Jesuit Fr. Spadaro’s ‘Apologia pro nugis suis’

Jesuit Fr Antonio Spadaro must be feeling the heat resulting from his poorly conceived anti-American hit piece in Civiltà Cattolica (now aka Inciviltà cattolica) HERE.

He gave an interview to Jesuit-run Amerika Magazine (no, this isn’t at all incestuous) in which he tries – unconvincingly – to back away a bit from the anti-Americanism of his article, which he co-authored with an Argentinian Presbyterian.

So you are focusing on the phenomenon rather than the country?

Exactly! But, I should add that it is the tradition of La Civiltà Cattolica to reflect on ecclesial phenomena that can concern various countries in the world. … In this edition, we wanted to underline a phenomenon and tried to understand it, not to focus on a nation. […]

I’m not buying it.

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  1. dbonneville says:

    What does “Apologia pro nugis suis” mean? Translating with Google doesn’t explain it as it thinks it’s French, and also tries to swap in different Latin words. And searching for “Apologia pro nugis suis” with quotes in Google only has…literally…2 results.

  2. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Does the good Father Spadaro expect us to believe that naming individual Americans and individual American organizations is the result of meaning to discuss a phenomenon, rather than a nation?

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    That hit piece took their venom toward us to a whole new level. Now it’s personal, because they made it personal. It is clear they hate us, we stand in the way of their Islamic invasion and we enjoy capitalism, when they prefer Marxism and Socialism. The blinders are off, we see clearly, we get it. They should know there is no way to walk back the damage they have done, but the hit piece was just icing. We’ve been eating cake for four years.
    But we’re praying and asking God for the remedy, and one of these days, He will send it.

  4. benedetta says:

    “Exactly!”. Incestuous. Bingo! You know though I was thinking that these guys really ought to consider, or re-consider, vocation to serving God’s people, get off their high horses, and do something worthy rather than alinskyism for racketeering. A “pheonomenon”? LOL. A “slander” more like. But truly, why don’t they give over editorship to, say, a poor, prolife, Catholic woman, even, say, one who has endured serious, violent, persecution…if they are, so to speak, put their money where their mouth is, if indeed it is “the poor” they pretend to care about with such published harassment. Why don’t they, return to parishes, where there is dire need of young ish priests, and to serving poor, working class, Christian families struggling to get by in a world that hates them and in which very moneyed phobic interests are arrayed to harm them? Why don’t they get out and serve the poor, full time? This is indeed shameful, not worthy of a call, and beneath our communion. I am sure they could find a literary/literate, pro life Catholic woman, who takes all of Pope Francis’ very ideals and hopes, to heart, who could explicate more compassionately, unite and not rip down, who, they could even, for whatever reasons, not pay? Who wouldn’t receive a salary for her work. That would be such fresh air and sunshine, for a change!

  5. revueltos67 says:

    dbonneville: A guess from my dimly remembered high school Latin – maybe “His defense of his foolishness”? The root of nugis is probably the source of our English word nugatory. Also, obviously a satiric reference to Newman’s great essay Apologia Pro Vita Sua.

  6. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    By far the most important Catholic-Evangelical collaboration in the US is the pro-life movement. The Spadaro-Figueroa poison screed was primarily an attack on the pro-life movement.

    “Ecumenism of hate”! Those who dream of “a theocratic society”!

    Now where else have I heard that making abortion illegal will give us “a theocracy”?

    Oh, yes! NARAL. Planned Parenthood. Robert Drinan. Nancy Pelosi.

    Now fully out of the closet: the church of Emma Bonino!

  7. benedetta says:

    This whole thing more than confirms some indicators of things beyond the legitimate horrible of this particular incident. Which I can’t go into here, even as there exist a multitude of witnesses to it. Some will understand what I am referring to.

    Questa situazione: che brutta! One should warn these thugs to refrain from fouling where they live, attacking the Church with slander and trusting those who do to write violence for them, for pay and profit. I wish they would find real jobs.

  8. boredoftheworld says:

    I’m on the same page of the hymnal as Kathleen10 and benedetta and we’re coming up on the chorus and it’s a doozy. I’m done with quite literally paying the bills and getting all this grief for being almost the only people in the world in a position to do it (I write as an American, not as a mogul). I already have five children who do this to me and their excuse is they’re teenagers, how do all these churchmen explain themselves?

    These are the same group of men who have presided over every crisis the Church has faced for my entire life. We face:

    A deliberate priest shortage which is soon going to clobber us. US priests are on average 59 years old. 40% are already over 65. We’re all relaxing because “good” dioceses are ordaining more priests but we’re miles away from replacing the men who are going to die in the saddle in the next two decades.

    Financial fraud on a global scale. Many of those parish plants built in the 70s and 80s already need replacing. Money is going out like water through a sieve and there’s little to no accountability.

    The sex abuse nightmare. 15 years after the scandal broke nationally the bishops are still mired in the fallout, but most of us have virtuus training now so don’t worry about it seems to be the party line.

    Two generations of damning catechesis so far. Does this even need to be discussed or explained to anyone?

    We can argue the whys and hows till the Second Coming but the what and the who are blatantly obvious to anyone who cares to look. I’ll leave the rest of the world to examine its own issues because we’re in a mess and these are the men who got us here. The men who read America and Commonweal in their armchairs and spend our money and rape our children (ok, that’s a bit dramatic but it’s unfortunately true) and “capitalize” on our Faith.

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    “So you are focusing on the phenomenon rather than the country…”


    It’s a strange gospel this priest and pastor are peddling. In fact, their article resembles a fine piece of Communist AgitProp. There is: a distorted historical record for indoctrination purposes; current-events strawmen to confirm Leftist delusions; racial agitation; dehumanizing of conservatives and traditionalists; pseudo-intellectual blather; and in conclusion a gushing paean to a dear leader. Hogwash.

    I can’t resist a little fun here. The Soviets had something called “AgitProp Trains” that roamed the countryside indoctrinating the peasants. Perhaps one day this article will be turned into a travelling slideshow for the FishWrap/safe-space crowd:

    Look! George Bush barefoot with six-shooters and straw hat!

    White Southern Baptists are feasting on baby seal barbecue!

    The Church Militant office crew is launching rocket-propelled grenades at huddled jihadis!

    Oh no! The roof of Clear Creek Abbey has rolled back and with a plume of fire and smoke an ICBM is zooming toward Mecca!

    Trads in the Antarctic are chanting the Pater Noster while melting the glaciers with flamethrowers!

    Hey! Birettas are capitalist mind-control devices!

    The Benedictine Sisters in Missouri are chanting the Ave Mercedes-Benz!

    No way! The new 1962MRs have a coded message to reconquer the Holy Roman Empire on the twentieth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum!

    Arrgghh! Steve Bannon spends his evenings goose-stepping in front of a portrait of Pope Urban II!

    Ok, I think I’m done.

  10. amenamen says:

    nuga, nugae (nugis, ablative plural) trifles, frivolities, trash, nonsense

    Or did the spokesman give someone a noogie?

  11. iamlucky13 says:

    I’m willing to read Fr. Spadaro’s piece as not necessarily country-specific. I mean, it certainly was country specific as written, but it appears to me he’s not actually targeting the US, but a set of problematic beliefs he identifies with Christian fundamentalism, and we are the nation where the fundamentalist movement is strongest. So I’m not averse to the US being discussed as an example of a country where the issues he wants to talk about exist.

    The thing is, the problems he discusses are not inherently elements of fundamentalism, even if they may be common among fundamentalists demographics. Not that I necessarily doubt there is some correlation, but he makes no effort to offer statistics supporting that association, which actually would have helped clarify who he is intending to talk about. Instead he generalizes with a pretty broad brush. He does not seem to be writing really about beliefs that are problematic, but about people that are problematic, and he seems to writing about them from a stereotyped perspective.

    So while I don’t really perceive my nation as being singled out, much less universally so, the article was still baffling. One moment he’s talking about the problems of racism and xenophobia, and the next moment he’s for some reason pointing out that Christian fundamentalists tend to be white and from the US south, as if their race and where they are from were some sort of indictments against them. He argues that religious beliefs informing political decisions amount to instituting a theocracy, compares Christian fundamentalism to ISIS, and treats cooperation on political matters between members of church’s that disagree on matters of theology as some form of “ecumenical” hypocrisy.

    And did I read him wrong, or did he not say almost explicitly that opposition to legalized abortion and same sex marriage is a “nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state?”

    Somehow, after all that, the part that seemed most bizarre to me was the suggestion that Christian fundamentalists and Catholic traditionalists view President Trump as not so much democratically elected, but divinely appointed. If we are to attempt to construe much cohesiveness to the article (although the article is not particularly cohesive), we are apparently supposed to conclude these groups derive said belief from their status as part of a “cult of an apocalypse that needs to be brought about as soon as possible.”

    I’d be curious to try some of what the author is smoking, but I wouldn’t actually go through with it for fear the effects might be permanent.

  12. Benedict Joseph says:

    Spadaro and his ecumenical friend dropped their mask, and with that the masks of any number of other individuals who apparently are also deprived of common sense.
    They made their bed, now sleep in it.
    No amount of explanation will ever exonerate this crew of what they have perpetrated upon the Church — and will undoubtedly continue to do so as long as they are provided the leash.
    Empty words, Father Antonio.

  13. JonathanTX says:

    It’s beyond time to ask whether conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants share more in common than conservative and liberal Catholics do. That really is the ecumenism I think we should be working towards.

  14. Michael says:

    Apologia pro nugis suis . . . explanation for his own foolishness, or something like that.

  15. Benedict Joseph says:

    What are we to make of the fact that the article at Breitbart by Thomas Williams regarding Spadaro/Figueroa’s contribution at “Civilta Cattolica” has gleaned as of this moment 4,905 comments? I have not seen one supportive of their propositons, the mass of them frightening hostile to Spadaro/Figueroa, but more so to the Church.
    What exactly is being concocted by the inhabitants of the “Catholic” left?
    What is their purpose?
    Why do they persist?
    Why are they given carte blanche?
    Scalfari, Spadaro, Figueroa, Martin…the list goes on and on.
    No corrective, only the wink and the nod.

  16. lmgilbert says:

    Online Pushback for the Spadaro “Ecumenism of Hate” article at Civiltà Cattolica:

    Tim Stanley:
    “Why is Civiltà Cattolica attacking American Christians? I have a theory”

    Fr. John Zuhlsdorf:
    “Jesuit @AntonioSpadaro, Jesuit-run Civiltà Cattolica attacks Americans”

    Dr. Samuel Gregg:
    “On that strange, disturbing, and anti-American “Civiltà Cattolica” article”

    Fr. Dwight Longenecker:
    “On European Ignorance and Arrogance”

    Rod Dreher:
    “Top Papal Adviser Denounces ‘Ecumenism Of Hate’”

    Phil Lawler:
    “An ignorant, intemperate Vatican assault on American conservatism>

    Thomas Williams:
    “Papal Advisers Bash American Christians in Bigoted Screed”

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