Well the latest statement by Pope Francis was not only welcome it was predictable. The Pope to the liberal presses bafflement seems to have done a “180 degree turn” and condemned abortion very strongly. You can see the reports in the liberal American press here , and the similar take in the British press here . While the reader can see for themselves he states that every unborn child who is unjustly condemned to death by abortion has the “face of Jesus”, and leaves no doubt that while he thinks the Church cannot talk about abortion and the contentious moral issues “all the time”, it would certainly talk about them some of the time. The media is baffled…
There is a fair amount to say here but let’s start out with how incredibly incompetent and/ or mendacious the liberal media is. We here at Catholic X-ray are not only not surprised by this recent statement against abortion we predicted this sort of thing was very likely to occur, more precisely we simply related the fact that people who have some actual knowledge of what is going on predicted that the Pope as the Bishop of Rome would have to speak to the major moral issues of our time such as abortion. We wrote about this on Sept 12 on our original Spirit of Pope Francis post. At that time we wrote:
“Still Orthodox Catholics need to beware the “Spirit of Pope Francis”. I am sure we will be seeing a lot of this kind of reporting until events force the Pope to do or say something really conservative. Archbishop Chaput has made the point, that as the Bishop of Rome, the Vicar of Christ, he will ultimately have to say some things about the life issues, marriage and the other hot button cultural issues. That is to say he will have to speak the truths that the usual suspects among Catholic dissenters do not like to hear.”
You can read the entire post here . Just a few short days ago we on Sept 16th we wrote
“My immediate reaction to this, (speaking about some of his recent statements that have the liberals in a state of ecstasy) is well can the Pope not read the reporting on his statements? If they need clarification he can clarify them. Frankly given the implications of some of the things he has said I would not be surprised to see him do this at some point.”
You can read the entire post here if you missed it. Now if we over here at Catholic X-ray knew this was going to happen being the rank amateurs we are, in terms of Catholic Church commentary, what do you make of the surprise of the press, are they stupid or deceitful?
Probably a little bit of both. Think about it. They are surprised that the Pope is against abortion in spite of the fact that Vatican II called it “unspeakable crime”, and Pope John Paul II called it murder, and it has been condemned by the Church since the first century.
Since we will see this as a recurrent theme over the early part of this Papacy lets remind ourselves once again of a couple of facts:
The Pope is not going to reverse any doctrine. He cannot do so. I will bet $1000.00 that the Pope will not change anything substantial, so we are essentially talking about style not substance. Still in a media age style is not trivial. On the other hand the left needs to temper their enthusiasm and more importantly those of us not headed to the same lake of fire as the dissenters need to temper our panic. Not that I would ever want to be judgmental or anything like that. Those of us of a traditional bent know we too need to work out our salvation in “fear and trembling”. As for the lefties, well I am sure they are very nice people, although unfortunately many of them actually are headed for eternal damnation if they do not mend their ways. If you are a defender of abortion, aka “unspeakable crime” I would not want your seat at judgment day. Just saying…
Second I think Pope Francis finds this a difficult topic for reasons outlined previously. That does not mean he rejects the teaching, even his recent statements that the Church cannot talk about abortion, gay marriage etc… “all the time” if said by someone like Pope Benedict XVI would have been unsurprising. What Catholic figure even among those who have most aggressively condemned abortion (think Mother Theresa, Blessed John Paul II, or Pope Benedict,) spoke about abortion or gay marriage or any other doctrine of the Church, to the exclusion of everything else? Some Priests by their temperament simply like to preach about God’s mercy and love rather than condemn a given sin. I think that this Pope is of that temperament. Still we will see, events may change the kind of Papacy we see from Pope Francis.
We will discuss some things about how a loyal Catholic should understand Papal authority in a later post, but as a hint, we need not think everything the Pope says or does will be wise. The First Pope (Peter) denied he knew Christ, so Pope’s may do foolish and even sinful things. What they cannot do is teach error. More on a later date.
We shall continue to implore the prayers of St Pius X and Blessed John Paul II for the current Vicar of Christ and all of us in the Church.