Skip to comments.Pope Francis stirs debate yet again with interview with an atheist Italian journalist
Posted on 10/02/2013 2:46:20 AM PDT by SkyPilot
Pope Francis cranked up his charm offensive on the world outside the Vatican on Tuesday, saying in the second widely shared media interview in two weeks that each person must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them and calling efforts to convert people to Christianity solemn nonsense.
The Vaticans head seemed intent on distancing himself from its power, saying church leaders have often been narcissists and clericalism should not have anything to do with Christianity.
The interview with atheist Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari set off another round of debate about what the pope meant: Was he saying that people can make up their own minds, even if they disagree with church teachings? Or was this self-described son of the church just using casual language to describe classic church teaching about how people need to come to Catholic doctrine of their free will?
A top official with the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, took the unprecedented step of rebuking Francis, writing that the popes interview was a theological wreck and that Francis was dabbling dangerously in relativism.
What these interviews seem continually to do is what evangelical theologian Carl Henry warned Protestants of in the 20th century, of severing the love of God from the holiness of God, wrote the Rev. Russell Moore, a past dean of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and head of the conventions Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. We must speak with tenderness and gentleness, but with an authoritative word from God.
Some conservative Catholics were also taken aback by the interview.
My e-mail is filled with notes from people who need to be talked off the ledge, wrote the Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, author of one of the more popular blogs for Catholic conservatives.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
First sentence: These reporters either don’t know the difference between “proselytism” and “evangelization,” or they are liars.
Would like to see context.
It’s good to see the comPost is doing its usual, level best to twist and obfuscate all things Catholic.
At least there’s some consistency in the world.
This is how I imagine American journalists ending a call with Obama:
‘I don’t know how to end this call and let myself go, saying: “Can I embrace you by phone?”’
But really, this is much about nothing and does show the ignorance (or I hope all that is all it is!) of the WaPost journalist. PF decries ‘prosyletism’, which as this post explains, has within the Church come to mean a bad, crass form of evangelism:
This pope is turning the Catholic Church on its head. I am sure many Catholics are regretting his election as pope. I wonder if there can be a recall?
HERE is a more openly honest account of the interview:
How the Church Will Change: Evangelical Catholic Pope Francis Gives Another Interview
Reading a Washpost column about the Pope is kinda like reading Dr. Seus on Ham Radio.
Lol... There is no such thing as a recall. We believe that God has chosen him. We love this Pope!
(Oh...and beware of how the press distorts.)
What did the Pope really say? (Here we go again...)
I believe they don’t know anymore.
After generations of liberals changing and altering the meaning and context of everything moral...
Why do people believe anything this idiots re-interpret for their own meaning?
I liked the real Pope who “resigned”
I thought the magisterium was supposed to be infallible in their decision.
I know some Catholics who are thrilled with him. Course, they are also obama supporters.
So, if there was a mistake, does that mean that he's really NOT the vicar of Christ on earth?
So explain the difference and why one is “solemn nonsense” and the other isn’t.
“Proselytism” is disrespectful of people’s intellects.
Recently, I encountered a thread which originated with an article making use of fake quotations of Popes, and other inaccurate statements about Catholicism.
When these were pointed out, the originator of the thread responded by saying that Catholics are sunk in heresy, were going to be damned, are deceived by Satan, etc., etc.
One might say that proselytism is saying: “Hello. I’m representing such-and-such a religion. Let me tell you about it, and explain to you why your religion is false.”
Mother Theresa spent fifty years in Calcutta. And she made converts—around the world. But she did it by living her life, with her sisters, adoring Jesus daily in the Blessed Sacrament. And bringing the mercy of God to people who had absolutely nothing.
The election of a Pope is not an exercise of the Magisterium, which is the Church’s teaching function.
The Cardinals have elected the wrong man many times, even in cases when he wasn’t a bad man.
The notion that the Holy Spirit chooses the Pope, and the Cardinals are infallible, is widespread. And it is a superstition.
It’s time to get Pope Benedict off the bench. Every time Francis opens his mouth, his words need to be clarified. Each person needs to discern what is evil on their own??? Sounds like moral relativism to me.
Let’s use words to mean what they mean. Did not Jesus and his disciples proselytize. that is preach with the goal of converting, changing the hearer’s viewpoint from either pagan religions or from the Jewish religion to another viewpoint, that of Christianity?
How were they disrespectful of their hearer’s intellect? In fact Paul said to Agrippa that conversion of him was Paul’s hope. (Acts 26)
Paul evidently didn’t accept the notion that all roads lead to the good.
Indeed, Adam and Eve decided for themselves what was good and evil, and look at how that turned out.
Now will come the flurry of interpretations, explanations, translations, evaluations and ruminations.
In modern times, “proselytism” has acquired the meaning of disrespectful, aggressive, intrusive, crass propagandizing. This was the sense in which the Pope was using the word.
In the Catholic world (and the Pope is a Catholic), the term used for respectful sharing of the Gospel, which includes teaching by quiet example, is “evangelization.”
The notion that the Holy Spirit chooses the Pope, and the Cardinals are infallible, is widespread. And it is a superstition.
Interesting considering how many Catholics claim that the Holy Spirit guides and protects the Church. If the Catholic church truly is the OTC (One True Church) and the men are really guided by the Holy Spirit, and it is protected by Him, then how does the *wrong man* get elected pope?
It kind of blows out of the water any claims of papal succession.
The wrong man? Really?
Just in case anyone was wondering what she thinks of Francis.
Please note: I said that the election of the Pope is NOT a function of the Magisterium. It has nothing to do with the content of the Faith, or the teaching of the Faith.
Whether a man was the “wrong” man is a highly subjective judgment. It’s a judgment that, in HINDSIGHT, it’s safe to make about some Popes.
Regardless, any man elected by the College of Cardinals, who accepts the office, is Pope.
Yes, the wrong man can indeed be elected Pope. Even a quick study of the bad Popes throughout history will reveal to people this obvious truth.
The Holy Spirit prevents someone like Martin Luther from being elected Pope but He does not prevent Alexander VI from being Pope. So the Holy Spirit guides the Cardinals, but the Cardinals can reject the Holy Spirit for the most part.
When I examine my dictionaries I find no such definition of “proselytize”. Again let us use words to mean what they mean. No Owellian doublespeak.
If you are more interested in scoring points than in understanding what the Pope was talking about, that’s your choice.
The usual dictionary, such as Webster’s, is wholly unsuitable for deciphering the discourse of someone who is using terms of art in some specialized field. Many’s the time I’ve seen a theological discussion utterly bollixed up by someone who insists that every word must mean exactly what it says in Webster’s.
That’s why there are MEDICAL dictionaries, and THEOLOGICAL dictionaries, as well as Webster’s.
In the post following yours, LovedSinner wrote that the Cardinals' choice is guided by the Holy Spirit, but that "the Cardinals can reject the Holy Spirit for the most part", thus the "wrong man" can be picked Pope. Presumably, this "wrong Pope" can reject the Holy Spirit as well?
If that is the case, how did/does "papal infallibility" happen?
Below is a compilation of recent quotes by Francis that has RCAs either upset with the pope or explaining him as supporting what they support - despite them sounding different in doing so. See http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2013/09/scolding-pope-francis-naive-and.html for a variety.
I can say he seems to be a meek man and more relational than doctrinal, with some valid emphasis on balance, the heart and humility, but preaching a social gospel, not that seen in Acts, and much in contrast to the typical TRCs who fantasize the NT church was looking to a supreme infallible exalted head in Rome, and seem to long for a Boniface 8th type pope, and the Inquisitions and its means.
“If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal security, those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer existsthey have a static and inward-directed view of things.”
“The churchs pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.”
“I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are socially wounded because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”
Religious men and women are prophets...Being prophets may sometimes imply making waves. I do not know how to put it.... Prophecy makes noise, uproar, some say a mess. But in reality, the charism of religious people is like yeast: prophecy announces the spirit of the Gospel.
“The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials. The bishops, particularly, must be able to support the movements of God among their people with patience, so that no one is left behind. But they must also be able to accompany the flock that has a flair for finding new paths.”
“Let us think of the religious sisters living in hospitals. They live on the frontier. I am alive because of one of them. When I went through my lung disease at the hospital, the doctor gave me penicillin and streptomycin in certain doses. The sister who was on duty tripled my doses because she was daringly astute; she knew what to do because she was with ill people all day. The doctor, who really was a good one, lived in his laboratory; the sister lived on the frontier and was in dialogue with it every day.”
“Thinking with the church, therefore, is my way of being a part of this people. And all the faithful, considered as a whole, are infallible in matters of belief, and the people display this infallibilitas in credendo, this infallibility in believing, through a supernatural sense of the faith of all the people walking together.”
“This is how it is with Mary: If you want to know who she is, you ask theologians; if you want to know how to love her, you have to ask the people. In turn, Mary loved Jesus with the heart of the people, as we read in the Magnificat. We should not even think, therefore, that thinking with the church means only thinking with the hierarchy of the church. - - www.americamagazine.org/pope-interview
“Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”
“You know what I think about this? Heads of the Church [likely TRC heroes] have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers. The court is the leprosy of the papacy.”
“I went to university. I also had a teacher for whom I had a lot of respect and developed a friendship and who was a fervent communist. She often read Communist Party texts to me and gave them to me to read...”Her materialism had no hold over me. But learning about it through a courageous and honest person was helpful. I realized a few things, an aspect of the social, which I then found in the social doctrine of the Church.”
“...when I meet a clericalist, I suddenly become anti-clerical. Clericalism should not have anything to do with Christianity. St. Paul, who was the first to speak to the Gentiles [Peter was], the pagans, to believers in other religions, was the first to teach us that.”
Can I ask you, Your Holiness, which saints you feel closest to in your soul, those who have shaped your religious experience?
“St. Paul is the one who laid down the cornerstones of our religion and our creed [the pope substitutes Paul for Peter. When did you see a TRC say that? Closet Prot?]. You cannot be a conscious Christian without St. Paul. He translated the teachings of Christ into a doctrinal structure that, even with the additions of a vast number of thinkers, theologians and pastors, has resisted and still exists after two thousand years. Then there are Augustine, Benedict and Thomas and Ignatius. Naturally Francis. Do I need to explain why?”
We were silent for a moment, then I said: we were talking about the saints that you feel closest to your soul and we were left with Augustine. Will you tell me why you feel very close to him?
“Even for my predecessor Augustine is a reference point. That saint went through many vicissitudes in his life and changed his doctrinal position several times...he is not, as many would argue, a continuation of Paul. Indeed, he sees the Church and the faith in very different ways than Paul, perhaps four centuries passed between one and the other. “
“This is the beginning of a Church with an organization that is not just top-down but also horizontal.”
” I have already said that the Church will not deal with politics...The Church will never go beyond its task of expressing and disseminating its values, at least as long as I’m here.”
But that has not always being the case with the Church.
“It has almost never been the case. Often the Church as an institution has been dominated by temporalism and many members and senior Catholic leaders still feel this way.
“And I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God..”
“Personally I think so-called unrestrained liberalism only makes the strong stronger and the weak weaker and excludes the most excluded. We need great freedom, no discrimination, no demagoguery and a lot of love. We need rules of conduct and also, if necessary, direct intervention from the state to correct the more intolerable inequalities.” -
Oh, put your shirt back on, Art. This was no interview for any specialized medical, theological, etc., audience and unless I missed it you’re not an interpreter for the Pope.
No word fits what Jesus did better than the word proselyte. Did some feel insulted? Yes. Jesus and his disciples were active preachers who sought converts, they proselytized!
I think “solemn nonsense” is what you’re trying to defend.
Papal infallibility only happens in very limited situations.
If you think the Cardinals pick the right man under the guidance of the Holy Spirit every time, then what about the times when the Papacy was bought and sold under simony? Were the Cardinals correct in taking bribes? Was the winning Cardinal who became Pope through simony the choice of the Holy Spirit??
Papal infallibility protects the Church from a bad Pope in terms of Church dogma and teaching, but not in terms of other scandals and sins. The Pope can engage in sexual relations, the Pope can buy and sell any Church office including his own, the Pope can live in the finest material splendor, but the Pope cannot change Catholic teaching on the perpetual virginity of Mary, or the Real Presence, or other teachings.
Popes who are public sinners can harm the Church gravely, and many will likely leave the Church due to scandals (just like the sex abuse crisis in the recent past has gravely hurt the Church), and many may ultimately go to Hell because of the bad Popes. In this way I say that the wrong man is often chosen. However, even the wrong man cannot change fundamental Church teachings, and these teachings never were changed. Contrast this to other religions, like Mormonism, which change fundamental beliefs frequently.
Welcome back, metmom!
How was vacay?
As always Daniel1212, thank you for the effort you put forth and the research you do. God bless you!
More teaching by quiet example? Or is “troll” one of those words with a special meaning?
You are determined to put the most negative spin possible on the Pope’s words. Your response to clarification is to throw around epithets—like “Orwellian.”
That’s a troll.
I love Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict (Papa Benedict) and Pope Francis.
I aim my epithets very carefully at the misuse of words and unless somehow you’re now doing “clarification” for the Pope “doublespeak” is just the right word.
Calling me a troll? I understand the tactic and it doesn’t work.
You have made up your mind that you are going to catch the Pope criticizing Jesus, and you aren’t going to let anything get in your way.
Ummmm...nope. Didn't come to mind, not my mind anyway. My criticism was solely about the misuse of the word “proselyte” and the attempt to make it a pejorative term.
And since you say, “You have made up your mind...” I'll point out that mind reading is not permitted.
“If you think the Cardinals pick the right man under the guidance of the Holy Spirit every time, then what about the times when the Papacy was bought and sold under simony? Were the Cardinals correct in taking bribes? Was the winning Cardinal who became Pope through simony the choice of the Holy Spirit??”
The obvious response is that the Holy Spirit isn’t involved at all, and that’s why the Papacy changes hands with perverts, murderers, psychopaths, and, today, by effeminate relativists with sympathy for communists who deny that salvation is through Christ alone, but is open to infidels so long as they “seek the good” according to their conscience.
“Proselytism is disrespectful of peoples intellects.”
Outside of brain dead infidels who think that seeing a cross on the side of the road is an assault on their freedoms, no one of sound mind actually thinks like this.
So basically your Pope has conceded the fight to the infidels. But you’re wrong to claim, as you do without any evidence, that the Pope favors the same thing under another name.
When he responded to the infidel about conversion, the answer and all the follow up answers confirmed beyond any doubt that Francis isn’t holding anyone up to any particular truth. You need only “follow the Good’ according to the dictates of your conscience, because there is no “Catholic-God,” just a God who loves loves loves.
Your blasphemous, worthless Pope is preaching damnable sin and encouraging atheists to remain exactly what they are.
“Its time to get Pope Benedict off the bench. Every time Francis opens his mouth, his words need to be clarified. Each person needs to discern what is evil on their own??? Sounds like moral relativism to me.”
If a person believes abortion is ok, I guess this Pope thinks it is okay. Cannibalism, polygamy, incest, etc. have been considered okay throughout history. It sounds like the Pope doesn’t think we should teach them any different. Its all okay as long as the person thinks it’s not evil.
Baloney. You portrayed the Pope as dissing Jesus, on the basis of the “fact” that “proselytizing” carries no negative connotations.
There is no “attempt” to make “proselytizing” a pejorative term. Rightly or wrongly, it has long been a pejorative term.
Here is an article by a man who holds that it should not be a pejorative term, but which documents that it has been for a long time. Your insistence that that is simply unheard of is idiosyncratic and perverse.
“Your insistence that that is simply unheard of is idiosyncratic and perverse.”
Nope. I didn’t say anything about “unheard of” just that that as a pejorative it was wrong, s misuse of the language and appealed to a dictionary.
But I do like the use of words like, “idiosyncratic”.
I think this Pope offers Christians a great example of why a church organization that is a centralized hierarchy is so bad. All it takes is one misguided leader and all those that think they are obligated to follow are led away from the truth.