His Eminence Cardinal Sarah does not rant. He does not take PF to task directly by name.
He just tells the Truth.. When PF has taught error, as he so frequently does, Sarah does not tactfully wait a few weeks and then tactfully tell the Truth. He tells it straight away. Calmly, humbly, elegantly.
PF is no fool. He knows that if you slam 'proselytism' without defining the term, non-Christians and non-Catholics will hear what they want to hear. But he will have a bolt hole enabling him to deny, if it suits him, that he ever condemned seeking to bring to their Redeemer souls whom Chrtist died to save.
I wonder what further attacks upon our Lord PF will make, taking advantage of the Mysterium Paschale.
I do not have Cardinal Sarah's gentle and saintly gifts. I find it difficult to conceal the fact that, in my own opinion and speaking only for myself, this pontificate has moved from being an embarrassment to being a problem, and, now, to being something far worse.
Tomorrow I will offer a concrete example of what I regard as Proselytism.
9 April 2019
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I remember being shocked when I first read that Pope Francis told people not to proselytise. I thought of all those wonderful missionaries over the ages who had left their home and family to go and minister in far countries with all the dangers that they faced. What must they have thought?
Yes, far worse.
Dear Father. Some of your readers may begin to get the idea from your opinions that you think Pope Francis is qualitatively different from, say, Pope Pius IX but if you read the profession of Faith of he who reigned during Vatican 1
you will see that the Faith of Pope Francis is not really any different than the faith of Pio Nono but, to be sure, Francis expresses his faith in a more south-americany-new theology-jebbie sort of way.
Also, it must not be forgotten that Vatican 1 infallibly taught that the Pope is the perpetual sign of unity in faith and communion and stuff.
This important point was brought home to ABS in an email he received from Professor Herman NuDix of Continuity College in Rome where he holds the Couch of Cardinal Koch in thinking about stuff in new and different ways.
The Professor explains, I could write a very long, but prolly boring, thesis on the continuity of the Papacy, Papal Praxis, and the Faith of Popes, but all of those words would tend to shroud the essential truth - because Francis is Pope just like Pius IX, and all other Popes before him ('cept Pope Joan) all the way back to Peter (who was simply Primus inter pares) then you have papal continuity and that is what really matters when it comes to continuity.
So, relax, ABS, and obey and, lie back and think of England.
I offer the examples of two great Saints;
St. Boniface cutting down Thor's Oak tree.
St. Patrick lighting the Easter Fire at the Hill of Slane
I wish we had more of these type of Bishops today. Can you imagine the shrill cries of the "christians" regarding the cutting down of the trees and the interference in others' religious beliefs?
Mike Hurcum again.
Fr some years ago I was told by a bishop we do not proselyte. His diocese is dying. A small greek catholic group. I am afraid I laughed at him and he does try so hard to ignore me., that I feel is his prerogative. I cannot give up what my very English father taught me. Rain or shine show them you are Catholic. I have no wish to break the fourth commandment.
Mind you I often wonder should I obey my father who I know would have died to protect the faith or the Bishop whose forefathers were told go teach all nations. No quandary there for me.
You finally figured out what so many of us have known since the summer of 2013. Wake up.
Dear ABS: we do not say "the faith of he ...", we say "the faith of him". After prepositions, a pronoun should always be in the so-called 'oblique case'. So ... not "He died for love of I" but "He died for love of me". Et cetera.
Bergoglio hates evangelization, catechesis, and conversion because he hates the Catholic Faith and Catholic Church.
He can't directly attack evangelization, catechesis, and conversion, so he seizes on the term "proselytism" because it has long carried the note of inordinate zeal, even aggression. He expects, as Fr. H. notes, that many will fail to catch his little trick.
Thank you for saying it plainly Fr. Hunwicke. He is so profoundly bad, it is even hard to describe how bad without breaking the unspoken rules of polite discourse. There have been innumerable betrayals, offenses, bad advice, un-Catholic tutorials, insults to faithful Catholics, and so much more.
Cardinal Sarah demonstrates he loves God more than his own comfort and security.
Now that faithful Catholics realize we are stuck with him and the damage is unstoppable, it seems to be leading to a kind of apathy. We really do need the Good Lord to send the remedy.
It very much seems to me that, taking the above, plus what you have in "On Human Fraternity", plus what you can find elsewhere, both recently and stretching back years, that the intended meaning is "do not convert people to Christ".
I do not see how one can argue another way.
As a convert, I have gotten into the depths of the question over the years, and, frankly, it ends up making my skin crawl how absolutely verboten some find it to suggest the Missionary Mandate is not strictly to feed the poor and cloth the naked.
Proselytism: Sharing the good news of Christ. The Cross. Redemption. Grace. Life. Death to unending physical desire and pain. Rebirth to unending satisfaction in the author of life and love. Opening the door through which a lost soul gains the Beatific Vision Of heaven with God forever and avoids the pit of hell. Happiness now and forever. Eternal Life.
Proselytism is the only truly worthy aspiration in life. I reject the advice to stop proselytizing as not worthy of a Christian.
I am a convert and I WISH some Catholic (especially and including a POPE!!) had proselytized me before I reached the age of 48 when I walked into a Catholic Church, collared the priest, and asked to be taught the faith.
Fortunately, my wife and all my children are just as pushy, as they all independently approached Catholic priests and made the same request, and are all now converts as well. Ditto a son-in-law.
We were all exhausted by Protestantism and thus took the course we took, but alas, that doesn't always work out for others.
I defend, every chance I can, Saint Peter against the lie that he abandoned Jesus. He denied Jesus, of course, as the Bible tells us, but he stayed near Jesus ---- he denied Jesus thinking that if he did not do so he would not be able to stay nearby and save Jesus at the right moment. He never intended to abandon Jesus for a moment. Think about it.
I have serious doubts that Pope John Paul II, at least before his last dramatic years of painful bad health, was an honest man --- his obviously proud sinfulness at Assisi, his kissing of a book that no honest man would kiss ---- and I am almost morally certain that Pope Benedict, albeit a kind man, and an eloquent man - was full of faults - I take his own word for that, by the way. And I certainly do not claim to be a better man than either one of them. One thing I like about Pope Francis is that he is less skilled than the other famous Popes of my lifetime -perhaps because he is more humble - at hiding his lack of honesty, his lack of friendly kindness, and his other sinful faults, from intellectual laziness to habitual calumny.
Father Hunwicke, you have had many of the good things of life - you seem like the sort of person who has been fortunate enough to know good people from childhood on - and you do not know what people like me, who grew up surrounded by bad Catholics, all of whom I still pray for, know.
I think I always knew that I would die young or, if I did not die young, I would live long enough to see a very bad Pope. A rude man, a bully, a man whose word could not be trusted. Of course he too is a child of God and has done things that are pleasing in the sight of the Lord. But still a bully, a rude man, and a man whose word cannot be trusted.
Well I take the good with the bad in this world, I have never met a saint, and if I did, I was not good enough to recognize who I was talking to. Very few of us, including me, measure up to what we should be in our station of life, and at least this foul-mouthed bully in Rome does not try to pretend that he measures up to what he should be. I wish he asked more for the prayers of the billions of people who want to successfully pray for him. In its way, his refusal to honestly and kindly ask for prayers that he might repent is sort of dramatic, as his fellow modernist von Balthasar might have said (a theo-drama, I think is the word). That is what I pray he will do, someday. It is sad and hard that I, a great sinner, can plausibly - and yes, I realize how condescending this sounds, and I hate anything that smells of condescension, but sometimes you have to sound condescending in order to state the truth - (I would rather be silent but it is important to state the truth) ---- it is sad and more than sad that I, a sinner, can only think of the Pope in Rome the way an average Christian parent thinks of a child who has gone astray, perhaps addicted to hedonism or to some other strange worldly philosophy ---- but these are not easy times.
Stephen, while I accept your sincerity, I cannot accept your dismissal of Pope Francis' two predecessors. To make a great error, as Pope John Paul II did in Assisi, is not necessarily an act of dishonesty. Nor was the action necessarily prideful-JPII was a man of great charisma and honest enough, one could argue, not to hide it. In fact, his charisma did great service for a Church that was in disarray at the moment of his appointment. As for Benedict, you do not seem to count dishonesty among his faults, and are willing to take his word for them, but he was Pope John Paul's right-hand-man for many years and the two seemed to have similar theological and doctrinal view-points. Would an honest man be so dedicated to one he must have known as dishonest, were that the case?
For all their faults, I dearly wish we had a Pope John Paul II or Pope Benedict, now.
Regarding St. Peter, you mount a gallant defense, but he is unmentioned, unlike Saint John who was ultimately spared martyrdom, at the foot of the Cross.
Reverend and dear Father,
This isn't really a comment intended to be published, although if you see fit to publish it you may of course do so.
I read this post with considerable irritation. If insinuating that the pope has taught a serious error, and claiming that he didn't define what he meant by his words, when in fact he did, in the very next sentence, and by reference to a sermon by Benedict XVI, isn't fundamentally dishonest, then I don't know what dishonest means.
Just in case you didn't read the paragraph where he pronounced the words you object to (and you should have before commenting on them in public), here it is:
Our mission as baptised persons, priests and consecrated men and women, is not really determined by the number or size of spaces that we occupy, but rather by our capacity to generate change and to awaken wonder and compassion. We do this by the way we live as disciples of Jesus, in the midst of those with whom we share our daily lives, joys and sorrows, suffering and hopes (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 1). In other words, the paths of mission are not those of proselytism. Please, these paths are not those of proselytism! Let us recall Benedict XVI: “the Church grows not through proselytism, but through attraction, through witness.” [a 2007 homily] The paths of mission are not those of proselytism, which leads always to a cul-de-sac, but of our way of being with Jesus and with others.
I'm sure one could argue that he might have been better advised to say it differently. I wouldn't agree, but that's fair enough. This is not, however, what you said in your blog.
I had the pleasure of meeting one of you predecessors at St. Thomas's, Robert Sweeney, when I was an undergraduate at New College. I have often wondered what became of him.
fr. Christopher Lazowski, m.b.
(Signing "monachus benedictinus" is the traditional usage of the Congregation of Solesmes,inherited from the Congregation of St. Maur. Alas it is not followed at Quarr. It isn't some strange new medical degree.)
Dear Father. Thanks for the correction. Writing by ear the way ABS does inevitably leads to errors.
When reading your comments, ABS hears them in the voice of his High School English teachers, one Mr. Kelly, who was an immigrant from London. He was very proper and always wore a bow tie and while he was very patient with ABS, his exasperation was not always successfully hidden.
Poor man. He was obviously well educated and his bearing and behavior was pleasantly out of place in those hills of Vermont and when ABS explained to the nice gentleman that use of such expressions as - "He was learnt that a man..."- was intended by ABS to keep alive the memory of the old Vermont men he admired, poor Mr. Kelly would surrender with a wry smile and say, "I understand your desires..." and just leave it at that.
Dear Father, it is owing to your observations that such a pleasant memory has been experienced. Thank you
Michael - I am convinced Saint John Paul is in heaven or in Purgatory. Yes I think he was dishonest but I also think his dishonesty was the mild sort, the momentary lapses of a good man ---- not the habit of a bad man.
But I am also convinced that, in his last bitterly ineffectual years, he bitterly regretted his lapses into dishonesty, and my best guess about where he is right now is in Purgatory, not Heaven, and I don't think he wants to get to Heaven before every victim of his dishonesty has passed away. That is why I pray for his soul, although the canon lawyers might accuse me of being temerarious for doing so (praying for a canonized saint). Well let them think that way, maybe they have less respect for him than I do,
Of course I could be wrong, but I like him very much, and we are not usually wrong when we criticize those we admire.
Jesus did not want Peter at the cross, Peter would have been butchered on the spot by the Romans. Maybe you don't know bad people as well as I do, but I know the Romans would have butchered him in the most painful way possible. Right in front of Jesus, to make Jesus suffer more. That would have increased the suffering of Jesus, even on that very bad day where one might think He could not suffer more than he did.
Nobody talks about that, it is more fun to talk about how Peter "ran away" or how Peter was one of the first bishops "and not a very good one, at first!" It is fun to talk that way for some people, I guess. As for me, I hate to hear otherwise good Christians say such condescending things about one of the greatest saints who ever lived.
Mary, the Mother of God, had the protection that you know she had, and John the Beloved Apostle was a quiet person at the time.
The Romans were not overly brutal, as brutality was measured in those days, and quiet young men like young John the Beloved Apostle had less to worry about than brave strong men like Peter You tell me he (John the Beloved Apostle) was spared martyrdom but he saw before he died the Apocalypse. That could not have been easy on him, and maybe he would have preferred to die a young martyr rather than to see what he saw.
Anyway thanks for reading, and I appreciate your comment.
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