Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pope Francis: The Second Interview (Eugenio Scalfari, La Repubblica)

The Interview

As reported by the MSM

The Commentary

  • Pope Francis –What Did You Mean Exactly?, by Dr. Monica M. Miller. (Guest-post to The Pertinacious Papist) A helpful compilation of the most troubling quotes within the second interview which are "ambiguous and thus subject to exploitation and misuse by those who do not accept the teaching of Christ."
  • The Pope's Chat With An Atheist, by Fr. James V. Schall. Catholic World Report 10/4/13. The recent "La Repubblica" interview with Francis touches on many topics, not always with clarity or precision.
  • Catholic is as Catholic does, by Elliot Bougis. 10/4/13:
    Hence, the most persistently stinging “vulnus” that I have received from the Pope’s words and actions of late–and please keep in mind that I am writing with a genuinely wounded, baffled, confused, and prayerful heart–is precisely the slow fade from the Catholic Thing towards a More Englightened And Inviting Catholicesque Thingamabob that he has legitimized in countless subtle ways. For example, Pope Francis has openly said he does not believe in “a Catholic God”–silly proselytizer, there’s no such thing as the “Catholic God”! This thunderbolt of a claim, of course, entails that he does not believe in “the Catholic Church,” either. For, insofar as there is no “Catholic God,” there is no “Catholic Church;” there is just the unqualified People of the unknown God and every individual’s conscience. All effects are (pre-)contained in their cause; no cause can give what it does not first possess. If, then, there is no Catholic God, and if God is the One who calls the Church into being, then there can be no Catholic Church as, precisely, that communion called by the God known in Catholic teaching.

    I don’t understand why this statement of his has not received more attention. Oh, I realize that the most charitable way to interpret his point, entirely uncontroversial in its own right, is that the God he believes in is not a God for Catholics only. Unfortunately, I think his meaning goes much farther than the most charitable reading can sustain. And if his meaning is not simply that “God is for everybody,” then it gets to the root of my discomfort with this Pope. ...

  • The Pope They’ve Been Waiting For, by George Neumayr. The American Spectator 10/2/13:
    "This is not an Onion parody. This is the Catholic Church, circa 2013, under the hope-and-change pontificate of Francis — the one Jon Stewart, Chris Rock, and Jane Fonda have been waiting for. … Were St. Ignatius of Loyola alive today, he wouldn’t recognize Francis as a Jesuit. He might not even recognize him as a Catholic. For all of his chirpy talk about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Francis speaks like a subjectivist, for whom religion is not something received from the triune God but something created from within, which is the hallmark of modernism, from which the spirit of Vatican II sprung.
  • It Doesn’t Take a Rigorist: Why All Catholics Should Be Concerned About Pope Francis, by Steve Skojec. 10/3/13:
    I don’t have any ill-will for Catholics defending the pope, but I do wish they would stop already. He is doing a lot of damage. He is muddying the already unclear theological waters and making it very, very easy for a world hell bent on seeing Catholics as the bad guys to misinterpret things until we have no chance of having an honest conversation about anything anymore. They’re already using “but the pope said” arguments against people out there defending the unborn and arguing against gay marriage. It isn’t going to stop. So while there may not be malice at work, I think these papal apologists need to step back and ask themselves if they’re maybe, just maybe, being a bit willfully obtuse.
  • Proselytize NO, Evangelize YES, Said Pope Francis. Kathy Schiffer looks back to Francis' remarks at morning Mass in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence on Wednesday, May 8 to discern the meaning of his interview:
    “Evangelization is not proselytizing,” he said. This was the focus of Pope Francis’ remarks to faithful gathered for Mass on Wednesday morning in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence in the Vatican. The Pope reiterated that the Christian who wants to proclaim the Gospel must dialogue with everyone, knowing that no one owns the truth, because the truth is received by the encounter with Jesus. Radio Vatican published the full remarks:
    “A Christian,” said Pope Francis, “must proclaim Jesus Christ in such a way that He be accepted: received, not refused – and Paul knows that he has to sow the Gospel message. He knows that the proclamation of Jesus Christ is not easy, but that it does not depend on him. He must do everything possible, but the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the proclamation of the truth, depends on the Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel: ‘When He shall come, the Spirit of truth, shall guide you into all the truth.’ Paul does not say to the Athenians: ‘This is the encyclopedia of truth. Study this and you have the truth, the truth.’ No! The truth does not enter into an encyclopedia. The truth is an encounter – it is a meeting with Supreme Truth: Jesus, the great truth. No one owns the truth. We receive the truth when we meet [it].

    But why did Paul act as he did? First, the Pope said, because “this is the way” of Jesus who “spoke with everyone” with sinners, publicans, teachers of the law. Paul, therefore, “follows the attitude of Jesus”:

    “The Christian who would bring the Gospel must go down this road: [must] listen to everyone! But now is a good time in the life of the Church: the last 50 or 60 years have been a good time – for I remember when as a child one would hear in Catholic families, in my family, ‘No, we cannot go to their house, because they are not married in the Church, eh!’. It was as an exclusion. No, you could not go! Neither could we go to [the houses of] socialists or atheists. Now, thank God, people do not says such things, right? [Such an attitude] was a defense of the faith, but it was one of walls: the LORD made bridges. First: Paul has this attitude, because it was the attitude of Jesus. Second, Paul is aware that he must evangelize, not proselytize.

    So clearly, in the Pope’s mind, evangelization is not proselytizing.

  • Francis in Dialogue with the World, by Nathaniel Peters. First Things "On The Square" 10/02/13:
    ... Francis sees himself as pursuing the truth together in conversation with Scalfari. They are not out simply to convert each other, but to build a friendship. And throughout Francis shows by example the willingness to look for the movements of God even in souls that seem closed to him.
  • Francis Interview #2: UPDATED WITH CORRECTION -- in which we are told that the certain passages within the interview are poorly translated and it is helpful to know Italian.
    Take the rest of the interview with a grain of salt--and with the Catechism at hand, knowing--as Pope Francis told Father Spadaro-- that he is a "son of the Church" and that everything he says should be interpreted in the light of Church teachings. I am sure that other commenters will be providing more of a blow-by-blow, but I wanted to get this out fast.
  • "Tradduttore, traditore", by Elliot Bougis:
    Heaven forbid the Pope should think to forestall grave theological errors when talking with an atheist in an interview he well knows is going to impact the entire world. I also understand and accept that we can’t “leave everything up to the Pope,” and that we lay persons must exert ourselves in proclaiming the Church’s teaching. Nonetheless, why are so many of the laity’s exertions lately being wasted on menial tasks like couching the Pope’s words in a sophisticated theological context when the Pope himself consistently sees unfit to do so on his own? Being “a son of the Church” does not give you carte blanche to ramble off anything you think sounds nice and adequately orthodoxoid.
  • Did Pope Francis just say that evangelization is “nonsense”? 8 things to know and share, by Jimmy Akin. National Catholic Register 10/01/13.
  • Reading Francis: The Furor Continues, by Dr. Jeff Mirus. Catholic Culture. 10/02/13. "We ought therefore to put on our “conversation-with-an-estranged-friend” glasses when we read this interview. ..."
  • What Did The Pope Really Say? 2 – Proselytism, by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf. Reading Francis Through Benedict 10/03/13.
  • Reading Francis Through Leo XIII?, by Kevin Tierney. CatholicLane.com. 10/2/13. "People won’t look to an eternal home when they don’t have much a chance of surviving in the present."
  • Fr. John Zuhlsdorf: Andrea Tornielli has a piece today at Sacri Palazzi wherein he calls into question the veracity of Scalfari’s account of the interview with Pope Francis.

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