Liberal over-reaction to The Big Interview

From the Catholic League a reaction to liberal over-reaction to TBI™ (aka The Big Interview).

Pope “Hates Dogma”

September 23, 2013
Bill Donohue discusses the way the left is responding to Pope Francis:

If ever there were any doubt that the Catholic left and the secular left have much in common, it is doubted no more. Consider that Jane Fonda [aka Hanoi Jane] tweeted this weekend that Pope Francis “hates dogma,” and that today we learned from Fordham theologian Michael Peppard that while the pope “is a lover of traditional prayers and books,” the “old Q-and-A Baltimore Catechism is not among them.”  Of course, neither quoted the pope as making these comments, and that’s because he never did. [ASIDE: We should bring back Q&A catechism, and that right soon.]

Whoopi Goldberg, who has made a career criticizing the pope’s predecessors, loves Pope Francis because he said, according to her, that atheists are going to heaven. On the website of the New Republic, we find out that New York mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, outed today in the New York Times as a former Marxist, [The only good Marxist is an ex-Marxist.] shares with the pope a fondness for liberation theology (never mind that just last week it was reported that the pope’s exchange with the Peruvian father of liberation theology was “serious and sharp”).  [Think about having a “serious and sharp” exchange with a pope. Whom you do think would be easier on you B16, or Francis?  I’ll take B16 any day of the week and twice on Sunday.]

Homosexual Catholics and secularists have never been happier about a pope. New York Times columnist Frank Bruni is literally screaming “Hallelujah.” Pundit Andrew Sullivan is “still reeling” about the pope’s published interview of last week, exclaiming this is “The Rebirth of Catholicism.”  [Risus abundant in ore stultorum.] The Human Rights Campaign, a gay activist group, is heralding the “transformative change” that the pope is bringing. Perhaps they think the pope is going to host a gay dance in the Vatican.

Frances Kissling, the pro-abortion ex-Catholic, says “the bishops have been part of the problem.” What problem? Making the abortion debate “ugly.” James Salt of Catholics United,  a dissident front group, [for the First Gay President] is also trying to drive a wedge between the bishops and the pope. Sister Simone “Nuns-on-the-Bus” Campbell commends the pope for “saying that the Gospel cannot be used to benefit one political party.” This from the same woman who spoke at the Democratic National Convention. Stay tuned for more. They’re coming out of the woodwork.

Liberals are throwing spittle-flecked nutties of unconsidered joy.

Eventually they will sober up and figure out what he is really saying.  They will turn on him sooner or later, though after all this precipitous adulation it’ll be hard to do so and continue to appear even slightly reasonable.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I recently purchased a copy of Ott’s “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma”. I bought it used online from a Benedictine Abbey gone liberal. Inside on the title page it has a big “Discard” stamp on it. When I first saw that, I thought to myself, “that about says it right there”.

  2. ajf1984 says:

    I wonder what they will make of the excommunication of Australian priest (now laicized), Greg Reynolds, dated 31 May 2013?
    Probably that this was a holdover from the bad old days of Pope Benedict XVI, but presumably Pope Francis could have intervened if he thought it appropriate.

  3. Basher says:

    “”Perhaps they think the pope is going to host a gay dance in the Vatican.””

    Um…I’d be really, really careful about saying thing like that. 6 months ago, it would have been really easy to write “I guess they think Pope Francis is going say that Catholics are ‘too obsessed’ with abortion and gay marriage.”

  4. Nancy D. says:

    I am not sure what to make of the excommunication of this priest, I only know that when despite the seamless Garment, you begin to see a pattern that creates this tangled web, you cannot help but wonder what exactly is going on in the Vatican these days.

  5. JuliB says:

    I think I’ve figured out my ‘issue’ with our Pope. ‘Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no’. So much of what he says is vague. With PE B16, I would eagerly read Fr Z’s interpretation because while I understood what B16 meant when he spoke, it would only be at a high level. Fr Z and the many great posters here would enrich my understanding of B16’s words.

    Sure, I’d feel like a shallow thinker, but that was fine.

    With Francis, I come here to figure out what he said even at a surface level. I hear the words, but I can’t reconcile some of what I read with that which I know. I get upset because I must be misunderstanding. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

    Thank God for this blog.

  6. netokor says:

    “Eventually they will sober up and figure out what he is really saying.”

    Yes, but we now need quick and effective damage control. Here’s another example of bad consequences: I’ve just read this on-line (fox news-entertainment):

    “Last week, Pope Francis made headlines when he stated that the Catholic Church has become too focused on “small-minded rules” regarding controversial issues like homosexuality. And Roma Downey, the co-creater of History Channel’s mega-success “The Bible,” is praising his message.

    “I think the Pope is a real blessing to the world,” she told FOX411 at The Hollywood Reporter’s soiree to celebrate the Emmys and the new fall season of television. “He’s brought in some new hope, healing and grace with his desire to focus on loving each other and surely that is what Jesus taught us. I think he’s a Pope of Hope.”

    So the Pope of Hope is focused on our loving each other and not on enforcing small minded rules….


  7. inexcels says:

    I think part of the problem is Pope Francis’ message is tailored for the developing world, where perhaps his style and approach makes sense. (Or so I’d like to believe.) Here in the First World (AKA La-La Land), the result of his style is that all the secularists and heretics think he is completing the demolition of the Church and are throwing a big party. I’m actually not convinced that Francis understands or considers the First World Church situation very much. Things will start to improve here once more people in power realize that Europe and the U.S. are not bastions of Catholicism but missionary territory.

  8. rdschreiner says:

    Here is a letter to the editor in the St. Paul Pioneer Press using Pope Francis’ words to call on the carpet Archbishop Nienstedt. We will clearly see more of this addressed to Church leadership and those of us who are more orthodox.

    A redirection of energy

    I look forward to hearing an enthusiastic response from Archbishop John Nienstedt as he welcomes, through newly opened eyes, Pope Francis’ firm rebuke of the church’s narrow and judgmental focus on controversial social issues, to the detriment of respect for the profound law of love handed down from Jesus (“Pope chides church for focus on gays, abortion, birth control,” Sept. 20).

    I know the archbishop holds his obligation of obedience to the pope in high regard, so I trust we will begin to see a redirection of energy from doctrinal authority to appreciation of personal conscience as he refocuses our attention to authentic matters of spirit and creates the mandated new atmosphere within the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

    Archbishop Nienstedt has shown himself to be a man of relentless vitality for causes he chooses to champion. It could be breathtaking to watch this shepherd evolve as a man of true vision, rather than religious myopia.

    Shawn Gilbert, Bloomington

  9. Eliane says:

    Pope Francis is certainly making Donahue earn his salary. However, I don’t need Donohue to tell me what Francis is saying. I take at face value that all the confusion, hurt and betrayal Francis sows is deliberate and malicious. I must conclude that he is not a good man.

  10. Bosco says:

    @netokor ,
    hope and change, eh?

  11. TimG says:

    Does someone have a link to the report about the Pope’s exchange with the Peruvian father? TIA

  12. kpoterack says:


    This is the link, although I think the “sharp and serious” exchange was with a priest who asked the pope a question about liberation theology. We don’t know what went on in the meeting with Fr. Gutierrez, because it was a private meeting. Still, plenty of people in the know have confirmed that Pope Francis is no lover of Marxist analysis.

  13. Sissy says:

    I just want to add my praise for a return to a Q and A catechism. My hard-headed husband was converted through reading a copy of the Baltimore Catechism that I gave him (along with many prayers to Our Lady, of course). As for our Holy Father’s interviews, I have invariably found that once I read the actual interview, I feel more and more reassured and hopeful.

  14. anilwang says:

    Theological liberals are theological liberals. To them what Pope Francis tried to say is less important than what they can convince the bulk of people that he supports their view that “truth is relative and all paths lead to God”. They’re doing a fine job of convincing people left and right that he’s “The Catholic Obama”. To a theological liberal, truth is unimportant (or for “small minds”). What counts is the story you can tell. That’s why they don’t feel its important if Jesus is God or rose from the dead or performed any miracles.

    As long as the Pope gives off the cuff interviews with little prior thought, they’ll continue to be able to cement this image. Pope Francis doesn’t want to change his style, so I don’t think they’ll ever turn on him since he serves their purposes. Of course things might change if he does something drastic, such as shut down the LCWR…but even then they might be able to spin it as they have Obama’s actions, if they think they can get more mileage out of him.

  15. “Frances Kissling, the pro-abortion ex-Catholic . . .”

    AKA Francis Quisling (the most alias ever?)

    “Eventually they [the liberals] will sober up and figure out what he [Francis] is really saying.

    Alas, I fear this will never happen, that they will continue to be able to use his remarks to their advantage on all fronts.

  16. robtbrown says:

    Eliane says:
    I take at face value that all the confusion, hurt and betrayal Francis sows is deliberate . . . I must conclude that he is A JESUIT.


  17. “ASIDE: We should bring back Q&A catechism, and that right soon.”

    Officially, a Q&A catechism is already back with the COMPENDIUM: Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is more practical for ordinary folks (RCIA and RE classes etc) than the CCC itself.

    Unofficially, Fr. John Hardon did it really well back in 1995 with his The Faith: A Popular Guide Based on the CCC.

    But, again, why not the very best, the Baltimore catechism?

  18. Pingback: The Big Interview of Pope Francis -

  19. LarryW2LJ says:

    When people ask me “What type of Catholic are you – Traditional or Progressive?” I answer, “I am a Baltimore Catechism Catholic”.

    That’s how I was raised.

    BTW, my Bible study group leader (she’s in her 20s) just purchased a copy for herself. I asked her how she liked it. Her reply was, “Awesome!”.

    There IS hope.

  20. The Masked Chicken says:

    I’m not here to comment. I just wanted to make a caution.

    A commenter wrote:

    “Pope Francis is certainly making Donahue earn his salary. However, I don’t need Donohue to tell me what Francis is saying. I take at face value that all the confusion, hurt and betrayal Francis sows is deliberate and malicious. I must conclude that he is not a good man.”

    No one is a good man. Only God is good. One should, in charity, speak to the remarks, not the man.
    As to presuming to know that Pope Francis’s remarks are, “deliberate and malicious,” I quote the Catechism:

    “2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.277 He becomes guilty:
    – of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
    – of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;278
    – of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

    2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

    Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. and if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.279”

    Please, note: footnote 279, the quote, is from, St. Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, 22.

    The Chicken

  21. netokor says:

    “@netokor ,
    hope and change, eh?”

    Bosco, yes. But don’t forget that before that must have “the audacity of hope,” as reads the title of the second book by our illustrious Kenyan leader. (What coincidences we have now: “Pope of Hope”!)

  22. Magash says:

    The YouCat* also follows the Q & A format.
    *Let us not criticize what is a good document in its original because of poor translations. The translations thing has been a problem for years. Look at the previous Mass translation. The failure to have decent, accurate translations of Vatican documents in reasonable languages. etc. etc. It’s something the Curia reviewers need to look at. One problem is a mistake. Years of problems which lead to suspiciously deliberate mis-translations is an agenda.

  23. anna 6 says:

    “[Think about having a “serious and sharp” exchange with a pope. Whom you do think would be easier on you B16, or Francis? I’ll take B16 any day of the week and twice on Sunday.]”

    Speaking of “serious and sharp exchanges”, as luck would have it, John Allen has just posted excerpts of an exchange that occurred several weeks ago between the Pope Emeritus and Italian atheist Piergiorgio Odifreddi (the one who was critical of Francis’ response to Scalfari) . It occurred PRIOR to the Scalfari interview.

    Unfortunately, NCR’s title of the article emphasizes B16’s response about sexual abuse, rather than his brilliant answers about faith…because apparently that is the only thing they want to to associate him with.

  24. StWinefride says:

    *Let us not criticize what is a good document in its original because of poor translations.

    There are issues with YouCat that go beyond problems of translation:

    Also some of the quotes in the sidebars are in bad taste:

    The closest thing to a father confessor is probably a bartender.” Peter Sellers.

  25. I think both sides need to stop arguing and get back to Francis’s main point: WE NEED TO PROCLAIM JESUS INCARNATE, SUFFERING, DEAD, AND RISEN.
    Once people have accept Christ we can worry about dogma and moral issues like abortion.
    The order of preaching is Kerygma –> Catechesis –> Moral Exhortation.

  26. Patrick-K says:

    “Whom you do think would be easier on you B16, or Francis? I’ll take B16 any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”

    This is an interesting point. Americans tend to believe that people’s public faces represent, in a straightforward 1:1 way, exactly who they are. In most other cultures, this is not the case. In many places it is considered rather simple and naive to always say exactly what you mean, almost like not wearing any clothing.

    Therefore Benedict, who is probably a shy and gentle scholar, took on what some might call “imperial” trappings in order not to make himself obvious. Likewise I’d hazard a guess that Francis, who seems pretty tough and has spent time in some pretty rough slums, has lately struck an inclusive tone, in order to not be charactured.

    Anyway, I found The Interview to be quite inspiring, when interpreted as the personal thoughts of someone who clearly cares deeply about the Church. But if I were to deconstruct and parse each individual sentence like a computer program, then it probably wouldn’t make much sense. The Church involves many moving parts and finely tuned balances. I’m not in any position to say which one needs what sort of adjustment, but I have faith that Pope Francis is.

  27. lana says:

    Thank you, Michael and Chicken, you wrote just what I am thinking.

  28. cl00bie says:

    This misreporting is wonderful! Every one of the liberal pundits is seeing his reflection in the pope’s words. Now people who might not have considered it might be prompted to join the RCIA group I help facilitate and I can gently ease them into the actual teaching (which is not far off of what is being reported), but teach them the nuance.

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