Sunday, September 27, 2015

Christ, Frank. What were you thinking?

"Eet 'as been an 'eck of week, King Amfortas", he said, as he slumped over a pint in the almost-ready Italian Room.  I am not yet sure about having a room for Italians, let alone Argentinians who try to speak Italian and then get reported to the Editor for translating his fractured speech into even worse English. So I was at a loss to say much of use to Francis when he dropped by.

I can understand the problem and the frustration in being mis-reported but how do you mis-report missing words. Especially the Word.

"Frank", I said, "you didn't even say 'Christ', or 'Jesus'. All that way to the USA and you forgot the main point?? "

"You 'ava to unnnerstan", he replied, "Eet is sommon else who writes ma speeches an' they have to runna themma pasta de boys in da back room. Da onesa with da Blue Pencil". I nodded. Been there ; had that done. "Taka that leetle girl who stoppeda the motor car. She 'as been waiting for a year sinsa de White House mano found justa da righta aged  illegal immigrant".

"Frank, you are the Pope. You are the Man in the Chair. Off to Confession with you, sir"

Now I could do as everyone else and his dog has done and continues to do, and dissect the reports of who said what and when. But why not go to the almost disappointing speeches themselves, remembering da boys in da backa room. 

I shall spend a couple of posts on the Papal visit to America as it is likely to be a very important Historical moment. But do not expect much in the way of cogent critique from a knackered  old Knight. I shall leave it to you to Judge for yourselves, dependant as that will be on your patience and attention.

So here let us listen to the actual speech, un-transmorgrified by reporters.

As my friend Maryse Usher said :
"Pope Francis addresses both houses of U.S. Congress, a first in history. This man is seriously contemplative. " The Pope of the Holy See" as he was so quaintly announced, had his audience in raptures... equally Democrats and Republicans, but at different times! (according to each side's predilections).
The "Sweet Christ on Earth" (as St Catherine of Siena described the pope) has a gargantuan task. I think he pulled it off magnificently, given the constraints of the context and the fragile condition of the American legislature.
It was strange that he was hustled out afterwards without being able to mingle with the audience... Thank God the Obamas were absent.Their great loss.
It was as though Papa Francesco gently, sensitively and charitably, appealed to every person in the room and in the nation, to unite in justice, compassion and hope, to lift their country out of the miserable morass into which a false ideology has plunged it.
Vatican and papal diplomacy at its best!
I am not a great diplomat m'self, but thank goodness for Charity, I say. Maryse shows it.

Make of it as you will.

I hope you stuck with it and paid attention.

Frank's speaking style takes some work on your part. 

Please try to see and hear what Maryse sees and hears.

(Perhaps ignore all the clapping and hypocrisy from the crowd)

Let me know !!

Personally, given my ways, I had hoped he would come in with a sword, breathing some fire. At the very least tip over a few tables and whack a few folk with a knotted rope.

A horse would have been nice too, especially one to match his white robe.

But no. And no mention, specifically of the Murder of Babies. I was waiting to "Suffer the little Children' passage but it never came.

He nearly got there but was diverted by the very few 'Death Row' criminals. It was almost a parody.

There are more speeches to come though.

Fingers crossed.

Fr Z. made a few observations about what and how things may not be reported.

10 less than perfectly reported points about Pope Francis’ US trip
I direct the readership’s attention to a helpful contribution from Acton Institute (which you should share with as many as possible in order to provoke MS Fishwrap into a case of the vapors).
I won’t share the whole thing. Go there to find all of it.
10 Stories The Media Won’t Tell You About The Pope’s USA Visit.
The waterworks started early for House Speaker John Boehner, when Pope Francis opened his congressional address with a greeting to “the land of the free and home of the brave.”
In his speech before Congress, the pope [or his speech writer] demonstrated a nuanced understanding of liberty when he suggested that all freedoms are related, and the decline of any of these results in the deterioration of them all.
Unless you are Catholic, you might have missed Pope Francis’s repeated use of the term “subsidiarity”.
No, this is not the great Onion headline about the power of Oreo cookies.
Some pro-lifers are probably dissatisfied with Pope Francis’s comments about the sacredness of life during the congressional address. Although he did affirm his staunch pro-life position when he exhorted Americans to “protect and defend life at every stage of its development,” he immediately shifted the focus to capital punishment. Note that Pope Francis effectively equated abortion to state-sponsored execution, which is covert way to reaffirm his pro-life views.. If there is any question as to his position on abortion, just read his remarks to the U.S. bishops yesterday.
Pope Francis visited the Little Sisters of the Poor, demonstrating his solidarity with one of the foremost opponents of Obamacare’s U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate that all employers buy contraception for employees, even those that work as abortifacients.
Pope Francis concluded his congressional address by grieving the loss of traditional family values. In no uncertain terms he declared that human flourishing would be diminished because of the redefinition of the family: “Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.”
Pope Francis’s pastoral sensibility and gentle demeanor continue to make him one of the most popular figures in the world. It ought to be the hope of many Christians and conservatives that this popularity encourages his admirers—many of whom are leftists or openly skeptical of religion—to reexamine the moral foundations of the man for whom they have such regard. I think they might find a new appreciation for traditional, Christian orthodoxy.

Mind you, Jeff Miller had a few things to say too, and praising diplomacy did not rate highly:
Wait till your Father gets home!

There is the semifamous American phrase “Wait til your Father gets home!” This phrase was suppose to be invoked by the mother after a rough day with the kids. Implying that the kids were going to “get it” when the Father found out about what they had been doing during the day.
Hmmmmm. I thought it was 'common Anglophile mother'. 
What reminded me of phrase is the Pope’s visit to the United States. Apparently we think of the Pope in just this light. That when he visits we want him to deliver the comeuppance for all the wrong doing. 
To be the militant scold like a prophet of old. That he should be grimacing when photographed with politicians who are at odds with the Catholic faith. That whatever are most important topic is should be on the lips on the Pope at every opportunity. We don’t want the Pope to be a diplomat, but somebody as brash as Patton.
I say this especially as I find myself guilty of this. Pouring through his speeches to look to see if his priorities align with my own narrative. Not listening to the Pope, but playing doctrinal bingo trying to fill my card. It is as if I suspect that people have no idea what the Church teaches so if the Pope doesn’t forcefully speak about something no one will know. The problem is not that people don’t know what the Church teaches in general, but the why behind it.

It is oh so easy to be hypercritical regarding the Pope’s visit and to see everything as a series of “might of beens.”
Here we go ! Talking of the Tavern Keeper there. 
If only the Pope had said this. So many Catholics loved when Blessed Mother Teresa was not shy at all on abortion at the National Prayer Breakfast with the Clintons. 
Yet even a loving rebuke did not affect any change in behavior regarding abortion by Bill or Hillary Clinton. 
It seems obvious to me that Pope Francis is following St. Francis de Sales when the Saint wrote “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

So I am fighting against my own tendencies in that I want clear forceful rhetoric. A “Wait til your Holy Father gets home.” That politicians get a rhetorical pummeling.
As even the casual reader of this blog might know I have a great fondness for the writings of SF author and convert John C. Wright. For his blog posts excoriating political correctness and progressive ideology. Yet I love him even more for his clear-eyed sanity.
I thought my readers ( And the Tavern Keeper's) might also be interested, as this Pope seems to have stirred up more controversy among the lazy and chattering crickets of the press corps than any Pope since World War Two.
My reaction is one of delight. I believe the Holy Spirit Himself must have prompted Pope Benedict to retire, something that has not been done in centuries, to make way for this next man.
Now, let me explain one thing: my opinion of Pope Francis is not based on the newspaper reports. I am a newspaperman and newspaper editor from way back, and I know how the press works, and I do not trust them.
The lazy and dishonest mainstream press has decided to portray the Holy Father as some sort of Leftist reformer or Marxist revolutionary, and, to my intense disgust, the lazier elements of the rightwing alternate press has followed suit.
The first dozen or so times the press quoted something that sounded extraordinary, and I took the time to trace the comment back to its original source, I found that, in context, the Holy Father’s comment was entirely orthodox, and entirely in keeping with the traditional teaching of the Mother Church since time immemorial.
It happened over and over again. Reading about the support of His Holiness for the Global Warming fraud, or his Marxist disdain for capitalism, I looked up the original document or original report, only to see some utterly orthodox Christian teaching on stewardship of God’s gift of the Earth to Man, or Christian warnings against wealth and worldliness as old as Moses.
And after a dozen times, my openmindedness creaked shut: I now simply dismiss, sight unseen, any such extraordinary quotes. 
Perhaps the Pope in his private opinions leans more to the Left than the average American. I care not. The Church has, in history, blossomed under the Emperors of Rome and Byzantium, who were elected by the army; under sacred kingship, under parliaments, under republics, and even under the tyranny of the Turks. 
The Church has also opposed all these things because She opposes the world. 
The Church will be here long after America sinks under the weight of our own corruption, long after the collapse of the North American Federation which comes next, or the Co-Dominium World-State, or the Long Night, or the Instrumentality of Man or the whatever comes after that.

I dare say that the Church will still be here, and her teaching will be remembered, unchanged, as a magician once said of the unicorn, “she will remember them all when men are fairy tales in books written by rabbits.”
Therefore I dismiss and despise the press-created image of the Pope as an illusion, as gossip, as nonsense. 
Why the Good Lord has decided to arrange to have the press, our natural enemy and the enemy of the faith, be charmed and pleased by this Pope, I have no idea. God’s ways are not our ways. What shall come of it, not even the wise can foresee.

To that I say amen.
In a related post today he wrote:
The Pope, as all Popes and bishops before him since the time out of mind, repeats the Christian teachings on mercy, eschewing greed, and being proper stewards of the Earth. The Catholic social teaching has been explicit for a century, and implicit from eternity.
If Francis gives greater emphasis to what seem to American conservatives to what are typically Leftwing topics, this is a call to stir you out of your self regard, and to realize that the socialists stole and perverted the concepts of altruism and service to the poor, not to mention stewardship of the environment. 
The Dark Lord does not create, he only corrupts.
( The Curt Jester blog is written by Jeff Miller a former atheist who after spending forty years in the wilderness finds himself with both astonishment and joy a member of the Catholic Church. )

That is more like it, Sir.


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