Friday, June 14, 2013

'Papa Chicacchierone'

According to Rocco Palmo Pope Francis is known as Papa Chicacchierone, Pope Chatterbox, as far as I can see on Google Palmo is the only one apart from a very few 'twitterers' to use the term but it is interesting if this is being used on the Borgo Pio or amongst the Curia. Pope Francis has chosen to limit himself to words and a bit of televised hugging and kissing, rather than the signs and symbols his predecessor tried to restore. The number of kissed babies or hugged old ladies the media can digest is a bit limited, after the thousandth or so it becomes dull, unless it is your baby. The same with the "don't bes" in the daily Papal homilies: "don't be Mr and Mrs Whiner", "don't be a clerical careerist", don't be an old maid", "don't be someone who doesn't reach out to the poor", "don't be rich and worldly", "don't be a gossip", "don't waste food", are obviously important but it is very easy for them to be seen as nagging, as if there is a lack vision, a lack of the imagination.

This week seems to have marked a bit of a sea-change in the perception of His Holiness, the "gay lobby" remarks which seemed to feature on every newscast for a few days seemed to flash lights for the media, though perhaps some of the more alarming background, see here, has been ignored.

On Sunday the Pope offers Mass in St Peter's Square for Evangelium Vitae Day. Life issues have not figured very large in  Italy , the Pope's presence a few weeks ago at the head of a pro-Life demonstration was hardly mentioned. It will be interesting to see what happens and what is said.


Katalina said...

Being a "Chatterbox" Pope or a Pope who likes to talk a lot is okay as long as the talk turns into concrete actions. This is true in light of the revelations about the "Gay Lobby" at the Vatican.

JARay said...

I remember a "chatroom" similar to the one which eponymousflower talks about, being centered in South Africa and one of its bishops was certainly involved. This must have been 10 or more years ago. I was thoroughly sickened by it. The bishop was eventually removed and all those similar deviants within the Church must equally be removed.
Here in Australia, the Chief of the Army has made a public disclosure of a number of serving Officers within its ranks being involved with the degradation of women both in using Army communications and also on the Internet. He has stood down a number of them and is investigating further numbers which extend beyond 100 Army personnel. He has called for them to leave the Army which has no place for such people. Why has the Church not acted in a similar way?

GOR said...

What? No mention of the Harley-Davidson celebration in Rome?

Nor the two motorcycles given to Pope Francis?

I suspect they might have been of more use to him in Buenos Aires than the Vatican...

Amfortas said...

We seem to have arrived at a point where the Pope is the Church.

GOR said...

Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture had some good commentary about Pope Francis’ off-the-cuff style and I think he has a point. We may lament the unscripted deliveries of the Holy Father and yearn for the well thought out deliveries of Pope Benedict. It gets us out of our ‘comfort zone’. We like things to be neat and tidy, with all T’s crossed and I’s dotted.

But Francis is calling us to take risks – echoing something John Paul II also advised: to “put out into the deep”. We can become too complacent, always waiting for the best time or the ideal conditions before we undertake something. He is inviting us to get our feet wet and get our hands dirty. Yes, we’ll make mistakes, but as the saying goes: “someone who never makes a mistake, never makes anything else either.”

Pope Francis admits he is ‘disorganized’ and needs help with things. Thus, his constitution of an ‘Advisory Board’ of Cardinals to help him out. He knows his limitations and that he can’t do everything. Yes he’s humble, but he’s also realistic.

As Sandro Magister points out, this is very much part of his Jesuit background where the top man has a group of advisors to assist him. The same obtains in other Religious Orders where Father Generals have Consultors representing the geographical areas where the Order labors. It’s not unlike a secular CEO with a board of directors or a ‘kitchen cabinet’ of high-level managers.

But, as Magister further points out, the advisors are just that – advisors. They don’t make the decisions or decide policy. The buck stops with Francis and he – like a Jesuit, Franciscan or Dominican Father General - ultimately makes the decisions.

There are risks to his ‘chatterbox’ style and he knows it. But he trusts that God knows it too. He chose him for the job – and He knows Francis better than anyone else.

Cosmos said...


In practice, if not in theory, this seems to be the result of the grand experiement of updating the Church in the 1960s and 1970s. So many questions that were settled seemed to be reopened, and everyone looked to the temporal authorities in the Church, the Bishops, for their marching orders. These become the de facto reality of our faith. Since the marching orders seem to always be changing, the focus on the bishops becomes more and more constant. Those who are suspicious of all of this novelty are reminded that Catholics are required to submit to the Church authority, without grumbling, even in matters that aren't strictly dogmatic. This is a matter or conscience and sin.

However, it also follows naturally that the marching orders from the captain of our captains--the Pope--are more interesting since they essentially trump the middle men. Therefore, we all parse the Pope's words, looking for confirmation or negation of the local plan of action.

Its a terribly unsettled way of existing.

Ma Tucker said...

GOR, I seriously don't think the Holy Father is putting out into the deep:-) Good grief if it were any more shallow we'd all be grounded:-). He's seen a lot of hardship and I'm sure he is one tough cookie which it what we might be in need of in the near future. A sort of "aint pretty but it does the job" kind of idea.