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The Liberal Pope
Religion News Service ^ | Sep 20, 2013 | Mark Silk

Posted on 09/20/2013 9:52:07 AM PDT by Alex Murphy

Yesterday was not a good day for right-wing Catholics. To the great delight of their opponents, Pope Francis declared himself outside that fold. “I have never been a right-winger,” he said. Roll over, Benedict, and tell JPII the news.

Of course, Catholic conservatives being what they are, the first move was to insist that the MSM had misrepresented what the pope said in his 12,000-word interview with the editor of the Jesuit newspaper Civilità Cattolica (translated and published simultaneously in a dozen Jesuit newspapers around the world).

“The New York Times headline reads: ‘Pope Bluntly Faults Church’s Focus on Gays and Abortion.’” Kathryn Jean Lopez began over at NRO’s Corner. “Believe it or not, though, he talked about more than sex.” “Please, folks,” pleaded Phil Lawler of CatholicCulture.org, “don’t be trapped in unproductive debates about what some uninformed reporter claims the Pope said.”

Sure, the Times and the rest of the MSM focused on what Francis had to say about the neuralgic issues that have held center stage for the American hierarchy in the last decade or so. To wit:

We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

Among the reprimanders would be Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, who told his diocesan newspaper last week, “I’m a little bit disappointed in Pope Francis that he hasn’t, at least that I’m aware of, said much about unborn children, about abortion, and many people have noticed that. I think it would be very helpful if Pope Francis would address more directly the evil of abortion and to encourage those who are involved in the pro-life movement.” By contrast, the pope said, “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.” Capisce, Bishop Tobin?

Moreover, to pretend that this did not lie at the core of Francis’ message is the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting la-la-la-la-la.

Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.

The pope’s “new balance” is that the church must dial up the essentials of the Gospel, and dial back the less necessary moral issues.

Over at the American Conservative, ex-Catholic Rod Dreher, no longer constrained to identify papal pronouncements with his own religious outlook, called a spade a spade.

I love his style — seriously, I do — but I am sure the liberal Pope has been very, very naive in his words here. Look at the weight the media, who amplify his words, put on the homosexuality, contraception, and abortion parts of a very long interview. The world wants to be told, “It’s okay, do what you like.” He no doubt doesn’t mean at all for that to be the lesson of his words, but that’s how they will be received. For liberals and Moralistic Therapeutic Deists within Catholicism, it’s springtime. For traditionalists and conservatives in the Catholic Church, it’s going to be a long winter. It was easy for conservative Catholics to be strong papalists under John Paul II and Benedict. This papacy is going to be a time of trial for them.

Personally, Francis doesn’t strike me as the naive type. While I don’t have a dog in this fight either, I think there are a lot of Catholics who would like to be on board a less less genitally obsessed church not because they’re looking for a moral free ride but because they want something else from their church.

As for me, I’d like to see some evidence that the right-wingers, who love to talk about the importance of the magisterium, are taking the pope’s magisterial pronouncement seriously. As in: “Gee, maybe we have been too preoccupied with abortion, gay marriage, and contraception. Thanks, Your Holiness, for the paternal correction about the need for the church to re-balance itself as it makes its way in the contemporary world.”

But I’m not holding my breath.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: catholic
...to pretend that this did not lie at the core of Francis’ message is the equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting la-la-la-la-la....The pope’s “new balance” is that the church must dial up the essentials of the Gospel, and dial back the less necessary moral issues.

Over at the American Conservative, ex-Catholic Rod Dreher, no longer constrained to identify papal pronouncements with his own religious outlook, called a spade a spade.

I love his style — seriously, I do — but I am sure the liberal Pope has been very, very naive in his words here. Look at the weight the media, who amplify his words, put on the homosexuality, contraception, and abortion parts of a very long interview. The world wants to be told, “It’s okay, do what you like.” He no doubt doesn’t mean at all for that to be the lesson of his words, but that’s how they will be received. For liberals and Moralistic Therapeutic Deists within Catholicism, it’s springtime. For traditionalists and conservatives in the Catholic Church, it’s going to be a long winter. It was easy for conservative Catholics to be strong papalists under John Paul II and Benedict. This papacy is going to be a time of trial for them.
....As for me, I’d like to see some evidence that the right-wingers, who love to talk about the importance of the magisterium, are taking the pope’s magisterial pronouncement seriously. As in: “Gee, maybe we have been too preoccupied with abortion, gay marriage, and contraception. Thanks, Your Holiness, for the paternal correction about the need for the church to re-balance itself as it makes its way in the contemporary world.” But I’m not holding my breath.

1 posted on 09/20/2013 9:52:07 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

Pope John Paull II or Pope Benedict would never call themselves a right winger.


2 posted on 09/20/2013 9:56:53 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Alex Murphy

His defenders keep trying to explain what he meant or that the liberal media is twisting it.

Of course the liberal media is twisting it. He would have to be incredibly naive to think the media and liberals wouldn’t twist his words.

So in my opinion you can only take it at face value. He means what he says and the Catholic Church will be joining the Methodists, Presbyterians (PCUSA), Episcopalians, and Unitarians in acceptance of homosexual behavior, abortion and other left wing agenda items.


3 posted on 09/20/2013 9:58:23 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: nickcarraway
Pope John Paull II or Pope Benedict would never call themselves a right winger.

I assume you're referring to the opening lines from the article?

Yesterday was not a good day for right-wing Catholics. To the great delight of their opponents, Pope Francis declared himself outside that fold. “I have never been a right-winger,” he said. Roll over, Benedict, and tell JPII the news.

4 posted on 09/20/2013 10:04:00 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Just a common, ordinary, simple savior of America's destiny.)
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To: nickcarraway

Being a right-winger in South America is a little more extreme than being a right winger here.


5 posted on 09/20/2013 10:09:43 AM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Rome didn't fall in a day, either.)
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To: Alex Murphy

A liberal non-Christian criticizing the Pope for being too liberal? Hmm..


6 posted on 09/20/2013 10:11:42 AM PDT by iowamark (I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy)
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To: Alex Murphy; Tanniker Smith

Pius XII would not refer to himself as a right winger. Pius X would not. No pope would do so. Or a left winger.


7 posted on 09/20/2013 10:21:45 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Alex Murphy

I can’t help but to notice that the essence of “Papa” Francis’ message is that of a sales pitch. He wants to reword the Gospel to be as appealing as possible, giving up the divisive parts, on the premise that people will buy the product and won’t be able to return it later.

In reality, the Gospel has never been a sales pitch at all. Pastors may plant, others may water, but it is God who brings the increase, and therefore we need do nothing except speak the truth in all its glory, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.


8 posted on 09/20/2013 10:28:29 AM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Alex Murphy; All

As for previous popes like John Paul II, actually he was worse than Francis (so far). Plenty of pictures floating around of John Paul kissing the Koran, receiving the mark of shiva on his forehead, receiving the “benefits” of pagan blessings, and then he, in response to all this, declares that the Holy Spirit is at work in their “faith traditions.”

People who think that Francis is a novel Pope are foolish or don’t have long memories.


9 posted on 09/20/2013 10:30:32 AM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Alex Murphy
He's the pope of the New World Order. The Barack Obama of the Vatican who chooses words that different people can interpret differently.

He can't change the Catechism, which teaches that abortion, contraception, and homosexuality are great sins and gravely disordered. If he starts changing dogma, it's all over. Can't he see what has happened to denominations that have gone ultra-lib? We are supposed to be IN the world but not OF it.

10 posted on 09/20/2013 10:30:44 AM PDT by informavoracious (We're being "punished" with Stanley Ann's baby. Obamacare: shovel-ready healthcare.)
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To: Tanniker Smith
Exactly. This is a deliberately misleading combining of the term in two very different contexts. But the writer is a liberal--how much honesty could we really expect after all.
11 posted on 09/20/2013 10:31:47 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: nickcarraway

Language morphs—and gets twisted esp. by Marxists/Freemasons/many Jesuits.

All terms need to be defined nowadays (Just like in Socrates times, for any “meaningful” discussion).

Hitler was a Leftist (Socialist/totalitarian) not even close to being on the “Right”.

St. Pius the X would have referred to “left winger” as a “modernist”. And there were “modernists” (Smoke of Satan”) moving into the seminaries in his time which he warned about (1907). The homosexual Marxists that Bella Dodd wrote about in 30’s and 40’s are extreme Left Wingers——or modernists.


12 posted on 09/20/2013 10:32:12 AM PDT by savagesusie (Right Reason According to Nature = Just Law)
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To: driftdiver
He would have to be incredibly naive to think the media and liberals wouldn’t twist his words. So in my opinion you can only take it at face value

There is another alternative of course--go read his actual words for yourself and then make up your mind. That is how we adults do it.

13 posted on 09/20/2013 10:33:28 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: driftdiver
So in my opinion you can only take it at face value. He means what he says ....

Pope condemns abortion as product of ‘throwaway culture’: “In all its phases and at every age, human life is always sacred and always of quality. And not as a matter of faith, but of reason and science.”

In terms of homosexual ‘marriage’ ... "Let's not be naive, we're not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God," wrote Cardinal Bergoglio in a letter sent to the monasteries of Buenos Aires. "We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God."

14 posted on 09/20/2013 10:44:11 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (the Truth will set you free)
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To: nickcarraway; Alex Murphy

I don’t imagine another other Pope ever used the term. this one did. I was trying to put it into context with what that means.


15 posted on 09/20/2013 11:07:10 AM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Rome didn't fall in a day, either.)
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To: nickcarraway

WHO REALLY IS POPE FRANCIS?

Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis sent shock waves through the Roman Catholic Church on Thursday with the publication of his remarks that the church had grown “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he had chosen not to talk about those issues despite recriminations from critics.

“Obsession” in defense the unborn baby and opposing abortion, the “most abominable of crimes”, as stated in Vatican II, is not a sin but a virtue, and Pastors of the Church who disparage those who fight for the unborn, are betraying one of the main tenets of the Catholic Church.
The BBC reported that Pope Francis turned down the red cape with ermine by saying this: “No thank you, Monsignore. You put it on instead. Carnival time is over!”
And he walked into the papal apartments and said “There’s room for 300 people here. I don’t need all this space.”

Isn’t to brag about your own humility denoting a form of arrogance? Isn’t Pope Francis in fact belittling the virtues of previous Popes?

Pope Francis: ‘I have never been a right-winger’
By Steve Ahlquist on September 19, 2013

In an almost direct rebuke to critics, including Rhode Island’s own Bishop Thomas Tobin, leader of the Providence Diocese, Pope Francis, in his first extensive interview since being elected to the head of the Roman Catholic Church, has said, we cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

Shouldn’t Bergoglio rather answer that a Pope must be above labels and state firmly and clearly that his duty is to defend unequivocally the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Magisterium of the Church?

What was the position Bergoglio had then regarding Liberation Theology?

He was completely against it. In fact, as Theology students, we had never studied a single book by, for instance, Gustavo Gutiérrez, one of the founders of Liberation Theology, of by [Leonardo] Boff, or by Paulo Freire, with his studies on an education that is not a cultural “dependency” [of the “imperialistic powers”]. In Philosophy, we had read little, very little, of Heidegger and Kierkegaard, one single chapter of Thus Spoke Zarathustra... Not to mention Marx, Engels, Sartre, Foucault, the Post-Moderns, etc. Nothing that could contradict Catholic doctrine or dogmas. All that under strict orders of Jorge Bergoglio.

Bergoglio was against Liberation Theology… before he was for it. Why, otherwise, Leonardo Boff, the Maryknolls, and all the main advocates of Marxist Liberation Theology, are elated with the new Pope?


16 posted on 09/20/2013 11:28:29 AM PDT by Dqban22
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To: Dqban22

Are you allowed to post that without a link? Where did i come from?


17 posted on 09/20/2013 11:31:05 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: hinckley buzzard

I have read what he said. What he said leaves a lot of room for interpretation and raises the question about abortion, gays and other sinful acts.

Now that you’ve insulted me perhaps you can apologize for being such an ass.


18 posted on 09/20/2013 11:53:29 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: nickcarraway
right-wingers, who love to talk about the importance of the magisterium, are taking the pope’s magisterial pronouncement seriously.

Listen, Marky, if you write about a subject, learn something about it first. The interview was not a magisterial pronouncement. Such a basic error invalidates your opinion because it betrays your ignorance.

19 posted on 09/20/2013 12:35:44 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (John 15:19)
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To: Alex Murphy

This Pope has identified himself as a liberal in the European sense, which is not the same thing as a liberal in the U.S.

During the 19th century, popes routinely characterized Catholicism as “between” liberalism and communism, one extolling the individual and denying the collective; and, the other extolling the collective and denying the individual.

Pope John Paul II, coming from Poland, was more positive about what Catholicism was in favor of, saying it was in favor of individual freedom and private property; and, in addition, was in favor of voluntary community. Solidarity. As for the welfare state, while Catholics advocate a preferential option for the poor, the welfare state was added to the list of things Catholicism was not. Specifically, Catholicism opposed enabling some to rely on the state apparatus for their income, and not on serving others through their work.

I have not satisfied myself about the social teachings of the current pope, but he seems to move Catholicism in the direction of liberalism. If this is so, it is important to inform the consciousness of individuals that they will use freedom well, to care for children, the elderly, the sick, the poor and others who are vulnerable amongst us.

So, we as Christians should exemplify God’s love and mercy and call the world to turn from evil and to embrace God in joy and thankfulness.


20 posted on 09/20/2013 12:54:05 PM PDT by Redmen4ever
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
In reality, the Gospel has never been a sales pitch at all. Pastors may plant, others may water, but it is God who brings the increase, and therefore we need do nothing except speak the truth in all its glory, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Thanks, I'm sure that the cicar of Christ on Earth will appreciate your assistance. If I get to make the choice between your interpretation of scripture, and that of the Pope.......I think i'll go with........ready for the answer.........THE POPE!!!!!!!

21 posted on 09/20/2013 9:18:11 PM PDT by terycarl
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To: terycarl

“Thanks, I’m sure that the cicar of Christ on Earth will appreciate your assistance. If I get to make the choice between your interpretation of scripture, and that of the Pope.......I think i’ll go with........ready for the answer.........THE POPE!!!!!!!”


Well, hopefully when you fall down the ditch, he’ll be there to break your fall!


22 posted on 09/20/2013 9:22:33 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: terycarl

cicar VICAR


23 posted on 09/20/2013 9:26:02 PM PDT by terycarl
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To: Alex Murphy

The author and everyone else needs to read the entire interview.

http://www.americamagazine.org/pope-interview
Complete text


24 posted on 09/20/2013 9:27:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: driftdiver

Do you really believe the lamestream media. Read the entire interview, please.

That was not what Pope Francis said.


25 posted on 09/20/2013 9:29:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
Well, hopefully when you fall down the ditch, he’ll be there to break your fall!

the Catholic church is infallible in matters of faith and morals...Christ promised to be with her until the end of time....I'll take my chances and try my best not to reject Christ as so many others have done.

26 posted on 09/20/2013 9:29:42 PM PDT by terycarl
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To: informavoracious
He can't change the Catechism, which teaches that abortion, contraception, and homosexuality are great sins and gravely disordered. If he starts changing dogma, it's all over. Can't he see what has happened to denominations that have gone ultra-lib? We are supposed to be IN the world but not OF it.,/I. ,P. he can't, and won't, change any tenet of the catholic Church. His statements on abortion, contraception and homosexuality merely point out the fact that we can be distracted by these things and ignore other, equally or more important topics than they are. These problems will resolve themselves and the Catholic Church, having been here for 2,013 years is very very very patient.
27 posted on 09/20/2013 9:37:49 PM PDT by terycarl
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To: terycarl
the Catholic church is infallible in matters of faith and morals

Nonsense, it's run by fallible humans.

28 posted on 09/20/2013 9:40:36 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: GeronL

People very often get two words mixed up here.

Infallible —

and Impeccable.

We are all impeccable....we can all make a mistake.

Through the Holy Spirit, much prayer, determination, proof, etc. a doctrine or dogma is pronounced infalliable — note the entrance of the Holy Spirit in this process.


29 posted on 09/20/2013 9:42:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: terycarl

“I’ll take my chances”


Too bad all you have is the “chance.” I’ve got the confidence of the Word of God. Much superior to the gamble of letting filthy old liberals and idolaters do your thinking for you.


30 posted on 09/20/2013 9:42:58 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: GeronL
"Nonsense, it's run by fallible humans.'

In other words, your assertion could be wrong ;-)

31 posted on 09/20/2013 9:43:16 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: Alex Murphy

I don’t have a Pope.

I have a relationship with Jesus/God.

There is no bureaucracy between us.


32 posted on 09/20/2013 9:45:06 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: GeronL
Nonsense, it's run by fallible humans.

oh, the popes are fallible allright, but Christ promised that in matters of faith and morals, they would never teach in error.....does that mean that they could not sin on their own...of course not, but in matters pertaining to official teachings, they would be protected from error.

so far it has worked just fine!!!!

33 posted on 09/20/2013 10:11:30 PM PDT by terycarl
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To: terycarl

Christ never said the Catholic Church or Pope would never be in error. Nor would I believe for a second that they never have been in error before.


34 posted on 09/20/2013 10:13:59 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
I’ve got the confidence of the Word of God.

and the word of God that you cherish so much came from the bible and the bible was happily presented to you by...........guess who..........THE CATHOLIC CHURCH...at least say thanks!

35 posted on 09/20/2013 10:15:41 PM PDT by terycarl
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To: GeronL
Christ never said the Catholic Church or Pope would never be in error. Nor would I believe for a second that they never have been in error before

whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.......do you think that He would allow the Catholic Church to bind something in error that He would also have to bind in heaven????

if you can find an error that any Pope has ever made in official church teachings (not behavior) then you would be the first person in history to do so......millions have tried!!

36 posted on 09/20/2013 10:21:09 PM PDT by terycarl
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To: terycarl

“and the word of God that you cherish so much came from the bible and the bible was happily presented to you by...........guess who..........THE CATHOLIC CHURCH...at least say thanks!”


Why would I thank Babylon for something the Apostles wrote, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost? You stick with your dead idols and what you know, and I’ll stick with the scriptures.


37 posted on 09/20/2013 10:51:18 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
Why would I thank Babylon for something the Apostles wrote, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost? You stick with your dead idols and what you know, and I’ll stick with the scriptures

of course they were written by the evangalists and the apostles, of course they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.....that was 2,000 years ago. How do you think that you have access to something written by a handfull of people in an obscure part of the middle east??? The early believers and followers of Christ were the beginnings of Catholicism and it is those people who recorded the writings, edited them, transcribed them, hand copied them in Catholic monastaries for 2,000 years....Virtually noone had a copy of the bible until modern times....first of all they couldn't afford it, secondly the VAST majority of them couldn,t read it. Throught the ages, Catholics preserved the holy books and writings, translated them into every language on earth, and thanks to the printing press, you can have your own copy.......say THANKS CATHOLICS!!!!!

38 posted on 09/21/2013 4:29:41 PM PDT by terycarl
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To: terycarl

“of course they were written by the evangalists and the apostles, of course they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.....that was 2,000 years ago. How do you think that you have access to something written by a handfull of people in an obscure part of the middle east??? “


Certainly it had nothing to do with Rome. Even in the 4th century, you guys considered the epistle to the Hebrews to be a fraudulent work, since you were too incompetent to answer the heretics who abused it. The Greek churches also put out Revelation, for similar reasons.

Luckily God is in control and not fallible men, and thank God again that the Papists don’t have any of the history or tradition that they fantasize to have.


39 posted on 09/21/2013 4:41:12 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: terycarl

“Virtually noone had a copy of the bible until modern times....first of all they couldn’t afford it, secondly the VAST majority of them couldn,t read it. “


I forgot to reply to this, but this is very ignorant. Even Polycarp, in his letter to the churches, not only quotes the scriptures heavily, but even speaks of the scriptures as something that they owned and were well versed in. Indeed, between Papias, Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, and Irenaeus, almost every single book in the New Testament was quoted from and taught from. The Christians were a lot more literate than you give them credit for. Maybe believers in Roman Catholicism are mostly illiterate, but people back then weren’t idiots.


40 posted on 09/21/2013 4:43:42 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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