Voris on Francis, off-the-cuff remarks, and the MSM

Here is Michael Voris on the “Who am I to judge!” line from Pope Francis on the airplane.

He puts his foot wrong in calling Msgr. Ricca a bishop (he isn’t) but that doesn’t change the substance of what Voris has to say.

Voris raises the possibility that Francis could benefit from some sage advice by his handlers (in avoiding off-the-cuff comments).

I think that would depend on whether or not Pope intends to create a ruckus through these comments or not.

As I have ventured elsewhere, I said that were I advising Francis, I would show him lots of media reactions to his comments and then ask him, “Holy Father, is this what you want?” If he says, “Yes!”… well… then okay!  We work with it.  If he were to say, “No, not really.”, then we would have to work on it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjDKMIMkm4&feature=player_embedded

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58 Responses to Voris on Francis, off-the-cuff remarks, and the MSM

  1. acardnal says:

    ” . . . were I advising Francis, I would show him lots of media reactions to his comments and then ask him, ‘Holy Father, is this what you want?’”

    Let’s pray the Greg Burke is doing so.

  2. One of those TNCs says:

    I pasted the link and got “this video does not exist.”

    Try again?

  3. “…were I advising Francis, I would show him lots of media reactions to his comments and then ask him, “Holy Father, is this what you want?”

    I would include blogger/internet reactions among the right as well. Its entirely possible that the Pope is looking to shake us all from any unhealthy entrenchments via his off-the-cuff statements.

  4. McCall1981 says:

    So glad to see some conversation on this question. Ive been wracking my brains to try to figure out Francis on this question, and I cant tell at all if he intends to cause a ruckus with these comments, or if he’s just making unintentional slip ups. If its the former, I cant imagine what his motivation could be for wanting to make controversial statements like these.

  5. Cathy says:

    It seems with this one statement and the spin in regards to the MSM and those on the left and the right, the thoughts of many hearts are revealed. I can’t help but to think of this in terms of Benedict the Beloved’s talk in regards to the media during Vatican II.

  6. JARay says:

    I got the same as “One of those TNCs”
    “This video does not exist”

  7. jhayes says:

    I cant tell at all if he intends to cause a ruckus with these comments, or if he’s just making unintentional slip ups

    I don’t think Francis makes slip-ups with the media-I think he understands the press very well. I don’t think that he was talked into giving that press conference – I think he wanted to do it to demonstrate his willingness to share his personal views on any issue he press wanted to bring up. Very different from the traditional “submit your questions in writing and we’ll decide which ones we want to answer”

    I think it was a great PR success for the Church.

  8. Stephen D says:

    The Pope’s remark has been interpreted by an intelligent, eminent, homosexual, atheist writer for ‘The Times’ in the UK as the first small step to ‘sanity’ in the Church on this issue. I regard the writer’s interpretation to be highly predictable and cannot believe that the Pope would not have known that this would be the case in the media generally. I find this situation very worrying when, above all, we Catholics and the world need clarity about Church teaching.

  9. traditionalorganist says:

    The Holy Father’s desire to speak off-the-cuff is a testament to his desire to be genuine with all. However, he does not seem to have the savvy, or shall we say cunning(?) to approach the media with more reserve and deliberateness. This is not a terrible thing, in my estimate, because he will be misinterpreted or ignored even if St. Thomas Aquinas wrote his speech himself. The woeful point is that Catholic Media is continuously reinterpreting the Holy Father’s words to mean that he is out to destroy the Church by reconsidering marriage, “not judging gay priests,” etc. This is plainly wrong and even Alexander VI, in all his evil uses of the Papacy, did not redefine what is good and true or allow his own moral corruption to define the moral authority of the papacy itself. Pope Francis, at least, is a genuinely good priest and pastor, and though human and frail, is much less so than me.

    I might add since it’s perpetually important here, there’s no doubt in my mind, though, that the Holy Father does not hold the same opinions about the relation between sacred liturgy and Christian life as his predecessor. That is to say, he does not seem to believe that liturgical law is important. Liturgical Dancers at world youth day comes to mind…. I do not condone this sort of thing, but the only way to actually do anything about it is to pray for the Holy Father and his intentions, continuously, and to strive to affect change in our own communities.

  10. Charles E Flynn says:

    This appears to be the link:

    The ‘Messy’ Papacy

  11. av8er says:

    I used to listen to this guy Dennis Prager on the radio who would say “I prefer clarity over agreement”. I don’t think the Church can be the slightest bit ambiguous when it comes to these hot button topics. We don’t need to convince anyone of the truth our the faith or worry about reactions from the worldly media. Proclaiming the truth with boldness and clarity is the best evangelization. Worked on me!

  12. louder says:

    Honestly, what does it say about our emotional maturity when Catholics feel that a Pope is unable to speak to people directly, and not go thru handlers galore about the faith? That Catholicism is so complex that the person who is its visible representation cannot speak about it without consulting theologians first, and then writing it out on paper? It’s a pretty poor image we are projecting to the world when it disturbs some Catholics so much that Pope Francis is speaking as a normal person. My hope is that there is more of this kind of evangelizing, and less “safety first, last, and always” surrounding the Holy Father.

  13. Lin says:

    Messy is an understatement! Regardless of his intent, our progressive priest (pastor) is enamored. And we the traditionalists (?) are left confused. We had another touchy, feely sermon again today.

  14. Steven Surrency says:

    I think he intends to mess. He has said he would rather have a mess with some mistakes than have us enclosed, talking to ourselves. I think he likes this mess. It’s his style. It is NOT my style, but I can see the advantages. I think most people now- after the smoke cleared- know that the pope stands with the Church. Moreover, those who are actually interested in what the pope said have read the whole interview. They see the “I am a son of the Church, ” “women can’t be ordained,” and “The young people know what the Church teaches on all this.” In the end, I think that there were some good things that came out of the mess. Again, I like careful and calculated. Francis doesn’t.

  15. Robbie says:

    I’ve argued before that Pope Francis knows exactly what he’s doing. Whether he’s media savvy or not, I don’t know. But I do believe he’s taking his own message to heart. Some may call it “messy” while some may call it “commotion”, but the tone is clear. He wants to stir up the Catholic Church and I think he tackles some of these issues in a less than clear way because he wants to start a discussion about changing some of these things. His comments about those who are divorced and remarried is a good example. No one was talking about that issue, but now we are and it’s quite likely he’ll change the teaching on that in due time.

  16. jhayes says:

    His comments about those who are divorced and remarried is a good example. No one was talking about that issue, but now we are and it’s quite likely he’ll change the teaching on that in due time.

    He said that will be discussed by the Council of 8 Cardinals at the beginning of October and by the Synod following that.

  17. eben says:

    I can only pray for Pope Francis and know the Holy Spirit is guiding Francis in his comments.

  18. maryh says:

    @Cathy Benedict the Beloved What a lovely expression. I think I’ll start using that instead of Pope Benedict emeritus.

    Michael Voris is right about messy. But when he talks about Pope Francis needing to be more careful, I think he undermines his point. Who was more careful than Benedict the Beloved?

    @Robbie His comments about those who are divorced and remarried is a good example. No one was talking about that issue, but now we are and it’s quite likely he’ll change the teaching on that in due time.I’m not exactly sure what “teaching” you think he’s going to change. It can’t be the teaching that you can’t dissolve a valid marriage, so clearly, you can’t remarry, because that’s not changeable [I’m sure I’ll be corrected on the technical exceptions :) .

    Perhaps he’s preparing us for a stronger teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and how the nature of marriage as being between and man and a woman is an element in it being indissoluble. After all, Pope Francis has taught on how part of the reason marriage needs to be between a woman and a man is because the man helps the woman become more of a woman and the woman helps the man become more of a man.

  19. jacobi says:

    “I said that were I advising Francis”

    Father,
    This raises an interesting point, who should advise the Pope.
    In the past the Papacy was remote, austere and very considered in what it said. It would have been a brave priest or layman who would dare to advise or worse still, correct, the papacy publicly.

    The rules appear to be changing with Pope Francis, as with his informal “of the cuff “ press briefings, his controversial ruling on the FFI issue, his often confusing and sometimes contradictory statements, and above all in his eagerness to come down from the Papal Throne and behave as “one of the boys”.
    The trouble is that there is another side to this. Behaving as one of the boys invites being treated as one of the boys, and that could involve open and direct and widespread correction and controversy. That could be the road to chaos. There is no need for the pendulum to swing from one extreme to the other.

    Somehow I do not think this is what being the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on Earth, is all about. Some press professionals in the Vatican really ought to have a word with him because the outcome is likely to be a devaluation of the status of the Papacy and with it, the status of the Mystical Body of Christ on Earth, the Catholic Church.

    Oh!, is that me advising the Pope!

    Bye the way, Voris is a man we should be taking seriously. He talks sound orthodox Catholic sense.

  20. Kathleen10 says:

    Tough to be us. Time is the thing. Time will tell more because patterns emerge. As more examples come in, you start to eliminate possibilities and use deduction.
    It appears his intent is to shake things up, absolutely. He’s done that.
    I find it hard to believe a Pope would consider disruption a good idea, then again, I can’t recall any “holy lio’s” from JPII or Pope Benedict. I have felt like throwing a lio myself in the last week, but I’m not at all sure it would be a holy one.
    Of course a pope has handlers. There are a what, billion Catholics and it’s a worldwide ministry. This man is POPE, The Man, and sits in the Chair of St. Peter as his successor. Every single word he says matters, and will be recorded for all time, somewhere. A thousand years from now (assuming) people will be able to look up his words. Ours will disappear, but not his. So he is not just a man anymore, he belongs to the ages. The age he happens to inhabit is filled with much confusion and sin. People are lost, and need a Shepherd badly. Hopefully, Pope Francis will turn out to be that shepherd who can impart the truth about many issues.

  21. Quanah says:

    The evil one, that murderer from the beginning, twisted the very words of Scripture to tempt our Lord and he has done the same thing to others. Should God not have inspired to be written what He did? The devil and all his minions including those in the media will always twist the truth to their own ends. Just because they do this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t say it. What Francis said was true. Who is he to judge? Who are any of us to judge? It is true that homosexuality is a disorder and that the homosexual act is always always always gravely sinful. But Francis wasn’t talking about the act; he was talking about the person. While we can look at a person’s sins and judge those sins, we cannot judge that person. That is for God alone. This is truth, without which we are only left with dogmatism which is as bad as any other “ism.”

  22. netokor says:

    The Holy Father needs a teleprompter and Michael needs to supply the relevant scripts at a moment’s notice!:-)

    I too miss my Beloved Pope, but I pray for Francis every day. He’s the Pope and we submit. The Holy Spirit is in charge.

    God bless our Holy Church!

  23. Kathleen10 says:

    Agreed. The Holy Father needs to be alot more media savvy. What’s that verse, “as innocent as a dove and as cunning as a serpent”. Who are the people who are around him I wonder. Maybe they are not facilitating help and insight for him on this matter. Maybe they like the way his comments are used by the media. Who knows.
    Then again, he does not at all seem like the kind of person who takes counsel. He appears very self-driven and determined to do things the way he wants to do them. After all, how many practices has he already tossed out the window.
    May God bless Pope Francis in every possible way. He will not be Pope one second longer than the Good Lord wants him to be, as is always the case.

  24. Gratias says:

    Look up Charles E Flynn’s link. Michael Voris is right.

    I learned that the who I am to judge were specifically about Mgr. Ricca.

  25. Raymond says:

    This is a Pope who, when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires, presided over a decline in priestly vocations in his jurisdiction even nearby dioceses saw increases. So, yes, it is worrying. If I were actively discerning a vocation to the priesthood (which I did years ago), the Bergoglio style wouldn’t attract me either. Just because a priest is very holy doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll make a good bishop or pope.

  26. Nancy D. says:

    A Holy man would never refer to a sexual inclination as a person, they would respect the personal and relational Dignity of the human person, created in The Image and Likeness of God. We are and have always been husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters… Our call to Holiness has always been a call to Love one another, according to The Word of God. As the veil is being lifted, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.

  27. Suburbanbanshee says:

    But this ties into the Sunday Gospel! (NO Latin Rite lectionary, anyway.)

    Jesus asks the man, “Who appointed Me your judge?” But the answer behind His rabbinical question is, “God did. And I will be the Judge of everyone at their deaths and at the end of time, not just you and your brother and your squabbles over inheritance. Do you really want Me to judge you now? Do you want Me to require both your lives tonight?”

    In a certain way, we do not judge lest we seem presumptuous. But there’s another side to those who refuse to be taught. It’s kind of Pope Francis to refuse to judge the chaste person with SSA, but there’s something darker toward those who refuse to live chastely. Jesus Christ will eventually judge us all, and then it will be too late to repent and change our ways. Let us remember to seek His mercy always, both now and then.

  28. pseudomodo says:

    Pope Francis: “Who am I to judge!”

    I hope we”re not down to just teacher and lawmaker now.

  29. Nancy D. says:

    A sexual inclination refers to behavior. Christ commands us to discriminate between behavior that respects the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the human person, and behavior that is demeaning.

    “Neither do I condemn you. Now go, and sin no more.”

  30. Nancy D. says:

    Salvational Love is personal and relational, for Love Is desiring Salvation for one’s beloved.

    “I Give you a new Commandment. Love one another as I Have Loved you.” – Jesus The Christ

  31. Supertradmum says:

    Nancy D and others, one must be careful in describing conversion as always an experience. The Catholic Church talks about grace, the grace of justification, which can be arrived at through inspiration of reason. Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman came to the truth of the Catholic Church by reading the Fathers of the Church, and he is not the only one. C.S Lewis on a train one day just knew there was a God and accepted this inspiration.

    To continually speak of love ignores the fact that many people come to God through the realization of their sins, through compunction , through a seeking of truth, which then opens their eyes to the graces awaiting them.

    The love of God cannot be boxed into experience and experiences are fraught with danger, such as emotionalism. If emotions brought people to the Truth, then the Pentecostals would all become Catholic, being drawn to God through some type of feeling.

    The need for doctrine is essential. Of course, we love our friends who are homosexually inclined, but that inclination is a disorder. We can help them get the counselling they need in order to bear this cross. But, if a person does not FEEL love, they can still be converted to the truths of morality and the beautiful doctrines and teachings of the Church. One does not have to feel love to be converted. St. Paul was judged by God who corrected him. Bl Margaret of Costello was imprisoned by her own parents, then abandoned. Grace is given freely by God.

    We really need to be watchful that we do not use the words of either the world or Protestantism. Grace is a mystery, given by God. We need to pray for our friends who have disordered sexual leanings to have and accept grace in their lives.

  32. Jack Regan says:

    If I were advising Francis, I would say: “Pray, remember the love of God, pray again, and them say what you believe to be the truth and what the world needs to head. Say it with love and with clarity and then damn the consequences!”

    As for Michael Voris… let’s not forget that, much as we like him at times, this is still the guy who was forced to stop using the word ‘Catholic’, the guy whose catechesis sessions in Madrid were officially slapped down by the PCL as official and the guy who is on record as saying that the Novus Ordo Mass is a masonic plot to destroy the faith.

    Pinch of salt very much required, me thinks!!

  33. Supertradmum says:

    May I add that some people convert because they finally fear God and His justice. Then, only after deciding they do not want to go to hell, do they come into the higher form of conversion, which is converting for the love of God.

    Yes, we are to love. But, not without truth. And, I missed out something Nancy D wrote in which she said that is inclination is a behaviour. No, it is not. An inclination is a disposition of the mind or character. And, the homosexual inclination or desire is disordered in itself, as against nature. A propensity to sin is a cross we all share in various degrees and in various ways, but through those crosses we come to God.

    Let us help the Pope in our little spheres by getting the teaching of the Catholic Church straight in our minds so that we do not add to confusion in the media.

  34. jacobi says:

    Jack,
    Re Voris, I grant you he is a bit direct and I’m sure he is not a strong believer in Conspicuous Compassion, and can be provoking, but that (latter) seems to be the in thing these days?
    He does, however, talk straight Catholicism, something that so many Catholics seem reluctant, or perhaps are just unable, to do, nowadays.

    Apparently he didn’t get clearance from his home diocese for some of his apologetics, Well I bet Belloc and Chesterton and Waugh didn’t either!

  35. Gratias says:

    Michael Voris makes good sense to me. His YouTube videos are very informative and will contribute to keeping the Faith. Hope he keeps up the good work.

  36. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: former ages having more measured popes with less misunderstandings by others —

    Ha ha ha ha! No.

    The popes who wrote and said the plainest teachings, and the popes who wrote and said the most legally exact and precise statements — they all got the same (or worse!) responses of media distortions, theologians finding crazy loopholes, lies, urban legends pulled out of butts, and general determination to mishear everything as exactly what the hearer wanted, or exactly what the hearer found most heretical.

    To a certain extent, popes should try to be clear. To another certain extent, they just have to leave it in the hands of God, because people love to get them wrong. Jesus apparently took this for granted, and just focused on making sure the Apostles understood Him correctly — but not completely even while He was still there, but later on, when the Holy Spirit came.

  37. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Jacobi said, “Apparently he didn’t get clearance from his home diocese for some of his apologetics, Well I bet Belloc and Chesterton and Waugh didn’t either!”

    As long as their publishers’ home diocese got an imprimatur or nihil obstat, that covered them for their written work. Oral apologetics have always been governed more by complaints stopping people after they make mistakes, rather than having to be permitted first.

  38. Nancy D. says:

    Supertradmom, Love is an experience, but only when we Love according to The True God, is that experience authentic. A Holy Man would not joke or imply that the contents of his black bag contain the plans for an atomic bomb, nor would he dismiss the destructive nature of engaging in same-sex sexual acts. We are in serious danger due to our lukewarmness. Time to wake up and ask God for forgiveness.

  39. Nancy D. says:

    Grace and Mercy come from God, but at the end of the Day, it is up to us to decide whether we will accept or reject God’s Salvational Grace and Mercy. The Sacrifice of The Cross, Is The Sacrifice of The Most Holy, The Blessed Trinity, “For God so Loved us that He sent His Only Son…” Do not let your heart be hardened like a pillar of salt.

  40. Jim says:

    Nancy D,
    “Love is an experience, but only when we Love according to The True God, is that experience authentic. “

    Love is not an experience, though love may be experienced. Love exists even when experiences do not. Love is a free act of the will.
    For if love is experience, then the following statements would be true:

    1. God did not love me before I was conceived, because I could not possibly experience His love.
    2. God did not love me when I, in my foolishness and ignorance, had felt that He had abandoned me.

    If the above statements were true, then God’s love for me would be imperfect and thus God would not be God, which is a contradiction.

  41. robtbrown says:

    Nancy D. says:
    Grace and Mercy come from God, but at the end of the Day, it is up to us to decide whether we will accept or reject God’s Salvational Grace and Mercy.

    Ever heard of Cooperating Grace?

  42. Supertradmum says:

    Nancy D and…Absolutely, Love is in the will. Anyone who comes to love in the will is not lukewarm, but in the perfect Will of God and therefore, loves with His love. I am not interested in experiences. I am only interested in God. If He remains hidden from me until I die, so be it. There is no difference in suffering or in love. At some point, one is completely detached from both. One no longer cares if one feels love. To be in Christ is all.

    However, I was referring to the grace of conversion, and gave examples of such. Remember, Mother Teresa was in the Dark Night of the Soul for almost 50 years. She did not experience God’s Love by her own words, but did great deeds out of suffering and detachment.

    Conversion is not the same as the walk to holiness. It is merely the beginning. I have over 40o posts on that subject on my blog.

    And, if you need help understanding grace, there are about 32 posts on grace on my blog. As Catholics, we are so blessed with understanding that we can reach out. But, as St. Paul said, many were converted because they saw how the Christians loved each other. That is key.

  43. jacobi says:

    Banshee,
    Re nihil obstat and imprimatur, have checked original GKC,” Everlasting Man”, publishers were then Congregationalists! More up to date, Crean, “A Catholic Replies”, nice publishers but no hint of imprimatur.

  44. Nancy D. says:

    To deny the truth about the human person, makes one an apostate to our Catholic Faith.

  45. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Love is an experience, but only when we Love according to The True God, is that experience authentic. A Holy Man would not joke or imply that the contents of his black bag contain the plans for an atomic bomb…”

    Love is an act of the will tending towards the Good. The will is a blind faculty. The will seeks the good, but it must be informed of what that good is. It is the function of the intellect to seek the Truth and since the Truth is the highest good, it is the function of the intellect to inform the will as to the good it should seek. Once the will is so informed, it propels one to actions. Thus, Faith and Charity are intimately linked. Now, the intellect, being darkened by sin, might choose an improper good and, thus, one loves badly. In the case of homosexual acts, the intellect has misidentified the place of the act as a good because it has some attributes of the true act, but not enough to render it acceptable within the Natural or Divine Law as bring part of the unitive nature of the Imago Dei which is a part of Man.

    Once the will propels to action, then experiences follow, but, strictly speaking, experience can only occur after the fact, not before, therefore, love cannot, of itself, be an experience. It was the flaw of some liberal Protestant theologians in the 1960’s to mass market the idea that love is a feeling, but feelings are the results of actions and feelings do not, necessarily, associate with the good of an act. Thus, sex outside of marriage leads to good feelings, but not an ordered good of relationship.

    “Jesus asks the man, “Who appointed Me your judge?” But the answer behind His rabbinical question is, “God did. And I will be the Judge of everyone at their deaths and at the end of time, not just you and your brother and your squabbles over inheritance.”

    let us look at the quote in context:

    “Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
    “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”
    He replied to him,
    “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”
    Then he said to the crowd,
    “Take care to guard against all greed,
    for though one may be rich,
    one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

    The point is more subtle than his waiting to judge us. The word, “judge,” in the original Greek is, krites, which while meaning, judge, can also mean to interpret or give an answer or reponse of genuiness. This is related to the word, hypokrites, from which we get hypocrite, which is a low or debased (false) genuiness. Greed is a form of hypokrites, since it falsely judges the worth of things. In fact, Jesus was teaching them to judge rightly, since, it was obvious, by the question the person asked in the crowd, that they put too much stock on his inheritance. In other words, “Who made me your judge, but if you would judge, rightly, avoid greed in all of its forms.”

    This is followed, immediately, by the teaching about considering the birds of the air, they neither reap nor gather into barns. In Matthew, this is in the Sermon on the Mount. In both places, it refers to trust in God. Thus, the teaching about the inheritance refers more to issues of trust than of judgement.

    The Chicken

  46. Supertradmum says:

    Good one, Chicken. I think the problem lies in the happy clappy Church which wants all people to feel good without real repentance. The numbers of people going into the Pentecostal churches, as in Brazil, are not called upon to reach up to the high bar of Catholicism. In fact, although basic truths are taught, these are not taught in an atmosphere of daily repentance, as “once saved, always saved” is the creed. But, the huge danger of chasing after experience is not only, as you clearly point out, following a crooked or horribly uninformed conscience, but listening to the lies of the Father of Lies, who watches our every move and waits to trip us up again and again.

    Which is why we need the Church, the sacraments, the clear teaching on ssa and so on. Thank God we have had saintly Popes and bright encyclicals as well as the CCC to guide us on our way.

    But, I still contend that all men and women, know what is right and wrong by natural law. If they chose to continually go against the urgings of the Holy Spirit in bringing them back to what is good and truthful, then they are choosing evil freely. For God gives grace to all people, to choose, all, whether in the Church or outside the Church. His call is to all, as Pope Francis noted over a month ago. God loves the atheist, and is calling him to Himself. God is calling every person with disordered desires, and calling them to Himself. Hopefully, each in our own way, can help those respond to God’s call to repentance.

  47. robtbrown says:

    The Masked Chicken says:

    Love is an act of the will tending towards the Good. The will is a blind faculty. The will seeks the good, but it must be informed of what that good is.

    The will is not blind, but it is inclined toward the good in general. And so in acts of the Speculative Intellect the will moves the intellect. Goodness and Being are convertible terms, so that the appetite of the will for the good moves the intellect to understand being–thus metaphysics.

    In acts of the practical intellect, sometimes the intellect moves the will (as you note above), but sometimes the will moves the intellect (e.g., the will desires a certain proximate end and moves he intellect to specify appropriate means).

  48. robtbrown says:

    Then when the intellect specifies appropriate means, if it moves the will, then there is consent.

  49. Supertradmum says:

    robrtbrown, thanks for picking that up. I saw it but went off on something else. The will is definitely not blind. The anti-intellectualism which has crept into the Church in the past 50 years has pulled many away from the idea of the intellect being informed by the virtue of understanding, as defined by Aquinas. Sigh, we really need to go back to Thomistic based education for even basic definitions.

    In fact, virtue based education inspires the intellect, as one notices if one home schools from that basis. People do not know that moral virtues need the intellect. Wisdom, for example, is a an intellectual virtue, that is, it perfects the intellect. Enough for now.

  50. Nancy D. says:

    Only God Is Perfect Goodness because The Blessed Trinity Is a Communion of Perfect Love. Our call to Holiness is a call to Love one another in communion with God which is why there is no such thing as a private relationship.

  51. The Masked Chicken says:

    “The will is not blind, but it is inclined toward the good in general. And so in acts of the Speculative Intellect the will moves the intellect.”

    I. normally, go into this in more depth, which is, perhaps, the source of confusion (I was summarizing a much longer discussion). The will seeks the good and in that sense, it motivates the intellect to do so, but it, does not, of itself, know what is the Good, by itself (in that sense, it is blind), otherwise, the intellect and will might perceive different goods. The will seeks the good; the intellect seeks the truth, motivated by the will since the truth is a great good. Once the intellect finds the good, the will motivates towards it (whether or not the truth or good is rightly perceived, it is, nevertheless, perceived as a good). I said nothing about motivation, directly, in my comment, above, but, when I said the will seeks the good, I used the word, “seek,” to refer both to object and means (seek implies motivate as well as wanting to know).

    It is possible for the will to both seek and be blind, just as a tree knows that it must have sunlight, but doesn’t know which direction to turn its leaves until informed by the infrared directional differential of energy emitted by sunlight.

    Of course, without the will backing it, there would be no speculative intellect, because speculation, by definition, is an act of contingency and contingency implies considering (an act of the will) different alternatives. The practical judgment is an act of singularity and the will engages once that singularity is known.

    So, it is possible for the will both to be blind and active. I am not making this distinction of my own. I read it in a theology text, somewhere, years ago. I would have to spend some time looking back at my notes. I did see an Internet site (unfortunately, of questionable moral soundness) that said:

    “Catholic philosophy teaches that the human will is a blind faculty which must be informed by the intellect as to what is good and what is bad. The intellect is that faculty of the soul by which it takes in reality. The intellect informs and commands the will with regard to the objects it should pursue.”

    Obviously, this notion is floating in the wind.

    St. Thomas alludes to this dual aspect of the will in ST I.2 Q8 Art. 3:

    “I answer that, Since the end is willed in itself, whereas the means, as such, are only willed for the end, it is evident that the will can be moved to the end, without being moved to the means; whereas it cannot be moved to the means, as such, unless it is moved to the end. Accordingly the will is moved to the end in two ways: first, to the end absolutely and in itself; secondly, as the reason for willing the means. Hence it is evident that the will is moved by one and the same movement, to the end, as the reason for willing the means; and to the means themselves. But it is another act whereby the will is moved to the end absolutely. And sometimes this act precedes the other in time; for example when a man first wills to have health, and afterwards deliberating by what means to be healed, wills to send for the doctor to heal him. The same happens in regard to the intellect: for at first a man understands the principles in themselves; but afterwards he understands them in the conclusions, inasmuch as he assents to the conclusions on account of the principles. ”

    He specifically mentions this dual aspect of the will motivating the intellect and the intellect informing the will in ST. I.2 Q9 art. 1:

    “The motion of the subject itself is due to some agent. And since every agent acts for an end, as was shown above (Question 1, Article 2), the principle of this motion lies in the end. And hence it is that the art which is concerned with the end, by its command moves the art which is concerned with the means; just as the “art of sailing commands the art of shipbuilding” (Phys. ii, 2). Now good in general, which has the nature of an end, is the object of the will. Consequently, in this respect, the will moves the other powers of the soul to their acts, for we make use of the other powers when we will. For the end and perfection of every other power, is included under the object of the will as some particular good: and always the art or power to which the universal end belongs, moves to their acts the arts or powers to which belong the particular ends included in the universal end. Thus the leader of an army, who intends the common good–i.e. the order of the whole army–by his command moves one of the captains, who intends the order of one company.

    On the other hand, the object moves, by determining the act, after the manner of a formal principle, whereby in natural things actions are specified, as heating by heat. Now the first formal principle is universal “being” and “truth,” which is the object of the intellect. And therefore by this kind of motion the intellect moves the will, as presenting its object to it.”

    In any case, a good general treatment of the will can be found in the Summa Theologica, I.2 Q 8 -17, so, if I missed something, a good treatment can be read, there, in place of my ramblings.

    The point of all of this is that love is not, a priori, an experience. The experience comes when the will acts and effects are generated.

    The Chicken

  52. robtbrown says:

    Masked Chicken,

    I usually made a point to students that the Summa Theologiae is not an Encyclopedia. Although there are certain things to be learned using it that way, it’s usually not adequate to really grasp a topic. And so I would recommend the first 21 Questions of IaIIae (yes, I had classes on it, and, yes, I have taught various parts of it)–esp. St Thomas’ concept of electio.

  53. The Masked Chicken says:

    The Summa is a summa, a summary, although it does use a type of Porphyrian tree approach to theology, so it is useful in a taxonomic sense of making differentiations.

    That said, the Old Catholic Encyclopedia, in its article on the will, speaks both to the idea of how experience affects the will and about the will being a blind faculty:

    “Will, like the cognitive powers, originates in and is developed by experience. This is expressed in the well-known Scholastic axiom, “Nil volitum nisi præcognitum” (Nothing can be willed which is not foreknown), taken in conjunction with the other great generalization that all knowledge takes its rise in experience: “Nil in intellectu quod non prius fuerit in sensu”. All appetition, according to this theory, emerges out of some conscious state, which may be anything from a clear and distinct perception or representation of an object, to a mere vague feeling of want or discomfort, without any direct representation either of the object or the means of satisfaction. The Aristotelean philosophers did not neglect or ignore the significance of this latter kind of consciousness (sometimes called affective). It is true that here, as in dealing with the psychology of other faculties, the Schoolmen did not attempt a genetic account of the will, nor would they admit continuity between the rational will and the lower appetitive states; but in their theory of the passions, they had worked out a very fair classification of the main phenomena–a classification which has not been substantially improved upon by any modern writer; and they showed their appreciation of the close connection between will and emotions by treating both under the general head of appetition. ”

    “The doctrine that will arises out of knowledge must not be pressed to mean that will is simply conditioned by knowledge, without in turn conditioning knowledge. The relation is not one-sided. “The mental functions interact, i.e. act reciprocally one upon another” (Sully) or, as Saint Thomas expresses it: “Voluntas et intellectus mutuo se includunt” (Summa theologiæ I.16.4 ad 1). Thus, an act of will is the usual condition of attention and of all sustained application of the cognitive faculties. This is recognized in common language. Again the Schoolmen were fond of describing the will as essentially a blind faculty. This means simply that its function is practice, not speculation, doing, not thinking (versatur circa operabilia). But on the other hand they admitted that it was an integral part of reason–according to the Scotists indeed, the superior and nobler part, as being the supreme controller and mover (“Voluntas est motor in toto regno animæ”, Scotus). It is also represented as ruling and exercising command (imperium) over the lower faculties. St. Thomas, however, with his usual preference for the cognitive function, puts the imperium in the reason rather than the will (imperium rationis). Hence arose disputes between the Thomists and other schools, as to whether in the last resort the will was necessarily determined by the practical judgment of the reason. The point, so hotly debated in the medieval schools, concerning the relative dignity of the two faculties, will and intellect, is perhaps insoluble; at all events it is not vital. The two interact so closely as to be almost inseparable. Hence Spinoza could say with some plausibility: “Voluntas et intellectus unum et idem sunt.”

    The Chicken

  54. robtbrown says:

    Masked Chicken,

    1. St Thomas’ ST is certainly a theological Summa and is organized as such (top down, or, as you say, a bit like Porphyr’s tree). The arguments, often are from the bottom up based in experience. Thus, Q 2 begins with God (cf theological), but then the arguments use a philosophical approach. In fact, even many of his theological arguments which are based in Revelation begin with a very concrete middle term.

    2. I don’t dispute the use of the metaphor “blind” when referring to the Will, but it lacks a certain precision because of the nature of the Will. If “blind” is used properly rather than metaphorically, theological voluntarism is a likely consequence, which was, IMHO, very much present in the Counter Reformation Church.

  55. The Masked Chicken says:

    Okay. We agree, then.

    The Chicken

  56. Nancy D. says:

    So we all agree that Pope Francis, by dismissing a homosexual inclination as an inclination that can be overcome through God’s Salvational Grace and Mercy, which helps us to develop Holy and healthy relationships and friendships that are grounded in authentic Love, is engaging in unjust discrimination against men and women who are suffering with a disordered sexual inclination and thus his election is invalid?

  57. Nancy D. says:

    See page 117 of the book On Heaven and Earth, where pope Francis dismisses the harmful and destructive nature of a same-sex sexual relationship which is private in nature, does not include children, and is not called marriage. Michael Voris is right. A group of persons, working within Christ’s Church have conspired to undermine the teaching of our Catholic Faith. They may or may not be masons, but there mission is still the same.

  58. robtbrown says:

    The Masked Chicken says:

    Okay. We agree, then.

    Yes and no.