PopeWatch: Donald Trump

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Continuing our look at the interview in El Pais, the largest leftist paper in Spain, of Pope Francis, we  look at the portion of the interview which concerned Donald Trump:

Q. Your Holiness, going back to the global problems you just mentioned, Donald Trump is just now being sworn in as president of the United States, and the whole world is tense because of it. What do you make of it?

A. I think that we must wait and see. I don’t like to get ahead of myself, nor to judge people prematurely. We will see how he acts, what he does, and then I will form an opinion. But being afraid or rejoicing beforehand because of something that might happen is, in my view, quite unwise. It would be like prophets predicting calamities or windfalls that will not come to pass. We will see what he does and will judge accordingly. Always work with the specific. Christianity is either specific or it is not Christianity.

It is interesting that the first heresy in the Church took place just after the death of Jesus Christ: the gnostic heresy, condemned by the apostle John. Which was what I call a spray-paint religiousness, a non-specific religiousness…nothing concrete. No, no way. We need specifics. And from the specific we can draw consequences. We are losing our sense of the concrete. The other day, a thinker was telling me that this world is so upside down that it needs a fixed point. And those fixed points stem from concrete actions. What did you do, what did you decide, what moves did you make? That is why I prefer to wait and see.

Q. Aren’t you worried about the things we have heard up until now?

A. I’m still waiting. God waited so long for me, with all my sins…

Go here to read the rest.  There is much wisdom in the Pope’s remark.  Judge people by their deeds and not your preconceptions.  Mark Shea, who has been in full fledged howling at the moon melt down mode since the election of Trump, might wish to take note.

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  1. “Christianity is either specific or it is not Christianity.” -PF

    I would assume that goes for it’s teachings and doctrines as well. No ambiguity. (?)

  2. Yes, I am confused by that as well. It actually seems that he is the gnostic with his “surprises of the Holy Spirit” and conservative “Pharisees.”

  3. Maybe (unlikely) PF agrees with Sarah Hoyt: “Trump is not going to put you all in camps and install a Nazi state. He can’t, because George W. Bush already put you all in camps and installed a Nazi state. Oh, wait, he never got to do it, because we were already all dead in the nuclear war our cowboy president, Ronald Reagan, started by talking tough to the Russians. And that is when I got to the States. I’m sure people who’ve been here longer can explain to you how other republican administrations already destroyed everything, ALL THE THINGS WITH ALL THE DRAMA, in the most terrible way. Sorry guys the song has gone thin and only children believe the lyrics anymore. And honestly? That’s only because they haven’t seen the drama you guys create long enough to know better.”

  4. Trump is so unpredictable because he seems to have no ideology. What will he be doing next year at this time. Events, of course, have a way of forcing leaders along new paths.

  5. “Mark Shea, who has been in full fledged howling at the moon melt down mode since the election of Trump, might wish to take note.”
    That news is most gratifying. If Shea is weeping, wailing and gnashing his teeth, then the country has made the right decision.

  6. That news is most gratifying. If Shea is weeping, wailing and gnashing his teeth, then the country has made the right decision.

    LQC, you don’t even know. One of his posts tags is, I swear I’m not making this up:
    life-in-the-banana-republic-of-trumps-amerikkka. Here’s a real quote from a commentor on one of his posts: “As a fellow Christian and progressive I am begging you to stop with the lies and the fake news. You are hurting the progressive movement with posts like these.” The man has gone full out moonbat.

    T.Shaw – excellent choice in Sarah Hoyt quote. I remember finding it the other day and having a belly laugh at it.

  7. PF’s comments seem . . . reasonable. Is this one of his feints? Like those cross-over steps soccer players do to throw off a defender?

  8. I just heard today that VP Pence will speak at the March for Life. While you can argue it doesn’t do anything substantive for the unborn, the level of interest from the administration is gratifying and a hopeful sign regarding their priorities.

  9. Phillip: In addition to the points that you made, on the road to Emmaus Christ gave an exegesis of the passages of the Scriptures that applied to Him. All the passages in the New Testament that I’m aware of have change agents being opponents of the true Church and her authentic teachings. Covenants are a serious matter.

  10. The Holy Father’s emphasis on the concrete is in accordance with the apostles’ preaching recorded in Acts.
    They proclaimed

    (1) The age of fulfilment has dawned, the “latter days” foretold by the prophets (Acts 2:16; 3:18, 24);
    (2) This has taken place through the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ;
    (3) By virtue of the resurrection Jesus has been exalted at the right hand of God as Messianic head of the new Israel (Acts 2:33-36; 4:11; 5:31);
    (4) The Holy Spirit in the Church is the sign of Christ’s present power and glory (Acts 2:17-21, 33; 5:32);
    (5) The Messianic Age will reach its consummation in the return of Christ (Acts 3:20; 10:42);
    (6) The preaching of the good news closes with an appeal for repentance, the offer of forgiveness and of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of salvation (Acts 2:38; 3:19, 25; 4:12; 5:31; 10:43).

    In other words, their preaching was categorical, not argumentative; concrete, not abstract; concerned with facts and actions and, above all, with a Person; not with ideas or notions or reflections.

  11. Here is a case the Pope stumbled upon a set of words with which we can all agree. My guess is his politically prudent “wait and see” period will be short lived.

  12. Who came up with the concept that one could be both a “Progressive” and Christian ? Was it L. Ron Hubbard ? TR.

  13. Michael Paterson-Seymour:
    I have a different take on Acts. I view it from a mystical point of view. The post-Resurrection period was one of withdrawing sensible consolation. The encounter at Emmaus and the Ascension both involved the withdrawal of sensible consolation, as does the Eucharist. At Emmaus it was only when the disciples recognized Christ that the sensible consolation of His presence was withdrawn. In the contemplative way the withdrawal of sensible consolation by God is done to stimulate a deeper spirituality in the contemplative. In the book of Acts we see the development of an interior spiritual life in the early Church. Pentecost marked the beginning of this interior spiritual life. The life of mystical contemplation is the work of the Holy Spirit, as was Pentecost. At Pentecost the Church needed to develop an interior spiritual life, so as to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. St. Peter came to his understanding of the Church’s mission to the Gentiles via an interior trance with the sheet coming down with the unclean animals on it. When the Apostles announced their decision at the Council of Jerusalem, the Council’s Letter said “For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:” The sensible consolation of Christ’s presence had to be withdrawn by the Ascension so that the Apostles could give the Holy Spirit their undivided attention. The Holy Spirit is all over Acts. IIRC, Acts can be called the Gospel of the Holy Spirit.
    One of the primary characteristics of the Eucharist is that the Real Presence is not sense perceptible. In the Eucharist we have the hidden Christ, the wholly interior Christ Who can only be seen with eyes of faith, fostering the development of an interior spiritual life. The lack of sensible consolation in the Eucharist makes it completely compatible with every stage of Contemplative Prayer.

  14. I must be living right. I had never heard of Mark Shea, until I read this blog. Is it a blessing, to not know people that are not worth knowing ? TR.

  15. GregB….Sorry to step into your discussion like this; but I have a question, if you don”t mind. I am a born and raised pedigreed Catholic, but I enjoy the lectures by Ravi Zacharias. I have never heard him speak about the concept of “Real Presence”. Do you know what his stand is on this ? Thank you, TR.

  16. I wonder if there is anyone else, besides me, that believes there is a connection between the belief in Real Presence and the need for Contemplative Prayer. TR.

  17. Hello Timothy.

    In spending hours with Him in Adoration Chapel and contemplating his life, the mysteries contained in scripture, and deeply meditation while praying the rosary, one can come to service of the poor in attitude of service to Christ. Christ found in the Eucharist can help one to see Christ found in the homeless, the poor, the aged, the addict. Contemplation and Real Presence belief and adoration are equal to blood, water, oxygen, nutrients ….The former sustains and promotes spiritual growth in correct intent, while the latter supports the growth of the material man.

    One of our great examples is following;

    “I Thirst.”

    Quenching the thirst Christ suffered on the Cross is ongoing service to our brothers and sisters.

    I believe your question might of been rhetorical…If so, please forgive my preaching to the choir. I have a tendency to do that.


  18. Excellent, as usual, Philip. But it didn’t address the idea I was trying to share : The Protestant Church services that I have attended only offer Communion as a symbol of the Last Supper, without belief in the Real Presence. Also, those same services usually consist of loud singing, followed by a loud Sermon, followed by dismissal. Get it ? No Real Presence=No Contemplation. No Contemplation=No Real Presence. And I am not suggesting that they do not Worship the Lord. They do. But, but, they are missing out on a wonderful Blessing, that the Lord is offering ! TR.

  19. TR.

    Yup. I missed it.
    They are receiving a placebo and some of their faithful believe the Word alone to be the Bread..Body…of Christ. I’ve heard this time in and time out at prison gatherings with mixed faiths in attendance.

    Explaining the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist has been thoughtfully and perfectly executed by our brothers and sisters of the past…Our Saints.


    The box underneath the box titled “The Last Supper,” is an interesting field to walk through. The early Church believed in the Eucharist 500 years prior to Holy Thursday night. I hope this helps with you family that is comfortable with the placebo.


  20. Timothy Reed: I don’t know anything about Ravi Zacharias. My primary area of interest is mystical contemplation.

  21. Timothy Reed: A lot of Catholics are missing out on contemplation. Contemplation is not a special calling for a few spiritual elite. It is a calling for all faithful Catholics. Eucharistic Adoration looses its real significance if you don’t believe in the Real Presence.

  22. Exactly, GregB ! And it blows the mind how easily some ex-Catholics can walk away, forever, from the Sacraments, without ever looking back. TR.

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