Too Catholic? Not Catholic enough?
#1
[Image: Habemus+Papam.jpg]
So what do I think of our new pontiff, Francis?

It's funny — within two hours of his election I started seeing both sides try to claim him for their own, then two hours later I began seeing both sides damn him as belonging to the other side!

That having been said, it's tough to get a read on Francis. It goes beyond a "son of Ignatius" — a Jesuit — naming himself not after a co-founder of his own order, St. Francis Xavier, but after the founder of the mendicant Friars Minor, St. Francis of Assisi. 
He quotes Henri de Lubac [1], a contemporary of Teilhard de Chardin and presumed an influence in Vatican II (thus making him near schismatic in the eyes of traditionalists). As provincial for Argentina, according to John L. Allen, Jr.[2], he resisted the movement towards liberation theology and insisted on a more traditional reading of Ignatian spirituality — not a plus in the eyes of the "Spirit of Vatican II" crowd.

He's on record as having openly and vocally opposed abortion and euthanasia [3], which was apparently forceful enough to warrant a rebuke from the Argentinian government as "ideological malfeasance" ... but not forceful enough for Marcelo González of Panorama Católico Internacional[4], who says "he has not fought against abortion and only very weakly against homosexual 'marriage'" ... which Francis[5] called a "destructive pretension against the plan of God ... a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God." He has also ministered to AIDS victims and drug addicts as part of his episcopal duties.

In other words: Too Catholic for the progressives, not Catholic enough for the traditionalists. So probably just right for me.



This could be good or could be bad. On the one hand, Papa Bergoglio doesn't have a publication record to speak of, unlike JP2 and (especially) B16. He taught philosophy at the Facultades de Filosofía y Teología de San Miguel in Buenos Aires, but that doesn't necessarily bespeak the depth or breadth of thought of his predecessors; one of González's nastier attacks runs thus: "Famous for his inconsistency (at times, for the unintelligibility of his addresses and homilies), accustomed to the use of coarse, demagogical, and ambiguous expressions, it cannot be said that his magisterium is heterodox, but rather non-existent for how confusing it is."

On the other, considering the exaggeration and incomplete truthfulness of some of González's other charges, it may very well be that González and other traddies don't like him because he won't or can't pronounce "Shibboleth" (Jdg 12:5-6)[6]. Francis fought only "very weakly" against same-sex marriage because the pro-SSM forces won; had he been a traditionalist in spirit and truth, his words would have forced all of Argentina to say, "Oh! Now we get it!" and promptly abandon the initiative. At least, that's how I think the argument goes; I'm still trying to figure out how "machination of the Father of Lies" could be taken as too namby-pamby.

So here's my take, and I'm putting it in print so we can come back after five years or so and see how close or far off I am today:

Pope Francis won't undo Summorum Pontificum[7]. But neither will he go further to re-establish the Latin Mass as the ordinary form, not because he's against the TLM but because he'll have other fish to fry. At the same time, people who want more "participation" in the Mass, further blurring the line between people and clergy, should not put their lives on hold for it; Francis has already indicated that he believes "clericalization of the laity" to be a bad idea.

Look for him to continue to pursue dialogue with other Christian communions, probably in manners that will scandalize the trads, as well as speak on social justice topics in ways that will irk free-market Catholics. But don't look for him to open up the priesthood to women or to abandon clerical celibacy. Will he be able to clean up the Vatican? On that, I have my doubts ... but that's for another time. Don't expect him to write profound essays — expect him to cast fire upon the earth.

What we have here is not another John Paul II or Benedict XVI — so much his name tells us. What he will be is hard to pigeonhole. But it won't be anything any of the Wise Persons expect.

Ad multos annos, Papa!


Links to footnotes
1.-http://www.30giorni.it/articoli_id_16457_l3.htm
2.-http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/pap...be-pope-13
3.-http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive...t/07100509
4.-http://panoramacatolico.info/
5.-http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0...36,00.html
6.-http://biblia.com/bible/rsv/Jdg%2012.5-6
7.-http://papalencyclicals.net/Ben16/Ben16summorum.htm
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#2
I have no concerns whatsoever about the continued growth of the TLM under our new Pope Francis. He will not do anything to undermine the freedom Pope Benedict granted to the TLM. And unlike Pope Benedict, I would not be at all surprised to see Pope Francis publicly offer a TLM some day.

Seriously.

The man has a deep devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, practices the Five first Saturday Devotions, and prays 15 decades of the Rosary each day.

After he meets with Pope Emeritus Benedict, reads the 300 page dossier on the VatiLeaks scandal, and reads the rest of the Third secret of Fatima, he will be a different man than he was as Archbishop, then Cardinal, in Argentina.

He just strikes me as the type who, once he learns something is the Lord’s Will, he will simply make it his own. I suspect under the influence of our Pope Emeritus and the rest of the Third Secret we will be pleasantly surprised by his pontificate.
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#3
(03-14-2013, 02:56 PM)Cooler King Wrote: In other words: Too Catholic for the progressives, not Catholic enough for the traditionalists. So probably just right for me.

My thoughts exactly...
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#4
That's my hope as well. If he is actually a Fatimaista and he gets the lowdown from Pope Benedict Emeritus, along with the secret of Fatima, this Pope will be like his namesake S. Francis of Assissi and do it exactly. Pray those rosaries.

tim
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#5
The Faith is not the porridge of Goldilocks, where it is good to strike a balance between "too much" and "not enough." Our Creed, in contrast, teaches it must be kept and believed "whole and entire." When someone is at fault, as I understand it, it is either for teaching or expressing only part of the Faith, by omitting even one teaching, or for teaching a simply different creed altogether, by introducing even one strange teaching. It makes no sense to think of anything as being "too Catholic."

Most of your post is fine, but I dislike seeing the overused and false 'third-way' cliche sneaking its way into Catholic discussions.
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#6
A quote from G K Chesterton:

"If you hear a thing being accused of being too tall and too short, too red and too green, too bad in one way and too bad also in the opposite way, then you may be sure that it is very good."
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#7
I was disappointed when I came to the realisation or rather the suspicion that Pope Francis will not be a liturgical Pope.  It just isn't on his list of priorities which is sad.  Perhaps time as the Holy Father will bring it to his list of priorities as he is now the pastor over the entire Church and I hope it will do so.  But I suspect that the status quo will be maintained.  I think his first Mass will be par the course of what we can expect.  No disgusting vestments, clowns, etc.  But not the most beautiful thing this side of heaven either.  I don't think he's going to be friendly to the SSPX but that should not be interpreted to mean that he's out gunning for every TLM-saying priest in the world.  I think he's going to pretty much ignore us and that the Ordinary Form will follow the general trend set by Pope Emeritus Benedict.  Not ideal but that's the way I think it will be.

I also think it's significant that this is a Pope that was not a priest during the Council.  His priestly formation was during and immediately after the Council and he wasn't ordained until '69.  He's not completely divorced from the Council but it is a sign that we are moving beyond it.  The Council is being fully integrated in to Church history which is a good thing in my view and I believe Pope Emeritus Benedict's hermeneutic of continuity will be the key to reconciling the Council.  As well as a few documents clarifying a few issues (I don't necessarily believe this will occur under Pope Francis).  Which leads to my next point...

I believe every Pontiff has one particular thing that he brings to the Church.  Or generally speaking that is.  It is a rare individual that has it all (Saint Pius X as a most recent example of one such, in my opinion).

I believe and hope that Pope Francis' special mission will be to the poor and social justice.  In this modern world even we Catholics have a faulty and messed up view on what social justice is and how to relate to the poor.  I believe Pope Francis is going to enshrine the proper understanding of this in our hearts during his Pontificate.  It's been noted that he went against the grain in Latin America where Liberation Theology is so pervasive.  I think he's going to combat the Marxist interpretation that dominates.

I think we had Papa Benny to start us on the road of reconciling the Vatican II Council with the Church and steering us towards its proper interpretation.  I think we have Pope Francis to complete the work of Pope Leo XVIII's Rerum Novarum and apply Catholic Social Teaching to the modern age.
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#8
I have been taken aback by at least the public face of humility of two important men in the past three years:

+Fellay and Pope Francis.

I want them, if their humility is genuine, to meet. They should spend an afternoon, five or six hours, talking together in love and mutual respect about what they think divides them. Then, if there is no malice on either side, I see no reason why this wound in the Body of Christ should not be healed at once. God grant it.

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#9
(03-14-2013, 11:29 PM)NihilNominis Wrote: I have been taken aback by at least the public face of humility of two important men in the past three years:

+Fellay and Pope Francis.

I want them, if their humility is genuine, to meet. They should spend an afternoon, five or six hours, talking together in love and mutual respect about what they think divides them. Then, if there is no malice on either side, I see no reason why this wound in the Body of Christ should not be healed at once. God grant it.


:)
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#10
I think I can agree with Nihil, and Blue Smurf, and I hope what Blue Smurf is saying will come true, but one thing is for sure, Pope Frances is a man that is humble, and a man of the common people so far in his day to day.

signed Jeremy ChurchesofFortWayne.
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