There's a fair amount of "damage control" occurring in regards to the La Repubblica interview. Last week Raymond Arroyo hosted Robert Royal and Father Joseph Fessio; the latter two had different perspectives on the Holy Father's words. Father Fessio is himself a Jesuit so he brings that perspective to the table. The discussion revolves around the Pope's previous interview, but I find the comments apropos.
In the video below the relevant section starts at 18:46. At around the 24:00 mark, Father brings up the example of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4) and illustrates how Our Lord engaged the woman in conversation. He seems to imply that is the strategy of Pope Francis with these interviews. If such is the case, I think that's flawed. Our Lord was engaged in a one-on-one conversation. These broadcast interviews, by dint of the intended promulgation of these, cannot be likened to the one-on-one conversation. Rather we're talking of a one-to-millions proclamation, with these "millions" coming from a myriad of cultures, perspectives, etc. One size does not fit all. Isn't it rather ironic that in his attempt to address the interviewer "where he's at" that the Holy Father loses sight of all the other millions of people and their situations? Does the phrase "can't see the forest for the sake of one tree" have relevance here?
At the 25:00 mark, Arroyo comments on the widespread confusion occasioned by the Pope's remarks and asks Royal, "How much of that is the fault of the viewer and how much of that is the fault of the Pope?" I'll posit my opinion. When so many viewers, themselves vastly different one from another, share in similar confusions, it must mean they are getting the same garbled message and are reacting according to their convictions; that is, progressives (even Obama!) heap praise upon these comments while good pro-lifers (see LifeSiteNews and other blogs on my side-bar)express dismay over the Holy Father's comments. Much, if not most, of the fault must lay with the message (or at least its Italian-to-English translators).
Then they go to the statement where Pope Francis says, "we cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods." I explained my own agreement that we must also insist upon the entire Deposit of Faith in a previous post. Then Arroyo, at the 27:43 mark, asks Father "who's only talking about these things?" Excellent question! I might hear a homily about abortion 4-5 times a year. Contraception? NEVER!
Father Fessio replies, "I have to explain something to you. He's a Jesuit...They are shrewd..He's got the whole world taking about it..It's a head-fake, basically. He's faked out (unintelligible). Even NARAL puts an ad saying 'thank you pope'..this is beautiful Jesuitical talk."
Hence the title of this article. What Father Fessio uttered was polyanna-esque gibberish. No doubt he's sincerely trying to eke some good from the implied claim that some are speaking too much on these moral calamities when in reality not nearly enough is being said. If "faking out" was the intention, I sincerely hope not for that would constitute sin against the Eighth Commandment. I trust that was simply Father's faulty hypothesis.
If indeed that statement was indeed "jesuitical" rhetoric, again that is an example of the Pope NOT meeting the vast majority of people "where they're at", for most of the world is not Jesuit and will have no grasp of "jesuitical" nuances. Some will indeed be scandalized, that is, given dangerous signals such as the NARAL folks obviously received. Those are some folks who need plain, straight no-nonsense proclamation of truth for their activities are steering them straight to hell.
I pray that Pope Francis stop giving these interviews. They are having disastrous consequences for too many souls. These consequences, while unintended, were entirely foreseeable and all too real. Pray for our Holy Father. Now the video.