PopeWatch: Shooting from the Lip

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa has a prime example of the Pope speaking first, and asking questions later:

 

But it can be added that Francis is also beginning to weigh the disadvantages of an excessively nonchalant communicative orality.

When for example he insists on the necessity of subjecting his own words to a correct “hermeneutic” – as he did in the press conference on the return flight to Rome from his latest journey – Francis may have had in mind the colossal gaffe into which he fell on July 11 in Asunción, speaking off-the-cuff to representatives of civil society and to the highest public authorities of Paraguay.

There, at a certain point, he said:

“Before ending, I’d like to make reference to two things. In doing this, as there are political authorities present here, including the President of the Republic, I wish to say this fraternally. Someone told me: ‘Look, Mr so-and-so was kidnapped by the Army, please do something to help!’. I do not know if this is true, or if it is not true, if it is right, or if it is not right, but one of the methods used by dictatorial ideologies of the last century, which I referred to earlier, was to separate the people, either by exile or imprisonment, or in the case of concentration camps, Nazis and Stalinists excluded them by death. For there to be a true culture of the people, a political culture, a culture of the common good, there must be quick and clear judicial proceedings. No other kind of strategy is required. Clear, concise judgments. That would help all of us. I do not know whether or not this exists here, and I say it with the greatest respect. I was told this as I came here, I was given this information here. I was asked to make a request about someone I do not know. I did not manage to grasp the surname of the person involved.”

The name that Francis had not “grasped” was that of Edelio Murinigo, an official abducted more than a year ago not by the regular army of Paraguay – as the pope had understood – but by a self-proclaimed “Ejército del pueblo paraguayo,” a Marxist-Leninist terrorist group active in the country since 2008.

And yet, in spite of his stated and emphasized ignorance in the case, Francis was not afraid to use the paltry and confused information gathered shortly beforehand to “fraternally” accuse the blameless president of Paraguay of nothing less than a crime compared to the worst misdeeds of the Nazis and Stalinists.

It is a case in which Father Lombardi turns out to be right. Here the impulse, “spontaneity,” won out over reflection. Here it seems that Francis actually did “the first thing that comes to my mind.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Everything that a Pope does and says is instantly under a microscope.  Pope Francis either has not learned this yet, or simply does not care.

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9 Comments

  1. I actually appreciate his spontaneity. Rather than having to guess who Francis really is, we have the advantage of being regularly treated to his unguarded comments. Gratefully, he leaves no doubt.

  2. Father of seven wrote, “Rather than having to guess who Francis really is, we have the advantage of being regularly treated to his unguarded comments.”

    Talleyrand famously observed « la parole a été donnée à l’homme pour déguiser sa pensée » – Man was given language in order to conceal his thoughts

  3. Proverbs 17:28 – Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

  4. Talleyrand famously observed « la parole a été donnée à l’homme pour déguiser sa pensée » – Man was given language in order to conceal his thoughts

    Talleyrand was referred to by a critic as ‘dung in silk stockings’ for a reason.

  5. Napoleon had his number, although Talleyrand also had his. I do enjoy his quips. When asked what he did during the French Revolution he said, “Madam, I survived it.”

    To a colleague during the French Revolution who said he was planning to found a new religion, he suggested that the man should have himself killed and then rise from the dead in three days.

  6. Donald R McClarey wrote, “Napoleon had his number, although Talleyrand also had his. I do enjoy his quips…”
    I think Metternich summed him up best; when informed of Talleyrand’s death, he mused, “Now, I wonder what he meant by that.”

  7. “And yet, in spite of his stated and emphasized ignorance in the case, Francis was not afraid to use the paltry and confused information gathered shortly beforehand to “fraternally” accuse.”

    Something else he has in common with his fellow leftist Barack Obama.

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