I finally got the glacial site of the vile Italian daily La Repubblica to cough up the latest Franciscan interview… in Italian.
When I read in the English version that Pope allegedly said,
“The Son of God became incarnate in the souls of men to instill the feeling of brotherhood”,
I said to myself, “That can’t be right. Swap out brotherhood with something like ‘sisterhood’ and he sounds like an LCWR nun, and he is no fan of theirs or of their ‘female machismo’!” No! Allow me to amend. None of them would have said that. They’ve grown beyond Jesus and words like “son”. But you get my drift. The Second Person of the Trinity did not incarnate in the “souls of men”.
So… What Did The Pope Really Say? My emphasis.
Il Figlio di Dio si è incarnato per infondere nell’anima degli uomini il sentimento della fratellanza….
The Son of God was incarnate in order to instill in soul of men the feeling of brotherhood.
Perhaps better… “awareness… sense” of brotherhood?
I would like to take that “sentimento” in the Italian sense of “awareness”, but since Pope Francis is fundamentally a Spanish speaker, I don’t know what he meant by it here. I suspect we have to hear “sentimento/sentimiento” as “feeling”. Honestly, my Spanish isn’t quite strong enough yet to hear that possible nuance behind the Italian. In Italian I would have said something like, “consapevolezza”… or, now that I think of it, “senso”.
We have to be careful with the reports about what Francis said. We have to check the English version of the interview against the Italian.
I am sure there will be other examples.
In the meantime, the vile La Repubblica has this as a headline right now, filtered to you from a twit on Twitter:
“Questo Papa è il Rohani del Vaticano”… “This Pope is the Rohani of the Vatican”.
Yah… that’s right. Talk about not getting this at all.
From a reader:
Pope Francis–“Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them.”
Here, man “conceives” what is good or evil. Conceiving what is good or evil on an individual level is Moral Relativism.
Catholic Church in GS 16
16. In the depths of his conscience, man detects [Latin detegit] a law which he does not impose upon himself, but which holds him to obedience. Always summoning him to love good and avoid evil, the voice of conscience when necessary speaks to his heart: do this, shun that. For man has in his heart a law written by God; to obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged.(9) Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths.(10) In a wonderful manner conscience reveals that law which is fulfilled by love of God and neighbor.
Here, man “detects a law” in his conscience he must be “obedient” to. Conscience “reveals that law”, not “conceived” by each according to one’s liking.
How do we reconcile these things that seem to be in direct opposition?
It think you may be over analyzing this on the basis of the English alone.
What Did The Pope Really Say?
Ciascuno ha una sua idea del Bene e del Male e deve scegliere di seguire il Bene e combattere il Male come lui li concepisce….
Each person has his idea of Good and of Evil and he must choose to follow Good and combat Evil as he perceives / understands them…
In this case, Italian “concepire” is clear understood in the sense of “understand, believe, perceive”, maybe even “grasp” and not English “conceive” in the sense of making something up on one’s own, as in “devise”.
In English we can say that “he conceived a plan”, which is something that he comes up with. Otherwise, we can say that “he couldn’t conceive what she was rattling on about”, which means that he didn’t understand, couldn’t workout out what she was saying. Be careful of “false friends” in translation. Sometimes similar words do not have the same meaning or the same impact.
Let’s turn back to your citation of GS16 with that “detects”. Latin detego, detexi, detectum (compound of tego “to cover, hide”) is, in the first place, “to un-cover, lay bare” and also to “dis-cover, dis-close, de-tect”.
From Vatican website: In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose upon himself, but which holds him to obedience. Always summoning him to love good and avoid evil, the voice of conscience when necessary speaks to his heart: do this, shun that.
Latin (doesn’t hack up the sentence): In imo conscientiae legem homo detegit, quam ipse sibi non dat, sed cui obedire debet, et cuius vox, semper ad bonum amandum et faciendum ac malum vitandum eum advocans, ubi oportet auribus cordis sonat: fac hoc, illud devita.
Fr. Z: In the depths of conscience man discovers the law which he does not give to himself, but which he is obliged to obey, and whose voice, always summoning him to do good and to avoid evil, whenever it is necessary rings in the ears of the heart: do this, shun that.
There is juridical language: lex, advoco. However, the Holy Spirit is referred to in language both juridical and moral: Advocate, Counselor. Advoco can also mean “console” and the Holy Spirit is called Consoler.
I love the image GS16 invokes: the “law’s voice summons” us to obligations, to obedience, to action. It is as if we are, in the moment of “discovery” of the previously hidden evidence in the case, then placed before the bar in a moment of truth, when we are called to act justly and truthly in the face of the evidence that has been uncovered.
I don’t see much daylight between Francis’ “concepisce”, rightly understood, and the GS 16 detegit.