Fr. Longenecker On The Pope

You will hear much commentary on the Pope and his style and way of thinking (maybe even from me), particularly after his long and revealing interview.

Among the things you read, you simply must include this piece by Father Dwight Longenecker. His observations here are extremely interesting may go a long way to explaining the Pope's approach, whether you agree with that approach or not.

In a nutshell (and I hope Father will not mind the paraphrase), the Pope's remarks make more sense in the world he came from than in the world he is speaking to.

Please read the piece and tell me what you think.

*subhead*Very interesting.*subhead*


  1. I would simply say that the Pope speaks to the whole Church. If Fr. Longenecker thinks there is something missing (and I agree with his analysis of how the Pope's comments have played in my own parish and diocese), then it is up to him and to me, and all priests and deacons, to fill in the gaps. JPII and B16 weren't always crystal clear either and I spent the necessary time helping my people to understand what was being reported in the press.

  2. It's rather relativistic, isn't it, and another valiant attempt to explain what is rapidly becoming the inexplicable. Surely it shouldn't be an issue where a Pope comes from. His role is to uphold the Catholic faith in its entirety in clear terms to the world.
    The latest coming through the media seems to indicate we should all be doing backward somersaults.

  3. The last two popes said things, e.g. on the death penalty, that made sense in Europe and America but were laughably, contemptibly, scandalously false in places like Africa.

    Francis says things that make perfect sense, with no need of explanation, to anyone who knows he's from Argentina. Well, assuming they can find Argentina on a map.

    I don't want to say "white privilege", but you do have to admit you're a bunch of first-world Northern Hemisphere dwellers who keep getting tripped up by something a Latin American (admittedly from the whitest country in Latin America) says.

  4. Christ gave His Church ONE mission- to CONVERT sinners with the Gospel message. When the Church (as a whole) FAILS to push CONVERSION and instead pushes ecumenical gatherings to play nice nice with non-Catholics or they play in politics with immigration reforms or take rides on buses with nuns, the Church FAILS to do what Christ instructed her to do.
    If Pope Francis wants to convert people, he must PREACH the Gospel, call sin a sin and not be a wishy-washy pushover that the media can twist whatever he does or says to their liking. And he must DEMAND the same from ALL the clergy- and religious. They've been given a free pass for far too long and something needs to be done.

  5. So basically, we've just been told the Pope is speaking from a Catholic perspective, but that non-Catholics and even a lot of Catholics won't understand how Catholic he really is because they don't have a Catholic perspective, and so they just might misunderstand what he said.

    I have never seen such mental gymnastics in all my life.

  6. One thing that we have had to endure since this Pope's election is the condescending and haughty way the Latin Americans mostly the Argentines. We saw a lot of pride from the Poles after John Paul was elected but not arrogance. We do not need all of this extreme nationalism, it serves no purpose and it keeps people divided. IN CHRIST THERE IS NO NORTH OR SOUTH EAST OR WEST. All are one in Christ Jesus.

  7. Well, if that's the case, then are we to believe that "Catholic" no longer means universal? Catholics the world over no longer can reference a shared patrimony, heritage, world view? And this doesn't concern the Fr. Longeneckers of the world?

    If Catholics can not understand their Pope, then the crisis has progressed to a an extremely gross stage.

  8. I put my extended thoughts on Pope Francis and this interview here:

  9. "...the Pope's remarks make more sense in the world he came from than in the world he is speaking to."

    If that is true he should not be the Pope of the world. The homo-heretics that elected him to cover their vile evil may have damned us all.

    Also can you please remove OpenID or allow Name / URL for commenting? It does not allow WordPress users to login. It always throws the very useless error "Your OpenID credentials could not be verified."

  10. I think that Fr. Dwight makes a valid point and that the comment by Fr. Michael has a good insight as well.

  11. I was critical of Fr. Dwight on the Voris matter, but I'm lock-step with him on this. I pray that Pope Francis will receive the grace to be the Universal Pontiff his office calls him to be.


  12. ++++++++++ begin quotes +++++

    A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’

    “Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation. Yes, there are hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, but one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today—which was typical of Vatican II—is absolutely irreversible

    If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists­—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life

    +++++++++++++++ end quotes ++++++++++++

    The Vicar of Christ is ostentatiously extending his hands of welcome to sodomites while he back-hands traditionalists and repeatedly tells them he has no time for them or patience with them.

    He has rhetorically excommunicated us because we hold fast to Tradition and for this Vicar of Christ, Tradition is a legalism of the past.

    His disparagement of a pellucid Faith capable of being understood by even the young (Catechism of Council of Trent, Catechism of Pope Saint Pius X, Baltimore Catechism, The Penny Catechism etc etc ) is disturbing in the extreme.

    This interview is an extended confession of a radical but it comes with neither contrition or purpose of amendment, rather, it lays out the insanely evil program for his Papacy.

  13. OK, those last few words were,admittedly, a mite hyperbolic.

    I should have written" ...,rather, it lays out the liberal program for his Papacy."

  14. Here is a link to a thoughtful and substantial response to Pope Francis

  15. It seems that Longenecker changed mind. I made the following coment in his blog:

    I would like to add one more thing to show that you were correct in your previous post (Poking the Pope) and now you are wrong:

    During WYD, Brazil was discussing a law facilitating abortion. Everyone knew that. CNBB (Brazilian USCCB) asked Dilma (Brazilian president) to veto two major articles of the law. Pope should know that.

    Pope Francis did not say a word for a week in several opportunities. After four days he left, Dilma approved the law without vetos.

    You need popes to talk to difficult problems and attack the worst sins.

  16. So right at the beginning, Fr. Longenecker says of Pope Francis:
    "He clearly prefers the off the cuff remark and the spontaneous homily to the careful, well thought out theological treatise."

    Yet in the preamble to the interview, Fr. Spadaro discloses that:
    "The pope had spoken earlier about his great difficulty in giving interviews. He said that he prefers to think rather than provide answers on the spot in interviews."

    And I cannot help wondering how thoroughly Fr. Longenecker read the interview. He says: "He pushes against a Catholicism that is legalistic, puritanical and condemnatory."

    Hmmmm... Checking the CCC (which the pope can't simply discard), the Church does have high moral standards (puritanical), does condemn things (usury and sodomy, for example), and of course, the existence of Canon Law would support the Church as legalistic.

    Putting those together with the Magisterium and the Bible is, I think, what we usually refer to as the fullness of truth. Perhaps Father L's roots are showing?

  17. @Bill Meyer: "Puritanism" doesn't mean "high moral standards"; "Legalism" doesn't mean simply "having laws"; "condemnatory", in the context of Christianity, does not refer to condemning actual evils. If you're going to complain about words being used, you probably ought to know what they mean.

    The attitudes Francis "pushes against" are those in evidence when, for example, priests in Argentina refused baptism to an infant whose parents were not married. "Risking the loss of an infant's soul because of its parents' acts" is not a part of any orthodox Christian tradition I ever heard of, although there were similar ideas in Jansenism, a heresy heavily influenced by—wouldn't you know it!—Puritanism.


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