At Fishwrap (aka the National Schismatic Reporter) there are a couple of dreadful reads. Shocking, right?
First, Jesuit Thomas Reese wrote (at the horrid RNS), about how more conservative Catholics are now “cafeteria Catholics” because they disagree with Pope Francis. But there are some problems with his argument.
Four cardinals (two of whom have recently gone to their eternal reward) criticized the pope publicly in 2016 by issuing what they called a “dubia,” asking the pope to clarify what they considered his straying from the true faith. [No. They did not criticize the Pope. They asked, rather humbly, for clarifications of what he really means to teach.] Last month, several dozen theologians accused the pope of spreading heresy. [No. The Correctio Filialis does not accuse the Pope of spreading heresy. It states that the Pope has caused confusion through negligence. That’s not nothing, but it isn’t a direct accusation of here, as Reese falsely claimed.]
These criticisms of Pope Francis put progressive Catholics in an awkward position. Progressives are big fans of Francis, but it would be somewhat hypocritical of them to suddenly become papal absolutists when they clearly had disagreements with Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. On the other hand, conservatives who are now critical of Francis accused progressives of being “cafeteria Catholics” when they disagreed with John Paul or Benedict. [No. When they disagree with the CHURCH’s teaching, such as on the issue of the ordination of women or contraception, etc.]
All I can say is, “Welcome to the cafeteria.” [Um… no. Some of us don’t want to be in the cafeteria at all and we refuse to enter.]
The truth is all Catholics are cafeteria Catholics. [No. We don’t accept the premise.] Conservative Catholics were quite willing to ignore John Paul’s and Benedict’s strong statements on justice and peace, [No. That’s not the case.] and progressive Catholics are happy to ignore Francis’ opposition to women priests.
Disagreeing with the pope was not welcomed during the papacies of John Paul and Benedict. [Does he seriously think that FRANCIS welcomes disagreement?!?] Bishops, priests, theologians, and Catholic publications were expected to unreservedly cheer any statement that came out of Rome. [For those of you who don’t know, Reese was sacked as editor of Jesuit-run America because of its increasing heterodoxy. He is still grinding his axe.] Priests were silenced, [that’s happening now] seminary professors were removed, and magazine editors were fired if they strayed from the party line. The open debate that occurred during the Second Vatican Council was closed down. [Pure fantasy.] Candidates for the episcopacy were chosen based on loyalty to Rome rather than on intelligence or pastoral abilities. [B as in B. S as in S. How insulting.]
Enough of that. All he is trying to do is justify liberal dissent. We are unconvinced.
Then there’s the Wile E. Coyote of the catholic Left, Michael Sean Winters. He has yet another of his customary loooooong rambles, this time about the context of the controversy provoked by Amoris laetitia, as if that hasn’t been rehearsed before. However, in accord with the old Latin adage, in cauda venenum – which is one of his usual tactics – the real point came at the very end:
[… after some 800 words…]
The latest attack on Amoris Laetitia came in the form of a “filial correction” signed by several dozen professors and former professors, priests and others, most of whom had ties to the community of Catholics devoted to the traditional Latin Mass. [And THAT is his real point.] The document accused the pope of spreading heresies [See above.] and criticized him not only for Amoris Laetitia but also for the largely positive comments he made about Martin Luther on the anniversary of the Reformation.
Take a moment to absorb that last paragraph, and contemplate what Wile E. favors along side of what he attacks.
Moderation queue is ON.