PopeWatch: Vox Populi, Vox Humbug

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VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

Well, I guess this was inevitable.  We are now beginning to see polls which tell us that American Catholics back the Pope because they believe he is taking the Church in a liberal direction:

Pope Francis’ comments that the Catholic Church should not focus so much on homosexuality, abortion and contraception have met with strong approval from U.S. Catholics, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday.

Sixty-eight percent of American Catholics agree with comments the Pope made to that effect in an interview published last month in the Jesuit magazine Civilta Cattolica, while 23 percent disagreed, according to the poll. There was little difference in opinion between observant and less-observant Catholics, women and men, and among age groups, the poll found.

American Catholics also like their new pope, with 89 percent having a “favorable” or “very favorable” opinion, and only 4 percent voicing an unfavorable opinion, the poll found.

“Maybe they were just waiting for a Jesuit,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Francis is the first pope from the religious order of the Jesuits, an order known for its intellectuals and iconoclasts.

In the interview, Francis reaffirmed traditional church teachings, but said the church must “find a new balance” or risk seeing its entire moral edifice collapse “like a house of cards.”

The poll also found that 60 percent of American Catholics support women’s ordination – though the Pope had recently reaffirmed the ban on women’s ordination. Support is highest among those who attend services less frequently and Catholics over the age of 65.

The survey also found that Catholic opinion on abortion is similar to the opinion of all American adults – with 52 percent of Catholics saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared with 53 percent of the general public.

 

These Catholics have obviously gotten the message through media coverage of the Pope that the Church, rather than resisting abortion, homosexuality, contraception, etc, is now just going to go with the flow.  Not just laity are getting that impression, judging from a comment left on Pat Archbold’s Pope Traumatic Stress Disorder post at  National Catholic Register:

                     

This weekend our pastor wrote a column in which he compared people who  identify as pro-life to his old friend Tim, a morbidly obese individual who  washed down his bacon-cheeseburger and fries with diet coke in the hopes of  losing weight.  He went on to say that the agenda of pro-lifers is far too  often anti-abortion, when it should be much broader and include gun control,  environmental issues, the death penalty, yada, yada.  Abortion “cannot  trump the vast myriad of other life issues”.  He cited the Pope’s interview  as “long-overdue” support of this position.  Needless to say, those of us  on the parish pro-life committee feel as if we’ve been punched in the gut.   Until this happened I thought you were being unnecessarily alarmist, but believe  me, now I get your point.

Is this what the Pope intended?  I doubt it.  However, when a Pope speaks as carelessly as this Pope has, in a world where the mainstream media is almost entirely opposed to traditional Christian morality, it takes no towering intellect to see the consequences from the statements he has uttered.  The Church has usually prided herself on being countercultural.  At the start of the pontificate of Pope Francis, many Catholics are hearing a message through the media that this is no longer the case.

 

 

More to explorer

PopeWatch: Trolling

PopeWatch suspects the Pope is just trolling us now:   Vatican City, Feb 14, 2019 / 05:41 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis

18 Comments

  1. The “common good” is the alibi of all tyrants.

    “[…] Abortion ‘cannot trump the vast myriad of other life issues’.”

    Yes, it does.

    Tens of millions of abortions, universal artificial contraception, euthanasia, gay privileges, etc. are intrinsically evil. They cannot be “explained away” with free (bought with other people’s money) stuff, e.g. health care for everybody.

    “I see.”, said the blind man as he picked up his tools and walked away.

  2. “Is this what the Pope intended? I doubt it. ”

    Though I wonder if this was exactly what the cardinals who voted for Francis intended. Less confrontation with governments, less parishioners being able to complain about orthodoxy, less headaches for them.

  3. Though I wonder if this was exactly what the cardinals who voted for Francis intended. Less confrontation with governments, less parishioners being able to complain about orthodoxy, less headaches for them.

    Given that the college of cardinals is arguably more conservative now than it was when it elected Benedict XVI (since some old liberals have died or retired and Benedict appointed a fair number of cardinals himself) I find that a little hard to credit.

    He cited the Pope’s interview as “long-overdue” support of this position. Needless to say, those of us on the parish pro-life committee feel as if we’ve been punched in the gut. Until this happened I thought you were being unnecessarily alarmist, but believe me, now I get your point.

    I guess the thing is: If the commenter’s pastor gave this talk now, he almost certainly had the same opinions a year ago or five years ago. He didn’t suddenly become a “seamless garment” wimp, he has been for a long time. So what exactly has changed? He can point to an out-of-context line from the pope. But then, liberal Catholics have been trying to claim that the popes support them for ages (whenever they’re not arguing instead that popes don’t matter.)

    It seems like a lot of the difference is, during Benedict’s papacy (especially very early on when liberals were in despair and conservatives were saying “the cafeteria is closed”) there at least a strong sense among orthodox Catholics that the pope was “one of us” and a fairly strong sense among liberals that he wasn’t one of them.

    This time we have the liberals running around saying that the pope is one of them and he isn’t one of us. I strongly suspect they’re deluding themselves on that, but it does seem like it gets conservative Catholics down.

  4. The human being is composed of a human body and a human soul. By not acknowledging the sovereignty of God and the immortality of the human soul, The Ten Commandments and The Catholic Church can be made to appear irrelevant. The purpose of life is to get ourselves to heaven. Do not let them “fake out” your soul. The polls are like football players who grab the ball and make a touchdown for their opponent.
    “VOX HUMBUG” i CANNOT STOP LAUGHING.

  5. it sounds to me like some of the liberal Catholics seriously buy a caricature of pro life Catholics as narrow. are they obtuse on purpose?!
    Also— help me out here— there must be a Chesterton quote somewhere about real breadth manifested in narrowness 🙂 maybe similar to the child nurturing role of women being not small, but great…. that could relate to the importance of saving the individual life of persons conceived and yet unborn.

  6. “Given that the college of cardinals is arguably more conservative now than it was when it elected Benedict XVI (since some old liberals have died or retired and Benedict appointed a fair number of cardinals himself) I find that a little hard to credit.”

    So what’s your explanation? Are the majority of cardinals just low information voters who didn’t realize what they were signing on for? I think conflict avoidance is a better explanation. You can be a conservative cardinal and still not want to fight.

  7. Over on Ricochet there’s a knock-down fight going on over how one can reject the notion that opposing abortion is any different from the “animal cruelty” of “industrial farming” without reading an article that was over twenty pages when typed up in word.

    The simple fact that there’s a difference between chopping up humans and (feel good goal here) just doesn’t soak in.

  8. So what’s your explanation? Are the majority of cardinals just low information voters who didn’t realize what they were signing on for? I think conflict avoidance is a better explanation. You can be a conservative cardinal and still not want to fight.

    Well, obviously I’m having to use intuition here, I don’t have inside knowledge, but I tend to think that:

    a) The cardinals probably knew Bergoglio better then than we do now. They’d dealt with him one on one at various gatherings and had an idea of how he would lead the Vatican and what elements of the faith he’d emphasize (service to the poor, importance of accepting Christ personally, etc.) We just hear about him on the news.

    b) I think we may also not always be cognizant of how different the viewpoint of cardinals is just because of who they are: Most of them are bishops in charge of diocese. Most of the people they interact with on a daily basis are priests and virtually all are Catholic. Most of them are over 60. Many of them don’t use technology much. They don’t know what it’s like to sit in the pews of the average parish of struggle with the parish school as a parent, they know what it’s like to sit in the diocesan offices and deal with the personnel issues that come to them from their priests and lay workers. Also, they have a lot of concerns about how the church is run administratively which may not even be on our radar (some of these relate to scandals that hit the media, but a lot of others are probably things that only show up to people on the inside.)

    I have no idea whether cardinals are liking the interviews or not. But in general I’d imagine they loom a lot larger in the attention of Catholics like us who are used to spending a lot of time in Catholic media and discussion space than they do to the cardinals.

  9. “But in general I’d imagine they loom a lot larger in the attention of Catholics like us who are used to spending a lot of time in Catholic media and discussion space than they do to the cardinals.”

    Well, that is likely part of the problem.

  10. Siobahn:

    The solution to your problem: locate the nearest Eastern-rite parish and take your family there. Alternately, check the Una Voce site for the traditional masses in your area.

  11. “The simple fact that there’s a difference between chopping up humans and (feel good goal here) just doesn’t soak in.”

    When one views man as merely an animal there is no limit on how badly people can be treated by the State, or by each other. Burke noted this long ago:

    “On this scheme of things, a king is but a man, a queen is but a woman; a woman is but an animal, and an animal not of the highest order. All homage paid to the sex in general as such, and without distinct views, is to be regarded as romance and folly. Regicide, and parricide, and sacrilege, are but fictions of superstition, corrupting jurisprudence by destroying its simplicity. The murder of a king, or a queen, or a bishop, or a father, are only common homicide; and if the people are by any chance, or in any way, gainers by it, a sort of homicide much the most pardonable, and into which we ought not to make too severe a scrutiny.

    On the scheme of this barbarous philosophy, which is the offspring of cold hearts and muddy understandings, and which is as void of solid wisdom as it is destitute of all taste and elegance, laws are to be supported only by their own terrors, and by the concern which each individual may find in them from his own private speculations, or can spare to them from his own private interests. In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows.”

  12. There is a vast difference in theological training between Pope Francis and at least his two predecessors: A little comparative theological background might help — let me explain.
    Cardinal Ratzinger’s doctoral dissertation was on Augustine’s ecclesiology, directed by Munich professor and scholar Gottlieb Soehngen; BXVI’s postdoctoral dissertation was on S. Bonaventure’s theology of history. Cardinal Wojytla’s 1st dissertation (after phenomenological studies in Edmund Husserl, of whom Edith Stein was an advanced university student prior to her entering Carmel) at the Angelicum in Rome was on divine-human relationship and personal encounter in the mystical doctrine of S. John of the Cross. JP2′s 2nd dissertation was @ Krakow on the thought of Max Scheler, also a phenomenologist, and a successor to Husserl. JP2 also was a distinguished theology teacher at the Jagiellonian University at Krakow, so lecturing and refining his writing and engaging in controversy literately was a habit of years with him, just as with Ratzinger. And the present pope? Bergoglio didnt finish his dissertation at Frankfurt’s Sahnkt Georgen. At all. He previously had some psychological education (eg. the word “obsession” about abortion, contraception, homosexuality) but did not obtain either a Masters or a Ph.D. in psych either. (He has Masters degrees in theology, but from Buenos Aires’ Jesuit theologate, not known as a major school in its field). Rather unusual for a Jesuit, no Ph.D. My point is: Bergoglio is not really that well-trained in systematic theology. He hasnt been a lecturer, a theology teacher. It shows in his statements. He doesnt appear to turn his statements over and over, and work from prepared texts to be sure he communicates clearly, and he is at a disadvantage in learning and training. most notably when compared to at least the prior two papal occupants.

  13. Siobahn’s pastor strikes me as the proverbial doctor who can’t decide whether to start by treating the cancer or the double pneumonia or the sepsis.

    So that patient bleeds to death from the punctured artery.

  14. Needless to say, those of us on the parish pro-life committee feel as if we’ve been punched in the gut.
    –Siobhan (as quoted by Donald R. McClarey)

    Dear Siobhan, you must immediately change the name of that committee to the Protect Innocent Life Committee or something else equally unambiguous. Otherwise, you risk ongoing subversion of whatever good you strive to do.

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