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Friday, September 20, 2013



From another combox, this insightful comment...

"The interview is like much of the tone of the off-the-cuff remarks of Francis, at first the words hit traditional-oriented ears as fuzziness. We are [understandably] tempted to throw up our hands and say that this is the same imprecise and lukewarm tone we heard in the 70s, 80s and 90s. But that is not what is going on here. The lukewarmness of many priests in the past has been because behind that attitude lurked fundamental disagreements with the Church. It is true that Francis’ style has the casualness we might first suspect to be from the more liberal elements, but this is not a man who disagrees with Church doctrine [even if he is not overly emphatic in his doctrinal statements]. What lukewarm priest declares himself proudly to be a “son of the Church”? Francis has cast his lot with the Catechism and he is not about to change it. But let’s look at what else is revealed here (and has been in other places): here is a man who prays a lot — clearly Mass is central to him because he celebrates it in public nearly every day; he prays all three decades of the rosary every day; he does a holy hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament EVERY DAY! I was humbled when I read in the interview today that he does a holy hour every night. And what humility to acknowledge that sometimes he falls asleep! (who hasn’t?) This is a man with a thirst for souls and he is using a bit of a different language than we on the right might use, but the Holy Spirit chose him through the Cardinals, so let’s give him a wide path to try his way for a while."

I for one wish his observations had included a more forceful reminder that while we need to stress the affirmations of our faith, the negations as well, no matter how unpopular, must also be steadfastly maintained. Pastoral approaches do not undermine orthodoxy, but apply it. And though human persons are a mystery, we call all men to the same standards regardless of their individual stories. Those are points that to my ear are often missed in American dialogs. But even so, I think the above combox quote observations will resonate with many Catholics. This Pope does not seem a Traditionalist, but he is also not a Modernist. Which I am not so sure can be said of all the cardinals.

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