Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Three Unhelpful Monkeys

There's a blog piece by Tom Peters being bandied about, apparently with the aim of stifling honest examination of some papal gaffes such as the most recent ones regarding Catholics being "like rabbits" and publicly scolding the poor expectant mother.  It is called "Feeling Devastated By What Pope Francis Says?  Try These 3 Helpful Keys".  This is not his first post written with the aim of keeping rose-colored glasses over people's eyes as they acknowledge the ever-burgeoning mess that is growing in front of them.  A little over a year ago, I commented on earlier "rose-colored-glasses" pieces that he wrote.  Rather than reinvent that wheel, I link to it here.

Let's look at this latest, shall we?  We'll start with what Peters calls "the three keys".
  1. The pope will not change Church teaching.  We do have the Lord's promise that no pope will ever solemnly promulgate error.  But much damage can occur in other ways (a point often overlooked).  There can be the careless words about punching people and chiding expectant mothers who are experiencing difficult pregnancies.  There's the mistreatment of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the awful sin-nod of last October.  I could go on and on; you get the point.  A pope does not have to be a formal heretic to inflict much damage.  By virtue of his office, his carelessness and flippancy can cause much scandal to the point of the damnation of some souls.
  2. (Speaking of oratorical styles of other popes) "If you expect Pope Francis to speak as the previous two popes, you will be devastated".  For most of us, that's not the case.  The role of the Vicar of Christ demands, though , speech that is crystal-clear, unambiguous, and without any trace of nuance.  We benefited from that not only from John Paul II and Benedict XVI, but from the great majority of pontiffs throughout Church history.  They all had their "styles", but most of them subordinated their personal speaking preferences for practices that led to clear communication with their flock. 
  3. "When Francis speaks to the mainstream media, he is choosing to speak to non-Catholics".  I'm sure Peters sincerely believes that, but on what basis?  Why should anyone else believe that? No matter.  Regardless of what the pope may "choose", the whole world is always his audience.  We wouldn't be having these discussions if that weren't the case.  No one who speaks to reporters and into microphones can pretend that only a select group of people will be his audience.  In his case, the whole world is his audience; nothing will change that reality.  At best, it would be recklessly imprudent to focus only on one sector of the populace - if indeed that is his intent.  I for one discern no reasonable strategy behind behaviors that have been shown, time and again, to wreak havoc among a large segment of his world-sized audience.
He closed his piece with what he called a "powerful work of the Holy Spirit..the largest Mass in history".  Yes, he is referring to this debacle, where no doubt the Body of Our Lord was literally trampled underfoot as Sacred Hosts were being passed around like so many chips and crackers. 

Now I realize that some might be "devastated" by this post.  Well, deal with the hard truth as you grab your Rosaries and pray for Holy Mother Church.


  1. I just have to say this. When the Pope gets the largest mass in History in Europe, then come talk to me.
    Preaching to the choir is easy.

  2. Here are my 3 keys to Pope Francis: 1) Alcoholic beverage of choice...2) Bacon 3) kitten...repeat 1-3 until the Francis' effect TM becomes null ....done listening to Pope Francis


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