I'm Starting to Like This Pope

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Post by tuttle » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:49 pm

UncleBob wrote:
Eric wrote:I saw what tuttle saw, but didn't post on it as I wasn't sure about Francis's point. On the face of it, Francis sounds incorrect even with respect to Catholic theology alone.

"everyone should follow the good that they have conceived" this is already the state of the World.
I think that many Christians are more concerned that the Pope "gets the doctrine right" than how he is engaging people. He is trying to help people heal, he is actually listening to them--my God! He is actually in a conversationwith the world rather than just declaring how the world needs to conform. I can understand how that may make the fundamentalists nervous but this approach is better for both the RCC and the world.
I get it. I'm down with conversations, a pastoral sensitivity towards unbelievers who've been burned by the bigots. However, why must the only world-approved conversations flirt with untruth?

Had the Pope responded in a way which made the truth of the situation clearer, 1) he wouldn't be getting the headlines of confusion that announce the Pope is a gay-lovin, athiest-embracin', fundamentalist-hatin', revolutionary and 2) a clear portrayal of such truth (if it grabbed any headlines at all) would likely be equated with Fred Phelps.

Again, I'm all for a fresh breeze of God's grace to blow through a world disenchanted with the idea of Christ and the church. I am for the Pope and those who stretch a hand out in the attempt. But one who is sent by Christ cannot be simply harmless as a dove and never wear the battle gear of wisdom that ought be wielded like a serpent.

When the pope says 'everyone must choose the good and fight the evil. That would make the world a better place' the world shrugs and moves on.

If the pope defines 'good' and 'evil' with words like 'God' and 'sinful man' the world rages.

If the pope defines 'good' and 'evil' with phrases like 'his own idea' and 'as he conceives them' the world stands up and applauds.
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Post by Eric » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:58 pm

TNLawPiper wrote:Tuttle and Eric, I wonder what you both think about the rest of the interview.
Its a very respectful dialogue with a non-believer. I didn't pour over it and analyze every word, but it seems a respectful dialogue and Francis tactfully expresses his faith without being grating or condescending.


It does strike me though:
Your Holiness, you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that's one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope.
"And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place."
I didn't think that Roman Catholics believed the conscience is autonomous, [never lead by the Holy Spirit] nor that everyone should "choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them."

From http://www.catholic.org/clife/lent/story.php?id=32921
The Holy Spirit speaks to a person through his conscience, indicating what is right and wrong, and helps him to make the decisions that correspond to the will of God, says the Papal Household preacher.

Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa explained in his third Lenten meditation that on reading the Scriptures we can discover how the Holy Spirit guides believers in a twofold manner: on one hand, through their conscience ...

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Post by UncleBob » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:24 pm

tuttle wrote:
UncleBob wrote:
Eric wrote:I saw what tuttle saw, but didn't post on it as I wasn't sure about Francis's point. On the face of it, Francis sounds incorrect even with respect to Catholic theology alone.

"everyone should follow the good that they have conceived" this is already the state of the World.
I think that many Christians are more concerned that the Pope "gets the doctrine right" than how he is engaging people. He is trying to help people heal, he is actually listening to them--my God! He is actually in a conversationwith the world rather than just declaring how the world needs to conform. I can understand how that may make the fundamentalists nervous but this approach is better for both the RCC and the world.
I get it. I'm down with conversations, a pastoral sensitivity towards unbelievers who've been burned by the bigots. However, why must the only world-approved conversations flirt with untruth?

Had the Pope responded in a way which made the truth of the situation clearer, 1) he wouldn't be getting the headlines of confusion that announce the Pope is a gay-lovin, athiest-embracin', fundamentalist-hatin', revolutionary and 2) a clear portrayal of such truth (if it grabbed any headlines at all) would likely be equated with Fred Phelps.

Again, I'm all for a fresh breeze of God's grace to blow through a world disenchanted with the idea of Christ and the church. I am for the Pope and those who stretch a hand out in the attempt. But one who is sent by Christ cannot be simply harmless as a dove and never wear the battle gear of wisdom that ought be wielded like a serpent.

When the pope says 'everyone must choose the good and fight the evil. That would make the world a better place' the world shrugs and moves on.

If the pope defines 'good' and 'evil' with words like 'God' and 'sinful man' the world rages.

If the pope defines 'good' and 'evil' with phrases like 'his own idea' and 'as he conceives them' the world stands up and applauds.
Maybe this isn't as big of deal to me because I study technical communication and rhetoric. In order to communicate, there are some dynamics going on that are contingent to the audience. For instance:

The Audience is the world. What kind of credibility does the RCC or the Pope have with that audience? All they hear is "Thou shalt not!" and "You are going to hell!" Is there anyone in The West that has not heard some form of this? Now, many churches are focusing on each other's members because it gets better results. To those who are in the world, they have had it with being preached at and told they are hellbound. They have stopped listening to that. Add to it the past institutional cover-ups of the sex abuse scandal and that's that. You can simply dismiss the RCC as corrupt and narrow-minded.

Now you can say that's on them. They need to listen because the Pope knows best. Just ask yourself this: How's that work with your kids? Some kids just want to please and obey and most others don't. So that approach will get you a few converts, and you could call them "the chosen" and "to hell with the rest." Or you could employ some basic rhetoric and get the rest to at least listen to you.

For instance, look at how the Pope uses "good" in that interview, or at least that quote. He doesn't define it because he wants the audience to supply the meaning. This is basic rhetoric. In our CPS threads, people often want definitions not to better understand but to better disagree.Using terms like "good" and "evil" is an enthymematic approach to engage the audience. Militants are unlikely to change, so when the hear "good" and think "car bomb" only other militants (and people actively looking to disagree) think this is a reasonable conclusion. Most people, even secular people, hear "good" and equate with it things like "help the poor" or "be nice to each other". This is an important shift from "He's judging me."
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Post by Irish-Dane » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:28 pm

UncleBob wrote:Most people, even secular people, hear "good" and equate with it things like "help the poor" or "be nice to each other". This is an important shift from "He's judging me."
Nothing to add, I just thought this was well said and wanted to repost it for those that skim comments for the highlights.
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Post by TNLawPiper » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:49 pm

I like your thoughts, Bob's Your Uncle. I don't know exactly what Pope Francis is getting at, but I tend to agree with you.

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Post by tuttle » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:57 pm

UncleBob wrote:
tuttle wrote:
UncleBob wrote:
Eric wrote:I saw what tuttle saw, but didn't post on it as I wasn't sure about Francis's point. On the face of it, Francis sounds incorrect even with respect to Catholic theology alone.

"everyone should follow the good that they have conceived" this is already the state of the World.
I think that many Christians are more concerned that the Pope "gets the doctrine right" than how he is engaging people. He is trying to help people heal, he is actually listening to them--my God! He is actually in a conversationwith the world rather than just declaring how the world needs to conform. I can understand how that may make the fundamentalists nervous but this approach is better for both the RCC and the world.
I get it. I'm down with conversations, a pastoral sensitivity towards unbelievers who've been burned by the bigots. However, why must the only world-approved conversations flirt with untruth?

Had the Pope responded in a way which made the truth of the situation clearer, 1) he wouldn't be getting the headlines of confusion that announce the Pope is a gay-lovin, athiest-embracin', fundamentalist-hatin', revolutionary and 2) a clear portrayal of such truth (if it grabbed any headlines at all) would likely be equated with Fred Phelps.

Again, I'm all for a fresh breeze of God's grace to blow through a world disenchanted with the idea of Christ and the church. I am for the Pope and those who stretch a hand out in the attempt. But one who is sent by Christ cannot be simply harmless as a dove and never wear the battle gear of wisdom that ought be wielded like a serpent.

When the pope says 'everyone must choose the good and fight the evil. That would make the world a better place' the world shrugs and moves on.

If the pope defines 'good' and 'evil' with words like 'God' and 'sinful man' the world rages.

If the pope defines 'good' and 'evil' with phrases like 'his own idea' and 'as he conceives them' the world stands up and applauds.
Maybe this isn't as big of deal to me because I study technical communication and rhetoric. In order to communicate, there are some dynamics going on that are contingent to the audience. For instance:

The Audience is the world. What kind of credibility does the RCC or the Pope have with that audience? All they hear is "Thou shalt not!" and "You are going to hell!" Is there anyone in The West that has not heard some form of this? Now, many churches are focusing on each other's members because it gets better results. To those who are in the world, they have had it with being preached at and told they are hellbound. They have stopped listening to that. Add to it the past institutional cover-ups of the sex abuse scandal and that's that. You can simply dismiss the RCC as corrupt and narrow-minded.

Now you can say that's on them. They need to listen because the Pope knows best. Just ask yourself this: How's that work with your kids? Some kids just want to please and obey and most others don't. So that approach will get you a few converts, and you could call them "the chosen" and "to hell with the rest." Or you could employ some basic rhetoric and get the rest to at least listen to you.

For instance, look at how the Pope uses "good" in that interview, or at least that quote. He doesn't define it because he wants the audience to supply the meaning. This is basic rhetoric. In our CPS threads, people often want definitions not to better understand but to better disagree.Using terms like "good" and "evil" is an enthymematic approach to engage the audience. Militants are unlikely to change, so when the hear "good" and think "car bomb" only other militants (and people actively looking to disagree) think this is a reasonable conclusion. Most people, even secular people, hear "good" and equate with it things like "help the poor" or "be nice to each other". This is an important shift from "He's judging me."
But the issue I have isn't that the Pope didn't define good and evil. The issue is that he did define it, and in a way in which the World has always defined it, and which the church has not. Namely, you define what is good and evil, whatever that may be to each individual, and then act upon it, and presto, the world would be a better place. This is the kind of language the church has always had to struggle against, not embrace.

If the pope is looking to have a conversation with unbelievers (whom he has already confused with his conversational language and the Vatican and every thinking Catholic has had to clarify what he 'really meant') then why say such things? Why open a door that you know you will have to shut down the line?

Just because people have been burned by judgmentalism in the church doesn't mean we should go to the other extreme by removing all sharp edges, introducing confusing language, with some type of deception.

And lastly, I get that most people, even secular people, hear "good" and equate with it things like "help the poor". But most people, even secular people, hear 'his own idea of good' and 'good as he conceives it' and equate it with things like "anything I want to do or happen to like is good". Now instead of feeling judged as he goes to hell, he feels rather swell about himself.
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Post by Eric » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:59 pm

UncleBob wrote:Most people, even secular people, hear "good" and equate with it things like "help the poor" or "be nice to each other". This is an important shift from "He's judging me."
A new more squeezably soft vatican with a fresh scent! :wink:

I get it. I do. I just don't think it will get anyone anywhere in the end. His current approach is novel for now and I can't prove what's going to happen in the future, so I'll wait and see.

In the meantime I think he can do better. I believe Francis can more clearly articulate core beliefs while still reaching out to non-believers in friendship.

To that end, I will be offering my services to the pope for six dollars.

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Post by wosbald » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:48 pm

+JMJ+
Some people here seem to be suggesting that the Catholic Church should impose unity (a polemical stance). Others seem to suggest that the Catholic Church should seek unity (an irenical stance). These are but temporal concerns.

What is being lost in the shuffle is that the Catholic Church <i>is</i> Unity. We are the Way and the Truth and the Life. Join us and superadd to Our Unity.




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Post by Cleon » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:49 pm

wosbald wrote:+JMJ+
Some people here seem to be suggesting that the Catholic Church should impose unity (a polemical stance). Others seem to suggest that the Catholic Church should seek unity (an irenical stance). These are but temporal concerns.

What is being lost in the shuffle is that the Catholic Church <i>is</i> Unity. We are the Way and the Truth and the Life. Join us and superadd to Our Unity.
Yeah, but what do think of the new Pope?
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Post by Eric » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:58 pm

wosbald wrote:+JMJ+
Some people here seem to be suggesting that the Catholic Church should impose unity (a polemical stance). Others seem to suggest that the Catholic Church should seek unity (an irenical stance). These are but temporal concerns.

What is being lost in the shuffle is that the Catholic Church <i>is</i> Unity. We are the Way and the Truth and the Life. Join us and superadd to Our Unity.
I was wonder'n when you'd weigh in on this!? I thought I was starting to sound a lot like you.

I thought you'd more clearly express the core desire if you used 'megaAdd' rather than 'superadd', but I'm not going to start a new thread on it or anything. :wink:

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Post by Rusty » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:24 pm

tuttle wrote:If the pope is looking to have a conversation with unbelievers (whom he has already confused with his conversational language and the Vatican and every thinking Catholic has had to clarify what he 'really meant') then why say such things? Why open a door that you know you will have to shut down the line?
Interesting. But as usual it has a curious polarity.

The polls tell us folks are leaving Catholicism, and leaving Christianity too, in the west. Social Policies & SCOTUS rulings, etc are the opposite of church's views. And this has been going on for decades at least. The demographics tell us the young & the next generations will be less religious than adults today. It's not just in the US either. This is a trend that should alarm anyone who thinks the church should continue to be relevant and able to minister to the world.

Plus there is a small industry composed of those that oppose, debate, and, criticize Christianity, God, etc as a myth that surely we've outgrown.

In the middle of London England in 2009 there was a debate about the proposition: "The Catholic Church is a force for good in the world". The votes before and after the debate were as follows:

............... Before........ After
For: .......... 678 ......... 268
Against:.... 1102 ........1876
Undecided.. 346 ...........34

Those are landslide numbers. Perhaps London England isn't really neutral ground but these are supposed to be thinking people. Who else attends an intellectual debate? Even so most have little understanding of Catholic doctrine.
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The pope shouldn't be as worried about a door closing as a door never opening on the secular side. That's a bigger worry. A much bigger worry. What do you think is the likelihood that it won't change the trends at all?

After all the bad press the Catholic church has encountered it's as if a cold war is in progress. Plain talk is the way dialogue starts after a cold war. It's not about doctrine. The pope is engaging in plain talk.

I'm wondering when he is going to have a garage sale in front of St. Peters just to be friendly? In any case the informal talk will likely go on for quite a while so get used to it.
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Post by Del » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:00 pm

A couple of points here, Rusty:

1) The Catholic Church has been shrinking, losing, under attack, dying, declared dead, and ruled irrelevant -- every single day for the last 500 years. That's why there are only a billion of us left, about 1/6th of the world's population.

2) The prophecy recorded in our Sacred Scripture tells us that there will be a "great apostasy" just before the end, and a terrible persecution of the remnant of faithful Christians. So, while we regret the loss of every single person, we know what it means when it starts happening fast (as it has in recent centuries).
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Post by GiantNinja » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:15 pm

The sarcasm isn't helpful.

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Post by Rusty » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:06 pm

Del wrote:A couple of points here, Rusty:

1) The Catholic Church has been shrinking, losing, under attack, dying, declared dead, and ruled irrelevant -- every single day for the last 500 years. That's why there are only a billion of us left, about 1/6th of the world's population.

2) The prophecy recorded in our Sacred Scripture tells us that there will be a "great apostasy" just before the end, and a terrible persecution of the remnant of faithful Christians. So, while we regret the loss of every single person, we know what it means when it starts happening fast (as it has in recent centuries).
Of course you must be right. And the Pope is just indulging a folksy quality that he has. West Del, western world. There is a reason that the social policy is going the way it is. I think your denial is much easier to read than your polemics.

Uhmmm about your point 2)... it turns out that I've been assigned you, Del. Yes, I'm your persecutor. I figured I'd just show up and we'd smoke ourselves to death & maybe solve some Math problems & use up the proceeds of your cellar. Whaddya think? This new fangled secular persecution is pretty cool, eh?
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Post by Roadmaster » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:47 pm

UncleBob wrote: I think that many Christians are more concerned that the Pope "gets the doctrine right" than how he is engaging people. He is trying to help people heal, he is actually listening to them--my God! He is actually in a conversationwith the world rather than just declaring how the world needs to conform. I can understand how that may make the fundamentalists nervous but this approach is better for both the RCC and the world.
Kind of remindes me of the religious leaders of the day finding Jesus lacking.
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Post by Del » Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:48 am

Rusty wrote:
Del wrote:A couple of points here, Rusty:

1) The Catholic Church has been shrinking, losing, under attack, dying, declared dead, and ruled irrelevant -- every single day for the last 500 years. That's why there are only a billion of us left, about 1/6th of the world's population.

2) The prophecy recorded in our Sacred Scripture tells us that there will be a "great apostasy" just before the end, and a terrible persecution of the remnant of faithful Christians. So, while we regret the loss of every single person, we know what it means when it starts happening fast (as it has in recent centuries).
Of course you must be right. And the Pope is just indulging a folksy quality that he has. West Del, western world. There is a reason that the social policy is going the way it is. I think your denial is much easier to read than your polemics.
Did you know that GK Chesterton first coined the terms "Western Culture" and "Western Man"? Cool, eh?


You are not wrong. Catholicism in the West has endured a 40-year span during which we tried to be just like the world wanted us to. That is to say, we were working at being irrelevant. We are watching a young generation wander off because faith was merely habitual to their parents, but not relevant to their lives. So their kids don't waste time with it.

My position not denial, really. I see the same data that you do. But you and I have different interpretations. You are focusing on current numbers: headcounts and the downward slope (first derivative). And in northern Europe, Christianity may become extinct -- the culture of death is huge there, and European culture is at risk of extinction.

But I am focusing on the leading indicators (second derivative), and I am encouraged. I look at the fervor and enthusiasm of the young American Catholics who remain in the Church, and I see a bright future.

We have started to become alive again. We are swimming against the stream again, as only a living thing can. (Dead things can only go with the stream, you see?) We are becoming relevant as we restore being counter-cultural. We are still attractive to the young people who want to make a difference in the future.

Look at the half-million peaceful protesters at the annual March For Life. Most are young Catholics. On many secular college campuses, the Catholic student ministry is the largest student organization -- and they are vibrant and growing.

I fully expect the trend to turn around.

And maybe even in Europe! -- A group of young people from Austria spent the summer training with Cigarson and the other FOCUS missionaries. They intend to copy this successful program and launch it in Europe. It will be fun to see Europe following America into a religious revival.
Rusty wrote:Uhmmm about your point 2)... it turns out that I've been assigned you, Del. Yes, I'm your persecutor. I figured I'd just show up and we'd smoke ourselves to death & maybe solve some Math problems & use up the proceeds of your cellar. Whaddya think? This new fangled secular persecution is pretty cool, eh?
Sounds like I've being sentenced to the Comfy Chair by the Spanish Inquisition!
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Post by Eric » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:41 am

Del wrote:
Rusty wrote:Uhmmm about your point 2)... it turns out that I've been assigned you, Del. Yes, I'm your persecutor. I figured I'd just show up and we'd smoke ourselves to death & maybe solve some Math problems & use up the proceeds of your cellar. Whaddya think? This new fangled secular persecution is pretty cool, eh?
Sounds like I've being sentenced to the Comfy Chair by the Spanish Inquisition!
Oh No! Not the comfy chair!

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Post by Del » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:16 am

Image
"Utter frogshit from start to finish." - Onyx

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." - Eph 4

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by AFRS » Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:19 pm

UncleBob wrote:I'm Starting to Like This Pope
Would you and the Pope like to get a room? <redacted_emoji>

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Post by Kerdy » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:14 pm

Del wrote:Image
:lol:
Being true is what makes this so funny.
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