Friday, August 22, 2014

Fool me once, shame on you... fool me twice...

Donald Trump is reported to have said there is no such thing as bad publicity.  I doubt his veracity on this.  There is such a thing as bad publicity and Pope Francis had fallen into it multiple times.  It is not simply a matter of what he said but of supposedly what he said.  In other words, he has put himself into a position where his words have been reported in a provocative sense when they may not have been -- but who would know and who is to say what he really said or what he meant.

Point and example are his interviews with an interviewer who does not record the interview but relies upon his memory.  The Pope has sat down with this individual several times and in each case the interview (so-called) has resulted in confusion over what was actually said or meant and has made the Pope appear to be naive at best or completely ignorant of the consequences of such journalism at worst.  The point is not simply what he was said to have said but the whole idea that we do not know what he said and, it seems, never will.  He has enjoyed this style of vague communication in which implication, inference, and innuendo seem to suggest he is at odds with the Roman Catholic Church's stated position or desires to change it without directly saying it.  The problem is not the positions but the Pope.  If he is at odds with celibacy or he has inside information about the sex scandal problem or he desires to loosen the communion rules for the divorced, he should be honest enough to admit it up front instead of tossing out seeming tidbits of discord with the RCC's position in a less than forthright or honest manner that both confuse the world and scandalize the church.

So now the Pope is saying that 1 in 50 priests, bishops, and cardinals in the RCC is a pedophile?  That celibacy is on the table?  Well, who is to know.  The interviewer (Eugenio Scalfari) has no written or recorded notes to go by -- only his memory.  The Pope's or the Vatican's spokesman (Father Lombardi) says that the interviewer did not accurately convey the Pope's comments.  So what is going on...

My personal fear is that this Pope is in over his head.  He may be well intentioned but he is foolish and naive in the way he is using or being used by the media.  His ordinary method of a "studied ambiguity" is not how the Church should address the world and it is unworthy of those who would presume to speak for the Christian faith.  It makes a Lutheran long for the days of B16 and JP2.  It is not my church but a Pope's words cast a long shadow over Christianity as a whole and he needs either to be honest and unambiguously own what he is saying or he needs to shut up.  In any case he needs never to speak to Mr. Scalfari again without someone or some means to independently verify what he said and what he did not say.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  That is my Lutheran take on it...

4 comments:

Carl Vehse said...

"
My personal fear is that this Pope is in over his head... It makes a Lutheran long for the days of B16 and JP2."


Huh?!? A Lutheran should prefer an Antichrist being over his head, or else be even more suspicious that the Antichrist is giving the image of being over his head.

Anonymous said...

Except that the good pastor is speaking of the witness this pope gives to the world and how (rightly or wrongly) the Christian faith is judged by what this visible leader says and does.

Joseph Bragg said...

you wrote...
a Pope's words cast a long shadow over Christianity as a whole - See more at: http://pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com/#sthash.GkC6CC2r.dpuf

I beg to differ with you. What the pope says has nothing at all to do with Christianity. He does not speak for or represent the Church...only the Latin heresies.

Janis Williams said...

Folk, I believe what Fr. Peters is referring to might be better referred to as "Christendom," and not Christianity per se. Please remember the pope is an antichrist, yes, but within the RCC are true believers who ignore what the pope says (and their priests) about the way of salvation.

Whether we like it or not, the RCC and the Pope have huge influences upon not only upon Christendom, but also the secular/"pagan" world.