PopeWatch: Sycophantic Slop





Father Z noted the breathless interview by Gerard O’Connell with Pope Francis which appeared in the Jesuit rag America and deemed it sycophantic slop:


Over the years, I’ve come to understand that Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, is a free man, a fearless man, one who’s not afraid to break with past ways of doing things so as to bring people closer to God. At last October’s synod on the family he encouraged the bishops to speak openly, honestly, with courage, but he also urged them to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Church.  

He explained all this in a succinct way in his answers to Elisabetta’s questions about the synod, and stated that even if some are afraid where this whole unscripted synod process might lead, he’s not:  “I am not afraid… I am not afraid because it is the journey that God asks of us. Furthermore, the Pope is the guarantor; he is there to take care of this also. So it is necessary to carry on with this.”

Some have suggested that the church is like a ship without a rudder today, but the interview shows clearly that Pope Francis is truly in charge. He’s very conscious that he is the Successor of Peter. He’s happy and at peace in this role, knowing it’s where God wants him to be. He conveys a great sense of security, peace and joy. It’s what he conveyed on his recent trips to the Holy Land, Korea and Turkey. It’s what I felt too when we were with him.

It reminds PopeWatch of this classic piece of coverage of Obama in 2008:

Here’s where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.

This statement of Pope Francis is apparently accurate:

In his wide-ranging interview with the Italian newspaper published on Tuesday, Francis touched on his formative years, his philosophy and his vision for the church. In the process came an admission that in the past, heads of the church “have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers.”

“The court is the leprosy of the papacy,” he said.



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  1. . Elisabetta wrote one book on Francis and probably wants continued access to write the final biography so she did not cross examine Pope Francis on his beautiful picture of the Cardinal Burke to Malta patron affair.
    We need Popes to be cross examined by tough reporters who have guaranteed continued access….even if they cross examine him with tough questions after he responds. In e.g. “Witness to Hope” ( which had almost no mention of clergy sex abuse despite it being the media since 1985) George Weigel stated that John Paul was “the most informed man on earth” but never read newspapers. Several years ago Weigel said in his final book on John Paul that he had not known the extent of the sex abuse crisis until 2002. Which is it….he was the most informed man on earth or knew less than us and was the least informed? We need reporters of Popes who do not have their eye on being book writers on Popes ( who need Pope cooperation for their books). We need adversary questioners of Popes. Presidents and CEO’s face tough questions. Popes face friendly questions or one tough question with no follow up….often from people who want access next time…hence their no cross examination.

  2. Whatever happened to the idea of principles before personalities? Or does that apply just to alcoholics in recovery? From the 12 and 12:
    “We simply couldn’t afford to take the chance of letting self-appointed members present themselves as messiahs…The promoter instinct in us might be our undoing….At this altitude (press, radio, films, and television), anonymity—100 percent anonymity—was the only possible answer. Here, principles would have to come before personalities, without exception.”
    I think the Church is full of drunks – people drunk on their own EGOs – Edging God Out ( we are all guilty to varying degrees, but it worsens at higher levels). Sadly, this has been the case for 2000 years. Only God could have held it together for this long, and He did it in spite of being edged on out.

  3. “..these kind of people help us evolve.”
    -of President Obama.

    Schlock! An artist attempt to help the viewer evolve. In it’s failed attempt your left with a canvas soaked in chaos. Ugly and distasteful.

    Fine Art evolves from thousands of hours of painstaking disciplines, layers of oil, to finally achieve a masterpiece. A work that stirs the soul profoundly.

    I pray the artist will use the 2000 years of proven methods and disciplines to color within the lines.

  4. and they speak not just to reason

    When has Obama or Bergoglio ever spoken to reason? Must have missed that 5 minute span in their respective careers.

  5. This really does no more than reiterate the Holy Father’s concluding remarks tot he Synod: “Many commentators, or people who talk, have imagined that they see a disputatious Church where one part is against the other, doubting even the Holy Spirit, the true promoter and guarantor of the unity and harmony of the Church – the Holy Spirit who throughout history has always guided the barque, through her Ministers, even when the sea was rough and choppy, and the ministers unfaithful and sinners.

    And, as I have dared to tell you , [as] I told you from the beginning of the Synod, it was necessary to live through all this with tranquillity, and with interior peace, so that the Synod would take place cum Petro and sub Petro (with Peter and under Peter), and the presence of the Pope is the guarantee of it all.”

  6. Pope John Paul II knew more than you, “bill bannon, even in 2002. Unlike you, he had a sense of proportion. And he knew the extent of false accusations of priests far, far better than you do even today. (Not just females lie about “rape!”.)

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