23 May 2017

Is the Pope a heretic? (4)

So, if the present Pope appears to imply that God's final Word was not already spoken in Jesus Christ, and that the Divine Priority now is to create and consolidate a New Age, the New Bergoglian Age of Mercy, does that make him a heretic?

Most certainly not. In structural terms, the polarity of orthodox versus heterodox is very often not useful because it is on a different page from the actual language which is being put under the microscope. If one were to take the pope's words seriously in a nakedly propositional way, one might have no alternative but to condemn them as most gravely erroneous. One might even have to condemn them as analogous to other claims made to the possession of a New Understanding which supersedes or completes the Old. Obvious examples are Islam, Montanism, and Mormonism. But the necessity to be rather more linguistically nuanced than this did not cease to have validity when Wittgenstein died. The analysis of 'language games' is every bit as necessary now as ever it was. Having a sensitive nose for differences of literary genre is as important for those who examine papal documents as it is for analysts of Horace and Ovid.

Intelligent readers ... which is to say, all readers who have diligently worked their way through these pieces ... I apologise for taking so long to reach my conclusion ...  will be longing to make an angry point to me: "You began by saying that Pope Francis should not be judged by the canons of precise and logical discourse. But that is precisely what you ... with your close and lengthy syntactical analysis of one rather silly passage in his 2017 Easter Vigil Homily ... have just wasted a lot of your time and our time doing."

You are quite right. Bergoglian discourse is agglutinative and impressionistic rather than linear. It is much more interested in deploying rhetoric incoherently to achieve a conviction in the hearers which will drive them to action, than it is in laying out an argument in such a rational way as to satisfy even a moderately fastidious logician. This Roman Pontiff finds it much easier to dash off a painterly spectacular in the style of Edvard Munch's The Scream than to design an architectural edifice which will actually - given the laws of Physics as they apply on planet Earth - stand upright.

In order to understand the rhetorical methods of the current bishop of Rome, illumination may be gained from the speeches in Euripidean tragedy. These have sometimes been analysed in terms of "the rhetoric of the situation". Vide the most interesting account of this in pp xxiv-xxix of her 1954 edition of the Alcestis by the late Amy Dale, of Somerville College in this University, the wife of Professor T B L Webster. It is the sort of point that women can sometimes grasp more readily than men.

And, dear readers, that is precisely why Papa Bergoglio cannot be deemed a heretic. To be definable as a heretic he would need to have advanced formally, with full understanding and responsibility, propositional errors. It is perfectly clear to me that he has, quite simply, not done so. Nor has he ever come close to doing so. Nor is he ever likely to. Not in a month of Sundays. He avoids precise propositional assertion like the very plague. It would get in the way of what he really wishes to achieve.

What he does is this: he has in mind a practical result, and so he gathers together assertions which appear to him to back it up. Those assertions do not need to be be mutually coherent (or, indeed, to sit easily with established dogma). Shocking? Frankly, folks, S Paul appears to me sometimes to do something very similar. When it suits the argument, the Apostle will tell us that no man can fufill the Torah; when it suits him, his line is that Gentiles do it rather better than Jews. This is one reason why 'Pauline scholars' have some of their problems. I have some (only some) sympathy with a Finnish academic called Heikki Raisanen, who regards S Paul's teaching as so incoherent as to be pretty well beyond reconstruction or comprehension. To judge Pope Bergoglio by the canons of formal logic is quite simply to make a genre-error. It is not illuminating; it is not helpful; it is not, in the profoundest sense, accurate.

Is this a dangerous pontificate? Not nearly as much as panicky people fearfully imagine. Come off it! And cheer up! The ease with which Pope Francis and his associated ideologues, while studiously "not changing doctrine", in fact over-ride and ignore the Magisterium of his predecessors, will make it pitifully easy for his successors to dump his 'teaching' with only the most perfunctory of formalities, and then to restore the simple lucidities of the Tradition handed down through the Apostles, the Deposit of Faith. He has already pretty well sawn off the branch he is sitting on. Or imagine him as a Humpty Dumpty sitting on an increasingly wobbly wall.

To the frightened and the fearful I add: Just hold tight whenever the roller-coaster seems to be going dangerously fast, and remember that her Immaculate Heart will prevail. This is Fatima Year!

I am now willing to consider any comments offered. I will not enable any that insult our Holy Father, or which simply rant while refusing to read what I have actually written.

35 comments:

Edward Ahlsen-Girard said...

Quite right. The Holy Father wishes to elicit kindness. What is actually believed by those kind people is not of interest to him. He is not even interested in whether they are similarly uninterested in what they believe, as long as they are kind.

Christopher Boegel said...

Fr. H:

I agree regarding the rhetoric of Pope F.

My own sense is that I do not trust that "the results" he seeks are wholesome to the faith.

His favorite theologian Cdl. Kasper seems to hold and teach heresy (though of course he has not been confronted by the Church about it).

It is reported that in his 1967 work "God in History" Cdl. Kasper writes: "The God who sits enthroned over the world and history as a changeless being is an offense to man."

There are other works by Kasper that proceed logically from this premise, including his recent written work re-iterating his long held aim of trying to dissolve the teaching about the integrity of marriage and Holy Communion.

My conclusion is that Kasper is a heretic - if he asserts God changes - then the foundations testifying the changelessness of God are rejected: e.g. Nicea and the apostolic faith (St. James 1:17) etc. The target is God himself. This is a theology of arrogance.

Kerry said...

Might one ask what you think is the "practical result" the Holy Father has in mind?

Sprouting Thomas said...

To plagiarize Robert Bolt: qui tacet consentire videtur. The world may construe according to its wits, the Church must construe according to her Tradition. The Truth, in what has been taught always, everywhere and by all, proposes itself to the Holy Father and he does not deny it. And he will not deny it until he says something as plain and potato-like as "Ye have heard that it hath been said, but I say unto you..." And that, we trust, he is prevented from doing.

The maxim says, consentire videtur, not consentit. I worry that, in our excitable age (says the oh-so-wise 22 year-old), we scrutinize rather too much what the Roman Pontiff thinks and what he implies. He isn't there to think - he's there to teach, isn't he? If schoolboys ventured to conjecture what their masters thought on any given subject (for example, their Headmaster's character), very little education would happen at all. It doesn't matter very much if the Holy Father, in his heart of hearts, consents or not, but I am bound in justice to hold that he appears to, and to act accordingly.

(Or rather, it does matter for the sake of his soul, and therefore we should pray earnestly and with great solicitude; but as far as the future of the whole Church is concerned, it doesn't).

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

I love your Edvard Munch analogy! As an architect, I have great trouble with the Holy Father's use of "rigidity" as a derogatory term. In my work I find rigidity quite a useful physical quality, and the lack of likely to cause me, and many users of my buildings, considerable discomfort.

Cherub said...

I believe your analysis is correct on every point. Too easily people apply the word "heretic" without really understanding what that label means and implies. There is nothing propositional about the Pope Francis orbiter dicta. They will run their course until business as usual is resumed. The down side of the Francis rhetoric is that it does sow confusion in the minds of many. Still, the 'gates of hell' will not prevail against the Church.

Michelle said...

Cheer up? As souls are lost? And temporal consequences pile up? While men in white and red play games. Disgusting.

Banshee said...

Pep rallies, proverbs, and business motivational speakers also do a lot of this sort of thing. It is not about logical meaning.

The confusing bit is that speakers usually try to balance out their exhortations in every session, so that everybody present always hears something encouraging and something chastening. Our pope tends to head off into a corner somewhere and not come back.

But the Vatican also does not transcribe his facial expressions, tones of voice, and gestures. That makes things even more confusing.

Wynn said...

Edward Ahlsen-Girard: If "[t]he Holy Father wishes to elicit kindness", why does he not practise it himself, instead of constantly proceeding by insult, vilification and destructive marginalisation of those (for the most part genuinely kind souls themselves) who disagree with, or even merely raise questions concerning, the specifics of his agenda and his method?

Mike said...

He has already pretty well sawn off the branch he is sitting on. Or imagine him as a Humpty Dumpty sitting on an increasingly wobbly wall.

Both metaphors resonate. What is the metaphor for the souls who will fall into Hell owing to Bergoglio's dismissive, if not openly contemptuous, approach to doctrine and liturgy?

Ted said...

Thank you, Fr. H. I am reassured by what you write. My only concern is the suggestion by some of PF's supporters that he is working to make his "pastoral" changes "irreversible", by means of packing the ranks of cardinals with minds like his own. If he can do this, it seems there won't be a successor like Benedict 16 or Pius 12 who would simply proceed to clarify the confusion he caused and set things right. But Our Lady's Immaculate Heart WILL triumph in any case!

Ferrara said...

<<>>

As one of your admirers, Father, I have to express wonderment at this claim. How can a Pope who "over-ride[s] and ignore[s] the Magisterium of his predecessors" such that his successors will be obliged "to dump his 'teaching' with only the most perfunctory of formalities, and then to restore the simple lucidities of the Tradition..." not be the most dangerous Pope in Church history?

Indeed, if Bergoglio is merely the purveyor of inchoate notions that do not amount to repudiation in any sense of the Tradition, then why would anything need to be restored upon his departure? Clearly, there is an opposition between Bergoglianism and Catholicism such that reparative work will be necessary after the former has run its course.

All of this being so, are you not working with an overly stringent concept of heresy? Are we not dealing with a papal program of Modernism, the synthesis of all heresies, whose modus operandi is precisely to avoid the charge of formal heresy by resort to ambiguity? After all, not even Pius X declared that particular Modernists were heretics. And yet their system is heretical in operation and effect.

I am not saying that Francis can be convicted of formal heresy. But is that real the issue when we are dealing with heresy in the non-formal sense of the Modernist undermining of doctrine and dogma?


E sapelion said...

Let us hope and pray that Pope Francis, in deploying methods comparable with those of St Paul, is attended by comparable success. One can indeed see, for example 1 Cor 1:13ff, that St Paul is engaged in live delivery of thoughts, at least on occasion, and Paul himself says he tailors the message to the audience.

Michael Leahy said...

Thank you, Father, for a great series of articles, and particularly your encouragement at the end.

DeHereticoComburendo said...

This Pope has sucked out every pleasure I used to take in being a Catholic. But no matter: "For even though the fig tree does not blossom,nor fruit grow on the vines, even though the olive crop fail and fields produce no harvest, even though flocks vanish from the folds and the stalls stand empty of cattle, yet I will rejoice in the Lord and exult in God my saviour". I am resolved to pay no attention to this person henceforth. I shall not wait with bated breath to see if he is going to revisit Humanae Vitae or respond to the Dubia. I'm not "bovvered" any more, Bergoglio. You bore me, mate. Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it.

Christopher Boegel said...

Ferrara - you are spot on. The issue is not how Pope F avoids heretical statements. The issue is that he is dissolving and disintegrating the Church.

Remnant Clergy said...

What an amazing set of articles of accompaniment. As long as its only rhetorical style, it doesn't matter what Francis says. Truth be damned.

geneticallycatholic said...

"This Pope has sucked out every pleasure I used to take in being a Catholic." Ditto.

Sadie Vacantist said...

Good to read some maturity around these issues. A false dichotomy has emerged between F1 and B16 which is unhelpful.

Blaming modernists and V2 for the present malaise is "trads" and the even more ridiculous "cons" wanting to have their cake etc.

The problems began before the Council and can be traced back to the period 1941 - 1962. Paul 6 is the last pope with the diplomatic formation to even begin to understand the issues.


Edward Ahlsen-Girard said...

Wynn, I don't know, but he seems to think that to be deeply interested in what the actual Doctrine of the Faith is, and to infer from it that some people must be told No, is unkind.

Woody said...

Dear Father, while I did not see in your fine articles a direct connection between formal propositions, or the lack thereof, which you were discussing and magisterium, nevertheless does not magisterium necessarily have to be propositional? And therefore is your argument in part that the Holy Father's statements are not, objectively speaking, magisterial, despite the fact that he seems to think that they are?

As is well known, he has said this himself (more or less directly) several times; the one that I could easily find goes back to 2014, when he told Elisabeta Pique in an interview, the following: “Look, I wrote an encyclical—true enough, it was by four hands [with Benedict XVI]—and an apostolic exhortation. I’m constantly making statements, giving homilies. That’s magisterium. That’s what I think, not what the media say that I think. Check it out; it’s very clear. “The Joy of the Gospel” is very clear.”

From: http://www.americamagazine.org/issue/we-must-reach-out

To my untutored eye, anyway, if he says that his statements and homilies are magisterium, he is saying that they are his teachings, and while those more expert than I might say that objectively speaking many or most, or all, of his statements do not rise to the level of "true" magisterium, nevertheless, he presumably is the best judge of what he is thinking, and he is the supreme (human) lawgiver in the Church, so if he says it is magisterium, who am I to judge?

Except to say that if such is the case, then the Magisterium is kaput, and please forward my mail to Moscow or at least to Kiev (c/o Patriarch Sviatoslav).

Fr Martin Fox said...

TDeHeretico said:

"This Pope has sucked out every pleasure I used to take in being a Catholic."

Forgive me, friend, but perhaps you are taking pleasure in the wrong things?

Perhaps take pleasure in frequently receiving grace in the sacrament of confession, in conversation with the Blessed Mother and the saints, in doing charitable works, in participating in Holy Mass, in adoration of the Eucharist...I'm sure you can add to the list?

DeHereticoComburendo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pseudo Bessarion said...

Dear Fathers Hunwicke and Father Fox,

This Pope has taken a jackhammer to the rock on which the Church was built. He's a material heretic for anyone who has eyes to see. Forgive us simple laity if we don't have much joy right now. It's kind of hard to keep the faith, much less spread it, when the Vicar of Christ is daily working to undermine it.

I believe the gates of hell will never prevail, but we've come as close to the edge as most of us could ever have conceived.

Pseudo Bessarion said...

Dear Fathers Hunwicke and Father Fox,

This Pope has taken a jackhammer to the rock on which the Church was built. He's a material heretic for anyone who has eyes to see. Forgive us simple laity if we don't have much pleasure right now. It's kind of hard to keep the faith, much less spread it, when the Vicar of Christ is daily working to undermine it.

I believe the gates of hell will never prevail, but we've come as close to the edge as most of us could ever have conceived.

Nirmal Savio Paul said...

Dear Fr. Fox,

Your words are beautiful and reflect the depth of your priestly spirituality. But I sometimes wonder (despair knocking on the door of my heart) if even these will be left to us unmangled, or whether we will be reduced to the situation of the faithful in Brian Moore's novel "Catholics."

I pray for you, Father. I have read your blog. I hope you will continue being an excellent pastor to your flock.

Yours in Christ,
Savio

Nirmal Savio Paul said...

Dear Father Hunwicke,

If I understand you right, your thesis is that the wordings of the statements made by the Holy Father are too imprecise to be dissected with logical and linguistic tools to determine if heresy is present in them. Therefore it is impossible to call him a heretic.

So far so good.

However, towards the ending of your post, I find it difficult to accompany ;) you in your optimism when you state that people should cheer up because the damage done in this pontificate can be easily reversed.

This is the reason:

Though I admit you don’t say so explicitly, what seems to be implied here is: “Teachings” are being propagated originating directly or indirectly from the Holy Father that need to be reversed or dropped in a future restorative pontificate; However, the current Pope cannot be formally declared to be a heretic; therefore, the current situation is better (Cheer up!) [again, I admit you don’t say it is better, but I’m sure many readers will consider such to be the implicit meaning , because of the simple fact that we are all looking for any small bit of comfort in these troubled times] than if formal heresy were to be found in the statements of the Holy Father.

However, there is another possibility that is not explicitly addressed: “Teachings” are being propagated originating directly or indirectly from the Holy Father that need to be reversed or dropped in a future restorative pontificate; However, the current Pope cannot be formally declared to be a heretic; therefore, the current situation is WORSE than if formal heresy were to be found in the statements of the Holy Father.

I am reminded of the following lines by Dietrich Von Hildebrand on the attitude of “This-Worldliness” in “The Devastated Vineyard:” (p 128, available online here: http://www.stjohnofthecrossacademy.com/uploads/4/9/5/6/49563895/dietrich_von_hildebrand_-_the_devastated_vineyard.pdf )


“No one presents this-worldliness, and all the errors deriving from it, as a contradiction of the official teaching of the Church. Unlike Karl Rahner's theories on theological pluralism, and Schillebeeckx's denial of any difference between body and soul, these errors are not necessarily linked with an explicit denial of any of the dogmas - and precisely this makes them much more dangerous.”
Cannot a similar statement be made about the current confusion?

Now, let us take a hypothetical case: Let’s say that a high-ranking prelate wants to propagate a proposition A which is heretical, but does not want to get caught out as a heretic. So he asks a loyal (sycophantic?) subordinate to make statements that seem to have his approval, and which are very close to the border of heresy. Then arrangements are made, again with the seeming approval of the prelate, such that the practical behavior of the common man as a result of this new “teaching” is indistinguishable from the situation where explicit heresy has been taught. The successor of this prelate might find it easy to make the necessary corrections “on paper” since there are in reality not much official corrections to be made. But how easy will he find it to make the corrections in the field of praxis among the laity entrusted to his pastoral care? Would you call such a prelate better or worse than an explicit formal heretic?

How much of the above hypothetical scenario is already reality? I don’t dare speculate.
https://onepeterfive.com/as-kasper-continues-to-counsel-the-pope-what-is-the-cost/

We already know of several teachings that exist robustly “on paper” (“…the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin Rites…”, “Gregorian Chant, as proper to the Roman liturgy, should be given pride of place...” Humanae Vitae, etc…) whereas the praxis is often a completely different story (though happilly, not everywhere or always).


... to be continued due to character limits for comments.

Nirmal Savio Paul said...

... continued from above.


There is another disturbing factor being revealed by the current crisis: the undeniable fact that it is very difficult to find even one man among the 6000-odd Catholic Bishops across the world who has enough spine to stand up in public and denounce many of the current shenanigans and demand a return to clarity in teaching. Some prelates are trying to remedy this, but their actions do not yet seem proportionately forceful enough to address the demands of the current crisis. Perhaps they have an ace up their sleeve. Let us hope so. But when one considers that the future pontiff who will supposedly clean up the Augean Stables is likely to be elected from a smaller subset (which is increasingly showing signs of becoming a stacked deck) of this group of bishops, one does not feel disposed to cheer up.

The Orthodox are often found to deplore the “legalistic” mindset of us Latins. Perhaps it’s time to put this Roman Legal Genius to work and define a new category of theological offender: one who is more than merely a material heretic, who can effortlessly fly under the radar when it comes to being convicted of formal heresy, but is capable of just as effortlessly causing equivalent or greater damage to the souls of the members of the Church as would have happened if he were a formal heretic.

However, as you say, this is the year of the Centenary year Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima, and a miraculous intervention is not completely out of the question. Perhaps the Holy Spirit will move the Pope to consecrate Russia explicitly, unleashing a torrent of graces upon us whereupon the wound to Sacred Tradition in the Catholic Church is healed, all the Protestant groups re-enter the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox and Catholics reunite into one undivided Church again in some miraculous manner without theological compromise or severe loss of face for either group. One can dream.

In conclusion, the question of whether the current Pope can be accurately labeled a “Heretic” seems increasingly to be of purely academic interest. The pressing questions of practical importance (i.e., relevant to the salvation of many souls) are rather, “When will the Magisterium return to teaching with clarity?” and “When a *spiritually worthy* successor of St. Peter sits on the Papal Throne again, how difficult will he find it to reverse the tide of widespread heterodoxy and heteropraxis for which the floodgates were opened increasingly wider during the reign of his predecessors?” However, these are serious questions and if anyone is reluctant to deal with them, it is understandable. “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

Thanks for your writings, Father Hunwicke. I keep you in my prayers.

Yours in Christ,
Savio

Ionathas Gnosis ph.d. said...

In "Amoris laetitia" 297, Pope Francis says, "No one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel!" How is that proposition not a denial of the idea of eternal damnation, and therefore a heresy?

William Tighe said...


"However, the current Pope cannot be formally declared to be a heretic;"

Maybe, maybe not; but I think that Pope Leo II's rationale for ratifying and promulgating the Third Council of Constantinople's condemnation of Pope Honorius is worth dusting off:

“We anathematize the inventors of the new error, that is, Theodore, Bishop of Pharan, Sergius, Pyrrhus, Paul, and Peter, betrayers rather than leaders of the Church of Constantinople, and also Honorius, who did not attempt to sanctify this Apostolic Church with the teaching of apostolic tradition, but by profane treachery permitted its purity to be polluted” (Mansi, XI, col. 733).

Cf. (FWIW):

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/scottericalt/pope-honorius-teach-heresy/

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-heretic-pope.html

Deacon Augustine said...

While your musings about the charge of formal heresy may be correct according to the current Code of Canon Law, Fr., the fact that a prelate may be a dangerous and subversive threat to the Church and the Truths of the Deposit of Faith without being formally heretical isn't exactly new. I am sure you have read Pascendi Dominic gregis in which St Pius X warns precisely of these serpents who by their subtlety steer within the apparent bounds of dogma, all the while destroying the faith by both root and branch. Their intent is never to say anything with such clarity that they can fall under canonical censure, but rather to undermine the faith by appealing to a spurious "evolution of dogma" or "the god of surprises", if you will.

Perhaps the pertinent question to ask is not whether Bergoglio is a formal heretic, but rather whether he is in fact a Catholic? I would suggest that there is little or no evidence to suggest the latter, but plenty of evidence to suggest that he is a thorough modernist. From his daily strictures against "rigidity", "doctrinal security and clarity", and his undermining of God's Law, to his blasphemous justification of the Holy Ghost's putative endorsement of his antinomianism and re-interpretation of Scripture, I would suggest that we see a man who wittingly or unwittingly is a servant of antichrist.

Our Latin legalism fails us when it comes to dealing with the threat posed by modernists. The very term "formal heretic" has become so wrapped up in protective legalese that it has become a term that is virtually impossible to apply. Yet in former times it seems the Church was much freer in the application of the title "heretic". Honorius I would never be judged to be a formal heretic in today's Church either. However, both an Ecumenical Council and a sainted Pope anathematized him as an heretic for merely failing to teach the pure apostolic faith in the face of heresy. Compared to his current successor's failure to teach the faith and refute error, he was an angel.

We should ask ourselves why the Church ever chose to brand some people as heretics in the first place. Surely, in part at least, it was so that the people of God might be spared the fate of falling into the same errors and thus avoid eternal damnation? While a Pope in centuries from now may find it easy to overturn and refute the Bergoglian pseudo-magisterium, what of the souls who are being led to hell in the meantime? Or are we to presume on the Lord's mercy at the last judgement in the knowledge that he will accept the defence of: "Well we knew that the Pope wasn't a formal heretic and we were only following his orders."???

Mrs Bee said...

One thing overlooked in regard to the comparison to St Paul is that St Paul was working in the earliest days of the Church which had not yet created and codified Christ's teachings ignoring the fact that two thousand years has given the Church ample time to define clearly the Catholic Church's doctrine.
Also, Pope Francis has taken the documents of Vatican ll and the Missal it developed as a reliable Catholic source of standard. For Modernist thinkers, like Pope Francis, history begins when they wake up in the morning. Tradition and reliable facts have no significant value in their position on critical issues.

Mrs Bee said...

Michelle said...
Cheer up? As souls are lost? And temporal consequences pile up? While men in white and red play games. Disgusting.

I agree so much that my heart aches as I read and hear stories from friends and acquaintances whose family members are living in very sinful relationships and accepting as legitimate and compassionate, sinful practices such IVF, homosexuality, contraception and, while the Pope reassures us that there is no eternal damnation. If this is not a war between the Church of Christ and the Devil I can't imagine what that will be like. We do know it won't be pretty.

As the mother of seven children and fifteen grandchildren I am committed to trying to dispel the distortions and obfuscation of the Pope. I wish him no ill will but I must accept he does not return the favor when he continues to speak and act as if the Council of Trent's decrees are meaningless directives and corrections to the errors of that time and which, after a period of a couple of centuries can be disregarded and discarded.

Let us prayerfully pray Ad Jesum per Mariam...the Rosary since the Mass of Christ seems to be disappearing before our very eyes.

PseudonymousposterJohn said...

This is post either very funny or very clever. I’m not quite sure which. My instant ‘impression’ of what you said is pope Bergoglio lacks the intellect to HOLD a formal heresy. Haha or hear hear.

(In what follows I have been forced to abbreviate a certain common word for reasons of space).

The difference with the impressionisings of Mr Munch is that that is worth something after it’s finished. If anything, Berg.’s instant impressions seem more like the work of Mr Harris. Not sure creating an impression in the minds of hearers ever will be. Words that don't communicate meaning but just have an ‘impression’ do not last.
The Alcestis – very peculiar play. Saw it at Bradfield one year (where they do it a lot). It might be entertaining drama but it is neither theology nor a proposition for polity. Sometimes writers just try something new. We happen still to have what Euripides tried out. Doesn’t have to be more than that.

The nature of Bergo. no longer ‘fascinates’ me – to use a line I heard in the brief extract of the speech to Congress.

But I’m sure you have pegged him right. The one agenda is pursued by different means – and quite the volte face between them.

I think the outer shell is A. N. Other S. American gesture revolutionary (Zzzz) – no decision to follow that line, just the culture he is happiest within;
the thought, such as it is, is boilerplate newness as in the last thing I thought of, that I thought would be quite new;

And
He is the tool of, what John Buchan, in discussing the doings of Glasgow Town Council, would call ‘his backers’. (One may remember the politician in question won by simply pretending he was no longer backed by them). Hilary White says his backers are done with him now, and as the caravan of fame moves on so we are left with yesterday’s man? And as the old joke says the 1970s didn’t get to Buenos Aires until the 90s.
Oddly, and I think I read this on either the Remnant or 1Peter5, one of those backers is our old friend Mr Soros. Berg. took Soros’s advice about trying to fascinate me in that speech to both houses, when he told Berg. the American public were tired of hearing about boring old abortion and would be quite delighted if only he said to them how against the death penalty he was.
Trying to ‘fascinate’ your audience by talking about a more minor issue at the expense of back -peddling on the greatest moral scandal in the world is bad, but telling them you’re doing it shows gigantic self-conceit.
The backers also seem to want the peculiar pantheistic agenda of the modernized American melting pot. That will fail.
I find pope Bergoglio is neither ‘kind’, nor even honest.
If professor Tighe can say ‘maybe’, then we non-scholars can be fairly sure Bergo IS almost certainly heretic but perhaps due to your heroic defence, Fr., the case is, as the Scots have it, Not proven. (Yet?).
Because:
You say he has not proposed formal heresy. (Now I did not set out to draw this parallel and I apologise in advance to those who don’t enjoy it but I have come to it in progression) like hitler, he has indeed avoided putting his name to such a document. Yes I did say that and, really, it is fair comment as the analogy is exact. But in encouraging others to lead some people to damnation by a nod and a wink, he has done worse. “…also Honorius, who did not attempt to sanctify this Apostolic Church with the teaching of apostolic tradition, but by profane treachery permitted its purity to be polluted”. Never say dictator/politicians have not learned the lessons of the 1940s.

One has played his game not only if you attempt to find meaning but merely if you just listen or read. I don't bother any more. I stopped about two months in because it was a waste of time. I wanted to know what he meant. I no longer consider it worth knowing. This boring little man holds no fascination for me.

geneticallycatholic said...

"This boring little man holds no fascination for me" ...Ditto