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Pope Francis Did What I Didn't

A man I know said to me yesterday that I must be outraged about what Pope Francis is saying. I inwardly rolled my mind's eye.

Let me just tell you who this guy is. He's a professed non-believer. A former Catholic. The worst kind, right? And he's a bit in your face about it too, if I'm being honest. (I've told him that so I think it's ok to write here.) He occasionally reads my stuff here at The National Catholic Register because his wife is a Catholic who comes across my stuff occasionally.

He's a funny guy who loves his wife and kids but when it comes to religion we're not typically on the same side of the issue. Doesn't mean we don't have fun together when we're standing on the sidelines at the kids' games but it means that I just about never bring up issues about religion. He does, especially whenever there's something particularly embarrassing in the news about the Church. So to put it bluntly he's had a lot to talk about the past decade or so.

So anyway, he came up and said that I must be outraged about the pope. I asked him why he thought so. "Well, he's a liberal, isn't he?"

Continue reading at The National Catholic Register>>>


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Harry Seldon said...

Yeah, I think a lot of Catholics are having this same experience these days. A gay dude from my high school posted on FB about wanting to come back to the Church, a friend who had left the Church over her divorce called me about coming back...but it's all fake! It's bait and switch. The gay guy has no intention of giving up his lifestyle. He thinks Francis means that he can be a practicing homosexual and also Catholic. The housewife thinks that Francis means she can present herself for communion without an annulment.

I submit that Francis is not "doing" anything except confusing people. There's going to be an ugly backlash when they all figure this out. OR, more likely, their pastors will feel like they have to cave on these points. The gay guy will not satisfied unless the next priest he talks to blesses his homosexual relations. If the housewife hears "tribunal", she's out the door again. Priests know this. They're under a terrible temptation right now to compromise the faith - because of humble Francis.

Every Catholic blogger in the world can be a big Francis apologist if they want. Truth is, he's making promises the Church can't keep, and he's ruining people along the way. Everyone can keep quoting the prodigal son to me, I can see clearly enough to know it's not applicable. These people who are "interested" in the Church for the first time, they're not coming confessing their sins. They're coming wanting a free lunch. Either they'll discover there isn't one, or some cleric will compromise themselves to maintain the illusion.

You don't have to say the words "I'm changing doctrine" to, de facto, change doctrine. You think Jesuits are stupid? Heh. nope.

Pat said...

Every article about this confirms the point that too many Catholics are "obsessed" with gay people and obsessed with interfering with women's rights. See you at the soup kitchen.

Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

I agree with Harry; the people who think they're finally being "welcomed" into the Church are going to find that they're still expected to give up adultery, abortion, homosexuality, etc. They're going to leave again feeling betrayed, and even swindled. But not before they make a big noise in demanding that Church teaching be changed.

Anneg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anneg said...

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\f0\fs26 \cf2 \cb3 \expnd0\expndtw0\kerning0
\outl0\strokewidth0 \strokec2 Matt, I agree with your assessment. I try to be a faithful, orthodox Catholic. But, when I read comments such as those here and at NCR I really wonder how this Church evangelized the world. The comments remind me of the Judaizers St Paul talked about. In order to be Catholic you have to work out all your issues first. No, I don't think so. The church is supposed to Go, Baptise, Teach and Heal. No, all those who think Pope Francis is making things liberal and warm and fuzzy will not stay, but some will and many may actually repent because of the Love of God, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and His continuous Presence in his Church. Some people actually do repent.

Anneg said...

I don't know what all that text stuff is. Sorry.

nbtrap said...

Anneg, you accuse some of believing that "In order to be Catholic you have to work out all your issues first." All that you have to do to become Catholic is to believe in Catholicism, in word and deed. You also say that "many may actually repent because of the Love of God" if we continue to conform the Church to the world instead of the other way around. This is just misguided. Accepting Jesus means, in part and in the first, repenting of one's sins. Repentance has to come first. The world has to become convicted of its sinfulness before conversion can even be possible.

RobC said...

It's true! MY wife (for whom I pray to St Monica) said she liked the new Pope. I asked if she liked him enough to go to Mass. She answered she didn't know...

Thank you St Monica!

sjgmore said...

I'm so glad to see Harry Seldon's comment. I think Francis is actually doing a lot of subtle damage, but out of misguided deference for his office, everyone is performing unnecessary mental contortion to not only avoid criticizing him but also to actively praise the things he ought be corrected on.

I was beginning to think I was the *only* person who noticed this serious problem.

sjgmore said...

I'm so glad to see Harry Seldon's comment. I think Francis is actually doing a lot of subtle damage, but out of misguided deference for his office, everyone is performing unnecessary mental contortion to not only avoid criticizing him but also to actively praise the things he ought be corrected on.

I was beginning to think I was the *only* person who noticed this serious problem.

Katalina said...

I don't know why certain bloggers like at this site keep blowing hot and cold on Francis. First they will claim they were or are concerned about his actions. Than they turn around saying he convinced them they were wrong. Than another concern THE LOYAL OPPOSITION. Do you trust him or not?

Subvet said...
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Subvet said...

The Church isn't a democracy, at times like this I wonder if a stint in the military wouldn't help a lot of pewsitters understand how things actually work, i.e. it ain't McDonalds and you don't get it "your" way.

The Pope was selected by the Holy Spirit. We have the promise from Christ that even the Gates of Hell won't prevail against the Church.

Works for me!

Harry Seldon said...

What a silly comment subvet. Learn some papal history. Tell me if the Holy Spirit chose Pope Benedict IX (the ninth). Go figure that one out, then you can post on the internet.

St. Benedict's Thistle said...

The idea that one comes to the Church or reverts to the Church because of a mere man and his niceness, is plainly wrong. One comes to the Church because he is convinced of the Truth. Christ said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me."

Those individuals who have left the Church for whatever wrong reason, will then come back for a wrong reason, if they base their reversion on a man who they think is non-judgmental and loving (or at least tolerating) of the sin as well as the sinner. Will they then leave again if the next pope is not their cup of tea?

Let us not catch the Born-Again Protestant evangelical fervor that admittedly has poor retention rates.

In the early Church, after finding that converts who were baptized and admitted immediately were sometimes found unworthy or even had nefarious motives, a structure for instruction and admittance was developed.

In some cases it could take up to three years for a convert to be admitted to the Church. They were deeply instructed in the Truth and had to demonstrate their fidelity to it. And this often amidst horrific persecution. Those who had forsaken the Faith must often go through an extremely difficult program to be re-received into the Church. The Church did not play around. This was serious business. Life and death business. Eternal salvation stuff.

Quite the difference from today in growing the Church and retention rates, eh?

Subvet said...

Harry Seldon, the Lord will send us seemingly good Popes and some real stinkers. It kind of follows along with how the Jews were treated by Him (the Book of Jeremiah comes to mind)

As for satisfying any requirements of self-important clowns before I post on the internet, go pack sand.

Harry Seldon said...


"Real stinkers". You said it. Therefore, not to be followed in prudential matters.

Like I've been saying.

Jerome said...

So Matthew,
Your friend and his wife will be returning to Mass because they believe the Church will no longer preach about abortion, gay marriage, and contraception? I'm a little puzzled. In my own diocese, I've heard the word contraception mentioned perhaps once. And only once a year, do I hear abortion ever mentioned. Gay marriage, well never.

But, what begs the question is what will your friend do in the off chance that suddenly your local parish priest mentions birth control and the prohibition of taking communion while on it? Will your friend suddenly bolt again.

I know God works in mysterious ways. But, I also remember many young people being attracted to JPII until he began to really stress Catholic orthodoxy on certain issues. They stopped going to Mass.

Av8er said...

Pray for the pope and all priests. As for what will be the outcome of his "style?" Time will tell. What is undeniable is the the loss of faith in the church in the US due to the use of the pastoral apporach at the expense of of the doctrinal. We need both approaches with equal measure. Proclaim the truth and beauty of the faith without compromising on anything but due so in a "loving" way. That is what I believe the pope is trying to do but the perception is not that and in this world, perception is reality.

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