Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Quote of the day...

"You just can't say that, just as you can't say that all Christians are fundamentalists. We have our share of them (fundamentalists). All religions have these little groups,"
- Pope Francis responding to critics of Islam's violent track record

I think we have reached a point where it's time to admit that this Pope has a problem with his off the cuff remarks. Honestly I really don't think that he believes there is some equivalence between conservative or "fundamentalist" Christians, whom he has made it very clear that he doesn't like, and Islamic savages who chop the heads off of women and children for being Christians. But when he makes these kinds of boneheaded comments, it is like a flashing neon sign, practically begging his critics to flay him. And before the inevitable, he was quoted out of context arguments start flying in from his loyal defenders, my response is maybe and maybe not. But so what if he was? He should know better than to be saying things that can be so easily taken advantage of by the enemies of his church. And what about all of the other times he has made comments that make even moderate Catholics cringe? This is getting out of hand.

Flash bulletin: He is the Pope of Rome!

Yet he continues to speak extemporaneously in a manner suggesting his comments are of no more importance than those of the village priest. Popes should never hold press conferences. Never! Not EVER! Nor should he be giving unprepared sermons at his daily Masses. But for whatever reason, he does not seem to have grasped that his words carry massive weight and are going to be parsed and dissected by people all over the world. Often these are people with an agenda.

Benedict XVI occasionally made comments that caused trouble. But compared to Francis, he was a paragon of restraint and caution. I don't know if there is someone in the Vatican with the stature to tell this Pope he is behaving badly, to the point of causing scandal with his careless words. But I hope there is. In the meantime I offer this alternative quote for reflection...

"I find it is the things I have never said that have caused me the least trouble."
- Calvin Coolidge

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Every time this pope says something in an interview with the media, the Vatican PR machine has to work overtime to walk the comments back and "clarify" what he really meant. It just shows that this pope is nowhere near in the same ballpark, let alone league, as the previous two popes on an intellectual level. Benedict may have said some controversial stuff (e.g. at Regensburg) but the fallout was because the media couldn't understand the logic of his statement because they can't understand a coherent thought beyond a hashtag, which is the equivalent of what this pope does.