HEY DISSENTERS! Pope Francis says negotiating away parts of the Faith is “the path of apostasy, of disloyalty to the Lord”

Some people are all quivery about Pope Francis new humble style. “Isn’t he wonderful?”, they exclaim. “He’s getting rid of all that fancy stuff for liturgy!  The days of that obviously arrogant old Pope Benedict are over.  Now we have a nice Pope. He cares!”

People who talk that way are also usually squishy on doctrine, if not downright dissenters.

I want to see how dissenters rush to embrace what Francis said in a little sermon today.

I read at the site of vaticanradio.org about a fervorino Francis gave during his daily Mass at the Casa S. Marta.  My fast translation:

Giving witness to the whole of the faith with courage: this is the invitation launched this morning by Pope Francis during the Mass he celebrated in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta.  …

In his brief sermon, the Pope commented on the readings for Saturday of the Octave of Easter: the first finds Peter and John bearing witness with courage to the faith before the Jewish heads despite threats, while in the Gospel the risen Jesus reprimands the incredulity of the Apostles who don’t believe those who state that they have seen Him alive.

The Pontiff asked this question: “How’s our faith?  Is it strong? Or is it sometimes a bit superficial? (all’acqua di rose – “like rose water”, meaning banal, an insufficient substitute, shallow, inadequate)” When difficulties come, “are we courageous like Peter or a little lukewarm?” Peter – he pointed out– didn’t stay silent about the Faith, he din’t descend to compromises, because “the Faith isn’t negotiable.” “There has been, throughout history of the people, this temptation: to chop a piece off the Faith”, the temptation to be a bit “like everyone else does”, the temptation “not to be so very rigid”. “But when we start to cut down the Faith, to negotiate Faith, a little like selling it to the highest bidder”, he stressed, “we take the path of apostasy, of disloyalty to the Lord.”

Pope Francis emphasized that in its history the Church has had many martyrs, down to this day, “because to find martyrs it isn’t necessary to go down to the catacombs or to the Colosseum: martyrs are alive now, in many countries.” “Christians”, Pope Francis stated, “are persecuted for the Faith. In some countries they can’t wear a cross: if they do so they are punished. Today, in the 21st century, our Church is a Church of martyrs.”


Let’s see how the editors of the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) and The Bitter Pill (aka The Bitter Pill… er um… The Tablet)  report on this one… if they mention anything about it all.

Are they going to be all rah-rah when Francis condemns cutting off the parts of the Faith that are hard or that the dissenters don’t like?  Are they going to be all happy-face when Francis calls negotiating things away (as for example when dissenters say “the majority of Catholics think X is okay now” or “we listen to the ‘voice of El Pueblo’!”) superficial and the path to apostasy?

I don’t know what Pope Francis is up to, liturgically speaking.  I am watching and waiting.

But even if he goes in a liturgical direction I don’t prefer, he isn’t going to do anything strange with doctrine.  Francis isn’t going to cave on the doctrinal matters that are hotly fought over in our ongoing culture war.

So he doesn’t wear the mozzetta… yet.  I am really liking Francis forthright preaching.  He talks openly about the devil, about confession, about compromising and negotiating away the Faith as the road to apostasy.

Remember: liberals will turn on Francis pretty soon. They will twist his words out of all recognition and claim that he is actually said “up” when he really said “down”.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. majuscule says:

    I have a non-Catholic (possibly anti-Catholic) very liberal progressive environmentalist Facebook (ahem) “friend” who posted a picture of St. Francis on my FB wall and said he admires the saint and thinks well of our new pope because he took that name. Now that I have that in writing I am going to watch his comments as time goes on.

    The appointment of the new Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious
    (See http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/23855/ )
    Is getting comments about relief for our poor beleaguered nuns:

    “American nuns have seen the election of a Jesuit pope devoted to the poor as a glimmer of hope following a Vatican crackdown under Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI. The nuns were accused of focusing too much on social justice — one of Francis’ priorities — at the expense of other church issues, like abortion.”
    (See http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/04/06/pope-francis-curia-appointment/2058653/ )

  2. mamajen says:

    I have a feeling they’ll just ignore something like this, but if he comes right out and defends some specific aspect of doctrine that they are committed to changing, then they’ll start giving him the full-on Sarah Palin treatment.

  3. KingofCharity says:

    Michael Voris was spot on a couple of weeks ago when he said that the liberal media and heterodox Catholics were trying to “kidnap” our new Pope. They will create a false dichotomy between Pope Benedict and Francis. They will interpret Francis’ subtle modifications of style, preference for simplicity, charitable and compassionate nature, and modest approach to pomp, grandeur, and spectacle as a “sign” of his liberal nature and progressive agenda. In their minds, one can’t be for the “smells and bells” AND for social justice. . . . . . One can’t possibly be for strict adherence to rites, small t traditions, piety, disciplines, canonical law, ritual AND posses a genuine love of the poor.
    I’ve said this since day 1: our Holy Father is going to reconcile the Church’s orthodox social justice doctrine with orthodox liturgical and theological doctrine. He is demonstrating the congruity, coherence, and continuity between being a champion of the poor AND unborn fetuses. A champion of charity and rigid doctrine. A champion of simplicity, modesty, and humility AND aesthetic beauty, grandeur, and pomp. A champion of the dogmatic Traditions AND the nuances of small t traditions. A champion of humble service to the needy AND reverent service to ritual and ceremony. A champion of the environment AND Eucharistic Adoration. A champion of women’s rights in society AND a male-only, celibate priesthood. A champion of Eucharist as a banquet/meal of gratitude among believers AND the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the Risen and Glorified Jesus Christ of Nazareth. A champion of the local Bishop AND Papal Supremacy. A champion of the local Church AND the universal Church. A champion of ecumenism AND Dominus Iesus. A champion of mercy AND justice.
    He will show the difference between a genuine “liturgy of the people” vs. an irreverent, illicit, heterodox Mass. His endorsement of liturgical conservatism AND liturgical minimalism that is holy and reverent with become a symbol of his desire to unify the Church in all other areas.

  4. jacobi says:

    “ But when we start to cut down the Faith “

    That is what has been happening in the Church for so long now. The retreat from Faith which St Pius X, in 1907, warned us about, goes on today, and Pope Francis is highlighting this.

    The Church is still rife with Secularism and Modernism, and the surest way to counter this is to continue the Reform of the Reform of the Pauline Mass and support the re-establishment of the co-equal ancient Gregorian Mass. Lex orandi lex credendi.

  5. sciencemom says:

    @mamajen – I agree. At least at first, they will just ignore it. It’s almost like they think that they have the power to make it go away by ignoring it.

  6. sciencemom says:

    Oh, and it’s wonderful to hear Pope Francis say these kinds of things straight out and not pussyfoot around. Just like Pope Benedict. Alleluia!

  7. KingofCharity says:

    But he is calling us all out, not just liberals. How many conservative, orthodox Catholics are there who are always calling out “cafeteria Catholics”? Yes, we orthodox Catholics sometimes forget to embrace certain aspects of the Church’s doctrine. He is calling out “cafeteria Catholics” on both sides.
    How many conservative Catholics protest abortion, but fail to visit the hopeless in prison or visit the elderly in hospitals?
    Courageously speak out against gay-marriage, but fail to respect the intrinsic dignity of homosexuals?
    Fail to protect the environment?
    Courageously defend the all-male priesthood, but remain quiet when women are paid significantly less than men or exploited in third world countries?

  8. FranzJosf says:

    “There has been, throughout history of the people, this temptation: to chop a piece off the Faith.”

    You mean he’s looking at things before Vatican II?

    “the temptation ‘not to be so very rigid’ ”

    But they tell us being rigid isn’t pastoral! Hmm.

    I would imagine that there are some bright, sharp progressives out there who aren’t liking what they’re hearing. Maybe they’ll try to ignore it for a while. But have you ever known a liberal who can all the time hold in the rage at perceived grievances and victimization? I never have. (It seems to be a liberal occupational hazard to be quick to anger. But they don’t like Saint Paul much anyway.) If Pope Francis keeps up these kinds of sermons, we’ll be hearing from the liberals and post-modernists.

  9. McCall1981 says:

    This is fantastic! Anyone know where there is an english translation of the whole homily?

  10. jlmorrell says:

    I think some misunderstand why dissident Catholics are overjoyed with the election of Pope Francis. It isn’t because the progressive counterfeit Catholics think he will proceed towards a wholesale dismantling of the faith. Perhaps some of the idiots think this, but not the clever progressives. The clever ones hope and expect that Pope Francis will simply allow the Revolution to continue within the Church. The Revolution which broke out with Vatican II and its aftermath was only slowed by Pope Benedict due to his benevolence toward Traditionalists and the Usus Antiquior.

    The reason Pope Benedict was hated by the dissidents is simple – he loosened the vice grip that they’d had on the Traditionalist for the past 40 years. The promulgation of Summorum Pontificum was simply unforgivable for this reason.

    So, the dissidents will NOT turn on Pope Francis as long as they view him as useful to their agenda, the continuance of the Revolution. But, if he ever moves decisively (by use of clear and authoritative governance) to halt this agenda, they will turn on him viciously. Sadly, there is no indication at this point to expect this.

  11. FranzJosf says:

    jlmorrell: You make a very good point about the strategy and tactics of the Innovators and Revolutionaries! While they would love everything overturned in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, they’ve been content with “incrementalism.” And with it, they’ve accomplished a lot since after WWII. With few exceptions, JPII didn’t slow them down too much, but Benedict XVI put on the breaks a bit more.

    You say there is no indication that Francis will try to stop them. You’re right. So far, we’ve had some strong words. It will take a while longer to see how or if his actions interpret his strong-sounding words.

  12. frjim4321 says:

    It’s a great homily. I think he’s right on target. So, for the record, the token moderate here has no problem at all with this wonderful homily.

    Why be so hopeful that liberals will turn on the pope? I think we need to unpack that sentiment.


  13. frjim4321 says: Why be so hopeful that liberals will turn on the pope? I think we need to unpack that sentiment.

    You can pack the suggestion that I – your statement is directed at me – that I hope liberals will turn on the Pope back into your little green plastic bubble-pipe.

    I do NOT want anyone to – hope for anyone to – turn on the Pope. I want them to respect the Pope and obey the Church’s laws and not dissent from the Church’s teachings on faith and morals. I hope they will stop dissenting and start obeying the Church’s laws more faithfully.

    Liberals are going to turn on the Pope. It is only a question of when. I don’t want them to, but they are going to.

  14. TLM says:

    Spot on Fr. Z! (re:liberals).

    I’m not sure the liberal media has understood much of what Pope Francis has said. But, when they do, they will have to do it gradually since they’ve already painted one picture of him.

  15. BLB Oregon says:

    —“American nuns have seen the election of a Jesuit pope devoted to the poor as a glimmer of hope following a Vatican crackdown under Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI. The nuns were accused of focusing too much on social justice — one of Francis’ priorities — at the expense of other church issues, like abortion.”—

    Like his predecessor and unlike the sisters of the LCWR, Pope Francis recognizes that abortion is first and last an issue of extreme interest to anyone who cares AT ALL about social justice!

    This is from http://www.lifenews.com/2013/03/13/cardinal-jorge-mario-bergoglio-becomes-pope-francis-to-lead-catholics/….and can we all raise an “AMEN”!!!

    In an October 2, 2007 speech Bergoglio said that “we aren’t in agreement with the death penalty,” but “in Argentina we have the death penalty. A child conceived by the rape of a mentally ill or retarded woman can be condemned to death.”

    The remarks came during the presentation of a document called the Aparecida Document, a joint statement of the bishops of Latin America.

    In the document, the new Pope referred to abortion and communion, saying “we should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence’, that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals.”

    Archbishop Bergoglio said then that “the most mentioned word in the Aparecida Document is ‘life’, because the Church is very conscious of the fact that the cheapest thing in Latin America, the thing with the lowest price, is life.”

  16. anna 6 says:

    King of Charity:
    “How many conservative Catholics protest abortion, but fail to visit the hopeless in prison or visit the elderly in hospitals? Courageously speak out against gay-marriage, but fail to respect the intrinsic dignity of homosexuals…”

    Perhaps fewer than you think.

    I agree that Francis is calling all of us hypocrites out…and we all are, to some degree. But I know so many sincere Catholics that transcend the black and white terminology.

  17. TNCath says:

    You can bet your bottom dollar the liberals will indeed turn on the Pope. I can distinctly remember the glee with which the liberal establishment (firmly established in my diocese at the time) welcomed the election of Pope John Paul II. Within a year they were terrified of him after he taught orthodox doctrine, spoke about the virtues of the religious habit, extolled the value of traditional Catholic family life, and promoted devotion to the Divine Mercy and the Chaplet of Mercy. The honeymoon with the press was over, and he became one of their favorite targets. Stay tuned.

    As for the present Holy Father’s liturgical “style,” I’ll be anxious to see how things develop after the Holy Father’s recent visit with Cardinal Canizares. I think the direction of this papacy’s liturgies and liturgies throughout the world might very well depend on how long Cardinal Canizares continues as Prefect for the CDW and how long Msgr. Guido Marini remains papal MC.

    Oremus pro Pontifice…

  18. lydia says:

    Fr. Jim, I hope the Holy Father is able to convert the dissident clergy, bring religious orders who have moved beyond Jesus back to the fold. I hope and pray he is able to move liberal and moderate{lukewarm} Catholics to practice the true faith and give up there crazy ideas such as gay marriage is a civil right, women should be priests, contraception and abortion is a matter of concience. I don’t want them to turn on the Holy Father I want him to keep them from going over the cliff.

  19. KingofCharity says:

    Perhaps our Holy Father’s profound witness of faith, hope, and love with “convert” many liberals and lukewarm Catholics. When we juxtapose his compassionate spirit and charitable disposition against the hedonism, excess, sensuality, religious extremism, radical fundamentalism, vitriolic atheism, morally bankrupt relativism, and spiritually empty materialism of the world, one can’t help but think: “Now there is Truth . . . I want what Pope Francis has. I’m not certain of too many things in this life, but that is Truth . . . . I thirst for more . . . etc.” Pope Francis will win them over and convert their hearts. They will have no choice but to accept ALL the Truth that comes with Pope Francis. He will win their hearts, and therefore, be capable of winning their minds. Encounter Christ first, and ALL the difficult teachings will follow.

  20. KingofCharity says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly,
    In no way did I mean to attack orthodox Catholics. And I believe there are way, way, way more “cafeteria Catholics” in the liberal, progressive, heterodox camp. Also, I don’t like to simplify the church into secular political terms– conservative vs liberal, left vs. right.

    You are correct when you stated, “Francis is calling all of us hypocrites out…and we all are, to some degree.” I agree. What “few” hypocrites and cafeteria Catholics there are in the orthodox camp, he is calling them out. I must also add that when “orthodox” Catholics are “cafeteria Catholics” it is NOT out of dissent or rejection of papal authority. When living a life of “incomplete doctrine” comes from traditionalists and orthodox Catholics, it is usually out of ignorance and NOT defiance of teaching, so it is a different kind of “cafeteria” mindset. Whereas the liberals it is open defiance and dissent against Rome.

  21. catholicmidwest says:

    He’s talking about the real thing, not the watered down version that often gets substituted for Christianity. This is the New Evangelization.

  22. Ignatius says:

    Regarding the appointment of the new Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious, Fray José Rodríguez Carballo, a franciscan “gallego” through and through, liberals -nuns or otherwise- should not be excited AT ALL. He seems as orthodox and candid as it gets. For those who read Spanish, I would recommend redng this interview, entitled “La Iglesia no sólo tiene el derecho sino el deber de proponer sus convicciones de fe” (http://infocatolica.com/?t=noticia&cod=15649). He certainly doesn’t mince words.

    Best regards,

  23. Bea says:

    Wow hadn’t heard that word from the pulpit in a long-long time.

    As to the dissenters we’ll have to wait and see what reaction we get from Rome after they start with:
    “This is what he r -e -a -l -l -y meant…………”

    May the dust fly when “Spring-cleaning” begins.

    When it comes to Apostasy, I’m pro-choice: Repentance or Excommunication.

  24. AnnAsher says:

    It does not add up that one speech PF1 is saying we can’t piece meal truth and the next he is equating the varying “truths” of other religions; citing the Muslim god as the true God – which He can not be since they deny Christ.
    I see a false ecumenism. Divergent truths being preached. It concerns me.

  25. Bea says:


    Interesting blog. I’ve bookmarked it. I like to see what other countries have to say.
    I especially liked the last part of his response to the original question

    – La Iglesia está metida en un debate sobre cuestiones que se consideran políticas. ¿Cómo se ve esto desde la orden Franciscana?
    – Yo pienso que la Iglesia no solo tiene el derecho sino el deber de proponer sus convicciones de fe, como la defensa de la vida, no para imponerlas a nadie sino para proponerlas. La Iglesia habla contra el aborto porque no puede hacer otra cosa desde el Evangelio. Y quien dice el aborto dice la familia basada en un matrimonio entre un hombre y una mujer abierto a la vida. LA IGLESIA NO PRETENDE HACER POLÍTICA SINO SIMPLEMENTE DEJAR CLARAS LAS POSTURAS QUE DESDE EL EVANGELIO TIENE QUE DEFENDER.

    Trans: The Church does not pretend to make policies (political) but simply to clarify that which from the gospel’s standpoint it must defend.

    I wonder if his description of Apostasy might include getting more embroiled in politics than in the Salvation of Souls, which I suspect some of our religious leadership is prone to do.

  26. Bea says:

    Good point , AnnAsher, some “ecumenism” smacks to me as apostasy.

  27. Parasum says:

    “HEY DISSENTERS! Pope Francis says negotiating away parts of the Faith is “the path of apostasy, of disloyalty to the Lord””

    ## The Tablet and the NCRep are not the villains. The lion’s share of the blame belongs to traitor bishops like JP2 & Paul VI. [?] Unfortunately, it is easier, and far less controversial and dangerous, go pin the blame on the minnows, while letting the whales go uncriticised.

    It was Paul VI – not “The Tablet” – who is responsible for the errors and heresies spewed out by the Anglicanising Catholics of ARCIC; he approved ARCIC, and did not condemn any of the documents for the treasons committed against orthodox Catholicism. He fraternised with these abettors of heresy, instead of rebuking them for deceiving the Faithful. Far from strengthening his brethren, he scattered the flock by allowing hirelings and robbers to govern them. It is very unfair to ignore the authors of these evils, and to blame only those whose faith has been corrupted by them. It was Paul VI who gave the Bl. Sacrament to a Protestant woman – thereby showing that all this talk about the dignity of the Sacraments is nothing but Papal hot air. When push comes to shove, Popes fold.

    As for John Paul II, he is beyond description. It is enough to say that he and Paul VI are to a great extent the authors of the confusion, discouragement, demoralisation, liturgical abuses, worldliness, doctrinal flabbiness, loss of nerve, lack of missionary zeal, narcissism and other vices of the CC today. It was the Popes, not the papers, who decided that the Jews must not be evangelised – a piece of “disloyalty to the Lord” so staggering and blatant, that no “liberal” journalists could hope to match it.

    Trying to blame the “liberals” for the trouble is evasive and worse, & will do nothing to mend matters. It was JP2, not “the liberals”, who folded like wet spaghetti in 1994, and allowed altar girls. This made Catholic objections to them a hundred times less credible than before, because the Pope was seen to have caved in, rather than standing firm. The Pope should blame his predecessors for their ruinous actions and decisions – that is where most of the blame belongs.

    As for the abominations of “Western M[e]sses”, “clown Messes”, and other anti-Catholic (& even idolatrous) vilenesses – the clergy, especially bishops, and even cardinals, can take lots of the credit for making what should be approached with holy awe & reverence and profound devotion into a bastard mixture of a pantomime, a game show, and a religious occasion. This weblog is not unaware of such “events”. [I suspect I have already forgotten more about these matters than you have ever known.] Cardinal Bergoglio is one of those men. If a legion of demons had intended to pervert the Mass into a mess, they could hardly have been more successful. Disloyalty ? The Pope need look no further than himself, and his recent predecessors. Even to think of these things “darkens the heart”.

    Bitter Fruit Award

    [This comment lost you your regular posting privilege here. It is possible to express misgivings about Popes without trashing them in a scandalous way. It may be that you need to take your “darkened heart” to another place for a while.]

  28. KingofCharity says:

    Protestant ramblings, anti-papist spew, and Martin Luther-esque rubbish.
    The ecumenical, pastoral, missionary, Christological, social, and evangelical spirit of Vatican II is in complete harmony and continuity with the doctrinal, theological, and liturgical orthodoxy of Trent.
    Popes are sinful and erroneous sinners who hold an infallible office. Pray for them. Don’t bash them. The Church is an ancient Mother and she has witnessed the entire gamut of human nature sit on the throne of Peter. Stay in fraternal and charitable union with the See of Peter, and you will remain at peace and be certain that Peter is feeding and tending His Sheep via the Barque of Peter.

  29. KingofCharity says:

    “A very close and organic bond exists between the renewal of the liturgy and the renewal of the whole life of the Church”
    JPII “Dominicae Cenae”

  30. Trisagion says:

    frjim4321, apart from the incipient passive-aggressive arrogance that claiming to be “moderate” reeks of, could you explain why you believe (a) you are a moderate; (b) why that is admirable; and (c) how it differs from being laodicean?

    Far from being “moderate”, your posts here often seem to involve a strange ecclesial version of the political technique of triangulation between extremist straw men of your own creation/projection, deployed always in negative judgment of those whose posts you habitually misrepresent. It was the favoured technique of the inexplicable Bill Clinton and, here in the UK, by that dreadful liar Tony Blair. Neither seems to be the kind of man a priest might think an appropriate example to follow. I am prepared to be convinced, in the ansence of evidence to the contrary, that you lurk around other blogs chiding those from what you consider to be the “other” extreme but, somehow, I doubt it. Whilst it might make for pastoral solicitude, in medio stat virtus is a poor lodestar for apostolic zeal.

  31. Supertradmum says:

    Trisagion, if you are going to argue points, be logical and do not fall into fallacies, such as ad hominems. Fr Jim is a brother in Christ and deserves our discussion, not derision, if we address him. Words like “lurk” are not appropriate in argumentation.

    As to misrepresentations, if you are so concerned, point these out one by one and address the faulty thinking. Otherwise, you have not made a case yourself for debate.

  32. Phil_NL says:

    The thing is, Supertradmum, that Frjim, for all the respect we owe him due to his priestly status, uses the word ‘moderate’ to describe himself in such a way that it is beginning to sound like an ad hominem to the rest of us.
    He’s the (token, so by implication, sole) moderate here, so we’re all extremists of some sort. Given the fact that, based on the content of frjims posts, there are probalably a lot more people to my ‘right’ than there are to his ‘left’ – making me more ‘moderate’ than him, even though I’m implicitly called an extremist – that rankles. I’ll leave it to Trisagion to defend his own post, but I suspect it was born out of sentiments that I sadly share.

  33. Pingback: Pope Francis Promises He Will Be Very Rigid. | Mundabor's Blog

  34. ALL: I am starting to a twitch in my “ban-button” finger.


  35. Soporatus says:

    “even if he goes in a liturgical direction I don’t prefer, he isn’t going to do anything strange with doctrine”
    A loosely generous gesture perhaps. But risky. What you “prefer” is the Roman Missal (et al.). Theology, doctrine is not independent of worship. And errant worship has been used for a Century to distract from, deviate from, and destroy understanding of Truth. Respectfully…

    I only discovered this blog recently. Worth daily reading. [Stick around. You’ll find that, around here, liturgy is doctrine.]

  36. Cathy says:

    I think Pope Francis will prove to be the simple man’s Benedict XVI. Same faith, same message, shot from the hip. My sister is an LPN, a good nurse. She’s not a great academic, but a doctor used to bring other nurses and doctors to listen to her do patient teaching and instruction for care when they left the hospital. She understood that the patient and the family were not stupid, but also understood the patient wasn’t a nurse or a doctor familiar with the language of medicine, but that they deserved to know well how to care for themselves when sent home. Pope Francis has been a priest and a bishop living in solidarity with the poor, in a house like theirs, on a street like theirs and taking upon himself ordinary responsibilities like theirs-cooking and cleaning. His conversation has been with the poor, and more than anything the wealthy or the politicos can offer them, he offers them conversion to Christ, the necessity of every creature regardless of race, creed, age, color or social status. I honestly don’t think his choice of living arrangements or his choice of simpler garments makes him more humble than another pope, I think these choices are simply a reflection of a very necessary conversation between Christ and the poor and the wealthy and the politicos which has been deflected and diluted via liberation theology, social justice and anti-poverty campaigns which propose simply to make greater devils of men by increasing envy among the poor, fear among the wealthy and a demand upon the politicos to equalize all through the destruction of moral foundations. These campaigns are most directly aimed at the most personal wealth both rich and poor bring into the world-their children. Our most personal and rich response to all must always be Christ.

  37. “So he doesn’t wear the mozzetta… yet. I am really liking Francis forthright preaching. He talks openly about the devil, about confession, about compromising and negotiating away the Faith as the road to apostasy.”

    I agree completely. This is how I’ve felt about him for a while–the simplified liturgy does of course leave something to be desired, but I’ve seen a number of dynamite homilies that speak the truth clearly and boldly. For that I am grateful.

    Just the other day, he said this:

    “[I]n this world that offers us so many saviors, it is only the name of Jesus that saves. [O]nly Jesus saves and we must bear witness to this! He is the only one.”
    ~Pope Francis, Homily at Mass, April 5, 2013

    No false ecumenism there!

  38. tealady24 says:

    Pope Francis is just what we need! I’m hoping every day that his words of wisdom will land in my very lukewarm heart and fire it up for the Lord. Life is tough enough and distractions all around; his simple way is one to follow.

  39. sciencemom says:

    @KingofCharity, a belated response to your comment of 6 April 2013 at 4:20 pm:
    I agree with the basic point you make, that this homily is directed at all of us, because we all are tempted to chop off the bits of the Faith we find difficult. But I must disagree with some of the specifics.

    For example, you speak of conservative Catholics who protest abortion but fail to visit prisoners or the elderly in hospitals. Taking your examples together, I think I could roughly paraphrase it as performing some of the acts of mercy (both spiritual and physical) but not others. I don’t think that any one person is obligated / expected to do them all. e.g. For a mother of young children, it may be possible to pray outside an abortion facility or help out at a food bank, but not to visit the imprisoned or bury deceased strangers. I don’t think that would make her someone who is headed toward apostasy. IOW, there is a big difference between recognizing the good of the work and yet not participating (because of good reasons which may involve other duties / obligations / etc.) and simply rejecting the good or the teaching about it. The “cafeteria” mentality, regardless of which teachings one chooses to reject is the latter, not the former.

    Your final example has two disparate elements. One concerns women being paid significantly less than men to do the same work. The other concerns the treatment of women in third world countries. Speaking as a woman, an engineer, and a former anti-Catholic agnostic-feminist-environmentalist, I think you are off-base here as well. I have spent time investigating the claim that women in the U.S. are paid significantly less to do the same work. It’s very rarely true. Think about it for a moment: if you as a businessman could get the same work done for less money by women instead of men, you could raise your profit margins instantly simply by hiring a bunch of women and firing all the men! Of course, this would increase the demand for women workers, which would raise their pay — it’s self-correcting. All the figures that I have seen cited fail to account for the fact that higher-risk, higher-paying jobs are dominated by men. In other words, they are not really comparing the wages paid to different workers for the same work, but simply comparing average wages for women vs. men. That’s a completely different thing and does not — in fact cannot — tell us whether there is any discrimination going on.

    On the other point — I actually think orthodox folks are quicker to point out and oppose the exploitation of women in third-world countries. Remember that a significant part of that exploitation comes at the hands of population control agencies, opposing which is completely taboo to the “progressive” mindset. BTDT. Example? China’s one child policy.

    Again, I do agree with your basic point that Pope Francis’s words are a challenge to us all.
    Pax Christi!

  40. Bill Foley says:

    I can only imagine what the liberal dissenters will do and say when Pope Francis begins to implement the Church’s discipline about not admitting men with same-sex-attraction disorder (SSAD) into seminaries and not ordaining them as deacons or priests.

  41. winoblue1 says:

    I do think this new pope’s homily style is quite simple and accessible but i fear he will appease the liberals by saying what they want to hear and speak ambiguously or not at all about the hard teachings.
    We need just look to his time in Argentina — no friend of tradition and reverent liturgy and perhaps towing a friendly conservatism that confronts no one and doesntvstop the juggernaut of modernity.
    The pope of the last 50 years have been a trial and a terrible one– and it ain’t getting any better any time soon.
    Pray and pray more — for God to send another Pius to rescue us as soon as possible.

  42. KingofCharity says:

    First, congratulations on your entrance into the Catholic fold! God’s mercy and transformational grace are profoundly beautiful and wonderful! What is great about Catholicism is that you don’t have to discard everything you believed in your former way of life; Catholicism just prioritizes, clarifies, corrects, focuses, discards, and re-aligns our “pagan” inclinations and sanctifies them in Christ. You can still be an advocate for the environment and animal welfare without embracing neo-pantheism or succumbing to zoolatry. You can be a scientist without accepting philosophical naturalism, materialism, and atheistic evolution. You can be an authentic feminist and fight for genuine women’s rights without accepting the fallacious premises of radical feminism. You can use your human tendency of “doubt” to push you towards faith, wonder, and mystery and not surrender to nihilistic agnosticism and moral relativism. You can be a champion of reason and faith. Etc. Catholicism is the crossroads of all human knowledge–moral, spiritual, scientific, aesthetic, artistic, architectural, musical, etc. and perfected through the lens of Divine Revelation. Welcome home!

    As for your comments, I appreciate your civil tone and honest, prudent, and thorough response to my post. I also respect and concede to most of your rebuttal to the finer details of my argument. I will have to reconsider some of my finer points. I see your points, especially regarding the spiritual and corporeal works of mercy. But, remember that I did state the faith/prayer life of “incomplete doctrine” on behalf of traditional/conservative Catholics is often based on ignorance and NOT open defiance of the Bishop of Rome (e.g. failure to read a current encyclical, etc.)
    I’m glad that you see my larger point- even orthodox Catholics can sometimes “neglect” the entire gamut of Catholic teaching. Perhaps some better or more accurate examples of my main point–I have had conservative and Trad Catholic friends who advocate ONLY subsidiarity, but neglect or ignore solidarity. Also, I have had friends ignore a lot of Caritas in Veritate.

    God bless you
    Enjoy your newfound life of repentance, faith, hope, and love as you remain firmly planted in the Barque of Peter.

  43. LarryW2LJ says:

    Dissenters will always be dissenters, unfortunately. For them it will be “Pay attention to the “humble” and ignore the rest.

  44. JonPatrick says:

    The problem with Social Justice is that like many terms it has become redefined. The church has always been working for social justice, in terms of the 7 corporal works of mercy. At some point the society lost the concept of Hope as the Church understands it, of a belief in eternal life in Heaven, and instead started focusing on hope for a heaven on earth. Unfortunately this new definition has infiltrated the church somewhat so that we are no longer concerned with saving souls but just making their lives better now because it is life on earth that really matters. Of course we have to continue to try to make lives better for our neighbors in need. I do believe that Pope Francis’ emphasis on God’s love for us and our need to open our hearts and respond will strengthen our faith and then love of neighbor will flow from that, but love of God must come first. But it will put things in their proper perspective, which the liberal heaven-on-earth does not.

  45. KingofCharity says:

    Well said, good point.
    I agree that “unfortunately this new definition has infiltrated the church somewhat so that we are no longer concerned with saving souls.”
    You’re right, our corporeal works are supposed to usher in the Parousia and the Kingdom of God, not establish it. The Pilgrim Church, or Church Militant, as a sacramental reflection of the Kingdom of God, is mystically linked to the Christ’s Final Judgment and Eschaton, but it is not THEE Eschaton–the final Kingdom of God and the New and Heavenly Jerusalem.
    Many “social justice” advocates seem to think that the Catholic Church’s mission can end poverty, establish world peace, end all forms of persecution, exploitation, and injustice. We’ve forgotten that this world is the old world and passing away; we will never wipe away every tear or vanquish poverty. Christ will only accomplish this at the Eschaton. We have hope that our acts of charity and mercy within the temporal order (Church Militant) will bring about peace and justice, but ultimately we do works of charity and mercy because Christ told us that is how we serve him and contribute to the sanctification of our souls and the souls of the suffering.

  46. KingofCharity says:

    “The Church well knows that no temporal achievement is to be identified with the Kingdom of God, but that all such achievements simply reflect and in a sense anticipate the glory of the Kingdom, the Kingdom that we await at the end of history, when the Lord will come again” [Solicitudo Rei Socialis, Pope John Paul II, # 48].

  47. sciencemom says:

    Thanks for your response. It is so refreshing to have a civil exchange on the Internet! :)
    When we truncate any part of the Faith, it is we who lose. For myself, I see no conflict between subsidiarity and solidarity. I am so grateful for having found the fullness of Truth — Christ Himself. May we always remain close to Him.
    God bless you, too!

  48. anncouper-johnston says:

    sciencemom – welcome! We need people who know what makes the secular world tick. I have trouble remembering that for people less aged than me, abortion and homosexual practice are the norm, not taboos that are unthinkable; I need to remember, because people I speak to are coming with different assumptions from those I grew up with, and what I think can sound too harsh.
    How do we get round the problem that to respond to the sort of things people think good has us all too often sounding like one big THOU-SHALT-NOT? It shouldn’t be that we are “against same-sex-marriage” but that we are for marriage to be all that it was meant to be, not that we are against abortion, but that we are for the best outcome for both mother and child. The culture tends to determine the perameters of our response, and to our disadvantage – and they don’t usually have the patience to listen to a redefinition.
    I hope you’ve already seen lots of positive value in our Faith and haven’t got too much flak in the process.
    Others out there: I was encouraged by something Pope Francis said along the lines of the fact that we must preach Christ as well as do good – otherwise we are merely another NGO. That sounds like he’s got social justice in its right place.

  49. Non sum dignus says:

    “The ecumenical, pastoral, missionary, Christological, social, and evangelical spirit of Vatican II is in complete harmony and continuity with the doctrinal, theological, and liturgical orthodoxy of Trent.”

    @KingofCharity – That’s quite stretch.

  50. ireneadler says:

    huh. when i read this homily i assumed he was talking about the hypocritical conservatives who care more about saving face than saving children. tomato tomato

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