More grease from the Smear Machine

The catholic Smear Machine is getting a lift from non-catholics.  At Christianity Today, in their “Society” section of all places, comes a piece from someone named Henry Farley, whose name I have not yet encountered.  He is, apparently, a Junior Staff Writer who has done some other things.

You know the smear drill by now.  They of the Machine use the standard scare-labeling (in this piece, Card. Burke is an “ultraconservative”) along with an unflattering photo. They cite their darlings (here, the infamous Timothy Radcliffe). They make their goofy surmises based on their deep knowledge of Catholicism (“first step to declaring the pope a heretic the Church would be in unprecedented situation”).  They psychologize the ones they want to belittle (“An emphasis on “personal and pastoral discernment” among local priests and bishops seems dangerous to those who would prefer the comfort of a top down dictate.”)

It’s all so very thin and … greasy.


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  1. Chris Rawlings says:

    It’s worth noting that this piece is in “Christian Today,” a British publication, and not the American conservative Evangelical “ChristianITY Today,” which would presumably be a lot less concerned about papal orthodoxy and certainly less enamored with Radcliffe.

  2. Akita says:

    The sulphuric fumes of that piece emittted from my phone. He’s really second rate and should not be writing about things he has very little understanding of.

    Note how fearful he is of Cardinal Burke’s “tract record”? Ha ha. I’ll have to try to get an anthology of those.

  3. un-ionized says:

    This is NOT in “Christianity Today,” which is a well-respected American evangelical publication.

  4. iamlucky13 says:

    “Fever pitch.” Yeah, both Cardinal Burke and Pope Francis seem fevered.

    “Firstly, strict Catholic teaching has been seen as prohibiting communion for divorced and remarried Catholics essentially because it is seen as adulterous.”

    In a supposedly Christian publication, it’s a little bizarre to see the explicit words of Christ alluded to (“seen as”) as an opinion, regardless of the author’s understanding of Catholic teaching on the Eucharist and sanctifying grace.

    “They psychologize the ones they want to belittle”

    I’ve never heard it put that way before, but that is a good description. Note also the outing of 60 million clearly racist Americans who voted for Trump.

  5. LeeF says:

    Check out a couple articles over at Crux today:

    Pope fires back at his critics over ‘Amoris’ and discusses ecumenism

    Pope Francis puts his enemies not on the rack, but the couch

    It is the Pope doing the psychologizing, and he talks about some critics having a “nasty spirit”.

    Note he also says that proselytizing other Christians is a grave sin.

  6. un-ionized says:

    “They psychologize the ones they want to belittle.” This is right out of the sexism playbook. Women in non-traditional fields have always been told they are crazy or emotionally unstable in order to get them to quit. They tried it with Marie Curie for heaven sake (or not for heaven sake!).

  7. iamlucky13 says:

    From the first Crux article posted by “LeeF”

    “Pope Francis has fired back at his critics over the document Amoris Laetita, suggesting they suffer from ‘a certain legalism, which can be ideological.’ “

    In response to Father Z’s Monday post about the Dubia being made public, I was going to say that I don’t think Pope Francis was going to respond directly, but settle for comments against trying to interpret mercy rigidly. I was having trouble articulating that clearly at the time without sounding disparaging, so I deleted the partially drafted post.

    And now here is line: “legalism.”

  8. tioedong says:

    time to remember Saint Athanasius…

    as for the Pope’s emphasis on mercy: There is a difference between mercy and being a co-enabler…

    I am merciful to my patients as a doctor, but that doesn’t mean I assume their unhealthy habits are okay.

  9. LeeF says:

    Conservative cardinals, bishops and priests need to turn the tables and start psychologizing on liberals who crave tearing down the Faith that has stood for 2000 years. If memory serves, C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters would provide some good quotes about this from a psychological perspective.

  10. rbbadger says:

    Professor Kurt Martens, who edits The Jurist and who teaches Canon Law at the Catholic University of America noted over on Twitter that Kerknet, the Dutch-speaking on-line news service of the Belgian bishops, is running a headline which accused Cardinal Burke of questioning papal infallibility!

    One thing is for sure. The pontificate of Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been anything but dull!

  11. Lurker 59 says:

    Grease is flammable and, if one is not careful, one will soon have a fire ball on their hands, especially if they keep using it around heat sources.

    The vast majority of any religion tends not to be strict observers but rather it is something that they do as part of the background culture that they belong to. Being in the US in a certain State, there is a certain football team that is part of my background culture. Now I am very much not interested but it is part of my culture, I know some information, and there is a small about of real interest and participation yearly. In this way, I am like the Easter/Christmas only Catholics. There is not much that the organizers and rule makers can do to make one more interested or participate more. In fact, the song and dance fights tend to turn one off more as such things make a farce of the activities, because it is obvious pandering and trying to trick one into participating. People can see through it and see that such leaders are not truly interested in what they are trying to get people to participate in — they are only interested in numbers and people in the seats. It is boring.

    Divorced and Remarried couples, what is the draw for them to suddenly go back to Mass if they can receive communion now after prayerful discernment? To feel like they are part of the club? For the entertainment value? The conclusion that people will make when a cleric comes and tell them “never mind, we were wrong for centuries, you CAN receive communion” is that the whole religious thing is made-up, a bunch of rules of men, and that such clerics have no ability to know what God wants.

    People kind of want and expect their religious leaders to be able to talk to God. It becomes clear that such leaders are making things up when major points of morality and religion change in a contradictory way and they keep insisting that they and only they can interpret the will of God and that will can only be known by what they utter.

  12. un-ionized says:

    I wish this post would be corrected. This is NOT from the American publication “Christianity Today.” Does ANYBODY see this? Irresponsible “reporting.”

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