Is my Pope-fronting priest crying out for help? Or: "I can't take much more."
#1
OK, so I'm in the process of switching from attending my local parish (5 minutes or less from my front door) to making the 30-45-minute drive to a Benedictine TLM, but have gone to my local parish on days when I haven't been able to make the trip/holy days of obligation.

Recently I had a long talk with my local priest about my confusion and misgivings about Pope Francis, and he agreed with me and added some of his own concerns. Cut to the next time I went to mass there, and his homily was a.) "interpreting" or "putting acceptable spin" on Pope Francis' controversial statements, and b.) lauding him for being 78 and still doing all that he does, and how we should take that as an example. I figured, okay, maybe he's heard a lot of distress from people and wants to encourage them to "see the good." That could be understandable.

But then, it seems every time I've gone there since, he is fronting for the Pope, in ways that seem to really contradict the things he told me in person.

Tonight's homily really took the cake! He started talking about Eve having listened to the bad angel, and Mary having listened to the good Angel, and that we get all of our information about God by listening to the Church. So far, so good? Well, in the end, this was not going to be about the obedience and humility of our Blessed Mother on the feast of Her Immaculate Conception --  it was all just one big lead-up to his pronouncement that Pope Francis is God's messenger and "if anything, he is the good angel that we all must listen to and say yes to."  Not only that, but all those who may say otherwise are like the devil who tempted Eve not to trust. ?

It's just such a stark reversal from the conversation he had with me, wherein he even told me of his discussions with another priest about our "weak pope."

Is he afraid he'd be in big trouble for not being very clear that he is not in any way, shape, or form criticizing Pope Francis?  What is going on?????????? 

I'm not, by far, the only one there who is unhappy about these homilies -- longtime members are as well, and they tell me that many others are, too -- some to the point of not wanting to go to church anymore.

Well, it is making any last vestiges of confusion about whether I should leave this parish clearer to me.  It does make me feel very sad. And a question: would it be the proper thing to talk to him and tell him why I won't be attending there anymore?
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#2
Maybe he's a frequent watcher of CMTV  :LOL:. He could have even discussed what he talked to you about with someone else and they told him that it's improper to attack the pope. The whole "saying bad things about the pope" thing is a weird line. Some people seem to have no issue with it while others seem to think it's a mortal sin.
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#3
Yeah, I thought about that possibility. But our conversation did not include any kind of attacking - we were both expressing a certain amount of dismay and wondering what the Pope was doing (this was during His Holiness' visit to the U.S.)  -- but maybe he was called out for participating in that level of forthright conversation with a parishoner, if he mentioned it to another priest? And maybe he's getting so many questions from others that he feels he needs to "calm the people down," or something.

But I'm really wondering whether he feels any kind of threat or is getting directives from "above" to steer in the opposite direction from anything that could at all be misconstrued as criticism of the Pope.
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#4
I think that the Holy Father has largely been quoted out of context by people who should know better. 
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#5
(12-08-2015, 12:27 AM)Poche Wrote: I think that the Holy Father has largely been quoted out of context by people who should know better.

In what ways, and by which people who should know better?
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#6
He is not being quoted out of context all of the time. That just borders on the ridiculous.  Some if the things he's said are just bad, and unable to be spun in a good way.

At any rate I can understand the frustration of this priest. In the modern Church your orthodoxy is flatly contradicted by the words and actions of so many bishops, fellow priests and even the pope. When laity come to challenge you or ask you about something serious they are ready with a pope Francis quote or an episode from the disasterous pontificate of John Paul II that flatly contradicts orthodoxy. These days to be a Catholic apologist requires one to either drop the ultramontanism altogether or become a papal yes man, a Vatican PR spin doctor.

I do not envy priests today, trad or otherwise. The only ones who have cushy jobs are those who tow the party line, those that make Lent an occasion to love oneself more, or who, like Cardinal O"Malley, preside over ecumenical baptismal renewal services with priestesses and the like.
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#7
(12-08-2015, 06:59 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: He is not being quoted out of context all of the time. That just borders on the ridiculous.  Some if the things he's said are just bad, and unable to be spun in a good way.

(12-08-2015, 06:59 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: At any rate I can understand the frustration of this priest. In the modern Church your orthodoxy is flatly contradicted by the words and actions of so many bishops, fellow priests and even the pope. When laity come to challenge you or ask you about something serious they are ready with a pope Francis quote or an episode from the disasterous pontificate of John Paul II that flatly contradicts orthodoxy. These days to be a Catholic apologist requires one to either drop the ultramontanism altogether or become a papal yes man, a Vatican PR spin doctor.

(12-08-2015, 06:59 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I do not envy priests today, trad or otherwise. The only ones who have cushy jobs are those who tow the party line, those that make Lent an occasion to love oneself more, or who, like Cardinal O"Malley, preside over ecumenical baptismal renewal services with priestesses and the like.

If you want a cushy job, please don't become a priest.  Cracking jokes with politicians, rubbing shoulders with secular media reporters, and naively believing that the world that hated Christ is ready to love his Bride will not save souls- yours or anyone's.  Redemption can be found only in taking up one's cross and by dying with Christ.

St. Matthew's Gospel (Mt 8:20):
Quote:And a certain scribe came and said to him: Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou shalt go. [20] And Jesus saith to him: The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests: but the son of man hath not where to lay his head.

St. Luke's Gospel (Lk 9:58):
Quote:And it came to pass, as they walked in the way, that a certain man said to him: I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. [58] Jesus said to him: The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Jesus didn't say this because he was hoping someone would hand him a pillow.  He said this because the man's idea was good, but that he had better not go into it because it looked easy or fun.
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#8
Aren’t Benedictine TLMs already the best anyway?  :grin:

Yes, the priesthood never and never will be a cushy job, if you do it right. Even if you're living in the height of Christendom the Catholic pews (or... standing room) are filled with pain and vices and the priest as father should not be oblivious to that.

Anyway, this priest makes no sense outside of the very contorted logic of CMTV. I mean, there are whole libraries of Catholic thought that he could use just to speak about the Immaculate Conception. Why draw the pope in? Even if the pope was St. Pius V, why go on and on about he being the angel of God and that we should never say NO to this angel of light? This is bearing on the ridiculous.

As to whether you should talk about the reasons you're leaving, I suppose it depends on your relationship with the priest. Sometimes we should be that guy to confront bad priests or errors, but I suppose it depends on the occasion.

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#9
(12-07-2015, 11:53 PM)Margaret-Mary Wrote: OK, so I'm in the process of switching from attending my local parish (5 minutes or less from my front door) to making the 30-45-minute drive to a Benedictine TLM, but have gone to my local parish on days when I haven't been able to make the trip/holy days of obligation.

Recently I had a long talk with my local priest about my confusion and misgivings about Pope Francis, and he agreed with me and added some of his own concerns. Cut to the next time I went to mass there, and his homily was a.) "interpreting" or "putting acceptable spin" on Pope Francis' controversial statements, and b.) lauding him for being 78 and still doing all that he does, and how we should take that as an example. I figured, okay, maybe he's heard a lot of distress from people and wants to encourage them to "see the good." That could be understandable.

But then, it seems every time I've gone there since, he is fronting for the Pope, in ways that seem to really contradict the things he told me in person.

Tonight's homily really took the cake! He started talking about Eve having listened to the bad angel, and Mary having listened to the good Angel, and that we get all of our information about God by listening to the Church. So far, so good? Well, in the end, this was not going to be about the obedience and humility of our Blessed Mother on the feast of Her Immaculate Conception --  it was all just one big lead-up to his pronouncement that Pope Francis is God's messenger and "if anything, he is the good angel that we all must listen to and say yes to."  Not only that, but all those who may say otherwise are like the devil who tempted Eve not to trust. ?

It's just such a stark reversal from the conversation he had with me, wherein he even told me of his discussions with another priest about our "weak pope."

Is he afraid he'd be in big trouble for not being very clear that he is not in any way, shape, or form criticizing Pope Francis?  What is going on?????????? 

I'm not, by far, the only one there who is unhappy about these homilies -- longtime members are as well, and they tell me that many others are, too -- some to the point of not wanting to go to church anymore.

Well, it is making any last vestiges of confusion about whether I should leave this parish clearer to me.  It does make me feel very sad. And a question: would it be the proper thing to talk to him and tell him why I won't be attending there anymore?


Why ask us  what is going on, since his behavior seems to contradict what you had earlier discussed with him. If i were you i would request another meeting with him and ask him directly what you want to know.  There is no substitute  for a direct approach to get the clarification you want.
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#10
Yes, being a priest is hard, but a priest shouldn't have to live in fear of the Church condemning him if he's orthodox. I know there have been saints who have lived through such, but priests have a difficult enough time trying to save the souls of their parishioners let alone being harassed by those above them because someone didn't like that they talked about hell one week.
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