The Little Book of Insults
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    I suppose it was just a matter of time before someone compiled a list of all the papal reproofs, jibes, kvetches which have been floating about, and now it's official, though there will probably have to be several sequels before this pontificate is over.

    It's a little painful going through this list; some of it hits home to me personally, but I suppose there's something there for everyone, though certain stereotypes predominate.

    Two things I think are significant: it's a bit sobering to realize how long and comprehensive the list is and to realize that verbal abuse appears to be a big part of the papal pedagogy. It's also clear (at least from what I see) that this Pope has suffered at the hands of "pious" Catholics who were tyrannical, authoritarian, haughty, self-righteous and hypocritical, and that he clearly has some unresolved "issues" of his own.

    It's a lesson for me; I think it's a lesson to us all in one way or another. There's a whole lot of stuff to "unpack" here, and it's a real revelation of the mind and heart of our Holy Father.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,529
    Well, it's not really "official", but I get what you mean. As you can see by the date, the blogger who compiled it posted it on the net a year ago, but it's probably really a "work in progress", depending on what colorful expressions the Pope may think up in future homilies!
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • I was ok until he mentioned "pastry-shop" Christians...
    Drat
  • TCJ
    Posts: 607
    I think one commenter hit the nail on the head when he referred to Pope Francis as being un-understandable. Seriously, you're left scratching your head almost every time he says something.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,727
    I think one commenter hit the nail on the head when he referred to Pope Francis as being un-understandable. Seriously, you're left scratching your head almost every time he says something.


    Amen to that! I still think the cardinals elected Joe Biden and changed his costume. LOL.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,283
    As one self-absorbed, Promethean, neo-Pelagian to another, we should perhaps give heed to what Cardinal Pell said: "There have been bad popes before". I'm off to the pastry shop now. Then to count my rosaries for a triumphalist, Renaissance prince.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,727
    We easterners are in the St. Philip's Fast period, so I will have to delay self-gratification and indulgence for now on that pastry. But come Christmas, break out the sugar. LOL. Bad popes will not deter my festive Christmas.
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,283
    my festive Christmas.

    New Calendar or Old?
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,727
    We eastern Catholics are using the new calendar. Our local Orthodox friends use the old. The real advantage is that I can legitimately celebrate Christmas twice - same for Epiphany which is a bigger feast in the east than Christmas.
  • It's also clear (at least from what I see) that this Pope has suffered at the hands of "pious" Catholics who were tyrannical, authoritarian, haughty, self-righteous and hypocritical, and that he clearly has some unresolved "issues" of his own.


    We've all been there!

    As one self-absorbed, Promethean, neo-Pelagian to another, we should perhaps give heed to what Cardinal Pell said: "There have been bad popes before". I'm off to the pastry shop now. Then to count my rosaries for a triumphalist, Renaissance prince.


    Can you find NO merit to the things that he says? Really? Your response is tantamount to "This pope is an a$$," albeit in a much nicer and classier way.

    Even if you don't like everything he says, can you find some things that ring true and that maybe we could learn from?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,529
    Non sequitur, PGA
  • What would the non sequitur be?

    I'm just pointing out that it seems that in some circles, instead of actually digesting his remarks and seeing if there's some value to them, folks just get defensive and actually get somewhat hateful of him simply because he hasn't emerged as this "hard core, traditional, conservative pope," whatever any of that actually means.

    I guess the hope was that he would come out talking about how great the TLM is, talk about expanding mandates for the TLM, and take an even harder and unequivocal line against lay involvement in the Church, homosexuals, and all manner of other things.

    But instead, he actually is CHALLENGING some of the views held in the Church, not in terms of doctrine, but in terms of tone and substance. And for that he is vilified.

    So, I'm asking: Even if his comments rub you the wrong way, instead of having a knee jerk reaction against him, can you sift through them for the value there?
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Yes, PGA, I admit that some of his comments have hit their mark with me, and I am quite familiar with what seems to be his #1 nemesis: Archie Bunker-type conservatives. The fact that this stereotype is commonly believed to proliferate in certain ecclesiastical/liturgical circles does not escape me, either.

    The problem is that I see the rigid, smug, authoritarian crank as more a product of preconciliar culture than as exisiting in great numbers in the current landscape. People like that may still exist in some ultratraditionalist/sedevacantist communities, but that's not what you see at most TLM venues anymore.

    The conservative/traditional profile has changed, and I don't know if Papa Bergoglio realizes that. I have followed the American Conservative movement all my life, and I think it's fair to say that the Archie Bunker generation, which might as well be synonymous with the so-called "greatest generation" is passing away. Whether that's a good thing or not, I don't know. Sure they had their foibles and their rhetoric and modus operandi weren't always the best, but God bless them for sticking to their guns and keeping the faith.

    I hope someday our Holy Father will have a chance to get to know some traditionalist Catholics who have stayed in the heart of the Church and who have been influenced by the true spirit of Vatican II. He might be very surprised. In the meantime, I don't know if his attempt to fix the problem by leaving gaping wounds in his ideological opponents is the most constructive method. It is to be hoped that conservative/traditional Catholics will, as you say, PGA, apply the things that are true and beneficial and leave the rest.

    Maybe it's not a bad thing we traditionalists are getting a pruning. If we take it with humility and patience, and modulate where we need to (and who doesn't need to adjust) then we'll emerge all the stronger from this time of trial.
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • I respect that your experience is uniquely your experience, and everything that you wrote above might well be true for you.

    I have to say that in my experience the "Archie Bunker" brand of "traditional Catholics" is very much alive and well.

    Consider that an individual around here who would be described as a "traditional Catholic" stated shortly after Pope Francis' election that she was "praying for a short pontificate." Read into that statement what you will, but I'm pretty sure she wasn't hoping or thinking that he would reign for a year and then retire.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,300
    From yesterday’s Zenit:
    VATICAN CITY, November 20, 2014 - “We are afraid of conversion because conversion means allowing the Lord to lead us.” Pope Francis said these words during his homily at Casa Santa Marta this morning.

    Today’s Gospel from St. Luke recalled Jesus weeping as he was overlooking the city of Jerusalem because they did not recognize the bringer of peace. “If this day you only knew what makes for peace– but now it is hidden from your eyes,” Jesus says in the Gospel.

    According to Vatican Radio, the Pope said that the people of Jerusalem did not welcome Christ because they “were content with what they had.”

    “The city was afraid to be visited by the Lord; afraid of the gratuity of the Lord’s visit,” he said. “The city felt safe in the knowledge of what it could handle. We all feel safe in the things that we can handle. But the visit of the Lord, its surprises, those we cannot handle.”

    The Holy Father went on to say that many times, Christians fear the “surprises of the Lord. Although God brings joy and leads all to conversion, the Pope explained, “we all fear happiness – that joy that the Lord brings, because we cannot control it.”

    “We are afraid of conversion because conversion means allowing the Lord to lead us,” he said.

    Concluding his homily, the Pope called on the faithful to reflect on whether they truly believe they need God’s visits or if they are content with themselves.

    The Lord, he said, “continues to knock on the door of each one of us and of His Church, the pastors of the Church. Yes, the door of our hearts, of the heart of the Church, of her pastors will not open: and the Lord weeps, even today.”

    May we ever be open to the surprises of the Lord.
    Thanked by 2hilluminar CHGiffen
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Interesting. I happened upon a recent video by Michael Voris, of all people, exhorting RC's of all persuasions to cease creating this toxic atmosphere (Desolation of Smaug anyone?) that excoriates HHF. He was, to me, uncharacteristically reasonable and charitable towards both ends of the Rad to Trad spectrum to not pigeon-hole the pope to whatever caricature fits their anxiety.
    Works for me.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,565
    I really wish if they were going to publish anything from these daily homilies that they would publish the entire text... If they are given "on the fly" they should have someone there record it and transcribe it... I think we are missing out on many things by only having the readers digest version of these or less.
    Thanked by 1Jahaza
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    While I find this way of speaking about people annoying, I do tend to chalk it up not to this Holy Father's personal beefs but to his Jesuit background of spiritual discernment. This comes across very well in his wrap up homily of the recent synod, when he spoke of "temptations"--on all sides--rather than of "Christians," which I take to be a daily Mass casual inexactitude. There's nothing wrong with being asked by any spiritual father to undergo a constantly renewed purification of motivations. I think everyone could profitably take this papacy as a longish Jesuit retreat in which we become spiritually more mature by examining ourselves for inadequate motivations.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 4,987
    Although personally my soul responds better to encouragement and explanation, rather than accusation.
    Thanked by 2Ben Yanke CHGiffen
  • It seems to me that if I listen to the rebukes of Jesus, I should be open to the challenges of his vicar. And yet folks should also be open to questioning of Francis' message- especially when it's taken out of context or otherwise confusing. In attempting to understand Pope Francis, I try to understand him through the lens of the gospel, his Jesuit training, and his Argentine culture. Then, when I'm still left scratching my head, I chalk it up to some unknown blockage in my own receptors. And I take comfort in that a pope doesn't alwas have to be right about prudential matters.

    When I feel stung by a rebuke, I often laugh about it first- especially if it involves pastries. Then I examine if and how I should change something in my life. I want to love God and neighbor, so there's only profit in asking, "what does Love demand of me?"
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I'll take Martin Luther over this bumbling fool any day:

    http://ergofabulous.org/luther/
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    LOL! Dem's proper fightin' words on that there website, Gavin.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Now there was a man who knew how to insult!

    I'd actually be curious about prior papal insults. Surely Benedict had some strong words now and then?
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Certainly Cardinal Ratzinger was no stranger to controversy and had some strong words, but I don't remember them being directed toward persons.

    He didn't mince words, for example, when he blamed the crisis in the Church on the "collapse of the liturgy," and another time when he famously referred to the Novus Ordo as a "fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it - as in a manufacturing process - with a fabrication, a banal on -the-spot product."

    And who can forget Pope Benedict's ringing condemnation of the war in Iraq:

    "Enough with the slaughters. Enough with the violence. Enough with the hatred in Iraq!"

    I don't recall him identifying a specific faction in the Church as his favorite whipping boy and making it the constant target of harsh invective which this Pope has done from the get-go with conservative/traditional Catholics.

    Pope Pius X was certainly not fond of modernists and eventually declared public war on them, but as he explains in his encyclical Pascendi Domini Gregis, it was only after every other avenue had failed, and he took great care to explain over and over his case against the modernist system of thought:

    Once indeed We had hopes of recalling them to a better sense, and to this end we first of all showed them kindness as Our children, then we treated them with severity, and at last We have had recourse, though with great reluctance, to public reproof. But you know, Venerable Brethren, how fruitless has been Our action. They bowed their head for a moment, but it was soon uplifted more arrogantly than ever. If it were a matter which concerned them alone, We might perhaps have overlooked it: but the security of the Catholic name is at stake. Wherefore, as to maintain it longer would be a crime, We must now break silence, in order to expose before the whole Church in their true colours those men who have assumed this bad disguise.


  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Actually, the toughest thing I can remember from Cardinal Ratzinger is his provocative denunciation of the "filth" and corruption in the Church on Good Friday 2005:


    Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of His Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the Priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency!"

    "Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church...You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all."
    Thanked by 2Gavin Andrew Malton
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,529
    Pope Benedict's reference to a "fabricated liturgy" sounds harsher in English than it was probably meant to be. Usually when an English speaker says that something is "fabricated", he means that it is false and not authentic. But a more literal meaning of "fabricated" is: "manufactured, assembled". That would be a way to contrast a process of gradual change with the process by which the revisions were made through the work of the Consilium.

  • It is interesting, isn't it, how the tinte of our faith-politics-social polity influences our estimation of the reigning Bishop of Rome. When Benedict was pope there were scads of predictable sorts (who wrote vehement antipathy on Pray Tell) against him and everything he did. Now that Francis is pope there are scads of predictable sorts who have no qualms about raking him over the coals. I, for one, was greatly appreciative, but not totally (just almost totally) in agreement, with Benedict's acts as pope. As for Holy Father Francis, I am deeply disappointed in his lack of understanding for a much higher liturgical praxis, but give him very high esteem for his active concern for those whom both Church and society tend to pray for but not do much about loving or accepting. I admire his fearless challenging of complacence and institutional certitude about matters which Jesus would, I think, have approached much more lovingly than the Church has done. He is, most refreshingly, not a prisoner of his office. Bureaucracies (as in the Roman Curia!?) are notorius in their resistance to the monarchs they presumably serve, to whom they pay lip service as long as the monarch behaves. And, the complacent faithfull are notoriously content to point to the sins of those which they think are more horrid than their own, and will resent a pastor who levels the field. Ah! If only we could have Benedict and Francis rolled into one! The lesson is that The Pope Is The Pope. What he says and does should be a positive lesson and example for all - even if we wish that he cared more for that for which we care the most... The Pope Is The Pope. Thank goodness he is no longer carried about on a golden litter for people to bow and scrape to as if he were the very next thing to a little god - like the Emperor of Japan used to be.
  • I guess I am just either too simple or too ignorant. I have nothing but respect for the Popes. From Pope Paul VI (who was the pope I grew up under) to Pope Francis (the current pope.) I have always listened to what they have to say and tried to integrate it into my life. Guess I'm just to dumb to know what to criticize them about.
  • Thank goodness he is no longer carried about on a golden litter


    Wouldn't that be more environmentally sensitive?
    Thanked by 1ryand
  • I don't think it's as much environment as the fact that this is not the Renaissance, and the Pope is not the sovereign monarch of Rome anymore.
  • "Christian bats"!!! Two words I would never imagine together LOL! I'm with PGA on this. I very much enjoy pondering on the Pope's words and taking time to understand. Too many people today seem to want everything watered down and easy to digest. Don't be cryptic, don't be intellectual, the regular people won't understand. I don't find the current Pope to be that "un-understandable", he just asks that we slow down and use the mind God gave us. In our way-too-fast moving world, I find this quite refreshing. I also began studying the Jesuits shortly before this pontificate started, it came as an off-shoot of my thesis research oddly enough. Anyway, I've become quite fascinated by them, so perhaps I am biased. *shrug*
  • Sovereign Pontiff of the City of Rome? No, not so much. God's Vicar on Earth? Absolutely. Like the man and his policies or not, he's still the Vicar of Christ. What honors would we bestow on Christ, assuming we recognized Him?

    Here's a difference, though, which doesn't affect the office itself: the Pope may be prudent or imprudent; wise or foolish; or much of anything else- -- but because of his office, he should be treated with great respect, and a Sedelia wouldn't be a bad way to do this. Aside from that, it would be "environmentally sensitive" - and should, therefore, have the full-throated support of those who care for both the unemployed and the environment.

  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,282
    What honors would we bestow on Christ, assuming we recognized Him?


    A better question might be: What honors would he ask for or accept?
  • What honours would we bestow on Christ....

    Somehow, I don't see Jesus robed in regal splendour, wearing a ridiculously ponderous three tiered crown, being borne on a golden litter carried by the cream of Roman gentry (many of whom lay claim to lineage from Roman senatorial families), while priviledged lackeys waft about the cermonial fans of Caesarean pomp, and held in breathless awe by fawning 'faithful'. Jesus had something to say about 'those who wear soft clothing' and made it plain as day that his kingdom was not of this world. No, such does not signify who Jesus was, or what he preached. We have had this problem ever since the Church accepted Caesar and the state as bedfellows, and we are happily rid of it. The gospel for our recent solemnity made it clear - 'if ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me'. The greatest honour that we can bestow on the Christ is to imitate him.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    And yet . . . and yet we have this mysterious incident from St. John's Gospel:

    Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein. Jesus therefore said: Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of my burial. For the poor you have always with you; but me you have not always.
  • Julie, you are so right. And I frequently and faithfully quote St John in defence of splendid liturgy. Somehow, there is a balance. It is fitting that some marks of honour be shown to and bestowed upon our holy fathers. Concommitantly, we should expect of them personal imitations of our Lord's ministry and the eschewance of imperial pretensions. The true vicar of Christ is his imitator.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    I agree, MJO, the splendor of virtue far outshines man-made trappings, but there is still the fact that the Church on earth represents the New Jerusalem in all its brilliance and majesty and our liturgy prefigures the Supper of the Lamb. So in that sense, fitting pomp and circumstance is called for in Catholic architecture, ceremony, worship, music and in the office of the pope, hierarchy and clergy.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,727
    People are, for the most part, visual animals. We believe what we see. If we see someone in jeans and sweatshirt, we think of them one way. If we see them regally clothed then we realize this is someone very special and different. I think one of the reasons liturgy and clergy are held in such lower regard is that they are not distinguishable in any visible way from the perfectly ordinary. YMMV. Don't even get me started on church architecture. Would any right thinking person enthrone the King of Kings in a sterile Calvinist concrete box?
    Thanked by 2JulieColl CHGiffen
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Somehow, there is a balance.

    Quite right, Jackson, though I'm fairly sure quite a few "thinkers" over at PTB would deny that "we" get that!
    There always seems to be a corresponding balance among the accounts of Jesus' ministry on earth. In Julie's citation, the corresponding lesson would doubtless be the Mandatum and His exemplification calling all to be servants of the servants. In both versions, He calls us to a higher understanding, discipline and of course, love.
    Then Christ the King will affirm that which we ought to have sense of already: are we sheep of His flock, or goats in the abyss?
  • the Pope is not the sovereign monarch of Rome anymore


    I don't know what I "miss" more - rood screens, or the Papal States.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,613
    I would hope rood screens, considering how poorly administered much of the Papal States were governed in their later centuries (and I am not referring to the black legend that extrapolated the reality into melodramatic myth).
  • Abusus non usus tollit
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,283
    Rood screens in the Papal States.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    Even though it's not a portrait of life in the Papal States as such, The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni does offer some insights into daily life in Italy in the late Middle Ages. It's my favorite novel, right up there with The Path to Rome by Belloc. Things obviously weren't perfect, but The Betrothed portrays more than any other book I know the details and atmosphere of life in a thoroughly Catholic setting.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,437
    I might add that the honest portrayal of the parish priest, Fra Abbondio, in The Betrothed is very instructive and helped me personally to develop a realistic attitude toward the clergy.

    Interestingly enough, I looked up Manzoni's views regarding the so-called "Roman question" and he concluded that the ‘In the early centuries, the Church did not possess lands, and those were the days of its supreme grandeur. Then it walked resplendent in the world without the chains which bind it now,' and his emphatic belief came to be that, ‘The Church will never be at ease on this earth.’

    While he insisted that he was a humble and respectful Catholic who bowed his head
    humbly before the Holy Father, he believed the people in the Papal States were within their rights to demand emancipation from Rome. Though he did not take an active part in the Risorgimento, Manzoni was closely associated with it and many of its ideals were incorporated into The Betrothed.
    .
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn