Friday, January 03, 2014

Marxist Popes scares off American donors


Interesting, La Stampa reports wealthy American donors are being put off by the Pope Francis, apparently he is a 'Marxist'!

Well they would be wouldn't they. There was bound to be a cultural clash between a Latin American Pope and US Conservative Catholics. Neo-Cons are a real problem, not just their boorish manners.

The basic 'Americanist' tendency is to subject everything to the 'American dream', including Catholicism. It is obviously there in Obama's Medicare thinking. It is in Henry Ford's 'Melting Pot Ceremony'; put any ingredients into the pot and outcomes an American, it is parody of Catholicism, where anyone is placed into font and out comes a Christian, our old identity including our political affiliations behind and 'become a new man in Christ'. E Pluribus Unum.

It is quite fair to ask questions of the Pope, even to criticise him but what worries me is the, 'we don't like this one so let's disobey or ignore him', this is the root heresy and disunity. There is such a danger in such an attitude that it risks souls. All of us have a duty to maintain the unity of the Church and therefore a duty of submission of heart and soul to Peter, ultimately it is this submission to Christ's Vicar that is the mark of our belonging to Christ, 'He who listens to you listens to me'. Lk 10:16

I must admit I find Francis challenging, some of the stuff that apparently he comes out with, the off the cuff sermons at S Martha seems to be said without much thought.

What Francis seems to be demanding is that our politics, our way of thinking, our social action, our friendships, our personal opinions are supposed to founded on Christ, not on the Tea Party, the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. It might well be that a Catholic takes up a particular stance but it is the Gospel that has to be first. Just as Liberation Theology is evil if it doesn't have Christ at its centre and end, so too with any other ideology, not just political ideologies but theological one's too.

What Francis challenges us to do, is to make Christ visible, most especially by reaching out to the poor and the marginalised, and seeing them as having infinite value. The 'American dream' seems to have no place for the poor, whereas Catholic social teaching wants to turn our very souls, to say nothing of our society, upside down.

24 comments:

Patrick Archbold said...

Father,
With all respect, the article mentions a single donor with concerns and makes no mention of 'Marxism' as one of them.

This post seems to be more about your dim view of Americans rather than their dim view of the Pope.

Patricius said...

There are many good Americans. Nevertheless, for some, their views seem little altered since Dr Johnson remarked, "How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?"

The Rad Trad said...

And what, Fr Blake, do you think the "American dream" is? And do you honestly think it still exists?

TH2 said...

Father Blake,

In the last few years or so, the Neo-Cons, or the Neo-Cats alternatively, are being called out and criticized for the Americanism that shapes their narrative. It is something new for them to be criticized as these "conservatives" have for a while managed, falsely, to represent Catholic Orthodoxy, wielding influential positions in the "Establishment Church". There are also monetary and popularity factors involved, so do not be surprised if you are called "dim" or whatever.

Most of the criticism has come from laymen, but it is good to see a priest commenting as such, especially from one across the Atlantic, who I think can provide a more objective assessment.

Gungarius said...

Patrick, perhaps you should take it up with the well known US radio commentator who denounced the Popes statements as "Pure Marxism"

It all rather reminds me of the priest from Northern England who was supplying to a wealthy Surrey parish. He decided to give a sermon on the eye of a needle.

After Sunday Mass a lady came up to him and said. How right you are, how difficult it is for man to serve both God and Mammon, but we must never cease in our efforts to achieve this.

Pater Ignotus said...

The La Stampa article has its own share of problems.

breathnach said...

I'm fond of your blog Father and stand with you as an opponent of consumerism. In so far as it is a by product of a debased "American Dream" (and a Euro dream as well) it is a scourge. However, your broad brush indictment of "the American Dream having no place for the poor" rivals the Pope's indictment of a non-existent "trickle down", laissez faire economic sytem that has only existed in the fevered imaginations of the disciples of Ayn Rand. Let's apply Catholic Social Teaching across the board to the existing statist systems that are actually up and running and leave the mythology/ideology behind.

Bertrand Fellow said...

If these donors are put off by Pope Francis, they are welcome to send any donations my way!

kfca said...

Unusually, and respectfully, I tend to disagree with the views you have expressed in much of this post, Father.

But just on the 'neo-con' remarks, (although not quite sure what you mean by that label in this context): I'm not convinced that this would be the sole reason for the source of some large donations drying up, if that is indeed the case. Perhaps (like many of us) these people may not be able to, or would find it imprudent to, articulate their reasons.

For example, I found the 'criticisms' levelled at Pope Francis by the keynote speaker at the last Al Smith Memorial Dinner in October, although delivered through the vehicle of satire, to be quite extraordinary, as they pared so close to the bone: 'His humbleness', 'Is the Pope a Catholic' etc. Perhaps this kind of irreverence is [now?] normal at such events? I don't know, and I certainly hope not. Oddly though, I didn't find myself surprised, just very deeply sorry to see any Successor of Peter exposed to such public ridicule by their own subjects. I can understand the use of 'humour' as 'a coping strategy', but I can't see this kind of mockery ever having been levelled at any other pope of modern times. (And as for the Marxist slant, this was before Pope Francis kindly released his recent exhortation (EG) for our consideration).

Annie said...

Disappointed but not surprised by your ill-informed comments. In the United States *individual* giving as a percentage of GDP hovers around 2%. Compare that to the UK where *individual* giving as a percentage of GDP is under 1%.

As for Pope Francis, I have no desire giving to a Vatican that cannot get its financial house in order. Nor can I muster up any respect for a man who "shoots from the lip" and is clueless of the havoc he's causing. There are a number of orthodox Catholic groups that *do* deserve our support: the law firms that represent Catholics against the intrusion of the State; the nuns who actually are passing on the faith to the children and who are helping the *truly* needy (elderly); bishops and priests (Fr. Z) who defend the faith in the public square; pro-lifers; Rachel's vineyard - so many, many worthy Catholic groups who are still "obsessing" about living out the true Gospel, not the Time Magazine version (brought to you by Pope Francis himself). If the Holy Father declares a new dogma, do let me know. Otherwise, I think I'll sit out this pontificate, thank you very much.

viterbo said...

when the Pope contradicts Christ, it calls into question Christ. This damages faith. The Pope speaks and acts at times as if Truth and worship are inimical to compassion. Nothing, surely could be further from the Truth.

in my parish being a good person is constantly put in opposition to worship and Truth and the Real Presence to point where if you believe Christ is most fully found in the Eucharist you're basically on the side of evil 'cause that means you won't love anyone once Mass is over. I think. Could be wrong but the lack of clarity is all that's clear.

Lynda said...

What Pope Francis is saying, doing, not saying or doing is distorting the Faith for many people, baptised and unbaptised. It is awful beyond words. Dear Lord give us the strength to continue to cleave to the one, true Faith, despite the general apostasy and the adoption of secular ideologies inimical to Faith and reason, by so many of the bishops and priests (and religious, such as there are). Let us support those who are adhering to the True Faith, and who are generally being persecuted as a result, by those enemies of Christ outside and apparently inside the Church.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Lynda et al,
Is the Pope really wrong? Have we been a special charism to judge Christ's Vicar?
Could it not be we have misunderstood or he has expressed himself badly or has misspoken or has been misrepresented or is on a very steep learning curve?

When we set ourselves up against the Pope not only are we likely to fall from Charity but we risk becoming Protestants.


Some of these comments here and elsewhere betray a deep lack of Charity, that certainly does not come from Christ as it wounds his Church and endangers our soul and the souls of others.

George said...

Don't be mad at Fr. Ray. He's in sales, not management. Take up your beef with God. Better yet, pray for understanding, think with the mind of the Church. This is about a 500 year struggle between the Church and those against the Church over whether or not Man is the center of the universe. The economics are a by-product. But the central struggle is over who is Man and what is his relationship to the universe (what we in the Church would call "Creation"). The economics are a by-product of either world-view. In a sense, there is no going back to 1500 AD economics. On the other hand, we would serve the Church and ourselves much better thinking about how we can apply God's law to our modern situation, rather than pushing back against the Church. Not only is pushing back against the Church sinful, but we are participating in the continued unraveling of our society, our world. Especially in these last 10 days, more people have come to realize that we are on a precipice. The world around us is not bound together very tightly. Things are going to get bad very soon. So..... we can take the advice of Americanist priests and prepare shelters with food and ammo. Or,, we can listen to the Church and work for a more godly world. In this sense the Church "needs" the laity. First to understand God's laws related to economics and then to design better systems to apply or protect those laws. .... Or you can go buy guns and ammo, either way.

Lynda said...

Father, that is stretching credibility beyond reason. Of course, I am not judging the Pope per se, but yes, I have not thrown my reason away since Pope Francis was elected, and so, I am still capable of judging the objective truth or error of certain statements, actions (regardless of what bishop is responsible). It is not uncharitable to state the truth, especially if those who have greater responsibility to speak up, fail to so do. I would wish that it was otherwise; I am suffering greatly because of these things. I am a faithful Catholic, and pray for the Pope daily.

Simon Reilly said...

With all due respect Father, I disagree with your last comment: when the Pope speaks as a teacher of the faithful, I listen to him in the spirit of obedience; when he makes potentially scandalous comments and gestures that injure the dignity of his office I think it would be a sin against charity not to criticise him (and in any case, the Pope has indicated that he welcomes criticism). I am afraid the shameful and disgraceful treatment doled out to the Fransicans of the Immaculate speaks louder than any comments made by the Pope in regard to how we are to judge this papacy.

George said...

"Especially in these last 10 days..."

Meant to say "Especially in these last 10 YEARS"

Deacon Augustine said...

Once the correct translation of the Pope's comments in EG was available, it was apparent that his comments on economics were quite consistent with previous Catholic social doctrine - even if it might have been worded better. Capital markets themselves need to be undergirded with Christian morality and law in order for them to work efficiently and effectively. There will always be unjust exclusion from economic benefits when selfishness and greed are given free reign.

It is interesting to note that Fr. Schmidberger of the SSPX has given an analysis of EG and his view was that the section on economics was one of the more positive parts - in fact he felt the Pope could have gone further by citing Quadragesimo Anno "in order to get back to just economic principles".

Maybe the Pope has some "Lefebvrite drift" in him.

Jane Ireland said...

Dear Fr Ray,

Though in the past I have struggled with your posts and on occasions we may have clashed, but your post here is very insightful and I find the end truly wonderful. I very much feel that Pope Francis is calling us to place Christ at the very heart of the church and everything we do, that Christ, especially our encounter with him in the Eucharist, should be where every aspect of our lives are rooted. Thank you and God Bless.

Sean North said...

Excuse me, Father, but the United States has spent $15 TRILLION on the poor since 1964.

That has been done on the backs of the American tax paying citizenry.

Now the proper question: where has it gotten us?

John Fisher said...

No not a Marxist a Sandinista. The Pope is a living 1970's paradox. One of the things that stops me helping a homeless person is the lack of trust. Hey Father Blake did that man you helped steal from you? I am in favour if they help themselves by graciously not abusing the help they receive seeing it as a right. This happens in the UK all the time. It is like helping a drunk by giving them a bottle of booze or money. The central problem is not the poverty but the cause of poverty. The rich also make me distrust them. What vices do they have? Do they have dirty money? Was it gained through theft? Both rich and poor have their conceited vices. When these are removed the poor live better and the rich as well. Although I suspect the poor will have more wealth and the rich less.

John Fisher said...

In the USA millionaires only give to lower their tax and gain face. Meanwhile the money roles on as they exploit others through very low wages.

viterbo said...

Fr said: 'Could it not be we have misunderstood or he has expressed himself badly or has misspoken or has been misrepresented or is on a very steep learning curve?When we set ourselves up against the Pope not only are we likely to fall from Charity but we risk becoming Protestants.Some of these comments here and elsewhere betray a deep lack of Charity, that certainly does not come from Christ as it wounds his Church and endangers our soul and the souls of others.'

it could Father. But when the message coming from above is so constantly redacting Christ, His Church, His Spirit woven Tradition, and then the hating on the sheep, us bunch of useless no-gooders who love to worship God more than we love the world. Pope Benedicts first encyclical quoted Christ, 'apart from me you can do nothing', and 'let love be genuine, hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good, love one another with a brotherly affection, outdo one another in showing honour.' (Romans).

how does one keep fresh one's charity when the big brother is out doing every little brother in dishonouring them. this Pope has, I think, deliberately set out to make the traditional heart the enemy - relegating it to all that stuff that gives certain Catholics, and this Pope, ' the creeps'.

while titles of honour disappear, titles of dishonour abound.

Independent said...

Who in contemporary Britain are the poor? Is their poverty the consequence of their lack of resources or their incapacity to manage the resources which they have? Is the solution necessarily a collectivist one?