I was reared in Australia but I spent 30 years of my adult life in Uruguay a small country bordering Argentina. I'm not saying it can be an excuse for everything but there is some truth to the fact that his style is typical of South America, especially the southern cone, as they call it. Over there you can very rarely if ever find a priest or a bishop that will give a clear and unambiguous homily. The few that do earn themselves many enemies. Sometimes this goes against their work because they get completely cut off so no one listens to a word they say again. In South America it's the kingdom of gradualism, "don't rock the boat" ph[i]losophy is king.You can't give them too much truth in one dose because it makes them deaf and hard as a stone to any truth thereafter. I'm stating this with great experience. I said the truth too clearly and I got marginalized more than quick and it didn't look like at least for now that it had any good result. That said I don't regret it and I still think clear and truthful is the best. But you must take into account he was born reared and formed as a priest there. If he became a bishop there it's not been for his capacity for being crystal clear strong and unambiguous.[Hat tip to JM]
This said I am praying a lot these days and think we should all pray and do more penance. Things don't look good and I'm not too sure he knows how to handle things. But people down in South America are very much mostly oblivious of most of the details and uninterested.
Saturday, November 08, 2014
A comment by Maria Gabriela Salvarrey Rodri on William Oddie's article, "Will Pope's Defense of Faith at Synod Ease Anxious Minds?" (Crisis, October 30, 2014), offers some possible cultural insights. She writes: