This week the Pontifical Academy of Sciences hosted a workshop called “Biological Extinction: How to Save the Natural World on Which We Depend.”  If you read the declaration on the workshop, or look at the workshop agenda, or read any of the articles linked on the Vatican’s website, it doesn’t seem controversial at all, and fits nicely with the role of the Church around the world.

And then…fake news!

The Pope has urged us to have fewer children! claims Life Site News.

I’m not buying it, for a lot of reasons:

  1. There is NO direct quote from the Pope.  Couldn’t find it in the article, couldn’t find it on Vatican.va.
  2. It doesn’t jive with what he’s said earlier: Large Families are a gift to society.
  3. It doesn’t fit with the narrative of the workshop, which was focused on economic inequality, maintaining biodiversity and proper use of the Earth’s resources.

Nothing actually written by the workshop seemed out of line with the Catholic Church.  If someone would like to comment and prove otherwise, please be my guest, I will gladly post again admitting I missed something.

The Pope needs to realize he has a fake news problem, and it’s hurting his Church.  For reference, see the contrast between the media’s portrayal of Pope Benedict’s comments on homosexuality and Pope Francis’ comments.  Despite saying almost the same thing, Benedict’s were largely ignored, while Francis’ comments were seen as changing fundamental Church doctrine.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The media is using fake news to rip apart the Catholic Church from the inside.  By misquoting Pope Francis, it makes traditional-thinking Catholics think he’s extremely liberal, and it reinforces their wrong belief that Vatican II should be completely rejected.  For Catholics who grew up after the 1960s, the media’s portrayal makes it look like it’s OK to accept ideas that are actually heretical (and ideas they have been pushing for some time now).  For those of us in the middle, who like tradition but also try to understand the spirit of the Catechism, we get marginalized by both sides, and the media simply tries to overwhelm us with volume to silence our voices.

It’s nasty.  As a military planner, this is the sort of thing I would want to do to my adversaries.  The media are using fake news to tear down the Catholic Church in a way that could cause almost all persons to turn away from teaching and towards what makes us comfortable.  We would do well to reject it and focus on understanding our Catechism and why we believe what we believe.


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As the year of Mercy Closes Pope Francis has made some significant moves in the context of mercy in an Apostolic Letter:  Mercy and Peace

16. The Jubilee now ends and the Holy Door is closed. But the door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open. We have learned that God bends down to us (cf. Hos 11:4) so that we may imitate him in bending down to our brothers and sisters. The yearning of so many people to turn back to the house of the Father, who awaits their return, has also been awakened by heartfelt and generous testimonies to God’s love. The Holy Door that we have crossed in this Jubilee Year has set us on the path of charity, which we are called to travel daily with fidelity and joy. It is the road of mercy, on which we meet so many of our brothers and sisters who reach out for someone to take their hand and become a companion on the way. The Jubilee now ends and the Holy Door is closed. But the door of mercy of our heart continues to remain wide open. We have learned that God bends down to us (cf. Hos 11:4) so that we may imitate him in bending down to our brothers and sisters. The yearning of so many people to turn back to the house of the Father, who awaits their return, has also been awakened by heartfelt and generous testimonies to God’s love. The Holy Door that we have crossed in this Jubilee Year has set us on the path of charity, which we are called to travel daily with fidelity and joy. It is the road of mercy, on which we meet so many of our brothers and sisters who reach out for someone to take their hand and become a companion on the way.

Ironically while the Pope is pronouncing truths of the faith Ed Morrissey is also pronouncing a basic truth when he says:

I’ve often joked that the four words in the media that most fill Catholics with dread are, “Today, Pope Francis said…” That’s not because the pontiff says things that are dreadful; it’s because we know that we’ll have to spend most of the day explaining what the media got wrong, and what Pope Frances actually meant.I’ve often joked that the four words in the media that most fill Catholics with dread are, “Today, Pope Francis said…” That’s not because the pontiff says things that are dreadful; it’s because we know that we’ll have to spend most of the day explaining what the media got wrong, and what Pope Frances actually meant.

Ed is very right and I would recommend everyone read what the Pope actually wrote vs what others (particularly in the MSM) claim he is stating.

I’d particularly like to bring to your attention this paragraph on the sacrament of Confession addressed to priests: (emphasis in original)

10. I invite priests once more to prepare carefully for the ministry of confession, which is a true priestly mission. I thank all of you from the heart for your ministry, and I ask you to be welcoming to all, witnesses of fatherly love whatever the gravity of the sin involved, attentive in helping penitents to reflect on the evil they have done, clear in presenting moral principles, willing to walk patiently beside the faithful on their penitential journey, far-sighted in discerning individual cases and generous in dispensing God’s forgiveness. Just as Jesus chose to remain silent in order to save the woman caught in adultery from the sentence of death, so every priest in the confessional should be open-hearted, since every penitent is a reminder that he himself is a sinner, but also a minister of mercy.

Note the following lines:

attentive in helping penitents to reflect on the evil they have done,

clear in presenting moral principles

willing to walk patiently beside the faithful on their penitential journey

All of these statements involve an important principle that our friends in the media like to obscure:

The clear acknowledgement that a person has committed an evil act which separates them from God and the understanding that said person needs to know why said act was wrong and be penitential concerning it.

Now that fact doesn’t change the fact that regardless of the evil involved God’s mercy trumps it as the pope also says: (emphasis mine)

Let us recall with renewed pastoral zeal another saying of the Apostle: “God has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has entrusted to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:18). We were the first to be forgiven in view of this ministry, made witnesses at first hand of the universality of God’s forgiveness. No law or precept can prevent God from once more embracing the son who returns to him, admitting that he has done wrong but intending to start his life anew.

Note the end of that sentence, it notes that there is a condition for the mercy of God, that being one admits he has done wrong and intends to start his life anew.  This is reflected in the act of Contrition that a pennant says before being absolved.

O, my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins because of your just punishment, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.

The wording varies but the intent is the same, I did wrong, I’m sorry and I intend to not do wrong again.

Humans being weak, that intention will often not be enough to overcome temptation in the short run, if it was then there would be no need for weekly confessions in church, but that intent and acknowledgement is the key here, and without that acknowledgement & intent to repent the search for Mercy will be in vain.

Tuesday Pope Francis very decisively reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s teaching on an all male priesthood emphatically citing St. Pope John Paul II in an interview:

The pontiff made the declaration in response to a female reporter asking whether he thought women would one day serve as Catholic priests and bishops, noting the head of Sweden’s Lutheran Church whom Francis met on his trip there is a woman.

“St. Pope John Paul II had the last clear word on this and it stands,” Francis said during a news conference aboard the papal plane on the flight back to Rome, according to Reuters.

The reporter then asked “Forever, forever? Never, never?”

“If we read carefully the declaration by St. John Paul II, it is going in that direction,” the pope responded.

Given the direction that so many protestant denominations have gone and Francis’ willingness to engage them one might have thought he would have been more flexible to the argument of those churches and various dissenting groups who claim that Jesus was just following the cultural norms of the time, however this overlooks the fact that Jesus constantly challenged the cultural norms from healing on the sabbath, to associating with sinners, from challenging the chief priests and even refusing to condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery.

Now there are those who might say: Well DaTechguy that’s all well and good but a woman priesthood would have been a bridge too far for him, and that argument might wash if it wasn’t for one fact that I think is constantly ignored by those who dissent from the church in general and this issue in particular:

Jesus is God!

Jesus is not only the son of God he is in fact God as well.  That being the case the idea that he would not be capable or willing to challenge a social norm is ridiculous on its face.

At least it is if you believe Jesus is who he said he was, if you don’t then perhaps you have no business saying who should be a Catholic priest and who should not.

Exit Question: How many of the liberal Catholics who have celebrated this Pope over the last few years, particularly Democrat elected officials, will rush to do a volte face now over this?

The latest in my series of showing Amoris Laetitia as it is vs what some pretend it to be.

Just a reminder Patience is a virtue and also makes things work

92. Being patient does not mean letting ourselves be constantly mistreated, tolerating physical aggression or allowing other people to use us. We encounter problems whenever we think that relationships or people ought to be perfect, or when we put ourselves at the centre and expect things to turn out our way. Then everything makes us impatient, everything makes us react aggressively. Unless we cultivate patience, we will always find excuses for responding angrily. We will end up incapable of living together, antisocial, unable to control our impulses, and our families will become battlegrounds. That is why the word of God tells us: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, with all malice” (Eph 4:31). Patience takes root when I recognize that other people also have a right to live in this world, just as they are. It does not matter if they hold me back, if they unsettle my plans, or annoy me by the way they act or think, or if they are not everything I want them to be. Love always has an aspect of deep compassion that leads to accepting the other person as part of this world, even when he or she acts differently than I would like.

But our society and the left doesn’t like patience because it gets rid of the excuse to do what one wants at once and as I’ve always said the worst thing in the world is an excuse.

The Pope also talks a bit about a particular deadly sin, envy.

95. Saint Paul goes on to reject as contrary to love an attitude expressed by the verb zelói – to be Spiritual Exercises, Contemplation to Attain Love jealous or envious. This means that love has no room for discomfiture at another person’s good fortune (cf. Acts 7:9; 17:5). Envy is a form of sadness provoked by another’s prosperity; it shows that we are not concerned for the happiness of others but only with our own well-being. Whereas love makes us rise above ourselves, envy closes us in on ourselves. True love values the other person’s achievements. It does not see him or her as a threat. It frees us from the sour taste of envy. It recognizes that everyone has different gifts and a unique path in life. So it strives to discover its own road to happiness, while allowing others to find theirs.

Love and envy are simply not compatible however in our consumer society envy is a driver.

And he brings us something not blaming other and looking at ourselves.

107. Today we recognize that being able to forgive others implies the liberating experience of understanding and forgiving ourselves. Often our mistakes, or criticism we have received from loved ones, can lead to a loss of self-esteem. We become distant from others, avoiding affection and fearful in our interpersonal relationships. Blaming others becomes falsely reassuring. We need to learn to pray over our past history, to accept ourselves, to learn how to live with our limitations, and even to forgive ourselves, in order to have this same attitude towards others.

One must forgive oneself before one can forgive others but one must also look at oneself honestly, and boy the left hates that.

Plus the base of our ability to forgive others is the willingness of God to forgive us:

108. All this assumes that we ourselves have had the experience of being forgiven by God, justified by his grace and not by our own merits. We have known a love that is prior to any of our own efforts, a love that constantly opens doors, promotes and encourages. If we accept that God’s love is unconditional, that the Father’s love cannot be bought or sold, then we will become capable of showing boundless love and forgiving others even if they have wronged us. Otherwise, our family life will no longer be a place of understanding, support and encouragement, but rather one of constant tension and mutual criticism.

This is a big reason why marriage fails, When you considered that God has forgiven you it’s easier to forgive each other, but one a society rejects Christianity and forgiveness then it becomes harder to forgive and easier to just walk away from marriage and family.

The latest in a series of post looking at Amoris Laetitia as it’s actually written as opposed to how it’s spun.

Did you know that marriage has obligations in terms of parenthood? This pope does

68. “Blessed Paul VI, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, further developed the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family. In a particular way, with the Encyclical Humanae Vitae he brought out the intrinsic bond between conjugal love and the generation of life: ‘Married love requires of husband and wife the full awareness of their obligations in the matter of responsible parenthood, which today, rightly enough, is much insisted upon, but which at the same time must be rightly understood… The exercise of responsible parenthood requires that husband and wife, keeping a right order of priorities, recognize their own duties towards God, themselves, their families and human society’ (No. 10). In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, Paul VI highlighted the relationship between the family and the Church”.

I can see Amanda Marcotte pulling out her hair now.

And did you know that ministering to those in “imperfect relationships” is about leading them to matrimony?

78. “The light of Christ enlightens every person (cf. Jn 1:9; Gaudium et Spes, 22). Seeing things with the eyes of Christ inspires the Church’s pastoral care for the faithful who are living together, or are only married civilly, or are divorced and remarried. Following this divine pedagogy, the Church turns with love to those who participate in her life in an imperfect manner: she seeks the grace of conversion for them; she encourages them to do good, to take loving care of each other and to serve the community in which they live and work… When a couple in an irregular union attains a noteworthy stability through a public bond – and is characterized by deep affection, responsibility towards the children and the ability to overcome trials – this can be seen as an opportunity, where possible, to lead them to celebrate the sacrament of Matrimony”.

And if not possible to get matrimony to seek conversion, and remember seeking conversion implies something is wrong.

Oddly enough the media that has been so anxious to cheer Amoris Laetitia seems to have skipped this part on abortion. (emphasis mine)

83. Here I feel it urgent to state that, if the family is the sanctuary of life, the place where life is conceived and cared for, it is a horrendous contradiction when it becomes a place where life is rejected and destroyed. So great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb, that no alleged right to one’s own body can justify a decision to terminate that life, which is an end in itself and which can never be considered the “property” of another human being. The family protects human life in all its stages, including its last. Consequently, “those who work in healthcare facilities are reminded of the moral duty of conscientious objection. Similarly, the Church not only feels the urgency to assert the right to a natural death, without aggressive treatment and euthanasia”, but likewise “firmly rejects the death penalty”.

This was not just stated, but URGENTLY stated and note the property reference drawing the parallel to slavery.

And here is one paragraph that should be shouted from the rafters. emphasis mine again

84. The Synod Fathers also wished to emphasize that “one of the fundamental challenges facing families today is undoubtedly that of raising children, made all the more difficult and complex by today’s cultural reality and the powerful influence of the media”. “The Church assumes a valuable role in supporting families, starting with Christian initiation, through welcoming communities”. At the same time I feel it important to reiterate that the overall education of children is a “most serious duty” and at the same time a “primary right” of parents. This is not just a task or a burden, but an essential and inalienable right that parents are called to defend and of which no one may claim to deprive them. The State offers educational programmes in a subsidiary way, supporting the parents in their indeclinable role; parents themselves enjoy the right to choose freely the kind of education – accessible and of good quality – which they wish to give their children in accordance with their convictions. Schools do not replace parents, but complement them. This is a basic principle: “all other participants in the process of education are only able to carry out their responsibilities in the name of the parents, with their consent and, to a certain degree, with their authorization”. Still, “a rift has opened up between the family and society, between family and the school; the educational pact today has been broken and thus the educational alliance between society and the family is in crisis”

If I was the school choice movement I would emblazon those excepts of this paragraph at the head of every single document and press release put out.

You would think that this coming from an official document authored by the MSM’s favorite Pope would be news, but nothing the Vatican does that oppose the left’s memes is considered news.

The latest in a series of posts looking at what the Pope’s document Amoris Laetitia actually says vs the spin that has been applied to it by examining individual paragraphs that nobody is talking about:

Trigger warning to our friends on the left: Assertion of Objective Truth imminent:

34. When these factors affect our understanding of the family, it can come to be seen as a way station, helpful when convenient, or a setting in which rights can be asserted while relationships are left to the changing winds of personal desire and circumstances. Ultimately, it is easy nowadays to confuse genuine freedom with the idea that each individual can act arbitrarily, as if there were no truths, values and principles to provide guidance, and everything were possible and permissible. The ideal of marriage, marked by a commitment to exclusivity and stability, is swept aside whenever it proves inconvenient or tiresome. The fear of loneliness and the desire for stability and fidelity exist side by side with a growing fear of entrapment in a relationship that could hamper the achievement of one’s personal goals.

I don’t know what’s more offensive to the left the idea that there are objective truths or that marriage is not a coat to be tossed if it becomes uncomfortable or out of date.

And here is a ditty about actually understanding how things work

37. We have long thought that simply by stressing doctrinal, bioethical and moral issues, without encouraging openness to grace, we were providing sufficient support to families, strengthening the marriage bond and giving meaning to marital life. We find it difficult to present marriage more as a dynamic path to personal development and fulfilment than as a lifelong burden. We also find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful, who very often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations, and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations. We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them.

Part of the job of a pastor and the church is to teach. How can people understand it and make good decisions in adulthood if after confirmation the church stops forming conscience at age 16?

And it’s to those uninformed conscience that the state and the “birth control mentality” or the heavy hand of the state kicks in.

42. Furthermore, “the decline in population, due to a mentality against having children and promoted by the world politics of reproductive health, creates not only a situation in which the relationship between generations is no longer ensured but also the danger that, over time, this decline will lead to economic impoverishment and a loss of hope in the future. The development of bio-technology has also had a major impact on the birth rate”. Added to this are other factors such as “industrialization, the sexual revolution, the fear of overpopulation and economic problems… Consumerism may also deter people from having children, simply so they can maintain a certain freedom and life-style”. The upright consciences of spouses who have been generous in transmitting life may lead them, for sufficiently serious reasons, to limit the number of their children, yet precisely “for the sake of this dignity of conscience, the Church strongly rejects the forced State intervention in favour of contraception, sterilization and even abortion”. Such measures are unacceptable even in places with high birth rates, yet also in countries with disturbingly low birth rates we see politicians encouraging them. As the bishops of Korea have said, this is “to act in a way that is self-contradictory and to neglect one’s duty”.

Or as Stacy McCain’s dad put it, if you wait to have kids until you can afford it, you’ll never have them. And let’s not forget a lot of our liberal friends are big into dangling aid contingent on birth control and abortion.

Here is one that will really send the left into a tizzy

52. No one can think that the weakening of the family as that natural society founded on marriage will prove beneficial to society as a whole. The contrary is true: it poses a threat to the mature growth of individuals, the cultivation of community values and the moral progress of cities and countries. There is a failure to realize that only the exclusive and indissoluble union between a man and a woman has a plenary role to play in society as a stable commitment that bears fruit in new life. We need to acknowledge the great variety of family situations that can offer a certain stability, but de facto or same-sex unions, for example, may not simply be equated with marriage. No union that is temporary or closed to the transmission of life can ensure the future of society. But nowadays who is making an effort to strengthen marriages, to help married couples overcome their problems, to assist them in the work of raising children and, in general, to encourage the stability of the marriage bond?

Even if he didn’t directly state that “same-sex unions…my not simply be equated with marriage” the whole idea that the nuclear family if vital to society attacks everything they believe in.

They way some people are reacting you would think this paragraph didn’t exist.

By now you have seen plenty of spin on Amoris Laetitia from journalists, from pundits all telling you that this is all about either the Pope advancing their values or in the case of a few betraying the church.

It’s why I said this on day 1:

It brings to mind Laudato Si where our friends on the left who constantly praise it conveniently ignore huge chunks of it that they despise.

So my plan was, in the interest of making sure you know the truth so it can set you free from media spin, let me, once again, give you a few paragraphs from this papal document that the media might want you to forget.

However when I cut and pasted the paragraphs I found significant as I read them in the end they totaled over 16,000 words.

That’s a bit much for a single post so here is what we are going to do.

I’m going to give you some general impressions of the document in this post and then in a series of MANY posts over the next couple of weeks (or months) go through these specific paragraphs in some detail.

So here goes:

My first thought on reading this to the end was: What was all the fuss about?

The document is basically a “how to” guide on marriage and family for people thinking of getting married, for married couples and for clergy. It’s remarkably detailed and gives solid advice all around.

While this is a document for all it’s very clear the primary audience is the faithful.

For people considering marriage the advice given here stresses preparation and realistic expectations both in terms of the benefits of marriages and what to expect.

For married couples it’s about keeping those expectations realistic as life goes on, as you age and as troubles keep up.

For clergy the advice is GET INVOLVED from day one and stay involved.

In all of these cases prayer is stressed keeping the eye on God and following the example of Christ.

The section that struck me the most was on Paul’s statement on Love in 1 Corinthians 13 detailing every single statement and how it applies to a couple. If there is only one section that everyone need to read, that’s it.

I was struck by how many times Adam & Eve are mentioned in this piece. We keep hearing how they are not considered real. Don’t try to tell that to this Pope.

The only thing the media seems to care about concerning this document is the small section on “irregular” relationships, the advice given to clergy here is not only NOT in contradiction to church teaching but is, for the most part, common sense. It comes down to this:

Find ground to work on and inch them toward the right direction as best you can while doing the best you can for any children who are not responsible for any irregular situation.

It’s sort of the reverse of what the Screwtape letters says: trying to create the cumulative effect of edging the man out of the nothing and toward the light.

Pope Francis highlights the observations of Bishops from several lands in the piece, they bring solid observations to the table.

The biggest problem I can see here is that while the advice for clergy is pretty good, I just don’t see how they’re going to make the time to do all that is suggested here given that, at least in the US their workload is already incredible.

The media spin on this is for the most part laughable and seems to come from their complete ignorance on what the church actually teaches and what the catechism says. It’s as if every single thing they know about the church is a parody, like it came from a George Carlin sketch.

I have absolutely no doubt that there will be some liberal catholics who will attempt to spin this, particular the parts about discernment by clergy in situation as a green light to legitimize sin. From my reading this is patently dishonest and dishonorable.

To my fellow conservative Catholics  I repeat my advice from the top read the document yourself, if you do unless you’ve got Francis on the brain you’ll find that all your fears about this document were wildly overblown.  That’s not to say there aren’t some who would have liked to make all your fears come true, but all they got from this document were crumbs.

This is a long read, if you want to understand it you’ll need to take the time to take it all in, but you’ll be glad, and well-informed if you do.

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You know the Boston Globe has for years had the best coverage of Baseball period, with John Allen they now have the best Catholic reporter in the world and he proved it again:

Pope Francis can be understood as a living, breathing embodiment of the “both/and” instinct that’s so much a part of Catholic DNA, but which is increasingly difficult to understand in a world where false dichotomies and “wedge issues” are the political coin of the realm.

Historically, as Pope Benedict XVI once put it, Catholicism has been the great Christian tradition of “both/and.” When Protestantism raised the question of whether Scripture or tradition is the basis of authority, Catholicism answered “both.” Likewise, when Martin Luther asked whether salvation is from faith or works, the Catholic answer again was “both.”

Francis is very much like that.

and he gives an excellent example of the dual nature of the church

A gay couple wants to enroll their child in a Catholic school. One option would be to say no, on the grounds of causing scandal. Another is to say yes, on the basis that some contact with the faith is better than none. Both are consistent with church teaching, but they give off different vibes.

Or to put it another way Christ over and over warns about the Justice that will come if one doesn’t repent:

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’

He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Matthew 25:41-46

Yet when dealing with an actual sinner with actual sin the mercy pours out as in the gospel for this week:

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders.

So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.

John :1-11

God will give us our entire lives to repent and will give us every chance to do so, but not a moment more.

Somehow I suspect Francis thinks the same and wants to do the same.

 

I had lunch with my pastor on Tuesday and the subject of Pope Francis came up.

One of the things he noted is that Francis tends to talk like a pastor counseling an individual in a specific situation rather than like a theologian making pronouncements on the faith.

The problem with this approach being that if you have the international media looking to spin your every word for the sake of drawing eyeballs and clicks not to mention pushing an agenda such pronouncements will likely not bear any resemblance to what you are actually trying to convey.

Yesterday was a great example.

I was driving to pick up a doctor’s note for my sick wife (Between my illness, being laid off and my wife’s illness February has been a bad month for me) and I turned on the radio and heard first CBS & then Rush Limbaugh, talk about the Pope and Donald Trump and the Pope and Contraception and did a double take.

Now if you are a faithful Catholic who is not familiar with the media’s regular attempts to spin everything the Pope says and does you might find yourself talking to your pastor this weekend and asking what’s going on? Is the pill OK to take now? Is the border fence considered a mortal sin?

However if you are a regular reader of the this blog you likely decided to do what I did, wait till you got home and look to see if John Allen vatican reporter extraordinaire reported on this and try to find the actual text of the various exchanges.

Lucky for Catholic everywhere Captain Ed Morrissey was on the job because at 4PM yesterday the Ed Morrissey show was coming on and lo and behold along with Salma Zito and our favorite Yid with Lid he had Mr. John Allen as a guest.

and he followed this up with a post at Hotair linking to the Catholic News service which had the actual transcripts of what the Pope said in context.

Here is the Donald Trump question and answer

Phil Pullella, Reuters: Today, you spoke very eloquently about the problems of immigration. On the other side of the border, there is a very tough electoral battle. One of the candidates for the White House, Republican Donald Trump, in an interview recently said that you are a political man and he even said that you are a pawn, an instrument of the Mexican government for migration politics. Trump said that if he’s elected, he wants to build 2,500 kilometers of wall along the border. He wants to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, separating families, etcetera. I would like to ask you, what do you think of these accusations against you and if a North American Catholic can vote for a person like this?

Pope Francis: Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as ‘animal politicus.’ At least I am a human person. As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe, I don’t know. I’ll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people. And then, a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.

and here is the question on the Zika virus and contraception:

Paloma García Ovejero, Cadena COPE (Spain): Holy Father, for several weeks there’s been a lot of concern in many Latin American countries but also in Europe regarding the Zika virus. The greatest risk would be for pregnant women. There is anguish. Some authorities have proposed abortion, or else to avoiding pregnancy. As regards avoiding pregnancy, on this issue, can the Church take into consideration the concept of “the lesser of two evils?”

Pope Francis: Abortion is not the lesser of two evils. It is a crime. It is to throw someone out in order to save another. That’s what the Mafia does. It is a crime, an absolute evil. On the ‘lesser evil,’ avoiding pregnancy, we are speaking in terms of the conflict between the fifth and sixth commandment. Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape.

Don’t confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion. Abortion is not a theological problem, it is a human problem, it is a medical problem. You kill one person to save another, in the best case scenario. Or to live comfortably, no? It’s against the Hippocratic oaths doctors must take. It is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil in the beginning, no, it’s a human evil. Then obviously, as with every human evil, each killing is condemned.

On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one, or in the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear. I would also urge doctors to do their utmost to find vaccines against these two mosquitoes that carry this disease. This needs to be worked on.

As you can see, in context this sounds a whole lot different that it has been spun. For example his giving “The Benefit of the doubt” to Donald Trump and his comparison of Abortion to Mafia murder apparently were not considered all that newsworthy.

Moreover if the media had bothered to actually cover the Pope in Mexico, as John Allen did, they would know that he was very hard on a particular group of people. The Catholic Bishops:

There’s yet another constituency in Mexico right now feeling rather thoroughly judged by the pontiff, and, for the record, found not altogether up to snuff: the country’s roughly 170 Catholic bishops.

In a remarkable 4,500-word address to the bishops on Saturday, one of the most developed and detailed speeches of his papacy, Francis laid out a vision of the kind of prelate he believes the Church needs today — and left little doubt that it’s not always the kind of shepherd it actually has.

and he didn’t spare the government of Mexico either:

During five days in Mexico, Pope Francis excoriated government elites for denying their people justice and peace, told bishops to do more to alleviate their flock’s suffering at the hands of drug traffickers and corrupt officials, and pointedly avoided the pomp of Mexico City in favor of more humble settings.

While popes often offer gentle criticism on visits abroad, Francis seems to have gone even further in hectoring his hosts this trip. Observers said the pontiff clearly feels that both the Church and the government have failed Mexico’s people.

“The pope literally believes that the devil is on the loose in Mexico, sowing death, misery, and resignation, and he believes that the state, the Church and the drug dealers are complicit,”

I suspect that last critique of Mexico’s government is something every single GOP candidate would agree with, including Donald Trump.

Too bad nobody in the MSM is interested in either reporting his words in Mexico or his words in context in this case. I guess it doesn’t generate enough clicks.

And I suspect my pastor is going to have to explain this to more people who come asking again.

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I was laid off this week from my 3rd shift job so my plan to use said job to pay the mortgage while using the site to get out of debt in a couple of years is out the window unless we suddenly get 125 subscribers at $10 a month When I say I could use a hand right now I’m not kidding.

Since we all know the rosey description of the Obama economy by the MSM is BS to those who have kicked in (particularly subscribers), thanks much.

If however you have not & are both able and inclined I’d really appreciate it if you’d help us either close January strong or start February stronger by hitting DaTipJar.




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At the Synod of the family we heard a lot about how Pope Francis. From the MSM we heard that he was doing his best to try to change how Gay Marriage and Divorce were viewed by the church and on the right we heard he was conspiring with German Cardinals to change church teaching on confession and communion.

Well this week he met with German Bishops and delivered a dramatic critique of the German church:

He called on the bishops to use the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy to revive the Church through rediscovering “the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist” in the face of a collapse in sacramental participation in the country.
But in his morning homily, too, the Pope appeared to speak to the German hierarchy, warning against the temptation to ecclesiastical “worldliness”, and urging those present not to become “dominated by money and power.”
This is an underlying problem frequently attributed to the German church, most notably by Benedict XVI in his “enweltlichung” speech during his visit to Germany in 2011.

He further talked about the sacraments

He told the bishops to highlight the importance of Confession during the Year of Mercy, which can help “reform the Church”, and to stress the “intimate connection” between the Eucharist and the priesthood. The “precious collaboration” of the laity cannot be a “surrogate” for the priesthood. “If there is not priest, there is no Eucharist,” the Pope said.
On the theme of evangelization, he said it is “essential” that the bishop “conscientiously perceives his task as teacher of the faith, of the traditional and lived faith in the living community of the universal Church.” The Pope also stressed that “fidelity to the Church and to the Magisterium does not contradict academic freedom, but it requires an attitude of willingness to serve in relation to the gifts of God.”
The Pope further reminded the bishops that the Church must “never get tired of being the advocate of life, and should never step back from proclaiming that human life must be protected unconditionally from conception to natural death.”

Now given all we’ve heard this must have been a media sensation in the Catholic Press, right?

Switching web pages we immediately find editorials at the Fishwrap (National Schismatic Reporter) applauding the Pope’s words about confession and abjuring their heretical notions about the ordination of women, which Pope Francis at other times has said is impossible.

Oooops… no! Wait. I had a monsignor moment there. Scratch that last part. As a matter of fact, I didn’t see there any report on the Pope’s stern speech to their German episcopal Liebchen.

What the Fishwrapers want is what the Germans have been up to for years. And now even Francis has called the German Church to wake up.

Because if there is one thing that isn’t news, it’s the Pope being Catholic, like the revival of the Church in France by orthodox Catholics, it’s just not newsworthy.