Today's Vortex addresses why Catholic bloggers will continue to shine the light on clerical misbehaviors - despite the whining and pouting of those who insist upon wearing rose-colored glasses in the face of clerical mischief. It is their evil, more than that of laity, that has so much potential to damage the church simply because of the authority they do wield. Indeed, untold numbers of souls have been led astray by nonsense from clerics. Witness the gays who now have reason to believe that their mortal sins are affirmed by Cardinal Dolan as a result of the St Patrick's day parade fiasco. And yes, witness the millions who now believe adulterers will be allowed to commit the sin of sacrilege with Holy Communion thanks to the grotesque relatio released by Pope Francis. Yes, I will continue to shine the light - despite the stubborn resistance of some to seeing the truth. One such individual is Jeff Mirus - more on that below the video.
Mirus penned a piece recently, to which I link now. I'll unpack a few salient points - but not all for I don't have time for that.
Let's look at the second paragraph. Since you'll have it open in a separate browser window, I'll interject my comments in red throughout this copy. "Every few weeks (or perhaps every few days), Pope Francis says something that annoys or even appalls those who like their Catholicism neat and tidy. His "neat and tidy" quip is really quite condescending. That's a cheap shot, Mr. Mirus - for shame! At any rate, we prefer the faith being portrayed clearly and unambiguously, for the sake of poor souls who really do need the truth with no gimmicks for the sake of their eternal salvation. Pope Francis seems to enjoy not only shaking things up (which he has admitted) but speaking colloquially, and therefore with less theological and pastoral precision than might otherwise be the case. My readers know that I don’t think this is nearly as dangerous as many do, for those who are not oh-so-sophisticated to wade through sloppy presentations, the lack of theological precision can well damn them nor do I think Francis is attempting to push the Church in an unacceptable direction I cannot divine whether or not he's attempting to push the Church in a bad direction; regardless of his motives that is in fact what he's doing."
Let's look at this one. "I don’t think Francis thinks in the categories of left and right, liberal and conservative, that so many Western Catholics use as a kind of ecclesiastical shorthand to categorize conflicts over doctrine, liturgy and moral principles. Rather, I think Francis takes Catholic faith and morals for granted, And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is a BIG problem on its own, when so many don't know the basics of faith and morals. Even bishops, as evinced by the nonsense from the Sin-Nod last October display ignorance of their faith. In their case I hope it's ignorance, lest they be culpable of serious sins but is really fed up with clericalism and formalism (call it systemic rigidity or riskless ministry) which prevents the Church (in her members) from being profoundly evangelical and constantly engaged in sacrificial service to those who are materially, morally and spiritually poor. This does lead to misunderstandings, but those misunderstandings are half due to our own inadequate categories of reflection So what does Mirus call it when so many, of diverse perspectives and levels of Catholic knowledge, glean the same messages from the Pope? When anyone attempts to communicate, he/she accepts the responsibility of communicating their message clearly. It just isn't acceptable to blame the recipients of the message for repeated failures to communicate clearly."
Here Mirus shows evidence of swallowing the "god of surprises" kool-aid. "In the challenge of love, God shows up with surprises…. So let yourselves be surprised by God: Don’t be afraid of surprises, afraid that they will shake you up. Don't you think that depends on the nature of the particular surprise in question? They make us insecure Really? Why should they? but they change the direction we are going in. True love makes you “burn life”, even at the risk of coming up empty-handed." Why this fetish regarding "surprises"? Are we aware that God is immutable? That His word doesn't change? When we come across anomalies and are surprised by the same, maybe - just maybe!- that sense of "surprise" is really a warning from our good sense to stay away from the source of alarm.
As I said earlier, I don't have time to unpack this entire mess from Mirus (at least not in this post). I will look at one last thing. "We have a standing joke in my household. When I express an opinion about Pope Francis, my wife asks: 'How long are you going to keep your head in the sand?'" I echo Mrs. Mirus' question, not only to Mr. Mirus but to all who refuse to take off their happy-clappy rose-colored glasses.
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