Pope Francis Has Single-Handedly Destroyed Catholicism

| 09-18-AD2013 | [226]

JoAnna Wahlund - Pope Francis

…or so you’d think if you got all your information about Catholicism from blog comboxes.

Not surprisingly, Pope Francis has been in the news lately. The media jumped on his offhand comments about homosexuals, breathlessly reported on a letter he wrote to an atheist, and made much hay over an interview given by the Vatican’s new Secretary of State (the media was apparently under the impression that Pope Francis is a very clever ventriloquist, and he was the one talking while the new Secretary’s mouth was moving – at least, that’s what they reported).

A common refrain I’m observing in the comboxes of various Catholic bloggers lately, when said blogger discusses one of these media reports, goes something like this:

“The Pope needs to stop making remarks like this! They’re too easily misunderstood! No one should have to write an article after the fact explaining what the Pope actually said/meant. The Pope needs to deliberate for hours on end before so much as opening his mouth! Every word must be crafted with the utmost perfection so that the media doesn’t get the wrong idea!” etc., etc.

And, my favorite:

“This kind of thing never happened when Benedict XVI/John Paul II was Pope!”

To these people, I respond:

Really? That’s some pretty amazing selective memory you have going on there. Granted, I’ve only been Catholic for the last ten years, but I remember:

The Condom Kerfuffle, in which the MSM proclaimed that Pope Benedict said condoms were perfectly okay for everyone to use (when he actually said that in certain situations, the use of a condom could indicate that someone was trying to act in a moral fashion by not spreading disease, and that trying to act morally could be a good first step on the road to repentance).

Pope Benedict’s speech at the University of Regensburg, in which (according to the media) the Pope said that Mohammed was evil incarnate and all Muslims were going to hell. (The Pope later explained that his words had been misunderstood by Muslims.)

The publication of Benedict’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate, in which the MSM announced that the Pope attacked capitalism as always evil in any circumstance and wholeheartedly supported the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was, according to the media, Pope Benedict’s last ditch attempt to revive a dying church by resurrecting a dead language.

John Paul II’s release of Dominus Iesus in 2000 spawned dozens of newspaper headlines (one of which I remember seeing in my college newspaper) proclaiming that “the Pope says non-Catholics aren’t really Christians!”

In Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, John Paul II stated unequivocally, “Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren [...] I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful” (emphasis mine). Seems pretty straightforward, but the MSM headlines in response? “Pope’s words about women’s ordination spark debate” or similar.

I’m sure I could list hundreds of examples dating back decades, if not centuries, about how the media flagrantly and deliberately misrepresents a pope’s statements, leading to a need for the Vatican et al to issue a clarification. This is not a new phenomenon. The media does not exist to tell the truth – it exists to make people rich. Juicy headlines sell newspapers and garner millions of website hits, which generate revenue. “Pope Reiterates 2,000-year-old Teaching of the Church” doesn’t make money; “Pope Declares that All Atheists Go to Heaven” does. Truth has nothing to do with it, and this type of misrepresentation for personal gain is something that’s been happening as long as the papacy has existed.

Indeed, St. Peter himself could have been speaking about the mainstream media when he said, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)

Of course, in every combox you find at least one person lamenting that the current Pope is destroying the Catholic Church. One example:

“This is doctrinal immodesty, if I may use the phrase. Rather than clothe the precious doctrine of the Body of Christ in garments of sobriety, modesty and Prudence, the truths of the Church are being sold away [by Pope Francis, presumably] cheaply to the moral perverts and enemies of Christ.”

I’m very curious what the commenter in question would have had to say about some of the Church’s earlier Popes:

  • Pope Stephen VI (896–897), who had his predecessor Pope Formosus exhumed, tried, de-fingered, briefly reburied, and thrown in the Tiber.
  • Pope John XII (955–964), who gave land to a mistress, murdered several people, and was killed by a man who caught him in bed with his wife.
  • Pope Benedict IX (1032–1044, 1045, 1047–1048), who “sold” the Papacy
  • Pope Boniface VIII (1294–1303), who is lampooned in Dante’s Divine Comedy
  • Pope Urban VI (1378–1389), who complained that he did not hear enough screaming when Cardinals who had conspired against him were tortured.
  • Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503), a Borgia, who was guilty of nepotism and whose unattended corpse swelled until it could barely fit in a coffin.
  • Pope Leo X (1513–1521), a spendthrift member of the Medici family who once spent 1/7 of his predecessors’ reserves on a single ceremony
  • Pope Clement VII (1523–1534), also a Medici, whose power-politicking with France, Spain, and Germany got Rome sacked.

(The preceding examples are taken from E. Chamberlain’s book “The Bad Popes,” as summarized by Wikipedia.)

We once had a Pope who was murdered while engaging in the act of adultery – and the Church survived! After that, can anyone honestly believe that the Church will be utterly decimated and destroyed simply because the current pope made statements about atheists that were deliberately misconstrued by the media in order to boost ratings?! Perhaps the Holy Spirit is insulted by the implication that His protection of the Truth was considered so weak and ineffective.

So please, fellow Catholics, the proper response when reading a MSM headline about the Pope changing a long-held doctrine of Catholicism is not panic or rage or despair. Rather, it’s a yawn, an eye-roll, and a resigned sigh – as well as a realization that we’re once again called upon to engage in the new evangelization for the sake of the Kingdom in the realm of social media and among our friends and family.

About the Author:

JoAnna was baptized, raised, and married in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America but converted to Catholicism in May 2003, on G.K. Chesterton's birthday. She has five terrific kids here on earth, two saints in heaven praying for her, and a wonderful husband of 12 years who supports her in all things. By day, she is a content editor for a global information company; by night, she enjoys defending the Catholic faith online (in between her duties as chief cook and bottle washer for La Casa Wahlund). She blogs at http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com.
Politics Filed in: Life, Politics, Social
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  • Robbe Sebesta

    This is great Joanna! Thank you for setting the record straight. It’s maddening whenever the secular press jumps on whatever the Pope says…..but I’m glad we have people like yourself to defend and explain our Catholic faith. By the way, I recently “un-friended” Kirk Cameron on Facebook because just the other day he posted: “The Pope Says Atheists Can Get To Heaven On Their Own Consciousnesses.’ I responded, basically saying – “As a Catholic I can say…no he didn’t….” I so wish people would research what they put out there as truth. Kudos to you on a great article. And I’m praying for a safe arrival of your new little one!

    • Collin Wahlund

      Being a Protestant, he’s likely to get his Catholic news from crappy sources like that. Sadly, they also tend to believe it given what most denominations teach about the Church.

      I try to explain these kinds of things, but it ain’t easy when all the info a Protestant gets is anti-Church. Sometimes I feel that the best way to get through is by associating at joint functions such as pro-life and religious freedom rallies. You see items in common there.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      Agreed. Commonalities is what we need…not more strife!


      the roman catholic church will soon be destroyed despite u guys using language of commonalities…. the city of seven hills will be destroyed specially vatican…

    • Yolanda

      Richard, I disagree. The Catholic Church will endure.

    • Jen

      Richard the gates of hell will not prevail against it!! Our catholic church has stood thru good and bad times!! Many protestant churches have closed. God bless.

    • Irene Teresa

      I agree the Catholic/universal church will endure. Pope Francis brings Christ’s message into the full light of reality especially when it comes to the poor of the world.

    • AndrewIsrael

      The best part about Pope Francis is how he riles up the Republican Religious Reichers. I love it! They need his tough love!

    • BrandonR

      fact: Jesus established a church (that has BOTH visible and invisible qualities). fact: Jesus gave authority to his apostles. fact: Jesus’ apostles appointed successors. fact: there is an unbroken chain of successors that lead the Catholic Church today.

      Stop assigning your own interpretations to scriputures in Revelation.

    • Carl Grillo

      Merely natural good works make the atheist a humanitarian – not a Christian. To suggest – as Pope Francis does – that philanthropic good works are some sort of “common ground” for believers and non-believers is false…a
      meritorious good work must have the supernatural motive of love of neighbor for God’s sake. This supernatural motive is completely absent from the atheist who negates God by his very existence. His “good works” will not save
      him; any more than they will save the Protestant who does humanitarian works;
      but does not obey the precepts of the objective moral order. Do not get me
      wrong – I am not saying that Francis is preaching the heresy of universal
      salvation [i.e., apocatastasis] but he is preaching the heresy of good works alone – without supernatural faith.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      Yes Carl, but Pope Francis is not preaching the heresy of good works alone. If you take what he said in context, he said that he stands by what the Church has always taught when it comes to salvation, and that is: if a person does not know the Truth, yet seeks it however he knows to, this person too has a chance at eternal life. He’s not saying, “Those who know in their heart of hearts that the Catholic Christian faith is the only way to God, and yet refuse to comply with it, they are still saved.” He is speaking to the ones of ignorance, which is what the Church has always said.

    • Carl Grillo

      Their ignorance will not save them, if they do not elicit the Acts of faith, hope, charity, and perfect contrition for their sins necessary for salvation. If they only have imperfect contrition for their sins; how can they be restored to a state of grace without Sacramental Absolution – Confession to a Roman Catholic Priest? This is what the Church has always said.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      That’s not true Carl. The Church has always spoken of those invincibly ignorant, and it was clarified with Vatican II –

      The Church recognizes that God does not condemn those who are innocently ignorant of the truth about his offer of salvation. Regarding the doctrine in question, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (quoting Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, 16) states:

      This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no
      fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church: Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation. (CCC 847)

      Vatican II document Gaudium Et Spesteaches similarly on the possibility of salvation:

      All this holds true not only for Christians, but for all
      men of good will in whose hearts grace works in an unseen way. For, since Christ died for all men, and since the ultimate vocation of man is in fact one, and divine, we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known only to God offers to every man the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery.

      This teaching is consistent with Jesus’ own teaching about those who innocently reject him: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin” (Jn 15:22).
      But once a person comes to know the truth, he must embrace it or he will be culpable of rejecting it. We see this in Jesus’ words to the Pharisees: “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains” (Jn 9:41).

    • Carl Grillo

      Jesus’ words that you cite actually increase the guilt of Jews, Pagans, Infidels, [Moslems] and Atheists; it does not “let them off,” as you say. He has in fact come in the Flesh; He has in fact spoken – therefore they have no excuse…The Council only mentions – in a non-infallible manner – the “mere possibility” of their being saved. Fr Barron – with whom I do not agree – stated this “mere possibility” about non-Christians with reference to the documents of the Council: “…the possibility [not certainty]…of sharing in the Paschal Mystery;” and, “may achieve eternal salvation,” not, “will achieve…” This is in line with the statements of Pope Pius IX in “Singulari quaedam,” and “Quanto conficiare moerere,” where he spoke of remote sufficent grace given to non-Christians who have not yet heard [Pagans] or received [Jews, Moslems] the Gospel of Christ. If they cooperate with remote grace, they will receive the proximate grace of conversion to the true Catholic faith by means of Missionaries. “Faith cometh through hearing [fides ex auditu], says Saint Paul. “But how can they believe if they have not heard, and how can they hear if no one is sent?”
      This is the “hermeneutic of continuity…”
      Take it or leave it.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      So Carl, you are arguing against the Magisterium. And I think I will keep listening the Church and what she has spoken about salvation, rather than any individual who interprets the bible on his or her own accord.

    • Paul

      Thank you! This response makes me smile :)

    • Carl Grillo

      I am not interpreting the Bible of my own accord; [Catholics do not do that] you are interpreting the Magisterium of your own accord by practically teaching the heresy that all men are saved – except those who stubbornly refuse to become Catholics, while knowing that this is the one true Church; falsely basing this notion upon “Lumen Gentium, 16 and the CEC. But the Magisterium has always taught – and still teaches – that Jews, Pagans, Infidels, Agnostics and Atheists CANNOT be saved if before death they do not elicit these acts referred to above. [scil., faith, hope, charity, and perfect contrition (in the abscence of a Priest); or imperfect contrtion (with the Sacramental Absolution of a Priest)]. The 1949 Letter of the Holy Office to the Archbishop of Boston, which is referenced in the footnotes to Lumen Gentium, 16: “An implicit desire [for Baptism] is not sufficient for salvation if it is not informed by true supernatural faith and animated by charity (towards God).” Theologians add that an explicit faith in the Trinity, Incarnation and the Redemption is necessary by a necessity of means [necessitate medii]; after the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This point of dogma was not mentioned in the 1949 Letter because it was not addressing itself to this issue [cf., Monsignor Francis Fenton, The Church and Salvation, 1959]. Christ shed every drop of His Precious Blood upon the Cross to institute the Seven Sacraments which are morally necessary for salvation. Non-Christians do not have ANY of the Sacraments, and “Baptism of Desire” is difficult – if not impossible – for them because it must be informed by faith, hope, charity and explicit belief in Christ.

      You and many other “new Church” Catholics seem to suggest that there are TWO Economies of Salvation: one for Christians, and the other for non-Christians and the “whatevers” who believe in anything or nothing. The Church of Vatican II and the Roman Catholic Church; which are one and the same – for there is only one Church – does not in fact teach two economies of salvation. There is no Luther, Mohammed, or Buddha in Heaven – only Our Lord Jesus Christ.

      I am out of here: there is no use in multipling words when nobody is listening.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      Carl!! Is this what is stated in YOUR Catechism? -

      The Church recognizes that God does not condemn those who are
      innocently ignorant of the truth about his offer of salvation. Regarding
      the doctrine in question, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (quoting
      Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, 16) states:

      This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no
      fault of
      their own, do not know Christ and his Church: Those who, through no
      fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but
      who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try
      in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of
      their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation. (CCC 847)

      Vatican II document Gaudium Et Spesteaches similarly on the possibility of salvation:

      All this holds true not only for Christians, but for all
      men of
      good will in whose hearts grace works in an unseen way. For, since
      Christ died for all men, and since the ultimate vocation of man is in
      fact one, and divine, we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a
      manner known only to God offers to every man the possibility of being
      associated with this paschal mystery.

      This teaching is consistent with Jesus’ own teaching about those who
      innocently reject him: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would
      not have sin” (Jn 15:22).
      But once a person comes to know the truth,
      he must embrace it or he will be culpable of rejecting it. We see this
      in Jesus’ words to the Pharisees: “If you were blind, you would have no
      guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains” (Jn 9:41).

      Because, this is what I find over and over again – everywhere I look..it’s even on the Vatican’s homepage. So, I don’t know what you are reading that is so different from mine, but I know mine is Roman Catholic. I don’t need to “interpret” anything because the Magisterium does that FOR me, and for you too. But somewhere, something is not right when you are telling me I am wrong, when I am simply cutting and pasting what is stated in every Roman Catholic Catechism. I believe what the Magisterium teaches. I would not be Catholic if I didn’t. Again I say, you have an apparent issue with Rome, not with me.

    • John Deere

      For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but hve eternal life. Simple. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Simple truth, easily understood, nothing ambiguous. My advice for you, come out from among those who would lead you astray with philosophy and vain deciet.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      John Deere…is that your real name?? Anyway, thank you for your comments. I agree, of course with the Gospel of John 3:16, as I agree with all of what Our Lord taught. It is simple too. However, problems arise sometimes with the subject of people who have never truly been exposed to Christ, yet seek the truth as best they can. This was the subject of which I was talking about with the above Carl. I appreciate what you said though.

    • ME

      So you leave no room for anyone born into a protestant faith and taught all their lives that salvation is through faith alone, and just because someone from the Catholic church tells them that is not true (again because they’ve been taught all their life that the Catholic church is the whore of Babylon or some such nonsense), that they are automatically disqualified from being invincibly ignorant? I have come to realize the fact that it is a lot harder to convince someone that what they’ve been taught all their lives is not the truth than you’d think it should be. I believe there is also an element of understanding that must be taken into consideration in order for their to be true “sin”. Granted, I see a lot of people who I might think appear to be adamantly in denial of the truth, but do I know if that is truly denial or if it is invincible ignorance?

    • Maria

      We have to try and understand culpability and it’s hard for a “righteous” person to do this. Before, you think that I’m suggesting you are a righteous person – stop – I am not. Culpability is a difficult teaching to understand properly and Robbe is demonstrating a good awareness of it.

    • mia

      i’m listening, Carl. thanks for your efforts to explain. : )

    • Carl Grillo

      Thank you for listening…

    • Kelly

      “There is no Luther, Mohammed, or Buddha in Heaven – only Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

      Prove it Carl. Prove it.

    • Kelly

      What “She” has spoken about? Sheesh, you people are truly insane.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      Kelly, “the Church” is made up of people. It is not a building.

    • Kelly

      Where did I say it was a building? Methinks thou doest protest too much.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      Kelly, you made a comment about me calling “The Church” she. “She” is considered the bride of Christ and “she” is a living, breathing gathering of people in God’s name. Me thinks thou is not following the conversation.

    • Kelly

      Newsflash: The world doesn’t revolve around you or your writings. So sorry I misinterpreted your crazy-talk.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      Newsflash: No one ever said it did. And if its such crazy talk, why do you continue to engage with me? You sound so hostile for no reason.

    • Kelly

      Well, you seem to think of yourself as ‘the one with the correct knowledge’ on this matter. Did you ever stop to think that perhaps you might be wrong, or that this entire discussion is based on myths that you (and others) were taught as children? I have a feeling you need to have the last word because deep down the more people you can try to convince that your way is the right way, the less doubt you’ll have about your belief system.

      But that’s just me. I’m sure you’ll agree we’ll have to agree to disagree. And that’s all this is…a disagreement.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      Kelly, I’m not trying to convince you or anyone else what the truth is. I don’t claim to have found the truth, but I know it has found me. Only the Holy Spirit can move peoples’ hearts. All I am is a believer in the One true God. And I thank him every day I had parents who shared their faith with me. He loves us all so much and that includes you. You needn’t believe it. It just is what it is.

    • Kelly

      You proved my point. Your parents indoctrinated you, so that’s why you believe. You’re entitled to that belief, but again, that’s all it is, a belief. One that excludes billions of others around the world who believe in other gods, or question if the concept entirely. More than anything, I have a feeling you’re trying to convince yourself, but that’s just my opinion. Have a good life! :)

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Kelly, I can’t speak for Robbe, but I’ve stopped to think that I might be wrong plenty of times. Then I use logic and reason and realize that the evidence that God exists is overwhelming.

      Have you ever stopped to think that perhaps you might be wrong?

    • Kelly

      Of course I have. I’m not saying I’m right — all I’m saying is that no one can say they are, and everyone else is wrong. As I mentioned above, that’s religious blackmail, a HUMAN emotion, not a ‘godlike’ one. In my opinion, there’s far more proof that man created god than the other way around, but I’m sure we’ll have to respectfully agree to disagree. :)

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      The Catechism uses the same terminology, so why are you calling it “crazy-talk”? Why are you so hurt and angry?

    • Kelly

      I’m not sure what the ‘Catechism’ has to do with anything — you’ll find that most religions have the same terminology, the same fairy stories, etc..

      Why am I so hurt and angry? Because I grew up being harrassed, bullied, shamed, beat up and nearly suicidal because people use the Bible as an excuse for their homophobia and bigotry, just like they did with blacks, with women, etc., etc..

      Fortunately, times are changing, and more and more people (even some “Christians”) are realizing how divisive religion is, and are realizing that we’re all the same. I’m grateful for that, and am working on letting go of my anger and hurt. Thanks for asking.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      Ugh… Kelly no wonder you are bitter. I am so sorry you were hurt by these people. Not all Christians are like that.

    • Kelly

      Thanks Robbe, I appreciate your comment. And agree…not all Christians are so bigoted.

    • brandonr

      Rob, Let me reason with you… there’s no reasoning with the unreasonable… trust me :) Peace be with you, brother!



    • Robbe Sebesta

      Richard, You seem to misunderstand The Church. The Church is made up of people, period. And every one of us is sinful, which means, there are good and bad that make up everything. And you can believe whatever you want, but to say “Her judgment will soon come……” is saying that an inanimate object will have judgment – it’s impossible. People will be judged, and not any institution.

    • Catherine

      Carl, should you want to make charges/comments as these, please, please, will you get the CORRECT information – look at Catholic Answers or Catholics.com or gee, maybe even the Catechism! Don’t assume you “know” what you are talking about – when we do that we merely show the world how foolish we can be!

    • Carl Grillo

      The Catechism is not intended to be a dogmatic treatise; but merely an “authentic norm” for catechesis. I studied Dogmatic and Moral theology before the Catechism was issued. I have no prudent fear of error – but you should.

    • Robbe Sebesta

      The Magisterium is the source of the Catechism Carl. Since you know better, maybe you should be the Pope.

    • Kelly

      Absolute nonsense. You’re suggesting, as so many other religions do, that if one doesn’t believe as you do, or as your religion has indoctrinated you to believe, then one will go to hell. That is religious blackmail, pure and simple, and blackmail is not something a loving ‘god’ would ever consider.

      So sad that so many people over the age of 10 still believe this stuff. So afraid of living in the 21st century, let alone the 19th.

    • ccmnxc

      For an (implicitly) self-proclaimed rationalist, I see a lot of knee-jerk posturing and very little thinking. First of all, I can think of maybe three religions off the top of my head that believe in anything remotely resembling the Christian conception of hell. That’s a pretty far cry from “so many other religions.” Second, you completely misrepresented what Carl said. He did not say “Anyone who does not believe in God is going to hell.” What he did say was that good works for an atheist and good works for a believer are different, so the appeal to common ground is faulty. Stemming from that, you find the notion of hell to be blackmail based on a rather childish, simplistic notion of hell. It is something along the lines of “Do what God says and wants, or you will be sent to hell.” Of course, the bigger point is that sin leads to putting of oneself before God, which is just a temporal example of hell, namely rejecting God for eternity and suffering from the separation (but still not repenting even due to that suffering).
      Then of course, there is your last sentence, which is just as dogmatic and anti-rational as any fundamentalist saying might be. I take personal amusement out of it considering just today I was writing a paper on the dogmatism fallacy. Your’s would have been a good example to include.
      And finally, since you seem to have no problem psychoanalyzing others, I’m sure you won’t mind if I do the same to you. It appears to me that your reasons for rejecting God and religion are largely emotional since affirmation of Christianity would deprive you of the lifestyle you desire. It has less to do with reason and logic and more to do with an “I’ll do what I want” mentality.

      By your standards, it seems my above assessment was entirely fair. Applied consistently, it would appear that you should have no problem with it since I simply included some of your favorite tactics. If you didn’t entirely like my tone or what I said, maybe it would be time to give up the condescending , Dunning-Kruger effect, style attitude and actually address people as if they weren’t children. Your call, though.

    • Kelly

      Sorry, but it’s not fair. I wasn’t replying to Carl, didn’t even notice his posts. I was engaged in a discussion with Robbe and JoAnna.

      The “lifestyle I desire”? Newflash: Sexual orientation is not a choice, not a “lifestyle”. That statement alone shows your monumental ignorance on the subject.

    • ccmnxc

      Not sure what you mean in saying you were not replying to Carl, since it shows your post being a reply as designated by the arrow to Carl’s name. Still, it is less who you were responding to and more what you said at all.

      Further, I never mentioned sexuality, so what you stated was a misrepresentation of what I said. But let’s run with that example. I would agree that sexual orientation isn’t a lifestyle simpliciter. However, it can certainly play a large factor in lifestyle (lifestyle being a broader range of dispositions and actions). So I’d say my comment still stands (at least as far as the validity of psychoanalyzing goes).

    • JoFro

      You unfriended him for that? What’s wrong with you? You had the perfect chance to explain to a Protestant, who mostly gets his stories from the MSM or from Catholic-hating Protestants, how he was wrong and have a great debate with the guy! Go friend him again!

    • Robbe Sebesta

      JoFro!! What’s wrong with me?? lol!! I don’t know!! That’s funny! But okay, I will go back and “Friend” him again. But I don’t know if he will listen to some ‘person in Texas’ on his Facebook page where he has a thousand other followers.

    • JoFro

      Maybe he might not but a good debate on his page with his thousand other followers should send him glancing over at your comments, wouldn’t it? I think it’s just my policy to not unfriend someone who posts anti-Catholic stuff until of course they start becoming personally abusive to me or threaten me! I just feel you missed a golden opportunity to explain the Church’s position and the way the MSM misinterprets our Pope!

    • Robbe Sebesta

      Well before I unfriended him I did say that he received a poor interpretation of what Pope Francis said. But I like I said, I will go back and RE-friend him again…lol….you’re right you know, and I thank you for your suggestion. (I still don’t know what’s wrong with me though….lol!)

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  • Connie Rossini

    Pope Benedict said what about condoms???? No wonder the Church is in such a mess! Just kidding, JoAnna. You explained this very well. And you’re right. Popes should watch what they say, but even when they do the MSM will misreport it. It’s the Church contra mundum, a perennial problem.

    • Bill S

      For the prevention of the spread of AIDS, Pope Benedict should have said even more than he did say. The Church should have recommended condoms for that purpose and made it clear that such use is not a sin.

    • MarieS

      Church teaching is quite clear that such use is sin, as is any other artificial separation of the procreative from the unitive act. That applies both ways: IVF as well as contraception and sterilization.

    • Bill S

      Use of condoms for the purpose of preventing the spread of AIDS in places like Africa is not a sin according to Pope Benedict. Do you think the Church went out of its way to spread that news in Africa? If it didn’t it is responsible for untold suffering and death among Catholics who thought it was a sin to take this simple protective measure.

    • Bob

      Did you read the article above? And actually, teaching abstinence in Catholic countries has actually been far more effective than condoms. Apparently, one million condoms sent to Africa from the UN (which had contracted with the lowest bidder) where found to be breaking because they were bought on the cheap.

    • Bill S

      Simple question. A woman tells her husband that, not that she doesn’t trust his fidelity, but the only way she will have sex with him is if he wears a condom. She is not doing it to avoid pregnancy but to avoid an STD. So they make love with him using a condom. Is that a sin? According to Benedict, it isn’t. If it isn’t, why don’t more Catholics know that it isn’t?

    • Carl Grillo

      The use of a condom by HIV/AIDS victims does not
      in any way change the morality of the act; which, according to Catholic moral doctrine, is intrinsically evil. An intrinsically evil act remains “irremediably evil;” [cf., John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor] regardless of intentions or circumstances. The Pope cannot negate the sinfulness of an intrinsically evil act by his private theological opinion stated in a book-interview. The SCDF clarified this point [cf., Note on the Banalization of Sexuality in the Book, "Light of the World."].

    • Bill S

      You people need to get real. First the Pope says it is ok then somebody else says it isn’t. It is ok.

    • David Bowman

      “Far be it from Christians to be led to embrace another opinion, as if the Council taught that nowadays some things
      are permitted which the Church had previously declared intrinsically evil. Who does not see in this the rise of a depraved moral relativism, one that clearly endangers the Church’s entire doctrinal heritage?” (Paul VI, Address to Members of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, September 1967:
      AAS 59, 962)

    • Bill S

      That is the problem. Only the Catholic Church can be right about morality and all other views are ” relativism”. And once a pope says that something like contraception is “intrininsically evil” we’re supposed to be stuck with that opinion forever. It can never be corrected. Sorry, that’s not how it works in the real world.

    • David Bowman

      Why don’t you get off this web-site…you are not Catholic. NSA?

    • ME

      I hope you realize that what the pope says about faith and morals comes through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, right? So its really God telling us what is right and wrong, not the Pope. Oh and there’s that pesky thing about Peter being told “whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven…”

    • Bill S

      That is a Catholic tenet. There is very little chance that God speaks to us directly through the Pope. All you have to do is look at the history of the papacy to know that it doesn’t work that way.

    • Bob

      If I have The flu, I’m not going to take a sip of someone else’s coffee or a bite of their donut because that would be selfish and I could possibly make that person sick. If I have AIDS, I’m not going to have sexual intercourse with that person because I could kill them and that would be selfish. Condoms are not full proof, and your playing Russian roulette with someone else’s life.

    • Bill S

      That kind of ethical and health related decision must be made by a couple. The fact is that condom use for AIDS prevention is not a sin and the Church has not been forthcoming in informing people that the practice is allowed as per Pope Benedict’s not widely publicized statement.

  • GodsGadfly

    Fantastic! Sheldon Vanauken said that the “Bad Popes” were the keys to his conversion: the Church survived them, yet Protestants are constantly splitting up over scandals. People often quote John Chrysostom that “the floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops,” but there’s also what the Cardinal-Archbishop of Paris reportedly said to Napoleon when the latter threatened to destroy the Church: “Popes and bishops have been trying to do that for 1800 years; what makes you think you’ll succeed?”
    Alexander VI not only practiced nepotism: he created his son a cardinal and was the great-grandfather of St. Francis Borgia. The infamous Lucrezia was his daughter. When sedevacantists talk about JPII “kissing the Koran,” I point out that that was, at worse, a personal sin (and I don’t think it necessarily was), but it did not amount to Heresy any more than the adulteries and murders committed by Alexander VI and others.

    • Carl Grillo

      Kissing the Qu ‘ran is an act of public apostasy. This book states that whoever believes in the Most Holy Trinity is worse than fecal matter.

  • Patrick Catholic dad

    Well done, young lady. Well said; well written. mGrby

  • charrell

    Great article! Thanks for writing it. All it takes is a little research to find out what was actually said. But like my kids say “Haters gonna hate.”

  • Macy

    In the past, misrepresentations were usually pretexts for Church bashing by the usual suspects. Lately they seem to be pretexts for pushing liberal agenda. Quite different phenomena. I think the latter is worse, your patronizing insouciance and exaggerations notwithstanding.

    And you mistakenly cite Caritas in veritate (published in 2009); instead, the document that got the reaction you mention was NOT the encyclical (which was generally understood and well-received, having come out at a time — the wake of the 2008 financial crisis — when politicians themselves started to sound like moral theologians). The document in question was a MUCH less authoritative “note” released by a Pontifical Council in 2011; this is explained in the article to which you yourself link… Oh right: but you’re in the media, so you’re just interested in making a splash. Never mind.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Actually, Caritas in Veritate was heralded quite a bit as “the Pope hates capitalism,” from what I remember. See an example here: http://al007italia.blogspot.com/2009/12/of-course-msm-is-ignoring-this.html

      I’m trying to figure out the purpose of your comment. Do you think the media is being forthright and honest when it reports on the Pope, and you object to my viewpoint?

      “your patronizing insouciance and exaggerations notwithstanding” – care to give an example? What am I indifferent to, and what did I exaggerate?

    • paulzummo

      No, you’re completely correct JoAnna, the Encyclical garnered a lot of criticism from people who thought it was too anti-capitalist. Remember George Weigel going through the thing trying to figure out which parts were written by the Pope?

      By the way, a tip of of the hat to my fellow “media” member.

    • Bill

      Terrible comment. JoAnna is dead-on accurate.

  • Leila Miller

    Bam! Rock on, girlfriend.

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  • Anne

    Pope Francis’ actions speak beyond the headlines – showing us Jesus’ example of fraternizing with those the religious consider to be sinners, sharing Christ’s light beyond the walls of our sparsely attended churches. Most importantly he focuses on replacing greed with love and humility. By following these examples, in imitation of Christ, we would have less poverty, hunger, and war, just as God intended.

  • nannon31

    Great point Joanna…but you were frightfully nice to Pope Alexander VI. Nepotism looks nice when placed near his actual life choices.

  • Anabelle Hazard

    well done Joanna.

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  • Brian F Hudon

    So this pope is not bad because he is not as bad as other popes? That is relativism defined and exemplified.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Hey, Brian, you seemed to have missed this paragraph: “We once had a Pope who was murdered while engaging in the act of adultery
      – and the Church survived! After that, can anyone honestly believe that
      the Church will be utterly decimated and destroyed simply because the
      current pope made statements about atheists that were deliberately
      misconstrued by the media in order to boost ratings?! Perhaps the Holy
      Spirit is insulted by the implication that His protection of the Truth was considered so weak and ineffective.”

  • http://thebodyguardtob.wordpress.com/ Jim Russell

    ***”Rather, it’s a yawn, an eye-roll, and a resigned sigh – as well as a realization that we’re once again called upon to engage in the new evangelization for the sake of the Kingdom in the realm of social media and among our friends and family.”***
    The truth of the matter is that we Catholics have to learn to realize that the “new evangelization” actually involves re-evangelizing those brother and sister Catholics who are consistently being “othered” by offensive labels such as those in the above links.
    Any of our panicked and fearful fellow Catholics who don’t yet “get” our new Holy Father often are being met with personal ridicule and contempt leveled by those of us who are actually called upon to help re-evangelize them, not by our anger and derision, but rather by our example of *charitable* and patient truth-telling.
    I would suggest that the work of evangelization is about planting seeds, seeds that are as healthy as they can possibly be–seeds not soaked in the poison of anger and personal animosity and labels and othering.
    I am actually encouraged that your post, Joanna, steers clear of this kind of othering and instead brings substance and context to the issue of the MSM coverage of the pope. Thanks for that. Now my prayer is that readers and commenters take a similar high road and speak truth charitably to one another instead of stooping to personal rancor and name-calling, something all too commonly found in the Catholic blogosphere….

    • Catholic, but not conservative

      Yet the readers of this website could certainly take heed of much of what the Holy Father has said in his interview the day after this original article was published. For example:

      In this quest to seek and find God in all things there is still an area of
      uncertainty. There must be. If a person says that he met God with total
      certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good.
      For me, this is an important key. If one has the answers to all the
      questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a
      false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of
      God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble. Uncertainty is in every true discernment that is open to finding confirmation in spiritual consolation. Our life is not given to us like an opera libretto, in which all is written down;
      but it means going, walking, doing, searching, seeing … We must enter into the adventure of the quest for meeting God; we must let God search and encounter us.

      And also:

      We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

      The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently …

      We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.

      I say this also thinking about the preaching and content of our preaching.

  • Sir Mark

    Great! I have one quibble. You claim that the media exists to make people rich. It would seem to me that if this were the case, our scribes and talking heads would spend less time deliberately antagonizing the consumers of mass media. Yes, some want to get rich, but there are many others who just want a platform from which to talk down to the ignorant rabble.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Like so many aspects of Catholicism – it’s not either/or, it’s both/and :)

  • Jonathan

    Thank you JoAnna. But I’m not sure I would say the proper response is a yawn, since he’s challenging us, Catholics. He is refocusing the entire Church from moralism and orthodox triumphalism to the love of Christ! I cant yawn after that! It’s a challenge to me!

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      the yawn is in response to the media twisting, not the challenge involved in evangelizing :)

  • ME

    Did you know what was coming today when you wrote this one?

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      I did not. Ironic, no?

  • Mark

    I used to be a Catholic for over 30 years, but I am now a born-again Christian. The reason why I left was because after I started reading the Bible and the Catholic Catechism, I discovered many serious problems and contradictions. I also believe that this transformation of the Catholic Church you are seeing with the current pope is in fulfillment of the Bible prophecy. I will leave with two points to ponder. 1.The book of Revelation speaks of two women, which represent churches in the last days. The true church shall be persecuted. Revelation 17 says that there shall be a political/church system called the Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations and she will be riding the beast, and all the wicked people will follow it. I believe this is the Catholic Church/New World Order which you see forming today, and is a revival of the Roman system. 2. Jesus says in Matthew 7:13 to enter through the narrow gate, because wide is the gate that leads to destruction, and many people go there. The true church is very small, and it will be persecuted for the truth. The Catholic Church is the largest religion in the world and is also far from persecution. God bless, those that want to know the truth.

    • Frederick o

      Did someone mention “rolling eyes” and “yawn” recently?

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Mark, Catholics are Christians too! It seems pretty evident that you did not know your Catholic faith when you left it. Everything you said above has been thoroughly debunked.

      The Catholic Church isn’t persecuted? Really? Tell that to the nuns living in Syria, who are in danger of their lives.

  • A J MacDonald Jr

    Francis is a modernist, and a universalist: God’s mercy and grace redeems everyone… repentance, faith, and holiness are not required. This is also known as the preaching of a false gospel by a false prophet. He’s an ear-tickler… and a prophesier of pleasant things…

    “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions” ~ Saint Paul (2 Timothy 4:3)

    “For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the LORD; who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 30:9-11)

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      I guess the Catholic Church is also modernist and universalist, as the CCC also teaches that God’s mercy and grace redeems everyone. See here: http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2013/05/pope-francis-knows-difference-between.html

      Whether or not people choose to respond to God’s gift of mercy and grace is a different question entirely. Some choose not to do so and thus do not attain heaven.

    • Carl Grillo

      In his October 1 interview with “La Republicca,” Francis does in fact
      propose the heresy of universal Salvation, not Redemption: “Our Species (sic – !) will cease to exist; but in the end God will be all in all…the spark of the divine within each one of us…each one must do Good and avoid Evil as he sees it…” This is utterly unCatholic, and everybody knows it.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Sorry, I’m not seeing where that quote says that everyone will achieve salvation. It’s also not a quote in full context.

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  • Carl Grillo

    What did Benedict say?

    What did he say?

    “…he actually said that someone was trying to act in a moral fashion by not spreading disease, and that trying to act morally could be a good first step on the road to repentance.”

    Why do you have to spew forth a mouthful of rhetoric when explaining what he really
    said? This shows that Benedict is disingenuous. It would have been better if he
    said that condoms are ok for all. The use of a condom by a homosexual does not
    in any way change the morality of the act; which, according to Catholic moral
    doctrine, is intrinsically evil.

    Some moral theologians would even say that it increases the malice of the act,
    because it invites one to commit sin with impunity – without consequences,
    moral or physical. This is not what John Paul II taught the Church in
    “Veritatis Splendor.” He stated that an intrinsically evil act
    remains “irremediably evil;” regardless of intentions or
    circumstances. Benedict contradicts this teaching
    point blank.

    As for Francis, he is destroying the entire objective moral order revealed by God
    and infallibly proposed by the Church.

    It is time for a heresy trial.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      I recommend a hot bath and a glass of wine. It might help you relax.

  • JoFro

    OK, I’m sorta going to ruin the party here Joana but anyhoo, I think your argument is invalid!

    There is a difference in a Pope committing a heresy and a Pope involved in other sins!

    All those bad Popes you mentioned did horrible things but they did not claim what they did was good or changed Church teaching to suit their purposes!

    The reason why so many rad-Trads are so angry with this Pope is because he continues to say things that literally lie on the verge of a heresy or atleast sound like he’s close to declaring a Church teaching a heresy!

    It doesn’t help that even before he was made Pope, he seemed to make life tough for those wanting to celebrate the pre-Vatican 2 Tridentine Mass in their parishes and now a Traditionalist group has been blocked from saying that Mass under his watch while clown Masses and other weird masses have still not been condemned by him.

    I like the Pope but noting that the media continues to completely rehash his views and misinterprets them, you’d think our dear Pope would get the message and start being a bit more careful about the way he talks and writes!

    • Carl Grillo

      private morality of any Pope is not protected by the charism of infallibility -
      Popes are not impeccable – however; the public relation of the Pope to the
      teaching of the universal Church is protected in the sense that if he teaches
      heresy as a “private theologian” – which is what Francis is doing by
      his “off the cuff” statements; he “ipso facto” loses the
      Pontificate. Cardinal Billot in his theological treatise “De
      Ecclesia” states that: “…the Roman Pontiff is the proximate rule of
      faith for the universal Church [proxima regula fidei];” if he falls into
      heresy as a private theologian [because he cannot define heresy when he speaks
      ex cathedra]; he loses the Pontificate. A heretic cannot be the proximate rule
      of Catholic faith and morals if he publicly denies this rule; which, being
      public Revelation [whether by Scripture or Tradition] is easily known by all,
      “…even in the present condition of the human race.” [cf. Vatican I,
      Const. Dog., De Revelatione; and Vatican II, Const. Dog., Dei Verbum, Proemium.]

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Please illustrate where Pope Francis has changed Church teaching to suit his own purposes. As a matter of fact, Pope Francis has never said anything that contradicts Church teaching (in fact, the entire point of the article is that the media wants you to THINK he did when in fact he did not). Oh, and regarding your second-to-last paragraph, it’s untrue. Please get your news from sources that aren’t run by uber-radical Traditionalists bordering on being sedevacantists.

    • Carl Grillo

      He said that the Word became incarnate to give an example of brotherly love. This is not Catholicism – it’s Masonry. The Word became incarnate to redeem the human race from the Fall of Adam and Eve and its consequences for all of us – excepting Jesus and Mary. He did say “…in the end, God will be all in all;” this is exactly the heresy of apocastasis taught by Origen and condemned by the Church. It is the Christological Pantheism taught by Teilhard De Chardin, and condemned by Pope John XXIII in 1962 (Holy Office “Monitum”)
      He says he does not believe in a “Catholic” God. This makes no sense. If he means by this that the Catholic doctrine on God is no better than any other religion – then this too is heresy. Trinity, Incarnation, and Redemption – all consigned to the bonfire. And in the centre of this fire is God Himself.
      Your attitude and that of some on this blog is flippant to the point of mockery of Christ and His one true Catholic Church. [cf., Lumen gentium, 8, and Dignitatis humanae, Proemium.]

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Carl, I’m very happy to be able to report that the Holy Father did NOT say what you think he said. The interview in question was very badly translated into English. This is what Pope Francis actually said:
      “The Son of God became incarnate to infuse into the soul of men [could say "the human soul"] the feeling of brotherhood.” (source: http://romans8v29.blogspot.com/2013/10/francis-interview-2.html)

      How have I mocked the Church??

    • Aces

      You’re a sanctimonious Bitch

    • JoFro

      As I said, it’s not that he has changed the teachings of the Church but that his statements – many of them – fall on the verge of either full blown heresy or or not clear enough. Maybe it’s just his style and maybe he believes his listeners know enough of the Faith for him to not make his statements clear.

      Either way, he needs perhaps better people to manage the translation of his words because its getting really messy out there in Medialand, when every time he says something, it ends up with faithful Catholics having to desperately explain what he actually meant to say!

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Please, illustrate where anything Pope Francis has said “falls on the verge of heresy.” As for being “not clear enough,” that’s also an accusation made about Popes Benedict XVI and JPII (see examples above).

  • Matthew Fradd

    First of all you’re title is ridiculous. Secondly you haven’t dealt with what Pope Francis actually said. I’m open to thinking that he is unwise, imprudent, etc. but you’re article hasn’t addressed anything he has said in his own words. Try again. I’m open to the discussion.

    • Leila Miller

      I think you may have missed the point, Matt? Her title was facetious.

    • Matthew Fradd

      Leila, you are exactly right. That’s what I get for skimming instead of reading. Thanks for correcting me.

    • Leila Miller

      No problem, Matt! I know your work, so I knew it was a mistake. I’ve done the same thing myself.

  • Bob

    Great article, Joanna! I now have a new favorite Catholic website!

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  • Nathan DeParis

    And that is the Catholic Stand! Amen!

  • omar

    Why distract yourselvers with such things?? There is one thing you
    people need to do & that is to be open to the truth. I think you are
    good, well intentioned people but really, would it be so difficult to
    open up a book? Just one book!

    Inside The Holy Qu’ran there the
    last of the prophets (pbuh) has laid out the final testament, please
    people take the time, be open minded – you have only but one life and
    bismillah you need to live it right. I invite you brothers and sisters
    both, to share in this, the most beautiful poetry of life.

    • james

      Omar, unless the Sunnis and the Shiites agree on a successor and stop their honor killings, blowing up weddings and funerals and innocents, their idea of
      God isn’t worth studying. They are where we were 600 years ago and don’t deserve any respect at this time in history. Of course, the Sufi’s, persecuted
      by these two factions are the exception and the only ones who deserve to be called Muslims.

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  • Ann Arbor Girl


  • Chris

    The Pope is so much like Jesus; the commentators of Jesus time also took everything He said out of context too. He did not condone what they said but carried on loving them anyway.

  • PJ


  • Filipino

    I Believe In God, Not In A Catholic God – Pope Francis

  • colonel marstellar

    Could you please expound on pope. francis’ life before he became pontiff?? Its alledged that he espouses liberation theology and conspired with mass murdering heads of south american states as cardinal in south america??

  • Maria

    Excellent post. Thank you.
    I think Pope Francis’ offhand statements and the media’s grappling of them – at least gives food for thought in mainstream media putting the Christian voice “out there” and forcing those who only read/listen to secular news to get something from the Vatican.

  • WSquared

    So please, fellow Catholics, the proper response when reading a MSM
    headline about the Pope changing a long-held doctrine of Catholicism is
    not panic or rage or despair. Rather, it’s a yawn,
    an eye-roll, and a resigned sigh.

    …or laugh! Know that God has a great sense of humor: never, ever underestimate the kind of media stupidity that can and will bring somebody to consider the Church or help bring somebody back to the Church. The condom kerfuffle was one of the signposts on the way back for me. A whole lot of stupid in the room can and will lead to confusion. But ultimately, some people will smell a rat.

    I had left the Church, but after some years, had come to respect her again, and become interested in the Catholic faith again, though I didn’t know what she really taught. In fact, I didn’t know where to look, or how to look. John Paul II had been Pope all my life, and when we got Pope Benedict, I was indifferent.

    Then came the whole condom thing– Fr. Robert Barron summed up the shenanigans in an editorial that he wrote called “Condoms, condoms, condoms!” and what he described made me annoyed and livid enough at the stupidity to make me go over to Borders to read Light of the World in one sitting in one afternoon.

    That one really dumb condom incident introduced me to both Fr. Barron and Joseph Ratzinger. Not bad, huh?

  • 1Johnny

    Pope Francis is supposedly trying to shake up the Church, but I fear is going to divide the Church similar to the division of political parties in the US. Second, all Catholic organizations, including Network, the Vatican (and the Pope) and all other organization need to stay out of politics. Politics in the US has become vile and down right disgusting. Catholics themselves need to focus on what they can do to improve the lives of others in these awful economic time. Catholic and Catholic Organizations (like Network) need stop pointing fingers and blaming others for hardships and focus on what they can do to help others.

  • Catherine

    The ONE thing NOT mentioned was what can be done when reading these defamatory remarks about the Pope is not only to yawn but to check out the truthfulness –by checking out Catholic Answers, Catholic.com or actually writing the Vatican for the REAL take on an issue.

    • RFISSR


  • Pope+Francis+Must+Resign

    Pope Francis is a heretic and shouldn’t be Pope in the first place

  • Joseph Hammes

    Nice piece…But you have Clement VII wrong; he was also known as the Butcher of Cesena and elected as a 2nd Pope to oppose Urban VI who was completely unhinged. This is during the 14th century, when the Papacy moved to Avignon, France. Makes for totally un-believable reading!

  • Guest

    He’s not destroyed the Catholic faith. HE is just doing what Jesus would do. You haters can say what you want about him, but that is also not following what Jesus would do either. Is it? There is nothing wrong with Pope Francis. Pape François, as the French say.

  • historian

    i love the article in general, i only can say for, my studies of history, you need to know,

    Leo X wasn’t a bad pope, he has good intentions, but he has character, and his family, the most powerful family in all italy in that moment,was pressing very hard the pope with political and monetary matters.

    Clement VII was a very clumsy politician, the “Sacco di Roma” was truly a accident, even the Emperor Charles V apologize himself to the pope for what their troops made.

    and a awful pope you didn’t name, was Julius II 1503-1513, who literally the only thing he did was rampaging across tuscan

  • Dan

    Only fellow Catholics would have something negative to say about a man urging people to embrace, love, support and be a good person. Why not follow his example and love instead of spreading judgement and hate? That’s what is wrong with this world, we preach so much hate that we leave no room for love. It’s articles like this that make this world what it is, not what Pope Francis is doing.

  • tom

    You should go fuck yourself. This pope is doing Jesus’s work.

  • David Orozco

    If Jesus came back right now and seen what you people do in his name he’d never stop vomiting. Stop trying to think like God it’s an impossiblity!

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      I love the irony of your first sentences when contrasted with your second sentence. Thanks for the chuckle! :) Very clever.

  • notna

    Boom, boom! Well stated. Pope JP2 stated, when asked about his role in the fall of Communism, that it was a rotten old tree that only needed a good shake to send it tumbling down. Then he immediately went on to say, with emphasis, that there was another rotten tree called Capitalism, and that it too needed a good shake. People forget.

  • Philip Maguire

    Despite your efforts I think this Pope should temper his comments and be more aware of how the media will spin them. That is, unless he is well aware in advance and perfectly happy with what he expects to be reported. Right now he is a gay icon. The gay Advocate’s man of the year as well as Time Magazine’s Choice. I doubt that St Peter, our first Pope, could have achieved that. I expect Francis to do far more harm than good?

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      The only reason Pope Francis is a “gay icon” is because the media is deliberately misinterpreting his words (just as they hailed Pope Benedict for saying that condoms were okay when he actually didn’t). I expect Francis to do far more good than harm, personally.

  • Walter Lauinger

    It is too soon to judge Pope Francis, one way or another. Why don’t we all just give him time to settle in?

    • Leila Miller

      Just making sure that you know that this piece is satire, Walter. Thanks!

    • Walter Lauinger


  • Overlysensored

    You are such an idiot and so many here are idiots. This man will go down as the greatest pope we ever had, We have a long and disgraceful history of people who have led the catholic church, some being among the most evil people in history yet……yet you have the GAL to call this man out. You are killing the church with you venom and intolerance. This man is filling pews like no pope has done in hundreds of years and unlike those of his predecessors he is doing it not out of fear but out of hope and love. I can only hope that he lives forever and you are smitten with many plagues only to be healed by his prayer and words you insufferable and disgustable excuse of a human being. May all your children become gay and your bloodline end here.

  • Overlysensored

    you are scum, you are filth, you are vile, you are wanting a return to pope julius the III, pope paul the III, pope john XII, pope benedict IX, pope stephen VII, pope alexander VI, pope boniface VIII, pope leo X, pope urban II, pope sergius II, or any number of other popes that I am sure you would prefer that truly ruined peoples lives, many many people. You are such scum, filth, nothing but filth

  • David Brainerd

    Are you still sticking to this as he keeps attacking Catholicism in every statement and proving himself to be a Lutheran?

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Really? Do tell. I’ve yet to hear of Pope Francis saying anything that contradicts Catholic teaching. Can you give me an example?



    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Don’t be sorry. I enjoy a good joke! :) Thanks for the chuckle.



  • AugustineThomas

    The difference is that the media were actually distorting the words of the previous two popes. Francis needs no distortion for his fellow leftists–he’s more committed to Leftism than the Church.. He’s not our first bad pope and probably won’t be the last.. But let’s hope the next one is much more like Benedict XVI (having a heretic in the papacy is an extremely dangerous situation).

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Bearing false witness against your neighbor is a sin, FYI. Pope Francis hasn’t said anything in opposition to Church teaching, let alone heretical. I’m sorry to hear that you have rejected Catholicism, though.

    • AugustineThomas

      Let me guess.. You go to Novus Ordo and help decorate and prance around the altar like it’s a Bed, Bath and Beyond display and then you snatch at our Lord like he’s a piece of trailmix (if you even believe in the Real Presence)?

      The Pope has made many heretical statements. It’s heretical to suggest that the proper, two thousand year old Mass is a fad and dangerous.
      It’s heretical to suggest that everyone can get into heaven no matter how much they reject the Church. (JPII and BXVI constantly reminded people that they still have time to repent–this is quite a different thing than suggesting that offending our jealous God is no big deal and won’t ever matter.)
      It’s heretical to teach people with your actions that the orthodox need to be persecuted and the baby murderers left alone and even celebrated.

      You guys love him because you’re heretics.. It doesn’t matter if you’re the majority, that doesn’t change the truth. (Your belief that the majority decides the truth is yet more proof of your rampant heresy, including, but not limited to Leftism and Americanism.)

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Pope Francis never said any of those things, Augustine, which I think you know since you neglected to provide proof (i.e., direct quotes in context from a reputable source). For example, it seems clear that you are ignorant of the difference between redemption and salvation: http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2013/05/pope-francis-knows-difference-between.html

      I love both the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form of the Mass. When I have the opportunity, I visit this community: http://www.phoenixlatinmass.org/

      I usually attend a very respectful, reverent OF mass as I happen to live right behind my parish. :) With 5 kids and a full-time job, it’s a hectic schedule! I try to be respectful of our Lord in the Eucharist at Mass, and as a Lenten practice I’m going to try and attend Adoration more often.

      I don’t know why you’re so angry, AT, but I’ll pray that you find peace and contentment during this Lenten season.

    • AugustineThomas

      I’m angry because the American Church is full of heretics. And then people like you go after the orthodox and give a free pass to the baby murderers and rampant heretics who populate 90% of NO Masses.

      And why do we need the NO Mass? The proper Mass is always more reverential and even when they’re equally reverential, the proper Mass is still much better.

      The reason for the new Mass is that modern heretics want to pretend they’re great church fathers.. But the church fathers would be more strenuous in their denunciations of heretics and their co-dependent supporters like yourself.

      Why was Christ angry when he saw the money changers’ tables?

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      How have I “gone after the orthodox,” AT? I AM part of the orthodox. I fully believe in everything taught by the Catholic Church, and defend that truth regularly.

      The Church teaches that the OF mass is valid, and I submit to the teachings of the Church whether or not I believe the OF mass is “needed.” Why do you reject Church teaching in this regard?

      You are not Christ, AT. You’re raging against the Church that He gave the authority to teach in His name, and the Church that He gave the authority to bind and loose. Do you think Jesus would be happy with your behavior and attitude toward your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, not to mention His Vicar?

    • AugustineThomas

      You actually believe that the Mass that has emptied the Church is orthodox?

      The fact that there is a pope who (fine I’ll tone it down a bit) verges on heresy and a small number of cardinals who vocally support it because it’s the trend of the time means that its orthodox?

      Are you unaware that popes and cardinals have, in the past, often supported heresy only to be proven wrong, even if it was after they died?

      You really think Christ wants you telling me I’m going to Hell?

      I’ve never made any judgement on your eternal salvation, only spoken the truth.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      AT, have you studied the history of the Church at all? The OF did not exist in 1054, when the Eastern Orthodox Church split off, or in 1571, when the Protestant Reformation started. Both of these events caused the Church to “empty.” Yet, She remains. I believe that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church, no matter what. I’m sorry you don’t share that belief.

      Did you read my article at all, AT? I wrote about a Pope who died while in the act of committing adultery. So yes, I’m fully cognizant of the fact that popes and cardinals have sinned. They have never taught heresy as doctrine, though, so Christ’s truth prevails.

      I never said you were going to Hell, AT. Can you quote where you thought I said such a thing?

      I’m alarmed at your propensity to commit libel. It certainly doesn’t speak well for your credibility.

      I never claimed you’ve made any judgement about my eternal salvation, but you have certainly told lies. For example, “And then people like you go after the orthodox and give a free pass to
      the baby murderers and rampant heretics who populate 90% of NO Masses.”

      I don’t give a free pass to baby murderers or rampant heretics. Can you provide any evidence to the contrary? If not, will you please apologize for bearing false witness?

      And this: “You go to Novus Ordo and help decorate and prance around the altar like it’s a Bed, Bath and Beyond display and then you snatch at our Lord like he’s a piece of trailmix (if you even believe in the Real Presence)?”

      I do attend an OF mass but the rest of that screed is false. Again, can you provide any evidence to the contrary? If not, can you please apologize for bearing false witness?

    • AugustineThomas

      A pope hasn’t spoken infallibly and preached heresy.
      You haven’t heard of the pope who excommunicated a future saint and was later labeled to have been preaching heresy by the next pope? (Papal infallibility didn’t come around until the 1400s.)

      I’m saddened by your intense hypocrisy and pedantry. I wish you would actually learn about the history of the Church instead of making uneducated, aggressive statements about it like so many “modern” Catholics.

      By the way, where did you get your history degree? I graduated from the 12th ranked department in the world and my senior thesis was on Constantine and the Early Church.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Papal infallibility has existed since Pentecost, Augustine. That is a teaching of the Church. Which pope are you talking about?

      Hypocrisy? Pedantry? Why do you make these accusations? What have I said that is hypocritical? Why do you say I am obsessed with rules? Can you clarify?

      Can you give me your full name so I can verify your credentials? It’s odd that you claim to be such a learned historian, and yet you don’t seem to know anything about Church history. If you prefer, you can send them to me privately at my personal e-mail: jrwahlund at gmail dot com.

    • AugustineThomas

      So all the Northern European heretics were confused when they explicitly stated that their reason for leaving the Church was the formalization of papal infallibility?

      Of course, as orthodox Catholics, you and me, we believe that when the Pope spoke authoritatively he was speaking infallibly from the time Christ founded the Church, even if it hadn’t been formalized by a council of the Church.

      Pope Francis has yet to speak infallibly and won’t (thankfully). He’s not a theologian, he’s a rambler. Even BXVI, the greatest theologian in the world, never spoke ex cathedra.

      It’s odd that you’re so ignorant and think that calling other people ignorant will cover that up. You can look up anything I’ve told you. (Perhaps the problem is that you think if you haven’t heard it yet, it must not be true.)

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Not sure what specific group of heretics you’re referring to, but many people leave the Church once dogma they don’t like is proclaimed infallibly. That’s why the Church does so, to make it clear that certain teachings (which have been taught since the Church’s inception) will never change. Everything old is new again.

      I said you were ignorant of Church history, AT. I never said you were ignorant, personally. If this is how you misinterpret people it’s not at all surprising that you severely misunderstand the words of Pope Francis.

      You’re the one making the claim so the burden of proof is on you to provide evidence to support your claim. That’s how debate works.

    • AugustineThomas

      If you’re too lazy to look up the Pope’s statements that’s your problem. The rest of the world heard the comments he made about people who attend the proper Mass being faddish, when he is the king of the fad chasers.

      You keep trying to teach me, but you don’t know anything. You seem to be quite a pedant, like most of the uneducated heretics who attend NO.

      Again, “by their fruits, you will know them”.. NO churches are full of old ladies and people who don’t even believe in the Real Presence, because they teach disrespect of the Church and self-reverence.

      Those problems do not exist at the proper Mass because it teaches reverence of Christ.

      I’ll pray for you that you get over the real fad and learn to love the tradition of the Church!

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      On the contrary, if you’re too dishonest to cite sources to prove your claims, that’s your problem. Since you are unable to do so, I can logically conclude that your claim is baseless and fraudulent. Good to know.

      Why do you say I am a pedant? Because I believe in the Church and all She teaches? I thought that was being Catholic.

      My experience with OF churches is the opposite of what you describe.

      These problems do exist, and I think you’re in denial because I cited several examples of where they do. Also, see here: http://scottericalt.com/why-latin-mass-onlyists-are-destroying-the-latin-mass/

      You’re in my prayers as well.

    • AugustineThomas

      [Abp. Jan Graubner speaks:] When we were discussing those who are fond of the ancient liturgy and wish to return to it, it was evident that the Pope speaks with great affection, attention, and sensitivity for all in order not to hurt anyone. However, he made a quite strong statement when he said that he understands when the old generation returns to what it experienced, but that he cannot understand the younger generation wishing to return to it. “When I search more thoroughly – the Pope said – I find that it is rather a kind of fashion [in Czech: 'móda', Italian 'moda']. And if it is a fashion, therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention. It is just necessary to show some patience and kindness to people who are addicted to a certain fashion. But I consider greatly important to go deep into things, because if we do not go deep, no liturgical form, this or that one, can save us.”

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Thank you for actually providing something resembling a source. Since you did not provide a sourcelink, I Googled the quote and read its history and context. Apparently it’s a third hand report of something Pope Francis might have said in an informal setting, so I can’t say that I pay it too much heed. At any rate, I think Fr. Z has the right perspective on it: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2014/02/pope-francis-remarks-about-extraordinary-form-and-people-who-want-it/

    • AugustineThomas

      What are you talking about? It’s a direct quote from the Archbishop. Your claim is that the Archbishop is lying?

      Everyone is just fabricating all of these statements that verge on heresy?

      You’re one of those NO Catholics who, no matter what the pope says, tells us that we’re all confused and just forget about it.

      I never EVER had this problem with Saint JPII or BXVI!

      I am the biggest supporter of the papacy that I know, but that doesn’t mean I need to pretend that every pope is a good pope.

      God bless you!

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      The Archbishop told someone at Vatican Radio what Francis allegedly said. Since I wasn’t there, and since there is not a written transcript of the conversion they had, and since the report of the remarks have been translated to English from a different language, I have no way of knowing if it’s accurate. That’s why I deal with what Pope Francis has actually said, and not what he has only allegedly said.

      But I really don’t see anything insulting or worrisome about his comments if they are, in fact, accurate. A Jesuit who prefers the OF? Shocker! He didn’t say that the EF is wrong or illicit or evil or that it should be abolished. He also said that those with a love for the EF should be respected. So, not quite seeing what the problem is here, and Fr. Z agrees.

      My obedience is to the Vicar of Christ, whoever he may be. Jesus gave us a man who had publicly denied Him three times as our first Pope, so I can’t say that I’m too worried about Pope Francis. :)

    • AugustineThomas

      I am obedient to Pope Francis. I haven’t left the Church and I believe the teachings of the Church.

      Jesuits were once great men, but they do more harm than good now. Why doesn’t Pope Francis have a word to say about the rampant and unrepentant heresy in his own order?
      St. Ignatius would discipline or kick out most current Jesuits.

      If you don’t trust the Archbishop to tell you what Jose Bergoglio said then you must believe he’s been a mute since he’s become pope, because there is no one more trustworthy as to his words than a like-minded Archbishop.

      I think it’s just over-the-top offensive that such a fad chaser would accuse those committed to the two thousand year old Mass of being faddish.
      I understand it has changed, but the same Mass changed extremely slowly over two millennia.. No one EVER had the gall to think they could completely change the whole thing overnight.. IT wreaks of Satan’s kind of pride.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Your statements thus far are not one of someone who is obedient to the Holy Father.

    • AugustineThomas

      What statement did I make that wasn’t obedient to the Church?

      You put the pope ahead of Christ’s Church? In my eyes we only listen to the pope, because Christ gave him the keys and a vision to go to Rome.

      That doesn’t mean I’m not free to dislike the current pope and a majority of what he says. Luckily for me the chance that he will speak infallibly is as close to zero as possible so I won’t have to disobey the teachings of the Church in any way in order to not like Jose Bergoglio.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Um, all of your claims that the OF is evil and horrible? Or maybe bearing false witness against your neighbor? That’s not in keeping with the teaching of the Church.

      It’s not either the Church or the Pope, AT. It’s both/and. If you love one, you respect the other. It’s that simple. AT the very least, the Catechism instructs us to be charitable to others:

      “To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way: “Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.” (CCC 2477-2478)

    • AugustineThomas

      You should send a letter to Pope Francis about being charitable to those who attend the proper Mass. I don’t think God would like him persecuting the most faithful, because he’s embarrassed about his heretical beliefs.

      The Church and the pope are quite different. St. Peter denied Christ three times. Do we have to deny Christ? Wouldn’t it be to disrespect St. Peter otherwise?

      Christ leads the Church. He made promises and gave ultimate doctrinal authority to the pope. He never promised that everything every pope said would be true and he didn’t even promise that they would all be good guys. He gave him authority, that’s it. I do not deny any teaching of the Church, spoken authoritatively by any pope.
      Most people at NO Masses, on the other hand, do deny many teachings of the Church. Why don’t you spend your time educating them about the heresy they’ve fallen into while attending NO Masses?

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      I didn’t read his comments as uncharitable at all, if they are in fact accurate.

      We need to love St. Peter as our brother in Christ, and praise God that he repented of his denial of Christ!

      I do spent my time educating fallen-away Catholics, etc. That’s the purpose of my blog articles here, as well as my personal blog. But again, it’s not either I educate fallen-away Catholics or I educate anti-OF Catholics, it’s both/and. :)

    • AugustineThomas

      They were extremely uncharitable.
      I’m not sure if what you’re doing is called education.
      I do love Pope Francis and I pray for him everyday!

      St. Peter pray for us all!!

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      You’ve got an awfully funny way of showing love, if that’s the case.

    • AugustineThomas

      Does Christ not love us when he tells us we’re sinners in need of salvation?

      This is similar to the homosexuality argument. You don’t love people suffering from homosexual perversion by starting a parade to celebrate their sin.
      You also don’t love someone who is preaching nonsense by pretending what they’re preaching is wise.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Christ doesn’t show love for us by committing libel all over the Internet.

    • AugustineThomas

      And you’re not committing libel by falsely accusing me of committing libel?

      God bless you Ms. Wahlund! I thank God for your faith and the good work that you’re doing with this website.
      St. Augustine, pray for us! St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us! St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us! St. Francis pray for us!

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      It’s not libel if the accusation is true. For example, you committed libel against Pope Francis when you accused him of saying that all atheists will go to heaven, which he did not say – instead, the confusion stems from the fact that you apparently don’t understand the difference between redemption and salvation.

    • AugustineThomas

      I said that he suggested that it doesn’t matter if you go to church or not, because God will save us no matter what, and that’s dangerous since our souls are at stake.

      You accused me of spreading libel all over the Internet, so even if I granted that your one accusation is true, which I don’t, you’d still be committing libel by accusing me of doing it constantly. (As long as you don’t have me put to death, you can libel me all you want by the way! You’re free to make mistakes.)

      Would you consider removing the log in your own eye?

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      False. You said, “It’s heretical to suggest that everyone can get into heaven no matter how much they reject the Church.” Source: http://catholicstand.com/pope-francis-has-single-handedly-destroyed-catholicism/#comment-1273218495

      You just committed libel AGAIN, because Pope Francis also never said or suggested that it doesn’t matter if you go to church or not because God will save you no matter what.

      What have I said that isn’t true?

    • AugustineThomas

      He did so suggest that. He goes after the orthodox and says “who am I to judge” and celebrates Notre Dame, aka Baby Murder University. I try not to read him because I don’t want to fall into heresy but I’ve heard from reliable sources what he’s suggested.
      You say I’ve committed libel, but I’ve only spoken the truth about what Pope Francis has suggested. You should seriously consider removing the log in your own eye.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      he has never suggested such a thing, and the fact that you cannot provide proof of your claim is more evidence that he did not. If you have heard from reliable sources (of which Rorate Caeli is not one) that Pope Francis allegedly did these things, then provide your evidence. And stop claiming I have a log in my eye when all I ask is that you back up your accusations with evidence.

    • AugustineThomas

      If you don’t accept RC as a source, you’re obviously obsessed with lying to yourself that whatever you believe is ok and anyone who supports orthodoxy is guilty of some sin.

      Please tell me what’s wrong with being committed to orthodoxy.

      Are you seriously suggesting that you haven’t heard the “who am I to judge” comment?
      If the Pope can’t judge what is right and wrong, then who can?

      (You do know that pro-abortion politicians are now using his words to justify their support of baby murder?)

      This is the problem with Novus Ordo. It makes everyone believe that whatever they like is the true definition of orthodoxy and it makes them hate real orthodox folk like the people at RC.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Nothing is wrong with being committed to orthodoxy. But if you were truly committed to orthodoxy you wouldn’t be so eager to bear false witness against the pope.

      The Pope has spoken out strongly against abortion, so if pro-aborts are using his words to justify abortion, it shows how ignorant they are of what Pope Francis has said about it. Why are you blaming him for the ignorance and malice of those who support abortion?

      RC has demonstrated time and time again that they have no interest in promoting the truth, but rather promoting their own agenda even if they have to obfuscate the truth to do it. Pope Fracis had barely been elected when they declared him a heretic. The lost all respect I might have had for them when they pulled that stunt, and their eagerness to hide Michael King’s financial malfeasance at Fisher-More College by falsely proclaiming that Bp. Olsen hates the Tridentine mass is even more reason to distrust them.

      I see you have not yet provided evidence to support your claims against Pope Francis. I encourage you to read what the catechism says about lying and calumny.

    • AugustineThomas

      I encourage you to remove the log in your own eye.

      You’re a hypocrite and you’re the one who is pretending that her own quaint preferences are orthodoxy and anyone who disagrees with her is a this and a that and guilty of every kind of blasphemy.
      (It’s typical for people who are embarrassed of their heresy to accuse others to try to get the focus off of themselves.)

      All of the articles I’ve referred to are well known–so it’s you who is committing libel by accusing me of committing libel when I’m referring directly to published statements made by the current pope.
      Why are JPII’s and BXVI’s words immune to being used in support of heresy? Why was it impossible to turn their words to support heresy, but it’s so easy with Pope Francis’?

      You do seem to think that Catholicism is about getting on the majority side and figuring out who you can persecute.
      Why should the children pay for King’s supposed malfeasance? What does the proper Mass have to do with the running of a college? Listen to yourself. You’re suggesting that we should hold the proper Mass hostage over your ideological and political differences with your perceived enemies?
      Also, there you go being hypocritical again. There is no proof of King’s malfeasance, so far only unsubstantiated libel from the disgruntled professor, which you have repeated here.

      And why does the extreme commitment to orthodoxy of the Fisher More kids frighten you so much, but the rampant heresy, apostasy, and even outright support of baby murder at Novus Ordo Masses everywhere not even bother you?
      (You do realize that St. Fisher and St. More both died for the proper Mass you’re now trying to help others remove from their namesake college?)

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      btw, the existence of the SSPX proves that not everyone who loves the EF is in obedience to the Church. IMO, they’re just as bad as the alleged heretics who attend OF masses.

    • AugustineThomas

      We’re addicted to orthodoxy, the ancient, proper Mass and Christ’s teachings. Pope Francis and all his NO minions are addicted to the fifty year old fad and being right and they seem to get high from persecuting the orthodox while ignoring the rampant heretics. (And that’s when Jose isn’t going around telling everyone how humble he is.)

      Thank you for your prayers! Prayers to God, even from heretics, are always a good thing! (I used to be a heretic and before that an apostate so I know all about the game!)

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      We’re all part of the same Church, AT, and we’re all brothers and sisters in Christ. Satan sows division, not Jesus. And yes, prayer to God is very efficacious!

    • AugustineThomas

      Yes we are! Heretics are a part of the Church every bit as much as the orthodox. That doesn’t mean we need to start listening to heretics!

      Satan has used the NO Mass to sow quite a bit of division and heresy. The proper Mass was immune to that kind of thing for fifteen hundred years and still is.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      He didn’t use the OF mass to sow heresy. He used the people who hijacked the OF mass to sow heresy. Big difference. If the EF has been immune to that kind of thing, and still is, how do you explain the current situation with Fisher-More College? http://scottericalt.com/why-latin-mass-onlyists-are-destroying-the-latin-mass/

    • AugustineThomas

      Why do you make so many accusations and then you’re outraged at being accused?

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      What accusations have I made?

    • AugustineThomas

      That I’m ignorant of Church history and risking Hell if I refuse to call the NO Mass proper and support every rambling of Jose Bergoglio.

      I don’t claim to know everything, but I know that Christ said “by their fruits, you shall know them”.

    • AugustineThomas

      Since a majority of Catholics now support abortion and same-sex marriage, do you believe those actions to be graces as well and I’m going to Hell if I don’t call baby murder and homosexual perversion orthodoxy?

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has said, truth is not determined by majority vote. Abortion and homosexual acts are intrinsic evils and grave sins. That is what the Church teaches, and that is what I believe.

    • AugustineThomas

      Well I agree with you that the NO Mass isn’t invalid (just as an SSPX Mass isn’t invalid, but that doesn’t mean I’ll start supporting Holocaust denying bishops)..
      I’ve just never heard anyone make a compelling argument for the existence of the NO Mass, except “that’s what a majority of people like”.

      It’s so insulting to hear Pope Francis call people who support the proper Mass faddish, when he’s made his entire career out of appeasing the majority by giving them whichever fad they desired.

      I don’t see how a preference for the unreverential, easier Mass is any different than a preference for “population control” or “equality” in this context (even though there are powerful cardinals who support both).

      Of course abortion is a clear evil, but should we not even discuss the evil effects of the NO Mass? Should we put our heads in the sand the way leftists do about baby murder?

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      An OF mass is both valid and licit, however, whereas an SSPX mass is valid but illicit. I’ve never heard anyone make a compelling argument for the existence of the duck-billed platypus but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a valuable function in the world. My heart was opened to the truth of Catholicism by a beautiful, glorious, reverent OF Mass (Basilica of St. Mary Easter Vigil, Easter 2003), so that’s one good reason for it, IMO. :)

      Can you substantiate the claims you make against Pope Francis? You keep claiming he said all these awful things but you don’t provide any evidence. Can you link to his statements on vatican.va where he allegedly said these things so I can read his words in context?

      Here is how it is different: the Church teaches that the OF mass is valid and licit, therefore it’s not sinful to prefer it (just like the EF mass is valid and licit, so it’s not sinful to prefer it). One who supports contraception and/or abortion as a means of population control or gay marriage as a means of equality is supporting intrinsic evil, so it’s sinful to prefer either or both of those things.

      I don’t think that the OF mass has evil effects. I think that people who are trying to hijack the OF mass to promote their own agenda are the ones promulgating the evil effects, just like the EF mass can be hijacked to promulgate evil effects — or pretty much anything in the Church.

      I am 100% pro-life, without exception, and if you read my past CS articles (as well as my personal blog: http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/), you will see that I do not have my head in the sand re: abortion. Why do you assume that I do?

    • AugustineThomas

      You haven’t heard the Pope’s statement calling people who attend the proper Mass faddish?

      I’m glad that you were brought into the Church, even if the Mass that brought you could have been more reverential.
      It’s a numbers game.. The heresy of the NO Mass has pushed far more people away than it has brought in and I suspect you would have been won over by the presence of Christ even if it had been a proper Mass.. I’m not trying to say that NO isn’t a real Mass, just that there is absolutely no reason for it except to make “modern” people feel self-important.

      Again, I’m not calling the NO Mass itself evil. I think the intrinsic evil part comes in the way that people use it.
      Heretics are a lot more likely to commit abortion than the orthodox.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Can you provide a link from vatican.va to this alleged statement so I can read the Pope’s words in context, AT?

      The mass that brought me into the church was incredibly reverential. It was beautiful and glorious and brought tears to my eyes.

      This is what you don’t seem to get. It’s not the OF mass that has pushed people away at all. It’s the people who have hijacked the OF mass to push their own agenda, the “spirit of Vatican II folks” who have never actually read the Council documents for themselves. It’s sin and Satan who have pushed people from the Church.

      When you blame the OF mass for what Satan has done, you’re playing right into his hands.

      If you want to know why the OF was implemented, why not read the document that explains why? http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html

    • AugustineThomas

      You’ll notice that the proper Mass is immune to being hijacked by heretics.

      I’m glad the Mass that converted you was reverential.. My points still stand. Most NO Masses aren’t reverential. You would have been converted by the proper Mass just the same.. It was the Truth, the Logos, that converted you.. It strengthens my faith in Christ to hear yet another story that he speaks to people in all places, even outside of Mass, if they’ll only listen.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      The EF is immune to hijacking? Um, not quite. See: the SSPX, the Old Catholic Church in America, Mel Gibson, Fisher-More College, etc.

      Most NO masses aren’t reverential? That’s odd, because I’ve been Catholic for over 10 years, and I’ve seldom been to one that isn’t (and yes, I attend Mass every Sunday and HDO unless sick or something). So, that hasn’t been my experience at all.

      I encourage you to listen to what Pope Benedict said in Summorum Pontificum: “There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the Liturgy growth and progress are found, but not a rupture.”

  • yeshua



    God isn’t real lol.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      And your proof of this is…?

  • Patsy

    Surely the bible itself is your best source material. It is overflowing with examples that are not remotely worthy of a god, nevermind a benevolent one.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      Such as?

  • Ella White

    Can u say false prophet….. God does not change it says that in the bible… Which the pope must not read or he would drop to his knees with apologies for trying to change GODS LAW… Well GOD did tell us about the end and he warned us about the false prophets and the antichrist. Sodom and Gomora got destroyed because of all the sin that was there ppl open your eyes THE END IS HERE PLEASE CHOOSE CHRIST.. NOT THE POPE FOR HE IS A SINFUL MAN TRYING TO TAKE PPL TO HELL WITH HIM.

  • Gretchen Bryan

    I don’t think so. He is amazing. He is breathing life into our Church!!! God bless him …in Jesus name. Amen!!! I love him. God loves us. …..so much… More than we can every know…God created all…God loves us ..more than we as human can ever know!!!! Thank you Lord for loving me so much!! I am your servant.

  • Deborah

    The true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ:


    All scripture taken from the King James Bible.

  • Maureen

    Defending Pope Francis by revealing misinterpretations of past Popes’s comments is hardly a defense.

    • http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com/ JoAnna Wahlund

      I don’t need to defend Pope Francis, because he doesn’t need it. What needs defending is the concept of learning about Church teaching from the Pope instead of the MSM.

  • John Schmidt

    Actually the Pope has not ruined the catholic church. Satan ruined it. Satan knew he could never abolish the church so he took it over. Rev 18:14 Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins,

  • Ben

    I’m late to this one, but what a terrific article!

  • AndrewIsrael

    Pope Francis I saved the Catholic Church! I am Jewish and I can tell you its about time the Catholic Church elected a Jesuit who has philosophical policies that not only expose the Tea Party/MoxNews Religious Reichers for who they are. He has helped to bring back Christianity to its essencial roots and regather the disenfranchised who have unfortunately scapegoated Christianity’s Hypocrisy for Capitalism.

    “The perfect type of fascist throughout recent centuries has been the Prussian Junker, who developed such hatred for other races and such allegiance to a military clique as to make him willing at all times to engage in any degree of deceit and violence necessary to place his culture and race astride the world. In every big nation of the world are at least a few people who have the fascist temperament. Every Jew-baiter, every Catholic hater, is a fascist at heart. The hoodlums who have been desecrating churches, cathedrals and synagogues in some of our larger cities are ripe material for fascist leadership.”–Henry Wallace NYTimes, The Danger of American Fascism

  • melanie

    As a mother Iof a large family, I learned to ignore the bad and praise and give attention to what my children did that was good. Shouldn’t that be our focus as Catholics ? Surely that would give more honour to our Lord than allowing false media headlines to seduce us into bashing a pope who is trying to live the gospel

  • Pingback: Him: Pope Francis and a Year in the Modern Imagination | Nosmerca

  • Jacob Snell

    He will be the detriment to Roman Catholicism and should be excommunicated from the Roman Rite and be tried in the Church for heresy and unorthodoxy teachings.

  • mark

    Long live ignorance.
    If child molestation is good enough to carry on protected for hundreds of years with the flock believing that it was just lies and enemy’s of the church to then see it was not lies from outside of the catholic church but lies from within.
    This disgusting un natural organisation will live on as long as the ignoramus faithful embrace its teaching as a divine prophecys and keep their head in the sand to reality

  • Rationalist

    Until Catholics can get past grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), everything else is a side issue…