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Darn that Pope

Timothy Kincaid

November 11th, 2013

Darn that Pope Francis, he’s at it again!! Trying to cause trouble for the American Bishops and other lovers of theocracy and autocratic doctrine.

Earlier this year he stuck his nose in the fine running machine of Catholic hierarchy and caused a big stink by suggesting that the Church’s sole purpose actually wasn’t to oppose gay marriage, contraception, and abortion. As if he really didn’t know that these three issues are the single most important concerns to the lay Catholics who go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning terrified that through these evils the population may have shrunk overnight to an unsustainable low.

And now he’s gone off the deep end. His representative to the American Catholic Bishops suggested that Bishops not live lives of opulence and privilege. Come on!! They aren’t called ‘Princes of the Church’ for nothing, you know.

And then (oh the temerity), he said that the church should be pastoral and ministerial rather than dictatorial and dogmatic. (Star-Telegram)

The Vatican ambassador to the U.S., addressing American bishops at their first national meeting since Pope Francis was elected, said Monday they should not “follow a particular ideology” and should make Roman Catholics feel more welcome in church.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano noted the challenges from broader society to Christian teaching. He cautioned that the bishops’ witness to faith would be undermined if they failed to live simply. Francis, in office for eight months, has captured attention for eschewing some of the pomp of the papacy, including his decision to live in the Vatican hotel and his use of an economy car.

“There has to be a noticeable lifestyle characterized by simplicity and holiness of life. This is a sure way to bring our people to an awareness of the truth of our message,” said Vigano, the apostolic nuncio based in Washington.

“The Holy Father wants bishops in tune with their people,” Vigano said, noting that he visited the pope in June. “He made a special point of saying that he wants pastoral bishops, not bishops who profess or follow a particular ideology.”

Just who does this guy think he is, anyway?

But don’t be discouraged or lose hope. The American Bishops are well skilled at creative postulation and I’m certain they will find a way to make the statement become an endorsement of their latest extremely important anti-gay campaign and truly necessary ten-digit shoe budget.

Comments

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gar
November 11th, 2013 | LINK

Wow. He not only looks like George Smiley, but he acts like him, too. Sly, subtle guy, Pope Francis.

Hyhybt
November 11th, 2013 | LINK

Ten digits sounds right for a pair of shoes. At least, that’s how many are on my feet.

Lindoro Almaviva
November 11th, 2013 | LINK

Just who does this guy think he is, anyway?

Next you gonna tell me he’s the pope or something

Lord_Byron
November 12th, 2013 | LINK

Sorry, but for me no matter how nice he acts he is still head of an organization that is doing damage around the world. If he were to order all secret documents pertaining to the decades, at least, of molestation to be handed over the governments of the world then I could start to believe he wants to change anything. Otherwise all he is doing is putting a nice face on horrible ideas.

Hunter
November 12th, 2013 | LINK

I don’t expect Francis to be able to make any substantial changes in the attitudes and public positions of the American bishops — there’s a lot of inertia to overcome (like four popes worth), and the Church is not noted for moving swiftly (unless it’s to protect its own privilege).

That said, to even voice comments like this is a radical move, and perhaps more subtle than we expect — as widely reported as anything any pope says is, he’s going to create a marked contrast between the “official” direction of the Church and the American bishops. (And no doubt any number of African bishops as well.)

One thing that’s going to be important is Francis’ appointments — the last four popes spent a fair amount of energy filling the Curia with rock-hard conservatives, and it’s going to take a lot of erosion before their influence is neutralized.

As it stands, I’m still surprised he was elected — I’d guess that enough of the Curia are aware that the Church has a serious problem, both in image and substance, that maybe Francis’ new direction is not such an uphill climb.

As it is, his continued emphasis on humility and pastoral care is going to, eventually, marginalize Dolan, George, Cordileone, et al. — they can’t openly oppose him, but they’ve got a lot invested in the status quo and they’re not going to fall in line very quickly. A major stumbling block is that Benedict is still around, and while I doubt he’s calling the shots, he’s still very influential. (A guess — Vatican politics are still in the Renaissance, which is to say murky beyond comprehension.)

Rick Hopkins
November 12th, 2013 | LINK

Wow, if this keeps up I may actually go back to church!

Timothy Kincaid
November 12th, 2013 | LINK

Thanks hyhybt, that made my morning. Though, in truth, I meant to type 5-digit, as in the 10s of thousands. My subconscious must have taken over.

William E Buehner
November 12th, 2013 | LINK

Kinkaid, you, sir, are a real jerk! How dare you assume you know the hearts of all Roman Catholics. You are a narrow minded “hater” and you really should not have any following…well, no following of thinking people.

Paul Douglas
November 12th, 2013 | LINK

Billy Buehner:
I’d go tell you to suck on a lemon but I can tell you already have. What a bitter old soul. Probably a member of Opus Dei, the K of C or the Blue Army.
Get a life.

Ray
November 12th, 2013 | LINK

Francis is oppressing the bishops and priests.

Nathaniel
November 14th, 2013 | LINK

Hunter, you reminded me of something one of my professors said just before Benedict’s election. He predicted that they would elect a Pope more conservative than JPII, then follow him up with someone way more liberal. This may very well be part of someone’s long-term plan to improve the church’s image, kind of like what the conspiracy theorists say about New Coke.

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