Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Part IV: The Papal Posse/Papal Hanging Mob Attacks Pope Francis


This is the fourth in a series of posts in which I am doing an in depth analysis of the April 12, 2018 broadcast of EWTN's World Over broadcast, specifically the "Papal Posse" discussion of Gaudete Et Exsultate , the Apostolic Exhortation released on March 19, 2018. I have renamed the "Papal Posse", which consists of Raymond Arroyo, Robert Royal and Fr. Gerald Murray, as the "Papal Hanging Mob" because the whole purpose of their "discussion" is to attack and tear down Pope Francis. You can read my first three posts HERE, HERE  and HERE

As I have shown in my previous posts, the Papal Hanging Mob has attacked Pope Francis with partial and inaccurate quotes from the Apostolic Exhortation and made completely false accusations against him. Although they say they love and support Pope Francis, the Papal Hanging Mob has shown nothing but disdain, coming just short of accusing the Holy Father of trying to destroy the Church. Their "discussion" is truly shameful.

Below is the video.


We are now up to 23:30 in the video, in which Arroyo, following the script, says he wants to get to "two other segments".  The first segment really has nothing to do with the Exhortation.  It is just another tool used to criticize Pope Francis and make him look weak:
[One section of the Exhortation] involves the pope mentioning very clearly here the dangers and ways of the devil and how he is to be avoided.  He is clear that that is an individual person moving through the world.  This seems at odds with that Scalfari interview a few weeks ago where, according to Scalfari, the Pope said hell does not exist.  Father Gerry, your thought on  what we are hearing now as opposed to the Scalfari report and the non-clarity coming out of the "Vatican media apparatus" on this.  
I cannot think of any reason to discuss this issue other than it is just one more opportunity to engage in pope bashing. The Scalfari report, in which Scalfari wrongfully accused the Pope of saying there is no hell, has been completely debunked. Anyone who has ever heard or read anything by Pope Francis with an unbigoted mind knows that Pope Francis has a firm belief in the devil and hell. And yet, the Papal Hanging Mob still is trying to find a way to discredit Pope Francis.

Following is the ever reliable Fr. Gerald Murray. Fr. Murray can always be relied on to bash Pope Francis:
Let me say that the Scalfari interview where he claims that the Pope said that hell doesn't exist and that those who are damned, their souls go out of existence, this is a very serious matter because Scalfari is not a guy who stumbled in off the street making claims based on not having talked to the Pope. He was invited by the Pope for the fifth time.  He has done this in the past where he composes stories about what the Pope has said.  The denial from the Holy See was basically a journalistic note saying you can't trust that every word which is in the quotation marks is an actual reproduction of what the Pope said.   That's true.  But the more basic question, was the substance reported by Scalfari the substance of what the Pope said? I use an analogy, it's a little bit shocking. Let's say that Scalfari said Pope Francis told me that Nazi racial theory was actually part of the Christian worldview and that we have to relook at it. Do you think the Holy See would have taken that sitting down and simply said that don't trust that the words in the quotes are an accurate reflection? They would have denied it outright.  Of course, Nazi theory is horrendous.  But so is the idea that there is no hell.  That is a direct contradiction of Catholic truth.  It's in the Bible.  The Lord spoke about it many times and as people pointed out, if there is no hell, then what did Jesus save us from.  So I hope and pray, I'm glad he talked about the devil.  But let's have a little more clear exposition that what Scalfari said is wrong.
I don't see the point of this statement by Murray other than as just another way to cast aspersions upon Pope Francis, to make it look like he is not only not in control, but that he doesn't even care what is said.  Murray wants us to think that the doctrine of hell is of no real importance to Pope Francis, despite the fact that the Holy Father has consistently spoken of hell and the devil.

I would like to add also that the warning given by the Holy See in regard to Scalfari could easily be applied to the Papal Hanging Mob:  "you can't trust that every word which is in the quotation marks is an actual reproduction of what the Pope said."

Arroyo and Royal continue this line of attack in the following:
Arroyo to Royal:  Do you want to weigh on this quickly?
Royal:  This is not the first time that Scalfari claims that the Pope has said that annihilation occurs.
Arroyo:  In 2015
Royal:  There have been several instances of this. And either this is a fixation of Scalfari or in some fashion the Holy Father is playing some kind of [garbled]
Arroyo:  The Exhortation sounds a lot more like Francis.  In his daily homilies, he is always talking about the devil.  He has always been clear on this.  That dissidence doesn't help anybody.
Royal:  I would also point out that it took a long time for them to respond. Took almost a whole day for Rome to respond.  There are stories that a highly placed cardinal, not an Italian, together with other cardinals in whose name he spoke called the Holy Father and said you've got to respond to this because this is a disaster.
Arroyo:  Oh, it was a train wreck.   
A disaster?  A train wreck?  What else is this other than slander, aspersions and defamation?

Arroyo moves on to another section of Gaudete Et Exsultate.
I want to get to this question of contemplation.  The contemplative tradition in the western Church is rich and deep, and yet this is what Pope Francis writes in this Exhortation.
Arroyo is clearly painting a picture of Pope Francis rejecting the "rich and deep contemplative tradition" of the Church.  And how does Arroyo prove this slanderous point?  Of course, with another very selective, partial quote that completely hides the true meaning of the Pope's words.  Below is the entire section with the quote excerpted by Arroyo in red:
25. Just as you cannot understand Christ apart from the kingdom he came to bring, so too your personal mission is inseparable from the building of that kingdom: “Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Mt 6:33). Your identification with Christ and his will involves a commitment to build with him that kingdom of love, justice and universal peace. Christ himself wants to experience this with you, in all the efforts and sacrifices that it entails, but also in all the joy and enrichment it brings. You cannot grow in holiness without committing yourself, body and soul, to giving your best to this endeavour.
26. It is not healthy to love silence while fleeing interaction with others, to want peace and quiet while avoiding activity, to seek prayer while disdaining service. Everything can be accepted and integrated into our life in this world, and become a part of our path to holiness. We are called to be contemplatives even in the midst of action, and to grow in holiness by responsibly and generously carrying out our proper mission.
27. Could the Holy Spirit urge us to carry out a mission and then ask us to abandon it, or not fully engage in it, so as to preserve our inner peace? Yet there are times when we are tempted to relegate pastoral engagement or commitment in the world to second place, as if these were “distractions” along the path to growth in holiness and interior peace. We can forget that “life does not have a mission, but is a mission”.
28. Needless to say, anything done out of anxiety, pride or the need to impress others will not lead to holiness. We are challenged to show our commitment in such a way that everything we do has evangelical meaning and identifies us all the more with Jesus Christ. We often speak, for example, of the spirituality of the catechist, the spirituality of the diocesan priesthood, the spirituality of work. For the same reason, in Evangelii Gaudium I concluded by speaking of a spirituality of mission, in Laudato Si’ of an ecological spirituality, and in Amoris Laetitia of a spirituality of family life.
29. This does not mean ignoring the need for moments of quiet, solitude and silence before God. Quite the contrary. The presence of constantly new gadgets, the excitement of travel and an endless array of consumer goods at times leave no room for God’s voice to be heard. We are overwhelmed by words, by superficial pleasures and by an increasing din, filled not by joy but rather by the discontent of those whose lives have lost meaning. How can we fail to realize the need to stop this rat race and to recover the personal space needed to carry on a heartfelt dialogue with God? Finding that space may prove painful but it is always fruitful. Sooner or later, we have to face our true selves and let the Lord enter. This may not happen unless “we see ourselves staring into the abyss of a frightful temptation, or have the dizzying sensation of standing on the precipice of utter despair, or find ourselves completely alone and abandoned”. In such situations, we find the deepest motivation for living fully our commitment to our work.
30. The same distractions that are omnipresent in today’s world also make us tend to absolutize our free time, so that we can give ourselves over completely to the devices that provide us with entertainment or ephemeral pleasures. As a result, we come to resent our mission, our commitment grows slack, and our generous and ready spirit of service begins to flag. This denatures our spiritual experience. Can any spiritual fervour be sound when it dwells alongside sloth in evangelization or in service to others?
31. We need a spirit of holiness capable of filling both our solitude and our service, our personal life and our evangelizing efforts, so that every moment can be an expression of self-sacrificing love in the Lord’s eyes. In this way, every minute of our lives can be a step along the path to growth in holiness.
As you can see, this is a fairly long segment from the Exhortation, and Arroyo takes only the tiniest part and gives it no context whatsoever.  He deliberately omits anything in this section which supports contemplation, which is basically the entire passage.  Of course, this is to enable the Papal Hanging Mob to accuse Pope Francis of being against silence and contemplation.  This is slander, aspersion and defamation in action.

From Arryo:
Father Spadaro, the Pope's pal who ghost writes a lot of his columns, may have ghost written this Exhortation to some extent, has come out and said that refers to this notion that God or nothing is ridiculous and silence being the thing that we have to seek is not absolute, kind of a side swipe at Cardinal Sarah, who had two books similarly titled.  [To Royal], Your reaction to what we heard there. What is this?
I don't know where or when Fr. Spadaro made this statement.  I can't find it anywhere.  But instead of third party statements, why not just tell us what the Exhortation iself says?  Simply because this would have exposed Arroyo's statement for the libelous slander and lie that it is.  Just quoting the sentence omitted from the paragraph quoted by Arroyo gives us great clarification:
We are called to be contemplatives even in the midst of action, and to grow in holiness by responsibly and generously carrying out our proper mission.
In just this one omitted sentence, Pope Francis is confirming the importance of contemplation, at the same time telling us that this does not mean hiding out from the world.  But, of course, the Papal Hanging Mob does not tell us this.  That is why this sentence was deliberately omitted from Arroyo's quote.

Royal wants us to believe that the Pope gives no importance to contemplation and worse, the Holy Father feels that contemplation draws us away from preaching the Gospel. Of course, this is an absolutely ludicrous charge, but that is the area of expertise for the Papal Hanging Mob. 

From Royal:
To put this in a larger context.  Is there too much contemplation in the Church or in the world?  At this point in history we have lost this.
. . . 
I would actually argue the opposite [the opposite of what??]. . .If we were to bring forward what our contemplative tradition is, which doesn't mean having to neglect and ignore people, if we were to bring that forward, there is a whole segment, I think, of young people in the modern world who would pay attention because it would show that the Catholic tradition has something to offer.  Something the world doesn't have to offer, something the other religions do not have to offer. 
If the Papal Hanging Mob had finished reading the quoted paragraph and gone on to the next paragraph, Royal's statement would be exposed for the slanderous and untruthful accusation it is:

From the Exhortation:
29. This does not mean ignoring the need for moments of quiet, solitude and silence before God. Quite the contrary. The presence of constantly new gadgets, the excitement of travel and an endless array of consumer goods at times leave no room for God’s voice to be heard. We are overwhelmed by words, by superficial pleasures and by an increasing din, filled not by joy but rather by the discontent of those whose lives have lost meaning. How can we fail to realize the need to stop this rat race and to recover the personal space needed to carry on a heartfelt dialogue with God? Finding that space may prove painful but it is always fruitful. Sooner or later, we have to face our true selves and let the Lord enter. This may not happen unless “we see ourselves staring into the abyss of a frightful temptation, or have the dizzying sensation of standing on the precipice of utter despair, or find ourselves completely alone and abandoned”. In such situations, we find the deepest motivation for living fully our commitment to our work.

The Papal Posse would have you believe that Pope Francis does not see a need for silence and contemplation when this is completely opposite of the truth.  Once again - slander, aspersion and defamation.

The Papal Hanging Mob also want us to believe that Pope Francis is trying to tell us that we cannot be contemplative and active in the world, when, in truth, that is actually exactly what the Holy Father is saying.  Arroyo makes this statement:
Father Gerry, the greatest contemplatives I knew and met were Mother Angelica and John Paul II.  They were hardly shrinking violets who stayed in the room all day.  But is this, as some have written, a condemnation or dismissal of mysticism and the contemplative tradition in the Church by the Pope?
Even for Fr. Murray, this accusation is a bridge too far.  He knows that this accusation is just too far off the charts.  But still. . .
I don't think so.  I don't think the Pope would ever do that.  But I think he is underestimating that prayer is a form of service, and in fact the prayers offered by the contemplatives are like the powerhouse that generates this overflow of grace which allows other people to do good works.  So there's an antagonism sometimes here in what the Pope says to people who are not out there with the smell of the sheep kind of image, you gotta go out there and walk in the slums.  Well, yes, people have  to do that, but not everybody.  I think the contemplative Carmelites who are praying for the people in the slums make possible the good work that others will do.  So, I wish he had drawn that connection.  I am sure he would agree with that.  It was not artfully stated.

Once more, a horrific accusation that Pope Francis "is underestimating that prayer is a form of service, and in fact the prayers offered by the contemplatives are like the powerhouse that generates this overflow of grace which allows other people to do good works".  When Pope Francis was still Cardinal Bergoglio in Argentina, he fought against the legalization of same sex marriage in that country.  Whom did he go to as his first line of defense?  None other than the contemplative Carmelites.  This is from a letter written to the cloistered Carmelites on June 22, 2010, which can be found HERE:
Today the country, in this situation, needs the special assistance of the Holy Spirit to that he may put the light of Truth in the midst of the darkness of error; it needs this Advocate to defend us from the spell of so many sophistries with which this legal project seeks to be justified, and which confuses and deceives even people of good will.

For this I turn to you and ask for prayer and sacrifice, the two invincible weapons that St. Theresa claimed to have. Cry out to the Lord to send His Spirit to the Senators who have to give their vote. May they not be moved by error or by situations of opportunity, but according to the natural law and the law that God points out to them. Pray for them, for their families that the Lord may visit, strengthen, and console them. Pray for them to do the greater good for the country.
. . .
Thank you for what you will do in this fight for the country. And, please, I ask you also to pray for me. May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin care for you. 

Contrary to Fr. Murray's slander, Pope Francis has a very good grasp of the importance and power of contemplative prayer.

The Papal Hanging Mob made one more untruthful accusation against Pope Francis in regard to the use of synods for youth and women.  I won't go into it here, but if you listen to this part of the broadcast, you will see it is just more slander, aspersion and defamation.


It is easy to punch holes into the arguments of those opposed to Pope Francis because their only tools to attack Pope Francis are lies and slander. Their arguments are enclosed in hate and scorn, completely absent of charity. Their attacks tell me much more about them than about the one whom they are attacking.

The trads and conservatives in the Church are pulling further and further away from the truth, which means pulling further away from Jesus Christ. They rely on their own wisdom and knowledge, and reject anything and anyone who does not agree with them, including and most especially the Vicar of Christ. They truly are the Pelagians and Gnostics of our time, trusting in themselves and their own abilities. To these people, rules are of supreme importance. Charity seems to have little to do in their thinking.

If you want to know the teachings of Pope Francis, then go directly to him. Don't go through any Papal Posse or any blogger, not even me. Go directly to him. That is the beauty of the Internet. We don't need anyone "clarifying" the teachings of Pope Francis. You can read them for yourself. But do so prayerfully and with a mind clear of bigotry and prejudice. Realize that you don't have all the answers. In fact, the more you know, the less you know.

6 comments:

  1. Catholic in Brooklyn, can you possibly tell me what Robert Royal and Father Gerald Murry have had to say about Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorrry but I can’t say. I do know that I have never heard anything negative about BXVI when I have listened to them.

      Delete
    2. I meant to say "Murray" instead of "Murry."

      Delete
  2. Pope Francis has Protestants are redeemed. This contradicts the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
    It contradicts Vatican Council II which says all need faith for salvation.
    He does not sat that all Protestants are oriented to Hell since they die outside the Catholic Church and there is nothing in Vatican Council II to contradict the dogma outside the Church there is no salvation,defined by three Church Councils.
    This is heresy and schism with the past popes.
    For him the Nicene Creed says 'I believe in three known baptisms for the forgiveness of sins and not just one, the baptism of water.They are the baptism of desire, blood and being saved in invincible ignorance.They all exclude the baptism of water in the Catholic Church'. This is irrational and heretical and yet it is magisterial for the two popes.
    If the papal posse had pointed this out it would be slander for Catholic in Brooklyn.-Lionel Andrades

    ReplyDelete
  3. Pope Francis says Protestants are redeemed and does not say that non Christians need to convert into the Catholic Church for salvation( to avoid Hell).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Catholic in Brooklyn, hold your nose and check out the following URL:

    https://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/vortex-flat.-out.-wrong

    Um, is it particularly safe to say that Michael Voris is now officially a "radical Catholic reactionary" (Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong's term)?

    ReplyDelete

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