Media can’t seem to get enough of Pope it can’t understand

posted at 2:41 pm on September 24, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The media narrative of Pope Francis as a rules-free Pontiff who wants to change the doctrine and dogma in the Catholic Church took a bit of a hit this week in Australia.  A priest who defied the Vatican on gay marriage and ordination of women into the priesthood discovered that Francis and the Curia still takes the obedience part of the vows seriously, both defrocking and excommunicating him:

From all of last week’s headlines saying that the Pope wants to forget this nonsense about abortion and gays, you’d imagine that Germaine Greer had been elected to run the Catholic Church. Actually what the Pope was saying was that he wants the Church to talk more about what it’s for than what it’s against. But that doesn’t mean it won’t still be against those things that contradict its teachings and traditions.

Just ask Greg Reynolds of Melbourne – a priest who appears to have been both defrocked and excommunicated because of his radical views on women clergy and gay marriage. From Australia’s The Age:

The excommunication document – written in Latin and giving no reason – was dated May 31, meaning it comes under the authority of Pope Francis who made headlines on Thursday calling for a less rule-obsessed church.

The document might give no explicit reason, but the reason is implicit and well understood: Reynolds has offended Mother Church with his politics.

More accurately, the Vatican acted in part because Reynolds resigned his position as priest and created a splinter group that defied Catholic teachings on ordination and marriage.  Tim Stanley points out correctly that Francis would never throw out Catholic doctrine, and won’t hesitate to defend and enforce it to ensure the proper teaching and formation of Catholics around the world.  “Despite the best wishes of so many in the media,” Stanley writes, Francis is a Catholic.

That’s the point I make in my column today at The Week, and list the many ways in which the media continually manages to miss that point.  With the kinds of silly and misleading errors made by the media with a faith that is easily researched, what does that say about media reporting on other faiths? Probably nothing that gives us any confidence:

Even with all of the resources available to research the hardly-secret doctrine of the mainstream Catholic Church, the media either fails at putting Francis in the proper context or can’t resist attempting to fit him into the narrative as the Pope Who Will Create Secular Catholicism. In this narrative, the retired Benedict XVI plays as some kind of moss-backed, benighted conservative for whom Francis is the cure. That ridiculous notion got skewered by National Catholic Register‘s Pat Archibold in an article that offers 10 quotes that prove Pope Francis is a liberal — only to discover that all 10 came from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

While this continuing media failure exasperates Catholics who actually understand what Pope Francis says, it raises a more significant question of media credibility on religious matters, and perhaps even more broadly than that. Catholic doctrine and teachings are easily accessible and understandable, and yet the media doesn’t appear interested in checking facts first before publishing news stories that inevitably mischaracterize the words of Francis and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Just how well do they report on other religions making news, whether that is Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, or even atheism? Do they research those topics before publication, or are they building fact-deficient narratives on those topics, too — and at what cost to clarity?

Not that Catholics mind the attention too much:

Even with the exasperation and dread of having to explain that Francis isn’t actually rewriting the doctrine of the Catholic Church, we Catholics do have to admit that we benefit from the media failures in one respect. Suddenly, cheering the Pope is hip in a way we haven’t seen since John Paul II took on the Soviets early in his papacy. The gentle pastor of the Vatican has made Catholicism cool again, thanks to the press’ futile attempts to pigeonhole him. The Lord works in mysterious ways — even more mysterious than the media, it seems.

Our friend Nate Beeler satirizes that impulse in his cartoon today … or at least I think this is satire:

beeler-popeAnd as Peter Wehner writes, it’s not just Catholics who find themselves delighted with what the Pope is truly saying:

As a Christian (but non-Catholic), this strikes me as quite right. The church was created in large part to be a refuge, a source of support and fellowship; a place characterized by love and gentleness, encouragement and accountability. And a place that helps restore integrity and wholeness to our lives. Those who share my faith believe there is liberation to be had and peace to be found in knowing that we are God’s beloved and by living in alignment with His purposes for our lives. But all of us come to Him with brokenness in our lives, and that ought to command from us some degree of humility and empathy–and some aversion to judgmentalism and censoriousness. In a world in which people hold profoundly different views and hold them with some passion–and where moral truths need to be affirmed–it isn’t easy for people of faith to be known more for mercy than condemnation, for words that encourage and uplift rather than wound. But that is what we’re called to be.

For those who believe that framing things this way is a clever but mistaken way of pitting moral rectitude against love–who believe it is equivocating when people of faith should be standing strong and tall in a world of rising licentiousness and immorality–there’s no way to prove who is definitively right or wrong. The devil can quote Scripture for his purposes, Shakespeare wrote. Our life experiences, dispositions, and temperaments draw us to different interpretations and understandings of the true nature of things.

My own perspective is that life is filled with joy and wonder to be sure; but there is also the pain and hardship of living in a fallen world. That people whose lives seem so well put together on the surface are struggling with fears and failures below it. And that often we find ourselves living somewhere else than we thought we’d be. Many of us, then, find ourselves in need of grace and redemption. Which is why the words of this remarkable pope have such resonance with us.

Truly, but that doesn’t mean that the Church must not take steps with wayward members who threaten to mislead the faithful on core teachings.  The Vatican hinted this month at a renewed effort to make that clear to those in the public square who misrepresent those teachings, with the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura Cardinal Raymond Burke warning Nancy Pelosi that canon law could be applied to her “sacred ground” comments on abortion (via LifeNews and Jeff Dunetz):

Q. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when recently questioned at a press briefing about the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did in murdering a baby born alive at 23 weeks as compared to the practice of aborting a baby moments before birth, refused to answer. Instead she is reported to have responded: “ As a practicing and respectful Catholic this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.” How are we to react to such a seemingly scandalous statement? Is this a case where Canon 915 might properly be applied? [Editor’s Note:Canon 915 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law states that those who are “ obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”]

A. Certainly this is a case when Canon 915 must be applied. This is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin — cooperating with the crime of procured abortion — and still professes to be a devout Catholic. This is a prime example of what Blessed John Paul II referred to as the situation of Catholics who have divorced their faith from their public life and therefore are not serving their brothers and sisters in the way that they must — in safeguarding and promoting the life of the innocent and defenseless unborn, in safeguarding and promoting the integrity of marriage and the family.

What Congresswoman Pelosi is speaking of is not particular confessional beliefs or practices of the Catholic Church. It belongs to the natural moral law which is written on every human heart and which the Catholic Church obviously also teaches: that natural moral law which is so wonderfully illumined for us by Our Lord Jesus Christ by His saving teaching, but most of all by His Passion and death.

To say that these are simply questions of Catholic Faith which have no part in politics is just false and wrong. I fear for Congresswoman Pelosi if she does not come to understand how gravely in error she is. I invite her to reflect upon the example of St. Thomas More who acted rightly in a similar situation even at the cost of his life.

Q. Many faithful Catholics are troubled when high- profile political figures with unconcealed antilife, anti- family positions are honored in such ways as receiving invitations to speak at Catholic university commencement ceremonies and given honorary degrees or memorialized at public Catholic funeral Masses without having renounced their immoral positions. Faithful Catholics, at the same time, are taught they have committed a serious sin if they vote for these same candidates. How are those who are seriously trying to live out their faith to reconcile this apparent contradiction?

A. You cannot reconcile it — it is a contradiction, it is wrong, it is a scandal, and it must stop! We live in a culture with a false sense of dialogue — which has also crept into the Church — where we pretend to dialogue about open and egregious violations of the moral law. Can we believe it is permissible to recognize publicly people who support open and egregious violations, and then act surprised if someone is scandalized by it? For Catholic institutions or individuals to give recognition to such persons, to honor them in any way, is a source of grave scandal for which they are responsible. In a certain way, they contribute to the sinfulness of the individuals involved. There is no way to reconcile it; it simply is wrong.

Before anyone expects to see a priest stop Pelosi during Mass, we should be clear that such an action would be impossible from a practical aspect. First, there is a process to this kind of discipline, but more to the point, distribution of the Eucharist is primarily done by extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and not priests.  Those lay people (myself among them) do not have lists of who can and cannot partake of the Eucharist.  Her pastor and her bishop would have to instruct Pelosi to refrain from taking part, with the penalty of a mortal sin if she continues. Otherwise, it’s considered a “excommunication latae sententiae,” or a de facto failure of communion with the Church based on her actions that doesn’t necessarily require a formal declaration (as described in paragraph 2272 of the Catechism). I’ve addressed this before, but want to emphasize that the Church doesn’t want to use the Eucharist as a weapon, nor should they.

Still, this is quite a public rebuke, although it’s unfortunately not going to get the same attention as Pelosi’s “sacred ground” comments did.  That’s too bad, because this would be a very valuable teaching moment for the media.

Update: I forgot the link to Peter’s piece at Commentary, but it’s in there now.


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Media cannot understand reality…

OmahaConservative on September 24, 2013 at 2:45 PM

HotAir,

Please get this ugly F*cking parasite off the screen.

ToddPA on September 24, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Wait, am I to understand that the Pope is still Catholic?

rbj on September 24, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Not that I care what the Pope says, but some Lefty RCs I know are swooning over his latest on capitalism… ignoring abortion and gay marriage in the process.

mankai on September 24, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Still, this is quite a public rebuke, although it’s unfortunately not going to get the same attention as Pelosi’s “sacred ground” comments did. That’s too bad, because this would be a very valuable teaching moment for the media.

I bet if Pelosi decided she wanted to go to war with the Catholic Church we would hear no end of this story.

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 2:50 PM

It would reaffirm church strength should it choose to excommunicate Pelosi and Cuomo, as examples to Catholic politicians.

MTF on September 24, 2013 at 2:57 PM

there is a process to this kind of discipline, but more to the point, distribution of the Eucharist is primarily done by extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and not priests.

Sorry to tell you this Ed, but this practice is an abuse of Church teaching. Extraordinary ministers are supposed to be, well, extraordinary, and used in situations where the priest is unable to effectively distribute the sacrament.

Those lay people (myself among them) do not have lists of who can and cannot partake of the Eucharist. Her pastor and her bishop would have to instruct Pelosi to refrain from taking part, with the penalty of a mortal sin if she continues.

Exactly, which is a good reason not to use extraordinary ministers unless it’s necessary. You avoid this type of problem.

PackerBronco on September 24, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Not a Catholic but read the interview and have yet to see any politician or MSMorons get any of his messaging correct.

He says “The church must proceed with purposeful discernment”, they hear “I want gay marriage!!!” The pope says the Church has to focus on the positive message of faith and being faithful, they hear “We must live by the left’s agendas!!!!!”

Pathetic. The poor guy doesn’t stand a chance getting his message out through all the intentional filtering and layered on agenda noise.

MarkT on September 24, 2013 at 3:08 PM

Excommunicate Pelosi and Cuomo among others and be done with it. Playing footsies leads to the very false sense of dialogue — which has also crept into the Church . If the leadership had even a mustard seed of faith, they should not fear the consequences of them keeling over dead when they are publicly given over to Satan (Acts 5 among other passages)

AH_C on September 24, 2013 at 3:12 PM

I’ve heard Nancy spout off many times that she’s a mother and grandmother and how much her party does for the children.From my seat in the bleachers I see the ones not aborted they put on food stamps.

docflash on September 24, 2013 at 3:14 PM

The funny thing is that fundamental Christian doctrine is liberal. (Not progressive, mind you, but liberal.) But, it is liberal within an environment of God’s very conservative nature. You cannot separate the two. Without the Father’s holiness, the Son’s redemption has no meaning. Without the Son’s redemption, the Father’s holiness condemns us. Without the gift of the Spirit, we cannot understand His holiness nor ‘appropriate’ His redemption.

It’s why it will always be a stumbling block to those who do not believe. They will never really understand.

GWB on September 24, 2013 at 3:15 PM

It would reaffirm church strength should it choose to excommunicate Pelosi and Cuomo, as examples to Catholic politicians.

MTF on September 24, 2013 at 2:57 PM

The most Catholic states in the nation are north eastern liberal states. If the church were to excommunicate every politician with pelosiesque positions, there would be hardly any catholic politicians left.

Valkyriepundit on September 24, 2013 at 3:15 PM

Before anyone expects to see a priest stop Pelosi during Mass, we should be clear that such an action would be impossible from a practical aspect. First, there is a process to this kind of discipline, but more to the point, distribution of the Eucharist is primarily done by extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and not priests. Those lay people (myself among them) do not have lists of who can and cannot partake of the Eucharist. Her pastor and her bishop would have to instruct Pelosi to refrain from taking part, with the penalty of a mortal sin if she continues. Otherwise, it’s considered a “excommunication latae sententiae,” or a de facto failure of communion with the Church based on her actions that doesn’t necessarily require a formal declaration (as described in paragraph 2272 of the Catechism). I’ve addressed this before, but want to emphasize that the Church doesn’t want to use the Eucharist as a weapon, nor should they.

Yeah, I think Pelosi meets the threshold:

Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law indicates the principal cases in which Communion may be publicly refused. The canon says, “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

The first case refers to those upon whom a canonical penalty of excommunication or interdiction has been publicly imposed for a grave canonical crime…

The second situation, those obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin, is harder to determine and usually requires a case-by-case study. Even expert canonists disagree regarding the practical applications. But almost all are in accordance that the law should be narrowly interpreted and that all the factors — obstinate perseverance and manifestly grave sin — must be simultaneously present before Communion can be publicly denied.

No problem showing that. 40 years of publicly supporting and paying for abortions.

It is difficult to determine if a grave sin is manifest. In order to be so, a sin must be known by a large part of the community, and this can also depend on the nature of the community itself. For example, it is one thing to belong to a quiet rural village where everybody knows everybody and another to be part of a large urban parish were a situation might be known only if it appears in the media.

I think the entire world pretty much knows Pelosi’s support of and participation in the evil of abortion.

Obstinate perseverance is also difficult to determine and usually requires that the priest has been able to converse with the sinner and has warned him to desist from receiving Communion until he ceases committing the sin.

If they haven’t taken this step yet, shame on them.

Since both factors must be present the priest can only make this warning that Communion will be publicly refused when the sin is widely known and he has not received knowledge of it through the sacrament of reconciliation.

Everybody knows it, she ain’t budging.

There might be cases when all of the factors are present by the manner in which a person approaches the altar. For example,

several U.S. bishops have refused Communion to people wearing a rainbow sash

. In this case the person is using a symbol that publicly defends a lifestyle that the Church holds to be gravely sinful.

Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university.

They’ll refuse an unknown based on a rainbow sash… but not the biggest supporter in the country of a vile evil?

Not buying it.

mankai on September 24, 2013 at 3:25 PM

How would Pelosi know? She’s only in church Christmas and Easter.

itsspideyman on September 24, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Fascinating how thousands of words can be spent on the media misinterpreting what the Pope said, but this site – which spends a lot of time updating us on the Church/Pope didn’t mention the Pope’s “people should fight for work” comments and how the “god of money” being the real problem in the world, that free trade and global capitalism are implied evil or some such thing. I don’t look for things to critique about the Church because I’m not of the Church, but you can’t honestly just look at the things the Pope does that agree with an American Conservative view and highlight those, while ignoring the Pope’s socialistic worldview of money and the economy.

When a Pope speaks Truth to those who lust for Power instead of just people who care about the importance and meaning of money, then I’ll be impressed with his implied moral authority. Until then, he’s just another preacher with a message for a foggy choir.

King B on September 24, 2013 at 3:30 PM

I can’t even begin to think about abortion and Catholicism, yet, because I still can’t wrap my brain around the – fact – ;O) that Jesus was a Communist – and yet – a bulwark of Communism is atheism.

I’m so lost – maybe Pelosi can explain it to me, and then she can clear up the Pope’s position on abortion?

OhEssYouCowboys on September 24, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Interesting that it took three decades for this to occur, though there has been at least one meeting a few years ago, at which time she was apparently put on notice.

Let’s see if the church actually shuts her off from Catholic communion. The follow through will be telling, if it occurs.

corbeck on September 24, 2013 at 3:30 PM

A priest who defied the Vatican on gay marriage and ordination of women into the priesthood discovered that Francis and the Curia still takes the obedience part of the vows seriously, both defrocking and excommunicating him:

The above Greg Reynolds example above doesn’t negate the big picture…

Overall, church leaders tend to provide moral cover for pro-abortion statists.

We wish the church would take a strong, unambiguous and highly public stance for life and liberty. We don’t want to admit it, but our church leaders won’t do that.

They prefer socialism and will accept almost anything (including public funding for abortion, coerced ‘charity’, etc.) if they get their statism.

shinty on September 24, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Still, this is quite a public rebuke,

Most people, including most Mass attending Catholics, will not be exposed to this news.

More will hear echoes of the Pope’s free market criticism in thinly veiled attacks on capitalism from the pulpit this Sunday. As usual.

We may as well admit the truth.

shinty on September 24, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Does she actually even attend Mass? I would think she might skip it just to prevent that kind of scene (public refusal of communion) from becoming known.

joe_doufu on September 24, 2013 at 3:39 PM

The excommunication document – written in Latin and giving no reason – was dated May 31, meaning it comes under the authority of Pope Francis

I wouldn’t read a while lot into that. It could be more like the rare instance when some member of the Obama administration does something right, but the credit is given to Obama.
If I were to see more high-profile Catholics (e.g. pro-abort politicians) getting 86ed, then I would say there’s something going on. This seems more an extremely rare bureaucratic one-off.

whatcat on September 24, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Does she actually even attend Mass? I would think she might skip it just to prevent that kind of scene (public refusal of communion) from becoming known.

joe_doufu on September 24, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Purposefully missing mass on any Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation is also a grave sin.

All the more reason to publicly excommunicate her.

mankai on September 24, 2013 at 3:42 PM

I’m certain the Catholic Church excommunicates witches, and Pelosi is most certainly a witch.

Missilengr on September 24, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Until the Catholic church publicly excommunicates people like Pelosi, the Kennedy’s, Cuomo and other catholics who will not adhere to their so called faith, I will never set foot back in the Catholic church. As I see it, the church is committing a mortal sin by giving them communion and recognizing them as catholics.

megthered on September 24, 2013 at 3:57 PM

King B on September 24, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Pope doesn’t have the Word of God on global economics or geopolitics – what is noteworthy about Francis though is he ministered during the Kirchner regime in Argentina, so Francis has had first hand experience with the economic destruction of socialism.

Francis isn’t saying anything really different from usual on that front – it’s an unfortunate reality that, being based in Rome, most statements on economics or finance are filtered through a eurosocialist lens.

I myself sent a tweet chastising him for one of his twitter statuses that was uncharitable to business owners.

BKennedy on September 24, 2013 at 3:59 PM

I wouldn’t take anything that Cardinal Burke says as being in anyway indicative of what Pope Francis believes and says. Cardinal Burke was one of the prelates probably hit hardest by Francis’ election. I cannot see Francis, who made a point of living as simply as possible, being impressed with some of Burke’s ridiculous costumes. Also, Burke is one of the “frequent flyer bishops” that Francis isn’t a fan of. The only reason why I believe that Burke still has a position is because it is extremely hard to get rid of these Curia officials. Bertone apparently went kicking and screaming despite being 79 years old.

As for Reynolds, there is apparently more to the story than just being pro women’s ordination and pro gay marriage. Reynolds as mentioned was confrontational about his opposition to certain issues and defied his bishop. He was also giving out Communion to puppies, which makes a mockery of the Sacrament. It isn’t surprising that he was excommunicated. The far right group was also excommunicated under JPII.

Illinidiva on September 24, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Ed, Burke didn’t say 915 “could” be applied to Pelosi. He said it must be applied. Why water it down?

TouchingTophet on September 24, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Before anyone expects to see a priest stop Pelosi during Mass, we should be clear that such an action would be impossible from a practical aspect. First, there is a process to this kind of discipline, but more to the point, distribution of the Eucharist is primarily done by extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion and not priests.

While Eucharistic ministers may not know the state of sin (or grace) of everyone lining up for Communion, Pelosi (and other members of Congress) is a public figure whose views are well-known to be in conflict with Church doctrine, and she should be refused Communion.

But even if Pelosi and other well-known “Catholic” supporters of abortion or other anti-Catholic teachings are not refused Communion, Saint Paul warned that anyone who takes the body and blood of Christ in sin “eats and drinks to his own judgment”. In other words, if Pelosi continues to take Communion while openly defending abortion, “God will get her for that.”

As Pope Francis said about gays, it is not for him to judge, but God.

Steve Z on September 24, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Fascinating how thousands of words can be spent on the media misinterpreting what the Pope said, but this site – which spends a lot of time updating us on the Church/Pope didn’t mention the Pope’s “people should fight for work” comments and how the “god of money” being the real problem in the world, that free trade and global capitalism are implied evil or some such thing. I don’t look for things to critique about the Church because I’m not of the Church, but you can’t honestly just look at the things the Pope does that agree with an American Conservative view and highlight those, while ignoring the Pope’s socialistic worldview of money and the economy.

When a Pope speaks Truth to those who lust for Power instead of just people who care about the importance and meaning of money, then I’ll be impressed with his implied moral authority. Until then, he’s just another preacher with a message for a foggy choir.

King B on September 24, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Catholic teaching on social justice is liberal. Benedict said the exact same things that Francis is saying if people care to review. I think that Francis just says it clearer and more bluntly than Benedict did.

And the whole gist of Francis’ message is that money shouldn’t be a god and that people today idolalize “stuff” rather than God. I don’t remember him arguing for forced redistribution; in fact, redistribution at the end of a gunpoint goes against what Francis is preaching because it won’t change any attitudes. Francis would like people to stop worshipping money of their own free will. As a business owner that means putting people before their profits without being forced to.

Illinidiva on September 24, 2013 at 4:19 PM

While Eucharistic ministers may not know the state of sin (or grace) of everyone lining up for Communion, Pelosi (and other members of Congress) is a public figure whose views are well-known to be in conflict with Church doctrine, and she should be refused Communion.

This also includes prominent public figures on the right as well. For instance, then Cardinal Bergoglio argued in his book that a business owner cheating his employees should be included in that. However, he also said it was on each individuals’ conscience whether to receive Communion but to ensure the politicians, business leaders, etc. don’t receive photo ops, Bergoglio argues that he doesn’t distribute Communion. This is still his policy and befuddled the news media for a few weeks.

Illinidiva on September 24, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Even where priests offer the Eucharist themselves, they have no way of knowing whether the person before may have just come from confessing their sins to another priest. I have seen a priest refuse communion to a young girl chewing gum when she approached, but never for any reason he only thinks, for that reason.

But public officials and officials at Catholic universities should be called out and disciplined by their own Bishops. That the Pope ever needs to be involved is a scandal in itself.

Adjoran on September 24, 2013 at 4:31 PM

With the kinds of silly and misleading errors made by the media with a faith that is easily researched, what does that say about media reporting on other faiths anything?

Fixed.

KS Rex on September 24, 2013 at 4:31 PM

I can’t even begin to think about abortion and Catholicism, yet, because I still can’t wrap my brain around the – fact – ;O) that Jesus was a Communist – and yet – a bulwark of Communism is atheism

Jesus was NOT a Communist. While Jesus taught extensively about people voluntarily helping the poor, He never advocated that the government should forcibly take money or resources from the rich to distribute them to the poor. Jesus taught that people should also obey the secular government (Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar), but He also commended the tax-collector Zacchaeus for refunding to citizens the tax money which he had overcharged them. He also taught that “a worker deserves his wages” and that land-owners had the right to enjoy the food produced on their land, even if hired laborers were used to harvest the land. This provided the model for private business owners who could profit from the labor of others.

While Jesus taught that people should obey the secular government, He also taught that government should serve God and obey God’s laws (our current laws against murder and burglary are based on the Ten Commandments).

The reason why “a bulwark of Communism is atheism” is that Communists believe there is no God, so the government is not subject to God’s law, so the government effectively becomes the all-powerful god of the Communists.

Steve Z on September 24, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Once again the IlliniDiva get her church history and doctrine wrong…the Church’s teaching on social justice is neither liberal nor conservative…if you include all not only a part of that social doctrine. Yes, concern for the poor is at the core of the doctrine and should be, but unless you understand the relationship of that concern to subsidiarity you cannot understand how Catholics can fully support aid for the poor but be opposed to massive federal government programs such as welfare…the Church believes programs of this type should be provided at a level closest to the problem…in your parish or diocese or perhaps your county or state but not at the federal level.

Note to PackerBronco, I share your frustration but encourage you to return to the church…voices like yours need to be heard, no matter how little impact you think it has…you’ll be surprised how many people of similar beliefs are still there.

ironmarshal on September 24, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Nanzi to start her own SanFranglican Church any day now to get around her rebuke by the Vatican…..

dentarthurdent on September 24, 2013 at 4:47 PM

The readings this last week did take on the worship of money – and the acquisition of money for money’s own sake. Mammon I believe was the word used in the readings. I’m not sure Francis is saying anything much different.

Capitalism stripped of its soul through the lack of character and faith of its adherents is a recipe for exploitation and ultimate disaster. The Church’s initial daliance with communism in the 1st century AD show how it also ran from the modern’s left primary operating philosophy straight away.

My hope is that the Catholic church begins running away from its last daliance with communism in the 20th. To date I see no difference between the current and previous pope. Or the US bishops for that matter. You cannot use the state to save souls.

Zomcon JEM on September 24, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Steve Z on September 24, 2013 at 4:40 PM

I guess that you missed my wink, to wit: ;O)

And the sarcasm/conundrum/oxymoron, to wit: that Jesus was a Communist – and yet – a bulwark of Communism is atheism

And I tried, so hard.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 24, 2013 at 4:57 PM

ironmarshal on September 24, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Yes – but CSS is of the belief that the govt can and should help – and they line up for funding and support.

I need to see more living like they talk, not hiding behind we are just trying to help the less fortunate.

Zomcon JEM on September 24, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Once again the IlliniDiva get her church history and doctrine wrong…the Church’s teaching on social justice is neither liberal nor conservative…if you include all not only a part of that social doctrine. Yes, concern for the poor is at the core of the doctrine and should be, but unless you understand the relationship of that concern to subsidiarity you cannot understand how Catholics can fully support aid for the poor but be opposed to massive federal government programs such as welfare…the Church believes programs of this type should be provided at a level closest to the problem…in your parish or diocese or perhaps your county or state but not at the federal level.

I’m not the one that is arguing for more liberal economic policy. The nice Argentine priest is. I’m also not suggesting that Francis is arguing for massive redistribution and the armed overthrow of the government. I think that Francis feels that people should willingly be obsessed and focused with God and people rather than obsessed with money. For business owners, this means putting their employees, customers, society first even if this means that they aren’t maximizing their profits. For instance, although what the banks were doing during the housing bubble was perfectly legal, Francis would argue that they should have refused to do so. He also isn’t condemning the rich to Hell and has met with business leaders on his Brazil trip and trip to Sardinia and urged them to be responsible leaders.

Also, Francis expects religious leaders starting with himself to live simply. I don’t think that he would be impressed with Joel Osteen or some of the other mega-rich Protestant preachers.

Illinidiva on September 24, 2013 at 5:05 PM

ironmarshal on September 24, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Thanks for the kind thoughts, but I am happily in the Church. Perhaps you have me confused with another commentator.

PackerBronco on September 24, 2013 at 5:13 PM

It is difficult to determine if a grave sin is manifest. In order to be so, a sin must be known by a large part of the community, and this can also depend on the nature of the community itself. For example, it is one thing to belong to a quiet rural village where everybody knows everybody and another to be part of a large urban parish were a situation might be known only if it appears in the media.

Tell that to St Peter. He condemned members before others even knew (manifest) about the sins. There’s this thing that keeps getting glossed over and that is accountability. Where are the shepherds and ministers confronting a wayward member to get right or leave the fellowship?

And for this reason many are weak, sick or even spiritual zombies Gill’s commentary:

1Cor 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly,…. Because of their unworthy participation of the Lord’s supper, many in the Corinthian church were attended with bodily infirmities and diseases; either by way of fatherly chastisement and correction in such who were truly the Lord’s people, though they had behaved unworthily; or by way of punishment to such who were not, and had sinned very grossly:

and many sleep; that is, die a corporeal death, which is often in Scripture signified by sleep, and frequently used of the saints, and their death, and may intend and include some of them here; for though the Lord might resent so far their unworthy conduct and behaviour at his table, as to remove them out of this world by death, yet their souls may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Want to revive the Church? Then get serious about accountability within the flock

AH_C on September 24, 2013 at 6:40 PM

I bet if Pelosi decided she wanted to go to war with the Catholic Church we would hear no end of this story.

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Pelosi’s party has been at war with the Church for a very long while now.

(point of interest: no less than Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) reminds us that the USCCB is not part of the RC hierarchy and as such has no hierarchal authority.)

Don L on September 24, 2013 at 6:40 PM

King B on September 24, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Nice try, but capitalism is not considered evil by the Church. It’s excesses are as always with any good. Though the welfare State has been identified for Catholics as evil by Pope John Paul II in a teaching encyclical.

Funny how the left which boos God at their convention can’t wait to co-opt Him for their Godless socialism and immorality.(What would Jesus do?)

Don L on September 24, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Funny how the left which boos God at their convention can’t wait to co-opt Him for their Godless socialism and immorality.(What would Jesus do?)

Don L on September 24, 2013 at 6:46 PM

We already know what Jesus would do. He consorted with the rich as well as with the poor — after all, wasn’t he buried in a rich man’s tomb?

The classic piece of scripture which illustrates how Jesus views wealth is contained in the story of the rich young man. If you read that story carefully, you see certain elements emerge:
Jesus does not order the rich man to give up his wealth, nor does he order his Disciples to confiscate it.
That means that the rich young man retains complete control over his money. He is free to give it away — or not. There is no call for theft.
Jesus tells the rich young man what he must do to attain salvation: Observe the law. It’s really very simple.
He lays upon the man one final thing — which he knows the young man is incapable of doing — give all you have to the poor, and follow.
The young man goes away sad. He cannot bring himself to do what Jesus says he ought to do — that one last thing.
The Disciples are agast, for not even they have given all that they own to the poor. The door to salvation seems very remote and far away.
Jesus responds to them with a few words. Look them up.

Now, if Jesus didn’t consider that private property — money — the work of one’s hands — belongs to the person who does that work, he would not have asked the rich young man — he would have taken.

There’s something good associated with asking and receiving — something which eludes me…

Perhaps its the fact that paying your taxes will never equal the spiritual lift that comes from almsgiving — for the government often uses taxes for things which are counter to what the Lord taught.

unclesmrgol on September 24, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Want to revive the Church? Then get serious about accountability within the flock

AH_C on September 24, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Really, this is incredibly poignant. Privatization and just wanting to get along has done incredible damage to the church.

Murphy9 on September 24, 2013 at 11:02 PM