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Friday, September 20, 2013

Seven Quick Takes Friday (vol. 4): A Round-Up of Reactions

Maybe not a full round-up, but some reactions to the Pope's interview, which can be read in form approved by the Holy Father here. Erm, I agree with the other guy that what the pope is saying and what he's being reported as saying by the media are two entirely separate things, that the media's interpretation of the interview (and of what it means) are flat-out wrong, whether through their imbecilic ignorance or through their deliberate malice. Anyhow, here are a few reactions from around the web.

  1. Father Z has an instant reaction and a fisking reaction, both worth reading:
    Through interviews – and the coverage of interviews – a “virtual Francis” is being created. An interview, by its nature, can only go so far. Short questions and short responses only go so deep. 
    We have to make sure that, with all the media attention, with all these interviews, that the “virtual Francis” is not stronger than the real Francis. 
    That is exactly what Benedict XVI – in his last days as Pope – said and warned about how the Second Vatican Council was interpreted. The media and others created a virtual Council.  Remember that? There is a Council of the Media and a Council of the Fathers. 
    Week by week a Francis of the Media is being crafted. 
  2. Father Longenecker also has a reflection up, noting that some of what the pope is saying will be lost in translation simply because of the difference between the culture of Latin America (very Catholic culturally, perhaps a bit too clerical) as opposed to America and Europe (libearl Protestant/Post-Christian/anti-clerical).
  3. Catholic vote notes that Pope Benedict said in his encyclical Deus Caritas Est pretty much the same thing as Pope Francis is saying in the interview. Also, this: "To read [the Pope's remarks] and say that the Pope wants to be accepting of abortion and contraception and gay marriage is like reading the story of Jesus and the Woman at the Well and say it shows how accepting Jesus is of adultery."
  4. LifeNews read the same interview as all the mainstream outlets, yet it managed to come to pretty much the exact opposite conclusion. Might this have something to do with the fact taht there are actual serious and sincere Catholics on the staff of LifeNews, a thing which appears to be lacking among mainstream journalists?
  5. Marcel Lejeune has posted a set of of seven things about the Pope which rub Certain Catholics (conservative, tradition-loving, orthodox, faithful) the wrong way, and then explains why each shouldn't. Eh, it's not a bad assessment, save that the part about being "pro-immigrant" lends itself to politically supporting amnesty (under any name) and other foolhardy endeavors which will create more problems than they solve.
  6. The pope's interview comes as a bit of a communications blindside for the bishops, which will almost certainly result in a great number of Americans erroneously believing that he just overturned 2000 years of Church teaching on homosexuality, abortion, and contraception.
  7. Finally, there is the reaction from the New Liturgical Movement, which is straightforward and thoughtful:
    Nothing in the Pope's words undo any Catholic teaching. What's more, he intends no change whatsoever. What he is bringing to these hot-button issues is a humane clarity that reflects an aspect of Catholicism that is frequently overlooked in the world at large. It is the most common perception in the world today that Catholicism is nothing more than a strict set of life rules and the Church herself operates as the more judge and inquisitor not only over its members but over the society at large.... 
    Pope Francis is next in line. With renewed clarity about doctrine, morals, and liturgy having taken place, and having inherited this template, he is interested in adding a crucial and critical pastoral and evangelistic element that he perceives to be lacking. His contribution is additive, not corrective. And what he has said is clearly true and introduces an element that has always been present but has too often been ignored by the press and the world. Further -- and this should not be forgotten -- he is speaking not as an infallible guide to all things but only as the pastor.
      Very well put.

Bonus: More reactions will come in, I'm sure, but this is already a lot for now. Also, this image from Catholic Memes:

Seven quick Takes Friday is hosted by Jennifer Fulwiler.

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