Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Who am I to judge? again?

February 18th, 2016, Promulgated by Hopefull

What are we to think? How are we to explain to non-Catholic friends? As if we didn’t have enough hostility in the Presidential Campaign, now there seems to be more gasoline on the fire, which even could be called interference by a head of state in the elections of another sovereign nation.  Here’s a link:;_ylt=A0LEV1qRNcZW8FkA2opXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTExZzQ0YmY1BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDVUlDMV8xBHNlYwNzYw–



28 Responses to “Who am I to judge? again?”

  1. militia says:

    Actually, Nehemiah and Ezra are all full of building walls — the walls around Jerusalem. No bridges being mentioned. So if God wanted his people to build a wall around His City, that would seem to give some approval to protecting a community by wall-building.

  2. annonymouse says:

    We are blessed (cursed?) with a pontiff who simply doesn’t know when to shut up. Humility is not his strongest virtue, his Domae Sancta Marta residence notwithstanding.

  3. annonymouse says:

    Domus Sanctae Marthae

  4. Eliza10 says:

    Yes, I am also having trouble with this Pope’s brand of humility. It seems common, not holy.

    I am not a Trump fan, at all, but wow, I have to agree with Trump on this one, “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful…”

    Yeah. I kind of agree.

    However it would be nice if this pope questioned the CATHOLIC political leaders who legislate in favor of abortions and then go and receive Holy Communion. Now that IS his jurisdiction.

  5. Ron says:

    Eliza10 – He has:

    And from Breitbart — New Pope Francis I is a conservative in the mold of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II. That’s especially true on the issue of abortion, which he called a “death sentence” for the unborn in 2007. “We aren’t in agreement with the death penalty,” he said during that speech, “but in Argentina we have the death penalty. A child conceived by the rape of a mentally ill or retarded woman can be condemned to death.”

    In the Aparecida Document, a document that represents a joint statement by Latin American church leaders but presented by Francis in 2007, the leaders stated, “we should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence,’ that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortions, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. This responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors, and health professionals.”

    Francis is also anti-euthanasia: “Today,” he wrote, “elderly people are discarded when, in reality, they are the seat of wisdom of the society. The right to life means allowing people to live and not killing, allowing them to grow, to eat, to be educated, to be healed, and to be permitted to die with dignity.”

  6. Hopefull says:

    This morning on Theresa Tomeo’s show, Edward Pentin gave quite well-reasoned comments on how this off-the-cuff speaking on an airplane, filtered through the media, can mislead. Then Fr. Mitch Pacwa joined the conversation, also expressing concern. However, he also said that translation of the Italian sounded less harsh, mentioning there were words of giving him (Trump) the “benefit of the doubt.”

    I thought maybe I should delete the above (I don’t read Italian) but it is still quite an accurate example of the turmoil caused by those conversations, and I think not unreasonable to continue the discussion in that vein. Meanwhile, I reduced the picture, until we have “the whole picture.”

  7. Persis says:

    I have come to believe that we are a society who refuses to actually LISTEN & UNDERSTAND what people are saying. We now listen to RESPOND.
    Pope Francis DID NOT say Donald Trump was not a Christian.
    What Pope Francis said, was that ANYONE who would ONLY build a wall and not attempt building any bridges is not a Christian.
    How can anyone who understands what being a Christian is all about even argue with him about this?
    As a Christian, I am called to love God with all my heart, soul and being, and to love my neighbor as myself. I cannot love my neighbor if I am not interested in getting to know him, and I cannot get to know him if all I build is a wall between us.

    People really need to get a grip!! And those who do know and understand, have a duty and responsibility to counter any false information, not fan the flames!!

  8. Hopefull says:

    Here is the transcript from Pope Francis’ interviews on the flight returning to Rome.

    And here is the full text from NCRegister this afternoon:

    Pope Francis: Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as “animal politicus.” At least I am a human person. As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe, I don’t know. I’ll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people. And then, a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel. As far as what you said about whether I would advise to vote or not to vote, I am not going to get involved in that. I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that. We must see if he said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.

    Read more:

    And here is an interesting twist:

  9. Ben Anderson says:

    and if you don’t trust the Register’s translation, here it is from the Vatican:

    The question was specifically about Trump. Whether or not Trump is a Christian was not even in the question. You are correct, Persis, if you read it pedantically. However, I don’t see any way to defend the Pope’s response here as anything other than imprudent. I don’t think you can chalk this one up as people overreacting. Imagine any bishop or cardinal saying something like this about a liberal. Saying someone should be denied communion is *much* tamer than saying they are “not a Christian”.

    At my office, this morning’s water cooler conversation turned to this topic. I didn’t bring it up – I never would. It was not a religious conservative who mocked the Pope, but a secular liberal. This person does not like Trump at all, but found the Pope’s comment ridiculous. Everyone agreed. I simply said, “I’m a devout Catholic and he is my spiritual leader, but I really don’t know how to defend that comment.”

  10. annonymouse says:

    My comment had less to do with the content of the Pope’s remarks, and more to do with the fact that he seems at liberty to comment on anything and everything, regardless of whether or not the subject matter is in his purview as holy Roman Pontiff. Sadly, the Holy Father displays very little discretion in his remarks, which leads me to believe he thinks his remarks about every subject of the day are important. That, if you ask me, is indicative of anything but humility.

    I also am no fan of Trump, but the issue at hand, it seems to me, is about whether we will be a nation governed by the rule of law, or whether we will allow our government to willy-nilly ignore the law.

    I, too, look forward to the Pope’s remarks about the strident pro-abortion policies of Ms. Clinton or Mr. Sanders.

  11. annonymouse says:

    Now – as to the content of the Pope’s remarks, Francis is simply wrong. Baptism (CCC 1267) and faith define who is and isn’t a Christian, not whether one believes in building walls or not. And I wasn’t aware that part of the Pope’s responsibilities is defining who is and isn’t a Christian. I wish he would get about his real responsibilities: teaching and safeguarding the deposit of faith.

  12. christian says:

    I think there are serious communication problems with reg

    I think there are serious communication problems with regard to Pope Francis, and it in fact, is not due to misinterpretations of his Italian spoken language. I think it is a combination of reporters asking him a question on the spot and his personal belief that he needs to respond immediately to each question, and feeling pressured to respond on any topic – coupled with – his tendency to speak out loud to problem solve in a within a very short period of time to give a reply.

    There are a considerable amount of people in academia who use the thinking out loud method in an effort to problem solve in a more expedient and efficient manner. If that person is among trusted colleagues, friends, or confidants, there is not a big problem. But if that person speaks to a group of people or reporters during their thinking out loud process, (which doesn’t have a filter) it lends to misinformation, exaggeration, and angered or hurt feelings, – and it requires back-peddling for reinterpretation, and damage control.

    I have experienced people who think out loud as a way of problem solving in a group setting or meeting. Especially if that person is in leadership, it can lead to confusion and even frustration, wondering what direction that person is going in as they are thinking their internal thoughts out loud, often leaving out no possibilities, and “blue-skying it” when it comes to planning.

  13. christian says:

    anonymouse stated on Feb. 19th, 2016 at 4:09 p.m. – “My comment had less to do with the content of the Pope’s remarks, and more to do with the fact that he seems at liberty to comment on anything and everything, regardless of whether or not the subject matter is in his purview as holy Roman Pontiff. Sadly, the Holy Father displays very little discretion in his remarks,…”
    I have to agree wholeheartedly with anonymouse at the lack of discretion shown by Pope Francis in responding to all types of questions regarding various subject matter, and “speaking off the cuff,” which is another way of saying he speaks without having fully formulated his opinion, and then having searched for the correct words to convey his opinion so it would be clear and concise, without unintended misinterpretations and exaggerations in the media, leading to controversy and confusion.

    As I have stated previously, Pope Francis thinks he is under some obligation to respond immediately to questions from reporters on any subject, and in doing so, thinks out loud without a filter, in an attempt to problem solve and formulate an opinion on the spot. He should know that reporters tend to bait influential figures into situations like this to get them to respond from the hip on an issue, so they can run with fodder for controversial, media hype story.

    Prelates who have been wise, will not comment on a topic with the media until they have had adequate time to think it over and formulate an opinion, and then craft the right words to convey their opinion and position so there will be clarity among the media, the faithful, and the public at large. They will also refuse to weigh in on certain topics they think is out of their purview.
    No disrespect intended, but think Pope Francis needs to get wise in regard to reporters and the media.

  14. gaudium says:

    annonymouse is correct in his definition of a Christian — unless such a person commits apostasy. Perhaps the Pope really means that it is an unchristian attitude when someone only wants to build walls and not bridges. Do not forget what Pontifex means! Personally, I feel the problem is as others have stated here, that is, the Pope makes quick, off-the-cuff comments that then have to be explained — or explained away. I’m not sure he quite gets how much an impact a pope’s comments have and how careful he needs to be in his phraseology. I remember how, when John Paul II was asked about whether he would excommunicate members of the Irish Republican Army (in about 1979?), he stated something almost sotto voce about how they had suffered enough. Some commentators took it as a virtual endorsement of the IRA agenda. One thing I wish everyone would realize is that infallibility does not extend to off-the-cuff comments spoken orbita dicta. I think it can damage the papal office and the Church when a pope makes careless remarks.

  15. Ben Anderson says:

    besides the Trump question, the other major confusion may be worse.

    Did Paul IV really tell nuns to use contraception?

    Is the Zika virus really as connected with microcephaly and the hysteria is saying?

  16. christian says:

    Another example -Who am I to judge?

    Excerpt – The National Catholic Reporter says Francis “made what appears to be an unprecedented statement that Catholics may have a moral responsibility to limit the number of their children.” It describes the pope’s remarks this way:

    “Telling the story of a woman he met in a parish in Rome several months ago who had given birth to seven children via cesarean section and was pregnant with an eighth, Francis asked: ‘Does she want to leave the seven orphans?’

    ” ‘This is to tempt God,’ he said, adding later: ‘That is an irresponsibility.’ Catholics, the pope said, should speak of ‘responsible parenthood.’

    ” ‘How do we do this?’ Francis asked. ‘With dialogue. Each person with his pastor seeks how to do that responsible parenthood.’

    ” ‘God gives you methods to be responsible,’ he continued. ‘Some think that — excuse the word — that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits. No.’ ” -two way from npr

    Pope Francis actually scolded this woman – “I rebuked a woman some months ago in a parish who was pregnant eight times, with seven C-sections (cesareans). “But do you want to leave seven orphans? That is to tempt God! (Paul VI) speaks of responsible parenthood.” -from pantheos

    Do you notice -there is no mention of this woman’s husband who has fathered her children. (Why did he not talk of responsible parenthood with this woman’s husband?)

    -One of the Pope Francis’ predecessors recognized that women were not totally responsible for bearing a large number of children amid poverty. He understood that in some countries and cultures particularly, that often when women attempted to refrain from sexual intercourse and/or attempted to practice natural family planning, they were pressured by their husbands into having sexual intercourse. Their husbands deemed that a wife should be submissive to their husband, and it was a man’s right to have sexual intercourse with his wife. Their husbands were not willing to abstain from sexual intercourse in an attempt to limit the number of children they would conceive together.
    -So often in these particular countries and cultures, as well as others, women tend to be the ones who are devout Catholics and attend mass regularly while their husbands, nominal Catholics, stay at home.

    I believe in responsible parenting, but I think Pope Francis has to acknowledge that “it takes two to tango,” so to speak, that it is both a husband’s and a wife’s responsibility to practice responsible parenting. He also needs to address the absence of men from the church pews in general.

  17. Eliza10 says:

    Christian, I am prone to the same thing, thinking an idea through out-loud as I process my understanding. But I am all-too aware of being misunderstood, so I weigh my words in many circumstances. Particularly when asked a question about my Catholic Faith. I do not want to give anyone misinformation. I am aware that I represent the Catholic Church in my answer, and that how I answer might really stick in this person’s mind. So when I am unprepared, I just give a good non-answer, like, “That’s a good question, I have to think about that one; I’ll get back to you.” [then I do get back to them, with a thought-through answer). In the Pope’s case that could be, “I will give it some thought and come up with a statement on that later.”

    But we know the Pope knows how to give a non-answer. When asked about gay priests, he says, ‘Who am I to judge?”. I just don’t understand why he did not give the same non-answer concerning Doald Trump!

  18. Ben Anderson says:

    some of you must be “people in the world who really don’t like surprises.”

    Cindy’s example? Thomas Peters.

    Thomas Peters, who tweets as @AmericanPapist, tweeted, “For the 1 millionth time, no more in-flight papal news conferences please!” And a bit later, he added, “Seriously, who believes that off-the-cuff interviews at 30,000 feet after a weeklong international trip is a good idea anymore?”

  19. annonymouse says:

    In a very important way, the Holy Father and Donald Trump are similar – neither appears to have any restraint in the time a thought occurs to the brain and the same thought comes out the mouth.

  20. christian says:

    Eliza10- I agree with your comments. You have insight – you are aware that you might be misunderstood, so you give an honest, sincere, diplomatic answer that you have to give it more thought and you will get back to the party concerned when you have formulated your answer, and you do. It is a very responsible thing to do.

    I have to wonder if Pope Francis has any inkling that he is causing controversy, misunderstanding, and frustration -and media hype -from his off-the-cuff answers during spontaneous questions and answering in interviews with reporters, especially in the air while flying. Does Vatican personnel shelter him from this fact and do damage control by attempting to clarify what he meant? It would probably help if his staff/advisers were candid with him and explain the problem with giving off-the cuff comments during these type interviews and help him to develop a more prudent strategy when giving answers to reporters, such as what Eliza10 practices.

  21. Ludwig says:

    christian said:

    I have to wonder if Pope Francis has any inkling that he is causing controversy, misunderstanding, and frustration -and media hype […] Does Vatican personnel shelter him from this fact and do damage control by attempting to clarify what he meant?

    I’ve wondered this exact thing for three years now.

  22. christian says:

    Another article about the rape of nuns and having the nuns take the birth control pill. If you read carefully/correctly, it was the immoral priests, the perpetrators, who had the nuns taking birth control.

    The Vatican has acknowledged this terrible situation in Africa. Certainly, not all the priests in Africa are involved, but it is an ongoing, serious problem. The priests involved, at the very least, should be dismissed from the priesthood and stripped of all their authority and power.

  23. christian says:

    This is the story in the National Catholic Reporter quoted by Answering Christian:

    This is another story from the guardian:

    There are heroic priests in Africa, but the contrary are also found, and apparently have not been dealt with, at least yet, by the Vatican, despite knowing the problem exists.

  24. Diane Harris says:

    Great Link, Ben. Especially this excerpt:

    “But when every allowance is made, the Magisterium is not an arena in which the Sovereign Pontiff is entitled to attach the prestige of his office to some personal enthusiasm.”

  25. raymondfrice says:

    Saint Sister Faustina was little known outside of Poland until St John Paul II,who had a strong belief in her, presented her life in Rome after he became pope. So it seems like the mantle of the majestarium came to have an impact on her cause for sainthood.

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