For some lighter reading

If you are looking for some lighter reading today, zip over the Sandro Magister’s page.   He has a post about how the semi-official journal of the Holy See La Civiltà Cattolica (edited by Jesuits, ), promotes Francis as a master of eloquence.   It’s director is the great fan of  Pier Vittorio Tondelli, Fr Antonio (“2+2=5”) Spadaro, SJ.

I promise you that this is not from The Onion.  It is from the other “Onion”, La Civiltà Cattolica (edited by Jesuits).

 

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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5 Responses to For some lighter reading

  1. William says:

    In other news, the documents of Vatican II are hailed for their clarity.

  2. roma247 says:

    The question is, did the Pope and his hagiographer lift this directly out of Orwell, or did they imagine that they were being completely original? I keep getting images of pigs walking upright on their hind feet and writing on the side of a barn when I read this…

  3. Benedict Joseph says:

    This cat is a prisoner of a bubble of his own design. Give me strength. Over the edge.

  4. TonyO says:

    From the article:

    If there is something during these years that the pope has taught to journalists – and to anyone who may wish to listen to him – it is that what he says requires a correct interpretation on the part of the other. […] And this entails that one keep in mind not only “that which he says,” but also “to whom he says it, when, where, with what tone and in what way.” […] The fear of being misinterpreted induces many not to speak, and drives those who must do so because of their office to “bulletproof” their language. This is why, when the pope without too much rhetoric sets himself to dialogue, at the least it is necessary to listen well to what he says and how he says it. Removing the question marks from his questions, depriving his statements of temporal nuances, translating his suggestions into dogmas, decontextualizing a phrase… all of these expedients, adopted inadvertently or in bad faith, are tantamount to mocking a fish after it has been taken from the water.

    So, what the author is saying (on behalf of the pope) is that nobody can know what the pope means about something. For:
    (a) what the pope means can only be understood in terms of what the other person in the dialogue takes from the pope’s comment.
    (b) only what the other person understands in the context of his own particular situation and his own particular comments back has meaning;
    but
    (c) even the other party, if he doesn’t take into account ALL of what the pope says, and how, and when, and after what other comment, and what he DIDN’T say, etc, will be “decontextualizing” what the pope says, and … NOBODY can ever know if he caught all of the context that the pope had in mind. So nobody can actually understand him.

    Take the worst results of Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx, and Kierkegaard, and roll them all into one amorphous (relativistic) heap, and voila: the absolute destruction of communication. “You mean whatever you mean, I mean whatever I mean, and never the twain shall meet.”

    And this passes for subtle brilliance. Sure … the brilliance of a tailor marketing new cloth that is so beautifully fine it can’t be seen by anyone of lesser quality.

  5. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    TonyO wrote, “So, what the author is saying (on behalf of the pope) is that nobody can know what the pope means about something. . . . even the other party, if he doesn’t take into account ALL of what the pope says, and how, and when, and after what other comment, and what he DIDN’T say, etc, will be “decontextualizing” what the pope says, and … NOBODY can ever know if he caught all of the context that the pope had in mind. So nobody can actually understand him.

    Well done! What I’ve been struggling to say all this time, and you’ve said it for me. Thank you!

    I like to read the Holy Father in the context of what Saint Thomas Aquinas had to say about various moral and theological subjects. If what the Holy Father and the Angelic Doctor say about a topic are in accord, then I conclude that I have understood Pope Francis well. If Aquinas and Francis don’t seem to be in accord, then I conclude that a decontextualizing of what the Pope said must have taken place. I consult the other Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the Documents of Trent, and our own Catechism, and try to reconcile what the Pope said with one or more of these. Once I’ve done so, I know I’ve taken into account all he said, as well as all he meant to say, thereby ensuring that I’ve caught all of the context that the pope had in mind, and move on from there, feeling that I have understood. And if I can’t reconcile them, then I deconstruct and reinterpret Francis’ words to comport with the Church document that most closely fits what I think he thinks he said. In that way I can be certain I’ve actually understood Francis.

    Works for me!