For the last time, there is zero difference between God's mercy and His Law!!! Anybody who says different is selling timeshares in Hell. Anybody. -- Me

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The Loyal Opposition

During the last 6 months, the Catholic media has witnessed a virtual straw-man genocide calling out anyone among the ranks who speaks in assertive tones or questions the prudence of a papal statement.

I have witnessed so many hyphenated theological-sounding pejoratives used to describe well-meaning faithful Catholics who seek only the salvation of souls that I shudder. I have seen my fellow travelers accused by prominent Catholic commentators of being relentlessly critical, refusing to see progress in the Church, of hating the sinner along with the sin, of wanting to bring back a Church that will never be again, and being reflexively against the pope.

It seems to me that we have arrived at the point where mere disagreement on tactics is viewed as akin to treason.

I have been accused of many of these things and it disheartens me more than I can say.

So I wish to clear a few things up. Surely I don't speak for all the accused, but I think that enough are similar to me to warrant comment.

Please continue reading this piece at the Register, I feel it is important to say.

*subhead*Treason?*subhead*

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17 comments:

Katalina said...

You are correct that the media can't take all of the blame for these embarrassing remarks which are always off the cuff. But many who do so know that Francis presumes or always assume good will or intention which is not always the case. Most do not hear about these issues on any given Sunday. There has to be more clarity in his remarks and this has been nonstop. We are not judging Francis though a few sadly are and this makes them look like what he calls legalistic triumphalist, etc. Something must change or else the Pope does not care about even objective Truth in general.

Mack Hall, HSG said...

Turn off the 'blogs, pray the Rosary, and read a little Chesterton (not that Chesterton was ever little...).

Proteios1 said...

The bottom line is this. If we are faithful Catholics. We are faithful to the person the Holy Spirit selected. I love and miss Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. I am still reading his works. Now we have a different style and are being guided as the Holy Spirit wants. I say to myself as a guy who loves the Latin mass and wonders why we would ever cease or even limit such beauty, that we need to be obedient. Many of us more orthodox types are doing what we criticized the trendies for doing with Benedict. Whining! We are whining!
If you believe the one holy catholic and apostolic church is under by the Holy Spirit, then you must walk through throughout he valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil. For He is with us.
In short, quite whining so much. He was appointed to fulfil Gods will not yours or mine, so if you don't like it you are just like the rest. Whining that things can't be your way.

Sophia's Favorite said...

Then...maybe not repeat deliberate distortions by schismatics of either stripe, and put the most negative interpretation possible on utterly innocuous statements?

Maybe also not make "smart" remarks about things you didn't understand? Most of your criticism of Francis has essentially been an inter-cultural version of SNL's Emily Litella; if that's how badly you misread an Argentine (who are pretty much a Western European country on the wrong continent), you'd be nailing theses to a door over a Pope Arinze.

Fr Bill Peckman said...

It works both ways. I do remember early on in Pope Benedict XVI's papacy people critiquing him regularly, often misquoting him. My problem with the whole thing is the division engendered; bringing the ugliest of politics into faith. Like American politics, if one is not 100% a purist to a particular ideology (as if such things justly belong in the Church at all), then they are altogether dismissed. All the while, the real enemies laugh at our circular firing squads ready to scoop in and knock off what is left. I am pretty sure the this Pope, or any Pope for that matter, does not need to clear his remarks with any ideological subset within the Church. He has said nothing theologically incorrect or at odds with the CCC. Nothing. He has not change nor proposed to change one iota of the Tradition and teaching on faith and morals. Not once. I know everyone is an expert on everything in this country and simply just must air their opinions with the sanctimony of Moses descending from Mt Sinai. We do it in every possible field of study and discipline. It is so very tiring. I am not the pope's superior. I am definitely not the Holy Spirit's superior. Neither has to pass anything by me before release. Should, God forbid, the Pope teach against the Traditio, then yes, then would be the time to say something. He hasn't. I am guessing he won't. Please remember that he has to be the shepherd of all the sheep, not just a certain subset. You reap what you sow.

Harry Seldon said...

Fr. Bill,

I'd like to understand your comment better. Last month, our state legislature was debating a bill to require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as surgical clinics. This bill if passed, was expected to close the majority of abortion clinics in our state. The Catholics of our diocese rented buses and traveled en masse several hours to the capitol to demonstrate in support of the bill, missing work. They were harassed by pro-abortion protesters. They shared sack lunches on the capitol steps.

This month, they heard their pope say that they were obsessed with abortion.

I would like to know in what way they are reaping what they have sown.

Thank you.

Fr Bill Peckman said...

That is not what he said. He said it cannot be the only issue as Catholic teachings all must be obeyed and so few are any more. We focus on what we fell are the more heinous ones (and abortion is) while we do little to nothing on others. Abortion is not a disease in and of itself, it is a symptom of the far deadlier disease of a new Albagenianism and its accompanying partner of eugenics, both born from a base of greed , gluttony, and pride. You cannot heal a disease by addressing only a few symptoms. In as far as 'reap what you so', I direct that at people who have little compunction criticizing others while getting thin skinned about people criticizing them.

Fr Bill Peckman said...

@ Harry, I would assume, hopefully rightfully so, that the Catholic faith that drove the people you speak of to such a wonderful witness, do not limit their Catholic witness to only one facet of Catholic teaching. It has been my experience that they are equally fervent in other matters.

Harry Seldon said...

Fr Bill Peckman said:

""Abortion is not a disease in and of itself, it is a symptom of the far deadlier disease of a new Albagenianism and its accompanying partner of eugenics, both born from a base of greed , gluttony, and pride. You cannot heal a disease by addressing only a few symptoms. In as far as 'reap what you so', I direct that at people who have little compunction criticizing others while getting thin skinned about people criticizing them.""

I thought we were supposed to be running a 'field hospital' wherein the immediate traumatic injuries were looked after immediately. Abortion is something that happens right now, in an individual human life, like a gunshot wound or a deep laceration. If not helped, right now, the effects will be traumatic, long-lasting, and possibly fatal. I think both you and our Holy Father have this completely ass-backwards, Padre. If anyone can keep a mother from killing her child, right now, they are doing the Lord's work. Later, some more open-minded and erudite cleric can show up and explain, tactfully, that "it's all because you're a neo-albigensian...". A field surgeon, I submit, has to be obsessive about the here and now. The gunshot would he is treating is but a symptom of war, and thus original sin, but he is a doctor not a political philosopher or theologian.

Also, I read nothing in your comment about thin-skinned people. I read about everyone needing to remember that the Pope need not clear his comment with any ideological subset of the Church, and that people (I can only presume one or more ideological subsets of the Church, and right now, traditionalists and pro-life people are the offended subsets) reap what they sow. Hence my question.

Fr. Bill also wrote:

""It has been my experience that they are equally fervent in other matters.""

Yes, indeed, all sorts of other matters like doctrine, and liturgy, and the secular culture. All areas in which they are being made to feel like obsessives. I only needed one example, their abortion activism, but I could multiply them. This Pope is insulting these people in all the areas they hold dear concerning the Catholic faith, and then telling them the root cause is a lack of faith in Christ, which is calumny.

Or, it's them reaping what they sow, depending on one's point of view. And, really, isn't that what it's all about? Which ideological subset gets kicked, and which gets patted on the head.

Fr Bill Peckman said...

Wow. You assume I am going after one specific subset. Mistake. The majority of the scuffles from within have come from people on both extremes who each hold to have absolute truth. Tell me, since you are going to school an erudite cleric, exactly which teaching of the Church did the Pope either refute or overturn? There is a huge difference between saying something need not be the only issue and saying something is not an issue. Pope Francis said the former, not the latter. Given that he blasted abortion after the America article, is there any question that he is opposed and encourages abortion. So, I am not seeing what the kerfuffle is about. What I am seeing is a lot of needless shots taken among our own, again. There are multiple injunctions in the New Testament against passing judgement on persons. The pope insulted no one! He did not diminish their efforts in the least. He did not purpose an either/ or approach to what is important. He did purpose a both/and. That IS consistent with the teaching of the Church and with the Scriptures. To say that he insulted anyone is simply not true. People might have chosen to be insulted, which is their problem. Hence the thin-skinned comment. No one gets to enter into the field throwing accusations over imagined slights and then get indignant when someone points that out! This melee irritates me just as much as the left who were already predisposed to Pope Benedict and wildly took his every word into the worst possible context. Because the shoe is on the other foot does not make it better. We all, and I do include myself in this statement, would do much better to examine our own lack of charity and divisiveness that hurl accusations at anyone, let alone the Pope. James 4:11-12 reminds us: (and again...I include myself in this) "Do not, my brothers, speak ill of one another. The one who speaks ill of his brother or judges his brother is speaking against the law. I f, however, you judge the law you are no observer of the law, you are its judge. There is but one lawgiver and Judge, one who can save and destroy. Who then, are you to judge your brother?"

Fr Bill Peckman said...

predisposed against Pope Benedict...it should read

Fr Bill Peckman said...

Wow. You assume I am going after one specific subset. Mistake. The majority of the scuffles from within have come from people on both extremes who each hold to have absolute truth. Tell me, since you are going to school an erudite cleric, exactly which teaching of the Church did the Pope either refute or overturn? There is a huge difference between saying something need not be the only issue and saying something is not an issue. Pope Francis said the former, not the latter. Given that he blasted abortion after the America article, is there any question that he is opposed and encourages abortion. So, I am not seeing what the kerfuffle is about. What I am seeing is a lot of needless shots taken among our own, again. There are multiple injunctions in the New Testament against passing judgement on persons. The pope insulted no one! He did not diminish their efforts in the least. He did not purpose an either/ or approach to what is important. He did purpose a both/and. That IS consistent with the teaching of the Church and with the Scriptures. To say that he insulted anyone is simply not true. People might have chosen to be insulted, which is their problem. Hence the thin-skinned comment. No one gets to enter into the field throwing accusations over imagined slights and then get indignant when someone points that out! This melee irritates me just as much as the left who were already predisposed to Pope Benedict and wildly took his every word into the worst possible context. Because the shoe is on the other foot does not make it better. We all, and I do include myself in this statement, would do much better to examine our own lack of charity and divisiveness that hurl accusations at anyone, let alone the Pope. James 4:11-12 reminds us: (and again...I include myself in this) "Do not, my brothers, speak ill of one another. The one who speaks ill of his brother or judges his brother is speaking against the law. I f, however, you judge the law you are no observer of the law, you are its judge. There is but one lawgiver and Judge, one who can save and destroy. Who then, are you to judge your brother?"

Fr Bill Peckman said...

by the way...the neo-albagensian comment is not directed at you or the pro-life movement. A simple reading of my comment forbears that. Do you know what albagensianism is? Call it that, call it docetism, our progressive society is nothing more than another manifestation of gnosticism. This world view is fueled by eugenics. The same mindset that finds abortion acceptable also can find human trafficking acceptable. The same mindset that sees artificial contraception as acceptable can also find ignoring those in needs acceptable. All of it is born out of a desire to be among the Illuminati...the special ones. At its base it nothing more than a heart infected with pride, greed, and gluttony..a radical sense of selfishness. Think about it, if one is sick, how does one treat the disease? Does one attack a few or single symptom or does not one rather go after the virus or entity causing the symptoms? If selfishness is at the heart of all of these ills, should not charity be the antidote? Would not the selfless heart find abortion, and artificial contraception, and ignoring the needy, human trafficking, and whole host and myriad of other ills as all reprehensible? Go after the core, you go after all the symptoms. The ills of our time did not suddenly generate out of the ether. They needed prior falls to accommodate them. I suggest you read the book "Architects of the Culture of Death". Abortion is a manifestation of the disease, the disease will not be stamped out by stamping a singular symptom; they entirety must be addressed. This is my understanding of what Pope Francis was saying (I actually read the original source...not what was written about it.)

Harry Seldon said...

Yes, I even know how to spell "albigensianism".

GMMF said...

Pope Benedict said the same thing about focusing too much on abortion, etc. that has gotten people in tizzy (and this in a formal address to bishops, not an ultimately meaningless interview):

"We should not allow our faith to be drained by too many discussions of multiple, minor details, but rather, should always keep our eyes in the first place on the greatness of Christianity.

"I remember, when I used go to Germany in the 1980s and '90s, that I was asked to give interviews and I always knew the questions in advance. They concerned the ordination of women, contraception, abortion and other such constantly recurring problems.

"If we let ourselves be drawn into these discussions, the Church is then identified with certain commandments or prohibitions; we give the impression that we are moralists with a few somewhat antiquated convictions, and not even a hint of the true greatness of the faith appears. I therefore consider it essential always to highlight the greatness of our faith - a commitment from which we must not allow such situations to divert us. "

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/november/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20061109_concl-swiss-bishops_en.html

Harry Seldon said...

GMMF - So? Benedict expressed that the constant Catholic truth that the faith is indeed more than moral teachings, but did so in way much more difficult to misconstrue and use against the Church AND without making anyone doubt those same moral teachings. Point to Benedict. If you are trying to point out similarities, that's a fail. I think you have just highlighted who is better at speaking to the world and relating to humanity. If I was piling on, I'd say it was the one who is more humble.

BTW, I'm assuming your ideological position on this based on your use of the pejorative word "tizzy". If I've mistaken that, apologies.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Frankly, I think the Catholic Church is far better off with more Harry Seldons and fewer Bill Peckermans. I'm just sayin'.....

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