PopeWatch: Francis the Confused



An interesting look into the convoluted thought process of Pope Francis in response to a fairly simple question:

The Vatican’s own rendition says, “A South African correspondent commented on the devastation caused by AIDS in Africa, where the epidemic continues, and where prevention is still the key. He asked the Pope whether or not it was time to change the Church’s position on the use of condoms.”

Here is the full text of the Pope’s response as rendered by the Vatican Information Service:

The question seems to me to be too narrow, or rather a partial question. Yes, it is one of the methods; the morality of the Church finds itself before a perplexity: it is the fifth or the sixth commandment, defending life, or that the sexual relationship must be open to life? … This questions makes me think about what they did to Jesus once. ‘Tell me Master, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’. It is obligatory to heal! … But malnutrition, the exploitation of people, slave labour, the lack of drinking water: these are the problems. Let us not ask if we can use this sticking plaster or another for a small wound. The great wound is social injustice, the injustice of the environment, the injustice that I have mentioned such as exploitation and malnutrition. … I do not like to make reference to such specific cases when people die for lack of water or hunger, because of their habitat. … When everyone has been healed, when there are no longer these tragic diseases caused by mankind, either by social injustice or to earn more money. … Then we can ask the question, ‘is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’. Why do they continue the production and trafficking of weapons? Wars are the greatest cause of mortality. … I would say, do not think about whether or not it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. I would like to say to humanity: ensure justice, and when everyone is healed, when there is no more injustice in this world, we can talk about the Sabbath.

Go here to read the rest.  The Pope’s brain is apparently filled with leftist buzz phrases and cant.  When questioned his mind flits from these basic building blocks without giving a clear answer to the question.  Scripture is brought in only to allow the Pope to attempt to clumsily sidestep the question.  One of the important roles of any pope is that of teacher.  Pope Francis is too confused in his own thoughts, as demonstrated by his tortured speech, to fulfill that role.  Considering his papacy overall, that fact may be a blessing.

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  1. Is Pope Francis confused in his own thoughts, or might he be deliberately confusing in his statements? One has to wonder from where he is coming, since he is a master at changing all questions (regarding the traditional faith as handed down by the apostles) into a leftist sounding treatise on social issues, always with worldly solutions to the problem of fallen man.
    The mission of God’s Church is simply the salvation of souls; a concern one hardly hears from this pope, except when he is condemning those who would dare to try to follow the traditional teachings of the Church.

  2. “Is Pope Francis confused in his own thoughts, or might he be deliberately confusing in his statements?”

    The former. Jumbled confusion reigns whenever he goes off text during a speech or homily. The fact that his free range comments are often chaotic makes translating some of his ad hoc musings a true challenge.

  3. He knows what he means, just not so good at getting it across to folks who expect the words to actually mean what they say. Insufficient evidence on how well what he thinks interacts inside of his head, although that’s pretty common if you can get folks here who talk like that nailed down long enough to explain themselves.

    We’ve all been exposed to this a lot– people who read a statement– “the light is red”– and draw conclusions about what you really mean, and what your proposed reactions are to it, and go off of that– “you’re hateful for opposing action!”

    Given where he’s come from, I’m thinking it’s a language problem. What he says WORKS for reaching the folks who do the emotive reasoning thing.

    Just drives folks like us up the wall….

  4. This is what happens when you allow orthopraxy to overwhelm orthodoxy. Madness ensues. Orthopraxy must have it basis in orthodoxy.

  5. Foxfier wrote, “just not so good at getting it across to folks who expect the words to actually mean what they say…”
    But there are all sorts of uses of language; Wittgenstein is very good on this:
    “But how many kinds of sentence are there? Say assertion, question, and command?—There are countless kinds: countless different kinds of use of what we call “symbols”, “words”, “sentences”. And this multiplicity is not something fixed, given once for all; but new types of language, new language-games, as we may say, come into existence, and others become obsolete and get forgotten. (We can get a rough picture of this from the changes in mathematics.)”

    He considers:
    “Forming and testing a hypothesis—
    Presenting the results of an experiment in tables and diagrams—
    Making up a story; and reading it—
    Singing catches—
    Guessing riddles—
    Making a joke; telling it—
    Solving a problem in practical arithmetic—
    Translating from one language into another—
    Asking, thanking, cursing, greeting, praying.
    —It is interesting to compare the multiplicity of the tools in language and of the ways they are used, the multiplicity of kinds of word and sentence, with what logicians have said about the structure of language”

    I fancy the Holy Father knows the kind of responses he wishes to elicit and how to produce them..

  6. To: MPS

    Do you think the Holy Father wants to produce confusion, anger, doubt, scandal, anxiety, depression, etc Or is this just collateral damage to what he wishes to communicate. Personally I think he is quite mad as noted above in both senses of the word.

  7. Is he following King David’s example?

    1 Book of Kings 21:11-15 (1 Samuel)

    And the servants of Achis, when they saw David, said to him: Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to him in their dances, saying: Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands? [12] But David laid up these words in his heart, and was exceedingly afraid at the face of Achis the king of Geth. [13] And he changed his countenance before them, and slipt down between their hands: and he stumbled against the doors of the gate, and his spittle ran down upon his beard. [14] And Achis said to his servants: You saw the man was mad: why have you brought him to me? [15] Have we need of madmen, that you have brought in this fellow, to play the madman in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?

  8. Look, as Don McC observes (I think I am accurately representing his position), PF (not Penguins Fan, I mean Pontifex Frivolous) is confused: there is not sly, supremely clever game that we are unable to divine. PF has an enormously inflated view of himself, and isn’t too smart as evidenced by his capriciously categorical slams against “fundamentalist” Catholics (if indeed any exist), his insults of “neurotic priests”, and even smacking religious women as “old maids” or “spinsters” (“zitelle,” in Italian). What do you expect of a man who insisted on going to Frankfurt for theology, one of the toughest regimens in the world, expecting he would get awarded a doctorate — what, by acclaim?
    Well, they didn’t “acclaim” him at Frankfurt and he didn’t even pass his comps—showing his level of organization and ability to concentrate on a difficult task, forget thesis and habilitat, and now he is CEO of the Roman Catholic Church. Would Harvard, as liberal as it is, have GED running their school? No, the “Queen of US universities” wants a top-notch qualified academic, just as a basic requirement.

    But the modern Jesuits love “visionary prophets” (ex. Pedro Arrupe; Daniel Berrigan; Jon Sobrino; of course, Teilhard de Chardin) , glowing-eyed Zarathustras who rhapsodically drop aphorisms from their ever-quivering lips upon the adoring students gathered at their feet: and almost all of their ideas are —no matter how poetic and misty-eyed— practical failures. Every other month they run thru the universities giving their well-compensated lectures, at least the 2 here in the SF Baytheist Area, in a never-ending conga line.

    No, this pope isn’t supremely sly: just as confused man, way out-classed in his job role, who (as he inferred once recently, in the talk with Lutheran church members Nov. 30, 2015) needs Card. Kasper to think for him. So, I guess Kasper is the pope, and we should address obedience to him. Just saves time.

  9. Re: Steve Phoenix.

    That’s pretty good Steve. Kasper is Cheney to Bergoglio’s Bush. How history repeats itself!

  10. I don’t like the economics or political philosophy behind the Pope’s statement, but it was a great way to shut someone up on the condom question.

  11. …. it was a great way to shut someone up on the condom question …


    Nothing sly about it, it’s just a style of talking.
    I don’t like it, but nobody’s clamoring for my opinion.

  12. Michael Dowd wrote, “Do you think the Holy Father wants to produce confusion, anger, doubt, scandal, anxiety, depression, etc “
    I think that is exactly what he wants to produce amongst those he sees as malignants (to borrow a Jacobin expression); also expectation and excitement among those he sees as open to his message.
    Often, I believe his remarks are not designed to convey information; they serve a sort of incantatory function, to elicit a response Hence, the repeated use of stock phrases and epithets and of evocation, rather than argument: enthymeme reduced to its bare bones.

  13. Michael Dowd wrote:
    “That’s pretty good Steve. Kasper is Cheney to Bergoglio’s Bush. How history repeats itself!”
    At least Cheney and Bush were more godly than those two! I’ll take them any day of the week over any liberal progressive leftist, whether clerical or political.

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