PopeWatch: Meaning

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Remember when the Church had a reputation for precision in expression and thought?  Seems like a long time ago doesn’t it.  Phil Lawler gives us an example of what we are dealing with today:


4. But even after all that bad news, I have to confess that what sent me into a tailspin was a statement by Pope Francis. Not because he said anything particularly shocking or objectionable, but because the statement defied rational analysis. Here’s the line, from the Pope’s message for the World Day of the Sick, that stopped me cold:

Dialogue – the premise of gift – creates possibilities for human growth and development capable of breaking through established ways of exercising power in society.

It’s my job to report statements from Rome, and help readers to understand them. But I couldn’t tell you what that sentence means, because it’s nonsensical. Curious, I checked to see how Vatican Vatican News handled it, and found this:

The Pope also mentioned dialogue – the premise of gift – that, he said, creates possibilities for human growth and development capable of breaking through established ways of exercising power in society.

Well, that doesn’t get us much further, does it? It’s the same word-salad, without any explanation. Maybe Vatican News couldn’t make heads or tails of the sentence, either. I couldn’t blame them.

In the end I decided to include the sentence, verbatim, in our CWN news story, and let readers wrestle with it for themselves. That was a coward’s choice, I admit. But there are days – and yesterday was one of them – when I just don’t have the energy or the inclination to keep offering rational explanations of statements that don’t bear rational scrutiny.


Go here to read the rest.  To put a positive spin on this, perhaps we are all better off in this pontificate when the Pope says something that cannot be interpreted because it doesn’t make any sense.  When we do understand the Pope does seem to be the greater problem,

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  1. Don’t you understand? This Pope is what the Californicators call “awoke.” He’s giving us the eternal Tao of meaning, and we are too deplorably dense to understand it. Only an “awoke” person can understand the Tao that is this Pope.

    Lord Jesus Christ, please depose him! Save your Church from this insanity!

  2. This pontiff reminds me of a Jesuit professor I had in college. He’d say one thing, then say another opposite thing, then make a word salad pronouncement, then basked in “his brilliance” with sycophants looking for a good grade nodding their heads in agreement all the while dismissing the fact that one plus one is not five.

    There are good Jesuits but there are many bad ones. Father Hardon once said that “the best and brightest minds were chosen, but many fell like cheap timber.”
    Humility is sooo crucial when discerning spirits, and the lack of it is the downfall of anyone, especially any Jesuit.

  3. When I first saw his adage that “Time is greater than space” it became apparent to me that Pope Francis imagines himself to be a deep thinker. His sycophants simply nod along and echo the immortal words of W.S. Gilbert — “If this young man expresses himself in terms too deep for me, Why, what a very singularly deep young man this deep young man must be!”

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