What the cover of Rolling Stone reveals

Yes, yes… we know that Rolling Stone, which recently featured on its cover the photo of the Boston Marathon terrorist, has now jumped onto the Pope Francis bandwagon.

The real take away from this is that, while Rolling Stone and other liberal outlets go gaga for The Wonderfullest Pope Ehvur (because they think he has abolished the Church’s teaching on homosexuality), other liberals are not so keen. For example, here is the cover of Der Spiegel right now:

Predictably, it’s about sex.

Furthermore:

Not very nice.

The editor of Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter), Tom Fox, nearly has an embarrassing moment of ecstasy in his commentary on the cover of the Rolling Stone.

Pope Francis continues to take the world by storm. His latest media triumph, a cover story on, yes, the Rolling Stone this week.

“The Times They Are A-Changin’: ?Inside the Pope’s gentle revolution,” is a 7,700-word profile by contributing editor Mark Binelli, who writes, “In less than a year since his papacy began, Pope Francis has done much to separate himself from past popes and establish himself as a people’s pope.”

In the last few months Francis has appeared on the covers of Time (“Person of the Year”),  The New Yorker, The Advocate (“The Person of the Year”), and Vanity Fair (Italian issue), among a dozen or more others — to say nothing about Catholic publications such as America and the National Catholic Reporter(Of course). [Such prestigious journals!]

The real climax of the NSR piece comes when Fox quotes the Stoner‘s bashing of Pope Benedict:

After the disastrous papacy of Benedict, a staunch traditionalist who looked like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and menacing teenagers in their nightmares, Francis’ basic mastery of skills like smiling in public seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic.

Don't be fooled. He's not really smiling.

Smiling in public!  No Pope ever smiled in public before Francis!  Ehvur!

What, however, is the take away from the Rolling Stone thingy?

Yes, yes… we know that Pope Francis is pretty popular with the essentially uncritical MSM and the essentially non-practicing, rank-and-file un-churched Catholic.  Perhaps you have met a few people who say, “Oh, I don’t believe what the Church teaches, but I really like this Pope!”  We will continue to see lots of mainstream praise for Francis.

I am waiting to see whether The Francis Effect™ brings true conversions in its wake.  Time will tell.  I sincerely hope so.

Meanwhile, you won’t see praise for Francis from the feminists.  You won’t see praise for Francis from the LCWR types.

Pope Francis is not about to change the Church’s doctrine and discipline in substantive matters.  He can’t change doctrine, of course.   This has already started to dawn on elements of the ‘c’atholic Left.

He isn’t going to approve of homosexual sex…. ehvur.  He isn’t going to ordain a woman… ehvur.

Eventually the different lefty factions will turn on each other over Francis.  Some on the Left will continue to coo over Pope Fluffy (who – as they imagine – doesn’t demand conversion from their various life-choices).  Others on the Left, will get angrier and angrier that Pope Francis isn’t conforming to their expectations.  They will start demanding that the other, supportive side of the Left, start criticizing the Pope with them.

Francis is dividing the Left.

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52 Responses to What the cover of Rolling Stone reveals

  1. ClavesCoelorum says:

    The Spiegel… a disgusting publication. The very first words of their article in the image Father posted are already false. I cannot stand this magazine. They have probably run four or five articles on the Church on their website recently, and all of them are horrible.

  2. McCall1981 says:

    The Rolling Stone piece is one of the most disgusting articles I have ever read.

    What are the “not very nice” Der Spiegel articles about? They’re critical of Francis?

  3. ClavesCoelorum says:

    McCall1981, the Spiegel’s article on the front page is entitled “The Pope and the damn sex — Vatican survey on the gap between Church and faithful”. They aren’t exactly critical of him… although I believe they’re slowly noticing he’s a Catholic. The second Spiegel image Father posted (with Pope Francis walking up St Peter’s Square) says: “Challenged: Faithful from around the world could rate the Church’s morals on sexuality in a recent Vatican survey. The results are devastating – and a challenge to Francis: Can the Pope reform the Church , or does he leave it at cheap slogans?”

  4. ChrisRawlings says:

    They lie about Pope Benedict when they portray him as some rightist reactionary
    They lie about Pope Francis when the call him some revolutionary liberal. And a segment of traditionalist Catholicism all too willing embrace those lies. The truth is that each is a bold, at times prophetic, shepherd, pointing a world gone mad to our Savior.

    The survey of German Catholics in Der Spiegel is amazing. Maybe it is inaccurate, but if true, orthodox Catholicism is like Orthodox Judaism in America–very marginal in terms of numbers. I don’t doubt that such a future may be on our doorstep here in America, if we arent already there.

    Why bother with Rolling Stone? I pray for them, but I darn well won’t read them. It almost reminds me of the Gospel account yesterday. They said that our Lord was working for satan, and now they’re saying it about His Vicar, our Pope. Surprised? Yeah, not so much.

  5. disco says:

    In what way was the papacy of Benedict XVI disastrous?

    I can’t stand it that quotes like that get tossed around and no one challenges it. To me the only disastrous part of his papacy is that it’s over.

  6. Patrick-K says:

    Der Spiegel is pretty awful, basically the New York Times or the Guardian of Germany.

  7. gracie says:

    “Pope Francis is not about to change the Church’s doctrine and discipline in substantive matters.”

    He doesn’t have to with so many bishops doing it instead.

  8. NBW says:

    Papacy of Benedict XVI “disastrous”? Perhaps it was for liberals. It makes me nervous to see the MSM praising Pope Francis so much.

  9. Polycarpio says:

    It is true enough that the Pope is dividing the Left exactly as Father posits. But, that’s an incomplete picture if we leave it at that. He’s also dividing the Catholic right, and you need only lightly peruse the posts here to realize that. I think John Allen has it right that Francis is a pope of the center, with a fairly pragmatic sense of mood of the hour. To be honest with you, I don’t think the Pope is understood by either the Left or the Right, and those who are constantly looking for an angle on the Holy Father, invariably miss what he’s trying to say, which always seems fairly obvious to people like me.

  10. whitewings says:

    I was impressed by what an older Bishop said on the retreat I went on in the autumn. “Both sides will fail to get hold of Francis, because he isn’t playing their games. He’s not going to take the Church back to where it was before Vatican II which won’t please the traditionalists. He’s not going to make sweeping doctrinal changes, which won’t please the progressives. What he’s going to do it love both sides to death till they give in and start talking to each other. Neither side knows what to do about that, because they aren’t much into listening to each other, and they aren’t much into loving each other either.” Everything I’ve seen of Pope Francis makes me think this Bishop was completely right. As to whether he’ll succeed …. well. Only the Holy Spirit knows.

  11. McCall1981 says:

    @whitewings,
    Where’s the part where he starts loving the traditionalists? All I’ve seen from him so far in regards to traditionalists are snide, disparaging remarks and negative stereotyping.

  12. Darren says:

    Didn’t they used to say that Pope John Paul II was the pope of the people? Now he is just another one of those “evil traditionalist” popes of the past according to the liberal MSM. They used to praise him. They will turn on anyone at any time if they feel it will benefit their viewpoint. Yep, they will eventually realize that Pope Francis is really Catholic and therefore their enemy as well. They may wait until after his death to completely turn on him (like they did to JPII), but they will turn.

    It is interesting to see how Pope Francis is dividing the left, but is he truly dividing the right? Much of the left is so far left that they are all on the outside looking in. However, the only division of the right is the separation of the right that has established themselves as their own magisterium and of an authority that does not need the Pope (therefore on the outside looking in), from the faithful right that remains obedient to the Supreme Pontiff and is faithful to the church which has among its saints some who suffered greatly by being obedient to the authority (to the Pope, other Bishop, Superior etc. …even unjustly as did St. Pio of Pietrelcina); suffered to the point they have been named among the saints in heaven. Our Lord regards obedience as greater than sacrifice.

    Rolling Stone, what a disgrace.

  13. Supertradmum says:

    Not too long ago, our popes were respected across the Western World. How sad……..

  14. Uxixu says:

    Rolling Stone is trash and has been for years, if not ever when it fails to stick to music and is only marginally much better at other mass media entertainments, but politics and religion is outside of any such

    I definitely am… puzzled by some of what Holy Father Francis says, though I’m always wary of the context and translation and plain agenda of most of the agencies (mis)reporting his words. I so very much regret beloved Holy Father Benedict XVI couldn’t maintain his papacy. That said, I could see Pope Francis doing some things that Pope Benedict would not. I can’t see Francis ever embracing the Extraordinary Form unfortunately , for example, but I could see him helping the Church realize the true “spirit of Vatican II” and Sacrosanctum Concilium’s emphasis on a Latin Ordinary of the Mass in the Ordinary Form. Possibly down the road some and not right away. On the secular world’s “controversial” issues , he will continue to be a Son of the Church while emphasizing virtues such more than the rebuking of sin. I would much prefer he balance the two while not neglecting either.

  15. Robbie says:

    I sat down to read the Rolling Stone story but quit after six or seven paragraphs when the writer called Benedict’s papacy disastrous and said he was a staunch traditionalist. Regardless, I continue to believe we shouldn’t hold our breaths waiting for the liberal media to turn on Francis. In my opinion, they’re just not going to do it. In him, they see someone who can radically transform the ethos of the Church through his public comments and his appointments to the College of Cardinals. I’m sure many wish he’d change doctrine, but I get the sense they’d be just as happy if he effectively sidelined it.

  16. Imrahil says:

    Well… the Spiegel is the Spiegel.

    The Spiegel stands principally on a Church-critical, un-Catholic position. One has to know that and one does know it. That does not mean it is not interesting. Rudolf Augstein (Spiegel founder) found it necessary to go into a bit of dilettante theology, remarking sadly that “can we live without religion? we seem to have to; religion in the Christian sense [...] can not be replaced, not even by the non-Christian religions” (intended sense: but we still have to do without)… Here’s an unbeliever speaking. And whatever be best for one to hold personally (there’s only one really good thing anyway, the true Faith): for discussion this is more profitable, and for one’s own faith less dangerous, than those of the “compromize-the-Faith” side.

    The same Rudolf Augstein said at some point that he says the same thing as all the theologians of the now (then?) fashionable sort – meaning Bultmann and company – says, only he openly admits it and they hide themselves in a nebula of ununderstandability. (no accurate quote, but I think I’m getting the sense). Well… forgive me but… touché. Touché indeed.

    Thus from what our reverend host repeatedly says, I would rather read the Spiegel than the National Catholic Reporter. And they do have some technical journalist quality. Also they seem to have treated the Bishop of Limburg (slightly) more fairly than the Frankfurter Allgemeine has done. The FAZ of all papers (for it is among the more conservative newspapers in Germany) – but Francfort belonging to the diocese of Limburg, there seems to have been a personal involvement.

    That said, they critizise the Catholic Church. They deny the badness of fornication and contraception. This is their position and, thus, to be expected – and with that position, alas, they are not alone in Germany.

  17. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    Der Spiegel, which was founded in 1947, has its entire archive online. See http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/index-1947.html

    The magazine published a long, fawning obituary in 1958 extolling Pope Pius XII. See http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/index-1958-42.html

    You can see how the magazine’s tone, style, and editorial policies/outlook (along with legions other of established magazines, including religious ones, in the West) gradually changed during the 1960s. To borrow a line from David Horowitz, they stopped covering the left and became part of the left.

  18. Mandy P. says:

    I don’t remember when I didn’t consider Rolling Stone to be a trashy magazine. I have to say that comparing Pope Emeritus Benedict to Freddy Krueger was just…..special. Apparently, the folks at the Vatican noticed the article and didn’t fake too kindly to the knocks on Papa Benedict, either. The Register is reporting that Fr. Lombardi wasn’t impressed with RS’s brand of “journalism.”

  19. rappingdaddy says:

    In spite of all the negative criticism and lies spread in the mainstream publications like Rolling Stone, it’s a blessing that our Pope has as much of the spotlight as he does and that he has everyone’s attention. Generally speaking, the Catholic Church really seems to draw that kind of attention also. She [the Church] may be slandered by many, but most everyone’s aware of her presense and her influence. Her influence worldwide is evident, which gives lots of opportunity for conversion of hearts.

  20. Darren says:

    @rappindaddy, She [the Church] may be slandered by many, but most everyone’s aware of her presense and her influence. Her influence worldwide is evident, which gives lots of opportunity for conversion of hearts.

    Very true. The church is a light on a big hill for all to see… …may more run to the light seeking the truth she proclaims, with greater vigor than those who will try (in vain) to extinguish it.

  21. McCall1981 says:

    I was glad to read this:

    Vatican Spokesman Censures ‘Rolling Stone’ Article on Pope

    “Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi has strongly criticised an article on Pope Francis that appears in the latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine….”

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/fr.-lombardi-censures-rolling-stone-article-on-pope

  22. StJude says:

    “The truth is that each is a bold, at times prophetic, shepherd, pointing a world gone mad to our Savior.”
    Well said, Chris Rawlings.

    God in charge here… there is a plan in all this.

  23. rappingdaddy says:

    @Darren,

    Amen to that!

  24. frjim4321 says:

    I never have read the Rolling Stone and I most likely never will read the Rolling Stone. I did scan through this article because it was easily found on line.

    It was about as far from the mark as any secular article pertaining to the church ever is. I don’t think its take on the church was much worse than I’ve seen other places. I usually tell my parishioners “If you want to know something about the church, please don’t take the secular media as your source.”

    With regard to evaluating a papacy, as we have seen it may well take several decades if not more to fully evaluate the effect of any particular papacy. Scholars who are going to fully examine both the current and previous papacies have not even been born yet.

    So really as I have done before I would suggest if this article is going to be upsetting to a person, she or he should probably just not read it. Why get upset about thing you have no power to change? (I learned that lesson the hard way during my second assignment.)

    With respect to the discussion of style vs. substance I don’t think it can be resolved as easily as saying “nothing has really changed,” because as non-substantial as style is, it certainly is something and it is important. McLuhan demonstrated quite successfully that in many ways the medium IS the message.

    My take on the article is that the the author’s statement that “for the church, style IS substance,” was intended in the McLuhanesque way. We need to remember that outside of our small circle most people don’t read such statements through the sharp lens of Thomistic criticism.

  25. James C says:

    I don’t understand why the LCWR should dislike Francis. If there were any justice, they would get the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate treatment. As it looks now, the hoped-for reform of the LCWR is a dead letter. They will be free to complain and spread poison and betray the Faith all the while “in full communion” for years to come. If anything, they should be relieved.

  26. frjim4321 says:

    James C,

    I don’t think the friars enjoy the heartfelt endearment of vast numbers of Catholic faithful in the U.S. Even if the current harsh critique of the LCWR were warranted (which for the sake of argument we can carelessly assume right here) the hierarchs will move very slowly because the laity “have the backs” of the sisters.

  27. Christophe says:

    Papa was a rolling stone.

    [yah....]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  28. adeacon says:

    Binelli from Rolling Stone calls P. Benedict a “dour academic.” This guy hasn’t a clue. His article is insulting to all good Catholics. Do you think he has read any of Benedict’s writings? This magazine is just more “fishwrap.”

  29. Iacobus M says:

    Tolstoy starts Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Whether or not that’s true, all leftists are alike; each conservative is conservative in his own way. The common feature of leftists in politics, in the church, in the Elks Lodge, wherever, is that they live in a fantasy, and are constantly looking for affirmation for their fantasies: that’s why they are constantly trying to force everyone to agree with them (e.g., “gay marriage”), and will happily distort any source of authority that can appear to back them up. I recently published a blog post on just this topic:http://vitafamiliariscatholica.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-view-from-left.html.
    -Iacobus M

  30. CrimsonCatholic says:

    I agree with Polycarpio. The left will eventually turn I itself and be divided. Unfortunately the left is also seeking to decide the orthodox or conservative base. They have succeeded in creating a false narrative that Pope Francis and the Pope Emaritus Benedict are completely different. That Benedict is the evil conservative tyrant and that Francis is “loving” and “people’s pope” that is the first to act like a Christain. Look at the combox here, and you can see that it is working. There are many that wish that Benedict was still Pope, or they are just disrespectful and even uncharitable to our Pope. People, quit getting your news from the the MSM, quit listening to the lies they spin about the Church. God bless you Father and thank you for keeping up with this blog.

  31. pannw says:

    As one who loves beloved Benedict XVI, I say thank you to the authors of the hit piece on him.

    “Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.”

    Deo gratias.

    So, more please!

  32. Jack007 says:

    Papa was a rolling stone.

    Uh, I must have missed some topical reference?
    Perhaps someone can enlighten me?
    Jack in KC

  33. Jack007: The Temptations!

  34. Mr. Green says:

    Chris Rawlings: They lie about Pope Francis when the call him some revolutionary liberal. And a segment of traditionalist Catholicism all too willing embrace those lies.

    It’s a curious thing. Folks who would never believe anything the media says suddenly take it at face value when it’s about Pope Francis. (Of course, it seems to me that segment is in the minority.)

  35. Jack007 says:

    The Temptations???
    Of course. LOL
    I’ve heard of them, but I can’t honestly say I know their work.
    I grew up in the 60′s and 70′s but I rarely listened to contemporary music.
    Good thing Father Z is so hip! LOL
    Jack in KC

  36. ClavesCoelorum says:

    Imrahil, Dimitri_Cavalli: Jakob Augstein, the son of Rudolf Augstein, just recently wrote an incredibly anti-Catholic column. It is full of lies, ignorance (I hope it is that) and malice. I find it somewhat amusing when journalists start doing theology, because it is just so bad. Jakob Augstein has no understanding whatsoever of what he is talking about, calls Christianity a religion “hostile to sex”, which is apparently his idol. Here is the infamous piece: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/jakob-augstein-ueber-die-scheinheilige-sexualmoral-im-vatikan-a-945708.html

    About the Bishop of Limburg, indeed, I would say they treated him slightly more fairly, than the FAZ, but that’s about it. The Spiegel was at the forefront of using terms such as “Protz-Bischof” and bashing him unjustly. In other areas, they use terms the NSR or Hell’s Bible would use, like labelling anything critical of same-sex behaviour “homophobic”, criticism of Islam as “islamophobia” and the Vatican is always “reactionary”. As Dimitri_Cavalli said, they are now part of the Left. Very true.

  37. OrthodoxChick says:

    Jack007,

    The reference to “Papa was a rolling stone” in this discussion (but under another thread) came about because Bosco made a typo when first discussing the Rolling Stone mag cover with Pope Francis. I pointed out to him that what he had mis-typed was not as bad as it could have been if he had typed “Papa was a rolling stone” instead.

  38. OrthodoxChick says:

    I should add that I was secretly hoping Father would put up a Temptations video or two. Love ‘em!

  39. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:
    I don’t think the friars enjoy the heartfelt endearment of vast numbers of Catholic faithful in the U.S. Even if the current harsh critique of the LCWR were warranted (which for the sake of argument we can carelessly assume right here) the hierarchs will move very slowly because the laity “have the backs” of the sisters.

    From here it has looked as if the Vatican moves with regard to the LCWR were at best klutzy. Probably, any serious research into the demographics of those groups who belong to the LCWR would likely show that they are without vocations and are dying.

    On the other hand, from your comments over many months here I wonder whether you have any idea what’s on the minds of those among the laity who are not liberals. Further, the LCWR is not co-terminous with “the sisters” although the LCWR hierarchs would like everyone to think it’s so.

    BTW, those religious institutes for women that actually do have vocations (Nashville Domincans) are not affiliated with the LCWR.

  40. jm says:

    The Pope is lauded on the covers of Rolling Stone, Time, and THE ADVOCATE, and people think the problem is the liberal media’s hijacking of his message? That he will soon be dividing the Left? That the problem is soundbites and not substance? Amazing to me. No matter what happens or what is said, Catholics imbued with this pall maximalism will see the Pope has having some grand strategy and steering us ingeniously. Good Pope John and Paul VI approved the disaster that was Vatican II, JPII unintentionally rubber stamped the priest abuse scandal and the Legion of Christ, and Benedict XVI let negotiations with the SSPX stall due to internal machinations, and people still insist we are moving forward with the New Evangelization, even as parishes close and vocations diminish. Good clear Catholic leadership. Cardinals and famous Catholics can say or do almost anything, and in an age with easier quick access to information and communication than ever, all that happens is smiling photo opps. I am not sure when we have seen it.

  41. Pace Shel Silverstein, there’s this:

    But the thrill we’ve never known
    Is the thrill that’ll getcha when you get your picture
    On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

    Wanna see my picture on the cover
    Wanna buy five copies for my mother…
    Wanna see my smilin’ face
    On the cover of the Rollin’ Stone

  42. robtbrown says:

    adeacon says:
    Binelli from Rolling Stone calls P. Benedict a “dour academic.”

    He’s just trotted out a predictably boring cliché: Those who think there is such a thing as sexual morals and Catholic dogma are dour (i.e., anal retentive) xenophobes. They never travel or investigate anything outside their own little universe. They want structure for its own sake because it makes them feel secure. They are neophobes, resisting anything that might be new–the kind of person who not only does not use word processing software but still pounds away on manual typewriters.

    Then there’s this morsel:

    Having famously dispensed with the more flamboyant pontifical accessories, he’s also surprisingly stylish, today wearing a double-breasted white overcoat, white scarf and slightly creamier cassock, all impeccably tailored.

    So he has revolutionized the papacy by stylishly wearing the same style overcoat, scarf, and cassock worn by his two predecessors, including the “dour” BXVI.

    I thought everyone knew that JPII was a skier.

    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/1810/john_paul_ii_as_his_friends_knew_him.aspx#.Uuppc7RjESs

  43. Imrahil says:

    Dear @ClavesCoelorum,

    yes.

    I may mention that I never said the Spiegel was right.

    Forgive me, though – I’d rather read Jakob Augstein’s article, cited by you, ten times (somewhen starting to make annotations) than listen to a sermon where the 6th commandment is drowned in a flood of “mercy”s and “but today”s and the like… if you get my drift.

    There’s some good thing about an outright and, though insolent, insulting, and provably misinformed, still not totally irrational adversary.

  44. MichaelBoston says:

    The Left has already internalized the fact that Pope Francis cannot change doctrine. There is no division on the Left concerning the RC Church. A minority position on the Left is (and always has been) for direct suppression of Christianity in the public square. The majority position on the Left is to use the culture (which is secularist and Leftist) to weaken and neutralize the Church. The usual means utilized by the Left (cultural Marxism) is to marginalize the Church through mockery and frontal verbal assault by use of the media, Hollywood and the educational establishment. Pope Francis has provided an opportunity to shift this strategy. It is now possible to portray another Pope “open to the world”. As Father Z says a fluffy, feel good Pope. The contention that the Pope is manipulating this process strikes me as utterly naive. From my perspective the Pope is hoping to wave a white flag and squeeze some semblance of a Catholic message through the interstices provided by this strategy of the Left. It will not work. A change in doctrine has never been in the realm of possibility. A complete submergence of doctrine overlaid by a squishy pastoral veneer is very much on the table.

  45. lgreen515 says:

    I love Pope Fluffy. But I was converted during the Benedict papacy.

  46. Jack007 says:

    @OrthodoxChick thanks for casting some light.
    Surprised Father didn’t post a vid as he seems to have some eclectic musical tastes. :-)
    Jack in KC

  47. Re: Francis:

    “a double-breasted white overcoat, white scarf and slightly creamier cassock, all impeccably tailored”

    Good grief…. all Popes dress this way.

  48. MichaelBoston says:

    Father Z,
    this is quite the turn around on Papal fashion. Remember how the “progressives” excoriated Pope Benedict’s Italian, hand made red slippers? Cardinal Mahoney, at the time of the conclave, went after Benedict concerning his finery in contrast to the humble Bergoglio. The wording above reminds of the NY Times token conservative columnist David Brooks commending at the impeccable crease in Obama’s trousers……

  49. Jack007 says:

    I should have checked the blog before commenting.
    Now I’ve been appropriately schooled in Temptation’s music.
    Nice… too bad it’d probably never make the Grammys today. Too classy.
    Jack in KC

  50. robtbrown says:

    Having read the entire article, I found that he does make two good points: First, that there is an effort to de-Italianize the Curia. It is a bureaucratic maze that can only be understood by Italians. Second, that the Pope not living in the Papal apartments keeps him from being isolated and manipulated by the inner circle.

    Using Fr Reese as an authority and political categories to explain factions within the Church, however, are bad ideas and inevitably produce caricatures.

  51. benedetta says:

    Agree, robtbrown. There is orthodoxy which is what the Church always has believed and carries within its own diversity, and then there is what some want to euphemistically categorize as “liberal” which is in fact active, agitating, crusading, authoritarian dissent. Even the so called American liberal Catholics have given up on these categories. It’s an effort to disguise what dissent is proposing right now as benign.

  52. benedetta says:

    Could they have found a more biased with an ax to grind against Benedict than commentator Fr. Reese? Wonder if he is still replacing words of consecration at Mass with homemade poetic language instead of the formula. Wonder if the Society of Jesus ever got around to asking him to please discontinue invalidating Masses he was asked to say by this…or is that too just another non important matter for the self styled liberal “wing” which they promote as being “of the Church”.