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The weirdness of Pope Francis

21 November 2013

The Roman Catholic periodical The Tablet has a report on a debate in the Church of England’s synod on the ordination of women as bishops. Among other things, the report said:

A number of speakers pointed to Pope Francis as an example of progressive leadership.

Canon Rosie Harper, who supports women bishops, said: “Pope Francis has got it – he’s stopped judging people and started loving them, and Catholic church attendance is rising. Stop being weird and vote yes.”

via The Tablet – News.

Macrina Walker responded on Twitter “Invoking P Francis in support of women bishops strikes me as dishonest, instrumentalist & ultramontanist – & absurd!”

PopeFrancis1And goes on to say, “I seem to recall one of the Fathers saying that the desire to rule is the mother of all heresies :-(”

I rather hope that she will go on to expand on this in a blog post, and if she does I’ll link to it.

I may be wrong, but I get the impression that the Roman Pope Francis is beginning to suffer from a carefully-cultivated media image (cultivated by the media, not by him) for saying things he never said, and promoting things that he never had any intention of promoting.

And I suspect that this is because the Western media, and their owners, find the things that he has said are a little too uncomfortable, so they prefer to try to draw the public’s attention away from them by creating a fake image. It is the reality that is too weird for them to take.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 21 November 2013 10:26 am

    Thanks for the mention. I should perhaps note that the second tweet on the desire to rule was in connection with an entirely different discussion, although it’s probably not entirely irrelevant here!

    As to whether I’ll blog, I’ll have to see… it is really over the top absurd!

    • 21 November 2013 2:28 pm

      Well it seemed to me that it might be worth expanding it a bit beyond 140 characters, and the second tweet seemed to fit, because up till now, it seems to me, Pope Francis has manifested little desire to rule, as some of these quotes testify: The 16 Most Important Quotes from Pope Francis’ Incredible New Interview – Aleteia. And many of those things are the kind of things that could have been said by an Orthodox spiritual father. That indicates to me that he comes closer to an Orthodox fronima than any of his predecessors, but the media just don’t “get” that kind of thing.

  2. 21 November 2013 7:19 pm

    I think he made it quite clear that he isn’t considering women ordination anytime soon. I’m not sure if it’s only the media. In our church I experience that the pope is quoted in a similar fashion among more “liberal” parts of the church, while seemingly ignoring that he continue to support many aspects of Catholic traditions which is definitely at odds with what these groups are working for. It is a phenomenon that I’m still trying to understand.

    • 22 November 2013 5:03 am

      Cobus, I suspect that in your church too it is similar to what was reported about the Anglican Church in the article I quoted above — that people have accepted a media image, and built a lot of false impressions on that.

      When he was first elected, the media reported that Pope Francis had a more simple lifestyle than his predecessors, then, when they discovered that he really meant it, and learned something of his history in that respect, they suddenly went quiet about it, and started publishing out-of-context remarks that fitted with fashionable Western bourgeois causes, like same-sex marriage or women’s ordination, and things like this dropped off the media’s radar: Quotes About Poverty From Pope Francis | Catholics Confront Global Poverty.


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