Papal airplane presser. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

francis question press conference africaOnce again, I am getting a stream of emails from people about the state of the Church and about Pope Francis.

I redirect the readership back to my Long View Approach™ and say “breathe deeply… in.. out… in… out….”

Remember, every pontificate of every pope in the whole history of the Church is but a “parenthesis”.

Some parentheses are long and some are short. Some parentheses are important and some are not.  One of these days God will hit the SHIFT+0 key and close this parenthesis.  Time will tell what this pontificate will have been and it is not fruitful right now to worry about that too much.  (BTW… if God is using an Italian keyboard that day it’s SHIFT+9.)  Every pontificate has its benefits and its disadvantages.

And, as a commentator mentioned elsewhere on this blog, Christ promised us the help of the Holy Spirit because He knew that we were going to have a rough time of it.

In the meantime, we must keep close to hand our Rosary, our Confession and Mass (hopefully TLM) schedules, our copies of the Holy Writ, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Roman Catechism, good spiritual reading, our To Do Lists for spiritual and corporal works of mercy, etc., and we might consider paying less attention to ephemera until the decks stop pitching.

Stick closely and fervently to what your state in life calls you to do and you’ll fret less about what’s going on, even as you are aware that not everything is beer and skittles right now.

Remember that Pope Francis has the office of Peter.  God is offering him graces so that he can carry out his role.  There may come a day when he surprises everyone, a kind of “Paul VI – Humanae vitae Moment”.  As St. Yogi might put it: “Imperfectum usque dum perfectum!”

That said, I, having also breathed into a paper bag for a little while, am driven to make an observation about something that Pope Francis said in the Q&A with the press on the airplane while heading back to Rome from Africa.

Q: AIDS is a serious problem in Africa, the epidemic continues. We know that prevention is the key and that condoms are not the only means of stopping the epidemic, but it is an important part of the solution. Is it not perhaps time for the Church to change its position with regard to the use of condoms in order to prevent infections? [The question was a trap, of course.  By now newsies know how to get this Pope to say something newsworthy.  And it was asked on the eve of World AIDS Day.]

Pope Francis: “The question seems biased to me. [D’ya think?] Yes, it is one of the methods, the morality of the Church faces a bit of a predicament here. The fifth or the sixth commandment: defend life or a sexual relationship that is pen to life. But this is not the problem. There is a greater problem than this: this question makes me think of the question they once asked Jesus: tell me Master, is it acceptable to heal on a Saturday? Healing is obligatory! Malnutrition, exploitation, slave labour, the lack of drinking water, these are the problems. We’re not talking about which plaster we should use for which wound. The great injustice is social injustice, the great injustice is malnutrition. I don’t like making such casuistic reflections when there are people dying because of a lack of water and hunger. Think about arms trafficking. When these problems cease to exist, then I think we can ask ourselves the question: is it acceptable to heal on a Saturday? Why are arms still being manufactured? Wars are the leading cause of death. Forget about whether it is acceptable or not to heal on a Saturday. Make justice and when everyone is healed, when there is no injustice in this world, then we can talk about Saturday.

While this may simply be a way to divert the question into another track (as Pope Benedict should have done – remember? – HERE), my take away from this is:

Pope Francis: There are people who are hungry, and therefore I am not going to answer the question. Anyone who asks that question now, while people are hungry, are like the Pharisee who asked Jesus about healing on the sabbath.

I recall also that Our Lord said to Judas (the head of the Vatican Bank) that “the poor you will always have with you” (John 12:4).  That Christ-confirmed fact didn’t prevent Christ from also teaching “hard teachings” (e.g., John 6:60).  And Our Lord, despite the fact of the poor around them, nevertheless told His disciples to go out and “teach all nations” (Matthew 28:19), and not wait until there was global economic parity, universal health care, 0% youth unemployment, and a ban on air conditioners.

Whatever Pope Francis’ motives were during the presser, we Catholics must respond to questions about moral problems with certainty and clarity.  Both Pope Francis and everyone of us will have to answer to the Just Judge for how we fulfilled our vocations.  We are capable of answering with clarity and, at the same time, concerning ourselves in concrete ways about the plight of the poor both near to us and far away.  We are capable of the both/and. We are not limited to the either/or.  We are not only capable of speaking with clarity on moral issues, we must do so now, more than ever, and we must do so in the public square.

That said, everyone get back to work!  Keep supporting vocations to the priesthood.  Keep supporting and encouraging sound young priests, who haven’t yet lived in a time of liberal persecution (which is on the rise).  Keep close to the sacraments.  Keep examining your own consciences and GO TO CONFESSION!  Keep promoting the use of the traditional Roman Rite.  Keep praying for the Pope and our bishops.

Keep the Faith.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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55 Responses to Papal airplane presser. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

  1. anilwang says:

    The only thing I can say is thank goodness for the Catholic Catechism, and in this case CCC 2370.

    Without it, it would be hard to argue with people who don’t know the faith that contraception is intrinsically disordered according to the faith. Yes, I know Humanae Vitae and all of Catholic Tradition up to at least the Didache clearly condemn it, but “theologians” always find always to discount anything they don’t like as “non-binding” or “up to one’s conscience” or “out of date”. The Catechism leaves no room for any of these dodges and speaks with more authority than any self-appointed theologian.

  2. Benedict Joseph says:

    The most reserved comment I can offer, and remain respectful of the man who occupies the Chair is to suggest that, like many of us, he is not up to fielding peculiar questions, grounded in ludicrous notions, from individuals hosting hostility and cynicism for all that is of Christ. Because this observation is regretfully so often proved true, a man of common sense would adopt another approach to the situation. Since an alternate has not been employed, perhaps this mournful situation provides a welcome opportunity for advancing certain perspectives he “fundamentalists” among us hold contemptible, and allows the responder to deliberately cause them grief.
    I’m only ask ‘in. It’s a possibility. A method to this madness?
    Eh? After all, it is “my” church…

  3. LeeF says:

    What the liberals are doing is to take things that the HF says out of context, just as they do with doctrine and liturgy, and then to say such things do away with other parts of the context. As in mercy and a fuzzy good intent does away with justice and the hard truths father referenced. If we try to put Pope Francis’ words in the overall context of the teachings of Christ and His Church, then his often artless off-the-cuff way of putting a point should not bother us. And we should strive to understand and accept what the HF teaches as far as we can so as to have a clear conscience and not be cafeteria Catholics ourselves.

  4. discipulus says:

    Just a quick question.

    Is it a sin to be sick of this papacy? I do not have any animosity towards the current Holy Father and Most certainly pray for him every day. But now, after reading this article and other similar stories, I just can’t help but be tired of the lack of clarity in a time when we need it most.

    Thanks.

  5. TheDude05 says:

    I likes the part where he calls those who endorse the Catechism fundamentalists on par with ISIS and Al Qaeda. We are taught and we believe that the Catholic Church has the fullness of truth and that Christ is Himself absolute truth. Glad to know my belief in this makes me an idolater.

  6. DJAR says:

    Whatever Pope Francis’ motives were during the presser, we Catholics must respond to questions about moral problems with certainty and clarity… We are not only capable of speaking with clarity on moral issues, we must do so now, more than ever, and we must do so in the public square.

    The problem for the laity, those of us in the secular trenches, is that, when responding to our interlocutors with one of “the hard sayings,” they respond in the following manner:

    1) “Pope Francis does not teach what you are telling me.”
    2) “You are not an authority in the Church; Pope Francis is.”

    Thus, many souls, millions, are confirmed in their errors. This has happened in my own family, 99% of whom are ostensibly Catholic.

  7. Polycarpio says:

    The pope was 100% right. The question was a trap. The reporter was not unaware of the Church’s teaching on condom use or the likelihood that it will change anytime soon. That’s why the Pope was right to point out that it’s a Commandment (not a pastoral policy open to debate), and then to point out the hypocrisy of the question. The point wasn’t that the Church is not going to “answer hard questions” while people are poor and hungry, the point is that the Church is not going to walk into obvious traps. When Jesus was asked whether it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath, he did not say “yes” or “no” because he knew the questioner was not interested in the answer. Instead, Jesus spoke past the questioner by presenting a parable. This is what the Pope was trying to do.

  8. Laura says:

    Thank you, Fr Z. Thanks for reminding me to breathe and to keep my head down and focused on how I can stay close to Jesus and his Blessed Mother. It is so easy to fall into an anxious state. The whole world is upside down and for the past couple of years, even our beloved Church is upside down. I think I’m going to pray for God to hit the shift + 0 keys, sooner rather than later, if it is his holy will. If not, I suppose we must remember to offer up these frustrations, anxieties and sufferings for the sake of the holy souls in Purgatory.

  9. jaykay says:

    Polycarpio: yes, I agree. But would that he had cut a lot of the verbiage, because as we know, they’ll use that for spin. It’s becoming a cliché: Pope on plane back from Africa: question on their favourite subject – groin-related activities, their fixation. The unspoken racism (that these people shouldn’t be “breeding” so much because there are just, well, too many of them) is always under the surface, of course. And that is something I wish would be put in their faces.

    I honestly think he really meant to throw it back at them like that but… it got list in all the fluff.

    Yes, I really do think so.

  10. Ferde Rombola says:

    Excellent post, Fr. Z. The Pope spoke with clarity for a change and didn’t shoot from the hip. Maybe his P. Paul VI moment is upon him.

  11. NBW says:

    Trying to keep calm and praying for the Holy Father. We can expect one thing: every time the Pope gets on a plane we can be sure we will do a facepalm at some point.

  12. donato2 says:

    I have long thought that Pope Francis must be on any short list of the worst popes since the Renaissance but, at least until recently, I’ve admired his chops as a politician. Now I’m having some doubts about even his political acumen. These off the cuff messes, which seem to be increasingly frequent and increasingly severe, are inflicting damage on his credibility in ever widening circles. That’s not good politics. One would think he knows that and, for that reason, cut out the off-the-cuff routine.

    The damage that Pope Francis is doing to his own credibility is becoming ever more evident. Both Damien Thompson and Carl Olson have recently written pieces the gist of which is that this is a pontificate that is out of control. This open opposition from prominent mainstream journalists, who ordinarily give popes the benefit of the doubt, signifies a significant lack of confidence in Pope Francis. It is undoubtedly the case that wide swaths of the College of Cardinals share this lack of confidence. Continual incoherent off-the-cuff musings serve only to exacerbate the lack of confidence.

  13. Robbie says:

    Writing as a pilot, I would encourage the flight crew on the next papal flight to pull the circuit breaker for the cabin PA system. No working microphone, no papal presser!

  14. The Masked Chicken says:

    “When these problems cease to exist, then I think we can ask ourselves the question: is it acceptable to heal on a Saturday? Why are arms still being manufactured? Wars are the leading cause of death. Forget about whether it is acceptable or not to heal on a Saturday. Make justice and when everyone is healed, when there is no injustice in this world, then we can talk about Saturday.”

    The famous Catholic philosopher, Peter Kreef, wrote a book in the 1990’s called, Ecumenical Jihad, in which he voiced a very similar argument: rather than Catholics and Protestants fighting over doctrine, let’s, together, rid the world of it social problems, then, when we are done, we can fight over doctrinal differences.

    My reply (which, really, I meant to write to him, honest), was that the concept of justice, specifically social justice, does not mean the same thing to a Catholic and a Protestant (which, given the number of denominations is a moving target to begin with). To a Catholic, an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy is cause for giving the baby up for adoption, but for some Protestants, it is cause for an abortion. Examples could be multiplied. There simply is no common moral outlook that would define justice.

    Unfortunately, the same holds true for Pope Francis’s argument: what justice means is different for different people and one man’s idea of how to stop a war might be different than another’s. Being able to beat swords into plowsheds is only possible when everybody has the same moral outlook.

    Thus, the question of how to stop a war and whether or not to use a condom is the same question, only in different guises. That question is: how ought a man to proceed? As G. K. Chesterton so ably points out in his book, What’s Wrong with the World, marriage is a holy war (or war for holiness) fought between two different temperments – a husband and his beloved spouse – but surely, how we bring peace to the wars between men involves the same considerations how we bring peace to the war between the sexes. May a married man use a condom during sex with his wife (for, they are the only men who should be having sex) is like asking if a sergeant should salute a lieutenant while holding a knife in his hand and, yet, a Protestant might just be tempted to do that, in the first case, and a moron might be tempted to do the same in the second case. Both, clearly, need the guidance of a superior.

    Which is the shame, here, because Pope Francis came very close to getting to the heart of the matter, when He said:

    “Malnutrition, exploitation, slave labour, the lack of drinking water, these are the problems.”

    This is exactly right. It is the lack of commodities that have forced so many women into prostitution in Africa, which has caused AIDS to spread so rapidly, thus making the suggestion of condom use seems so plausible. If these conditions were eliminated, it would be easier to hear the truth about marriage and condom use.

    AIDS is entirely a disease of sinful behaviors, be it illicit sex or drug use – whatever – it is a disease driven by despair and aggression. So, is war. I cannot say that this is what the Holy Father meant to say, but then, neither can the reporters say it isn’t. If they can be selective in reporting what he says, so can I. Conservatives, unite! We have just as much right to take the Pope out of context as Liberals :)

    The Chicken

  15. MrsMacD says:

    I love Pope Francis, he’s all thumbs and left feet, God uses the weak, because power is made perfect in weakness. God bless him. God make him holy. God use him to reconcile the SSPX. God have mercy on the FFI. And thank you Father Z for reminding us to breath deeply and count our blessings. I’m reminded of the three men in the firey furnace. If God is with us, what does it matter who is against us? Though we walk through the valley of death, I fear no ill!

  16. PhilipNeri says:

    Polycarpio is exactly right. The Holy Father smacked the reporter. Nothing to see here.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  17. benedetta says:

    I look at it this way, the Holy Father patiently deals with the media-ists, listening to their questions and so on and so forth, so we don’t have to.

  18. Adaquano says:

    I’m a little conflicted on this one. While parts of his response show him deftly responding to a loaded question, Pope Francis also said some things that are confounding. Most particularly was his statements about absolute truth.

  19. lana says:

    His problem is not with absolute truth, it is with those who become self-righteous because of it, and then judgmental, which leads to ‘calumny and doing evil’. How many people have a wrong notion of God because of these self-righteous people. Time for all to do some soul-searching because it is something in which all of us are guilty.

  20. iamlucky13 says:

    @ anilwang

    ” Yes, I know Humanae Vitae and all of Catholic Tradition up to at least the Didache clearly condemn it, but “theologians” always find always to discount anything they don’t like as “non-binding” or “up to one’s conscience” or “out of date”. The Catechism leaves no room for any of these dodges and speaks with more authority than any self-appointed theologian.”

    You’d think so, at least.

    Yet I once had a priest tell me in confession I was being overly scrupulous about a sin I confessed. When I paraphrased the relevant part of the catechism that guided my examination of conscience, he told me the Catechism was “out of date” and/or “non-binding.” I don’t remember exactly what he said, but he pretty much rejected the Catechism outright.

    I was speechless, which was probably a good thing, as the numerous retorts I thought of later would have been terribly inappropriate to direct at a priest acting in persona Christi.

    @ LeeF

    ” If we try to put Pope Francis’ words in the overall context of the teachings of Christ and His Church, then his often artless off-the-cuff way of putting a point should not bother us. And we should strive to understand and accept what the HF teaches as far as we can so as to have a clear conscience and not be cafeteria Catholics ourselves.”

    I very strongly agree. His clumsiness still really bothers me, but that overall context remains.

    @The Masked Chicken

    That fits with how I read his comment on condoms, too, but I don’t think you’re taking him out of context. The context is bigger than just what was said on that flight.

  21. iamlucky13 says:

    @ TheDude05

    “I likes the part where he calls those who endorse the Catechism fundamentalists on par with ISIS and Al Qaeda. “

    You can neither like nor dislike that part, because as far as I can find quoted, he never said it.

    His specific words about “those who believe in absolute truth” were potentially alarming, but if you read the rest of the statement, he never mentioned the Catechism, but rather described fundamentalists as those who “go ahead dirtying the other with calumny, with disinformation, and doing evil” and that “Religious fundamentalism is not religious, because it lacks God. It is idolatry.”

    If you read this like LeeF suggested in the post I quoted above, it should come across as:

    If your belief that you have the absolute truth leads you to do evil, you’ve got it wrong. Similarly if your belief that you have the absolute truth revolves solely around the learning of doctrine, and not following the truths behind those doctrines to God, it is idolatry. Reading this in the context of the teachings of Christ and His Church, we know that following those truths to God involves prayer, good works, rejection of sin, etc.

    This is similar to the difference between understanding the letter of the law and understanding the intent of the law. It also echoes Jesus’ discussions with the Pharisees.

    How much of that was really intended by Pope Francis is unclear to me, but so long as he professes to be Catholic and does not explicitly contradict an established teaching of the Church, this is the only reasonable way to take his words, because by professing to be Catholic, he is putting his words in the context of the teachings of the Church. When the secular media neglects that context, they are being ignorant at best, if not deliberately deceitful.

  22. Geoffrey says:

    “Keep promoting the use of the traditional Roman Rite.”

    And let us not forget promoting Benedict XVI’s reform of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, which the vast majority of the faithful experience daily.

  23. kiwiinamerica says:

    Hey Father, did you enjoy his rant about “fundamentalists” who ………..“believe in the absolute truth and go ahead dirtying the other with calumny, with disinformation, and doing evil.”??

    Apparently ….“We Catholics have some — and not some, many ….”

    Who are these fundamentalists? He wasn’t talking about you was he?? Reminded me of his rant at the end of the recent “Synod on the Family” when he lit into the orthodox bishops.

    Where did they find this guy?

  24. Toan says:

    Pope Francis’s response regarding the condom question may have been muddy, but it certainly wasn’t “nice”. I read his response as, “Bad question. You’re rather like a hypocrite Pharisee.” Ouch!

  25. The Cobbler says:

    I read this more or less as: Reporter asks Pope umptillionth loaded question, Pope finally tells reporter to grow a sense of perspective. I liked both what Polycarpio had to say and what the Chicken had to say, and don’t have much to add. Could it have been phrased a little better to avoid the possibility of spinning as “sexual ethics is one of those things like the Sunday obligations that can be dropped for sufficiently serious reasons” or “who cares about theological morality”? Mayyyybe. (I mean, I guess theoretically he could have memorized a speech for this sort of question ahead of time, given the likelihood that something like it would be asked, but that’s probably what it would take to avoid any spinnability.) But it’s pretty obvious that his main point was to throw the loaded question back in the interviewer’s face: (to paraphrase) “all these problems in the world and you seriously can’t think of anything better to do than look for ways to poke holes in sexual ethics?”

  26. organistjason says:

    “Some parentheses are long and some are short. Some parentheses are important and some are not. One of these days God will hit the SHIFT+0 key and close this parenthesis. “……..

    “5. To proceed in an orderly manner in this somewhat abstruse subject, it must first of all be noted that the Modernist sustains and includes within himself a manifold personality; he is a philosopher, a believer, a theologian, an historian, a critic, an apologist, a reformer. These roles must be clearly distinguished one from another by all who would accurately understand their system and thoroughly grasp the principles and the outcome of their doctrines.”

    “38. It remains for Us now to say a few words about the Modernist as reformer. From all that has preceded, it is abundantly clear how great and how eager is the passion of such men for innovation. In all Catholicism there is absolutely nothing on which it does not fasten. They wish philosophy to be reformed, especially in the ecclesiastical seminaries. They wish the scholastic philosophy to be relegated to the history of philosophy and to be classed among absolute systems, and the young men to be taught modern philosophy which alone is true and suited to the times in which we live. They desire the reform of theology: rational theology is to have modern philosophy for its foundation, and positive theology is to be founded on the history of dogma. As for history, it must be written and taught only according to their methods and modern principles. Dogmas and their evolution, they affirm, are to be harmonized with science and history. In the Catechism no dogmas are to be inserted except those that have been reformed and are within the capacity of the people. Regarding worship, they say, the number of external devotions is to he reduced, and steps must be taken to prevent their further increase, though, indeed, some of the admirers of symbolism are disposed to be more indulgent on this head. They cry out that ecclesiastical government requires to be reformed in all its branches, but especially in its disciplinary and dogmatic departments They insist that both outwardly and inwardly it must be brought into harmony with the modern conscience which now wholly tends towards democracy; a share in ecclesiastical government should therefore be given to the lower ranks of the clergy and even to the laity and authority which is too much concentrated should be decentralized The Roman Congregations and especially the index and the Holy Office, must be likewise modified The ecclesiastical authority must alter its line of conduct in the social and political world; while keeping outside political organizations it must adapt itself to them in order to penetrate them with its spirit. With regard to morals, they adopt the principle of the Americanists, that the active virtues are more important than the passive, and are to be more encouraged in practice. They ask that the clergy should return to their primitive humility and poverty, and that in their ideas and action they should admit the principles of Modernism; and there are some who, gladly listening to the teaching of their Protestant masters, would desire the suppression of the celibacy of the clergy. What is there left in the Church which is not to be reformed by them and according to their principles?”

    (PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS; September 1907-St. Pope Pius X)

    The “modernist” agenda then and now. It sounds exactly like what St. Pope Pius X described a century ago, occurring once again, today.

    “O Lord, ruler and guardian of your Church,
    pour out, we pray, upon your servants
    a spirit of truth, understanding and peace,
    that they may strive with all their heart
    to know what is pleasing to you
    and then pursue it with all their strength.
    Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
    who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
    one God, for ever and ever.
    Amen.”

    A Prayer we all need to be steadfastly praying…..

  27. Fr. Pius, OP says:

    There is one factual correction that should be made to those comments. The Pope said that “Wars are the leading cause of death.” In the modern world, that is just not accurate. The numbers on this leave no room for debate; the leading cause of death in the world today is abortion. Nothing else even comes close.

  28. Prayerful says:

    Maybe a Ryanair or South West Airlines craft might be considered. It would mean less space for these unwise press conferences.

  29. Nicolas Bellord says:

    I suggest that we just give up on trying to understand a lot of what Pope Francis says. Instead read Cardinal Sarah’s “God or Nothing”. I have found it to be the most perfect antidote to all the confusion.

  30. Grumpy Beggar says:

    “Q: AIDS is a serious problem in Africa, the epidemic continues. We know that prevention is the key and that condoms are not the only means of stopping the epidemic, but it is an important part of the solution. Is it not perhaps time for the Church to change its position with regard to the use of condoms in order to prevent infections ?

    That is so lame – The reporter obviously has his/her own little Disneyland thing going, – a utopian fantasy where they think that the world (let alone a lot of so-called “Catholics”) actually gives a (you know) about what the Church says and strives to follow the teaching on sexuality.

    How can one say , “Use a condom,” without simultaneously saying/implying, “go ahead and have (whatever type of) sex with whomever you want ?” The reporter employs a feigned respect for the Magisterium to try and get Pope Francis to agree with his/her twisted (lack of) logic. When it comes to personal conduct, they couldn’t care less what the Pope or the Catholic faith has to say – and neither do we for that matter, each time we consent to sin – even if it be only momentarily. The world would love to blame the AIDS/HIV problem on the Catholic Church – even though it is a moral conduct diametrically opposed to Catholic teaching which spreads STD’s and which kills little children while they’re still in their mothers’ wombs. . .and none of that is the Church’s fault and none of it will ever improve by the Church approving of immoral means.

    Condoms were not designed with the intention of preventing infection – they were designed to thwart conception. Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control in their 2014 Surveillance Report state that Reported Cases of Sexually Transmitted Diseases on the Rise, Some at Alarming Rate . . . Sorry all you fickle media types with recreant tendencies , but you can’t blame that one on the Catholic Church either.
    ———————————–

    “Why are arms still being manufactured? Wars are the leading cause of death.”

    Well . . . sort of, Holy Father. The truth is that the war in the womb is the leading cause of death – so unless it is only Catholics who are procuring abortions (which it isn’t) , condoms are a failure.

    According to the NY Times , war has killed about 108 million people in the 20th century, and according to the same article, the estimated total on how many people war has killed throughout all human history lies somewhere in that range of between 150 million to 1 billion people.

    Abortion – on the other hand, only since 1980 , has killed, at the time of this posting, one billion, three hundred and fifty-six million, eight hundred and twelve thousand, seven hundred and fifty little innocent ones in their mothers’ wombs; that’s 1,356,812,750 .
    http://www.numberofabortions.com/

    If we can bear to face the stark perspective for the sake of the truth, try lending some context to the above – by comparing how many human beings have been killed by war since only 1980 , as opposed to how many human beings have been killed by abortion since 1980. The disproportion between the two is staggering:

    According to This Source which appears to be quite reliable, since 1980,( I calculated a possible [factoring in an additional 2 million for unknown totals represented by a question mark] ) roughly 19 million five hundred and thirty thousand people were killed by war . . . just under 20 million killed by war since 1980 . . . while, since 1980 abortion has killed way over 1.3 billion.

    Luke 23:27-31

  31. ocleirbj says:

    I like to pray with this icon. Jesus has his hand on the tiller!
    http://it.orthodoxwiki.org/File:MysticalChurch.jpg

  32. Imrahil says:

    Dear Masked Chicken,

    very interesting comment, as usual.

    I would just question the tiny part that AIDS is entirely due to immoral behavior. After all, there is still some possibility to get it in a decent marriage (the carrying spouse having duly repented of, and been absolved from, any past sins, without any idea that he might be infected, as the illness had not broken out). It wouldn’t spread very far, that way, of course.

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  34. dominicop says:

    I’m reminded of an interview that John Allen did with Jean Vanier about ten years ago. Allen asked some sort of a baiting question about women’s ordination and Vanier’s response was, essentially, “Quit screwing around, we’ve got real work to do!”

  35. Mike says:

    Keep supporting vocations to the priesthood. Keep supporting and encouraging sound young priests, who haven’t yet lived in a time of liberal persecution (which is on the rise).

    Please don’t ever get tired of saying that, Father. Every time a sound young (or not-so-young) priest reads those words, his shoulders and spirits will lift a bit. And the sight, or thought, of that is all it will take to encourage the struggling faithful to keep lifting his, and their own, as we make our daily conversion away from the temptations of the Zeitgeist to continue following our Redeemer.

  36. the little brother says:

    “Polycarpio is exactly right. The Holy Father smacked the reporter. Nothing to see here.”
    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

    AMEN!!

  37. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    These mid-air pressers are exercises in contrived spontaneity. They never go well.

  38. Marissa says:

    Arms are still being manufactured because investors (like the Vatican) still make money off of them (like Beretta). I have no problem with this because I like (fire)arms :)

  39. The Masked Chicken says:

    “I would just question the tiny part that AIDS is entirely due to immoral behavior.”

    Immoral behavior in its origin, not necessarily secondary transmission. Of course tainted blood transfusions, etc., can cause AIDS, but without sources of original immoral behavior, the pool will, quickly, dry up. Thus, the problem in Africa is not AIDS, per se. The AIDS epidemic is a symptom of their other immoral behaviors, which, apparently, they are either not addressing, or doing so ineffectually. So, condom use is arguing about how to build the barn after the horse has escaped.

    Here’s the real kicker – compare a map of AIDS in Africa with religion in Africa and you will see that the AIDS regions overlap with the Christian regions! AIDS should not be a Catholic phenomenon, if Catholicism is actually as strong as it is claimed to be in Africa so, does that imply that it is a Protestant one or that Catholicism really isn’t as traditional and conservative as we are lead to believe? Certainly, AIDS is not a Moslem problem.

    The Chicken

  40. Sonshine135 says:

    It would have been a great opportunity for the Holy Father to speak about the oft forgot virtue of chastity and discuss the importance of the nuclear family. The opportunity was missed.

  41. Auggie says:

    When he speaks off the cuff to reporters, Francis knows that his words will be twisted to hurt the holy mission of the Church and to advance the evil agenda of the world.
    And he keeps on doing it.
    And he keeps on doing it.
    And he keeps on doing it.

  42. Norah says:

    I read somewhere that the questions to be asked of the pope are submitted to one of the pope’s media people so that the pope has time to form the reply he wishes to make. Is this correct?

    The Holy Father smacked the reporter. Nothing to see here.”
    Did the reporter know that he had been “smacked”? what was his take of the reply in his newspaper/ media blog which is where most people, Catholics included. obtain their knowledge of the Church.

  43. TheDude05 says:

    Iamkucky, while in the context of the whole it can be taken that way, but far too often we have Catholic clerics and hierarchy in attempts to be ecumenical, downgrade Catholic truth to being relative. While I am not endorsing old triumphalism, I do think that distinctions can be made. For instance in this context of question he speaks of fundamentalist Catholics and fundamentalist Muslims as being on par with each other in terms of belief. While yes it can be someone thinking they alone or their small group really holds the truth (sedevacantists come to mind), they in no way lead the the same abominations as the Islamic fundamentalism that lead to what happened in Paris. He did not mention the Catechism, but the Catechism does state that the Church holds the fullness of truth and that Christ is truth itself. To take a position that seems to call those who believe that the Catholic Church has that frightens me. We need less relativism in our Church, not more. Yes we can focus on our similarities, the catholicity of other religions, but in the end the Pope must defend the truth of Christ’s Church. Had the Pope said what you did it would have been clear, coherent, and easily understood. I wish for that clarity, the old saying, say what you mean and mean what you say.

  44. Rushintuit says:

    By “fundamentalist” Pope Francis is referring to any Catholic who clings to the Traditional Liturgy. Many criticize this Pope because he doesn’t genuflect at the Consecration of the Mass. Most don’t realise that the Pope has problems with his hip and the pain of genuflecting might be too painful. It is obvious that this Pope doesn’t have the intellect of his predecessors. God didn’t cure Moses of his stuttering. Pope Francis is who he is and he needs our prayers.

  45. stephen c says:

    Praising Pope Paul VI for Humanae Vitae is sort of like giving an ensign a medal for not falling asleep on his first overnight watch command. What was Pope Paul VI supposed to do, say that every saint and Pope and Doctor of the Church who had expressed an opinion on the subject before him was wrong, and that, unlike those deluded people from the past, he was the first Pope to correctly answer (in the affirmative) the millennial-old question of whether contrivedly non-reproductive sex between two people, one of them a healthy male and the other a fertile female, who hate the thought of having a baby even while they are married, is a wonderful thing? I am not saying _ and I am certainly not qualified to say – that Pope Paul VI did not have many good moments in his life, but the moment of Humanae Vitae was not a test of greatness, it was merely a point in his long life where Pope Paul VI was called on to show that he could meet the bare minimum level of compassion that God expects from any one of his followers, not to mention his followers who are also pastors. He succeeded.

  46. pseudomodo says:

    Mr. Chicken…

    I don’t think it is a lack of commodities that force women into prostitution, but rather the distribution of those said commodities. The commodities are there already. They are prostituting themselve to get the commodities. This what I think you mean.

  47. pseudomodo says:

    Rushintuit…

    We once had a substitute pastor (a retired priest) who likewise never genuflected. When I questioned someone who knew him well, they gave me a similar response – his hip and knees! This would have been an adequate answer if this priest had not at every available moment told the congregation that he golfs – and golfs OFTEN! Guess you don’t need your knees or hips for that.

    We also in this Archdiocese had a dying priest who offered mass every day at the Cathedral and painfully genuflected at the consecrations. You could see it in his face.

  48. cyrillist says:

    “Off the cuff” is a huge Novus Ordo thing. I lost count of the number of Masses I used to attend in which the celebrant would stand facing the congregation, close his eyes, extend his arms, and improvise a brand-new Collect off the top of his head. It was only a matter of time before someone like that became Pope.

  49. Vincent says:

    I don’t care how clever anyone else thinks that response was. The first question is: Did the questioner understand the answer? I didn’t.

    And thereby lies the problem. Until the Pope learns to say something clear, we’re going to have arguments about what he meant. The worst thing is that no matter what you say he might have meant, someone else has a different interpretation.

    On that note: The Pharisees? Again. All the modern Catholic Church can preach against is the Pharisees. Over and over, I’ve been warned not to be a Pharisee… I don’t even know what it means, all I know is that it’s a bad thing to be. Oh, and presumably most traditional Catholics are Pharisees. Give me a break!

  50. The Masked Chicken says:

    “I don’t think it is a lack of commodities that force women into prostitution, but rather the distribution of those said commodities. The commodities are there already. They are prostituting themselve to get the commodities. This what I think you mean.”

    Of course. It is the regimes that are causing much of the problems.

    The Chicken

  51. Indulgentiam says:

    +JMJ+

    Chicken “Certainly, AIDS is not a Moslem problem.”

    I hope that I have not misunderstood your statement above. If I have, then, my apologies. As I understand it you are saying that, AIDS among the muslim, is not a problem. If that is the correct understanding then you are misinformed.
    The Lancet (English Medical Journal vol. 381; June 15,2013) “The reliability of the available HIV/AIDS incidence, prevalence and mortality data for Muslims is low because many Muslim countries either do not report their statistics or are under-reporting.” Note that in examples from Sunna and Hadith lying to the infidel (that’s everyone but them) in order to protect Islam, is a command.
    The article further states: “Global epidemiological indicators, including data from the World Health Organization’s Global Health Atlas, do indicate evidence of the burgeoning threat of an HIV/AIDS crisis in Muslim countries.
    In countries with 50 percent or greater Muslim population, for the period 2001 to 2003, a recent report from the National Bureau of Asian Research in the United States notes that the ever-growing HIV/AIDS crisis in the Muslim world is a problem that poses potentially serious dangers at the national, regional, and international levels.”
    Article is easily accessible on internet.

    In 2005 the L.A Times had a piece on the findings of a 2002 National Intelligence Council study, “The Next Wave of HIV/AIDS” The study finds: “In parts of Iran, nearly 60% of those infected with HIV kill themselves within a year of diagnosis. In Kerman, in southern Iran, an enraged father not long ago took an ax and chopped his 23-year-old to pieces for bringing AIDS into his family.” Sharia law demands honor killings.
    The west, wrongly and to our peril, presumes to interpret how the Muslim practices what the quran actually teaches.
    Walid Shoebat a former member of the Muslim brotherhood and convert to Christianity writes: “While one can easily find verses and Hadith of chastity, the loopholes, always remember Islam is the religion of loopholes, is untold, that when it comes to slaves, anything goes and is taught under all four schools of jurisprudence; Ja’fari (23% Muslims); Hanafi (31%); Maliki (25%); Shafi?i (16%). For example, under the Maliki the allowance for pedophilia and sodomy with enemy slaves, men underage boys or girls is permitted. Who can refute, if so, they must name any Muslim scholar who denounced the four schools of jurisprudence who interpreted Islam.”
    Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/12/islam-religion-homosexuality-pedophilia/#lQeK8SXS7042cGiU.99

    With all due respect to the Holy Father immorality is the single greatest factor in the spread of this disease. The fastest growing AIDS population is not the IV drug abusers. Those engaging in immoral sexual behavior, or the victims of it, are by far, the largest and most prolific group. The World Health Organization or WHO, not known for their particularly moral views, has reams of data which irrefutably points in that direction. If throwing latex at the problem was going to solve it, surely it would have done so already. Consider that this entire country (U.S) has been awash in free condoms since the 1980’s. These things have been distributed for free, by the tons, even in the schools. Yet the scourge of AIDS continues to grow exponentially.
    The Holy Father should be clear and unambiguous when proclaiming the Truths of the Catholic Church. After all they are clear and unambiguous and that is his primary function. Seems to me he missed an excellent opportunity to be a light in this very dark world. He remains in my prayers.
    Our Lady Queen of The Clergy pray for us!

  52. stephen c says:

    pseudomodo – you may think the retired pastor you speak of is malingering, and you may be right, but, in my opinion, it is very possible that he actually can very much enjoy golf while at the same time risking the kind of significant pain in his hips and knees that makes one’s attempts at genuflection and kneeling into instantly-regretted activity that is painful at the moment and leaves lingering pain for many many hours, (sadly, I speak from repeated personal experience with the lingering pain in the abdominal muscles from incorrectly lifting not-all-that-heavy objects that my younger self could have tossed halfway across a room without a second thought). For the one or two people who read this comment and doubt this theory, I suggest a moment’s consideration of a golf star named Jim Furyk, a man who cannot really properly swing a club, but who has perfected a “slap shot” type of swing which, with minimal wear and tear on his hips and knees, gets him almost all the length he needs from his woods and his irons: he makes a couple million a year golfing and seems to enjoy himself, but if I were told he had intense pain whenever he kneeled, I would not be surprised. Of course, the pitching wedge and the putter do not need much action from the hips and knees, and he is unquestionably good with the pitching wedge and putter. Anyway, like I said, you may be right about the non-genuflecting young retired pastor in question, but you may also, for the reasons I have tried to explain, be over-critical and wrong.

  53. Ben Kenobi says:

    @the Chicken.

    Somehow I doubt the African bishops would be going on about the ‘lack of commodities’ being the rationale behind the spread of AIDS in Africa. What I presume they would say is what they say now – that immorality is the result of the spread of AIDS. The solution is the same one they preach, then as now – get married, stay married and remain faithful to your partner. Drink from your own well.

    How can we bear down on Pope Francis for lack of clarity when we don’t get it right among ourselves?

  54. The Masked Chicken says:

    ” As I understand it you are saying that, AIDS among the muslim, is not a problem. If that is the correct understanding then you are misinformed.”

    I do know that AIDS is under-reported in the Moslem populations. Unfortunately, I remembered it two minutes after I posted and didn’t get to change my post.

    “Somehow I doubt the African bishops would be going on about the ‘lack of commodities’ being the rationale behind the spread of AIDS in Africa. What I presume they would say is what they say now – that immorality is the result of the spread of AIDS.”

    Actually, it is both reasons. Lack of commodities is caused by regimes that hoard charity shipments to sell on the black market, thus, not giving the commodities to the people, thus, leading to prostitution (among other reasons, such as cultural outlooks on prostitution). At the same time, as I pointed out, earlier, immorality is also causing the problem. There are a few reasons, but they all amount to selfishness, in the end.

    The Chicken

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