense it alienates me, because this view of the current Church - a view advocated fanatically by Pope Francis - is utterly divorced from my experience with the Church in the trenches of parish life. Even the conservative priests I know refrain from traditional militant talk on the subject of defending the Faith.
The church is made up of the Teaching Church (clergy) and the Learning Church (the laymen). This is from the catechism of Pope St. Pius X. So does Francis want the laymen to start teaching the clergy?

Pope Francis would like for you to collaborate in the evangelization efforts of the Church. This is really nothing new. When I was a child we were told that we had to collaborate in the missionary activity of the Church. It is not a matter of teaching the clergy, it's a matter of teaching everybody else.
For those of us who are struggling to understand the Holy Father’s way of thinking, Nick Miroff of the Washington Post has provided a few very useful insights. First he cited the influence of Argentina’s Juan Peron, a populist strongman who was not a conventional leftist, but certainly not a rightist—in fact, a demagogue who defied easy categorization. The New York Times and The Economist agree that Peron, who controlled Argentina during his formative years, had an important influence on Pontiff’s thinking, especially on political topics.

This description of Juan Peron reminds me of when Jimmy Carter, the politician.
??? ??? ???
So . . .  we are to forget about who is "inside" vs "outside"; instead, we are just supposed to get those who are "outside" to come "inside". 
Sounds a bit like "Who cares if we don't know where Chicago is?! Just get everyone there right now!"
(08-15-2015, 11:41 AM)maldon Wrote: [ -> ]So . . .  we are to forget about who is "inside" vs "outside"; instead, we are just supposed to get those who are "outside" to come "inside". 
Sounds a bit like "Who cares if we don't know where Chicago is?! Just get everyone there right now!"

That is something that bothers me, we are so focused on the peripheries and listening and dialogue that I think there is a focus to forget about the great middle or silent majority. 

In the US and Europe, like 70 to 80 percent of people would fall into the middle class range.  By neglecting their spiritual needs, which they are the people who can do the most to help the poor.  The Church of the Poor that Francis and liberals want is effectively a Church of the Rich as they will focus on fundraising such as allowing Porsche using the Sistine chapel to be use for a fundraiser.  Most of the secular people that Francis surrounds himself like Jeffrey Sachs are rich liberals who would benefit greatly from the population control and climate agenda, not to mentioning crafting policies that will certainly a large number of the poor 
What a load of non-sense!

How can one bring more people inside if one doesn't know the difference between inside and outside?

This remark is more than just pointing out the obvious idiocy of the phrase. It actually is the case that the Church is becoming more like the world. At this point one should ask what is the point of getting inside?
I know plenty of people who are now saying they are becoming catholics and whatnot. But, really? They don't even believe in the resurrection and think Jesus married Mary Magdalene. But we can't say that's a no-no in Catholicism, right, because priests are not gatekeepers of the faith (boy, the pope should read his job description before applying), so who's to say what's up and what's down.

My understanding of Pope Francis is that he is mostly, but not entirely liberal, and that he is liberal, for the most part, because he embraces the Gospel. 

I support him insofar as he is motivated by the Gospel, and I forgive his prudential errors.

However, part of his liberalism stems from his formation:  Vatican II; Jesuitism; Latin America; etc.  It's hard to distinguish this current, but its there -- undeniably and regrettably.

Pope Francis also has a choleric temperament, which is why he can be so "in your face" about these things.

So my verdict is this:  Pope Francis is a complicated, stinky human, like the rest of us, who, however, happens to hold the Petrine Office by the providence and grace of God. 

I accept Pope Francis as Holy Father.  Now, instead of "taking his inventory," as they say in 12-step groups, I prefer to take my own.  My powerlessness over Pope Francis and his monkeyshines reminds me of what is given to me to do:  repent (on an ongoing basis); pray; attend to my duties of state from a motive of doing God's will; pray lectio divina with one of the Gospels; offer the Holy Rosary daily; practice the spiritual and corporal works of mercy; study the catechism and non-polemical books on the faith, especially writings of the saints; go to Mass and receive the sacraments.  Maybe check in at Fisheaters once in awhile, too, in moments of weakness.  It's probably venial.
Yes,his formation and the era he happened to be formed in is unmistakable in his words and actions. This man is the face of Latin American post conciliar Jesuitism. I don't particularly like anything about him but barring sedevacantism we have to carry on as Catholics even with him and his 1970's and 1980's liberal Jesuitism running the Church.

When I wake up every morning I can light a candle in front of my icons and pray the Benedictine Breviary or from my Jordanville and all of a sudden the communion of saints are right there beside me and all the graces I need are right there. Our life as Catholics goes on no matter what Francis or the worlds bishops decide to do. If they fall away let them fall away, but keep your faith intact. Ultimately God is interested in what we do with our lives and how we best become living icons of His Kingdom right here and right now. We are not responsible for Francis or the bishops.

Like I mentioned before, some eras are better than others but for the most part during most times and places most Catholics--- clergy or otherwise-- are fallen, waffling,sinful and lukewarm. In many eras most of the clergy even fell away from the Faith such as during the Arian crisis or the Protestant reformation in England. Our Faith cannot rest on what the Pope or the bishops do or say,or don't do or don't say.

When I think about it what has keep my faith intact more than anything else has been my fidelity to daily prayer, both the Office, the Jesus Prayer and an occasional rosary. Personal piety, spiritual reading and the sacraments when I can get them have been lifelines. Another thing that is really awesome and helpful is to do a nocturnal holy hour at home once a week in front of an image of the Sacred Heart. There are a few books on this. It's poweful. Really a life faithful to prayer will keep you in the Light of Christ more than anything else.
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