MAGISTER: “words and gestures left purposely vague”

At the Italian site Italia Oggi there is an interview with long-time vaticanista Sandro Magister.  He answers questions about Pope Francis and his pontificate.

Magister has been around for a while, working as a journalist for some 40 years.

I don’t have the energy or time to translate the whole thing.

In summary, however, Magister notes carefully that many people have a hard time figuring out what Pope Francis is saying, what he wants to convey.  He messages seem, at times, to be contradictory or vague.  It is difficult to discern to whom he is addressing them.  He notes also that many bishops are having the same problem, both in Italy and abroad.

On another topic, he points out that Francis, while fairly loquacious for a modern Pope, is silent about some topics, such as the cases of Asia Bibi, the Nigerian girls who were kidnapped, and the Christian couple recently burned alive in a furnace.

But more than once he comes back to the topic of how hard it is sometimes to understand what Francis is saying.

A sample,

Magister: It is another of the paradigms of expression recurring in this pontificate: reprimands towards both sides. However, if you want to inventory them, his beatings of traditionalists, legalists, rigid defenders of arid doctrine, appear to be much more numerous and focused. When, on the other hand, he gets angry with the liberals, you can’t figure out whom he is talking about.

And toward the end:

Magister: When he was in Bethlehem, he stopped by a wall that divides the territories from Israel and he remains absolutely silent: you don’t know what he was trying to say. When he was at Lampedusa, he shouted “shame”, and it isn’t clear who was supposed to be ashamed. Italy, which has saved thousands and thousands of lives? Why doesn’t he say? Often there are words and gestures left purposely vague.

The interview is long, but it remains pretty focused. Perhaps someone will translate it or you can use one of those online translators to get the sense of it.

Moderation queue is ON.

Please share!
Share

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Pope Francis, The Drill and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to MAGISTER: “words and gestures left purposely vague”

  1. LeeF says:

    Magister said: However, if you want to inventory them, his beatings of traditionalists, legalists, rigid defenders of arid doctrine, appear to be much more numerous and focused. When, on the other hand, he gets angry with the liberals, you can’t figure out whom he is talking about.

    That is because the former are clear and truthful in what they say, and also a minority. This makes them easy to identify. The latter, along with the great wishy-washy middle of both clergy and laity (lukewarm), are less clear or outright intentionally obfuscating when it suits them. Only a few like Card. Kasper really make their full views known, and he often retreats into ambiguity when called on it.

    Everything is a balance and exists on a spectrum. Perhaps Francis believes JPII and BXVI did an ample job in taking the left end of the spectrum to task regarding their excesses, and he believes the right end now needs more discipline.

    The tact many orthodox bishops and clergy might consider taking with the HF and the liberals emboldened by him, is the old adage “kill them with kindness” along with patiently insisting on doctrinal orthodoxy and sound and beautiful liturgy.

  2. Marissa says:

    On another topic, he points out that Francis, while fairly loquacious for a modern Pope, is silent about some topics, such as the cases of Asia Bibi, the Nigerian girls who were kidnapped, and the Christian couple recently burned alive in a furnace.

    In the first six months of 2014, Boko Haram murdered 4,099 people of which 1,631 were Christians. In all of last year 1,783 Christians were murdered. At this rate they will murder double the Christians they did last year by the end of 2014. It’s a terrible situation in Nigeria, of which the 200 kidnapped girls are a part of the suffering. Perhaps the Holy Father is keeping his silence for the same reason Pius XII kept a cautious silence: to prevent persecution of the faithful. I don’t know.

  3. anna 6 says:

    I have been critical of Pope Francis’ ambiguity, but is it possible that he is fearful of losing the “liberals”, so he speaks gently to them, and like a parent who may scold their own child more harshly than the neighbors child when both are in the wrong, Francis believes that the “conservatives” are less likely to leave the fold so he treats them more harshly, using them as an example?

    I have never liked that form of unfair discipline, but paradoxically, perhaps it is evidence that he is closer to the right than we think?

    Polly-anna 6

  4. marcelus says:

    Marissa says:
    13 November 2014 at 11:30 am
    Perhaps the Holy Father is keeping his silence for the same reason Pius XII kept a cautious silence: to prevent persecution of the faithful. I don’t know.

    Oh he did talk, However.. a single word out of his mouth could bring about hostages killed and so, could cause somebody and lots more by default to fall under the terr sword.

    TRemember when Benedict made the Retensburg speech nuns and other Christians , if I recall and Churches were killed and burned.

    Him speaking vfrom Sta Marta and we writting from our living rooms are in a much better position.

    As for this man Magister, I would suggest we stop considering him the Oracle of Delfos of the Catholic Church,

  5. Unwilling says:

    For my part, I just hope that I do not understand, that I misunderstand him… that he is saying almost the complete opposite of what I confusedly would suppose.

  6. Mojoron says:

    For those who want to follow Mr. Magister on his/her own, his URL:http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/?eng=y

    He writes some compelling stuff.

  7. CharlesG says:

    You may not want to be so quick to ask for clear statements, just in case you don’t get the ones you want.

  8. Landless Laborer says:

    Was Our Lord ambiguous? The apostles? The fathers? Our Lord’s words were perplexing and baffling at times to the apostles themselves. He proclaimed a New Covenant. Did Our Lord seek to avoid the persecution of the elect?
    There is nothing good in ambiguity, it is the shelter of heresy. Obscurity of natural law is the consequence of a clouded conscience, and so God intervenes, reveals truth. His servants guard and proclaim revealed truth to a clouded, meaningless world. Those who speak ambiguously should be ignored, until such time as they speak clearly.

  9. sourdough says:

    When Francis was elected Pope he struck me as a man of the Southern Church. The Church has been divided into Northern and Southern expressions from its earliest period of ecclesial organization. If you’ve travelled through Italy, you’ll note the dramatic difference between the churches of north.. contained, grey, sober, rationally layed out to the exuberant displays of the south.. colourful and free form.

    The north is grounded in reason, the south in passion, and it is the south that is the more ancient form. The south subordinates structure to expression as primary actuator. The Church has had Popes who represent both, In fact it is imperative that a balance be maintained between them both. It is the north that has predominately ruled though in the modern era.. 1850 forward.

    I am hoping that what we are seeing now is a cyclical iconoclastic phase that casts of unneeded baggage of gratuituous ritual or verbiage, to better illucidate first principles and truths. That is different than capitulating to the profane and secular mores of the modern world. That can’t happen, especially now when we see the West collapsing in extreme relativism and radical individualism.

    To tell you the truth i don’t know what Pope Francis is all about. I think he is honestly trying to forge a middle path between orthodox and progressive elements in the Church. I’m extremely concerned that a hard nosed, straight talking, traditionalist prelate like Cardinal Burke has been replaced in the Congregation of Bishop’s selections processes by Cardinal Wuerl.. much more of a courtier and bureaucrat, imho. I’m waiting to see who is appointed to the Apostolic Signatura.

    A persistent program of replacing the prelates in CDF or Congregation of Bishops and some other top posts with so called ‘moderates’ will essentially tip things towards the progressives. Pope Francis might find himself isolated, embattled and unable to get much done if that becomes the widely held perception.