Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blogs and Gossip



All means of communication are forbidden!

This seems to be what Archbishop Nichols is suggesting in a recent sermon in a Mass for Pope Francis.
Pope Francis understands this in practical terms. He has already identified two kinds of behaviour that destroy love in the Church. They are complaining and gossipping. He is a practical man. He knows that we live in a society in which complaining and gossip is a standard fare. They sell newspapers and attract us to blogs because we love hear complaints and to read gossip.
One of my parishioners used to work in a shady business were above the counter on the staff side hung a notice, which said, "The customer is always wrong!", actually it was a branch of Social Security, the Church can adopt this sort of triumphalism so easily.

His Grace, as Deacon Nick, points out is very seriously misinterpreting the Holy Father, bloggers who are hopefully within the Church are right to be a little concerned about His Grace's words following his condemnation of those who criticised his support of the Warwick Street dissident Masses with the sharp rebuke "they should hold their tongues".

Gossip is diabolic, especially when it is tinged with calumny, as Pope Francis has also pointed out. However there has been, especially over the last 40 years, a rather deliberate effort to silence any legitimate criticism of the Church whilst as Pope Benedict said "dissent" is mistaken "for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate". There is a certain bias in supporting those who we agree with and condemning those we disagree with.

The Church, or its leadership, should never regard itself as above criticism. We are no longer living in the age of the Inquisition, nor are we living in that time when the heirarchy could cover-up the clergy's criminal activity.Cardinal Sodano dismissed the media's reaction to sexual abuse scandals within the Church as "petty gossip". There is gossip and there is gossip, some gossip is actually necessary and a sign of health.

Fr Henry makes the comment, "some lowly Catholics further down the hierarchical system find that their "complaints" (i.e. concerns, anguishes, agonies and fears) often go unheard and unheeded - the use of the modern means of communication - including blogs - gives many a voice who are otherwise ignored. It democratises the Church in a good way but, of course, it means that those at the top are more readily held to account."

Today Pope Francis spoke about the Holy Spirit driving the Church forward and the danger of those who want to drag the Church backwards, "We don’t want to change and what’s more there are those who wish to turn the clock back.” "This is called stubbornness and wanting to tame the Holy Spirit.” The great achievement of the Second Vatican Council was to open up the Church and to recognise the legitimate pluralism within it. To go back to a time when people like Archbishop Nichols could command tongues to be held whilst at the same time permitting the Tablet to be sold at the back of his Cathedral and dissidents to lecture in his diocese is indeed a turning back of the clocks and quite contrary to everything we have seen of Pope Francis so far.

11 comments:

Savonarola said...

You say, 'there has been, especially over the last 40 years, a rather deliberate effort to silence any legitimate criticism of the Church whilst as Pope Benedict said "dissent" is mistaken "for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate". There is a certain bias in supporting those who we agree with and condemning those we disagree with.'
Who decides what is legitimate criticism? It seems that those who want to criticise Pope Francis regard their criticism as legitimate, while continuing to call those whose criticism of the Church's leadership they disagree with "dissenters." Some confusion here surely, or is it simple bias?

gemoftheocean said...

Hear, hear. No more sweeping horrors under the rug. If the church hadn't done that, there wouldn't be nuclear fallout today. Cleaning house against a few bad apples every once in a while is bad enough (law of averages with a church with 1.2 billion people] but to let it pile up for decades has destroyed the church in many places. With all due respect to Archbishop Vinny, sometimes you have to speak up, because to remain silent would be a sin. [He should mind his own beeswax anyway! ;-D ]

I don't think it qualifies as "gossip" if it's accurate!

Pablo the Mexican said...

"...Gossip is diabolic, especially when it is tinged with calumny, as Pope Francis has also pointed out..."

People want a Catholic Pope.

Is a Catholic Pope too much to ask for?

"The Emperor has no clothes" was not a calumny.

"...To go back to a time when people like Archbishop Nichols could command tongues to be held whilst at the same time permitting the Tablet to be sold at the back of his Cathedral and dissidents to lecture in his diocese is indeed a turning back of the clocks and quite contrary to everything we have seen of Pope Francis so far..."

If you go back in time you will find Catholic Priests with backbone, and also Bishops.

Here is an order to Physicians from and old time Bishop that would be unheard of in todays Bishops:

1795 Oct. 14
Penalver y Cardenas, Luis Bishop
(New Orleans)
1) The Bishop notifies:

a) That examining the parochial books, upon the occasion of the holy visit of his diocese, he notified sorrowfully the great number of adults that die without the sacraments of Penance, Eucharist, and Extreme Unction.

b) That that is due to the non-observance of the physicians and surgeons of the canonical orders of the fourth Council of Lateran under Pope Innocent III, of the holy Bull issued by Pius V whose beginning is "Super Gregem Dominicum" and of the instruction given by the Roman Council under the pontificate of Benedict XIII in 1725.

c) That all of which orders them not only to call the attention of those they cure to prepare themselves to eternal life through the holy sacraments, but also that they must refrain from continuing to help the sick if at the end of the third day of illness they have not been administered.

d) That all those doctors who do not proceed so will be punished with a major excommunication.

2) therefore the Bishop decrees that in order that all those who live amidst vice and licentiousness may be saved by an efficient confession of their sins, this decree is to be made known to every physician and surgeon, thus reminding them of their responsibility and the strict account they must give on Judgement Day to Our Lord for the least failure in the fulfillment of their duties.

3) That in the case of a known and proven neglect to carry out such orders, they will be punished properly for their disobedience. Signed by the Bishop of Louisiana and witnessed by Dr. Joseph Maria de Rivas as secretary.

Returning to Tradition is Roman Catholic.

One needs to understand that refraining from pointing out evil being done to Our Lord is to be an accomplice to it.

In our time more than ever before, the chief strength of the wicked lies in the cowardice and weakness of good men... All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easy-going weakness of Catholics. Oh! If I might ask the Divine Redeemer, as the prophet Zachary did in spirit: What are those wounds in the midst of Thy hands? The answer would not be doubtful: With these was I wounded in the house of them that loved Me. I was wounded by My friends, who did nothing to defend Me, and who, on every occasion, made themselves the accomplices of My adversaries. And this reproach can be leveled at the weak and timid Catholics of all countries Pope St. Pius X, Discourse he pronounced on December 13, 1908 at the Beatification of Joan of Arc.
If we think the worst evil has passed, "You ain't seen nothing yet" as the saying goes.

Until Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests convert back to the Faith, and get some backbone, evil is going to continue steamrollering souls into Hell.

Until the Holy Father and all the Bishops of the world consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Russia will continue to spread her errors.

May He, Who , for your sake was nailed to the Cross, be in every way impressed upon your heart.


*

Gervase Crouchback said...

I think ArchBishop Nicholls is trying for a cardinal's hat,but i hope that he is overlooked. I thought he had great potential-speaking as an Australian looking in-but he seems to have taken too many TABLETS

pooka said...

"... who criticised his support of the Warwick Street dissident Masses with the sharp rebuke "they should hold their tongues"

Were not those commanded to hold their tongues people judging other individual's worthiness to receive Communion?

Genty said...

I think the major problem is that if a Pope speaks in general terms and "from the heart", without reference to the hermaneutic of continuity, he will be open to any interpretation to suit any subjective preference. No-one would quibble with the faithful's call to evangelisation, but with how this is to be achieved.
Some would say by example and by proclaiming the Church's core values. Others would say it's about openness and charity. Both views claim fidelity to Christ's teaching but, taken to extremes, neither fulfils the Church's mission.
I'm afraid that Archbishop Nichols appears to have misunderstood the Pope. Equally, I admit I am still not clear whether the Pope is speaking - musing, really - as Bishop of Rome or as head of the global Church on earth.

Delia said...

Oh dear! But did Pope Francis mean grumbling rather than complaining? Is it a bad translation? Complaining, surely, can be a good thing if the grounds are legitimate and it spurs one to action? E.g. Mary Whitehouse. Well, Your Grace, wouldn't it be great to have a Church in which there was nothing to complain about. A good start, as Father points out, would be to stop selling the Pill.

As for Pope Francis's homily, he is typically spot on in what he says about closing in on ourselves. But I don't get the context. Grief-stricken, baffled, going over things to try to make sense of them, were the disciples complaining? I'm afraid I can't see it.

BJC said...

+Vin should take some of Pope Francis's advice and stop stocking the complaining and gossiping Tablet at the back of his church. I wonder what he would make of the sniping editorials and dissenting articles that constantly try to 'chop off bits of the faith' and lead others 'to apostasy'. While he's at it he could also tell the complaining and gossiping soho masses group to disband and join Courage. Charity begins at home and its about time +Vin lead by example.

JARay said...

I find myself in complete agreement with Gervase Crouchback and it has nothing to do with Aussies sticking together.
I now find myself praying, not just for an increase in good solid priests, but also for good solid bishops. The British Isles seem to me to be in great need of them.

Lepanto said...

Looking at orthodox Catholic blogs, the Archbishop seems to have 'shot himself squarely in the foot'. I find it hard to believe that he was so naive as to have done this. It shows that some of the 'home truths' he reads have him worried.

Jessica Hoff said...

Yes, mustn't complain - that's been a great success - perhaps the media will get with the Archbishop's programme - in his dreams.