PopeWatch: Novelty Seekers







So much for Fatima?



Francis spoke during his morning homily, three days after making a day trip to Sarajevo. En route home, Francis told reporters the Vatican would soon decide whether to formally recognize the Medjugorje phenomenon as authentic.

In his homily, Francis dismissed those “who always need novelty in their Christian identity” and say: “But where are the visionaries who tell us today about ‘The letter that the Madonna will send tomorrow at 4 p.m.?'”

“This isn’t Christian identity,” he said. “God’s last word is called Jesus and nothing more.”


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PopeWatch has a great many doubts about Medjugorje, just as PopeWatch has no doubt about the Marian apparitions recognized by the Church.  The visitations of Mary add nothing to what Christ taught, but dramatically underline His teaching.  Those who have a deep devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, and other Marian manifestations, are rarely novelty seekers, but rather Christ seekers.  The quickest path to the Son is often via His Mother.

To demonstrate how difficult this papacy is to understand, the Pope also said this in his homily:

Finally, the Pope warned, there are those whose identity is weakened by moral and human “worldliness” and the desire to broaden the boundaries of their Christian conscience. They are like salt that loses its flavour, he said, yet throughout the history of Salvation, God has patiently led us from ambiguity to the concrete certainties of the Incarnation and of our Redemption through the death of his Son. “This is our identity”, the Pope said, and we must ask the Lord for the gift of grace to bear witness to this truth.

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  1. I suspect he means to criticize those who rely on the Mass and devotions instead of working for the poor (which may our may not mean raising the red banner and manning the barricades.) See, in his way of thinking “spirituality” is dangerous He seems to envision it as an either-or with social action. But his language is opaque and convoluted. It’s almost as if he’s speaking in code, and can’t bring himself to come right out with it.

  2. Let’s give credit where credit’s due. Francis is a liberal and a poor administrator, but he’s about to put an end to one of the biggest scams in the history of the Church. Bravo, and thanks.

  3. “Finally, the Pope warned, there are those whose identity is weakened by moral and human “worldliness” and the desire to broaden the boundaries of their Christian conscience. They are like salt that loses its flavour, he said, …”

    No disrespect intended, but I thought that eerily those very words might be applied to Francis himself and his papacy.

  4. I gather from the Pope’s remarks that he doesn’t much cotton to the various Marian apparitions over the last several hundred years for various reasons such as being a distraction central Christian message of the Incarnation and Resurrection. But I suspect the real reason is that Pope Francis doesn’t like the actual messages themselves as they speak about corruption and apostasy among the clergy, vast falling away of Catholics from the faith and the coming great chastisement wiping away perhaps half the people on earth. Many believe that time is now upon us. We should all be praying very hard for the Pope, the Church and each other. Remember the 100th anniversary of Fatima is October 13th 2017. In view of the coming events Pope Francis’ emphasis on global warming, income redistribution, and various social justice programs seems positively ridiculous. Pope Francis should be concerned about the kind of global warming coming from above.

  5. Michael Dowd.

    In complete agreement with your comment.

    The Climate change that’s crucial is the one in the hearts of men.

  6. The entire Church since Vatican II has been a novelty. Out with the old and in the with new! Experiment, confuse, contradict. Go out into the world and bring the world into the Church.

  7. We pray for our pope with an Our Father at the end of the Rosary, in our Morning Offering, and during the Mass and other times. Wih every pronouncement of his, it becomes more obvious how much prayer Pope Francis needs.

    It is understandable if the Pope were perhaps offended by the commercialization of Medjugorje. Then he should say so. Regarding “novelty” and “the letter the Madonna will send at 4 p.m.” it is never wise for a leader to use sarcasm publicly. Or in the pope’s case belittle the faithful. The Mother of Jesus Christ has appeared throughout the world in times of crisis providing a wake up call and producing miracles. Marian apparitions are not a crutch for Christians. Asking her intercession to her Son via the rosary has resulted in many miracles that have changed the course of history.

  8. Regarding “novelty” and “the letter the Madonna will send at 4 p.m.” it is never wise for a leader to use sarcasm publicly.

    This is a regular practice of the scam artists associated with Medjugorje.

  9. jvc: I have not been to Medjugore, but as 12 year old I visited Lourdes with my family. The faith of the pilgrims was very impressive.
    I do not scoff at God’s miracles of healing. Almost three years ago I attended a healing seminar and service basically to fill the pew in support of the organizers who had been so kind to my late mother. The priest prayed over me. Two months later I had an echocardiogram that showed that the damage from a virus had healed somewhat. This was after the cardiologist told me it was improbable that my heart would heal by itself. When I saw the same priest a year later at another parish I told him what had transpired and he again laid his hands on me. My last echo results showed that my heart is now fully functional.

  10. The Pope is talking about Medjugorje. Which has been a cash cow from its inception. The conversions that have occurred there are testament to the Faith of the genuine people that truly seek God- as we know God brings good anywhere.

    The Pope is also having a crack at the behaviour of those that see Christ in a piece of toast or a smudge of pennut butter. Most of these people are also likely to cult worship Marian shrines completely missing the point of their intended purpose- to Honour our Blessed Mother. It feels good to them. The routine of prayer and daily suffering is too mundane you see. They’re like storm-chasers- looking for the next big thrill.
    Lourdes and Fatima- both of which are APPROVED, are sources of devotion to Our Lady. Without Mass, Prayer and Sacrifice- these Holy places become nothing more than tourist attractions.

    This is the Popes point. And I love the sarcasm he uses to drive the point home. No pussy-footing here. And it’s about time Our Lady was defended from opportunists who use Her for their own financial and political gain.

  11. Ezabelle–

    Very good, in my humble opinion!
    Sarcasm from the Pope or us isn’t a quality but it is human. Your analysis is a good one.

  12. I much prefer wit, which throws light on a subject for intelligent listeners, often with a “surprise” angle. Sarcasm on the other hand inflicts pain, embarrasses by pointing out shortcoming or foibles, for an audience of bystanders.
    Yes Ezabelle I agree God brings Good everywhere, despite our failings. So many of my treasured friends have visited Medjugorje and I continued to be inspired by their faith.

  13. Anzlyne- I would tend to agree with you that wit is a much preferable option than Sarcasm, as a genuine rule.

    But wit in this case is not effective in conveying the contempt that one should feel towards those that act like juveniles in regards to Our Lady. Sarcasm is much more concise, directive and effective. When you have been on the recieving end of sarcasm, you definitely don’t forget it quickly.

    Infact Anzlyne you have used Sarcasm towards me on a number of occasions that I don’t forget that have made me feel mocked because of my opinion. You might want to heed your own advice!

    The issue of Medjugorje is a far bigger issue for the Pope, than cannot be resolved by a few contemptuous comments from the Holy Father. But this has the faithful alert and is a start.

  14. I don’t ever intentionally use sarcasm so I don’t know how any response of mine came across a “number of times” that way.
    Anyway- out of curiosity I googled my name to see how I have gone on record–
    I am ok with it

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