'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.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.
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....
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.]