Should Francis change his name to Pope Archibald Bunker I?

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has grabbed headlines with his off-the-cuff homilies, crowd-pleasing one-liners and lengthy interviews during which he has pontificated on everything from the church’s “obsession” with rules to how he won’t judge gays. But his chattiness has gotten him into some trouble, and the Vatican has gone into damage-control mode to clarify, correct or put his comments into context. Here’s a look at some of Francis’ more eyebrow-raising comments, and the efforts by the Vatican’s spin doctors to address them.

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Pope Francis is – wittingly or unwittingly – using a liberal code which genuflects to all the liberal impieties.

How else, for example, could one explain his extraordinary claim in this interview that proselytism is ‘solemn nonsense’? The Pope’s sermon yesterday (thanks Rorate) talks a lot about Mission, so surely we must interpret this remark favourably. Nevertheless, in the same interview, while ruling out proselytism, what Francis never seems to rule in is conversion.

The point is, even if he wants outsiders to convert, this coded language will be taken as a signal by ecclesial relativists. Moreover, at the same time, he insists that the Church is only there trying to spread a lot of love (principally to help the youth employment situation and lonely old folk).

And there was me thinking it had something to do with God (and it does, but you wouldn’t get that from this interview …). I mean, he does not even express the hope that maybe one day Scalfari and his readers might encounter Christ. Honestly, if he thinks this represents good tactics, he really has no antennae for how the liberals will interpret him internally.

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Related link: Liberalism is a sin

All that post-Vatican II happy talk and non-judgmentalism had been a façade concealing what then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — later Pope Benedict XVI — would call the “filth” in the Church.

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It wasn’t the crimes that did it as much as the bishops’ unwillingness to repent, and the Vatican’s disinterest in holding them to account. If the church’s hierarchy cannot commit itself credibly to justice and mercy to the victims of its own clergy and bishops, I thought, do they really believe in the doctrines they teach?

All this put the moral unseriousness of the American church in a certain light. As the scandal raged, one Ash Wednesday, I attended mass at my comfortable suburban parish and heard the priest deliver a sermon describing Lent as a time when we should all come to love ourselves more.

If I had to pinpoint a single moment at which I ceased to be a Roman Catholic, it would have been that one.

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Editor’s note: This is the chief problem with what is termed  “The New Evangelism” – poor catechesis and even poorer inspiration, coupled with thoroughly lukewarm, “happy talk” Catholic parishes.

Thanks to the modernist/ideologue/liberal elitists who run the place, there’s very little “sizzle” remaining in the Catholic “steak”  – and not much else to help “anchor” a normal person’s budding faith, either. Comrade Lenin couldn’t have done a better job of wrecking things, himself!

It’s interesting that the writer fled to the Russian Orthodox Church in order to help maintain his sanity and his faith – since as of late – Russian President Vladimir Putin has been sounding more authentically Catholic than has Pope Francis. Yet, I suspect that both are in fact, lying!

Still and all – there’s no substitute for fervent prayer and study, along with full, faithful and active participation in all the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church – even though such a thing is lately, getting much more difficult to accomplish – and to “stomach”.

But we also know that God’s grace is sufficient!

No Pope should make a habit of offering his spontaneous reflections to the world.

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Given the adversarial relation between the Church and the world—it is the height of naiveté to deny it—the Supreme Pontiff must be careful to weigh every word and phrase he chooses to utter in public, for the world will eagerly seize upon any ambiguity or telling omission in order to declare triumphantly that a new breach has appeared in the citadel and that the invasion of the Church by worldly thinking has made a stunning new advance. Thus a Pope’s pursuit of “simplicity” and “sincerity,” if it leads to the idea that the Pope must shun all formalism in his public addresses and “speak from the heart,” can come—inevitably will come—at the expense of all the faithful and at the risk of undermining the very credibility of the Church herself.

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Editor’s note: We’ve all heard the phrase, “The devil’s in the details.” It is also equally true that lack of detail might also serve evil purposes. When a pope makes vague, open-ended statements in public, he incites both scandal and dismay – while at the same time, reinvigorating the enemies of the church – who twist his imprecise language to their own nefarious ends.