Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Wimpy translators of papal tweets?

The underground correspondent we keep on retainer in an Atlantic seaboard city that knows how to keep its secrets, Guy Noir - Private Eye, also sent us the following disturbingly-amusing remarks today: "I am sorry, but I laughed. But there was this comment too:
'You should look at the latin versions of the pope’s tweets. They are much more interesting. Other than the whole Mary thing, I’m beginning to think a big part of the problem with the Vatican in English is the wimpy translators.'"
The piece that provoked Noir was a post by the Evangelical blogger, Doug Wilson, entitled "As Gay As a Pope Tweet" (Blog & Mablog, December 8, 2014):
One of our central problems today is that Christian men have been maneuvered (and/or bludgeoned) into thinking that ungodly and sentimental softness is a biblical virtue.... It comes down to a “softer than thou” sort of posturing. The corruptions of feminism have gotten into everything .... The end result is that evangelical men, taking one thing with another, are gayer than a pope tweet.

And lest this seem like a random insult — instead of an incredibly apt metaphor — let me just say that Pope Francis (@Pontifex) takes sentimentalist sap to new and majestic heights. “Advent begins a new journey. May Mary, our Mother, be our guide.” “Advent increases our hope, a hope which does not disappoint. The Lord never lets us down.” “There is so much noise in the world! May we learn to be silent in our hearts and before God.”

It didn’t always used to be this way. It almost makes one yearn for the days of the badass popes. For example, Pope Urban VI ordered the torture and execution of five of his cardinals, responding to their screams with his taunt of “weak old women!” That also would be a bad hash tag, but at least it wouldn’t be so insipid and boring . . . okay then, all right. I changed my mind. I am prepared to grant the effeminate Francis is an improvement, but still . . .

But I got distracted from the point anyhow. The problem we are discussing is evangelical men who do not know what gentleness is. They do not know what men are for. They do not understand how tenderness is supposed to work....
Thence, he launches into a Bible study of the virtues of masculine gentleness and tenderness and how those virtues equip a man for war. Interesting.

It may be that the author fails to understand that Marian piety, among other things, wasn't historically regarded in the Catholic tradition as something the least bit effeminate or wimpy. Then again, I've often personally found some of the papal prayer intentions regularly communicated throughout the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, as well as Francis, rather banal-sounding. Maybe that's one reason I enjoy the absence of "General Intercessions" or what the English call "Bidding Prayers" in the usus antiquior. I certainly get the #DeathByBromide bit. We could all use a bit more "masculine" clarity in religion and less sentimentalism.

[Hat tip to G.N.]


BenYachov said...

OTOH real men shouldn't take bogus advice from heretics.

just saying....

Peace Be With You.*

*PS Hope that's not too wimpy for Mr. Wilson?
Maybe I should have signed off "Later Mother....um
never mind".

Tamsin said...


Wm C. said...

"... real men shouldn't take bogus advice from heretics"

As opposed to good advice from heretics?

Either you jump on board with the likes of Michael Voris and write off all opinions of heretics as worthless, or you jump on board with Vatican II and accept that heretics, like hogs in a pigsty, can also sometime stumble upon a tasty acorn worth considering.

JM said...

Or you reconcile yourself to the fact orthodox Protestants sound a lot less heretical these days than all the neutered God talk that the Vatican prattles of these days in suffocating doses. Doug Wilson is a heretic and Francis is Papa Continuity? Ok, but then maybe Ben should start working on the screenplay for the next installment of "Inception," because this is all starting to sound a lot more like science fiction than religion. The bastions have apparently been quite raized.

BenYachov said...

Some random thoughts.


Isn't "orthodox Protestants" technically an oxymoron?


>As opposed to good advice from heretics?

Why is it good advice?

Guys my wife is a former ex-Catholic Evangelical & she could tell you after being an Evangelical for about 10 years their prayers & their prayer services are the definition of banal.

All prayers they do are to God the Father in the Name of Jesus.

Ok, nothing wrong with that in principle but THAT IS ALL THEY PRAY!!!!!! NO VARIATION!!!

At one point in my life I attended many different Eastern Rite liturgies.

My first Latin Mass was a High Mass and My wife has a collection of old Liturgy books. So I kind of have some experience with awesome prayer.

I have also attended Evangelical services and the only services among them I don't find tedious are Messianic Jewish ones & that is only because the Messianic Jews borrow heavily from the Traditional Synagogue liturgy.

If an Eastern Orthodox guy or a High Church Anglican wants to bag on banal prayers in the modern Church I'd give him a listen since he would have some street cred.

But really an Evangelical is the last guy you want to take advice on how to do "manly" prayers. It's like taking self-defense advice from a Mennonite pacifist.


As too the un-manly tweets.

>There is so much noise in the world! May we learn to be silent in our hearts and before God.

This reminds me of the Desert Fathers who I submit nobody dare call them "un-manly".

Specifically the saying "Sit quietly in your cell and your cell will teach you everything".

Saying this is "un-manly" is like calling Bach "un-manly" when compared to JUDAS PRIEST's "You got another thing coming".

Sure PRIEST's like most Heavy Metal music is aggressive and testosterone driven rage fueled nose. Which is what I liked about it in my heavy metal ill spent youth.

Bach is none of those things which is it's virtue.

Bach is not "manly" in that sense but by definition it is Gentlemanly.

There is a time in one's adolescence for rage and noise(even at times when one is mature). When one grows up there is also a time for contemplative silence.

William C. said...


You misunderstand my meaning. You are all over the place. This last comment of yours, which goes on for "pages" with replies within replies makes me think that some may abandon their attempt to engage you as akin to the futility of trying to make love to an octopus.

JM said...

All eye opening. Thank you. But also note, all "evangelicals" are not alike. Wilson I believe is actually of some sort of liturgical variation, for what it's worth. Even with out Pope, I am far from adverse to various emphases. What tries me is ambiguous speech and too-happily launched "don't we all really want the same thing?" missives. If I really just wanted what many people in my parish indicate they want, for example, my Catholic life would be far much less of a struggle. The Church is a hospital for the wounded, and it is also an army of soldiers. Tweeting marching orders as well as get well cliches.... Not sure if that is where we have evolved to or not.

JM said...

Orthodox Protestants... Haha, you got me!

Other oxymoron:

Progressive Catholic

Charles said...

"Orthodox Protestant" need not be an oxymoron, provided what is intended is fidelity to the magisterial reformers who founded the schismatic and heretical sect. In fact, some Protestant theologians (like N.T. Wright) might be considered a great deal more orthodox even by CATHOLIC standards than certain Catholic theologians (like Hans Kung).

BenYachov said...

i prefer the term "Conservative Protestant" to identify Protestants who are less heterodox than their fellow mainly because they hold to a more orthodox view of sexual morality.

But ultimately the only difference between the liberal Episcopal Church and a Southern Baptist Church is one of degree.

I have often pointed out in 50 years when the SB and the Assemblies of God are ordaining Lesbian female ministers and performing group weddings the Catholic Church will still have an all male priesthood and still hold the same orthodox doctrines she holds today.

Pertinacious Papist said...


You say that "ultimately the only difference between the liberal Episcopal Church and a Southern Baptist Church is one of degree"; and I know a lot of rad trads that would say that. But I demur.

Perhaps I would agree with Cardinal Newman (and you) that maybe in the final analysis (in the future) all that will be left is Catholicism vs. the Antichrist. However, in the interim, I think there is a world of difference between, say, a Southern Baptist who holds an essentially "Catholic" view of morality and a high view of Scripture, prays, believes in the reality of sin, the need for repentance -- and on the other hand an Episcopalian who believes none of these things but only that the heart of the Gospel is being nice to others.

BenYachov said...

>you say that "ultimately the only difference between the liberal Episcopal Church and a Southern Baptist Church is one of degree"; and I know a lot of rad trads that would say that. But I demur.

I would agree with the Radtrads that God is a Trinity and Mary is sinless and there are seven sacraments...etc.

That is un-remarkable. Radtrads have even more truth than even Southern Baptists.

At best the Episcopalian is a Christian by virtue of his/her Trinitarian baptism.

Unless they are Feminists who change the baptismal formula to "Creator. Redeemer and Sanctifier" then they are no better than Jesus Only Pentecostals & are at best Christian Catechumens and not formally Christian at all.

Cheers boss.