Thursday, June 18, 2015

Putting Pope Francis in Perspective


If you’ve been following matters on this blog, you will have noticed the uniformly positive comments on the recent publication of “Pope Francis and the Just Third Way” in Homiletic and Pastoral Review this past Saturday.  Now, we know what you’re thinking.  We’ve only been telling you about the positive comments and ignoring the negatives.

"Bummer. They didn't like it as much as I did."
You know something?  You’re right.  The problem is that we’ve gotten dozens of positive comments, but only three negative ones — and they weren’t substantive.  In fact, we’ll summarize them here:

1. One reader loved the article, but didn’t like the term “Just Third Way.”  That’s okay.  It’s a matter of opinion.  And you’ve got to admit that “Just Third Way” is an easier handle than “What Those Guys At CESJ Are Talking About That Isn’t Socialism But Isn’t Capitalism Either And Since I Don’t Understand It I’ll Just Call It Socialism If I’m A Capitalist And Capitalism If I’m A Socialist.”

2. Another reader also loved the article, but didn’t accept the explanation of the three principles of economic justice.  That’s okay, too.  It wasn’t the main point of the article, and we’re willing to discuss matters.  At least the reader was open and honest with the comment.  That’s much easier to deal with than people who talk behind your back and make vague comments that are impossible either to prove or refute.

3. This one’s a “twofer,” but it came from one reader, so we’re counting it as one negative.  It wasn’t all that negative.  First, he said he didn’t understand all of it.  That’s fine.  In that case, get a little more specific, and we can get back to you with more explanation if you’re serious . . . and really tick you off if you’re not serious, but just trying to find something wrong.  Then he said he didn’t like the comparison of Pope Francis with Leo XIII.

"No comparison? Why, we're practically twins! We even dress alike!"
Well, if he didn’t like the comparison of Pope Francis with Leo XIII in “Pope Francis and the Just Third Way,” he’s going to hate the article published yesterday on Catholic365: “Putting Pope Francis in Perspective.”

How’s that for a segue?

We won’t say too much about the article here, because we want you to read it for yourself (just follow the link — we put it in more than once so you can’t miss it), and possibly browse through the other articles on the site.  Also, they don’t pay contributors in cash money.  Instead, they promote the author’s writings which — hopefully — increases cash sales of books and articles.  So every time you take an article and share or tweet or whatever it is you do in social media, you’re helping not just the author you like, but all the other starvingartists published on the site.

"C'mon, guys, be reasonable!"
The point of “Putting Pope Francis in Perspective” is that all the criticism we’re seeing of Pope Francis is really nothing new.  Frankly (sorry, but we couldn’t resist that one), spewing out ill-considered and just plain loony criticisms of the pope has been a hobby of a lot of people, Catholic and non-Catholic, for quite some time.

"Popeye? Next Tuesday."
Not surprisingly, the criticism invariably comes from people who base their understanding of the Catholic Church on faith instead of reason, and are upset when the current incumbent fails to live up to the image they have created in their own minds.  Of course, the fact that the critics can’t live up to their own high standards is a subject that truly polite people don’t raise.  As Popeye the Sailor used to say, “It’s embarrasking” — but we can’t stands no more.

The whole anti-Francis frenzy is something that needs a little more attention.

But not today.  Read our articles and spread them around.

#30#

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