Yes, I am Really Getting Tired of It

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Steve Skojec at his blog takes aim at the endless excuses many Catholic commentators come up with to ignore the obvious:


Is anyone else getting really, really tired of this game?

Pope Francis consistently says things that cause serious concern among Catholics who know what the Church teaches. No sooner have the words left his mouth (and of course, been reported on far and wide) than the spin machine goes into high gear – powered in large part by Catholic bloggers who make a living promoting the status quo within the Church (no conflict of interest there!) — telling us why we should not worry about the obviously controversial thing because of one of the following reasons:

  1. It’s a translation issue
  2. It’s a contextual issue
  3. When he said “X” it’s clear that he probably meant “Y”
  4. The source is unreliable
  5. The information is not first-hand
  6. We must look at the issue through the Argentinian cultural lens
  7. The media is misrepresenting what he said
  8. He contradicted himself in another thing that he said during a homily last week
  9. Fr. Lombardi says it ain’t true

Take your pick. There are probably others. I imagine the Catholic apologists in the tank for this nonsense have a sort of flow chart they pass around every time they add a new option. “Did the Pope speak in Italian? –> IF YES, it’s not his native language. Lost in Translation. IF NO…”

It’s a spin-the-wheel sort of system. Maybe there’s a papal 8-ball out there (in white, of course) where you shake it up and it gives you a series of half-believable reasons why whatever he said wasn’t really heterodox. Across the spectrum of Catholic publications and social media, it’s become a giant excuse-making enterprise. Almost like the Pope Francis edition of whack-a-mole.

You’ll have to excuse my sarcasm. I’m starting to find this all incredibly offensive, and insulting to the collective intelligence of Catholics who see what is really going on.

Go here to read the rest. It is deeply ironic that Pope Francis is causing problems for many people who take Papal utterances quite seriously and is celebrated by many people with a long history of not paying the slightest heed to what a Pope says.  No amount of excuse making by well meaning Catholic bloggers can alter the reality of what is transpiring.  Clicking one’s heels and wishing real hard only works in Oz.


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  1. We have had a string of good Popes in modern times. Statistically what we are seeing is inevitable. Besides, this is what the peepul want! Vox populi vox Dei, right?

    Horse manure!

  2. I guess the best we can hope for is that the Church is able to tread water until he shuffles off this mortal coil. He has a life expectancy of about nine years, give or take. The period running from 1962 to 1972 was an awful ride for the Church. When he’s done, the Church in the Occident may look like the Church in France today: comprehending just shy of 3% of the population, a quarter of them attending schismatic services.

  3. The self appointed spin control group definitely gets silly at times. There are a few bloggers that I’ve finally given up on reading as a result.

    At the same time, Skojec seems to me to fall in the school of those who seem bound and determined to find heretical meaning in the pope’s words and actions, and I think that often as not it’s being willfully read in.

  4. 1. Vaya lio-ing along the highway means no crowds for the eye of the needle pathway to Heaven which was mentioned sternly around the time that pigs ran together off a cliff and around the time when rewards were offered increasing the fold for Heaven.

  5. I’m different in that I always saw John Paul II and Benedict as strict on sex BUT ravingly unorthodox on Old Testament violence via modernistic concepts of inspiration ( Evangelium Vitae sect.40… death penalties of OT really from culture not from God/ Verbum Domini sect.42… herem /massacres not from God either)…so that Francis until this recent phone call seemed similar to them and decoupled from what inspiration means. Hence all three opposed the death penalty as unrefined even though 6 Popes from 1796 til 1865 executed 516 criminals for whom they could have found a cell til death.
    . Nothing new there. But this phone call should be explained…it’s another level. Canon law says Popes have power that is “supreme” and “immediate”. Does that mean Francis based on details given of the first marriage on the phone call…can annull a marriage as Pope? And thus his permission to receive Communion was based on that private annullment. Nothing is being said if that is the case. It should be said or a lot of irregular spouses may be headed for Communion because nothing is being said.

  6. Art Deco wrote, “the Church in the Occident may look like the Church in France today…”

    Do you mean we shall have philosophers like Rémy Brague, Chantal Delsol, René Girard, Pierre Manent and Jean-Luc Marion and writers like Max Gallo, Jean D’Ormesson, Jean Raspail, Denis Tillinac, Michel Tournier and Denis Tillinac?
    I can’t wait.

  7. I see I repeated the name of Denis Tillinac; a slip of the pen, but it bears repetition.

  8. I don’t think a Church that has a large clergy, a fistful of intellectuals and a staggering amount of available seating on Sunday is something to be looked at with joyful anticipation. And I happen to like Manent.

    It sounds like a church of self-selecting and not-very-inspiring elites.

  9. Thanks for the link.

    And DarwinCatholic – I’ve gotten so used to seeing troubling statements in what he says that I admit to a certain difficulty NOT looking for it. But it takes so little effort, I’m not sure it’s my fault.

  10. Do you mean we shall have philosophers

    In this country, not at all. More like the succession of characters who’ve occupied the See of Canterbury the last 35 years or so.

  11. I have often wondered what St. Peter thinks of many of the Popes, bishops, and priests who came after him, especially some of the currents ones. Now I wonder if in the past, people were “tired” under the Popes, bishops, and priests of their day.

  12. Clarification? It muddies the waters even more. He says one thing one day, something else the next. Confusion and division are the hallmarks of this papacy.

  13. Agreed, Mr. Skojec. And it is very, very tiring.
    I get the impression this Pope is a bit of a politician–saying one thing to a person (or group of people) that is sure to please him, then turning around and saying another thing to a different person/group.

  14. In a few short hours is Divine Mercy Sunday. Today we finish the novena.

    The message is clear! No muddy waters here. Jesus tells us to trust in HIM.
    As for me and mine; “Jesus I Trust in YOU.”

    Let’s please, as a collective, pray for Pope Francis. Jesus will lead us, but He does ask us to pray. Come Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your people with trust hope and forgiveness. Make us one with Jesus to help the lame blind and wayward souls receive renewed strength sight and welcome in a world that rejects these poor ones. That all may be one in Jesus we pray.

  15. Karl: many people I know would be very offended by Mundabor’s blog, but I find it comforting to say to myself “We’ve got a bad Pope.”

  16. Bill Bannon: Even when a Pope declares the marriage annulled, invalid, it would seem proper for the pope to put it in writing so that the persons involved will have proof. If the Pope was speaking of a spiritual communion, the person must have the right disposition. Evidently, this particular person is more interested in the display of closeness with the Pope. What bothers me is that the parish priest was vetoed.
    Let us request that paper.

  17. This “spin machine” allows us to see who is faithful and who is not in the arena of the web, magazines, TV, books, conferences, etc. In short, who is making money in the catholic sphere while playing on the sympathies of poorly catechized catholics. You are seeing the divide within the church – maybe. Could this be just another phase of one group, the heretics, trying to sway the faithful in the one true Church. History is repeating itself in this regard. What to do? Redirect your $$$ and time and effort.

  18. The boring, if alarming, repetitiveness of these hit and run episodes leads me to be strongly suspicious the pattern is not one of accidental slip-fall-rise, but of a wily Jesuit Pope, an Argentinian Jesuit, lighting deliberate little fires to test the drift and create chaos: something Saul Alinsky did and taught well.

  19. I agree with you Sydney O. except for the boring part. It’s very unsettling for me.
    I was volunteering at a Catholic place this week and my negative gut reaction to the photo they have displayed of him there even surprised me– I said – to my self- “but that is our Pope!!! You can’t react like that!”
    My self doesn’t answer.

    it was his habemus papam photo

  20. Art Deco wrote, “More like the succession of characters who’ve occupied the See of Canterbury the last 35 years or so.”

  21. I have a theory about Pope Francis’s unwillingness to wear the traditional red shoes. It wasn’t a fashion statement nor a humility thing. He simply didn’t like the taste they left in his mouth.

    P.S. The slash in the circle slopes the wrong way. Here’s a memory aid, the ‘no’ slash begins on the left and like everything else of the left it runs downhill from there.

  22. I went to the link and read the story. Perhaps I missed it, but I failed to see where, despite the divorce, this woman had done anything wrong. A spouse divorced in the secular sense but remaining sacramentally married has not committed a sin per se…..or am I not getting the full story.

    Mind you I have no fondness for the Pope’s dialectic and emotive style but do we have a complete picture here.

  23. @Cthemfly25: this is from an article on Catholic Word Report:
    “[Julio Sabetta, Lisbona’s husband] was married into the Catholic church in 1985, but got legally divorced in 1992. In 1994, he was re-introduced to Jaquelina – they had been boyfriend and girlfriend in their teens – and the two started to live together in a civil union. Since then, they had two children, Candela and Josefina, aged 17 and 14, respectively. ”
    Lisbona, herself, appears not to be divorced from anyone; but her “husband” was married in a Catholic Church and obtained a civil divorce. There does not appear to be a Declaration of Nullity of his first marriage–ergo, as far as the Catholic Church is concerned, he is still married. This would make Lisbona’s relationship with Sabetta not one of husband and wife but one of adultery.

  24. Thanks DJ. I must have misread Skojac’s article but your link gave a much clearer description. What a mess.

  25. Also, the civil marriage would be invalid, where one or both parties are bound by the forma (Can 1108)

  26. Most people here seem to have forgotten who is the enemy is here. You’re not tired of Pope Francis’ phone calls, but of the media rabidly spreading rumors about them. Basically you’re feeling the pain of a new way the media has to attack us – and blaming it on the Pope.

    What’s pernicious about such statements is that they are unverifiable, and so the media is able to distort them way more than his public ones. Of course they’re having a field day with this. And many people who would usually ignore such misinformation are lapping it up…

    Please join me in praying for guidance to the Holy Spirit.

  27. You’re not tired of Pope Francis’ phone calls,

    Oh, yes I am. The Pope’s statements to this woman over the phone may be unverifiable, but the Vatican press office is not now in the business of disabusing the public of the idea that he counseled her that she could take communion.

  28. Not precisely the setup in this instance but it seems to me the problem with the canon law approach to marriage and annulment is that marriages do actually fail. Even though “what God has joined together, let no man put assunder” men and women sometimes do. It’s a huge tragedy and source of much suffering. Sometimes there is even an innocent party, though who can really say. And of course there is “collateral damage” too. I have always felt it should be an occasion for compassion rather than retribution. That seems to be Francis’ poiint of view too. Annulment effectively says you were never married, which some who have been through the trauma after years of a deep and loving relationship find it impossible to accept.

  29. “I have always felt it should be an occasion for compassion rather than retribution.”

    Heeding the command of Christ is not retribution but fidelity to the Gospel. The Apostles were aghast at this teaching and thought that rather than come under it, it was better not to marry at all, so it has been a subject of contention from the first time Christ uttered it. The fate of families and kids in our day of easy divorce amply demonstrates how right Christ is and how wrong his critics were and are.

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