"I sought among them for a man that might set up a hedge, and stand in the gap before me in favor of the land." Ezekiel 22:30

Friday, December 6, 2013

Clear As Mud

I find it funny, really. Almost more sad than anything. But I don't like being sad, so I'll just chuckle softly to myself in the quiet of my living room.

Yeah, I'm talking about Evangelii Gaudium, although, it's not so much the document itself, but the reaction to it that I have to find funny in a desperate attempt to remain sane.

I'll refrain from my in-depth commentary on Pope Francis' recent apostolic exhortation... for now. Sometime when I have a little more time and feel up to it, I'll delve into that. Right now, I just want to point out how sorry I feel for Pope Francis.

I mean really. Our poor Holy Father has said some things that are as theologically, doctrinally, and spiritually sound as any pope in recent memory. Nobody remembers those statements.

But when Francis says "Who am I to judge?", or something about atheists possibly getting into heaven, or when he points out that Christians can get too focused on a "disjointed" set of morals, the media can't stop talking about how this pope is "different."

Smartly, Pope Francis, probably on his own volition, but maybe with some guidance from some PR people in the Vatican, decides to release an "apostolic exhortation." And this exhortation isn't just a little letter from the shepherd to his flock; this is a treatise.

But poor Pope Francis.

Even when he writes a document nearly 50,000 words long, with almost 300 lengthy paragraphs, and over 200 footnotes, the media, political pundits, talking heads, looney Catholics, and a whole host of other people STILL manage to take what he wrote out of context. And it's not even so much that these commentators (ehem, Rush, ehem, Limbaugh) take it out of context; it's that they don't understand the basics of Catholic social teaching.

I'll stop myself here and refrain from further commentary until I have a chance to really pull my thoughts together.

Until then, I'll continue to feel bad for our Holy Father, Pope Francis. He just can't seem to get his points out there without some screwball adding their worthless two-cents. But I actually feel worse for Catholics everywhere who maybe aren't as in-tune with their faith as they should be. Sadly, some of these Catholics do rely on the main stream media for news and guidance on their faith. It's those Catholics who are seriously being misled.

I pray that all this confusion about what the Pope did or did not mean does not lead too many souls astray. I pray that it leads many to study more intently the fundamental teachings of their faith, because right now, the average Catholic must think it's all about as clear as mud.

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If you want some insightful analysis of Evangelii Gaudium, without the garbage, here are a couple stories to read:

Some Economic Applications of Evangelii Gaudium

Of Downward Mobility and the New Evangelization

Evangelii Gaudium 54 ("trickle down economics"). Significant Translation Error Changed Meaning

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