Symptoms of The Francis Effect™

We didn’t think this was going to happen?

Six months into this pontificate, and people are starting to go a little crazy.

For example, the Archbishop of Birmingham is talking about intercommunion with Anglicans, based on a document which dates back to 1993 and concerns the conditions necessary for intercommunion with the Eastern Orthodox.   (In other words, that document doesn’t apply.  One is an actual Church with valid sacraments and the other is neither.)

For example, in the Archdiocese of Freiburg, Germany, some minor chancery official usurped authority which was not his in order to outline a “policy” that would allow the divorced and remarried in the diocese to receive Communion.  (In other words, it remains entirely against the law and, whether he did it on his own or with the wink and nod of the diocese’s administrator, someone oughta get their backside paddled, and hard.)

Not helpful.

In some places, the Church’s teaching on doctrine and morals are out the window.

Real colors are being revealed.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you will be saying by now… ohhhh…. I know you too well…. “You are turning on Pope Francis!   We can tell.   NotonlydoyouhateVatican II, but all this fulsome support of Francis you gave over the last few months….”

No, dear readers.

If in some diocese in Germany or some diocese in England a minor official or a bishop does something that is … well… pretty weird or against the Church’s law, that in itself is not Francis’ fault.  I remind the readers that those bishops or officials were not appointed by Francis.  They weren’t told to do those things by Francis.

We will have to wait and see, with patience, what the CDF might do in response to crazy things that will be popping up from time to time.

Here’s the deal.

The new style of this Pope – which I admit I am not comfortable with when it comes to liturgical praxis – is going to tend to bring people’s true colors out.

Doesn’t it seem that way to you?

The SSPX is having a spittle-flecked nutty over in the selva oscura where they wander.  Liberals are dancing around like Gollum on the edge of the Crack of Doom.

SNAFU

Something about Pope Francis is disorienting.  In the disorientation, people are showing sides that they have otherwise been able more easily to keep under wraps.

I recommend the brewing of strong Mystic Monk Coffee as an antidote to both the nutty in the dark woods and the temptation of the “precious”.

Mystic Monk Coffee!

It’s swell.

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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59 Responses to Symptoms of The Francis Effect™

  1. pfhawkins says:

    “Something about Pope Francis is disorienting.”

    I agree. The “disorienting something” is what Pope Francis says, as well as the words he chooses to say them with.

  2. Janol says:

    Well, regarding the Archbishop of Birmingham, he’s speaking very, very tentatively and mentions conditions according to this article: http://kiwianglo.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/relaxation-of-r-c-rule-on-inter-communion-envisaged/

    It’s sad to note the Archdiocese has just sold a Catholic church to the Muslim community: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2013/10/17/birmingham-archdiocese-sells-church-to-muslim-community/

  3. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    A couple of months before his departure in the summer of 2012 as White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs chief, Cass Sunstein is reputed to have said, “After the Arab Spring, we will have the Vatican Spring.”

    Ah, Spring – vertente anno, eo tempore quo solent reges ad bella procedere (” the return of the year, at the time when kings go forth to war”: 2Kings/Samuel 11:1) – and not kings alone…

    Fr. Z, were you thinking, with due circumspection, of ut revelentur ex multis cordibus cogitationes (St. Luke 2:35)?

  4. Long-Skirts says:

    Fr. Z said:

    “The SSPX is having a spittle-flecked nutty”

    SACERDOS

    “They have abandoned the Fort, those
    who should have defended it.” (St. John Fisher)

    Who held the Fort
    Till the Calvary came
    Fighting for all
    In His Holy Name?

    Who fed the sheep
    As the pastures burned dry
    A few Good Shepherds
    Heeding their cry?

    Who led the charge
    Gainst heresy’s Huns
    Defending the degreed
    To His lowliest ones?

    Who battened down
    The hatch of the barque
    To warm cold souls
    From shivering-seas dark?

    “Who?” mocks Satan
    Delighting in doubt
    Fills you with questions
    Never lets you find out.

    “Hoc est enum
    Corpus meum…
    and for many…” who kept
    The dead words – Te Deum!

  5. mamajen says:

    I have noticed that people seem to feel emboldened to say whatever they want about Pope Francis or the Church, and I’m talking offline, not just in the Wild Wild West of the internet. It’s a little worrying, but hopefully things will settle down over time.

  6. The Drifter says:

    Have been reading the following and been wondering. After all, history can repeat itself.

    “18 And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much. 19 Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtilty, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal. 20 And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it. 21 And Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another. 22 And he said unto him that was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments. 23 And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but the worshippers of Baal only. 24 And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without, and said, If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him. 25 And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, and slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal. 26 And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them. 27 And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day. 28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. ” (2 Kings, 10: 18-28)

    [Amen. Well... that was cheery.]

  7. JonPatrick says:

    Doesn’t surprise me about the progressives coming out, but the SSPX strong statement did. I thought they would lie low if anything. The other day I called in to a Catholic radio show to defend them when the host referred to them as schismatic and sedevacantist. Now I’m left wondering what their true sentiments are.

  8. M.D. says:

    “Real colors are being revealed.”

    Somehow illuminating the human defects in all of us in the Church – from the highest to the lowest – on rare occasion the Holy Spirit may be offering an opportunity to see if one is standing with the sheep or goats. To see who has good will. To test faith and charity in the heart. Not for His sake….but for ours.

  9. Londiniensis says:

    All this about bringing out people’s true colours . It’s been tried. The Emperor Claudius’ strategy for saving Rome was, by his action and inaction, to “let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out”. It didn’t work.

  10. samwise says:

    the gollum image is really funny.

    but since he is only an individual, it’s a little misleading–unfortunately liberals are the majority throughout the world! The illusory effects of this site make things seem like traditionalists are a huge force in dioceses, etc. But the fact is, they aren’t–probably in the ballpark of 1% (including hierarchy). So. if Francis is speaking liberal lingo with sincerity, it must be for the greater good of the lost sheep of the house of Israel–not necessarily to bring them into traditionalist practice, but perhaps (as with my in-laws) get them to darken the doorstep of a church fish fry or something after spending years being brainwashed by CNN/MSNBC,etc
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage the to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference–Amen

  11. Gabriel Syme says:

    @ JonPatrick

    “host referred to them as schismatic and sedevacantist. Now I’m left wondering what their true sentiments are.”

    Hi there,

    Neither of the radio hosts accusations are accurate.

    That the SSPX are/were not schismatic was robustly confirmed (several times) by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, when he was head of the Ecclesia Dei commission.

    There was never any formal separation and only the Bishops of the Society were excommunicated for a period, due to ++Lefebvre taking a liberty and creating more Bishops than he had Papal permission for. The Priests of the SSPX, and the faithful who attend SSPX Churches, were never excommunicated.

    The Society is also not – and has never been – sedevacantist and indeed is consistently one of the harshest critics of the sedevacantist position.

    There is much misinformation about the SSPX, often through ignorance and misunderstanding but also through opponents using malicious gossip to defame them.

  12. robtbrown says:

    There were also the various comments by Abp Martini.

  13. Fr AJ says:

    It will be telling to see what, if anything, the CDF or CDW does when libs act out.

  14. Robbie says:

    I suppose you could argue that what we’re seeing now from the left wing of the Church is somewhat reminiscent of the period following VCII. Then, the left ran with the spirit of what was written and said and the Vatican was either too weak or unable to knock them back in line. Today, many on the left have begun to run with the spirit of the comments from the current Pope. As of yet, I haven’t seen any pushback, but I can always hope it’s coming.

  15. inexcels says:

    The new style of this Pope [...] is going to tend to bring people’s true colors out. Doesn’t it seem that way to you?

    Yep. I’ve had exactly that same thought.

    Crazy times lately. Perhaps God is saying, “Some of you thought you had endured the long night and were now beginning to come out into the daylight. You were wrong; a great storm lies on the horizon. There remains always much cleansing to be done.” Or something to that effect.

  16. anilwang says:

    It’s stuff like this (and the prospect of going back to the ICEL Missal) that makes me extremely nervous about the G8′s decentralization plans and the council on marriage. I pray for these councils to have wisdom and dedication to God not the world. I pray for wisdom on the part of our Pope, and hope that these blatant defiances convince the Pope that letting bishops councils do their own thing apart from the rest of the Church is a prideful form of clericalism that is poisonous to the Church, and that he would be negligent as Chief Shepherd to not protect his sheep from these betrayers of the faith.

  17. JonPatrick says:

    @Gabriel Syme – yes, what you said is basically what I said to the radio host, although not quite as articulately (I prefer the written over the spoken word when trying to make a point).

    I just wonder with the hard line they are taking now, whether in fact they may be going into schism.

  18. Kathleen10 says:

    Now I know how the mole in “Whack-a-mole” feels. In the states, we just had nicely confirmed for us that our own president is a petulant child who basically, hates conservatives and most Republicans. We have been “cast out” of our own government’s processes, and we are so foul in his eyes, we are not worthy to even have discussions with, nor for him to consider our concerns for so much as a moment. We are insignificant to the nth degree. Might as well not exist. And our fellow Americans, most of them we sadly see, agree with that sentiment, because, as they have been reminding us in various ways, “they won”.

    That is one reason why, at least in the states, this upheaval with a new pope, followed by all the hullaballoo over his thoughts, what changes he might make, what he does or doesn’t do, is very disorientating in itself, and we feel it keenly. Few things are certain anymore. I find myself in a definite minority in a world that appears to be if not outright rejecting my preferences, at the least shoving them into a little corner where they must wait patiently to find out if they are allowed to exist at all.
    Nonetheless, I am beginning to regard all this with some detachment. I agree with inexcels that “a great storm is on the horizon”. Every sphere seems to scream it. Prayer. I am trying to develop my prayer muscles, sadly underused, but they are improving. I feel absolutely certain of nothing else but that Jesus will not leave us orphaned, and that at some point He will return and set things right, or I will die before that happens and be with Him in paradise. That is my entire hope. When it comes to the human realm I have no further illusions.

  19. Jean Marie says:

    Kathleen10 — perfectly said. I agree with everything you say. This is what we faithful, conservative Catholics in the USA have to deal with. Dark times are here but we all ready know who the victor is.

  20. Pingback: Pope Francis Frenzy - BigPulpit.com

  21. Robbie says:

    I hope Father Zuhlsdorf might provide some thoughts on a comment the Pope made during a speech/homily today. He said, “Are we sacristy Christians? Christians in name who live like pagans?” To my ear, this sounds like yet another shot across the bow of traditionalists. Already the Pope has said the TLM can become an ideology so is he saying allegiance to the old Mass cuts out Jesus in favor of the comfort of a rite or ritual? The quote also sounds reminiscent of a phrase from the 1960′s and 1970′s, sacristy priests.

  22. TimG says:

    Kathleen10 – very well said!

  23. GOR says:

    Yes, some things about Pope Francis are unsettling to many of us – which may not be a bad thing. I suspect St. Francis himself would have unsettled many of us also. Some people criticize Pope Francis for ‘many words’ but ‘few actions’ – which may be unfair as I’m sure much is going on behind the scenes of which we are unaware.

    One thing that has struck me has been the appointment of bishops. Talking about careerism he said bishops should remain in their original dioceses of appointment and not seek ‘promotion’ to more notable sees. I think he mentioned that bishops should ‘be wedded’ to their dioceses.

    Based on that, one would expect that most episcopal appointments would be of ‘newly minted’ bishops. Yet from cursory glances at the Bolletino it seems to me that the majority of appointments made entail moving bishops from one diocese to another. A distacco between words and actions – or has the Congregation for Bishops not caught up with the Holy Father as yet…?

  24. Midwest St. Michael says:

    I have prayed about posting this. I have deleted it twice. Third time’s a charm? This is the first time I have commented about the Pope’s, um, “sayings”, anywhere.

    Pope Francis: ‘Becoming A Disciple of Ideology Closes the Door to Faith’:
    Warns of the Dangers of Ideological Thought in Christianity During Morning Mass

    http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-becoming-a-disciple-of-ideology-closes-the-door-to-faith

    During his homily at Mass in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis warned of the danger of “becoming a disciple of ideology” which he said can lead one to lose their faith. The Holy Father based his homily on today’s Gospel which recounts Christ’s warning to the scholars of the law.

    “When we go down the path and find in front of us a closed Church, we feel strange because a closed Church is not understood,” the Pope said. “The Lord who is inside cannot come out.” This image of the closed Church, he explained, is given by Jesus in today’s Gospel. The Holy Father also explained why many Christians fall into this “attitude of ‘key in pocket’ and closed door.”

    “Faith passes, so to speak, through an alembic (distillery) and becomes an ideology. And ideology does not convene. In ideology there is no Jesus: his tenderness, love, meekness. And ideologies are always rigid,” the Pope said.

    “In every sense: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of ideology, they have lost the faith: they are no more a disciple of Jesus, they are a disciple of this attitude of thought, of this…” And for this reason Jesus says to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge’. The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these closed the door with so many requirements.”

    The Holy Father continued his homily saying that ideology within the Church only serves to alienate people. “These Christian ideologies are a grave sickness!” he exclaimed. However, he noted, this sickness is not something that is relatively new, but spoken of by the apostles, particularly St. John, during the time of the early Church.

    “Christians who lose the faith and prefer ideology become rigid, moralists, ethicists, but without goodness. But this may be the question, no? Why does a Christian become that way? What happens in the heart of that Christian, that priest, of that bishop, of that Pope, that makes them that way. It is simply one thing: that Christian does not pray. And if there is no prayer, you will always close the door.”

    Emphasizing the importance of prayer in Christian life, the 76 year old pontiff, saying that without it, a Christian witness becomes a witness full of pride. Ideological Christians, he said, become proud, sure of themselves and lacking humility. The Holy Father however made the distinction of true prayer and the mere recitation of prayers, a distinction made by Christ who rebuked the doctors of the law who prayed so as to be seen. “It is one thing to pray and another to recite prayers,” the Pope said.

    Concluding his homily, Pope Francis called on the faithful to ask the Lord for several graces in avoiding this ideological path. “First, to not cease to pray, to not lose faith, to remain humble. So that we will not become closed, which closes the path to the Lord.”

  25. JuliB says:

    I would take sacristy Christians to be CINOs – clothed in pious attitudes and patting themselves on the back for not missing a Mass in 10 years, while not being profitable servants like the Gospel reading last week (or so).

    So someone who does just the bare minimum – only that which is required of us, but living in the world.

    Nothing anti-trad about it unless one insists on interpreting it that way.

  26. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Okay, some questions about this paragraph from the above Zenit article:

    “Christians who lose the faith and prefer ideology become rigid, moralists, ethicists, but without goodness. But this may be the question, no? Why does a Christian become that way? What happens in the heart of that Christian, that priest, of that bishop, of that Pope, that makes them that way. It is simply one thing: that Christian does not pray. And if there is no prayer, you will always close the door.”

    I, too, am becoming confused. If I follow/teach/believe everything the Church teaches (Bible, Catechism, etc.) on faith and morals does this make me a “rigid moralist”? Isn’t this one reason Jesus name Simon “Kepha” (Rock)? so he would not compromise to the ideological thought(s) of the day?

    So-called “liberal/progressive” Catholics love to toss the terms “rigid” and “moral absolutists” at those who espouse a traditional Catholic mindset – even calling them modern day Pharisees. Can somebody help me with what Holy Father Francis is saying with the above (not to mentionother parts of the article)?

    MSM

  27. The Astronomer says:

    Sandro Magister has an interesting article entitled the “Martini Pontificate.”

    http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350623?eng=y

    When someone, right, left or center, asks me what I think about Pope Francis, I just recite the Creed.

    I don’t have a dog in the fight for the Church’s direct governance. The Good Lord Jesus has seen fit to put other people in those roles. My sole goal in life is to die in the state of sanctifying grace, with the Blessed Sacrament as Viaticum on my tongue.

  28. anilwang says:

    Robbie says: ‘He said, “Are we sacristy Christians? Christians in name who live like pagans?” ‘

    One problem with much of what Pope Francis says is that it can be interpreted in many ways. Someone reading it with the hermeneutic of continuity would interpret this as being consistent with Cardinal Arinze’s rhyme “Paddy Smith always went to Mass. He never missed a Sunday. But, Patty Smith went to hell, for what he did on Monday.”

    Someone reading it with a hermeneutic of rupture would read it as saying “mass is a distraction from the REAL WORK OF SOCIAL JUSTICE”.

    Which hermeneutic did he intend? I honestly can’t say (especially since the Jesuit vow has far fewer liturgical obligations than other religious orders, so Pope Francis doesn’t have much care for the Liturgy). But you will know them by their fruits and how we handles these defiant bishops, what decision he makes WRT the G8 and curial restructuring, and what comes out of the Family Synod will be clear fruits that can be judged.

    For the record, if the hermeneutic of rupture was intended, it’s not an attack on Traditionalists, it’s an attack on a core Catholic dogma. Mother Teresa (which I don’t believe ever went to a TLM) mandated that all volunteers and Sisters go to mass and pray every day, no matter how hectic it got, since their work was impossible without God’s Grace and anyone in that work would burn out quickly without God’s Grace.

  29. GKH says:

    Francis: Pope Without Borders!

  30. Stu says:

    Not only do you have the fringe elements going to extremes but you have even a third group in the middle who are overreacting to the fringe.

    Thanks, Father. You remain a steady hand on the stick in turbulent air.

  31. SimonDodd says:

    Certainly “[t]hey weren’t told to do those things by Francis.” But they would beg to differ. They would say that Francis told them to do it by example; he is leading by example, and Francis “told” them to do it in the same way that Benedict “told” people to do Mass better—by example. They would say that Francis told them to do it in the subtext of what he has said; we are being woodenly-literal, they would say, in ignoring the obvious implications of what he is saying. Now, perhaps it’s true that they are simply showing their own colors, and that Francis is simply giving them pretext to do so. But how does that get Francis off the hook? He is, nevertheless, at least giving them pretext and cover, and arguably encouragement, for no good reason, and it’s reasonable to fault him for it.

  32. Gaetano says:

    I say this with great reserve, but I believe that Pope Francis is a fool.

    He is orthodox. He is a Holy Fool. He may even be a Fool for Christ, but still a fool.

    I fear that his impromptu remarks are open to great misuse, and that his failure to be more circumspect is hurtful to many.

  33. jacobi says:

    Yes Father, There are some strange things going on in Christ’s Mystical Body these days.

    The Birmingham Archbishop (UK?) is getting a little bit confused. Not unusual these days with Archbishops, in UK anyway. Don’t know about your side of the pond?
    The document for him is not from 1993, but from 1558, the Act of Supremacy, when the Anglican ecclesial body was declared Protestant with Elizabeth as its head. This placed Elizabeth and any who followed her, outside the Catholic Church and in a position of heresy. This is true today.

    As for the minor official in Freiburg, well, he’s just that. The reality is that divorced and remarried people are in an objective state of mortal sin and may not receive Holy Communion. Mark you, all the more reason why they should attend Mass, in hope, to receive the Graces therefrom.

    ps I like the Holy Father’s latest statement today re the Catholic Church.

    “she accomplishes in history the mission which Christ entrusted to the apostles: making disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them his commands.”

    So, get out there and evangelise!

  34. robtbrown says:

    I wonder whether he includes in “Sacristy Christians” those who have been on the front lines fighting against abortion and unnatural marriage–those same people who think his comments have undercut their years of work.

    When I hear that he has criticized Karl Rahner, I’ll start to pay attention.

  35. SimonDodd says:

    Rob, you mean those people who have been busy “obsess[ing]” about those things? Those people who have been on the front lines of issues about which it is “not necessary to talk … all the time”? No, I doubt he includes them as “Sacristy Christians,” which, in context, I take to be a slur against those who care about the liturgy. Those Christians, by contrast, the ones who are out working through social teaching, who are going out into the world, are doing what he wants, they’re just talking too much about about the wrong things. It’s funny, you know, there have been a lot of comparisons raised between Francis and Barack Obama, and whereas both men and their fans would doubtless wish to see them described as a uniter not a divider (so to speak), there is often a bitter, petulant, and pugilistic undertone to their comments. Francis seems to go out of his way to lard these interviews with little jabs at whoever has annoyed him this week.

  36. yatzer says:

    Lately I’ve been feeling as though I dropped through a time warp into the 1970′s, except I still have arthritis, presbyopia, and need an orthotic in my shoes.

  37. LarryW2LJ says:

    Kathleen10

    Bravo! You have put into words how I feel exactly, also.

    Thank you so much.

  38. Imrahil says:

    I would take sacristy Christians to be CINOs – clothed in pious attitudes and patting themselves on the back for not missing a Mass in 10 years, while not being profitable servants like the Gospel reading last week (or so). – So someone who does just the bare minimum – only that which is required of us, but living in the world.

    Seems a fitting enough explanation.

    Only in that case, instead of demoralizing reproaches, could you please just tell us what exactly to do? (After all, “Tears will make never you suceed, it’s joy to create one has a need”, as Theodor Fontane – forgive the lumpy translation – once put it.)

  39. Imrahil says:

    (Yes, I live in the world.

    As do all people who are not monks. And, frankly, it was not eagerness to work even more and be even more troubled which made us not choose or not yet choose a religious vocation.)

  40. prayerisouronlyhope says:

    Kathleen10

    As you can see from the posts, you are not alone!

    There are many of us who feel exactly as you do.

  41. Muv says:

    Janol,
    Having clicked on the link about the church being sold to Muslims, I feel slightly sick. That is the parish my mum grew up in.

    Anilwang,
    Mother Teresa was born in 1910. The number of TLMs she would have attended would be in the thousands.

    Pope Francis seems to have the disconcerting habit of intentionally throwing pearls before swine. I cannot fathom out his predilection for public discourse with atheist editors in the secular press. Totally pointless. A bit like publishing knitting patterns in GQ. The readers can’t even cast on.

  42. Traductora says:

    “In the disorientation, people are showing sides that might have been easier to keep under wraps.”

    I think that’s one of the most interesting observations I have read regarding Pope Francis. The strange thing is that I have always felt that St Francis may have been somewhat similar, and that the Franciscans who evangelized the Americas may also have shared this. They tolerated a lot of dubious although not immoral behavior from the Indians they wished to convert (that is, traditional practices that weren’t Christian but weren’t harmful). But at the same time, they were out there preaching about sin and pressing flaming brands to themselves to demonstrate the effects of sin and Hell.

    Maybe that’s why he took the name Francis. And he certainly is having the effect of revealing a lot of things about people’s attitudes, and possibly even making the possessors of these attitudes examine themselves. That said, I don’t think liberals ever give their attitudes a second thought, and they’ll just assume that he’s wrong because they simply take their attitudes for granted as what “everybody” thinks. Still, a priest in my parish who I thought was hopelessly liberal and burned out seems to have taken a look at himself and something in him has revived, so who knows?

  43. RobW says:

    Now I’m going to have to dig out my Lord of the Rings dvds…will be thinking about liberals when Gollum dances from now on.

  44. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: “sacristy Christians,” this sounds like another idiomatic expression. But I don’t really need to know exactly what it means, because the homily tells me what the point is.

    Am I a Catholic who lives like a pagan, righteous or otherwise?
    Yes/No.

    Do I pray?
    Yes/No.

    If you don’t live like a pagan, and you pray, then obviously you aren’t a “sacristy Christian,” whatever that is. If you don’t pray; or if you don’t live like God is a real being Who deserves your love, conversation, attention, and obedience, then maybe you need to work on your prayers and your life.

    Sometimes, it doesn’t matter what all else is in the lecture. What matters is the action statement.

  45. robtbrown says:

    Anilwang

    For the record, if the hermeneutic of rupture was intended, it’s not an attack on Traditionalists, it’s an attack on a core Catholic dogma. Mother Teresa (which I don’t believe ever went to a TLM) mandated that all volunteers and Sisters go to mass and pray every day, no matter how hectic it got, since their work was impossible without God’s Grace and anyone in that work would burn out quickly without God’s Grace.

    I heard Mother Teresa say in an interview that she had wanted the liturgy of her sisters to be in Latin, but she was told no.

  46. robtbrown says:

    yatzer says:
    Lately I’ve been feeling as though I dropped through a time warp into the 1970?s, except I still have arthritis, presbyopia, and need an orthotic in my shoes.

    Bull’s eye! This is about what I often heard in the 70′s.

    I wonder who he thinks his audience is. Is it the priest who has three parishes because of the shortage? Or the monk who gets up at 5:00am everyday, and in the winter, shivers in choir? Or the theology professor who is trying to teach students who have been poorly prepared (thanks to the inaction of his fellow members of the hierarchy)? Or the women who spend days working for Right to Life or Birthright? Or the Catholic journalists who have written articles trying to preserve some semblance of Catholic morality in Western Civilization?

  47. Minnesotan from Florida says:

    Muv (re your reply to Anilwang),

    Doesn’t it seem obvious that Anilwang meant in his or her assertion about Mother Teresa that Mother Teresa never attended a TLM AFTER THE NOVUS ORDO WAS INSTITUTED? The sort of interpretation exemplified by your (in my opinion) misguided criticism of Anilwang is what is wrong with all the hullabaloo about Pope Francis. To use a wonderful expression I met somewhere in the blogosphere, those who carp about Pope Francis do not allow him the leeway of “conversational hyperbole.”

  48. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Suburbanshee, thank you very much! That was some meat on the table.

    I do have the question though, what do you mean by the difference between a Christian and a righteous pagan that is not covered by your second question, viz. the fact that he prays (and, by implication, believes)?

    Of course I assume our – anyway rather theoretical – righteous pagan to follow the entire natural law. He sins, but then so does the Christian.

  49. Lin says:

    @Kathleen10……..When it comes to the human realm I have no further illusions. Could not have said it better!

    This is the first time in my entire life that I have felt so completely out of touch with the culture! It was a tragic moment when we elected the current president but when we re-elected him, it proved that we had truly lost our way! Last year at this time, our parish was assigned a blatant progressive pastor! AND then Pope Benedict resigned! I am not anti-Vatican II. I am not anti-Pope Francis. But I believe that we suffer from the unintended consequences of BOTH! Vatican II introduced relativism into the Church by the endless debate on who can be saved! And replacing catechism classes with love fests! Pope Francis is trying to entice non-practicing Catholics back into the Church, but instead his ambiguity is leading many to believe that the rules are changing.

    I am trying hard not to be crazy and retain my peace but it is difficult! It helps a lot to know I am not alone! God bless you all!

  50. robtbrown says:

    Maybe the Church would be better off if Karl Rahner had been a Sacristy Christian.

  51. Lin says:

    @robtbrown……..Maybe he was!

  52. robtbrown says:

    Minnesotan from Florida says:

    Muv (re your reply to Anilwang),

    Doesn’t it seem obvious that Anilwang meant in his or her assertion about Mother Teresa that Mother Teresa never attended a TLM AFTER THE NOVUS ORDO WAS INSTITUTED?

    My impression from what I heard in the interview with her was that if given the choice, it would have been the TLM.

  53. TNCath says:

    This was a well written post, Fr. Z.

    I think you are correct about your comment about “[t]he new style of this Pope – which I admit I am not comfortable with when it comes to liturgical praxis – is going to tend to bring people’s true colors out.” It already has. Let’s not forget that the “lex orandi, lex credendi” principle applies to the Holy Father as well. Oremus pro Pontifice.

  54. John Nolan says:

    Archbishop Longley of Birmingham is usually fairly sound but really, what is the point of ARCIC? Anglican Orders will never be recognized now they have priestesses. The fact that Canon Law does not allow me to take Communion at an Anglican service causes me no ‘hurt’ or ‘pain’ whatsoever. If Anglicans want to be in communion with us, the door is always open, and the Ordinariate makes it even easier.

  55. LadyMarchmain says:

    Anilwang, Mother Teresa was once asked what she considered the most damaging and terrible thing in the contemporary world. She thought for a moment and then replied, “Communion in the hand.”

    robtbrown, you are correct about Mother Teresa’s wishes.

  56. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    MSM asked (earlier today) for help in making sense of certain remarks of Pope Francis, quoted in the Zenit article.

    MSM, I liked reading the article and was glad that you posted it. MSM, we look to the example of the great saints for a roadmap of how the Christian life should be lived “on the ground,” right now, today. And the great saints did accomplish great things, inspired multitudes of conversions, overcame terrible obstacles to bring the Good News to remote and hostile regions, and worked many other prodigies and wonders. But the great saints themselves would tell you, that the Christian life is not about works and wonders, nor is it about rules and protocols; it is about Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

    The great saints have been passionately devoted to Jesus *personally*. They did not accomplish these great things because they wanted to make names for themselves, but because they wanted to make Jesus better known and loved. They would, as the saying goes, “run through a brick wall for” Him. In short, they loved Him very, very much.

    Which is really all He wants from us – our love. Three things last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love, Saint Paul tells us. Love is what drove the men and women whom the Church holds up as examples to follow.

    If you haven’t done so lately, MSM, please read and pray over 1 Corinthians 13. It’s all there. May God bless you!

    - Marion

    Love. Jesus. Simple.

  57. Boniface says:

    At this point, having paid attention almost daily and having weathered several rounds of the storms of liberal media obfuscation and wishful thinking, I am completely convinced that the man who was elected Pope in March is nothing less than a soundly orthodox, traditionally pious Catholic.

    I think what he means by ideological Christians are those who reduce the faith to a set of mere rules and obligations. Or of using the faith in service of some other agenda, rendering it subservient to it. He certainly cannot mean those who follow the Church’s teachings on morality faithfully. However he is pointing out that the faith is an encounter with the living God who demands that we give our entire hearts to him as well as carry out every detail faithfully. That’s in the gospel!

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