Monday, October 21, 2013

"Pope Francis describes ‘ideological Christians’ as a ‘serious illness’ within the Church"

I know some of my anti-Catholic friends who will love this, but I also know some Catholics who would agree with this statement. Peter Kreeft has a chapter in his book, The Best Things in Life, where a tie-dye T-shirt wearing "Pop Syke" tells Socrates that "feelings unite, dude, but reason [and here we could insert "doctrine"] divides!" This is the folly we're up against.

Eric W. Dolan, "Pope Francis describes ‘ideological Christians’ as a ‘serious illness’ within the Church" (The Raw Story, October 21, 2013)

Pope Francis also distinguished between praying, and merely "saying prayers," which has a possible interpretation that is perfectly reasonable, distinguishing between praying so that you mean what you say in a personal relationship with Christ or someone's intercession (like Mary's) you are requesting, and praying empty words. But it will be taken by many to be dismissive of traditional prayers which Catholics are taught to recite, including the Our Father (taught by Our Lord Himself to His disciples), not to mention the Hail Mary, so that the only prayer that is thought meaningful or praiseworthy is ad hoc extemporaneous praying, if not praying in tongues (typically unintelligible to hearers).

Here are some responses from Remnant to these thoughts on prayer:


Codgitator (Cadgertator)


Hup, there it is again: my gag reflex. I am bending over backwards to view him charitably, but my persistent assessment is that he's an obscurantist bully. I have a theoretical framework for it all, but those many words and ideas just help me cushion the raw shock of what my intuitions tell me about Pope Francis. God, help me.

Ralph Roister-Doister


I can't help it: I find it amusing to watch these two self-described "radical traditionalists" twist themselves into pretzel logicians for 27 mind-numbing minutes trying to avoid saying what they want to but dare not say: that every time the Nuevo Hombre's lips start a'flappin, the noise he makes sounds much like apostasy, and VERY much like venomous contempt for the ways Catholics have conducted themselves for the better part of two millenia. Having thus severed the cord between himself and the Catholic priests, bishops, saints and martyrs of that span, one wonders what remains of the Church to which he is still attached.

More than anyone else, the Nuevo Hombre sounds like the radical priests of the Sixties. Of course, most of them were social workers, stockbrokers and congressmen by the mid-seventies.

Pertinacious Papist


Sometimes I wonder whether Pope Francis does not embody two features found in contemporary Catholicism that have attracted Evangelicals and Charismatics to the Church: (1) his boldly orthodox embrace of the supernatural, with his statements about the Devil, participation in minor exorcisms, and preference for extemporaneous prayer and immediate experiential "encounter" with the living Jesus, and (2) his Protestant-like disregard for the "external" and "formal" "trappings" of traditional Catholicism, like canonical legalities, formal prayer, traditional liturgy, devotions, vestments, etc.

I wonder whether these two features do not "eclipse," for many former-Evangelical Catholics, some of the other concerns that may trouble other Catholics.



Dear Dr. Blosser

I do believe that you have hit the nail on the head. I was at a loss to understand Pope Francis until I read your comment.


Pertinacious Papist


Thank you, Donna. Keep in mind, however, that I am merely "wondering" aloud here, and have no inside information on the Holy Father's thinking. Just trying to make sense of things, as we all must. =)