Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fr. Z: "Doctors of the law" a straw man of Pope Francis?


Well, it does seem the Holy Father has his favorite hobby horses, caricatures, and a few straw man constructs he likes to pummel with insults as well, such as the well-known "Promethean Neo-Pelagians."

But HERE it looks like Fr. Z is suggesting that the Pope is using "doctors of the law" to refer to those who are legalistically preventing the gay or divorced and remarried from receiving the sacraments.

One might think on first blush that this refers to some wacked out raddie traddie foam-at-the-mouth traditionalists. Not so. At the very least, it's a straw man. At worst, it's a charge that finds traction only in the established teaching of earlier popes, like Pope Benedict XVI in his Post-Synodal Exortation Sacramentum caritatis, where he is very clear about guidelines for licit and valid reception of the Sacraments. Have a look for yourself. Interesting.

Fr. Z bends over backwards to be a loyal and obedient son of the Church here, which is to say, diplomatic. Good for him. Read a Fr. Z's well-rounded discussion HERE.


15 comments:








Raider Fan

said...

LA Review of books: History begins today," Richard Armitage intoned on television on September 11. "The world began on 9/11," Richard Perle later confirmed, as a chorus of neoconservative voices announced with evident relish the resumption of history. This new world and new history was to be inaugurated, with spectacular "Shock and Awe" effect, in the conquest of Baghdad and liberation of Iraq;...

The Catholic Church, it seems, began the day Bergoglio was elected and he will shock and awe us by what he does.





Raider Fan

said...

The straw man comment brings to mind George Will's classic response to an inane remark by Phil Donahue: You are a pyromaniac in a field of straw men.

Our Pope and Cross as a pyromaniac?

Yes, for when it comes to Traditionalists, he is like his Father in the faith, Pope Paul VI, in his hatred of Traditionalists. He is a sectarian within the Catholic Church and if traditionalists can not yet smell the myrrh he has prepared for their burial then they are anosmic.

Get a load of this powerful analysis of The Bishop of Rome triumphantly offering the revolutionary rite (even though he didn't actually use the Pauline Rite):

https://fromrome.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/pope-francis-homily-at-ognissanti-an-analysis/





Raider Fan

said...

Our Pope is a revolutionary who refuses to teach and defend the Faith and in that inaction he is worse than a failure according to Pope Leo XII:

14. But in this same matter, touching Christian faith, there are other duties whose exact and religious observance, necessary at all times in the interests of eternal salvation, become more especially so in these our days. Amid such reckless and widespread folly of opinion, it is, as We have said, the office of the Church to undertake the defense of truth and uproot errors from the mind, and this charge has to be at all times sacredly observed by her, seeing that the honor of God and the salvation of men are confided to her keeping. But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: "Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.''[12] To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful. After all, no one can be prevented from putting forth that strength of soul which is the characteristic of true Christians, and very frequently by such display of courage our enemies lose heart and their designs are thwarted. Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: "Have confidence; I have overcome the world."[13] Nor is there any ground for alleging that Jesus Christ, the Guardian and Champion of the Church, needs not in any manner the help of men. Power certainly is not wanting to Him, but in His loving kindness He would assign to us a share in obtaining and applying the fruits of salvation procured through His grace.

15. The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error.


Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890.





Catholic Mission

said...

The Doctors of the Law did not present an irrational ecclesiology.Yet Fr.Z like Pope Francis do.

Here is another familiar example.

Fr.John Hunwicke on SSPX and Unity

http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2015/03/frjohn-hunwicke-on-sspx-and-unity.html





Son of Ya'Kov

said...

You people have got to be kidding me.

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/03/26/pope_at_santa_marta_faith,_not_cold_doctrine,_brings_joy/1132299

Abraham’s joy upon hearing that as God promised, he may become a father inspired Pope Francis’ reflection Thursday. Commenting on the day’s readings, Pope Francis remarked that Abraham is old, as well as his wife Sara, but he believes and opens "his heart to hope" and is "full of consolation." Jesus reminds the doctors of the law that Abraham "rejoiced" to see his day "and was full of joy":
"And that's what these doctors of the law did not understand. They did not understand the joy of promise; they did not understand the joy of hope; they did not understand the joy of the alliance. They did not understand! They did not know how to rejoice, because they had lost the sense of joy that only comes from faith. Our father Abraham was able to rejoice because he had faith; he was justified in the faith. These others had lost faith. They were doctors of the law, but without faith! But what’s more: they had lost the law! Because the center of the law is love, love for God and neighbor. "
The Pope then continued:
"It’s only that they had a system of precise doctrines and that they clarified each and every day that no one touch them. Men without faith, without law, attached to doctrines that also become an attitude of casuistry: you can pay the tax to Caesar, can you not? This woman, who has been married seven times: when she goes to Heaven will she be the bride of those seven men? This casuistry… This was their world, an abstract world, a world without love, a world without faith, a world without hope, a world without trust, a world without God. And for this, they could not rejoice!"
Perhaps, the doctors of the law - the Pope observes ironically - could also have fun, "but without joy," indeed "with fear." "This is life without faith in God, without trust in God, without hope in God." And "their heart was petrified." It's sad, the Pope stressed, to be a believer without joy - and joy is not there when there is no faith, when there is no hope, when there is no law - but only the regulations, cold doctrine":
"The joy of faith, the joy of the Gospel is the touchstone of the faith of a person. Without joy that person is not a true believer. Let's go home, but before that, we celebrate here with these words of Jesus: “Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” And ask the Lord for the grace to be rejoicing in hope, for the grace to see the day of Jesus when we will be with Him and for the grace of joy."End Quote


So basically all he is saying don't be a stick in the mud?

What is wrong with that?





Son of Ya'Kov

said...

additional:

Got this out of Fr Z's comments box I reproduce it here.

Pope Francis: Do not close the doors of the Church from those who seek help

http://www.romereports.com/pg160730-pope-francis-do-not-close-the-doors-of-the-church-from-those-who-seek-help-en

“A man – a woman – who feels sick in the soul, sad, who made many mistakes in life, at a certain time feels that the waters are moving – the Holy Spirit is moving something – or they hear a word or … ‘Ah, I want to go!’ … And they gather up their courage and go. And how many times in Christian communities today will they find closed doors! ‘But you cannot, no, you cannot. You have sinned and you cannot. If you want to come, come to Mass on Sunday, but that’s it – that’s all you can do.’ So, what the Holy Spirit creates in the hearts of people, those Christians with their ‘doctors of the law’ mentality, destroy.”

“It’s Jesus’ home and Jesus welcomes [all]. But not only does He welcome, He goes out to see people just as He went out to find this man. And if people are hurt, what does Jesus do? Scold them because they are hurt? No, He comes and He carries them on His shoulders. And this is called mercy. And when God rebukes his people – ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice!’ – He’s talking about this.”

“We call today on the Lord in the Mass for us, for each of us and for the whole Church, a conversion to Jesus, a conversion to Jesus, a conversion to the mercy of Jesus. And so the Law will be fully accomplished, because the Law is to love God and our neighbor as ourselves.”

I don;t know where you get open communion from this?





Clement

said...

Yachov,

"You people ..."??? What are you, a Jew sneering a Gentiles, or a WASP at blacks? You are so eager to exonerate the emperor from the nakedness of his human frailties, that you couldn't see it if it hit you between the eyes with a two-by-four. In fact you would likely do your best to admire the stars in saw.

Francis is no theologian, but he's no ignoramus either. He knows very well what he's doing. He positions himself well within the formal framework of Church teaching, but then offers a "subtext" that communicates the opposite.

Nobody with two cents worth of Catholic doctrine doubts for a moment the capacity of Christ to forgive any sins. But that's not the message Francis is communicating by his "subtext." Why do you think everyone from the LGBT community to Obama to Cardinal Marx of Germany is so enamoured of Francis? What he is communicating to them is a Gospel of mercy without repentance and reparation. "Jubilee Year of Mercy"??? Hold on to your seats my dearies.





JM

said...

"And how many times in Christian communities today will they find closed doors! ‘But you cannot, no, you cannot. You have sinned and you cannot. If you want to come, come to Mass on Sunday, but that’s it – that’s all you can do.’ "

How many times indeed. THAT is the straw man.





JM

said...

Ben Y:

It is interesting. I do not think the Pope is quite the intentional problem some here may.

But I assume the Pope's job is not to convert the world but to unify the faithful. On that score Francis seems to me an abysmal failure. The previous Popes, regardless of their theology, seemed very concerned to build bridges and unify within the Church. Fracnis seems concerned with charting his course no matter whom it offends... among the faithful. I don't get that, and think his targets are bogus in North American terms. Hence the frustration among at least one of "you people."

Francis throws to many zingers to be treated like a Paul VI. He wants to stake positions and impose contrasts, and he is succeeding, much to the Church's woe. Jesus brought a sword to the world. The Pope should not bring a sword to the faithful. Especially given Peter's track record with swords.





Son of Ya'Kov

said...

@Clement..

It's me BenYachov I just re-adjusted the name to make it more literal.

It's a bold experiment.

>"You people ..."??? What are you, a Jew sneering a Gentiles, or a WASP at blacks?

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Why read offense into what I just said? Or are you just overly PC? If I say some people are just being niggardly with their charitable reading of the Holy Father's words would you accuse me of racism?


>You are so eager to exonerate the emperor from the nakedness of his human frailties, that you couldn't see it if it hit you between the eyes with a two-by-four. In fact you would likely do your best to admire the stars in saw.

Now that we got the gratuitous knee-jerk reactionary ridicule out of the way let's see if we can do something substantive?

>Francis is no theologian, but he's no ignoramus either. He knows very well what he's doing. He positions himself well within the formal framework of Church teaching, but then offers a "subtext" that communicates the opposite.

I don't believe he is that subtle. The natural interpretation is in keeping with his general theme we should be more welcoming to others to participate in the life of the community. Be part of the parish family as it where. Be filled with love and joy without which mere doctrinal correctness is a clanging gong. I don't think he is signaling he is going to change doctrine anytime soon. Which he can't do anyway and won't do.


>Nobody with two cents worth of Catholic doctrine doubts for a moment the capacity of Christ to forgive any sins. But that's not the message Francis is communicating by his "subtext."

Your profession to possess this special Gnosis is duly noted. But like I said I don't think he is that subtle. He is merely talking about being more welcoming to people even those in unfortunate circumstances. It wouldn't solve anything if somehow we could just give them all communion.
They could still be alienated if they are not welcome.

Many of commentaries I have been reading provided by the people commenting on Fr. Z blog on this sermon seem to bare that out.


>Why do you think everyone from the LGBT community to Obama to Cardinal Marx of Germany is so enamoured of Francis?

Because he is from South America so he partially fits their John XXIV fantasy Pope profile of a Third World none European Pope. It's wishful thinking. Elton John calls for Pope Francis' canonization while he ignores the fact Francis endorced laws banning gay adoption and gay marriage.

>What he is communicating to them is a Gospel of mercy without repentance and reparation. "Jubilee Year of Mercy"??? Hold on to your seats my dearies.

That is not what he said late December.

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/only-a-repentant-heart-will-receive-salvation-pope-francis-says-10707/

I don't know know Clement. Your criticism of Francis reminds me of our separated breathren's tendency to cite St Paul's letter to the Ephesians chapter 2 verse 8-9 to proclaim Faith alone without works yet they leave out verse 10.

Similarly performing eisegesis on Francis based on one sermon seems to me to be a bit off.





Raider Fan

said...

It is Our Pope and Our Cross who is Pharisaical, not the Traditionalists, and it is he who succors the rich for it is they who can more easily afford to divorce the wife and marry the coquettish lil' concubine.

http://thenesciencentnepenthene.blogspot.com/2015/03/it-is-pope-who-is-pharisaical-not.html

He came to the Papacy with an agenda which includes trying to blow-up ecclesiastical tradition viz a viz adulterers and the discipline of the Sacraments and he routinely denigrates those who defend the faith in this matter as Pharisees.

Raider Fan is not the only one who finds this gambit funny - in a sick, twisted, sort of way -owing to the reality that his two immediate predecessors both, in writing, refused to change the ancient sacramental discipline and defended the praxis because the discipline is inseparable from infallible Doctrine.

That is. both Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, can now to be counted amongst the Pharisees because they taught one could not change the sacramental discipline without draining substance from the infallible doctrine about marriage and divorce.

Jesus is both Law and Love and one can not denigrate His law without calling into question His love .

Did Jesus withhold Mercy?

Well, that is what Bishop of Rome is implicitly implying owing to his attempt to cast this sacramental discipline - anchored in the teaching of Jesus - as a lack of mercy.

The Pope refuses to publicly teach the truth which is indefensible as a matter of the daily course of any Papacy but it is egregiously a dereliction of duty not to teach the truth during this execrable epoch and, thus, leave the impression that the discipline will be ditched.


Were he to actually accomplish his plan, he would create a schism within the Church but he does not seem to give a damn about that





Son of Ya'Kov

said...

@JM

>>And how many times in Christian communities today will they find closed doors! ‘But you cannot, no, you cannot. You have sinned and you cannot. If you want to come, come to Mass on Sunday, but that’s it – that’s all you can do.’ "

>How many times indeed. THAT is the straw man.

You mean it never happens? Well speaking anecdotally I know a guy who fell away from the Church because he was told by his Priest he couldn’t come to communion after he got a divorce. So I asked him “Where did you go to remarry your second wife” (mind you I was using the term “re-marry” in an equivocal manner). He told me he has never re-married. So I told him merely getting a civil divorce is not something that bars you from Communion.

Let’s face it the crisis in the Church is one of lack of theological knowledge & it extends more often than not to even Priests.

So I don't think the Pope is over the top here.


>But I assume the Pope's job is not to convert the world but to unify the faithful. On that score Francis seems to me an abysmal failure. The previous Popes, regardless of their theology, seemed very concerned to build bridges and unify within the Church.

During the reign of St John Paul II I got the distinct impression Liberals didn’t want unity the way he did and extremists to the right of the FSSP somewhere in the SSPX orbit(or father to the right of them) absolutely didn’t want unity.

>Fracnis seems concerned with charting his course no matter whom it offends... among the faithful. I don't get that, and think his targets are bogus in North American terms. Hence the frustration among at least one of "you people.”

Or in his conscience he feels he is doing God’s will regardless of whom he offends. Personally I don’t see why one has to get all ginned up over these innocuous statements & automatically conclude they must be directed at them? You people should take that to heart.;-)


>Francis throws to many zingers to be treated like a Paul VI. He wants to stake positions and impose contrasts, and he is succeeding, much to the Church's woe. Jesus brought a sword to the world. The Pope should not bring a sword to the faithful. Especially given Peter's track record with swords.

One young Trad who shall be nameless did confess to me he thought a certain Priest over-reacted to many of these “Zingers” especially in the area of selling coffee mugs.

If the Pope gets up and let us say condemns “Lazy, selfish or self righteous people” unless I remember committing those sins lately I should not feel as if he is talking to me. Additionally unless one is the Priest who denied a divorced but not invalidly re-married fellow communion I should not read his words as a personal attack on oneself or of Catholics of a particular school or movement in the church.

Unless one has a guilty conscience in which case instead of complaining about the Pope one should just make a B-line to their Father Confessor.

That is my take anyway.

Cheers JM have a good Lent.





Pertinacious Papist

said...

Before my conversion, when I was beginning to come to Mass, I would sit in the back row pew and simply observe, standing when people stood, kneeling when the knelt, sitting when they sat, but not receiving the Sacrament.

I observed in the same pew a faculty member from the institution at which I taught, who was always there; but he would never go forward to receive the Eucharist. I knew he was Catholic. I soon learned after making inquiries that he was divorced and, I believe, remarried outside the Church.

Yet he was always at Mass -- not merely Sundays, but every day of the week, never receiving our Lord Sacramentally, but always devoutly, quietly, meditating and mentally participating in the drama of redemption.

He was a great inspiration to me of what Catholic piety can be, even for one who had placed himself in an irregular position where he could no longer in good conscience receive our Lord in the Eucharist. He knew where he stood. Yet was always there. You knew where his heart was, just as you knew that HE knew where his boundaries were. You had to respect him for that.

NOT FOR A MOMENT, THEREFORE, DO I ACCEPT THE SATANIC CONCEIT OF THE KASPERIAN 'PASTORAL' SOLUTION.





Son of Ya'Kov

said...

>NOT FOR A MOMENT, THEREFORE, DO I ACCEPT THE SATANIC CONCEIT OF THE KASPERIAN 'PASTORAL' SOLUTION.

You need to tell us how you really feel Doc. You are just too reserved here.
;-)

Anyway seriously speaking I feel for you here guy.

Have a blessed Lent and if I don't catch you before a Happy Easter.





Pertinacious Papist

said...

Heh. I like clarity, Yachov; and just as it was the Germans that targeted the Council for hijacking, it's again the confounded Germans that are targeting the Synod for hijacking.

Nothing against Germans: Benedict XVI and Gerhard Müller are Germans, and they seem (comparatively) on the side of the angels.