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I Donít Care Much About the Pope
Unequally Yoked ^ | May 9, 2014 | Leah Libresco

Posted on 05/11/2014 3:28:06 AM PDT by NYer

Pope Benedict stepped down from the papacy during my first year as a Catholic, and, all during the conclave, my friends wanted to know if I was excited or overwhelmed. Was I watching the livestream of the Vatican chimney? Did I have a favorite candidate? Which of the cardinals would disappoint me?

Except for taking a look at some of the twitter jokes about @ConclaveSeagull, the bird that was photographed on the conclave chimney, I mostly ignored the whole thing. Catholicism isn’t like Washington D.C., where a new administration brings in a wave of new political appointments (and unleashes a swarm of ousted job seekers). The new pope didn’t seem that relevant to my day-to-day experience of the faith because, ultimately, he wouldn’t have much to do with it. Although some questions in Catholicism are still live issues (what would we make of extraterrestrials? how should Mass be translated into American Sign Language?), it’s not as though the Pope is going to reopen the question of transubstantiation or the divinity of Christ.

Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing a picture of the Pope kissing a baby as much as the next gal, but I don’t feel that invested in knowing everything he thinks and does, and examining it for portents. In fact, Michael Brendan Dougherty points out that it’s novel for Catholics be able to think this much about the pope. It’s only recently that we became be exposed to all the minutia of his phone calls and personal experiences:

Between Pentecost and the launch of Vatican.va, most Catholics did not have access to the day-to-day musings of their pope. The Roman pontiff’s theological speculations have been of almost no interest to Catholics throughout history, and never became so unless he was a great theologian already, or there was a great controversy which the authority of the Roman Church might settle. To the average Catholic living hundreds of miles from Rome the Faith was the Faith, whether the pope was zealously orthodox like St. Benedict II or a sex criminal like Pope John XII.

Doran Speed saw a relationship between the intense, possessive curiosity about the life and character of our current pope and the very quick canonizations of two of his predecessors this year.

I think we should not canonize popes until a big chunk of time has passed since their death – say, 200 years…

So I understand why we canonize some people very quickly – if there is abundant evidence of the person’s virtuous life, etc., and a profound call for this person to be recognized as a saint, the Church responds to that call and does not make people wait for no good reason.

But with popes – gosh, I just feel like this has the potential to go very much awry, becoming a near-instant referendum on What Pope Such-and-Such Represented and Whether That Was Good.

My parents are historians, so, when I was little, I had a slight misunderstanding/wish about how history was done. I knew that historians did not investigate the very recent past, since not enough time had passed to be able to analyze it in a useful way (though, by all means, start preserving primary source documents for later). So, I imagined that there could be a formal (sort of ribbon cutting) party to celebrate when a new decade was now open for investigation. I imagined historians gathering in departments all over the world to clink champagne at the stroke of midnight, and then hit the books.

If that were the case, we might have hit the appropriate lag for the Vatican II party (though we should still expect not all of our judgments will stick. but we’re definitely not there yet for Francis, Benedict, or John Paul II. As an ordinary layperson, I just don’t need to do much scrutiny or tea-reading on a day to day basis. I’m pretty sure that, if there’s an actual problem, I’ll notice, without having to turn myself into a theological seismograph in the meantime.

The whole thing reminds me of a part of the Acts of the Apostles that recently turned up in the Mass readings.

When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill [the disciples]. But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. Then he said to them, “Fellow Israelites,[ consider carefully what you propose to do to these men. For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!”

I’ll worry most about things and people that exist closer to me, where I don’t need quite so much discernment and telepathy to work out what would be useful for me to do.


TOPICS: Catholic; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
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To: mindburglar
Ironic that one Pope was canonized and known for standing up to communism and the current one is an advocate of it.

A point that is lost on many of the current pope's defenders. One led people to freedom, while the current leads them to slavery.

21 posted on 05/11/2014 5:59:49 AM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: mindburglar

“Ironic that one Pope was canonized and known for standing up to communism and the current one is an advocate of it”

“May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. [Psalm 40:3] O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen”


22 posted on 05/11/2014 6:14:05 AM PDT by NKP_Vet ("It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died;we should thank God that such men lived" ~ Patton)
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To: Hieronymus
the quite good and truly outstanding get lumped together

That's a good point.

23 posted on 05/11/2014 6:32:48 AM PDT by Tax-chick (If I offended you, you needed it.)
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To: vladimir998

How am I making it up out of thin air? I provided a link and others have said, if he’s being misinterpreted it’s up to him to clarify what he means.

Why is he lobbying the UN for wealth redistribution? Call it whatever you want, but it’s not the Popes business to ask governments to redistribute wealth. When government does it it’s theft, not charity.

I don’t trust Jesuits. They have their own agenda and it doesn’t include me.


24 posted on 05/11/2014 6:37:39 AM PDT by mindburglar (When Superman and Batman fight, the only winner is crime.)
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To: mindburglar

He’s not talking about “wealth redistribution.” He said that the benefits of wealth should be distributed to the rest of society, and while I think he tends to be a little statist, when he said the State, he meant that it was the responsibility of governments to make sure that all of society benefitted. For example, why do certain Latin American countries, which have good upper level economies, where the rich are heavily taxed and foreign companies even more heavily taxed, find themselves unable to provide running water for their towns and even parts of their cities?

I think the problem was the use in the English translation of the word “redistributed” and the fact that people never read the whole thing and automatically assumed that he was saying wealth had to be redistributed.


25 posted on 05/11/2014 6:37:53 AM PDT by livius
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To: Chainmail
Yes - every word - because the crazy cacophony of individual interests are looking for any opening, any possibility to gain a foothold against the traditional stand of the Catholic Church.
We have crazed and militant homosexuals, we have diehard abortionists, we have arch-feminists and all sorts of other outliers staring at every word to see if they can make inroads against one of the last bastions of Christian religious normalcy remaining.
Look what happened to the Lutherans, the Anglicans, the Methodists and so many others when they allowed even a toehold by these groups. This world is hurtling towards the toilet at supersonic speed and there are only a few faiths holding on by their fingertips.

The crazed and the militant...great description. Those folks want the easy path. The Catholic Church doesn't, at first glance, extol the easy path. It teaches and extols GOD'S path, Jesus' path. Jesus SHOWED us that path.

It may seem difficult in our lives, but our lives are so short, aren't they?
For ETERNITY it's a path we want with all our minds and hearts, for THAT is the path to our Creator.

26 posted on 05/11/2014 6:38:50 AM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: livius

Does this Pope speak English? Serious question. He sure seems to be misquoted or misinterpreted a lot.


27 posted on 05/11/2014 6:41:25 AM PDT by mindburglar (When Superman and Batman fight, the only winner is crime.)
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To: mindburglar
We don't "follow" the Pope. We follow Jesus. The Pope is simply His Vicar on earth.

From Google: A vicar (/ˈvɪkər/; Latin: vicarius) is a representative, deputy or substitute; anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior (compare "vicarious" in the sense of "at second hand").
In this sense, the title is comparable to lieutenant. Linguistically, vicar is cognate with the English prefix "vice", similarly meaning "deputy".

Deputy/Lieutenant Francis I

28 posted on 05/11/2014 6:45:00 AM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: mindburglar

“How am I making it up out of thin air?”

Simple: He’s never advocated communism.

“I provided a link and others have said, if he’s being misinterpreted it’s up to him to clarify what he means.”

If you’re misrepresenting him - and you are - it’s up to you to stop doing it. Take some responsibility for your actions. You made a claim. Show me where he ever once advocated communism. And explain this away: http://www.newsy.com/videos/pope-francis-the-marxist-ideology-is-wrong/

“Why is he lobbying the UN for wealth redistribution?”

I don’t think he’s lobbying anyone. I think he is saying those who have can help those who don’t and that governments can organize this through taxation. I don’t think that’s a good idea. To me it smacks of forced “charity” but he is entitled to his view. What I don’t do is make things up that are untrue. I’m leaving that to you.

“Call it whatever you want, but it’s not the Popes business to ask governments to redistribute wealth.”

Sure it is - if that’s what he believes will help the poor. You can disagree with his ideas, but to say he has no business doing it is at the very least hypocritical since anyone could just as easily point out it isn’t your business what the pope does. See how that works?

“When government does it it’s theft, not charity.”

I agree it isn’t charity, although I can’t call all taxation outright theft since we agree to it in some fashion.

“I don’t trust Jesuits.”

I don’t trust people who make things up. Which distrust is based more on reality here?

“They have their own agenda and it doesn’t include me.”

And yet you’re posting about something that you say doesn’t include you?


29 posted on 05/11/2014 6:52:32 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: mindburglar

No, he knows very little English. He knows Italian (his family background is Italian) and he knows German from his studies.


30 posted on 05/11/2014 6:53:56 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998

Ok. Wealth redistribution is not technically communism, it’s also not slavery, but it is the same concept and it is morally wrong.

Fine let the Pope do what he thinks is best, although I disagree and think he doesn’t understand basic economics well enough to speak about them competently. He also provides a lot of undue stress on Catholics who don’t agree with his “socialistic’ viewpoints.

Jesuits are the same order who covered the cross at Georgetown University when Obama spoke. Some defenders of the faith. As a Catholic, they don’t like conservatives, so I may not fit their plans, but the Jesuits don’t represent most Catholics.

I had high hopes for this outsider Pope and they are diminishing day by day. There’s only so much you can attribute to spin.


31 posted on 05/11/2014 7:14:28 AM PDT by mindburglar (When Superman and Batman fight, the only winner is crime.)
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To: mindburglar

He speaks some English, but something like this is written in either Spanish or Italian and then translated into English. Once upon a time, they used to write in Latin, and frankly, I think that’s better, because the translation was then going to be a little more standardized.

I suspect that the original in this case was probably Spanish, and what he said was “repartir los beneficios,” which would mean distribute or share the benefits. It seemed to me, when I read the whole statement, that it was actually carefully written precisely so it would NOT seem like Marxism, while at the same time urging governments to make sure that the citizens benefitted from wealth-creating activities (and the big problem in the developing world and increasingly in the US is that governments are really kelptocracies, and any money that goes into them stays in the bureaucracy or even in the personal bank accounts of the people at the top).

I think he should have been more direct and given examples. But on the whole, once I actually read the statement and not what the press said about it, my blood pressure went back to normal and I realized that it actually wasn’t a bad statement.


32 posted on 05/11/2014 7:20:39 AM PDT by livius
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To: livius

Maybe he’s too nice and not cynical enough like me to realize what you said about Kleptocrats.

What this is all about is that, like it or not, the Pope needs to be a bit more media savvy.

His words have a lot more power than he may or may not realize.


33 posted on 05/11/2014 7:24:08 AM PDT by mindburglar (When Superman and Batman fight, the only winner is crime.)
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To: vladimir998

It’s not about you. Whether you trust me or not is irrelevant. I don’t speak for a billion Catholics.

I also didn’t make it up. Euphemisms may make things sound less onerous than they are, but nevertheless they remain what they are.


34 posted on 05/11/2014 7:27:26 AM PDT by mindburglar (When Superman and Batman fight, the only winner is crime.)
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To: mindburglar

In other words, you have no actual proof whatsoever for your claim that the pope advocates communism. It was a false claim made up out of thin air just as I said.

Thanks for playing.


35 posted on 05/11/2014 7:28:10 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998

I’m a little puzzled, because he never says “wealth redistribution” and yet the press and 95% of the Freeper universe is claiming that he was out there urging the seizure of property...

He urges personal charity and tells government institutions that they must make sure that wealth benefits everybody. Governments already collect taxes on individuals and businesses and other forms of income and even wealth, so it’s not as if nobody was paying taxes until the Pope came along. But in some countries, even where the wealthy pay a huge percentage in taxes...the poor still don’t have running water in their villages, there’s about one watt of electricity available, and the police services are so corrupt that crime is out of control so people don’t even have basic stability.

I think he’s a little too trusting that the state will be honorable - which is a puzzling attitude for an Argentinian! - but I certainly don’t think he’s advocating for Marxism.


36 posted on 05/11/2014 7:28:26 AM PDT by livius
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To: livius

I agree with. The press puts words in his mouth. The pope IS too trusting that governments will be honorable. I think that many popes have suffered from that mistaken belief.


37 posted on 05/11/2014 7:30:06 AM PDT by vladimir998
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To: NYer

This pope is clearly some sort of Marxist agent.


38 posted on 05/11/2014 7:30:42 AM PDT by riri (Plannedopolis-look it up. It's how the elites plan for US to live.)
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To: mindburglar

I agree that he needs to be more careful, because anything that can be misinterpreted most definitely will be misinterpreted, probably intentionally.

The media and the left (one and the same, alas) have an idea of what they want to hear him say, and even if he doesn’t say anything remotely like that, they’ll find a couple of words that they can interpret to their liking.

And of course, note that nothing he said about protecting life from conception to natural death, about the culture of death being imposed on the world, about freedom, etc. was mentioned at all.

I think he’s learning; I doubt that he is enjoying the experience, because he probably did trust the press too much if only because they flattered him by making him a media hero right out of the gate (because they hated BXVI so much).


39 posted on 05/11/2014 7:33:25 AM PDT by livius
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To: mindburglar

Why do you say that about Pope Francis? The Catholic Church in no way is a proponent of Communism.

Source or just your thoughts?


40 posted on 05/11/2014 7:39:02 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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