“The idea, therefore, is to save mankind, in the sense of restoring him to the centre: to the centre of society, of thought, of reflection. Restoring mankind to the centre. You do good work. You study, reflect, hold conferences for this reason – so that mankind is not discarded.”
Pope Francis is all in this phrase.
As around 70 people get a nice holiday in Rome to try to give sense to the economics nonsense of the man in Evangelii Gaudium, and thus try to save his face as much as they can by saying no, the Pope is for Capitalism and no, the Pope isn’t a nincompoop who does not know what he is talking about, Francis keeps spreading his own secular thinking.
A man obsessed with removing Christ from the centre (of society, of thought, of reflection) and with putting mankind at his place.
We have gone from Omnia instaurare in Christo to “Omnia instaurare in homine”. The Pollyannas applaud and praise the great sensitivity of the man to the plight of the poor.
A Che Guevara in white. And a stupid one at that.
Please pray that this disgrace be taken away from us as soon as possible.
Two very interesting interventions about Francis’ latest (demolition) effort, Evangelium Gaudii.
The first is from Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey. The man should have had a text editor (who would have told him EG is not an encyclical letter), but for the rest seems a very smart guy, with a solid grasp of (real) Catholicism. Napolitano finds that Francis’ effort “reveals a disturbing ignorance about economics”.
I wholeheartedly agree. The more so, because the disturbing ignorance about economics is – though Napolitano doesn’t say that – the fruit of his disturbing ignorance about Catholicism.
The second is from Fox News, and it is interesting because it shows that even among the mainstream media (Fox News is now obviously so) there are those who have seen the game, and say so. Just as an example, take this:
In his interviews with those in the left-wing media he seeks to impress, Francis has said that the Church needs to stop being ‘obsessed’ with abortion and gay marriage, and instead of seeking to convert people, “we need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.”
This softly-softly approach of not making a fuss has been tried before, and failed. The Second Vatican Council of the 1960’s aimed to “open the windows” of the Church to the modern world by doing just this.
The result was the Catholic version of New Coke. Across the West where the effects were felt, seminaries and convents emptied, church attendance plummeted, and adherence to Church doctrine diminished.
I invite you to read both articles (the first link works strangely on my desktop, hope it will be fine), but here I would to reflect shortly on what is happening.
Jorge Bergoglio made his career in a rather provincial environment, dominated by populist rhetoric. It worked well for him as long as he remained in the motherland of Peronism, and would probably work well pretty much everywhere else in South America. When Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis, he thought it was business as usual and went on in the accustomed way. He is obviously unable to see his limits, and it is evident he feels he can give lessons in the way of dealing with the economy to the entire planet. The vastly publicised criticism shows this is not the case. The world has listened attentively to what he had to say, and found he would have been better off if he had kept his mouth shut. I think this is going to be the second very brutal awakening after the disaster of the interviews to Civilta’ Cattolica and Scalfari. Can’t wait for all the Monsignori explaining how the Pope did not mean to say what he has said.
The ugly truth is that a shallow and petty man is made Pope and thinks the world will be his new Argentina, but it clearly doesn’t work. Now if you make a clown of yourself, you will be told. More and more, the limits of this man are emerging in what can be appropriately called “disturbing” measure.
As I have already written, he will either have to change his tune or be buried in ridicule.
The world is not Argentina.
The tragic clown knows as Hans Kueng has given another example of his confusion with his latest printed vomit on the pages of the always vomit-inducing Tablet.
Among the other stupid things he says (though I can understand why he is happy with Evangelii Gaudium), I read this:
The Christians of the New Testament did not understand Jesus’ words on divorce as a law but as an ethical directive. The failure of a marriage obviously did not correspond to what men and women were created for.
This is beyond belief; and, therefore, typical of Kueng.
He must believe in reincarnation, because he obviously believes he was there and knows better than 2,000 years of deposit of faith how Jesus’ words on divorce were intended. Oh come on, Kueng basically says, Jesus was making an obvious point, that failed marriage are somewhat sub-optimal. I suspect he believes in the Ten Directives. If that.
Extreme Off-The-Cuffing of Jesus’ words.
Rather fashionable nowadays. Eh? No?
This post contains strong language. Sissies, click away now or forever hold your tongue.
Paragraph 54 has emerged as one of the parts of Evangelii Gaudium worth the exploring. Many others have commented. Allow me to contribute my two cents here.
54. In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will by itself succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.
Economic growth in free markets is a tremendous creator of opportunity for everyone, and a great leveller of social inequalities. In non developed capitalistic societies (say: India ca. 1920) your family and socioeconomic environment were much more likely to be your destiny than in the very mobile Western societies of today. In Western societies wealth seldom remains in the same family for more than three generations, as a new breed of self made men takes the place of the old ones. Opportunity and equality at work. Obviously this is not a perfect world: but that economic growth, encouraged by free market, by itself makes the world less inequal (or let us say better: less unfair; inequalities are bad only for communists) cannot be denied.
This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts,
Keep dreaming, Your Holiness. And please never look out of the favela. The shock could be fatal.
expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.
The only one who is naïve here – nay: blind – is Francis. He should visit a lost, isolated village in India, or in the Mozambique, that has never heard of modern Capitalism, compare with the “poverty line” in Rome or Paris, and tell us about it. The “prevailing economic system” is not only the one that has worked best, ever, but is the one that foots the bill for the poorest of the rest of the planet. Francis simply ignores this, Castroite as he clearly is.
Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.
More Castro-thinking. Entire countries have seen the condition of the working class improve enormously in the last decades, as the “prevailing economic system” is introduced in those countries and brings more security for everyone. Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, India (60+ million people comfortably middle-class for European standards, and growing like it's going out of fashion: how's that, Francis?). Those who do not improve are the Countries mired in violence, populism and corruption, that are the real enemies of the poor and the first causes of poverty. Even countries like India, that have adopted some of the lessons of sound Capitalism, are still far too corrupt, inefficient, exploitative to even deserve to be called part of the “prevailing economic system”. The real fight is against violence, populism and corruption, not Capitalism. Capitalism is the best economic ally of the poor.
To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed.
More slogans. What is a “lifestyle that excludes others”? Aren't the Western economies doing more to alleviate global poverty than the Castroite dreams of Francis would ever allow? As to Globalisation, it is clear to the blind that the “poor of the world” profit from it more than the West, where the availability of cheap products is paid at the price of higher unemployment among the low-skilled, creating more social costs and higher taxes to compensate for those, say, cheap socks. The unemployed of the West are also poor, at least in a relative way. They pay, in the end, the highest price for Globalisation. Francis doesn't say it. He doesn't even realise it. To him, to be poor is to be on the right side: that the poor in Pakistan and Britain are competing for the same work in, say, the Western textile industry does not even occur to him. Yes, the UK-made socks would use less work. But yes, they would still create an awful lot of employment, reduce social transfers and tax burden, and increase satisfaction at home, where the charity begins. How about these poor, Bishop Francis?
Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.
This is a gratuitous affirmation. There is no tevidence at all that the rich Western societies do not care for the needy. On the contrary, they have never cared so much. Here in London, last time I looked food banks threw away more than half of the food they collect, because it's just not needed. Millions of people live without working one freaking day in their lives, or for any meaningful period, becoming skilled handout professionals instead. I have known a couple personally and some are real artists.
The paragraph ends here.
More in general, the entire idea suffers from the usual construction mistake of all those easy criticisms and whining complaint: find a system that has delivered better results, or shut up.
Everyone can reinvent the world from the comfort of his armchair, but the world has this funny way of not caring a bit for people's dreams and fantasies.
On the contrary, when I read Rerum Novarum I see nothing of the creeping socialism of our time. There was no dole then. No socialised health care. No unemployment insurance. No universal state pension. Not even minimum wage! Did Leo XIII create any of these? No, he didn't. Germany has lived perfectly well without minimum wage until 2013, go figure.
Catholic thinking is that solidarity and charity do the job, not an omnipresent state apparatus adding countless administrators, controllers, regulators, and assorted other people who are there just to give the government of the day more power over our lives. Solidarity and charity can do all that the “social state” does, much better and much cheaper. In Christian countries people did not die of hunger, and you can still see the vestiges of all the charitable organisations meant to help the poor. The deserving poor were helped, the undeserving were not. There were orphanages, and the wheel. People knew each other. They knew who was in need, and they knew the money was well spent. They knew the meaning of Christian charity. Alleluia. No army of apparatchiks in the middle deciding who gets what, and that everyone gets the pill; or an abortion; or maintenance for life paid by people who don't even know she exists, and how she lives. Those were the days.
As Christianity shrunk from Western countries, the governments took its place. Out went the charity, in came the entitlement. Out went the gratitude, in came the hate.
Give me Leo XIII every day. Down with the omnipresence and oppression of government, and let Christians tackle the problems of life in the Christian way. It will still be a vale of tears, but one that fosters charity and gratitude rather than entitlement, envy and godlessness.
When did Christ mandate state-imposed health? Income tax? Forced redistribution? Cost-free abortion on demand? Flats for girls having babies? You are confusing with rabid Liberalism and the Social State, dear.
Francis is not only implicitly asking only for more statism. He is doing worse: he is demanding some vaguely dreamed system of world kindergarten economics that very well matches his system of kindergarten Catholicism: shallow, rhetoric, utterly unintelligent, and totally unworkable. He is like a globalised Obama, without the need of being elected. Boy, if he got together with Bono and the Dalai Lama, how they would change the world, at least in their dreams!
Francis talks of things he does not understand. He does it about Catholicism, it is no surprise that he should have a go at economics. He is fully imbibed with the whiny victimhood of South America, which gave us the Peron and Chavez of this world. He is the product of the same mentality that led many Southern American Governments to declare they would not honour their debts, plunging an entire sub-continent in up to two decades of stagnation whilst the Asian Tigers left South American countries far behind. Congratulations, morons.
This is what Castroites do to you. They spoil you rotten until you see only persecutors and oppressors, and make you unfit for honest employment. It goes for collective entities as far as for individual ones.
Beware of wolves in Castro uniform. Particularly when they don't know what they are talking about.
P.S. Comments are closed. Life's to short for debates with the “Occupy” crowd. If you like this post, please tweet and “like” on Facebook instead.
So, let us plunge into the paper lake and see where our eye falls.
Very randomly taken:
If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life.
More disturbing still is when a Pope gives an interview to an atheist journalist for a secular newspaper and sends to them the message that if they follow their conscience they'll be fine.
The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.
This is not a man very versed in history. The modern capitalistic societies have far less poverty, and far more abundance for the generality of people than every – and I mean: every – economic society of the past. Not only that: western capitalism keeps entire continents from dire need, providing a substantial part of the GDP out of pure transfer in many countries, particularly African ones.
As even a man who considers Beethoven a luxury for Renaissance Prince should know, “idolatry of money” has been there in every age, and will be with us as long as the sun shines. But notice, only one who has lost his faith or never had it can make of money his idol. These are exactly the people Francis deems fine not to convert.
A financial reform open to such ethical considerations would require a vigorous change of approach on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and an eye to the future, while not ignoring, of course, the specifics of each case. Money must serve, not rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you to generous solidarity and a return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favours human beings.
” I have no idea what I am talking about, nor have I to offer any solution besides some trite slogan. Let's try this: “money must serve, not rule!””. Please applaud. I am so 'umble.
It would show a lack of trust in his free and unstinting activity to think that authentic Christian values are absent where great numbers of people have received baptism and express their faith and solidarity with others in a variety of ways.
It shows a great lack of reality not to understand that many who are baptised do not even know hot to make the Sign of the Cross, have no idea of even the Ten Commandments, and think Jesus is a, like, cool guy.
In the case of the popular cultures of Catholic peoples, we can see deficiencies which need to be healed by the Gospel: machismo, alcoholism, domestic violence, low Mass attendance, fatalistic or superstitious notions which lead to sorcery, and the like.
“Machismo” is there with alcoholism and domestic violence, and akin to sorcery. This is one for the dykes and the all-out feminists out there. Spoken like a true nun on the bus.
Out of respect for the office, I will stop here, though I will still say that Francis should spend less time with his “gay” (his word) buddy, Monsignor Ricca.
Cattive compagnie, queste frocette. Eh? Ah? No?
At times our media culture and some intellectual circles convey a marked scepticism with regard to the Church’s message, along with a certain cynicism. As a consequence, many pastoral workers, although they pray, develop a sort of inferiority complex which leads them to relativize or conceal their Christian identity and convictions. This produces a vicious circle. They end up being unhappy with who they are and what they do; they do not identify with their mission of evangelization and this weakens their commitment. They end up stifling the joy of mission with a kind of obsession about being like everyone else and possessing what everyone else possesses. Their work of evangelization thus becomes forced, and they devote little energy and very limited time to it.
This is very well said. The ghost writer is a smart guy. He describes the Vatican II mentality in a beautiful way. By the by, the sentences apply wonderfully to the vast majority of priests in the West.
There are Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter.
There are Popes who make clowns of themselves without running a circus. Give me the dour Pope and the severe old woman every day. And no, I am not one of those. Just so you know, I am an extremely funny guy.
A second area is that of “the baptized whose lives do not reflect the demands of Baptism”, who lack a meaningful relationship to the Church and no longer experience the consolation born of faith. The Church, in her maternal concern, tries to help them experience a conversion which will restore the joy of faith to their hearts and inspire a commitment to the Gospel.
This would be the right time to invite them to repentance and warn them about the consequence of disobedience. Not a word. Instead, a sort of inferiority complex which leads him to relativise or conceal his Christian identity and convictions. Wait, where have I read this…?
Lastly, we cannot forget that evangelization is first and foremost about preaching the Gospel to those who do not know Jesus Christ or who have always rejected him. Many of these are quietly seeking God, led by a yearning to see his face, even in countries of ancient Christian tradition. All of them have a right to receive the Gospel. Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone. Instead of seeming to impose new obligations, they should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet. It is not by proselytizing that the Church grows, but “by attraction”
The hardened atheist is put in the same boat with the poor chap who does not know Christianity, as if their situations would not be radically different both as regards their earthly prospects (the second is possibly fertile ground, the first an arid desert) and their heavenly ones (the ignorant chap might bank on the invincible ignorance and save his backside, the willful atheist is more screwed than Elton). Clearly, atheism is made harmless here. A problem of lack of information. Perhaps if we were more “joyous” the atheists would be converted? How about a red nose?
Not one word about the dangers of damnation. If not here when, then…
As a rule, I would say some good formulations are overshadowed by the omnipresent stink of Vatican II.
Not a fruitful reading.
Spend time on your Garrigou-Lagrange instead.
We do not know much about the Temple Veil. We have the usual Flavius Josephus, and some Jewish sources with descriptions that might, following the use of the time, be willed exaggerations in order to make the point.
What is undoubted is that the veil was not a proper veil, but an extremely thick, finely interwoven curtain, extremely beautiful and extremely heavy. It had the role of a “movable wall”. As it procured access to the Sancta Sanctorum, entry to which was forbidden to almost everyone almost every time, there was the need of a system making necessary the cooperation of several men to procure entrance, thus avoiding the possibility of “sneaking in” on the sly that a door would have easily afforded. In this way, the veil procured security from entrance without having to tear down a wall every year. As you can imagine, a work of this sort would be of exceptional strength and weight, the finely interwoven tissues giving it extreme resistance and making it unthinkable that anyone may ever rent it to obtain entrance.
The “veil” was, therefore, not a small matter. Firstly it was a beast of a thing, and secondly with its magnificence and its role it was a massive witness of the sacrality of the Sancta Sanctorum, which contained the Ark. The highly symbolic character of this exceptional artifact is absolutely evident.
This “veil” is reported by the Gospels. Matthew says:
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
A big earthquake takes place immediately after Our Lord dies. The veil is torn, but not simply damaged: it is “rent in twain from the top to the bottom”, and the comparison with the rocks leaves no doubt about the magnitude of the events (both the earthquake and the astonishing renting of the veil). The fact itself and the emphatic report of the Evangelists do not leave any doubt: at the very moment of Jesus' death, Judaism stops being the religion of the Covenant. The veil is torn and access is possible to everyone, because the Sancta Sanctorum is no more necessary. Christianity is born, and Judaism is now officially past its “sell by” date. In a few decades the Temple itself will be destroyed by, in another symbolic turn of events, Rome, the appointed fulcrum of the new religion and of the Only Church. The humiliation is total and definitive, and the consequence inescapable: the Temple is gone because God has no use for it. Nothing like complete and irreversible destruction screams “you're fired”, but the real “pink slip” was the renting of the veil with its unmistakable meaning.
The disciples of Jesus clearly grasped it. We see this in the Acts, with Peter boldly calling the Jews to conversion on the day of Pentecost. Evidently, there is a need to convert Jews to the new faith if they are to be saved. If it were not so, Jesus' very death on the cross would make no sense, and the entire Christian message would be a fraud. But it is so, and the Jews recognise the great danger coming from the followers of Christ. They understand that the Christians are far more than a strange branch of Judaism: they are an alternative to it, and one that risks to wipe them out. Saul understands the dangers very well, and is very zealous in his work of eradication. The rest is, well, Scripture.
There can be no doubt that for the first Christians, and for all those who came after, a Jew belongs to the wrong shop. The wrong one, not the nice old one. The Jews themselves certainly can't think they belong to the new religion, and would in fact never claim they do. The Jews do not believe in the Trinity, or the Holy Ghost, or Jesus. A smart child of seven would understand that the two religions are not compatible. They are, in fact, two religions, of which one is now false, because past “sell by” date.
A child of seven would understand all this, but a Jesuit of 76? Hhmmm, let's read from Evangelii Gaudium:
“We hold the Jewish people in special regard because their covenant with God has never been revoked, for ‘the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable’ (Rom 11:29).
The Church, which shares with Jews an important part of the Sacred Scriptures, looks upon the people of the covenant and their faith as one of the sacred roots of her own Christian identity (cf. Rom 11:16-18). As Christians, we cannot consider Judaism as a foreign religion; nor do we include the Jews among those called to turn from idols and to serve the true God (cf. 1 Thes 1:9). With them, we believe in the one God who acts in history, and with them we accept his revealed word”.
No need for conversion to Christ. Actually, no need for Christ in the first place. In this vision, Jesus is a nice chap and bringer of “joy”, but is ultimately superfluous as “we cannot consider Judaism a foreign religion”, and we do not include them among those who need to convert. When Peter told the Jews on the day of Pentecost they need to convert, he was clearly wrong. Tsk, tsk! Should talk to the atheists instead. No, wait!…
The gravity of these words does not need any comment, but I note that this is exactly, to the last word, the mentality that allows Francis to consider his pal, Rabbi Skorka, perfectly fine in all that he does, and even worthy of encouragement to do it even better and in general go on with his own religion.
Converting him? No, no, no!
This exhortation seems to me just another Modernist document: orthodox here, perhaps laudable here or there (51,000 words is a lot), but then clearly heretical in some statements, thrown in almost casually in the midst of the ocean of words but such that they will slowly shape the public consciousness in the matter.
We will see what else comes out. I have read some good things about abortion, but then again he is the Pope.
Also, keep in mind this is something for insiders: most readers of “Repubblica” will barely notice the event, and will not be motivated to go on the Internet and read it. Which, by 51,000 words, is rather understandable.
Therefore, the public perception of the Pope will continue to be dominated by the interviews. This here is, in the end, merely a sideshow.
The Germans have a beautiful saying; they call it Die LKW-Theorie.
The theory in question says that if you want to avoid close scrutiny for your project, you can submit to the deciders an entire truckload of documents at the last minute, pointing out that the decision is now expected very fast or else the client will walk away. The deciders have therefore the double whammy of time and sheer quantity of material put in front of them, with all the bad news conveniently buried in the middle of the paper avalanche. Only the strongest will resist the trick, but many are those who will cave in, faced with the pressure of angry salesmen threatening to lay at their feet with the powers that be the charge of every misconduct from, and including, Adam. Every time this happens, men are divided from boys; then you discover that just a few men, and a great many boys, walk around in your typical office on any given day.
The theory is there because the time has honoured its application, making of it a staple of German – and, I am sure, not only German – office life. In short, it works.
I had to smile and think of the “LKW-Theory” when I realised the sheer mass of the papal exhortation, exceeding the 50,000 words including the notes. This is more than four times the 12,000 words interview to Civilta’ Cattolica. It would appear that after the scandal caused by the 12,000 words interview a new strategy is employed, based on the drowning of the prospective reader under such a tidal wave of information that he will not be encouraged to read anyway. And who would, on reflection, want to be “encouraged” for hours on end? It would make despondency look appealing.
This is, I think, part of the motivation for an effort reaching Soviet Politburo proportions. Most people will just not touch the document, or shall I say the small book. I can’t imagine this effect was not intended.
Still, from what I could read up to now another theory might be applied. Yours truly would like to name it, following the German habit, the Smorgasbord Theory.
According to this theory, you need to offer a buffet in which absolutely everything and the contrary of everything is present, so that everyone will be able to pick and choose the food he likes most and everyone will be happy in the end. The smoked herring lover will find Francis’ take on the herring absolutely fascinating, whilst the the chocolate mousse fan will declare that Francis is a dessert champion and the apple pie lover will praise the perfect balance of the ingredients, with the pastry just after his liking.
In this never ending exhortation – evidently written in its groundwork by a pen far smarter and more lucid than Francis, as you can see comparing the writing style with Francis’ inordinate and shallow ramblings – there is pretty much everything most V II Catholic hearts – not mine, not mine! – can desire. Vatican II rhetoric is pretty much everywhere, and once again one has the impression these people think that before 1961 we were in the Stone Age. There are the strongest words against abortion ever heard from the non-obsessing, non narrow-minded Francis, drowned somewhere in the mare magnum of the work. Apparently, Pius XI is mentioned in a note (wow! What a blessing! The Holy Ghost truly is making overtime! Give me the tambourine!). The rhetoric of “joy” is everywhere, which should work well with the tipsy readers. Francis the writer contradicts (not corrects) Francis the interviewee with beautiful regularity (say: on “proselytism”), showing that the skilled anonymous ghost writer knows a bit more of Catholicism than Francis; but still remaining within solid V II, peace ‘n joy, inclusive ecumenical stuff. At least one blunder (actually: heresy) is huge: the idea that the covenant with the Jews is still valid and when God tore the veil in the Temple he was merely suggesting to the Jews that it might be wise to build a new version, with electric motors and extensive use of carbon fiber. This, I suspect, is another V II fad that evidently had to be part of the Smorgasbord to please… Francis’ buddy, the pro-homo Rabbi.
For the rest, one would have to dig deep in the paper mountain. Let me tell you that I refuse to do it and reject the idea Francis can use the LKW-theory with me, or take me by sheer exhaustion. The best and worst parts will come out in the press anyway, and I will comment on them as and when I see fit. But I refuse – as I already did with the 12,000 words interview – the logic of “how can you criticise Marxism if you have not read “Das Kapital” “. I do not doubt in the word mountain there will be tons of V II waffle, some well worded phrases, and some horrible statements.
Still, one thing can be said already. For one who doesn’t even want to read the homilies prepared for him, Francis asks us an awful lot of reading.
The first Apostolic Exhortation of this pontificate, Evangelii Gaudium, (more “joy” coming our way, I am afraid. Rejoice!) will be released in the next days. We read the following:
Pope Francis will deliver the exhortation to “a bishop, a priest, a deacon, religious men and women, novices, a family, catechists, artists, journalists, young people, the elderly and the sick” noted Archbishop Rino Fisichella.
“Namely,” he continued, “it will be delivered to all those in various stages of life, who as Christians, are called to be evangelizers.”
I suspect there must be some translation problem here, because even I know more than one priest, etc.
But please read who are those “called to evangelise”: all very fashionable categories, but yours truly is none of them, unless you think he makes “a family” (well, I am part of one; but then absolutely everyone is, so in this sense it makes no sense to make distinctions in the first place).
Not graced with youth, yet not entered into old age; gracefully spared (as of writing) from sickness; thankfully blessed with not being a journalist; sadly not endowed with any artistic sense (love for true art, yes; but love for cheese does not a cheesemonger make), and not part of any of the other professional categories, yours truly feel he can relax and avoid the reading of the documents. Which I fear horrible, anyway.
I hear the sound of Stephen Colbert’s “liturgical dance” already…