I'm Starting to Like This Pope

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wosbald
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:07 am

+JMJ+

‘Every man for himself’ is not a solution to pandemic, pope says
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Closed restaurants are seen in a mall after the government shut down all the shopping centers in the country due to the coronavirus disease outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand, March 23, 2020. As more and more countries start to feel the economic pinch due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis urged business leaders to seek solutions that will not hurt employees and their families. (Credit: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters via CNS)

ROME — As more and more countries start to feel the economic pinch due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis urged business leaders to seek solutions that will not hurt employees and their families.

“Each (country) must find concrete solutions depending on their situation, but of course, ‘every man for himself,’ is not a solution,” the pope said in an interview via Skype that aired in Spain March 22. “A business that lays off employees to save itself is not a solution. In this moment, instead of laying off, we must welcome and make everyone feel that there is a society of solidarity.”

[…]

He was also asked if he was an “optimist” when it came to how the world would be after the current crisis is over.

“I don’t like that word because optimism sounds to me like makeup,” something false and superficial, he said. “I have hope in humanity, in men and women, and I have hope in the people. I have a lot of hope (in) the people who will take lessons from this crisis to rethink their lives. We are going to come out better, although there will be fewer of us, of course. Many will remain on the path and it is hard. But I have faith we will come out of this better.”

[…]

When asked what he would tell men, women and families who live in fear due to the pandemic, the pope said that “the last thing I would do is tell them something.”

“What I try to do is make them feel that I am close to them. Today, the language of gestures is more important than words. Of course, something should be said, but it is the gesture of sending them a greeting” that is most important, he said.

The current pandemic, Pope Francis added, has also revealed the plight of the less fortunate, which is a tragedy “that is concealed from societies.”

“A couple of days ago, a police officer — with good intentions — told a man, ‘Sir, please go home, you can’t be out here in the street.’ And this man told him, ‘I don’t have a home. I live on the street,’” the pope recalled.

“We must start to be close to those people who we only know as a concept: The homeless, those who are taken advantage of, the sad world of exploited women which is all a business. And this brings us close to those people who, in a way, have very little hope because they don’t have anywhere to lean on. It’s very sad but at the same time, we start to realize that these people exist,” he said.

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by hugodrax » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:20 am

wosbald wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:07 am
+JMJ+

‘Every man for himself’ is not a solution to pandemic, pope says
Image
Closed restaurants are seen in a mall after the government shut down all the shopping centers in the country due to the coronavirus disease outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand, March 23, 2020. As more and more countries start to feel the economic pinch due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis urged business leaders to seek solutions that will not hurt employees and their families. (Credit: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters via CNS)

ROME — As more and more countries start to feel the economic pinch due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis urged business leaders to seek solutions that will not hurt employees and their families.

“Each (country) must find concrete solutions depending on their situation, but of course, ‘every man for himself,’ is not a solution,” the pope said in an interview via Skype that aired in Spain March 22. “A business that lays off employees to save itself is not a solution. In this moment, instead of laying off, we must welcome and make everyone feel that there is a society of solidarity.”

[…]

He was also asked if he was an “optimist” when it came to how the world would be after the current crisis is over.

“I don’t like that word because optimism sounds to me like makeup,” something false and superficial, he said. “I have hope in humanity, in men and women, and I have hope in the people. I have a lot of hope (in) the people who will take lessons from this crisis to rethink their lives. We are going to come out better, although there will be fewer of us, of course. Many will remain on the path and it is hard. But I have faith we will come out of this better.”

[…]

When asked what he would tell men, women and families who live in fear due to the pandemic, the pope said that “the last thing I would do is tell them something.”

“What I try to do is make them feel that I am close to them. Today, the language of gestures is more important than words. Of course, something should be said, but it is the gesture of sending them a greeting” that is most important, he said.

The current pandemic, Pope Francis added, has also revealed the plight of the less fortunate, which is a tragedy “that is concealed from societies.”

“A couple of days ago, a police officer — with good intentions — told a man, ‘Sir, please go home, you can’t be out here in the street.’ And this man told him, ‘I don’t have a home. I live on the street,’” the pope recalled.

“We must start to be close to those people who we only know as a concept: The homeless, those who are taken advantage of, the sad world of exploited women which is all a business. And this brings us close to those people who, in a way, have very little hope because they don’t have anywhere to lean on. It’s very sad but at the same time, we start to realize that these people exist,” he said.
I agree. Get out there and Pope, Pope. No sitting behind closed doors, not interacting with the people. Go Pope. Help somebody rather than cower in fear, you Argentinian Commie. :lol:
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:58 pm

+JMJ+

Catholic leaders praise Colorado's repeal of death penalty
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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is seen in this 2018 file photo. He signed a death penalty repeal bill March 23, 2020, to abolish capital punishment. (CNS/Reuters/Evan Semon)

Washington — Catholic leaders praised Colorado Gov. Jared Polis for signing a death penalty repeal bill into law March 23, making Colorado the 22nd state to abolish the death penalty.

He also commuted the sentences of the state's three death-row inmates to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

"We thank Gov. Jared Polis for signing this historic piece of legislation, and we commend the many state senators and representatives who worked hard to make this important change to our state law," the Colorado Catholic Conference said in a March 23 statement.

The conference, the public policy arm of the state's Catholic bishops, said that for many years it has supported efforts to repeal the death penalty and it was "grateful for the determination and commitment it took for the state legislature to pass this bill."

Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, executive director of Catholic Mobilizing Network, the national Catholic organization working to end the death penalty said the state's action was a "critical step toward respecting the dignity of human life."

[…]

Sr. Helen Prejean, a Sister of St. Joseph of Medaille and a longtime opponent of the death penalty, thanked the Colorado governor for his action in a March 23 tweet and added: "Alleluia! I'm celebrating the citizen activists of Colorado who, with stellar collaboration from the legal, law enforcement, education, and faith communities, steadily changed hearts and minds to arrive at this life-affirming day."

Colorado's Catholic bishops also praised the House for passing the death penalty repeal bill on Feb. 26 and included in their statement the words of Denver Auxiliary Bishop Jorge H. Rodriguez, who testified in support of the repeal bill before both the Senate and House Judiciary Committees.

In his testimony, he said: "The Catholic Church has long taught that every person, whether they are unborn, sick or sinful, has a God-given dignity that cannot be erased or taken away. Yes, it can be marred, but it cannot be blotted out in the eyes of God."

When the governor signed the bill and announced the commutation of three death sentences, he said: "The commutations of these despicable and guilty individuals are consistent with the abolition of the death penalty in the state of Colorado, and consistent with the recognition that the death penalty cannot be, and never has been, administered equitably in the state of Colorado."

In recent years, Washington, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut and Illinois have abolished the death penalty.

Colorado is the third state in the past three years, after Washington in 2018 and New Hampshire in 2019, to abolish capital punishment and it's the third to end the practice since the Vatican's 2018 revision to the Catechism of the Catholic Church which declared the death penalty "inadmissible" in all cases.

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:12 am

+JMJ+

Iranian cleric pleads with pope to help end U.S. sanctions
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Ayatollah Seyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad Ahmadabadi, an Islamic scholar, answers reporters’ questions in Rome Oct. 14, 2010, before giving a presentation at the Vatican. (Credit: Paul Haring/CNS)

ROME — Citing the increasing loss of lives to COVID-19 and a lack of medical resources, an Iranian cleric has urged Pope Francis to do what he can to help get U.S. sanctions against Iran lifted.

“Without judging the root causes of these inhuman sanctions imposed by the United States, as an Iranian Islamic scholar, I humbly ask you, as a beloved world leader of Catholics, to intervene so that those sanctions are eliminated,” wrote Ayatollah Seyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad Ahmadabadi.

Promoting the end to the sanctions is a humanitarian act befitting those who believe in Jesus, who “for the whole world is a universal symbol of peace and love,” he said in a letter addressed to Pope Francis. The text of the letter was also sent to Fides, the Vatican’s missionary news agency, and was published on their website March 20.

Mohaghegh Damad is a scholar and dean of the department of Islamic Studies at the Academy of Sciences of Iran and a professor of law and Islamic philosophy at Tehran University. Pope Benedict XVI invited him to attend and address the 2010 Synod of Bishops for the Middle East at the Vatican.

In his letter to Pope Francis, the ayatollah said Iran has seen a rapid spread of the coronavirus, with many people “struggling painfully against the loss of loved ones caused very often by the serious lack of medical resources due to the consequences of sanctions imposed by the United States.”

The sanctions “have greatly multiplied the sufferings and afflictions of the oppressed Iranian Muslim people and have forced them to face countless problems that have had a profound and negative impact on their life, on their peace and spiritual tranquility and moreover, have deprived them of the most basic and inalienable human rights,” the letter said.

“In these days in which men all over the world are seriously threatened by the appalling spread of COVID-19, I am deeply convinced that the Holy Father, with sincere love and compassion, continues to pray that this international tragedy may cease and human suffering finds relief.”

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:33 am

+JMJ+

What do we owe the weak? — Or just “say ‘No’ to death’s dominion” [Opinion]
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Forty years — nearly to the day — after Óscar Romero was murdered for advocating for the lives of the poor and for denouncing the regime of death ruling his country, a prominent Catholic journal in the U.S. has published an article accusing those who want to protect the weak from death of paying deference to “the false god of ‘saving lives.'” Americans, R. R. Reno claims, are letting a fear of death control them. He identifies “a demonic side to the sentimentalism of saving lives at any cost.”

False gods, the dominion of death, and demons. Heady language with strong warnings to Christians to be on their guard. Reno is right that Christians are called to discern where death is having its way, where the anti-God forces are at work, and where humans are exchanging the true God for worthless idols. But he is reading the situation upside-down.

Where is death at work in this cultural moment? Romero asked the same question, as he believed a church that preaches resurrection must denounce death-dealing structures in society, and a church that preaches conversion must denounce sin in all its subtleties. In Romero’s moment, many Christians saw the violence of the leftist groups of El Salvador as the only violence worth denouncing, as the primary location of the reign of sin and death. They considered the violence of the military and police and their allies as legitimate violence, intended to maintain “law and order.” Violence meant to keep society intact, to keep the economy humming along and social and political life under control.

Romero denounced both of these types of violence, while also pointing to a different violence, one hidden from our sight by its very everyday-ness. It is the violence of a status quo willing to sacrifice the poor for the sake of a prosperous economy. It is the violence of laws that burden the vulnerable while lightening the load of the elite. For Romero, this kind of “ordinary violence” (in the words of Romero scholar Matthew Whelan) is in some ways even more insidious just because of its hiddenness. He insisted that the “long, drawn out” deaths of Salvadorans were no less the fruit of sin then the “swift death” brought by repression.

Reno, on the other hand, asserts that “the pro-life cause concerns the battle against killing, not an ill-conceived crusade against human finitude and the dolorous reality of death.” The dolorous reality of death. And if that “dolorous reality” takes on flesh in the bodies of the weak, the elderly, the poor? Do we accept that as simply the way of human finitude? Or do we discern where the dominion of death might be at work, where sin might be having its way?

The crux of the problem, of course, is that the poor and weak are more vulnerable to die from a shut-down economy, just as they are more vulnerable to die from the virus itself. Many have been pointing out the ways that the economy and human lives are intertwined, that the economy itself is meant to be directed at human flourishing. What we must acknowledge is that this moment is revealing the ordinary violence that was already present in our systems. “Revealing” — because that is what apocalyptic moments do, they reveal. The ordinary violence instantiated in our systems cannot be an excuse for less drastic action taken to protect the vulnerable from the virus. Rather, we ought to accept it as an opportunity to rethink and refashion those systems. We must hold our leaders to account, insist that they provide for those stripped of jobs, income, and childcare in the months ahead. We have a way forward to help shelter people from the worst consequences of the economic downturn, if we so choose. At the moment, at least, we do not have what we need to shelter people from the worst of the virus — protective gear, hospital beds, ventilators, treatments for the virus.

So we must ask the questions. We must ask, are we succumbing to the fear of death? To the centering of survival? Are we serving a false god? But we must do so with a clear view as to where violence and death are truly at work, particularly in veiled form.

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:52 am

+JMJ+

Coronavirus indulgences evoke Francis' 'ridiculously-pardoning' church [In-Depth]
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Rome — Announcement of the Vatican's offering of new plenary indulgences to those around the world affected by the coronavirus may have left some Catholics asking, "We still do that?"

The answer is yes. And theologians say the move, made in a March 20 decree from the apostolic penitentiary, shows a seemingly unprecedented level of pastoral care for those who suffer from the virus — especially those who may die in isolation without being able to receive final rites.

Jesuit Fr. James Corkery, an Irish theologian at the Pontifical Gregorian University, said the decree fits with Pope Francis' vision for a "merciful, welcoming, 'ridiculously-pardoning' church."

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Pope Francis hears the confession of a priest at Rome's Basilica of St. John Lateran in March 2019. (CNS/Vatican Media)

"He wants people to be 'received back,' to be forgiven, above all to be loved," said Corkery, who has written extensively on the church after the Second Vatican Council.

In Catholic teaching, an indulgence is the remission of the eventual punishment due for sins that have been confessed and forgiven. A plenary indulgence, which can only be granted in various ways outlined by the Vatican, involves the remission of all of a person's eventual punishment.

For persons near death from the virus and unable to receive the sacraments because of isolation measures, the decree says they can obtain the indulgence "at the point of death, as long as they have recited some prayers during their life."

Jeremy Wilkins, a theologian at Boston College, said he sees "something new" in the offering to those who are dying.

"The conditions there are waived. It says … the church fulfills the conditions for you," said the theologian. "That's quite amazing."

"It really is tender," said Wilkins, who has focused his work in the areas of Christology and grace. "I think the church very tenderly wants to say, 'Be sorry for your sins, and know that you're not alone, and it will be OK.' "

Jesuit Fr. Peter Folan, a theologian at Georgetown University, said he found the decree's treatment of the dying "especially moving."

"There's just a deep theology behind that, and just a deep understanding of who God is, that God doesn't ever turn God's gaze away from anybody, especially those at that most important event of their life, which is our death," said Folan.

Both Wilkins and Folan said that it appeared that the penitentiary had two primary objectives in offering the new indulgences: to show mercy to Catholics facing a severe time of trial, and to encourage them to think of their suffering in relation to that endured by Christ, and all the saints who have come before us.

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by hugodrax » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:28 am

Oh, that's pretty good. We welcome you at this time of great difficulty to minister to yourselves. See how loving we are? We'll let you do our job. Pontifical mercy has super abundantly blessed the Church with the cessation of its duties.

We no longer need celebrate your marriage, baptize your newborn, hear confessions, or bury the dead. All those priests that died in past plagues ministering to their flocks were superstitious and modern science says they would have lived if they just had stayed home.

What message do they think they're sending?
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:48 am

+JMJ+

Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 120


'Give me liberty, or give me (grandma's) death!' [In-Depth, Opinion]
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A pedestrian in New York City walks on Wall Street March 23. (CNS/Reuters/Mike Segar)

[…]

I was surprised to see certain Catholic conservatives join the Malthusian Express. R.R. Reno at First Things opined, "Just so, the mass shutdown of society to fight the spread of COVID-19 creates a perverse, even demonic atmosphere. Governor [Andrew] Cuomo and other officials insist that death's power must rule our actions. Religious leaders have accepted this decree, suspending the proclamation of the gospel and the distribution of the Bread of Life. They signal by their actions that they, too, accept death's dominion." He also clarified precisely what the pro-life movement was really about, criticizing New York's Governor Cuomo for "disastrous sentimentalism" in willing to place the entire resources of society behind the cause of stemming the pandemic and saving "even one life." Reno writes:
Everything for the sake of physical life? What about justice, beauty, and honor? There are many things more precious than life. And yet we have been whipped into such a frenzy in New York that most family members will forgo visiting sick parents. Clergy won't visit the sick or console those who mourn. The Eucharist itself is now subordinated to the false god of "saving lives."
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is briefed March 13 about the state's first drive-through coronavirus mobile testing center in New Rochelle, New York, by Michael Kopy, who is New York state's director of emergency management. (CNS/The Journal News/USA Today via Reuters/Mark Vergari)

After years of being told that all social justice issues must come second because "you cannot enjoy any other right unless you first enjoy the right-to-life," now we are told that this is all sentimentalism. Reno is no dummy. He knows that it is not the threat to justice or beauty or honor that has Trump all upset. He wants to reopen "the economy," not the National Gallery of Art.

I would note in passing that it is somewhat ironic that First Things is one of the media outlets most associated with the promotion of the idea that America was founded on a "Judeo-Christian ethic." The phrase "Judeo-Christian" emerged in the 20th century out of a humane desire to diminish anti-Semitism while imbuing our government with religious auras it surely did not possess in 1789. But, as anyone with even a modicum of knowledge of Talmudic law knows, in the Hebrew moral tradition, all legal maxims go by the wayside to defend human life. You can eat treif if that is what is required to preserve a life and, as in the Catholic ethical tradition, you need not embark on extraordinary means to save a life, but you cannot do anything that will hasten death.

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Pro-life advocates participate in a 40 Days for Life vigil near the entrance to a Planned Parenthood center in Smithtown, New York, March 19. (CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:53 am

+JMJ+

Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 120 / pg 120


R.R. Reno and the bioethics of a pandemic [In-Depth, Opinion]
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In recent days, we have seen the rise of many articles in American media (and particularly in Catholic publications), questioning the public health regulations implemented around the world to prevent the spread of COVID-19. One of those articles stood out, both because of the negative feedback it received and because it encapsulates the arguments of the prominent mindset of those who oppose the COVID-19 policies. I’m referring to the article by First Things editor R.R. Reno, “Say No to Death’s Dominion.”

Reno is concerned about the societal effects of the COVID-19 safety measures. With good reason. It is undeniable that shutting down all non-essential business and prohibiting most everyday activity will have an enormous socio-economic impact. This will certainly cause all kinds of problems in society at large. However, the alternatives he presents and the reasoning he employs transcend these practical considerations. In this article, Reno attempts to make a case against these measures by drawing from — among other things — Catholic bioethical principles. In doing so, he makes several doctrinal and ethical blunders that I think should be addressed. As a Catholic doctor, who deals with life and death decisions demanding serious bioethical formation every day, I believe I have a duty to step in.

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Society is a moral, not a living organism

In another recent article on the same topic, Reno uses the metaphor of a living organism to describe society, and how, as a living organism, society cannot stop. He says:
Society is a living organism, not a machine that can be stopped and started at our convenience. A person who is hospitalized and must lie in bed loses function rapidly, which is why nurses push patients to get up and walk as soon as possible after sicknesses and operations. The same holds true for societies. If the shutdown continues for too long, we will lose social function.

Undoubtedly ‘shelter in place’ will slow the spread of disease, but at what cost to the body politic?
What Reno apparently doesn’t realize is that this exact metaphor has been addressed by a pope who had a great deal of expertise in bioethics. This pope warns us to be wary of reading too much into this metaphor (emphasis from now on is always mine):
It must be noted that, in his personal being, man is not finally ordered to usefulness to society. On the contrary, the community exists for man.

The community is the great means intended by nature and God to regulate the exchange of mutual needs and to aid each man to develop his personality fully according to his individual and social abilities. Considered as a whole, the community is not a physical unity subsisting in itself and its individual members are not integral parts of it. Considered as a whole, the physical organism of living beings, of plants, animals or man, has a unity subsisting in itself. Each of the members, for example, the hand, the foot, the heart, the eye, is an integral part destined by all its being to be inserted in the whole organism. Outside the organism it has not, by its very nature, any sense, any finality. It is wholly absorbed by the totality of the organism to which it is attached.

In the moral community and in every organism of a purely moral character, it is an entirely different story. Here the whole has no unity subsisting in itself, but a simple unity of finality and action. In the community individuals are merely collaborators and instruments for the realization of the common end.

What results as far as the physical organism is concerned? The master and user of this organism, which possesses a subsisting unity, can dispose directly and immediately of integral parts, members and organs within the scope of their natural finality. He can also intervene, as often as and to the extent that the good of the whole demands, to paralyze, destroy, mutilate and separate the members. But, on the contrary, when the whole has only a unity of finality and action, its head — in the present case, the public authority — doubtlessly holds direct authority and the right to make demands upon the activities of the parts, but in no case can it dispose of its physical being. Indeed, every direct attempt upon its essence constitutes an abuse of the power of authority.


— Venerable Pope Pius XII
An Address to the First International Congress on the Histopathology of the Nervous System
=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Crusades against human finitude

[…]

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

The moral failure of avoidable triage

[…]

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

The greater good

[…]

=========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================

Saving all lives at all costs

Since the common good is defined as the good of all and of each individual, does this mean that we need to save all lives at all costs, as Reno accuses? My years of medical practice have shown me that I need to be realistic: not all lives can be saved. Yet, even if we cannot save all lives, this does not mean that we should not strive for the common good as our aim.

And this is where Reno’s argument fails spectacularly. He could certainly emphasize the economic and social costs of the COVID-19 measures, but the way he does this backfires. As Brian Killian said in an excellent Twitter thread:
You could argue that the cure is worse than the disease, but it has to be based on the same impulse behind the cure — the protection of human life and the common good. You can’t subordinate human being to the stock market (…) If there’s an economic argument to be made it’s because the economy affects human life, not because the economy is more important than human beings
But Reno doesn’t do this. He is not providing an argument, he is simply mocking the idea of “saving lives.” The question of the economic and societal impact of the quarantines is a serious concern and, therefore, mandates a serious debate. However, Reno has not contributed to that debate, since his line of reasoning is, ironically, filled with the same sentimentalism he accuses others of having.

It is sentimentalism to argue that measures taken to avoid the spread of a deadly virus are somehow counterbalanced by Reno being able to host a small dinner party, or by young people being able to play basketball in a New York City park, as he argues. It is sentimentalism to play the victim card for being glared at as a “moral criminal” for — I kid you not — spitting into the street. And it is sentimentalism to sabotage a life-saving contingency plan designed by leaders, public health officials, media personalities, and clergy, by creating this false dichotomy: “What about justice, beauty, honor, and truth?”

What about justice, beauty, honor, and truth indeed? Those values are not a list of disembodied and abstract ideals: they must exist in connection with something tangible, otherwise we veer into sentimentalism. As Pope Francis teaches in Evangelii Gaudium, one of the principles that guides the development of society and orients it toward the common good, is that “realities are more important than ideas.”

There is no justice, nor beauty, nor honor, in artificially maintain societal functioning at the expense of the death or suffering of thousands of people. Also, his proposal is clearly not based on truth, because it grossly misrepresents Catholic, medical, and bioethical principles. And his ideas are disproven by sound medical expertise and authoritative magisterial teaching. So no truth in his reasoning.

However, opposing his ill-informed arguments is indeed based, not on sentimentalism, but on justice, honor and truth. And no one can say that there is no beauty in the solidarity that so many people have shown by abiding by these life-saving safety measures.

It is not sentimentalism that drove me to write this article, but Christian charity and my duty as a professional in the field of medicine. The World Health Organization has brought attention to the dangers, not only of the epidemic itself, but of an “infodemic” of false information regarding COVID-19. Similarly, an “infodemic” of sorts has been spreading throughout formerly Catholic media since the election of Pope Francis (and arguably even before). I hope that Reno’s scandalously irresponsible articles will serve as a wake-up call to many who, affected by the disease or not, will see the fallibility of these pundits and publications, and will return instead to full communion with the Vicar of Christ and the Successors of the Apostles, as well as to a healthy trust in their healthcare professionals and health policy makers. Human lives, justice, beauty, honor and truth are all at stake, now more than ever.

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by Del » Sun Mar 29, 2020 10:20 am

wosbald wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:52 am
+JMJ+

Coronavirus indulgences evoke Francis' 'ridiculously-pardoning' church [NCRonline]
Rome — Announcement of the Vatican's offering of new plenary indulgences to those around the world affected by the coronavirus may have left some Catholics asking, "We still do that?"[…]
Such as the uncatechized and unbelieving readership of National catholic Reporter.
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by Thunktank » Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:43 pm

hugodrax wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:28 am
Oh, that's pretty good. We welcome you at this time of great difficulty to minister to yourselves. See how loving we are? We'll let you do our job. Pontifical mercy has super abundantly blessed the Church with the cessation of its duties.

We no longer need celebrate your marriage, baptize your newborn, hear confessions, or bury the dead. All those priests that died in past plagues ministering to their flocks were superstitious and modern science says they would have lived if they just had stayed home.

What message do they think they're sending?
Why isn’t anyone finding rational solutions? How about outfitting priests with N95 masks and face shields and black scrubs? They can minister to the sick or dying souls using the same tools as doctors who minister to their physical needs. But I regress. What could I possibly add to the conversation? :lol:
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” -Yoda

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by hugodrax » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:20 pm

Thunktank wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 1:43 pm
hugodrax wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:28 am
Oh, that's pretty good. We welcome you at this time of great difficulty to minister to yourselves. See how loving we are? We'll let you do our job. Pontifical mercy has super abundantly blessed the Church with the cessation of its duties.

We no longer need celebrate your marriage, baptize your newborn, hear confessions, or bury the dead. All those priests that died in past plagues ministering to their flocks were superstitious and modern science says they would have lived if they just had stayed home.

What message do they think they're sending?
Why isn’t anyone finding rational solutions? How about outfitting priests with N95 masks and face shields and black scrubs? They can minister to the sick or dying souls using the same tools as doctors who minister to their physical needs. But I regress. What could I possibly add to the conversation? :lol:
Thanks, thunk. I needed that!
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:30 pm

+JMJ+

Pope defends priests, religious who brave pandemic to serve the poor against ‘elite mentality’
Image
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at his Santa Marta residence, at the Vatican, Friday, March 27, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Credit: Vatican News via AP)

ROME — In his daily Mass Saturday, Pope Francis cautioned against what he called an “elite” and “clerical” mentality that leaves the poor behind, saying this attitude is also on display during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Pointing to the day’s Gospel reading from John, which recounts a dispute between a crowd calling Jesus a prophet and Pharisees who want him arrested, the pope in his March 28 homily said there are two clear groups in the passage: The people of God, “who love Jesus and follow him,” and the “intellectuals of the law, the leaders of Israel, the leaders of the people.”

“The Holy Faithful People of God believe in Jesus, they follow him. This little group of elites, the doctors of the law, are detached from the people and they don’t receive Jesus,” he said, insisting that the latter group, although studied and well-read in the law, “had a great defect: they had lost their memory of their own belonging to a people.”

When it comes to the “elite,” the problem, Francis said, “is that they have lost their memory of their own belonging to God. They became sophisticated, they passed to another social class, they feel like executives, but this is clericalism.”

On the other hand, “the people of God follow Jesus. They can’t explain why, but they follow him, he reaches the heart and does not grow tired,” he said.

Referring to the coronavirus and Italy’s strict lockdown, Pope Francis said he has seen such a mentality emerge even amid the outbreak, with some arguing that priests and religious sisters shouldn’t be allowed out to care for the poor or the sick for fear of spreading contagion.

“I’ve heard it said in these days, ‘How in the world do these priests, these sisters, who are healthy, go to the poor to give them something to eat? They can get the coronavirus! Tell the Mother Superior not to let the sisters out, tell the bishop not to let the priests out!’”

But priests and religious “are for the sacraments,” the pope said, noting that this attitude, which says to give the poor something to eat “as the government provides” but not as God does, is the same mindset of the Pharisees and the doctors of the law, who view the poor as “’second-class’ people” whereas “we are the ‘executive class’, we shouldn’t dirty our hands with the poor.”

“Many times, we think there are good people, priests and sisters, who don’t have the courage to go and serve the poor. Something is missing,” he said, insisting that these people “have lost their memory, they have lost what Jesus felt in his heart, he was part of the people.”

Francis then recalled a photo he had received recently of a priest serving a collection of small towns in the mountains, who recently brought the Blessed Sacrament to these towns in a monstrance for a blessing despite a snowfall.

For this priest, he said, “the snow didn’t matter, the shivers that the snow caused didn’t matter; in his hands, in contact with the metal of the monstrance, the only thing that mattered was bringing Jesus to the people.”

Urging Catholics to reflect on which group they belong to, he also encouraged faithful to remember the many men and women committed to serving the people of God who “are good, and they go to serve the people. (There are) many priests who don’t leave the people.”

[…]

ImageImage

"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by hugodrax » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:33 pm

wosbald wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:30 pm
+JMJ+

Pope defends priests, religious who brave pandemic to serve the poor against ‘elite mentality’
Image
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at his Santa Marta residence, at the Vatican, Friday, March 27, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Credit: Vatican News via AP)

ROME — In his daily Mass Saturday, Pope Francis cautioned against what he called an “elite” and “clerical” mentality that leaves the poor behind, saying this attitude is also on display during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Pointing to the day’s Gospel reading from John, which recounts a dispute between a crowd calling Jesus a prophet and Pharisees who want him arrested, the pope in his March 28 homily said there are two clear groups in the passage: The people of God, “who love Jesus and follow him,” and the “intellectuals of the law, the leaders of Israel, the leaders of the people.”

“The Holy Faithful People of God believe in Jesus, they follow him. This little group of elites, the doctors of the law, are detached from the people and they don’t receive Jesus,” he said, insisting that the latter group, although studied and well-read in the law, “had a great defect: they had lost their memory of their own belonging to a people.”

When it comes to the “elite,” the problem, Francis said, “is that they have lost their memory of their own belonging to God. They became sophisticated, they passed to another social class, they feel like executives, but this is clericalism.”

On the other hand, “the people of God follow Jesus. They can’t explain why, but they follow him, he reaches the heart and does not grow tired,” he said.

Referring to the coronavirus and Italy’s strict lockdown, Pope Francis said he has seen such a mentality emerge even amid the outbreak, with some arguing that priests and religious sisters shouldn’t be allowed out to care for the poor or the sick for fear of spreading contagion.

“I’ve heard it said in these days, ‘How in the world do these priests, these sisters, who are healthy, go to the poor to give them something to eat? They can get the coronavirus! Tell the Mother Superior not to let the sisters out, tell the bishop not to let the priests out!’”

But priests and religious “are for the sacraments,” the pope said, noting that this attitude, which says to give the poor something to eat “as the government provides” but not as God does, is the same mindset of the Pharisees and the doctors of the law, who view the poor as “’second-class’ people” whereas “we are the ‘executive class’, we shouldn’t dirty our hands with the poor.”

“Many times, we think there are good people, priests and sisters, who don’t have the courage to go and serve the poor. Something is missing,” he said, insisting that these people “have lost their memory, they have lost what Jesus felt in his heart, he was part of the people.”

Francis then recalled a photo he had received recently of a priest serving a collection of small towns in the mountains, who recently brought the Blessed Sacrament to these towns in a monstrance for a blessing despite a snowfall.

For this priest, he said, “the snow didn’t matter, the shivers that the snow caused didn’t matter; in his hands, in contact with the metal of the monstrance, the only thing that mattered was bringing Jesus to the people.”

Urging Catholics to reflect on which group they belong to, he also encouraged faithful to remember the many men and women committed to serving the people of God who “are good, and they go to serve the people. (There are) many priests who don’t leave the people.”

[…]
Hey, Pope...its our own bishops that won't let them be priests here in Pittsburgh!
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by Thunktank » Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:58 pm

I can’t think of much sadder ways to go than to be left to die alone in a hospital. No comfort of last rites, no goodbye to loved ones, no holding of hands or a hug. I’m not a touchy feelie sort of person really. But still, it must feel like utter loss to die like that. The work of visiting the sick and dying is essential.

At the same time, we are trying to keep more people from dying like that. So we close churches to the public, we encourage confessions over the phone instead, we prepare ourselves for communion later, when those who survived can return to Mass. We also also given extraordinary indulgences during this time of need. A gift from God I think.
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by hugodrax » Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:13 pm

Thunktank wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 2:58 pm
I can’t think of much sadder ways to go than to be left to die alone in a hospital. No comfort of last rites, no goodbye to loved ones, no holding of hands or a hug. I’m not a touchy feelie sort of person really. But still, it must feel like utter loss to die like that. The work of visiting the sick and dying is essential.

At the same time, we are trying to keep more people from dying like that. So we close churches to the public, we encourage confessions over the phone instead, we prepare ourselves for communion later, when those who survived can return to Mass. We also also given extraordinary indulgences during this time of need. A gift from God I think.
Always look on the bright side of life! :D
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:25 am

+JMJ+

Pope echoes UN call for a global ceasefire amid coronavirus pandemic
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Pope Francis speaks during his general audience as it is livestreamed from the library of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican March 25, 2020. (Credit: CNS photo/Vatican Media)

ROME — Pope Francis has endorsed an appeal issued by U.N. Secretary General António Guterres, calling Sunday for a global ceasefire to armed conflicts amid the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, allowing humanitarian aid to reach those most vulnerable to infection.

In his March 23 appeal, Guterres called for the ceasefire, stressing that “the fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war.”

“That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives,” he said, insisting that ceasefires would allow aid workers to reach people most vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus.

Pope Francis echoed that call in his March 29 Angelus address, saying he welcomes the appeal and issuing an invitation for leaders everywhere “to follow-up by stopping all forms of war hostility.”

Noting that the coronavirus “knows no borders,” he urged leaders to allow “the creation of corridors for humanitarian aid, the openness to diplomacy and attention to those who find themselves in situations of great vulnerability.”

In his statement, Guterres said that it’s women, children, the disabled, marginalized, displaced and refugees who often suffer the most during war and conflict, he said these same groups are those most at risk of suffering “devastating losses” from COVID-19.

He also stressed that healthcare systems in many countries marred by war and violent conflict are at the point of collapse, and the few workers who remain are often targets.

Urging political leaders to “silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes,” Guterres said this is necessary in order to “help create corridors for life-saving aid. To open precious windows for diplomacy. To bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.”

“End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world,” he said, adding that this starts “by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.”

[…]

In his Sunday address, which was livestreamed due to quarantine restrictions, Pope Francis said a joint commitment against the COVID-19 pandemic allows everyone the opportunity “to recognize our need to strengthen fraternal bonds as members of the one human family.”

“In particular, it can arouse a renewed commitment to overcoming rivalries among leaders of nations and other stakeholders,” he said, stressing that, “Conflicts are not resolved through war! It is necessary to overcome antagonism and contrast through dialogue and a constructive search for peace.”

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:04 am

+JMJ+

Intra-thread Trackbacks:
"I'm Starting to Like This Pope": pg 63 / pg 64 / pg 65 / pg 65 / pg 66 / pg 66 / pg 73 / pg 84

Inter-Thread Trackbacks:
"Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism": pg 4 / pg 6 / pg 6 / pg6 / pg 6 / pg 6



Birmingham’s new shepherd and the challenge of EWTN [In-Depth, Opinion]
Image
Interior of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama. By Fr James Bradley from Washington, DC (IMG_7218, CC BY 2.0)

Today the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham, Alabama, and has appointed Bishop Steven Raica, bishop of the diocese of Gaylord, Michigan, to replace him. Typically, the transfer of a bishop from a tiny diocese in Northern Michigan (46,000 Catholics) to another small diocese (where only about 3.4 percent of the population is Catholic) wouldn’t draw much attention, but Church-watchers have had their eyes on this post for the last several years because it is home to the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the largest Catholic media network in the world.

Launched in 1981 as a basic cable network by the feisty and determined Poor Clare nun, Mother Angelica, the operation has grown into a global multimedia network through television, radio, and the internet. The organization now owns the Catholic News Agency (CNA) and the National Catholic Register, in addition to its own news department. EWTN has reigned as the only nationwide Catholic broadcast network in the US since the demise of the bishops’ own effort, the Catholic Telecommunications Network of America (CTNA), in the early 1990s.

[…]

[Christopher Lamb's new book, The Outsider,] details the numerous times opponents of Francis’s papacy have used EWTN and its affiliates to ambush Pope Francis, including the Viganò testimony and the public release of the dubia — in which four retired cardinals challenged the orthodoxy of Amoris Laetitia, Francis’s teaching on the family — in the National Catholic Register.

[…]

I asked Lamb for his assessment of the relationship between EWTN and the Church, and particularly about their treatment of the current pontificate. He told me,
Offering healthy and robust criticism of Church leaders — including Popes — is the job of Catholic journalists. But some parts of EWTN and its publications appear to be doing something else. What we have seen is a concerted effort to undermine the Francis papacy through a consistent stream of hostile coverage. One could understand it coming from a secular outlet, but the fact it originates in the biggest Catholic media outlet in the world raises serious questions. Why have they decided to set themselves against the Successor of St Peter? Given that ordinary Catholics overwhelmingly support Francis, whose interests are they serving?
These are extremely important questions. As I have emphasized repeatedly, it is impossible for a Catholic to reject the magisterial and ecclesial authority of the Church while also remaining faithful to the Church. EWTN is apparently trying to have it both ways, claiming loyalty to the pope while regularly attacking the foundation of his papacy.

What is extremely difficult to understand is why they are doing this. It would be less serious if their criticism was of Francis’s prudential decisions, his pastoral approach, or his prioritization of issues. What their uncritical promotion of the message of figures such as Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Viganò reveals, however, is that their objections to Francis’s teachings are doctrinal in nature. In other words, they are suggesting that obedience to the Vicar of Christ would be sinful, and accepting his magisterial teachings is tantamount to embracing doctrinal error.

Given EWTN’s independence and their evident intention to continue to defy the Holy Father, what role can the bishop of Birmingham play in leading them back towards fidelity to the Church and the pope? As I mentioned above, the independence of the network limits the extent to which the bishop can exercise authority over it. If the CEO of EWTN was a diocesan priest, the bishop could simply give him a special assignment as assistant chaplain of the local community college’s badminton team, hand-pick his replacement, and there wouldn’t be much anyone could do about it.

A lay apostolate is different. Certainly, support from the local bishop is welcome, but it’s not necessarily required. In the case of EWTN, however, there are many ways in which the network relies on the institutional and local Church. First, the bishop has oversight over the celebration of the liturgy within his diocese. EWTN’s daily televised Mass is public and takes place within the diocese of Birmingham. In the case of the Mass where the priest attacked the pope, the bishop has the right to suspend the priest from celebrating such Masses, or even prohibiting Mass from being filmed in the diocese.

Additionally, EWTN relies on the access granted by Church entities throughout the world, including the Vatican, to televise Vatican ceremonies, events such as the annual Mass held at the DC basilica on the eve of the March for Life, and papal pilgrimages and Masses. In some ways, the uneasy relationship between the US bishops and EWTN has been sustained because the network has, for decades, been the only game in town. With the growth of social media and internet television, the Church’s dependence on EWTN has significantly decreased.

Ideally, EWTN’s trustees will recognize the dangerous adversarial path they’ve pursued and make the editorial and personnel decisions necessary to reverse course. It would benefit the entire Church if they resolved to bring themselves back into alignment with the Church of their own accord.

It would be wise for their new bishop to initiate a dialogue with EWTN leadership to look at some of these questions. He’ll want to emphasise the good work they’ve done, but he can’t avoid addressing the tough questions. While Bishop Raica won’t want to infringe on freedom of the press, it is important that he points out the problem with running content that undermines the papacy and the official teachings of the pope while claiming to be completely orthodox.

[…]

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:05 am

+JMJ+

Pope warns of ‘virionic genocide’ if governments prioritize economy over people during pandemic
Image
Pope Francis walks during Urbi and Orbi prayer (Latin for To the City and To the World) in an empty St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Friday, March 27, 2020.. (Credit: Yara Nardi/Pool Photo via AP)

ROSARIO, Argentina — As the world continues to grapple to determine what is the best response to the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis sent a handwritten letter to an Argentine judge saying that despite being an “economic disaster,” life has to be prioritized over the economy as not to provoke a “virionic genocide.”

In the letter, addressed to Roberto Andres Gallardo, who leads the Pan American Network of Magistrates, Francis calls for urgent measures to “defend the population” from the pandemic, which as he noted, grows in “geometric progressions.”

He also expresses his regret over the consequences of this crisis: Hunger, violence and the appearance of usurers.

Portions of the letter were made public by Telam, Argentina’s state-run news agency.

[…]

“It is true that these measures ‘bother’ those who are forced to comply with them, but it is always for the common good and, in the long run, most people accept them and have a positive attitude,” he said.

In his letter to the judge, Francis argued that governments that face the pandemic with “exemplary measures” show “the priority of their decisions: People first. And this is important because we all know that defending the people is an economic hardship.”

“It would be sad if the opposite was chosen, which would lead to the death of many people, something that would be like a virionic genocide,” Francis warned.

Though most countries in the world have now accepted that the best way to try to flatten the curve of contagion is to close all non essential business and to ask people to stay home, there are some countries, including Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil, that are going in the opposite direction. Experts have warned that this can lead to preventable death of thousands, mostly the elderly.

In this context, Bergoglio recalled his meeting last Friday with the authorities of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, “to reflect on the now and the after.”

“Preparing for the aftermath is important. There are already some consequences that must be faced: Hunger, especially for people without permanent work, violence, the appearance of usurers,” who the pope describes as the “true plague of the social future,” as they are criminals who have become “dehumanized.”

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:57 am

+JMJ+

Intra-Thread Trackbacks: pg 120 / pg 120 / pg 120


Contra Viral Genocide [In-Depth, Opinion]
Image

First Things has published several articles in the past few weeks dismissing the attempts by churches and governments to reign in the COVID–19 pandemic, suggesting they are overreactions. In "R.R. Reno and Bioethics of a Pandemic," Dr. Pedro Gabriel addresses these articles from the perspective of a medical doctor and in light of Catholic teaching on bioethics. It is also important to understand the political and philosophical motivations behind such a position. Can there even be a Catholic argument against extreme social distancing, and if so what would it look like?

[…]

There is no Catholic argument that justifies the subordination of the lives of human beings to the economy. The stock market was made for man, not man for the stock market. A Catholic economic argument must be based in pro-life principles. Such an argument is only possible because the economy affects human life, not because human life is subordinate to the economy. You can argue that the cure is worse than the disease, but only if it’s based on the same impulse as the cure: to safeguard human flourishing and the common good. The protection of human life is the constant. There is no price that is too high to pay for saving lives. To put it another way, the only way to measure the cost of saving lives is in human lives. It’s an important distinction because it’s the difference between a utilitarian argument that places the economy (or, as many Catholics have argued, access to the sacraments) above human life, or an argument that is driven by and for the inherent and inviolable dignity of human life.

This inviolability of human life is not mentioned in Reno’s discourse, however. He doesn’t elaborate on why we must allow the virus to take its awful human toll. He presents no positive argument for his preferences. He mostly just mocks the impulse to save as many lives as possible, dismissing it as “moralism,” a demonic “sentimentalism,” and cowardice in the face of death. To this accusation of materialism another First Things editor, Matthew Schmitz, adds the accusation that “because we value health above all, we subordinate the spiritual to the temporal.” This rhetoric is now moving into the territory of gnosticism.

What would that even look like — Christians subordinating the spiritual to the physical? Would it be akin to thinking, contra Jesus, that it’s better to lose one’s soul in order to gain the whole world? But in what way is social distancing “gaining the whole world”? Is it like saying, contra Socrates, that it’s better to do evil than to suffer it? But isn’t making sacrifices to keep the health care system functioning a form of “suffering evil”? Isn’t “doing evil” and “gaining the whole world” a more apt description of putting the economy ahead of human lives? Schmitz’s charge makes no sense.

[…]

Jesus identifies himself with suffering humanity; he explicitly told us that — on pain of Hell — what we do to our neighbor we do to him. It is impossible to set the spiritual against the physical, nor can worship and saving human lives be set against each other. Loving our neighbor by caring for their physical needs is true spiritual worship. We call them the corporal works of mercy. Reno recognizes this when he sees people feeding the homeless in New York. But he fails to connect it to the importance of protecting our neighbors from getting infected with a potentially deadly virus, or to efforts of trying to slow the spread of the disease. In fact, he reacts defiantly when faced with collective and widespread communal, social action. Why?

A clue may be found in one of his “coronavirus diary” entries. He reveals, through the words of a staff member, a fear that is surely driving these articles at First Things. “The response to the growing economic crisis will mean still further government-sponsored sharing of risk,” Reno quotes the staff member. “We’ll end up at an indirect socialism. The government will be the backstop in pretty much every domain of life.” The fear of socialism, indirect or otherwise, is animating the staff of First Things. This individualism, this political Pelagianism, which is more afraid of the government than Hell, is not compatible with the Gospel.

In contrast, Pope Francis lauds the governments that put the people first. He described the human cost of governments that put the economy over the people as a kind of “viral genocide.” If a new awareness of civic virtues, a new consciousness of the interconnectedness of all of society, a new thinking about the common good, and an acknowledgment of our inter-dependency are what First Things fears as “socialism” then, God willing, may our country become more socialist.

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"[T]he emergency of irregular migration has to be met with justice, solidarity and mercy. Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable."
— Pope Francis, Morocco

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