Another liberal turns on Pope Francis

A couple days ago (I’ve been busy) Breitbart had a summary of how Hell’s Bible (aka New York Times – “Women See Themselves as Left Out Amid Talk of Change in Catholic Church”) is cooling in regard to the Left’s Pope Francis’ Frenzy.

I’ve been saying all along that, eventually, they would start to turn on him. I also said that it would be women (feminists) who turn on him. Then the women will start putting pressure on weak men to turn on him.

Why will feminists turn on him? Women’s ordination. That’s the (un)holy grail of their agenda. That’s also where they will gain some support only among a few men.

Have a look on your own.



Reading through the initial paragraphs of Povoledo’s [Hell’s Bible] article, one cannot help feeling that there is an underlying issue that is waiting to bubble forth.

And there, finally, in paragraph ten, her real point emerges: women’s ordination.

After Francis “opened the door to discussion of women’s status to growing hopes,” he crushed them by not caving on the question of women priests. And so “any debate on the role of women,” writes Povoledo, “is curtailed by one irremovable premise: There is no place for women priests. Pope Francis has rejected such a change outright.”

“This,” said Tina Beattie, [Of the Bitter Pill, aka RU486, aka The Tablet] a professor of Catholic studies at the University of Roehampton in London, “is the most sensitive issue in the Vatican, [well… probably not…] more difficult than so many others because it is fundamental to so many others.”

“We need to make him understand that this is a make-or-break issue for the church,” she added. [No, it really isn’t.  It can’t be, otherwise Christ would have provided for women priests.  He didn’t.  Women can’t be ordained.] “It would be an unbearable blow if he left papacy as he found it with regards to women.” [Unbearable!  Oh the drama!  And Francis certain can influence “the papacy”, just as Pope’s have in the past (e.g., Leo I, Urban VIII, Pius IX, John Paul II) but he can’t change teaching.  Note the fuzzy thinking and confusion of institution and doctrine.]

No matter what else he accomplishes, one concludes, if Francis does not change Church teaching regarding the priesthood, he will leave the papacy “as he found it with regards to women.”  [But he can’t change teaching.]

If only the Roman Catholic Church would become Episcopalian, The New York Times would welcome it as its own. If only the Church would begin to mirror pop culture and keep “pace with the social transformations of secular society,” rather than challenging it, the Left would bestow its unconditional seal of approval.

Povoledo’s arguments, unfortunately, echo the unimaginative refrains of a stagnant subculture that can only envision women’s authentic progress in terms of traditional male roles and categories.  [YES! Again as I have been saying all along, the irony in the feminist desire is that they desire to be approved by men.]

A more creative thinker, the feminist intellectual Lucetta Scaraffia, co-editor of a monthly insert on women and the church distributed by the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, exhibits a deeper understanding of both Pope Francis and the real situation of women in the Church.

According to Scaraffia, Pope Francis “doesn’t want a simply accommodation of the Church to the modern world.” What he hopes to spark is “a profound internal reflection, a ‘conversion’ that goes back to the origins and takes up the uninterrupted thread of the extraordinary role that Jesus gave to women.”

“Christianity,” says Scaraffia, “must reappropriate its specificity: that of having established for the first time in history an equality between men and women.”

[NB…] Six months after Pope Francis’ election, in September 2013, the same Elisabetta Povoledo in the same New York Times waxed rhapsodic over this “surprising” pontiff. “Francis,” she wrote then, “is challenging the status quo of the Roman Catholic Church so determinedly” that some now think the Pope may be preparing the ground “for a more fundamental shift in the direction of the church.”

Alas, this was not to happen, and thus disenchantment was bound to follow. [As the night the day!]

Any pope, no matter how “liberal” he may seem, is essentially conservative, since his job description is to re-proclaim a message that he received and embraced, and of which he is not the master, but the servant. He is not commissioned to invent his own religion, or to announce his own “good news,” but rather the Gospel of Jesus Christ of which he is an unworthy custodian.

The pope is, after all, Catholic.

Keep watching for this in the MSM.

I’ll turn on the moderation queue and let a bunch of comments pile up before releasing them.  That’s way you can react first to the issue rather than each other.  Time for that later.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    As a catechist promoting fidelity to Mother Church, I use a line from a priest who was fairly well known for his catechetical style years ago when it comes to this topic. I tell folks that the ministerial priesthood is reserved to *men alone* and the Church has taught this infallibly and it *is* a part of Divine Revelation.

    I say, “Now there is a perfectly good theological explanation why Jesus did not ordain women to the priesthood and it goes like this: [insert pause here]

    I. Don’t. Know. But when *you* get to heaven you can ask Him.”

    A *lot* of laughs came from that one! :^)


  2. Muv says:

    “We need to make him understand…”

    The mindset of Tina Beattie and her chums summed up in six words.

  3. iPadre says:

    Those who love the Church as She was given to us by Our Lord accept the Her teaching on male only ordination. And those who want to give Her a 20th century makeover, or are just weak of heart, think that the Church is being unjust or don’t think that teaching is infallible. This is is how I picture the same being taught at a a certain council back in 1545: “If anyone denies that men alone can be admitted to Holy Orders, let him be anathema. If anyone assists in the simulated ordination of women, let him be anathema. If anyone saith that this sacred teaching of our Lord can be changed by man, let him be anathema.” There certainly was no doubt what the Church meant to say back in those days.

  4. ray from mn says:

    Feminists, of both the female and the male variety, talk as if “women’s ordination” is the make or break issue for them with the Church. On the contrary, it is probably one of a half dozen or more major issues issues they have with the Church, starting with abortion, birth control, women bishops, women’s input into Church decisions, frequent Confession, being in the state of grace for Holy Communion, divorce and remarriage. These people are “cultural catholics” and want to be in the Church only on their terms.

  5. juergensen says:

    Perhaps I have been too engrossed in the travails of daily life, but it seems to me there have been fewer off-the-cuff “controversial” remarks of late?

  6. The Egyptian says:

    ho hum, as if we expected anything different, the sun rises, the sun sets, the progressives howl, life goes on

    if you want to see what women priests and bishops have in store read the blog of a very orthodox Anglican priest, the Lone Star Parson, they are tearing that church apart, plus he’s a hoot to read
    and this one to wet you appetite for wimin priests

  7. Gerard Plourde says:

    I don’t think that the New York Times is a particularly reliable source on matters within the Catholic Church (or on a number of other matters). For that matter, news sites generally lack the perspective and distance required for analytical thinking. The farther their stories drift from recitation of hard news based on observable facts, the less stock I put in them. Stories that rely on experts’ impressions of the behavior of groups that then try to extrapolate or predict behavior are pretty much at the bottom of the barrel.

  8. GypsyMom says:

    Few things would be better than having the mainstream media turn on Pope Francis. That would mean that he would finally be speaking with clarity the truths of the Catholic faith, for which they would start coming unglued. And it would also mean that those of us faithful who have felt battered and demoralized throughout this pontificate would start to breathe a little easier. Right now, though, I can easily see the possibility that they will continue to cherry-pick through his words, use what they can in their agenda against the Church, and ignore the rest.

  9. bposullivan says:

    As “disenchantment” goes, the New York Times analysis is pretty mild, isn’t it? It’s a mixed assessment–not an entirely negative one. It notes that “critics say he has at times proved strikingly tone-deaf toward the sensitivities and needs of women,” but it also acknowledges that “the pope has repeatedly cited the importance of women in the life of the church” and that the mere perception of his papacy as an opportunity for women has provoked “momentum” on women’s issues. She also said in the earlier article that you mention–six months after the pope’s election, that “Many analysts, as well as conservative Catholics, have noted that despite the striking differences in his young papacy, Francis remains a theological conservative who is not advocating doctrinal change.” So I don’t see such a big difference between Poveledo’s viewpoints then and now.

  10. John of Chicago says:

    Rarely do I get to see the NYT so I guess I have to be content with this Bible.
    “Before faith came, we were held in custody under law, confined for the faith that was to be revealed. Consequently, the law was our disciplinarian for Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian. For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek,
    there is neither slave nor free person,
    there is not male and female;
    for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
    And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants,
    heirs according to the promise.”
    Paul to the Galatians, chapter 3

  11. Neal says:

    So that’s what, two liberals, maybe three, that he’s lost so far?

  12. Seamus says:

    The NYT is also surprised and shocked to learn that bears use the woods as their latrines.

  13. Robbie says:

    Maybe it’s a big deal this particular liberal has turned, or is turning, on the Pope, but I’m not so sure. As progressive as the Pope may be, he still has an episcopate that was shaped by the relatively conservative papacies of JPII and B16. That fact alone suggests, even if the Pope wanted to ordain women as priests, there would be fierce backlash because the bishops are generally not aligned with that viewpoint.

    As the years go by, I’m sure some on the left will sour on the Pope just as some on the right might if there was a Pope Ranjith or Burke, but I think much of this is a bit shortsighted. Through appointments, the Pope is beginning to reshape the College of Cardinals and the bishops around the world. Just look at Cupich in Chicago or his recent appointment to San Diego. So while liberals may not get their “holy grails” today, it can be argued the stage is being set for them to get their long held desires in the next papacy.

  14. Supertradmum says:

    When I pray my rosary, instead of praying for the Pope’s intention on the first Our Father and the three Hail Mary’s, I pray that he will fall in love with the Tridentine Mass.

    We can hope for more and better things…..

  15. gramma10 says:

    Aren’t we supposed to be following Jesus? God has more authority. . .the ultimate authority, even than the Pope! It amazes me how people can be so self-aggrandizing! It is not about them anyway.
    Their ideology is so convoluted. Guess when the evil one is your guru this is the result.
    Time to go back to Jesus and the Bible and the Catechism and spend time in Adoration!
    We are called to go out! (The Great Commission). So we must begin to learn “Truth” and then go speak it, and live it!

  16. TomD says:

    “. . . Pope Francis doesn’t want a simpl[e?] accommodation of the Church to the modern world.”

    As well he shouldn’t. True faith does not accommodate itself to the modern world. To the contrary, the Church must challenge the modern world to embrace true faith.

  17. KAS says:

    The fact is the Catholic Church is the ONE TRUE CHURCH. This alone is the ONLY reason why these women keep demanding to remake it to suit their desires. They could be honest heretics like Martin Luther, and go start their own churches, but they know in their guts that nobody would attend because there are dozens and dozens of widely differing versions of Christianity from which to choose that have women pastors and theirs would not stand out at all. An honest heretic abandons the Catholic Church for one of the many other options. These women don’t want what they claim to want which is to lead a church. What they want is to force the Catholic Church to stop being Catholic.

  18. JARay says:

    That “Tina Beattie” was the subject of an article about eighteen months ago in a blog entitled “Protect the Pope” run by a Deacon who was told to shut it down by his bishop simply because it was doing exactly what it was called…protecting the Pope! The article had as its title “If Tina Beattie’s a Catholic then I’m a banana”!
    The woman is a disgrace and it is to Roehampton College’s disgrace that they employ this woman!

  19. Gentillylace says:

    It is a shame that feminism is being debased by its spokeswomen. I consider myself a feminist, a fiscal leftist and a social conservative — a pro-life feminist who embraces the “new feminism” of St. John Paul II. I know that Jesus had good reason for women not to be priests — women and men are not interchangeable, after all.

    If only Elisabetta Povoledo, Tina Beattie et al. could be ignored… the Church will never change for them. Now let’s find more women like Lucetta Scaraffia to represent Catholic feminism to the world.

  20. Jackie L says:

    Many people both inside and outside the Catholic Church are turning on this Pope.


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