Monday, December 02, 2013

Pope says, Jesus 'pretends'


Jes·u·it·i·cal
adjective

of
 or pertaining to Jesuits o
r Jesuitism.
often lowercase 
practicing casuistry or equivocation; using subtle or oversubtle reasoning; crafty; sly; intriguing.
Or as the say you can take the Jesuit out of the Jesuits but not the Jesuit out of the Jesuit.

On Saturday Radio Vatican said, Pope Francis had said,
“In the Gospel, Jesus does not become angry, but pretends to when the disciples do not understand him,”
The ancient Fathers would baulk at such a suggestion, I can't think of one who would be be comfortable with the idea that the Gospels did not reveal the plain meaning of what Jesus said and did, it is only the Jesuits of the 17th century who would begin to suggest otherwise.
There is no suggestion in the Gospels that Jesus feigns, or pretends anything, on the contrary he is the 'Truth', he says, "Let you 'yes' mean 'yes' and you 'no' mean 'no'". His Kingdom stands in contradistinction to that of the kingdom of the Father of Lies.
If Jesus really does 'pretend' to be angry but isn't really what else does he pretend? Is he really just 'acting' in other emotional responses, when he sighs, when he weeps, when he rails against the Pharisees. Is he really grinning broadly when he calls Simon Peter, 'Satan'?
I do not agree with Pope Francis on this, we do not need smiley or angry face marks to interpret the Gospels.
Perhaps this says more about the Pope than it does about Jesus. Rather than Jesus pretending, is Pope Francis 'pretending'? After all if one believes the Son of God can and does 'pretend', why shouldn't the Pope? and if the Pope can 'pretend', why not the Church?
I really do think this is a very big issue, the ramifications run very deep, the implication is that the plain meaning of scripture is not readily available to the ordinary reader or hearer, it also means that for ordinary Catholics it is alright to 'pretend' for affect or for some other reason. If Jesus did it, why is shouldn't the Vatican Bank in its accounts or a Bishop defending his diocese against accusation of sexual abuse of minors, or why not a divorced and remarried Catholic 'pretend' and receive Communion anyhow. If 'pretending' is alright, why not hypocrisy, or downright lying?

55 comments:

Pelerin said...

I have just had a look at the French translation of this particular homily and I think it is a case of 'don't panic!'

If I were to translate from the French to English I would put the following:

'In the Gospel Jesus is not angry but he does seem to be (il faisait semblant) when His disciples are not understanding Him.'

This does not have the same implications as 'pretend'. Could not this just be another case of mistranslation?

EuropeanCatholic said...

Is this also not a form of gnosticism?

ie. only the Pope and other enlightened thinkers know what Our Lord really meant as opposed to the ordinary rest of the faithful?

Or am I talking nonsense?

akp5401 said...

Is it a correct translation of what he said? It's very strange.

Jonathan said...

Were Pope Honorius I's errors and omissions greater that those of Francis?

Matthew said...

"There is no suggestion in the Gospels that Jesus feigns, or pretends anything..."

There are a couple of instances in John's Gospel where I think it can be said that Jesus feigns ignorance:

1) At the well, when Jesus asks the Samaritan woman to call her husband and come back, though He obviously knows her marital situation (cf. 4:16-19)
2) In the garden, just before His arrest, when Jesus asks the guards who they are looking for, though He obviously knows (cf. 18:4-8, esp. v. 4)

Jesus also knew long before the Last Supper that Judas would betray Him (cf. Jn 6:64, 70-71), yet does nothing about it. A cynic might suggest that there is a certain pretence here - a keeping up of appearances, if only until the right time.

To be clear, I think it's a poor choice of words on the Pope's part, and I don't agree that Jesus feigned His emotions, or somehow only pretended to be angry. If He could weep and mourn (cf. Jn 11:33-37), it stands to reason that He could also become angry (e.g. cleansing of the temple: cf. John's citation of Ps. 68:10[69:9] in Jn 2:17). What we might label 'negative' emotions like anger, jealousy, etc., are not of themselves sinful, after all.

It's a more complex question than it seems at first glance, though!

Victoria Lyons said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Father! God bless you.

Genty said...

Where previous popes have become more cautious and guarded in their public utterances as they assume the papacy, the present incumbent seems to believe that the office of pope has given him the green light to say anything that comes into his head on any particular day on any particular subject. Time for a pincer movement by the Cardinaliate, I think.

Anil Wang said...

Given that there have been translation problems, I'd check to confirm those were his exact words and the complete context (they don't seem to be related to Sunday's mass readings). The article uses "How foolish and slow of heart" as an example of anger...I've never heard it referred to in that context. Frustration yes, but not anger. I suspect that "pretends" is a mistranslation of "appears" and that "angry" is a mistranslation of "frustrated". If it wasn't a mistranslation, I think it was a poor choice of off the cuff words and this was what he intend to say.

That being said, it is possible to square a variation of this with the Early Church Fathers. One thing they often said that the Bible was God speaking baby language to us. On this side of death, we will never comprehend God, so God condescends and talks to us in a way that we can understand. Early on that talk was crude, since that was all we could handle, but as we matured as a species, God could adjust his message to speak more accurately. In the fullness of time, he was able to give us the fullness of his revelation in Jesus Christ.

A good analogy might be when children are first taught about atoms, they're told that atoms are like hard balls. Several years later they are told they are like mini solar systems. Several years later, they are told about orbitals. If they go further, they are told that orbitals don't quite capture it (e.g. superconductors, etc).

It's important to know that *the student is never lied to* even though it appears so. For several problems the "hard ball" model is a good enough approximation, but its all that the young mind can handle and to explain more would be to confuse the child to the point that they won't even be able to grasp the essentials.

Liam Ronan said...

I was horrified by the suggestion of Jesus 'pretending' anything. It opens up a terrible can of worms both immediately and by extension.
The only thing I recall that remotely suggests Jesus appeared to feign anything (and here it is merely the observation of His outward behaviour) is John 8:6:
"But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not."

Jonathan said...

The Pope needs to look at God's Holy Book The Bible before he utters such statements, his words betray him.
John 14:6 Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me. Romans 1:24-25, "…through the lusts of their own hearts…Who changed the truth of God into a lie,"

Jonathan said...

The Pope needs to look at God's Holy Book The Bible before he utters such statements, his words betray him.
John 14:6 Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me. Romans 1:24-25, "…through the lusts of their own hearts…Who changed the truth of God into a lie,"

Liam Ronan said...

@Matthew,
Posing a question, the answer of which is already known to the one posing the question, is a valid teaching method, i.e. the Socratic Method.
'Pretending' goes to state of mind and need not mean the one posing the question is pretending ignorance (though the one to whom the question is directed may rashly suppose it so).
The Vatican Radio Website (see link) is the one which translated this word in English as 'pretends'. If this is yet another supposed translational error then how long before the error is corrected online for the world to see? http://en.radiovaticana.va/articolo.asp?c=751058

Colonel Mustard said...

This reminds me of those priests who say that the multiplication of the loaves and fishes wasn't really a miracle, but Our Blessed Lord only "encouraged his followers to share what they already had with one another". Never mind what the Holy Ghost inspired the evangelists to record for posterity!

And on the translation front: whereas it is important what the pope actually said - although to what extent these little homilies form part of the papal magisterium is another matter! - is it also important how the Pope's agents transmit his words to the world. They are supposed to be working for him, not working against him. If the Pope didn't actually say "pretend", then there is still a very serious problem somewhere along the line! Recording every single word the Pope says in public is a very dangerous thing to do, I think; these words are addressed specifically to the assembly at the Mass which he celebrated, and not necessarily for general digest.

Pelerin said...

Another English phrase which comes to mind for 'il faisait semblant' is 'he gave the impression of (being angry)' which is also completely different from saying 'he pretended.'

There must be a reader who knows what the original Spanish phrase was and if it was similar to the French then we can forget the word 'pretend' completely in this context.

However I have looked up the French phrase on two of those translating websites and see that there they have both given 'it pretended' so it does look as though the translator has used one of these sites thus altering the true meaning of the Pope's words. Translating one or two words out of context can lead to so much misunderstanding of the original meaning.

On a lighter note I remember a school friend sending a postcard to our French teacher saying she had to 'attraper le poteau.' She had looked up 'to catch' in the dictionary and found 'attraper' as in trapping or snaring an animal and 'poteau' as in a post you put in the ground!


Put together this did not mean 'to catch the post' at all and this led to our teacher giving us a lesson in how not to use a dictionary!

Supertradmum said...

Well, God, the Second Person in the Blessed Trinity is the Way, the TRUTH and the Life, as He told us and therefore, would never dissemble. I sincerely hope this is yet another bad translation.

Yes, God does not get humanly angry in the sense that He had some sort of emotional weakness, but there is a virtue in just anger.

Christ overturning the tables of the money changers in the Temple was not feigned. He was angry at the blasphemy.

If anyone undermines the justice of God, that person simply does not understand all Goodness and all Innocence.

The logical consequence of this thinking is universal salvation-and no separation of goats and sheep.

Supertradmum said...

PS Jesus did not feign ignorance, Matthew. As a former teacher in the Socratic Method, I asked questions of the students to which I knew the answer. Christ was using the old Rabbinic Tradition of asking the students questions in order to make them think.

This is not lying, but bringing out the correct answer which the student needs to discover for himself.

To imply or state that God would feign anything is heresy against His purity

Mr Grumpy said...

I don't think we can blame the translator. He's quoted in the Italian report as saying "fa finta", which definitely means "pretends".

Matthew, I'm not persuaded that asking a question to which one knows the answer is necessarily pretence. I can usually tell how my wife's feeling without asking - does that mean I shouldn't ask?

Fr Paul said...

Nice try Pelerin, but "faire semblant" does not mean "to seem", and "pretend" is an accurate translation ("simulate" or "sham" would also be fair renderings. I have not seen the Spanish but in any case the homily was presumably in Italian, so "far finta" is probably what the Pope actually said.

Cosmos said...

Even if the translation was inaccurate and "pretending" isn't the best translation, the Pope still seems to have said that Jesus wasn't really angry. In other words, he still contradicts the plain meaning of the text. That's a big deal.

Correction: I should have said, that used to be a big deal.

Jacobi said...

Pretending is lying, is falsehood. Jesus did not and could not lie.

Vatican radio appears to have said that the Pope said this. Well, Vatican Radio has been most unreliable recently.

I doubt if the Pope did say this given all the confusion in reporting, translation and so on we have seen recently.

However, If the Pope did say this, then he, the Pope, is in error and gravely so!

Adrian said...

A similar problem arises in Matt 15 26: Non est bonum sumere panem filiorum et mittere canibus [It is not good to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs]. If Jesus means this literally, he is both being extremely discourteous to the Canaanite woman and also giving Dominical authority to the idea that the Jews were 'the children' and Gentiles were 'the dogs'. The woman's witty rejoinder, Nam et catelli edunt de micis quae cadunt de mensa dominorum suorum [but the curs eat from the crumbs that fall from their masters' tables] suggests that something in Our Lord's look or voice tells her not to take is words too seriously. Dare we surmise that the Incarnate Word is indulging in a little humour here?

Deacon Augustine said...

I am sure that this is just a case of a poor choice of words or bad reporting. The offending sentence now reads in full:

"In the Gospel, Jesus does become angry, but pretends to when the disciples do not understand him."

So now He DOES become angry AND pretends to as well? This is sheer nonsense and doesn't even make sense in Humpty Dumpty land.

I know Italian is the Pope's second language, but perhaps he isn't entirely fluent in it. Or perhaps the reporter just botched it big time.

Joe Potillor said...

I'm with you Father....if this is the case, where does it end? I'm with you as well as these "daily homilies of the Pope" should not be available for to the public.

Eventually the excuse of "translation" is going to wear thin, the Holy Father needs to communicate better, or refrain from communicating as often..Yes, lots of things do get "lost in translation" but at some point one either gets it or one does not.

Let us pray more for the Holy Father.

Pelerin said...

Fr Paul is of course correct - it is Evangelii Gaudium which was written in Spanish (confirmed by Fr Lombardi on various sites) and presumably the homily was written and spoken in Italian. Now with Deacon Augustine's additional comment it gets curioser and curioser!

I see Zenit has changed its format - I have not looked at it for some time but it used to be interesting to compare the news in different languages. I notice in English that it states that EG 'was 'translated' in Spanish and subsequently translated in all other languages.' Surely this should read 'was written in Spanish?' An insignificent mistake perhaps but proof that they do exist even in official reports from the Vatican.

.zLiDC80p8cnxi0zP2vbzMT4AE1b9gbcUTEL said...

I don't agree with the Holy Father, Jesus showed anger at what was plainly wrong and anger is as much part of love as is gentleness. Nonetheless a few thoughts occur:

I suspect he means that Jesus does not lose his temper in an uncontrolled and intemperate way that would sinful way, but does speak sternly to the disciples to correct them, much as a teacher might shout and frown at a class but without flying into a rage. These daily homilies are spoken for the benefit of the domestic staff who attend, not for theologians and clerics, so I think he may be preaching about the wrongness of anger, then trying to explain that although Jesus gets angry in the Gospel this is not the same thing. This Pope speaks without amazing imprecision, but I think he thinks he is being pastoral.

The next thought that occurs is that Blessed John Henry Newman said that the meaning of Scripture was not necessarily all on the surface - that is a Protestant view. It does not mean that we are gnostics, just that the Word of God is given in a context and a relationship - the Church in its living Tradition - and so it can only be interpreted fully understood and interpreted form within that relationship. But I still think the Pope is just being imprecise and muddled in his expression on this one.

To equate all uses of the word "pretend" with "lying" is perhaps simplistic. That way lies the puritanical banning of all literature, much poetry and art. Again teachers and parents often 'put on an act' to some extent but without deceiving or misleading - which is the test of what dishonesty. Again I don't agree with what the Pope appears to have said, but we must be careful not to over state things ourselves.

Finally I just don't think we should be hanging on every word the Holy Father utters. Before modern communication no one knew what Pope's said in daily sermons but people got on with being good Catholics (and bad ones!) all the same.

Jacobi said...

@ Deacon Augustus.

You touch on a very important point here. The language in Argentina is Spanish-derived but the majority of Argentines are of Italian extract. This often produces confusion in communication, certainly in business transactions.
I have some experience here. I do not speak either language, and so was frequently involved in 2-way and who knows perhaps 3-way discussions.

Certainly there was a habit of, not so much careless, but rather “easy” talking – and you had to be careful.

Add to that the fact that Argentines, well removed from the interreligious clashes of Northern Europe, are far from pedantic and wear their Catholicism instinctively, but rather lightly?

ebougis said...

"But he hasn't changed any official doctrine!"

I spent nearly two months at my blog working through the utter disorientation and desolation I felt at the content and impact of the pope's early, "big" off-the-cuff remarks and interviews. It was a sort of consolation to have the Scalfari interview removed and to see the pope correct himself, sort of, on some other contentious points, but by now I'm simply exhausted. This kind of thing is going to plague this papacy until it's over, and my faith, much less my sanity, cannot endure trying to unpack and clarify gaffe after gaffe. He's a coarse man, reckless in his words, and I'm perfectly happy listening to him ONLY when he speaks authoritatively on clear matters that pertain to his magisterium. The rest is just a torrent of ecclesiologically Peronist soapbox improv, and my attention is better spent elsewhere. I have zero interest in reading Evangelii Gaudium.

One other point: I'm bemused by some in this thread who seem to think this is the first time that Pope Francis has mangled the patent teaching of Scripture (albeit non-dogmatically, so it's all good, yo); I can think of at least two, or three, other cases, of his exegetical casuistry: his sermon on the multiplication of leaves and his claims about the relative value of the Marian vs. Marthan chrisms (his claim that God never gets angry is a possible third case).

-- Codgitator

John Nolan said...

When Fr John Gerard SJ was examined in the Tower on 13 May 1597 he used the Jesuit defence of equivocation "which was the practice of Our Lord and of the saints and all sensible men". When his interrogators asked when Jesus used equivocation, he replied: "When He told His Apostles that no-one knew the day of judgement, not even the Son of Man; and again, when He said He was not going up to Jerusalem for the feast [of Tabernacles] and then went. He knew He was going when he said He was not."

Fr Gerard quotes Our Lord as saying "ego autem non ascendam" (I, however, shall not go up). The Clementine Vulgate, published in 1598, has the present tense "non ascendo" which can mean "I am not going up yet".

ebougis said...

Yippee, another exegetical epiphany from Pope Francis:

'[T]he first and the greatest of the commandments, and the one that best identifies us as Christ’s disciples: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”'. -- Evangelii Gaudium §161

Compare this with:

'“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ -- Matthew 22:36-37

(HT to Jonathan)

I am aware of John 13:34, but the pope's assertion is plain, and it manifestly conflates our Lord's words in Matthew 22. But hey, maybe He was just pretending.

All this will surely just confirm my cynical hunch: IT DOES NOT MATTER what this pope says, since it is always jesuitical enough to be defended by the legions of soft ultramontanists with a keyboard. The irony is, Pope Francis KNOWS that he can get away with these astounding imprecisions (malapapalisms, as I call them), and so they will persist.

-- Codgitator

kiwiinamerica said...

Father, you've misquoted what the Vatican Radio site actually says:

Here's what it says:"In the Gospel, Jesus does become angry, but pretends to when the disciples do not understand him.

Here's what you wrote:

“In the Gospel, Jesus does not become angry, but pretends to when the disciples do not understand him,”

viterbo said...

Who's the pretender? rhetorical question because Christ doesn't pretend - the Truth can't pretend.

The need to 'appeal' to the world, and 'appear' to be this or that - EG is drowning in this exhortation to simulate 'I'm ok you're ok.' As the old joke goes, then Christ looks down from the cross at these two people congratulating themselves on their okayness and says, then what am I doing up here?

One gnostic writing has Christ say, 'I did not die in reality but in appearance ...' What is Pope Francis, who doesn't want to wear the red shoes representing the blood of the martyrs, like?

St John Bosco 1862: There will be an ecumenical council in the next century, after which there will be chaos in the Church.

PF - world youth day; "I want to tell you something. What is it that I expect as a consequence of World Youth Day? I want a mess. We knew that in Rio there would be great disorder, but I want trouble in the dioceses!" he said, speaking off the cuff in his native Spanish. "I want to see the church get closer to the people [the people? I'm a people, are you a people? or is it self-absorbed of anyone to recognise this?]. I want to get rid of clericalism, the mundane, this closing ourselves off within ourselves, in our parishes, schools or structures. Because these need to get out!"

Chaos. There is no closing off - the Church has been, like a slowly boiling frog reaching 'out there' 'the people' world temperature for 50 years. The only closing off that's been going on is the closing off of the wider Church from the fullness of what Mater Ecclesiae, born 2000 years ago, really, not in appearance, but really Is.

It 'appears' that Pope Francis is a Pope who is a Jesuit first, Bishop of Rome second, and Pope third.

So it appears.

viterbo said...

p.s. I suppose one upside to this Pontificate is more often than not if the Pope does or says anything it's like, 'what'? And a person is forced back to the source - Church Tradition to find out whether the rock has mutated a bit or alot or the Pope just made a boo boo. In the process I get to learn more about our authentic Faith.

Fr Ray Blake said...

kiwiinamerica
I 'cut and pasted' what was orinally on the Vatican Radio site, I have not misquoted!!!

viterbo said...

On this site:

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/29/pope:_intelligence_is_a_gift/en1-751058

it still says: "In the Gospel, Jesus does not become angry, but pretends to when the disciples do not understand him."

Cut and paste doesn't lie but this is what's on the site now from your link, Fr:

'In the Gospel, Jesus does become angry, but pretends to when the disciples do not understand him.'

How much sense does the that make? They must have nixed the 'not' just for yucks and giggles and to make everyone more confused. Vatican publication is becoming as shifting as the sands upon which Pope Francis' words sidewind their way into the now shifting day by day papal-catholic-culture of 'making a mess'.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Harrap's Standard French and English Dictionary gives the translation of "faire semblant" as "to feign, pretend, make believe, to be doing something; to make a pretence of doing something." Translation is never easy and you take your pick. However if you were up on a charge of impersonating a police officer I doubt that saying you were merely giving the impression of being a police officer would get you very far.

Lynda said...

Let us support each other in these times of trial and tribulation.

Mr Grumpy said...

Whatever happened to the "not" in the English version, it's clearly there in the Italian - and the sentence would make little sense without it.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Alfred,
I think your comment is longer than the initial post therefore I have not published it!

IF this is what the Pope said, interesting Vatican Radio has subsequently added a 'not', VR has a semi-official role in publishing the Pope's Magisterium.

It is something new and therefore significant in our understanding of Biblical interpretation, the ramifications are deep and worth discussing on the level of Biblical interpretation alone.

However it also has ramifications for personal morality, if the Pope sees it possible for Jesus to 'pretend' then we should expect him to consider it licit for himself and others to do so, is that not valid matter for discussion?

Pétrus said...


I clearly recall the original text as "In the Gospel Jesus is not angry"

It would appear the text on the website has been changed.

kiwiinamerica said...

Father:

Then what was on the Vatican Radio site has now been changed. If you follow your own link you will now see that the passage states;

"In the Gospel, Jesus does become angry...."

The word "not" is clearly absent.

Katalina said...

I too was troubled by the Pope's words yet I noticed that there was barely any mention of it anyplace else even in other Conservative Catholic Blogs. It may be possible he did not say that but if he did well then we do have a Mess on our hands. This man is NOT the great speaker the last Pope was because Benedict was a Biblical Scholar so his whole theology was Biblical.

RJ said...

Sometimes, a teacher can raise his voice, allowing pupils to think he is angry, though he is not. It helps in controlling the mob.

Further to what you said, Father ('the implication is that the plain meaning of scripture is not readily available to the ordinary reader or hearer'). I don't think we have to assume that Scripture should always be easy to understand. Clearly, it is not always so. Some passages are very unclear and/or have many layers of meaning, and sometimes these require study.

RJ said...

Is an (informal) sermon guaranteed to be free from error? I'm inclined to think that it is not the highest exercise of the magisterium, and therefore may not be. It is just possible that one might hear one's parish priest (or bishop?) make a mistake occasionally in that context (!).

Elizabeth said...

And the hits just keep on coming. This one is a biggie. And I don't think this is a translation problem, as I don't think translations have been the problem for any of his doozies. He talks off the top of his head, whatever comes to his mind, and I have no doubt that he means what he says, unfortunately. Day by day I wonder how outrageous it's going to get.

Martina Katholik said...

With or without "not"? Welcome in Absurdistan:

with "not"
December 03, 2013, 17:33:

“In the Gospel, Jesus does not become angry, but pretends to when the disciples do not understand him. At Emmaus he says: ‘How foolish and slow of heart’. ‘How foolish and slow of heart’… He who does not understand the things of God is such a person.

Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/11/29/pope:_intelligence_is_a_gift/en1-751058
of the Vatican Radio website

without "not"
December 03, 2013, 17:38
The Pope said that, in order to understand the signs of the times, a Christian must think not only with his head, but also with his heart and spirit. Otherwise, he cannot understand the “way of God in history”:“In the Gospel, Jesus does become angry, but pretends to when the disciples do not understand him. At Emmaus he says: ‘How foolish and slow of heart’. ‘How foolish and slow of heart’… He who does not understand the things of God is such a person.

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-intelligence-is-a-gift

Alan said...

According to the Vatican news site, the Holy Father said, " Nel Vangelo, Gesù non si arrabbia, ma fa finta quando i discepoli non capivano le cose." My translation: "In the Gospel, Jesus did not become angry, but pretended to (do so) when the disciples did not inderstand things." The NOT is present in the original Italian, and its removal from the web site translation makes a nonsense of his text.

azul condor said...

As I have always said before, the trouble starts when he opens his mouth.
If he were the catechesis teacher in a school where my children are enrolled, I would pull them out of it and look for another school.
This pope proves himself the best pope the atheists and non-Catholics ever had.

Celia said...

Whatever the Pope really said on this occasion, what wearies me is the constant need to suggest that he's been mistranslated, taken out of context, the journalist he was speaking to dozed off and/or made it up, Italian's not his first language,oh well, he's speaking off the cuff..
Has there been a pope in modern times (indeed ever) so irritatingly inept at communicating? Verbally at least.

Joseph Shaw said...

Pelerin wrote: 'In the Gospel Jesus is not angry but he does seem to be (il faisait semblant) when His disciples are not understanding Him.'

This does not have the same implications as 'pretend'. Could not this just be another case of mistranslation?"

This is wrong. The French phrase means 'pretend': synonyms feindre (feign) and simuler (simulate) so says Le Petit Larousse.

But even the Italian version is not Pope Francis very words. It has been summarised and tidied up

Roger Buck said...

I pray this is botched reporting ...

There so many issues here, including Our Lord's humanity.

Pope Pius XII's last encyclical on the Sacred Heart Haurietas Aquas most instructive here ...

Lord have mercy, let this be botched reporting ...

Roger Buck said...

Dear Father Blake,

I went to bed last night really disturbed by this.

I woke up feeling disturbed, fearing that some kind of latent Nestorianism was here.

My gut feeling is that if this is a true report, latent Nestorianism is just as important as the issue of feigning.

But I wonder if I am over-reacting.

Some are claiming that the comment can be restricted solely to the Gospel report of Emmaus and not the Gospel as a whole ...

That is a response I got when I posted this on Fisheaters last night, disturbed as I say.

Link here if you are interested ...

http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/index.php/topic,3462432.0.html


I don't easily have time right now to go through all this - questions like: What is happening with the deletion of the word "not"?

Is this restricted to Emmaus?

Am I leaping to conclusions with latent Nestorianism?

But I am both troubled and am grateful to you and would be very grateful if you had time to either comment further or even do a new blog on your take on this several days later.

I really can't tell if it's either a

a) a storm in a tea-cup

b) a real indication of a kind of New Agey - Nestorianism that really rings alarm bells for me.

So if you have time, I would be most grateful for your updated take on this.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Nestorianism?
Maybe, we all tend unconsciously to one particular heresy or other.
I think it is really a particularly Jesuit thing about seeing no difficulty with 'prevarication', mixed with a rather personalised exegesis and a desire to say something 'original' when possibly one should just shut up.

Carl Grillo said...

If the translation is correct, then this is at least an erroneous assertion tending towards heresy: the heresy which denies the absolute holiness of the human soul of Christ - because of the hypostatic union with the Person of the Word - as well as his freedom from ignorance and error, (pretending to be angry is would be a type of "officious lie" on the part of Our Lord) which is at least "theologically certain," as the Catholic theologians say. [saltem thelogicae certa, quam dicuunt theologicii catholicii...]

Bill said...

Pelerin may be right. But the Holy Father's comment is still hard to interpret. Does it mean that in the Gospels, Our Lord never gets angry? If it does mean that, it's hard to believe that Christ only pretended to be that way when he overturned the tables in the temple.

Disciple said...

Along the lines of what Pelerin has done, I keep the English word to observe it, and per the ensuing etymology (pre-, before; tend, tendere, to stretch) the Pope isn't wrong.

Granted, the reality to this appearance is that he used its meaning in a different way...but I recall a post cited recently in a certain blog, the memory of which now makes me think - keeping all respect, Father - that you fear for multivolent signification.

Yet ours should be the hope that the word choice of the Holy Father was made according to the demand that "we must love and respect and serve all men and women, even the lowest in society"; and these, to return to my point, are quite certainly unaware of what "pretending" really means.

I sympathise with all who took umbrage to this matter, but I say: if salt has been acclaimed by the Lord, of all (people), a pinch of it would have served well here.