PopeWatch: Baffling

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Oftentimes the Pope posts a twitter that is a head scratcher.  This was posted yesterday:

“There can never be true peace as long as a single human being is violated in his or her personal identity.”


Leave aside for the moment that true peace for all is  almost certainly impossible in this Vale of Tears,  what does the  term personal identity mean?  Is it the essence of an individual or how a person wishes to be perceived by the world?  How is personal identity, whatever it means, violated by  a third party?  Are there acceptable violations?  For example, locking up an individual as a punishment for a crime?  Is attempting to convert someone to Catholicism a violation of personal identity?  Catholicism used to be noted for precision of thought and careful use of language.  The current pontificate is noted for precisely the opposite.


More to explorer

Thank You Lord

  I don’t care if the movie is good or bad.  Teaming up Nicholas Cage with HP Lovecraft is a stroke of

Mont Saint Michel

A Church which embraced, with equal sympathy, and within a hundred years, the Virgin, Saint Bernard, William of Champeaux and the School

Thought For the Day


  1. The tweet should read:
    “There can never be true peace until Jesus Christ returns at the Parousia.”
    Jorge Bergoglio like all liberal progressives believe that if man does just the right thing – the liberal progressive thing – then man can create peace on earth and a truly human paradise, and all that flies straight in the face of the teaching of Sacred Scripture and 2000 years of Sacred Tradition. Man cannot ever create peace on earth nor a human paradise. Cannot be done. Will not be done.

  2. Lol….two things: most of the globe is unbaptised and in original sin except in those cases wherein God has cleansed some furtively; Christ said most human beings are on the broad road to destruction. If the Pope would tour the prisons of the largest Catholic population, Brazil, where there have just been inmate wars resulting in deaths and decapitations in several prisons, he would stop his Kahlil Gibran impressions.

  3. I’ve avoided Twitter of which another blogger dubbed communication smut, but I read some of his past Tweets and while many were rather saccharine, in one he did invoke Mary’s protection which I found encouraging as it seems these days invoking the saints by Catholics is ecumenically incorrect.

    But otherwise it just drives home for me the idea that modern language isn’t even fossil poetry, it’s fossil ideology and I understand why Tolkien said in 1943 that when liberalism eventually swallowed the whole world he would refuse to speak anything but Old Mercian.

  4. I cannot imagine he writes his tweets. If he does, I take it he’s given to solitary tippling in the evening. Likely some nice old wine in the Vatican cellars.

  5. A meaningless statement. He was probably thinking in terms of companies that sell guns. Most of the people who read it are going to think about progressive gender theory. Leo the Great would have sounded dumb on Twitter, because it’s not a good forum for communication, but this pope is no Leo the Great.

  6. And Don, I like the new look of the site, but there are two annoying “features”. The window for typing up comments is one and a half lines tall, and after you submit a comment you don’t get a whole refreshed thread, just the one comment.

  7. ” He was probably thinking in terms of companies that sell guns. Most of the people who read it are going to think about progressive gender theory.”
    That’s the way I took it-gender theory.

  8. “There can never be true peace as long as a single human being is violated in his or her personal identity.”
    Every sovereign person made in the image of God in free will and intellect may not be, cannot be violated. If and when an individual violates himself as in addiction to sodomy or sex change, that individual loses his sovereignty over himself and even his citizenship. Sovereign personhood institutes the sovereign state. If one sovereign person is violated, the sovereign state suffers. The malefactor must be brought to Justice and Truth.

  9. “There can never be true peace as long as a single human being is violated in his or her identity.” PF

    I beg your pardon.

    There can never be true peace until the individual finds himself or herself in the likeness of God. This comes in the form of loosing oneself for the betterment of another. When the selfless act of placing yourself last in an effort to supporting another becomes natural then the identity of self becomes apparent. Then the violation of identity isn’t a perversion of self induced glorification based upon “feelings” but the true formation of identity is grounded in the knowledge of love of others which begets love of God, and in that truth one is identified as being a child of God. That is not a violation, but a freedom which indeed is far above transgender identity, lifestyle choice or other perversions which are adopted today as being merciful, ” true to what and who you are.”

    That the idea of “I’m okay..Your okay,” ..is a falsehood. Consultation with Christian based professional application is valuable because it deals with body, mind and soul..since the soul continues on for eternity.

    Western consultation is worthless.

  10. I do not know what to make of the Holy Father’s remark, but “Personal identity” normally refers to a problem that has bedevilled philosophy, ever since Descartes’s famous “Cogito, ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am)

    Locke put his finger on the problem: might not the thinking substance which thought the thought “I did it” be a different thinking substance from the one that could have had the thought: “I am doing it” when the act was done? In the jargon, this is called the “re-identification problem.”

    Hume asks us to consider what impression gives us our concept of self. However closely we examine our own experiences, we never observe anything beyond a series of transient feelings, sensations, and impressions. We can never be directly aware of ourselves, only of what we are experiencing at any given moment. He concluded that the self is just a bundle of perceptions, like links in a chain. To look for a unifying self beyond those perceptions is like looking for a chain apart from the links that constitute it. To ask what “I” denotes in “! Am thinking this thought” is like asking what “It” denotes in “It is raining.”

    There is another problem: how to connect this Cartesian Ego with its (?) body. As Miss Anscombe put it.” If you are a speaker who says “I,” you do not find out what is saying “I.” You do not for example look to see what apparatus the noise comes out of and assume that that is the sayer; or frame the hypothesis of something connected with it that is the sayer. If that were in question, you could doubt whether anything was saying “I.” As, indeed, you can doubt whether anything is saying it out loud. (And sometimes that doubt is correct.)”

    There is a solution, of course. A “person” is a living, human body (“The person over there,” “Offences against the Person”) that has reflexive (non-observational) awareness of its thoughts, sensations, posture, intentions and so on. No question of re-identification or of the connection between a reified “mind” and this body can arise. Talk of “selves” is simply a misconstrual of the reflexive pronoun.

  11. Personal identity? Obviously this, at least to me, comes directly from the bible of Political correctness. It sounds like something Obama would say. What the Pope is talking about are homosexuals, transgenders, bisexuals and other perverts. This is another example of Pope Francis penchant for perversion of the truth.

    He should have said we are all children of God and should treat others accordingly.

  12. I believe it goes back to the first battle, with Lucifer and St. Michael. I will not serve. Also,
    The very first deception…”Then your eyes will be open..” ..Adam and Eve.

    The, I Am the Immaculate Conception, is a brilliant testimony of the identity that is worthy of seeking and once found, replicating the virtues as best as one can.
    The transformation of virtues for vices is the unseen works of God and when completed, resembles the identity of the whole person as created by the Creator in the beginning. Impossible?
    An ongoing process?

    The perfection of identity is found in Saints.

    So many great examples to choose from.

    This, I believe, is true identity transformation.

    Worthy to be taught from the Church Militant…Not adopting cultural disordered behavior as being an example of identity.

  13. I once sat on the parking lot of a troublesome Bar, in my Police Cruiser, and watched a drunk make repeated attempts to put his key in his car’s door. Suddenly, he saw me, waddled up to my window, and shouted, “Don’t just sit there ! Help me get in my car”! Timothy R.

  14. He meant: “There can never be true peace as long as a single human being is violated in his or her personal safe space.”

  15. Addendum : I am assuming that it all had a happy ending. I had always heard that the breakfasts were delicious up in the Jail. I called it…”Drunk & Donuts”.

  16. One “quarter song” coming up : The Pope is trying to share with us Kurt Lewin’s Field Theory. Lewin was a Psychological Theorist who dwelled on what he termed “Life Space”. He taught that the field of Psychology had become too STATIC, or too Aristotleian. He wanted to see a shift toward the field being more Galileian, with the focus more dynamic. There is a commercial on TV, advertising chewing gum, of all things, that has plagiarized not only the concept of “Life Space” from my old textbook ( 1981 ), but also stolen the picture of two people facing each other, with the “circle” of Life Space between them. That is all Frances is trying to show us. Timothy R.

  17. Timothy, happily knowing your decidedly Catholic bias, I daresay you would today be unable to obtain a degree in psychology. You would tell the trruth in class and answer with the truth on your exams, and for that reason alone be denied a passing grade. In my book that makes you not a failure but heroic.

  18. A short translation, if I may : The Pope wants us to quit being so standoffish with each other. “Body language is often more revealing than words and we humans are capable of much more. Don’t “stand your ground”, interface. If I had a flag, I’de wave it and shout, “Go team!” Team Human ! Timothy R.

  19. Timothy Reed wrote, “Body language is often more revealing than words…”

    It is indeed. Wittgenstein asks, “Suppose you came as an explorer into an unknown country with a language quite strange to you. In what circumstances would you say that the people there gave orders, understood them, obeyed them, rebelled against them, and so on?”

    We can learn a great deal about people, simply by watching them.

  20. During my lengthy career as a Police Officer, Mike, I would estimate that, at least 80% of the criminals I identified, and later arrested thru followup, I had gotten onto thru simple observation of Body Language.
    Ninety nine percent of whom were convinced that somebody had “squealed” on them, because they were convinced that “no Cop could be smart enough to figure it out.” I loved the look on peoples’ face when I would tell them, “Bigotry can be a good thing”. I loved being taken for “stupid”. I should have gotten an Oscar ! Timothy R.

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