Pope Francis moving ahead on climate justice

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More indigestion for the JP ll/Ratzinger bishops who showed little or no interest in the greatest moral issue of our time: climate change. It is just reported that Pope Francis will be speaking for climate justice in the new year. Catholics will be specifically targeted with a papal encyclical after the pontiff visits Tacloban the Philippine city devastated by the typhoon Hayan in 2012. Undoubtedly there will be a fresh call to the 1.5 billion Catholics to get moving on this issue—and put the pelvic issues aside for now.

Pope Francis will have his hands full with the world’s 5,000 bishops, most chosen for their strict adherence to everything that came out of Rome in the long pontificates of Woytyla/Ratzinger. In reality this was one reactionary pontificate a pushback against the liberal reforms of Vatican ll. iI was pure Newtonoian physics, action and reaction. The reaction eventuated in massive lay defections from the Roman Catholic church particularly in the developed world where the best educated Catholics in history resided.

The Woytyla/Ratzinger papacy was long on topdown Soviet-style diktats from Rome central to the outlying provinces. The absolute ecclesial thought control failed for two simple reasons.In the 50 years since the end of the Council lay theological education accelerated and the quality of the priesthood declined. Foreign imports came with a reactionary theology topped off too often with a misogyny. In a culture nourished on human rights and participatory democracy, North American Catholics rebelled.

Secondly there was the lay internalization of the sensus fidelium, that the Holy Spirit was given to the whole church not to a subset of clerics. When the hierarchs refused to listen to the collective wisdom of the baptized the faithful resisted the ecclesial thought control and walked. 30 million left the Catholic church in the USA.

Today a pope who shows little concern for how he is perceived by his bishops is moving ahead with celerity on the agenda of Vatican ll where social justice is an integral part of the gospel and baptism not Holy Orders is the essential sacrament.

So immovable object (the JP ll/Ratzinger bishops are meeting the irresistible force, a progressive pope and the lay people who are buying into his Vatican ll agenda.The pope in many ways is way ahead of his bishops so much so that he is almost being seen as “the enemy”. many are not happy campers.
So far in Canada the JPll/Ratzinger bishops have failed the laity. The classic example was in Toronto, the largest Catholic diocese, where nothing was done by the hierarchs to engage the laity in adding their insights to the synod on the Family. This was requested by the pope bug basically ignored and never promoted by the archbishop.There was no pastoral plan or active engagement with the faithful.
Pope Francis has correctly identified climate justice as the morel issue of the day but do not look for the weak bishops of the last two decades to get on board. They have collectively shown little or no interest in this. Their focus is inward. They have lost the next generation who intuitively understand how dire the situation is and do not look for the church for any inspiration here.

It is absolutely stunning that there has been no pastoral planning around this crucial issue.

Make no mistake. This Jesuit pope has his ear to the ground and his eye on the overwhelming “sign of our time”, the destruction of the Body of God, our earth. He has already told the Latin American and asian landless peasants “Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.”

Now Pope Francis is going deeper by ratcheting up the stakes among his bishops. Watch how the Canadian bishops respond.

Exciting times for sure.

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23 Comments »

  1. 1

    Reblogged this on allanbaker and commented:
    “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.”
    James 2:26(RSV)

  2. 2

    The more I study Pope Francis, the more I see how much he thinks like Ted. I have heard that he intends to invite Ted to next year’s Synod, the final stage. I am amazed that he actually knows who Ted is. Ted has suffered all these years, having to worship in a Church that does not realize that the full gospel message has been articulated by Ted, and so he’s had to wait years before he is recognized. The day has finally arrived. The Church is finally seeing that Ted had the true gospel all along, that others had a fragmented version, with a twisted emphasis on pelvic morality. Ted might even get a papal medal, or so I was told.

    Keep going Ted. When you get to Rome, be sure to tell them that they were wrong on contraception, wrong on abortion, wrong on divorce and remarriage and communion, wrong on reproductive technology, wrong on euthanasia, wrong on masturbation, but right on climate change and peace and development issues–but wrong on their condemnation of socialism. And when someone asks you: “If the Church has been wrong on all these issues, why should we trust them on climate change? After all, that’s a pretty bad track record!” just give them the finger and tell them that logic never saved anyone’s soul.

    Thank God we finally have a Pope who thinks exactly like Ted.

  3. 3
    mushafta Says:

    Well, if it isn’t the return of the cynical Prodigal Son! I thought it was gone forever. I say it because we know not what gender this thing is – just an irritant.
    One thing I am becoming aware of is the fact that Francesco is having a very difficult time with the new pope- surprised he can sleep at night given the fact that Frances played a major role in the recent American – Cuban negotiations. I’m sure Frances has upset Francesco with his attack on the conservative Catholics – just wait until he gets to Wall Street next year to take on The Capitalist Bullies. Never mind attacking Ted! Your problem is the new pope! He doesn’t fit your agenda!
    And now the pope is soon set to issue an edict at the United Nations on climate change! Scary stuff for you eh Francesco! Who will you be attacking then?

    Why you bother to show up on the site really beats me. Meddling with the left is not your forte. But again, your real issue is the new pope. You just cannot accept change coming from the top. This conservative institution with the pope on top calling the shots from an entirely different perspective from his predecessors -just freaks you out.
    Just wait until Pope Francis starts reforming the Curia!

    Then again, on the other hand, you’re such a wimp that it’s a lot easier to pick on Ted then to take on the leader of the Roman Catholic Church!

  4. 4

    That’s an incredible narrative. I actually love Pope Francis. I loved his chastisement of the Curia, and I love everything about his lifestyle, his homilies, etc. When he was elected Pope, I felt tremendous joy.

    What is particularly interesting, however, is that you projected a hatred of the Pope onto me. That’s hilarious! That’s just how Ted operates. Every bit of theological analysis of his is nothing other than narrative construction. His pitting JPII/Benedict against Pope Francis is another narrative. Benedict wrote on environmental issues, so Francis is just continuing the tradition.

    I’m a lot tougher on conservative Catholics than Francis has ever been. So not only do you not know my gender, you don’t know what I do for a living, you don’t know whether or not I’m even a Catholic. Maybe I’m contemplating becoming a Catholic, and it is Francis who has inspired me to look more closely.

    This is the problem with people like Ted and his ilk: you jump to conclusions, and you assume that if someone disagrees with you, they must be radical conservatives. I can’t stand conservatives.

    I’m just amazed at the narratives that Ted is able to construct in his own imagination. Pope Francis, according to Ted, is nothing more, nothing less, than a disciple of the great Ted Schmidt. That’s it. He thinks just like Ted.

    The reality, however, is that Francis does not think like Ted. He has a great love and reverence for JPII and Benedict, and does not see himself as opposed to them. But you all just go ahead and believe otherwise. Just continue with your narrative, because you’ve invested so much of yourselves emotionally in it. So continue, enjoy, have fun. Life is too short to have to worry about accuracy.

    • 5
      mushafta Says:

      Well welcome back brother Francesco! I wondered why you had abdicated your role as chief prosecutor on this blog. Thought you had gone into retirement.

      Well maybe I just got the wrong impression of you. But somehow, I do you recall you being in clear denial of climate change and clear denial of any kind of reform of the capitalist system as you went about your way do you deriding Ted for his blogs on these issues. Do you somehow forget your disgusting remarks about Sr. Joan Chittister?

      Well, why don’t you state categorically here now where you stand on always controversial issues.
      Because I certainly have pegged you wrong. I thought you only came out of the woodwork on matters of abortion and sexuality. But maybe I’m wrong. Well perhaps you’ve changed.
      It would be interesting to see clearly where you stand and what you stand for, because if anything I see you here in the role of nothing less than an irritant here.
      ,

  5. 6

    You see me as an irritant because I challenge your ideas. You have the clerical mentality–closed to all dialogue, no dissent, the closed society. You should use the word “agitator” rather than irritant.

    What’s my stand on all these issues? The same as Pope Francis, who said he is a son of the Church.

    Of course you got the wrong impression of me. You got the wrong impression of Pope Francis, as well as Pope Benedict, as well as Pope John Paul II. That’s the point. You are too arrogant and too confident to suspect that perhaps your impressions are wrong. Your impressions, in fact, are convenient; they make life simpler for you. They enable you to create an “us and them” mentality. The reality is more complex, however.

    You are also like Satan, which means accuser. I apologized for my comments on Sr. Joan, but you continue to bring it back, you continue to accuse. That’s typical “satanic” modus operandi. Bring up the sins of others, don’t let them forget.

    • 7
      mushafta Says:

      Here we go again with Satan and hell and all that kind of theological nonsense. Didn’t you cast Ted and myself into helot one point? That’s medieval in thinking is not?

      Do you have any proof that there is such a thing as hell? Do you have any proof that there is such a thing as a devil?

      Wow! You’re some work of art!

  6. 8

    Oh, my goodness. I wasn’t speaking literally. I was playing on the word “satan”, which means accuser.

    But now that you asked about it, do I have any proof of hell? Yes, read the parable of the Last Judgment: “I was hungry and you never game me anything to eat, etc.” Jesus mentions in on every 2nd page of the New Testament. If Jesus was off on that one, then you are a fool to trust him with anything else he says.

    The proof that Hell exists is that God is Love. In other words, God loves you and me so much that He will allow us to reject Him for all eternity. Love does not compel. Love isn’t love unless it is freely given.

    If Hell does not exist, if you are unable to choose to reject God for all eternity, if we all go to heaven, why worry about justice? This life is short. Who cares about the 10 commandments. Who cares about climate justice. The sun will burn out eventually, destroying everything on this planet, so what does it matter that we slowly destroy it early, if it brings us temporary prosperity? Who cares about adultery or lying. We all get to heaven in the end. Sit back, enjoy, eat, drink, have sex, be merry, and be indifferent. There is no hell.

    Does that sound right to you?

    In any case, you notice that I’m the only one who brings life to this blog? No one else comes on to comment. Just look at all the discussions without comment, or with one or two, by you, whoever you are. You are either Ted, or Ted’s only fan. A “one man or woman” fan club.

    • 9
      mushafta Says:

      I think you’re delusional and full of yourself Francesco:

      “In any case, you notice that I’m the only one who brings life to this blog? No one else comes on to comment. Just look at all the discussions without comment, or with one or two, by you, whoever you are. You are either Ted, or Ted’s only fan. A “one man or woman” fan club.”

      Be assured that neither I nor Ted or anyone else who visits this blog cares a rat’s ass about your “life giving comments” here! Such a joke!

      Ted does not need your support! He is well read and highly respected in many circles. He will be remembered as one of Canada’s greatest prophetic Catholic voices- in all matters of social justice- and beyond. His voice still booms after all the tireless years. He has been an enormous catalyst for educational change in this country. He is a gifted writer and public speaker with a most remarkable tolerance for criticism. I can think of few Catholic inspirational educators who have done as much to develop skills of critical thinking among teachers and students as Ted Schmidt. I have spoken with Catholic editors across the country – many of whom are convinced he is a prophetic role model. Yes, he has his critics- yourself included. But in the big picture Ted Schmidt is a giant for Catholic reform in Canada.

  7. 10
    mushafta Says:

    Ohh before I forget Francesco-since I know you love coming here to nourish yourself and delight yourself through agitation:
    You may one day come to the realization that Ted Schmidt will be reverenced by people like yourself. I know you think otherwise, but be advised that his consistency at beating his own drum on such issues as climate change, the Palestinian injustice, gay rights, lack of democracy in the Catholic church and many more- he has stood alone and faced the popular music. That my friend is the makeup of a prophet in the biblical tradition. I’m not saying you should genuflect before him or kiss the ground he walks on, but I do submit that people like yourself will give Ted reverence as he so rightly deserves. On the Palestinian issue alone, Ted has flogged this week after week to the point of annoyance. Such is the depth of this man’s love and compassion for this suffering people- and his resolute commitment to informing people like us of the terrible continued injustices. It is my absolute conviction that Ted will indeed go down in history as one of the true giants in Catholic Reformation. When you get leading Canadian Catholic prelates denouncing his name and attempting to close or muzzle Ted’s Catholic New Times – that provides him with more credibility. Ted has taken this church into uncharted waters through his prophetic writing. But remember.. He is not just a writer! He’s an activist putting his words into action going into the front lines, wounded as he is. Please remember this Francesco!

  8. 11

    What are you talking about, Mushafta? Who has ever heard of the Catholic New Times? And what Catholic prelates are denouncing Ted? They’ve never heard of him. You are in dreamland.

    There are true prophets and false prophets. The difference is that false prophets are “mouthpieces” not of God, but of themselves, their own ideas. That’s Ted. He’s just typical left wing blather. He’s no different than any other typical left wing ideologue. He’s not unique. He does not proclaim Christ. He proclaims left wing ideology. Not unique. Very standard today.

    Here’s a great article on a true prophet who has been filtered. This article is wonderful, because it illustrates just what Ted does. He filters:

    http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/media/francis-filtered.html

    • 12
      mushafta Says:

      Well Francesco all I can say is- keep the faith. You’re obviously a good man and an ardent supporter of the Catholic Church.

      In that I think we all are, but let’s face it- every institution needs reform.
      I think you are being far too harsh on Ted. It’s his unique style and his method of educating the masses. If he’s able to keep your attention here- great! He’s accomplished something.
      At least you’ve wrestled with his stuff and not simply rejected it. I admire you for that.

      So great! But why you come back here time and again, beats me. Are you just wanting to denounce Ted and agitate the ideology you disclaim? What is your objective? Surely you have better things to do with your time?

      As for the prelates that have been a thorn in his side- you certainly are not familiar with the Catholic New Times and its history. Do some research.

      And again- School boards across the country- yes Catholic for the most part, continue to use his skills, expertise and deep theological insights for teacher conventions and the use of his wisdom. His books are selling. They don’t gather dust on the shelves. Controversial- absolutely! Precisely what is needed in a church and school system that has gone off the tracks and heading down the cliff!

  9. 13

    I am very bored with this blog. I come on now and then just to see if there is anything outrageous. This Pope Francis thing was rather outrageous, but what is more astounding is the fact that nothing changes. Absolutely nothing changes. And you are his only fan.

    There is a problem with Ted’s method. It is profoundly anti-scientific.

    I do remember the Catholic New Times. It wasn’t Catholic. It was just the New Times. It died, because it failed to nourish the faithful. It was just ideological nonsense. The fact that it died says it all. But notice that the work of a true prophet, Catherine Doherty, has not died. She has a community that is growing, a community that has its own priests. It hasn’t died because she focused on Christ, not on her own ideology. She didn’t have an ideology. She loved the Church. Of course the Church always needs reform. The Church is always reforming. It is not always reforming according to Ted’s vision, but it is always in reform. Study the history of the Church and you’ll see, and it is the saints that bring about that reform. Pope Francis is an example of that continued reform. Who is left behind? Those who trust their own vision over the vision of the magisterium. For example, the super right wingers, the Latin Massers, the home schoolers, those who skewed Benedict’s words to fit their own agenda; they are the ones who despise Pope Francis and refer to him as an anti-pope, a bad pope. But you also have those who refuse to reform on the left, those who have been the arm of the NDP party, for example, those who ignore the full spectrum of the gospel, like those who reject a very important aspect of personal morality, who refer to it as “pelvic morality”. What’s interesting is that Paul does not reject pelvic morality, but clearly established the link between lack of self-control in matters sexual and sensual and social injustice. To be socially just requires tremendous moral and personal integrity. If you look at the personal lives of unjust CEO’s, for example, who are indifferent to the social welfare and individual rights of employees, you see that their personal lives are a mess. Many of them are womanizers. There is addiction to pornography, etc. All matters that Ted dismisses as trivial. But notice that people like Ted never change either, they are not in continual reform. They are like a broken record. Same old, same old, same old. Just like the right wingers, the lefties like Ted are just as stuck in another era. It is the Church, however, that always reforms. We got a philosopher Pope at a time when the Church was losing its way, then we get a great theologian in Benedict, and now we have a pastor that we need. It’s progressive, all according to need.

    The only reason Ted is called in to give conferences is because some people have an insatiable appetite for bulls***. Many in the schools are close to retirement, and it is these people who are from that era. But the new teachers coming in, so I am told, are a different breed. They are the JPII generation, and the Benedict generation. They actually teach the faith. They are not ideological, but Catholic. They are not lopsided in their approach; they teach social justice, they are involved in social justice causes, and they teach chastity, they are pro life, they are not bitter, they are not anti-clerical, etc. The Ted Schmidt 60s generation are still living in another world, and the good news is that they are retiring, one by one. It’s a matter of attrition. There is so much in Catholicism today that is new and exciting, great biblical scholars, great philosophers, great theology, etc. Ted is old hat, old and outdated, lopsided, one-sided, bitter, incomplete, and it fails to inspire the young. Young people today need Christ, they need prayer, they need spirituality. Ted offers none of that. He offers an old outdated political ideology that leaves economies stifled and forced young people to leave the provinces they grew up in to find work in provinces where there is economic freedom. Wonderful legacy. No, Ted has failed to grow and move with the times–the Catholic times, not the secular times. That’s the irony. He has continually accused the right of just that: failing to move with the times. He confused the secular times with the Catholic times, for secular reforms with Catholic reforms. And the biggest irony of all is the name of his old paper: Catholic New Times. He never kept up with the changing of the Catholic New Times–the Church in the 80s, the 90s, and 2000, 2010ff. Those were new times, with new thinkers, new theologians, new insights, etc. What do we get with Ted? The same old. No new issues. Hey, Catholic right wingers are like that too.

    Anyways, I’ve said enough. If you want to believe that Ted is scholarly and well researched, you just go right ahead. But I see a lot of fallacies, logical fallacies, bad methodology, little research, confirmation bias, lack of empirical evidence, just same old ideological constructions. Take care. Maybe I’ll return again if there is something new on here worth commenting on.

    • 14
      mushafta Says:

      Don’t run away so fast Francesco!
      You have greatly impressed me with your knowledge of the church and the way you express your arguments and ideas.

      I cannot agree with you more about Catherine Doherty and Madonna House spirituality. She has left an enormous legacy which is immeasurable in terms of spirituality.

      But we are not all called to be such great spiritual leaders like Doherty. I don’t think Ted’s cause for beatification will be coming up too soon after his death. I’m not into this thing about playing God and deciding who is and who is not a saint anyway.

      I’ve never seen Ted as my spiritual director. But, over the years that I’ve known him he has been one of the strongest leaders in this country for all matters pertaining to social justice and the church. The Good Friday Way of the cross is just one example of how Ted brought so much social justice into an archaic church which separated that particular liturgy from what was going on in the real world.
      God bless him for that! I’m sure, the separation from the real world from the Catholic world would still be back in the dark ages had it not been for Ted’s innovation with the way of the cross.

      Sometime ago I recall you referring to Msgr. Foy as one of your inspirational great theologians. Now if you try to convince me that Ted is a no name- this Foy cleric is a complete zero!
      Just who do you consider to be a great theologian in today’s world?

      Benedict, in my mind took the church back hundreds of years – deeper into medieval times.

      The interesting thing about Francis, is the fact that everybody loves him. The right, the left, and the center – I have not heard hardly one complaint from anyone about this guy.

      So don’t run away! Come back and tell me more!

  10. 15

    But Ted has not been a leader in ALL matters of social justice. Abortion, for example, is a social justice issue, and Ted has deliberately distanced himself from this social injustice. Fornication and adultery are social justice issues, insofar as justice has to do with the ordering of one’s relations with others. Ted has reduced those to “pelvic preoccupations”.

    “Archaic Church”. There you go again. There is no separation between the Way of the Cross and what is going on in the real world. There are all sorts of Ways of the Cross one can use in the Church, and they are all relevant to what is going on. These particular Ways of the Cross are just that, particular ways. We are all on a different path. If I go to a Good Friday Way of the Cross and there is just the standard, raw, Way of the Cross, that’s not a deficiency. That allows me to apply the mysteries to my own life, my own particular situation. The problem with these particular Ways of the Cross is that they may not fit my situation. They are also “interpretations” (when they apply it to global issues). That’s someone’s interpretation of a particular global issue.

    When you say things like Benedict took the Church back to medieval times, that just shows how “un-careful” you are. What does that mean? He doesn’t write in the medieval method of argument, he quotes from modern sources, his favorite theologian is a 20th century Italian theologian, so what does it mean to say he takes us back? This is what they said of JPII. It just means that he’s not taking the Church where Ted would like the Church to go, which would amount to reducing the Church to the NDP party with vestments.

    And NOT everybody loves Pope Francis. There is a whole contingent on the Right that despises him. The media do not love Francis, they love the image they’ve constructed of Francis. I’ve heard loads of complaints about Francis. Obviously you did not read the article I posted above. If you filter someone out so that he is now in the image that you want him to be, you cannot be said to love him. You love aspects of him, hate other aspects, which is why you filter him out. It amounts to loving oneself, not Francis.

    Remember, George W. Bush was Time magazine “man of the year”, as well as John Paul II. It doesn’t mean a whole lot.

    • 16
      mushafta Says:

      My dear Francesco- Benedict was criticized by Hans Kung for being intellectually stuck in the middle ages- not allowing reforms in liturgy, human rights within the church – just look how women have been treated; communion for the divorced to name a few. More importantly, the fact that Vatican II was shelved by Benedict- so often referred to by Ted as the absence of the sensus fidelium. The lay people too should have a voice in this Medieval church.

      It will be interesting to see what Pope Francis does with the reform of the Curia- upcoming. This centralized Royal government would appear to take care of itself more than anything else in the church is about to enter major reconstruction.
      Good on Francis!

      Ratzinger – Benedict , as well as John Paul 2 seriously failed to see the need for curia reform- appointing more and more right wing bishops while at the same time condemning some very good theologians .

      A healthy church in my view is one that allows all voices to be heard.
      John Paul 2 and Benedict had little tolerance for critics.

      I enjoy reading your posts Francesco- enlightening and refreshing. But let’s be honest about a few things. The membership in the Catholic Church in Europe and North America is dwindling rapidly. The sex abuse scandals that Francis inherited from his predecessors is shameful. All those years went by under the reign of John Paul 2 and Benedict did little or nothing for the reform of the church and the continuation of all of this abuse.

      I truly believe you need to rethink your position on Benedict and his keeping of the church stuck in the middle ages.

  11. 17
    mushafta Says:

    One more thing my dear good man, Francesco-
    Says Ted Schmidt:
    “Secondly there was the lay internalization of the sensus fidelium, that the Holy Spirit was given to the whole church not to a subset of clerics. When the hierarchs refused to listen to the collective wisdom of the baptized the faithful resisted the ecclesial thought control and walked. 30 million left the Catholic church in the USA.”

    How would you account for 30 million Catholics walking out? All goiing against God, sinful non conforming unrepentant sinners? An alarming number my good friend!

    And just today, Francis appoints a large number of cardinals from the Third world- none from North America! Ted’s 100 per cent correct! Francis is listening, not to the Cadinal Burks but that sensus fidelium and the Holy Spirit. The corruption of the Curia and many of the prelates that JP2 and Benedict either refused to see or were blinded by, is not overlooked by this brave new pope.
    He really doesn’t give a Ratzinger’s ass what anyone thinks- this man like Ted Schmidt beats to his own drum – and power to both! It’s my personal view that both are intensely guided by the Holy Spirit.

  12. 18
    mushafta Says:

    And here’s another thing Francesco- since I know you and I agree on Catherine Doherty-
    In her book “Dear Bishop” she writes to the hierarchy of the American Catholic church about the lost sheep the clerics have forgotten about:
    “There is the church. The Mass. The sacraments. We need them and you give them to us- if we come for them.
    But what about those of us who don’t come, who are too tired, or too discouraged, or too far gone in sin? Our Lord said, “leave the ninety nine, and go sfter the sheep that is lost.”
    It seems to me that the figures should be the other way round…..
    I finish serving drinks at three, Sunday morning. If I rush I can make it to church…what of justice? Fair wages? What of real charity, whose other name is love? What of tomorrow, when all this mess is over? What of the answers to a better world for everyone- here and now? Sure, I know it’s the social system that’s broken down. The breakdown of the social system is making hell for thousands of us and making faith terribly hard. We need all the contact with the shepherd we can get.”

    Doherty was as fierce a warrior for social justice as Ted – fearlessly reminding the hierarchy of the lack of action by the church. I know you have the book dear Francesco. It needs to be put into praxis.

    Francis will be heading to the U.S. This year. Why do we need to wait til he hollers in the ear of Congress and Bay Street! That book was written in 1947.
    Today- not a hell of a lot of change.
    Madonna House are good folks, but while Ted may have forgotten the spiritual , Catherine Doherty’s community has forgotten the use of their founder’s booming voice demanding justice not only in the world, but the church also.

  13. 19

    What am I supposed to make of all this? We’ve been through this before.

    My dear Francesco- Benedict was criticized by Hans Kung for being intellectually stuck in the middle ages-

    So what! Benedict was criticized by atheists are being deluded for believing in God. That means nothing. You’re always going to find people opposed to certain others. We find people today opposed to Francis, like Cardinal Burk. What are you saying, that if someone criticizes someone else, he’s automatically right? Hans Kung is not a Catholic theologian. He lost that designation. He’s not an authority. And that’s still a very silly thing to say. What does it mean? It means Benedict is not doing what I would like him to do, which is to liberalize the Church and change Church teaching on matters of sexual morality, contraception, abortion, liturgy, etc. If he does that, he’s modern and progressive, if he does not, he’s taking us back to the Middle Ages. It’s just stupid; simple minded. Dumb.

    not allowing reforms in liturgy, human rights within the church – just look how women have been treated; communion for the divorced to name a few.

    There have been all sorts of reforms in the liturgy. How many reforms to do we need? And what is to stop people from making reforms that turn out to be abuses? What is to prevent a person from making reforms that distort the universality of the liturgy. The beauty of Catholicism is that you can go to a Church anywhere in the world and the Mass is the same form, and so you can follow it. That’s a plus, not a minus.

    How have women been treated? There are twice as many female saints then men saints. If you are saying that women’s rights have been violated because they have not yet been allowed to be ordained, you know nothing about human rights. Human rights have to do with natural law. A right is a “jus”, a claim, a natural claim. No one has a right to be a priest, neither a male nor a female. The privileges that come to us in the context of the Church are not “rights” in the human sense of that word. There is a distinction between the natural and the supernatural. The supernatural is in the order of grace, not nature, and grace means “gratuitous”—without having earned it or having a right to it. You are confusing the two orders.

    If Jesus says in the gospels that anyone who divorces his spouse and marries another commits adultery, then a divorced and remarried person cannot receive communion. He or she would make the act of communion a lie. Now, there are extenuating circumstances, and the Church is looking into these. It’s not a one man show, a papal show, it’s a college of bishops. Pope Francis is part of a college; this is what the Liberals taught us in the JPII years. Now the Libs want to go back to the dictatorial pope—as long as he dictates what we’ve always wanted. You see, you are falling into the same mistakes that the conservatives fell into in the 80s and 90s.

    More importantly, the fact that Vatican II was shelved by Benedict- so often referred to by Ted as the absence of the sensus fidelium.

    This is just silly. He didn’t shelve Vatican II. He shelved a particular liberal interpretation of Vatican II. As for the sensus fidelium, you fail to understand the concept, as most liberals do. It’s the sense of the faithful, not the sense of the unfaithful. There is conflict among the laity, but the charism of infallibility belongs to the Church as a whole. The magisterium is simply the organ of that charism; the magisterium discerns what is the sense of the faithful. Ted confuses sensus fidelium with sensus schmidtium. It’s not a matter of taking votes. If that were the case, the sense of the faithful would have dictated that slavery was okay. How do you distinguish between the sense of the faithful and the sense of the unfaithful. If you take votes, you’ll get a majority, but the majority are not necessarily faithful. Christ promised that the Church will have the charism to discern what is truly the sense of the faithful.

    The lay people too should have a voice in this Medieval church.

    They’ve always had a voice. There are lay theologians consulted all the time. JPII used to call up an American lay moral theologian who was a brilliant analytical moral philosopher and theologian. He was a modern philosopher of the Analytic tradition. That’s not medieval, but contemporary. JP II was also heavily into phenomenology. That’s not medieval. Benedict too was influenced by Personalism. Again, not medieval. The medieval label is something you throw around for those you disagree with.

    Ratzinger – Benedict , as well as John Paul 2 seriously failed to see the need for curia reform- appointing more and more right wing bishops while at the same time condemning some very good theologians .

    You don’t know that. Benedict may very well have seen the need for reform, but may have felt helpless in the face of it, and saw that we need another kind of person to tackle it. You make too many assumptions. And they didn’t appoint more and more right wing bishops, but faithful bishops. Granted, some bad ones were appointed under JPII, but that was a result of trusting certain others. Benedict was more careful. But his goal was faithful bishops, not the kinds of bishops we had during the scandal years in the 60s when scoundrel priests were being moved around instead of kicked out. Many bishops were gay, and they recommended priests who were like them, not the faithful solid kind, but the effeminate kind. Hence, the scandals that came to haunt us later on.

    Who were these very good theologians that you are referring to?

    A healthy church in my view is one that allows all voices to be heard. John Paul 2 and Benedict had little tolerance for critics.

    You and Ted have very little tolerance of critics. Liberals are the worst for that.

    I enjoy reading your posts Francesco- enlightening and refreshing. But let’s be honest about a few things. The membership in the Catholic Church in Europe and North America is dwindling rapidly.

    In some parts that’s true. But you assume that it is because the Church is not proclaiming the gospel, that if the Church proclaimed the gospel, parishes would be packed. The fact of the matter is that when priests decide to proclaim the gospel with courage and boldness and clarity, people leave. They don’t want to hear about sin, about reform, about sacrifice. That’s why New Age sells so many books, so many best sellers: New Age preaches salvation without moral reform. I’ve been to Europe, I’ve spoken to fallen away Catholics. They love the world, they have no use for the gospel. It’s the same old story. It’s been that way since the beginning. Israel fell away from obedience to the Torah. Why? It was always during the prosperous years. When things go well, who needs God? We fall away during prosperous times, we return in times of suffering. You seem to think that people leaving is a sign that the Church needs to change its message. That’s just dumb. Some pastors took that approach: they stopped preaching about sin, it was all happy, happy, everything is wonderful, no sin, no need to be negative, just all positive, you’re okay, I’m okay…and the result was that they packed the Churches to the rafters. But it doesn’t last long. The entertainment wears off, people stop coming, come occasionally, find more interesting things to keep them entertained. People want meaning. They know they sin, they know do evil, and they want to be called on it. When a priest does not have the guts to do so, because he’s more interested in revenues and keeping the people there, they see it. Such priests are unfaithful. They water down all the difficult parts of the gospel.

    The sex abuse scandals that Francis inherited from his predecessors is shameful. All those years went by under the reign of John Paul 2 and Benedict did little or nothing for the reform of the church and the continuation of all of this abuse.

    What’s Francis doing about it? What should JP II have done that he did not do? And what did JP II do that was not enough? What should Benedict have done that he did not do? What does anyone do in the face of such tragedy? Pick up the phone and tell the bishop he’s fired? Tell him to create a committee and create a new policy? What has Pope Francis done that JP II could and should have done? What would you do? I have no idea what to do in a case like that. What do you do when all of a sudden, these news stories come out that during the 50s and 60s, little boys were being abused sexually and are now being charge for it. What do you do? It took place in the past. What should JP II have done specifically? The actual sexual abuse did not take place under him, but before him. And to say that he’s responsible for the abuse that actually did take place under him is just plain ridiculous. Policies don’t stop predators. That would be like saying that Pope Francis is responsible for any abuse that takes place this year.

    All I’m saying is that if you liked JP II and Benedict, if they were doing things that you approve of, you wouldn’t be blaming them for the sex scandals. You blame them and accuse them because you don’t like them. That’s all. You’ll excuse Pope Francis for any abuse scandals that take place within his pontificate, because you like him.

    “Secondly there was the lay internalization of the sensus fidelium, that the Holy Spirit was given to the whole church not to a subset of clerics. When the hierarchs refused to listen to the collective wisdom of the baptized the faithful resisted the ecclesial thought control and walked. 30 million left the Catholic church in the USA.”

    The only problem with this is that Ted is claiming to be able to discern the sensus fidelium. No individual has that ability. No individual is infallible. It is the magisterium, the ordinary magisterium and the extraordinary magisterium that has that charism, because the magisterium is the organ of the charism. So it is theologically impossible for the magisterium to formulate a teaching contrary to the sensus fidelium. That is precisely the charism of office, the ability to discern it, by virtue of the promise of the Advocate in John 14 and 16. Why would Ted be any more able to discern the sensus fidelium than any other Catholic, such as myself. That’s precisely the point: without a magisterium, we inevitably have unresolvable conflict between those who think the mind of the Church is X, and those who think it is Y, and those who say it is Z, etc. This is not that hard to grasp.

    How would you account for 30 million Catholics walking out? All goiing against God, sinful non conforming unrepentant sinners? An alarming number my good friend!

    How do you account for the fact that more than 90% of Jesus followers walked out on him at the time of his Passion? Doesn’t that suggest that Jesus had it wrong?

    Again, you simply do not understand what is meant by the sensus fildelium. It is the sense of the faithful, not the sense of the unfaithful. The prophets of Israel were sent by God to chastise the majority who were unfaithful, to speak out against them. You seem to think that if there is a majority, they can’t be wrong. Dumb!

    And just today, Francis appoints a large number of cardinals from the Third world- none from North America! Ted’s 100 per cent correct! Francis is listening, not to the Cadinal Burks but that sensus fidelium and the Holy Spirit.

    Well how is it that you know that the sense of the faithful is that there should be a large number of Cardinals from the Third world. I’m a member of the Church and I have never thought about Cardinal appointments. You are living in dream land. The faithful don’t think of these things. These are not even doctrinal matters. You just don’t know what you are talking about. I don’t know one Catholic who has given any thought to the appointments of Cardinals. It’s great that he’s appointed Cardinals, and it does not matter at all where they are from; it only matters whether they are going to be good leaders. Place has nothing to do with it.

    The corruption of the Curia and many of the prelates that JP2 and Benedict either refused to see or were blinded by, is not overlooked by this brave new pope.

    Again, you just don’t know that. They might not have been blinded at all. They might have had a clear vision of it. To Assume makes an “Ass of U and Me”.

    He really doesn’t give a Ratzinger’s ass what anyone thinks-

    Totally contrary to everything you claimed earlier, that a good Pope should be concerned about what “anyone” thinks. You see, it’s all about your agenda. If it’s in accordance with your agenda, then he can do no wrong. It’s called a Double Standard.

    In her book “Dear Bishop” she writes to the hierarchy of the American Catholic church about the lost sheep the clerics have forgotten about:
    “There is the church. The Mass. The sacraments. We need them and you give them to us- if we come for them.
    But what about those of us who don’t come, who are too tired, or too discouraged, or too far gone in sin? Our Lord said, “leave the ninety nine, and go sfter the sheep that is lost.”
    It seems to me that the figures should be the other way round…..
    I finish serving drinks at three, Sunday morning. If I rush I can make it to church…what of justice? Fair wages? What of real charity, whose other name is love? What of tomorrow, when all this mess is over? What of the answers to a better world for everyone- here and now? Sure, I know it’s the social system that’s broken down. The breakdown of the social system is making hell for thousands of us and making faith terribly hard. We need all the contact with the shepherd we can get.”

    First of all, I read Dear Bishop, and it is not the book you claim it is. It was commissioned by a bishop. He trusted her, and wanted to see New York from within, from a new angle. She was serving the bishop, not chastising the bishop. And of course she is write to say “fair wages” etc. The Church has always proclaimed this message of justice. You seem to think she was proposing something new. She is a member of the Church, and she cries out for justice, and so do the bishops. Where do you think our social justice teaching comes from? People like Ted? No, it comes from the Pope, all the way back to Rerum Novarum.

    Doherty was as fierce a warrior for social justice as Ted – fearlessly reminding the hierarchy of the lack of action by the church. I know you have the book dear Francesco. It needs to be put into praxis.

    Where is the lack of action by the Church? The lack of action is in the world. Did Mother Theresa lack action? Did Catherine Doherty lack action? Did Dorothy Day lack action? Did JP II lack action? Was JP II silent? Was Benedict silent? Was John XXXIII silent? Was Paul VI silent? Was Romero silent and lacking in action? Where are you getting this? Your eyes are so drunk with prejudice that you just can’t see straight.

    Francis will be heading to the U.S. This year. Why do we need to wait til he hollers in the ear of Congress and Bay Street! That book was written in 1947.

    I don’t believe you read the book.

    Madonna House are good folks, but while Ted may have forgotten the spiritual…

    If he’s forgotten the spiritual, then he’s not the prophet you say he is. If he’s forgotten the spiritual, he’s not worth listening to: “If the Lord does not build the house, in vain do the builders labor”.

    Catherine Doherty’s community has forgotten the use of their founder’s booming voice demanding justice not only in the world, but the church also.

    What nonsense. What absolute, judgmental, stupid nonsense. You’ve lost your mind, my dear. You just don’t know what you are talking about. Instead of wasting their times on useless blogs that no one reads, they provide retreats for people and keep alive the words and example of a great saint. They witness to the risen Christ, who is Justice Itself. That’s forgetting their founder’s voice? Who are you?

  14. 20
    mushafta Says:

    I’m not quite sure how many planets there are between us, but certainly an insurmountable distance lies between us and our theology.

    Good thing we have Ted here with his intellect, passion for reading, learning and justice, and above all an open mind that is not tightly sealed with all the magisterium’s canonical rubrics which licenses people like yourself to pour the hot coals of guilt on sinners like myself and casting to hell the likes of some of the greatest theologians of our times. Sad that people like you abound. Shameful that you treat women the way you do. Disgusting that you would rather attempt to pluck the splinter from so many an eye than cast out the beam in your own.

    The utter silence of the Catholic Church on so many issues other than sexual compliance is absolutely shameful. And your response to me capsulizes everything in this post. You simply don’t get it- whoever you are. And now I understand why Ted is smart enough to not engage you. Sheer and utter waste of a man’s time!

  15. 21

    I think Ted has engaged me many times. In fact, you sound so much like Ted.

  16. 22
    mushafta Says:

    Totally delusional if not paranoid!

  17. 23

    what is particularly fascinating about your claim is that the Church rarely speaks about sexual matters. Out of all the Encyclicals written in the past 50 years, how many have been about sexual morality? I can think of 2. But think of all the Social Encyclicals, think of the Canadian Bishops letters in the 70s and 80s, the USCCB and their letters and treatises on economics, etc.

    Your claim is not based on reality, but on perception, and your perception is determined in large part by your own subjectivity–your own psychology.

    The fact of the matter is that we live in a fallen world. There is injustice and inequality. The causes are very complex. The general cause is human selfishness. You can shout all you want; people know their own selfishness. The solution is not to keep shouting, but to proclaim the one who alone can heal us of our selfishness and sinfulness, the savior of the world. It is a matter of entering into his life, into his body. It’s a matter of dying to the old Adam and rising to the new life of Christ. The Law condemns us, as Paul says, it exposes our sinfulness, but the Law of Grace frees us. The Church is a hospital that heals, as Pope Francis points out. The Church always stands for justice, but not specific political and/or economic solutions. The Church would cease to be “Catholic” or Universal if she put forth very specific economic or political solutions while condemning other solutions. She must be ‘of all nations’. Christ commanded her to preach the good news of salvation and to baptise in the name of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, not to meddle in political and economic affairs. There must be a strict separation of Church and State. The people are to govern themselves politically and economically. The Church brings Christ, and when the people appropriate Christ, justice will flourish. Justice is not flourishing, because people choose not to appropriate Christ, as it has always been. The solution is not to write articles denouncing the effects–we all know that. The solution is to continue to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, etc., to offer salvation, to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God.

    It’s hard work building up the kingdom of God, but you are impatient. And you confuse the work of the Church with the work and task of the secular world.


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