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Friday, April 6, 2018

On Pope Francis and His "Friendship" With Scalfari: Is the Confusion Deliberate?

The conversations between Pope Francis and his atheist journalist "friend" continue again and again to be sources of conflict with quotes that are clarified as "not quotes" and statements that are said not to reflect what the pope really said. But, it seems, the points in the quotes are seldom refuted.  

Are the pope's discussions with Scalfari
a deliberate decision to sow confusion?
Phil Lawler urges Catholics to ask their bishops to
 "Bring back clarity in an age of confusion."
Confusing eh? And is that the point? If Pope Francis owned a company called Confusion Unlimited he could be described as a very successful CEO.

With regard to the pope's relationship with Scalfari, a friend on Facebook used the following analogy about Pope Francis who, as persona Christi, is called to protect his bride, the Church. It describes his relationship with his buddy Scalfari who, as an atheist, doesn't even recognize the bride. I think the analogy is spot on! 

What do you think? Is Pope Francis acting as an unfaithful husband and father, a betrayal that certainly creates confusion and damage to his children in the pews? Read it and see if you agree. 
Maybe this will help you to understand. Say we were married, and I was famous for some reason and people really cared what I thought. I meet with a journalist friend that likes me but doesn't like you. After an off-the-record conversation he puts out a salacious article saying that I said very rude and untrue things about you. In response, rather than rebuke him, I say to the media "Well, you shouldn't consider what he says I said to be a direct quote. It was an off-the-record conversation." You would rightly be hurt and offended, and demand that I specifically refute each charge and not trust that friend again. If I did it again, with exactly the same consequences and same kind of response from me, you would rightly wonder if what he was saying was true and why I did it again. If I did it five times, with the same blithe dismissals of concerns.... you would understand how some Catholics feel right now.
Phil Lawler, editor of Catholic World Report, an online magazine, recently published a book called 
Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock. He appeared on Raymond Arroyo's show, The World Over, discussing his book. I haven't read it, but I've ordered it and will review it after reading. Here's the interview:


Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Here's what Cardinal Burke had to say about the latest scandalous Scalfari interview. Read the complete interview at

Cdl. Burke:

What happened with the last interview given to Eugenio Scalfari during Holy Week and published on Holy Thursday went beyond what is tolerable. That a well-known atheist claims to announce a revolution in the teaching of the Catholic Church, believing that he speaks on behalf of the Pope, denying the immortality of the human soul and the existence of Hell, has been a source of profound scandal not only for many Catholics but also for many people in the secular world who have respect for the Catholic Church and its teachings, even if they do not share them.

Moreover, Holy Thursday is one of the holiest days of the year, the day on which the Lord instituted the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Priesthood, so that He might always offer us the fruit of His redemptive Passion and Death for our eternal salvation. Furthermore, the Holy See’s response to the scandalized reactions from all over the world was highly inadequate. Instead of clearly reasserting the truth about the immortality of the human soul and Hell, the denial only states that some of the words quoted are not the Pope’s. It does not say that the erroneous and even heretical ideas expressed by these words are not shared by the Pope, and that the Pope repudiates these ideas as contrary to the Catholic Faith. This playing around with the faith and doctrine, at the highest level of the Church, rightly leaves pastors and faithful scandalized.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Sadly, many Catholics, some Catholic bloggers among them, illustrate this comment from Cardinal Burke. They continue to ride the papolatry bandwagon and criticize any Catholic who recognizes the danger to the faith of undermining doctrine through changing the practice. Here's what Cardinal Burke said:

For the faithful who understand the gravity of the situation, the lack of doctrinal and disciplinary direction on the part of their pastors leaves them feeling lost. For the faithful who do not understand the gravity of the situation, this lack of direction leaves them in confusion, and eventually victims of errors that endanger their souls. Many people who were baptized in a Protestant ecclesial communion, but then entered into the full communion of the Catholic Church because their original ecclesial communities abandoned the Apostolic Faith, are suffering intensely at this situation — they perceive that the Catholic Church is going down the same road of abandoning the faith.

The next time you hear someone badmouthing "traditionalists" remember that the third leg of the Catholic faith (along with Scripture and Magisterial Doctrine) is Holy Tradition. When you see any one of the three pillars of the Church under attack, it's time to put on the armor of God and hold your ground.

Janness Abraham said...

Cardinal Burke is describing me in that paragraph. I left my life long church after 2005 when they went down the dark road of hating Israel and embracing Palestinian terrorists; SSM; k-12 sex Ed (written by planned Parenthood and now in our public schools); publishing books like “Queering Christ”; telling us there is no Hell, Satan or evil. My daughter and I converted to Catholicism Easter Vigil 2010. All of this is heartbreaking. However, there is no place else to go, so I focus on The Catechism & the Eucharist and follow Cardinal Burke’s 10 things to pray during these trying times. Especially what has happened in Chicago when BEFORE HOLY WEEK Cupich removed the beloved Fr. Phillips from St. John cancious. I’m afraid his moves have or will backfire. You see, the more the church and our traditional orthodox priests are attacked the harder Catholics like me FIGHT back with the truth. Please pray for the holy persecuted priests in my Diocese. The Rockford Diocese.

Danny Flathers said...

Of the 260-odd pontiffs since Peter, it's safe to say that some popes were incompetent, others downright evil -- and quite a few others were saintly.

None of the popes in my lifetime -- from Pius XII to Benedict XVI -- have given me pause to think of them as pretenders. In this I consider myself blessed.

I don't claim the benefit of a broad formal education, but I'm quite comfortable in stating that I possess a decent talent for discernment. The following is uncomfortable but must must be aired:

It is clear that, as titular head of the premiere teaching organization on the planet, with the profound eternal ramifications this entails, this pope doesn't do clarity very well. In fact, I'm hard-pressed to think of when he's been clear.

The only fair conclusion about his reign, five years in, is that he is either an unwitting failure in his mission or he is an impressive fraud.

Roe Antinore said...

"This playing around with the faith and doctrine, at the highest level of the Church, rightly leaves pastors and faithful scandalized." Cardinal Burke

It's way past time for our pastors and leaders of our Roman Catholic Church including this Pope, to stand up and proclaim the Truth. I keep telling myself that Jesus said the Gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church. But much damage is being done while we wait for the absolute truth to come out of all this.

Roe Antinore

Roe Antinore said...

"This playing around with the faith and doctrine, at the highest level of the Church, rightly leaves pastors and faithful scandalized." Cardinal Burke

This playing around with the doctrines of our Roman Catholic Faith has got to stop. Our pastors, priests and Bishops including this Pope have got to stand up and proclaim the Truth. I keep telling myself that Jesus said the Gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church but much damage is being done while we wait for our leaders to get up enough courage to challenge this Pope. What are they all waiting for?

Lori said...

WE have had bad popes before but bad in the sense they were presonally immoral. We've never had a pope that teaches heresy. This one is teaching and allowing heresy. His Amoris Laetitia #297 "No one is condemned forever, that is not the logic of the gospel.", is heretical. He also promoted James Martin who is preaching homoheresy.

Catechist Kev said...

God help me for saying this Mary Ann, but it has gotten to the point I would rather read bigfoot stories on the internet rather than read anything coming from... um, the Vatican. :^(

Mr. Flathers, early in Pope Francis' reign he *did* say that the question of ordaining women to the ministerial priesthood has already been answered - thus fairly much shutting that door.

No wait, one of the pope's right-hand men didn't get the memo, I guess (mo, I did not read all of his statements):

Chriss Rainey said...

In his book, The Catholic Catechism, A Contemporary Catechism of the Catholic church, (pub. 1981), Fr. John Harden recounts on p. 270-271 the words of St. Augustine which reveal in blistering form the error in thinking that there may be no hell or if there is that it may only be temporary.

"St. Augustine said in 'City of God':

Why has the Church been so intolerant with those who defend the view that, however greatly and however long, the devil is to be punished, he can be promised ultimately that all will be purged or pardoned? Certainly, it is not because so many of the Church's saints and biblical scholars have begrudged the devil and his angels a final cleansing and the beatitude of the kingdom of heaven. Nor is it because of any lack of feeling for so many and such high angels that must suffer such great and enduring pain. This is not a matter of feeling, but of fact.

The fact is there is no way of waiving or weakening the words which the Lord has told us he will pronounce at the last judgment: 'Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.' In this way He showed plainly that it is an eternal fire in which the devil and his angels are to burn.

And since this is true of the devil, how can men--whether all or some--be promised an escape, after some indefinitely long period, from this eternity of pain, without at once weakening our faith in the unending torment of the devils.

Can we suppose that God's sentence will hold for angels but not for men? Yes, but only if men's imagination has more weight than God's words! Since this is quite impossible, all those who desire to escape eternal punishment should desist from arguing against God and rather bow in obedience, while yet there is time, to the command of God.

Besides, what kind of fancy is this, to take eternal punishment to mean long-continued punishment and, at the same time, believe that eternal life is endless, seeing that Christ spoke of both as eternal in the same place and in one and the same sentence: 'And these will go into everlasting punishment, but the just into everlasting life.' "