Father Sosa: Attacks against Pope Francis are aimed at influencing the next conclave

Pope Francis embraces Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, superior general of the Society of Jesus, during a meeting with editors and staff of the Jesuit-run magazine, La Civilta Cattolica, at the Vatican Feb. 9, 2017. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout)Pope Francis embraces Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, superior general of the Society of Jesus, during a meeting with editors and staff of the Jesuit-run magazine, La Civilta Cattolica, at the Vatican Feb. 9, 2017. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout)

“The attacks against Pope Francis in the church today” are “a fight between those who want the church dreamed of by the Second Vatican Council and those who do not want this,” Arturo Sosa, the Superior General of the Jesuits, stated at the Foreign Press Association in Rome on Sept. 16.

Speaking to the press in Italian, he said, “There is no doubt, there is a political fight [going on] in the church today.” But, he added, “I am convinced that it is not only an attack against this pope. Francis is convinced of what he is doing, ever since he was elected pope. He will not change.” And his critics “know he will not change,” said Father Sosa, adding, “In reality, these [attacks] are a way to influence the election of the next pope.”

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Father Sosa was responding to questions about attacks against Pope Francis from a minority of church leaders with the support of some corners of the Catholic media.

“Francis is not a young man,” Father Sosa said, “and, because of his age, his will not be the longest pontificate in history. They are aiming at the succession because they know that it takes a long time, more than 50 years, to really implement the Second Vatican Council.”

He explained that “in this fight there is an element that Pope Francis always mentions, which is clericalism, that is a way of understanding the exercise of power in the church.” He said, “Francis is fighting against clericalism and this exercise of power” and so “proposes a synodal church,” which encourages greater collegiality and participation in decision making.

His critics know Pope Francis "will not change,” said Father Sosa, adding, “In reality, these [attacks] are a way to influence the election of the next pope.”

“Pope Francis is a son of the Second Vatican Council,” Father Sosa told the international press. Indeed, he said, “as a responsible son of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Francis puts all his energy and capacity to incarnate it and to make a reality all that this event has dreamed for the church, and it seems to me that this is a great contribution to the church.” He explained that he believes the church shows “true reform” the “closer it comes to the design of the Second Vatican Council.”

He added that “just as happened over the past 50 years” so too today “there are those who are more favorable to the Second Vatican Council and those who are more resistant to it.” But, he commented, “50 years is not so much” in terms of implementing a council in the church.

Some have attacked the working document for the synod on the Amazon and alleged that there is heresy in that text. Father Sosa, the first Latin American to be elected as superior general of the Jesuits, noted that the same people who attacked the two synods on the family and the synod on young people are now attacking the Amazon synod.

He disagrees with them and said he believes the synodal process introduced by Pope Francis “creates unity.” He said he witnessed this at the synod on young people, and he is now seeing it also in the process of preparation for the synod on the Amazon region where he sees “great unity within Repam,” or Red Eclesial Panamazónica, the network of church leaders responsible for organizing the upcoming synod.

Asked about the pope’s decision to make three new Jesuit cardinals in the consistory on Oct. 5, Father Sosa said that Pope Francis consulted no one, not even the new cardinal-designates, but his choices sent “messages.” He said that the nomination of Michael Czerny, S.J., a man with experience in different continents, is a strong “affirmation” that migrants and refugees are a priority for this pontificate and the church today.

The pope’s decision to give the red hat to Jean-Claude Hollerich, S.J., archbishop of Luxembourg, who spent many years of his life in Japan until his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI, is an endorsement of the idea of the European unity, according to Father Sosa. He added that the pope’s decision to make the Lithuanian archbishop, Sigitas Tamkevičius, a cardinal reflected his recognition of the persecution of Christians in today’s world. The archbishop was arrested in 1983 and spent 10 years in the prison work camps of Perm and Mordovia.

Asked about the accord signed by the Holy See with China on the nomination of bishops, Father Sosa said the agreement is “very important” and offers a “serious hope” for the reconciliation of the church in China. It was not an “improvised” agreement, he said, but the result of a long process that started in the early years of the pontificate of John Paul II, was continued under Benedict XVI and was finalized under Francis.

He told journalists that just as Pope Paul III approved and confirmed the formula that St. Ignatius and his ten companions had “discerned” for the Society of Jesus, so too Pope Francis “confirmed” the four universal apostolic preferences which the Jesuits had discerned over some years as the way forward for the Society of Jesus at this moment in history.

Pope Francis some years ago had asked the religious orders in Rome to open their homes to migrants and refugees. Father Sosa confirmed that many Jesuit houses had done so. In Palermo and in Rome Jesuits have taken in 30 families, and they have added new capacity for migrants and refugees at the Jesuit-run Centro Astalli. At the Jesuit curia, they have opened a dormitory for those who have nowhere to sleep. Other religious orders have done the same.

Father Sosa told the press that the axis of Jesuit vocations has shifted from Europe to Latin America and Africa, with a big number also emerging in India. He expects the numbers to decrease from a total of about 15,000 Jesuits currently to 10,000 in 15 year’s-time, but noted that the average age would be much younger than it is today.

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Robert Lewis
5 months ago

You, too, Mr. Meisenzahl; all you can think about is money--profit and loss, materialism. Don't you think it made a difference to a Russian peasant after emancipation by Tsar Alexander II that he was no longer a "serf," and a free man, at least in the eyes of the law? Don't you think that giving a man or a woman his or her dignity is worth as much as giving him or her shelter, etc.? You should go back and read slave journals and memoirs from 19th century America, and see the difference between knowing that you were to be treated as a slave, and knowing that they were now free--no matter what were your material circumstances. The reason the Catholic Church has traditionally supported labour movements--against the material interests of capital--is NOT because of material benefit, but because labour is to be accorded its "dignity"--a human right, and a SPIRITUAL imperative.

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months ago

You might reread your original comment where you expressed your superior knowledge of all things peasant, serf and slave in the Middle Ages. That comment has proved to be a gross exaggeration and as seems usual you promptly resort to an ad hominem response to deflect from that problem. You do not seem to recognize that it is possible for one to disagree with you analysis and not be some “craven, materialistic, uneducated and ignorant fool “as you so quickly style others not in sync with your views. In short you really have no idea what I think about but are quick to make a series of intemperate, rash, unfounded assumptions simply because I disagree with you.

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months ago

Robert
I have reread your comment to Mr Cosgrove accusing him of being “very much obsessed with material wealth etc “and contrasting it to your own “spiritual mindness ”., along with associating yourself in this regard with Dorothy Day,Thomas Merton etc. Something about your content and tone rang a bell.....See Luke 18:9-14

Michael Bindner
5 months 1 week ago

70 years ago. Likely before you were born.

Chuck Kotlarz
5 months 1 week ago

Mr. Meisenzhal, you question “…the competence (of) the Church’s leaders to propose and promulgate economic and political policies…” I question the competence of Republican presidents to propose and promulgate economic and political policies. Aside from making the rich richer, here are typical results. GDP growth and job creation ran less than half of a Democrat president. Median income grew one percent annually with a Democrat and stagnated with a Republican president.

Link: http://politicsthatwork.com/graphs/democratic-presidents-outperform-republicans-economically

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months 1 week ago

Chuck
Try reading the stats for the last 30 months they represent the immediate past with the 30 months preceding them...as is usual you are cherry picking stats many of which are not even related to each other.
As to your rejoinder on the comparison of the Church involvement vs the Republicans in formulating economic policy, I note with amusement that at least the Republicans were elected whereas many of the Church leaders think they are anointed.

Chuck Kotlarz
5 months 1 week ago

Stuart, sources I typically use had Trump's first 24 months which I compared to Obama's final 24 months. Trump has the edge on annual GDP growth, 2.7% vs. 1.9%. Trump also edged out Obama on debt as a share of GDP with surprisingly no increase vs. almost three percent increase for Obama. Real median household income, however, grew 8% for Obama and about 2% for Trump.

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months ago

Chuck
See New York Times, May 2,2019 , Michael Casselman, “WHY WAGES ARE FINALLY RISING 10 YEARS AFTER THE RECESSION” where he brings the picture more closely up to date. The title of the article speaks for itself

Chuck Kotlarz
5 months ago

Stuart, an outstanding NYT article on wage growth. Now, back to ”… the competence (of) the Church’s leaders to propose and promulgate economic and political policies”. You may recall a late 50’s resident of the Los Gatos Jesuit novice House. Some years later, he became active politically in the world’s ninth largest economy and left office early 2019. Perhaps you have heard of the world’s current fifth largest economy, California.

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months ago

Duplicate

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months ago

Duplicate

Michael Bindner
5 months 1 week ago

Maduro is not the most effective leader and his turning to Modern Monetary Theory shows why its a bad idea. It sunk Weimar and Zimbabwe and still people clamor for it.

What is unconscionable is Trump supporting the counter revolutionary pretender, which is more to blame for the current state of play. Indeed, Trump's idiocy shows why Liberation Theology is justified.

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months 1 week ago

Michael......“Maduro is not the most effective leader....”......Now there you have an an example of gross understatement.!! Are you Damning with faint praise or is it possible you are serious.?
Liberation Theology is well intentioned but in every known instance of its application it has managed to simply install and empower dictators. And it has further impoverished the very people it intended to help. Scan Latin America for its obvious devastation ...Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba are the most obvious examples..
Venezuela had collapsed long before Trump became President

Tim O'Leary
5 months 1 week ago

What extraordinary phraseology "the church dreamed of by the Second Vatican Council." So, Fr. Sosa thinks VCII had a dream for a Church different to the one Jesus founded? Is this the same Fr. Sosa who denied the existence of the devil as the person that Jesus said "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." (Luke 10:18)? The most substantive opposition to Pope Francis is coming from Germany, where Cardinal Marx has just rejected, in an appallingly blunt way, the direction given by Pope Francis for the coming German synod (links follow):
http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/vatican-german-synod-plans-not-ecclesiologically-valid
http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/cardinal-marx-says-german-synod-will-proceed-despite-vatican-objections

JR Cosgrove
5 months 1 week ago

Tim,

Last week on a thread by Fr. Salai I challenged as I often do why anyone should be a Catholic. He did not answer my question but said he could. He then pointed me to an interview of Bishop Sheen by William Buckley. In it Bishop Sheen in 1970 pointed to the coming flowering of the Catholic Church due to Vatican II. One of the most egregiously wrong prophecies in history.

Robert Bruce Lewis
5 months 1 week ago

As Chou En-Lai said to Richard Nixon's question about the French Revolution, "it's too early to say that."

Michael Bindner
5 months 1 week ago

The Register is a wholly owned subsidiary of EWTN, which has become a pet project of the same idiots who brought us the Mad Hatters of the Busch School at CUA. Like I said. Pathetic. They could not put together a schism if they gave everyone reading Church Militant a foil hat to show their strength at Mass.

Tim O'Leary
5 months 1 week ago

Michael - Are you denying the message found in the Register, or just the messenger? Try the CNA or Crux or Boston Pilot. they all have the same message - the greatest danger of a schism is coming from Germany, where the bishops are rushing to match the Lutherans in moral laxity and doctrinal decay.
https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/marx-says-german-synod-will-proceed-despite-vatican-objections-82211
https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2019/09/13/vatican-officials-offer-guidance-for-german-church-gathering/
Or not - you can just keep your blinders on, Mr. Binder.

Dr.Cajetan Coelho
5 months 1 week ago

He is a tough guy. The Holy Father is doing fine. May he be blessed with strength and stamina.

Michael Barberi
5 months 1 week ago

It was always considered a healthy practice for the Catholic Church, local Churches or for theologians to discuss issues, teachings and practices already decided by the Roman Curia, Pope, etc. That is how the Church as the People of God has grown over the centuries under the light of the Holy Spirit.

Many theological experts and bishops of the Catholic Church have respectfully challenged and disagreed with many teachings and practices of the Catholic Church. Today, the issues are different than in previous centuries and during the last two popes. As long as all voices are allowed to be respectful heard can a discussion become contributory by moving the conversation towards a better understanding of truth in accordance with Christ.

Let's be truthful here. Vatican II has not been fully implemented and it is clear that Pope JP II and Benedict XVI slowed this process. Now, Pope Francis's vision for the Catholic Church is being implemented and is consistent with Vatican II. He faces criticism and resistance by many in the Church. However, witness the change in a teaching that Amoris Laetitia and Pope Francis brought forth, namely, creating a pathway for the possibility of divorced and remarried Catholics without an annulment to receive the Eucharist under certain circumstances. Pope Francis himself approved the guidelines of the Argentine Bishops and similar guidelines have been implemented by other diocese throughout the world. This was a huge development and reformation of a previous teaching that was held for centuries.

Donna Zuroweste
5 months 1 week ago

Yes, may the theologians be engaged, as they always have been, for sensus fidelium.

Donna Zuroweste
5 months 1 week ago

Yes, may the theologians be engaged, as they always have been, for sensus fidelium.

Vince Killoran
5 months 1 week ago

Many of these comments support Fr. Sosa's argument, e.g. snark, misrepresentations of Vat. II, right wing conspiracies, charges of secularism and socialism. The problem was that the unfolding of Vat II was short-circuited, first by "Humanae Vitae" and then by JPII's long papacy.

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months 1 week ago

Vince
You comment :” Vatican 11 was short circuited ,first by “Humanae Vitae” and then by JP11’s long papacy””
Yet it is Francis who canonized and raised to Sainthood both Paul VI and JP11...strange how the Holy Spirit works!!!

The problem undermining Father’s Sosa’s argument is that he carries an enormous burden of his own past political and economic meddling in Venezuela wearing the presumed authority of his Roman collar. His guidance and support of Chavez policies has yielded devastating results in his home country of Venezuela.
Both Fr Sosa and Pope Francis have/had the best of intentions in their promotion of the social justice goals of Vatican11. But Fr. Sosa’s sorry history in implementing those goals undermines his defense of Francis. In fact Francis is entitled to a better “defender” than Sosa. Hopefully Francis does not actually have the cozy relationship with Fr Sosa which Sosa brags about.

Vince Killoran
5 months 1 week ago

Actually, Fr. Sosa's role in Venezuela's politics has absolutely nothing to do with his argument. You just thought that you would commit the Red Herring Fallacy. Well done.

As for reminding readers that JPII is a saint you are committing a argumentum ad verecundiam (“argument from respect”). His sainthood status has no bearing on my argument that his pinched view of theological debates was a top-down campaign to water-down Vatican II's celebration of the Church as "the People of God." He exulted the "Heroic Priesthood."

Donna Zuroweste
5 months 1 week ago

Verily. Saints are not perfect. JPII is a perfect example, in many regards.

Michael Bindner
5 months 1 week ago

St. John Paul was canon sized for person sanctity, as was Pius X. They were both disasters for the life of the Church. Unless, of course, sainthood is really about politics.

Robert Bruce Lewis
5 months 1 week ago

You are not the first to notice that these so-called "conservatives" cannot make an argument without employing logical fallacies; they've got almost everything, from "red herring" to "slippery slope" to "argument from respect"--almost everything we teach students to avoid in philosophy classes.

JR Cosgrove
5 months 1 week ago

Are you projecting?

Vince Killoran
5 months 1 week ago

Wonderful! You've just committed a combo ad hominem and red herring fallacy (a "fallacy of distraction").

JR Cosgrove
5 months 1 week ago

Neither an ad hominem nor a red herring! It was an ironic comment at someone who often does what he objects to. Is your reply then, a distraction?

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months 1 week ago

Vince
The Sosa argument is made in support of Francis's IMPLEMENTATION of Vatican 11 “social justice dictates”..
Sosa is clear that such implementation necessarily involves the Church engaging in supporting economic and political activities. It is no “red herring” to point out that all such prior implementations were in the form of Liberation Theology as was promoted by Sosa in Venezuela..
Father Sosa’ “ role in Venezuelan politics” the has everything to do with his defense of Francis
As for your objection to my reference to “Saint” John Paul 11 .....I might remind you that it was Francis himself who SIMULTANEOUSLY canonized St John23 AND St JP11 ......the former famously threw open the windows of the Church and created Vatican11 and the latter shuttered the Church from some of what he viewed as errant “winds” that then blew in.
(To use your terminology)..., because John 23 represents the “Church as the People Of God” and JP11 represents an emphasis on “The heroic Priesthood”, it does not follow that there is either contradiction or a watering down of Vatican 11. .....unless of course you are simply expressing your view that Vatican 11 did not go far enough.

Michael Barberi
5 months 1 week ago

Vince,
You are completely correct that Vat II was short circuited by Humanae Vitae and JP II's papacy. There is a long history of this and the fact that JP II was raised to sainthood does not change the facts. No one that studied moral theology, or theology in general for that matter, and knowns the history of this stuff would say that the Church should follow everything that other saints said like St. Thomas Aquinas (e.g., and his demeaning writings about women) or St Augustine (e.g., he would have never supported natural family planning).

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months 1 week ago

Michael
The point was not that JP11 was made a “Saint “ by Francis...the point is that Francis made a Saint Of John 23 at the same time! You tell me what Francis was saying with those extraordinary simultaneous elevations .
While you are at it ... note the the Paul Vi canonization with Oscar Romero!
So many divergences (in Popes no less) which apparently Francis himself did not find contradictory. Sosa himself credits Francis with “sending a message in his choice of Cardinals” ......yet you think he had no message in his choice of Saints.
The basic concept that Vat11 was short circuited by HV and JP11 Is a simple expression of your personal disappointment that what you “hoped would be” has not occurred to date . Strange how the Holy Spirit works! I would not be surprised ( nor disappointed) in the slightest if your now dashed hopes do in fact materialize

Michael Barberi
5 months 1 week ago

Stuart,
My point about a saint remains and is both consistent with the comment I was replying to. I have no disagreement with your additional comment about other people being canonized saints. The controverisal canonization process is not worth further comments.
I do disagree with your comment regarding the fact that HV and JPII short circuited Vat II. I know Vat II history and have extensively studied JP II and HV. As your know (or not) I am a published author on HV and JP II in a prestigious journal of Catholic Theology. Your comments"hoped would be" and "dashed hopes" are redicuous. Likewise, I may be disappointed about the fact the Vat II has not been fully implemented or short-circuited, but this does not move me to be biased, exaggerated or incorrect in my comments. In truth, you have a misunderstanding about the influence of HV and JPII on post Vat II interpretation and implementation . I am not going to debate or educate you on this point.

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months 1 week ago

Michael
I am aware of your credentials and have read some of your work and that of others tracing what you hold to be the historical antecedents for the sound basis for the Vatican 11 conclusions regarding marriage, sexual relations, and the family. To that limited extent you have already educated me
I certainly do not suggest you are biased but I ask you:
Based on your studies and background do you think Vatican 11 went far enough or should it have tackled the issue of “infallibility” and explained its view of the import of Papal Encyclicals as directives to the faithful?
As to you characterization of the “ controversial canonization process” , I note that the selection of Cardinals easily falls into the same category . But you evade the point: Sosa said Francis selection of Cardinals was “sending a message”. All well and good but then what was/is Francis message in his selection of those to be called “Saints” ....and in particular John 23 and JP11 on the same day?

Michael Barberi
5 months 1 week ago

Stuart,
I do not know the message Pope Francis is trying to send with his selection of 'Saints'. I believe such things are in part highly political. I also believe that those canonized by Francis are all good and holy popes who were trying to do the right thing. However, Paul VI was pressured by his close advisors not to go against past popes and tradition and embrace the Minority Report. However, Cardinal Wojtyla offered him a different justification than the Minority Report so he went against the recommendations of the Birth Control Commission. Cardinal Wojtyla as Pope JP II was a very conservative on sexual ethics (some would say extremely so), but a moderate liberal on social issues.

A person considered for sainthood is not defined by any one issue, but his entire life. I disagree with most of the sexual ethical teachings of JP II, and his iron-fist approach of enforcing his vision for the Church and for the strict adherence to every moral teaching he expected from his bishops. I think he was a sincere man, but highly influenced by the erroneous theories and misinformation of his closest advisor (as my published essay discussed).

I think most of your commentaries are always excellent and you contribute to the debate on many issues. As for whether Vat II went far enough regarding marriage and sexual relations, many things were vague and reasonable interpretations were easily ignored and re-interpreted by JP II and Benedict XVI. I think the history of this council demonstrates that a minority of bishops were dead set against the majority conclusions and thwarted its interpretation and implementation. JP II did nothing to implement collegiality and subsidiarity. He restricted the authority of Conferences of Bishops and subjected all communications to the diocese to the approval of Rome. In other words, Rome made all major decisions and held big brother power over the bishops.

As for Papal Encyclicals, they should be respected but not used as a litmus test for one's faithfulness. HV and VS are two that are considered highly controversial by many moral theological scholars and based on a moral theory that is not convincing.

I hope we are on the same page.

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months 1 week ago

Michael
We are on the same page indeed...just emphasizing different paragraphs on that page. I certainly agree with your factual history of HV but is that the Holy Spirit in action?
My bottom line question/problem is that in a world of faith is there a final authority who decides which “paragraph” is definitive? I am a product of the rebellious acceptance of Thomistic Theology in the 60s. But one thing has stuck .....the obligation to use both reason AND faith.. .....the usual problem is where one stops and the other takes over or must take over.

Michael Barberi
5 months 1 week ago

Stuart,
If I recall Thomistic Theology, the final authority of any moral decision is your 'informed conscience'. An informed conscience is a process of 'faith and reason'. Faith is a prerequisite for reason and both are sources of authority in making moral decisions. By informed conscience, I don't mean that one should do anything that one thinks or wants to do. That is not what a informed conscience is all about.

I follow a process of educating myself thoroughly about the issue at hand, understand both sides of the argument or teaching, seek spiritual and moral guidance by experts, pray over my decisions, then make a decision. If that decision is in tension with a teaching of the Church, I always make it subject to further education, prayer and guidance. Most times my moral decisions remain unchanged, and sometimes I modify them. I do believe that many moral teachings of the magisterium should be developed and reformed. Many moral teachings of the Church has changed. So, while the truth never changes, our understanding of truth does change as we grow in our knowledge of Scripture, the Sciences, Theology, Philosophy, et al.

I hope this helps. God bless you.

J Rabaza
5 months 1 week ago

AMDG

Robert Lewis
5 months ago

Many, if not most, of the changes made by Vatican II are unrecognized or played down by so-called "conservatives". I reckon that many of the latter aren't even aware of how radical those changes in theological emphasis are, because they have never, until very recently, been much advertised or celebrated. Have you ever heard a sermon on "implied faith," which is now "dogma." With it, there is no question that, for instance, Mahatma Gandhi might be "in heaven." Have you ever heard a sermon on the continuing viability of the "First Covenant" with the Jews? It certainly does change some, at least, of the meaning of "No one comes to the Father but by me." There are still many implications of the Second Vatican Council that have not been fully developed.

Tim O'Leary
5 months 1 week ago

Vince - your drive-by hit on Humanae Vitae is a key misrepresentation of Vatican Council II. There is nothing, absolutely nothing in any approved document of VCII that lends credence to the idea they opposed each other. This is in itself a made-up conspiracy. Pope Francis is as much a proponent of HV as JPII or BXVI. Humanae Vitae is a prophetical document in many ways, most especially in predicting that proponents of HV at the time would logically move further and further away from the Holy Scriptures over time. Some naive proponents might have thought that they were only calling for contraception for married couples experiencing hard times. Most of those very same people moved from married to divorced to unmarried, from contraception to abortion, from traditional marriage to gay marriage, from a temporal separation of the unitive from the procreative, to a complete severing of the two components. The secular world is slowly coming to realize that a profound demographic decline is facing the world, especially those who have embraced the contraceptive mentality to its core. Some links follow:
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/review-essay/2019-08-12/population-bust
https://www.hoover.org/research/coming-demographic-crisis
https://www.axios.com/population-growth-shrinking-map-adaa01c7-1bb4-44b2-a877-ec75015bd127.html
https://www.aei.org/publication/great-demographics-great-power/

Vince Killoran
5 months 1 week ago

A "drive by hit" on HV? Not really. I cited it as one of the two main reasons for failure to realize Vatican II's promise. You are correct that there was nothing in the approved documents about contraception since conservatives decided to take the issue of contraception off the table for the Council and convinced the pope to establish a separate commission to discuss contraception. This commission consisted of six people; four of them laymen. After Pope John XXIII died, the commission was continued by his successor, Pope Paul, who expanded it to 13 members and later 58, including five married women as part of its contingent of 34 lay members. As we know, P. Paul latched onto the minority report which supported a contraception ban. (Until recently, JPII's support at the time for the minority report was not known!).

HV thwarted Vat. II inasmuch as it belittled the role of the laity and the promise to engage with the World. It gave rise to deep cynicism that a pastoral approach to the Faith was ephemeral.

As for the various links you provided, I'll confess that I don't have the time to read the material contained on all four sources. I looked at a couple of them. I would argue that, with our environmental crisis, the World is well & truly overpopulated.

Tim O'Leary
5 months 1 week ago

Vince - the number of links was to show the diversity of places the impending demographic decline is being worried about. You and I will likely observe the actual effects from a higher place, along with a most likely milder change in the climate. The Magisterium worked right through VCII, as it always does, in preventing loss of any part of the deposit of the faith. The idea that the laity could change doctrine is itself not-Catholic. VCII was never about that, and is also not in any VCII document. For good or ill (I say good), it is not the way Catholicism works. The Holy Spirit won’t permit it.

Tim O'Leary
5 months 1 week ago

Vince - some might imagine a church where contraception is permitted, along with divorce, gay marriage, trans surgery, women priests, no priests, abortion for difficult situations (or any reason), in vitro fertilization, sterilization, euthanasia and majority rule. But, that is already here. It is the Episcopalian church, and never the Catholic Church. The Holy Spirit won’t permit it.

Michael Barberi
5 months 1 week ago

Vince,
While the issue of contraception or birth control was removed from a decision in the Vat II council, it was, as you said, moved to an independent and separtate Pontifical Commission. Most Catholics as well as bishops and theologians were expecting a change in Church teachings on contraception. However, as we all know this did not happen despite the fact that 75% of commission members and 75% of the steering committee of bishops voted for a change. Another fact that was recently revealed by an investigation of Vatican archives, uncovered that Pope Paul VI requested all worldwide bishops for their opinion following the commission report. Of those bishops that sent a reply, 70% voted for a change.
It is clear that HV returned the Church to the pre-conciliar mentality which indirectly short-circuited Vat II implementation. JP II did not agree with the majority interpretation and implementation of Vat II, and impeded its implementation. Pope Francis, in many ways, has a very different vision for our Church and Vat II than JP II. Of course, JP II has his apologists and defenders. On the other hand, I try to be factual. You can decide if my brief comments are convincing or not.

THOMAS E BRANDLIN, MNA
5 months 1 week ago

Utter nonsense: The Pope is criticized, not attacked, by bishops like Archbishop Vigano; people like me, and Cardinals such as Cardinal Burke because he, the Pope, is making unclear theological statements that have to be corrected immediately by his spokesperson. These statements confuse the faithful. Further, he is allowing his favorites to get away with high-crimes, e.g. McCarrick and so many more.

Michael Bindner
5 months 1 week ago

McCarrick was a St. John Paul problem. Spit out the Kool-Aid. Burke was summoned to Rome because he was tormenting sedition and it was making the Church look bad. As for Amoris, Francis did not force this on anyone. 80% of the Synod spoke on this issue, which reflected decades of pastoral practice of blessing irregular marriages.

Veritatis Splendor was a pathetic piece of counter revolution that hardened back to the hysteria of Popes Pius IX and X over Darwin and Modernity. The idea that Adam and Eve were myths in an allegory that had nothing to do with salvation was more than they could cope with. Many still can't. If they could, we would be ordaining women and recognizing the colossal failure sexual morality made by asexuals who believed they were within the norm of human sexuality, or worse, defined it.

Uncle Ted was not a predatory homosexual. He was a pathetic asexual whose development was stunted by pietousness. Tragic, not sinister. As pathetic as the Mad Hatters at EWTN, NCR and the Knights, who have been ruined by Anderson's politics.

Tim O'Leary
5 months 1 week ago

Michael - Uncle Ted was a predator of teenager and young adult men - so it was definitely a same-sex predation. It is illogical to hide behind a term asexual. No one would ever say that heterosexual rapists were asexual. You also forget how AL is mostly non-controversial. It was only a couple of paragraphs, and a footnote, that was inserted without synodal discussion, that has been controversial. Veritatis Spendor is a marvelous elaboration of objective truth and reason and logic. Your derision of it says much more about you than it.

Michael Barberi
5 months 1 week ago

Mr. Brandlin,
We live in a divided Church and in a crisis in truth. For the past 50 years theologians have debated and respectfully disagreed with many teachings on sexual ethics. This continues today. Some of Pope Francis' theological statements may be unclear but they do not have to be corrected but explained. Nor does Pope Francis's Amoris Laetitia inordinately confuse the faithful as most informed Catholics already have made up their minds about controversial teachings. This issue deserves a separate and lengthy commentary and is not suited to this short reply. Lastly, JP II made McCarrick a Cardinal when his Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S. and many other bishops knew about his long history of sexual abuse. So far we have heard 'nothing' about why and how this happened from the Synod on Sexual Abuse or the USCCB.

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