With friends like these …

March 16, 2013 § 18 Comments

So we’ve learned a few things about our new Pope.  It helps that I knew literally nothing to start with; so that has given me the opportunity to pick out some high level basics which especially shine through when both his admirers and detractors agree.

For example, we’ve learned that Pope Francis is not an economic libertarian.  All the right people are screaming that he is a “socialist” or has been overly influenced by liberation theology, even though, as a prominent South American cleric, he has always overtly distanced himself from the movement.  My long time readers know that I take all that to be a good thing.  Real Communists and Socialists exist, of course; but when people who define the set of all non-Randians as “Socialists” start raving about you it at least shows that you have some of the right enemies.

Apparently a loud (but who knows how large, small, or representative) mob of liturgical traditionalists think the election of Pope Francis is a disaster, because (the story goes) he sabotaged the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in his own diocese in Buenos Aires.   I’m not going to link to comboxes full of vitriol at our new Pope, and I don’t know what the true story is, but I’ve had to provide leadership to fairly small groups of unruly opinionated people myself.   The impression the combox warriors are making on me – though of course I’m just one guy of no particular note – is that there definitely exist groups of liturgical traditionalists who need to be smacked around and kept in line, good and hard.  Not that liturgical trads want my advice or anything, but this was probably a “better to be silent and thought an ass than to open your mouth and remove all doubt” moment.

I know there are lots of good liturgical trads out there with a strong devotion to the Extraordinary Form, that Benedict’s reign has been a wonderful breath of fresh air on that front, and that some trepidation about a new Pope is perfectly natural.   I expect those folks wish more than anyone else that they could press a “shut up” button that works on their “friends”.

§ 18 Responses to With friends like these …

  • Vanessa says:

    They might want to make things uncomfortable for their resident Crazy Uncles, then.

  • Zippy says:

    Yes, and to be fair, I have seen some of that.

  • Vanessa says:

    So have I, thankfully.

    I have a similar battle to fight with the misogynists who show up whenever we discuss the benefits of complementarianism. Then I have to write a few articles about venerating Mary, promoting the liberal education of women, and the trials of married life to shake them off.

  • Scott W. says:

    My completely foggy crystal ball predicts that at the worst, the Holy Father will be laissez-faire about liturgy. The limo-riding Curia and bishops are in trouble, not the downtown parish with its one Latin Mass at O’-dark thirty.

  • Zippy says:

    Vanessa:
    Then I have to write a few articles about venerating Mary, promoting the liberal education of women, and the trials of married life to shake them off.

    I can relate. For whatever reason I frequently find myself in the position of defending what is (or at least what I see as) reasonable against those who should be my own natural allies. Which is doubly paradoxical, given the sociopathic (by modern standards) positions I take.

  • Zippy says:

    Scott:
    The limo-riding Curia and bishops are in trouble, not the downtown parish with its one Latin Mass at O’-dark thirty.

    Yeah, that meshes pretty well with my doubtless wildly unreliable first impressions. Unless a critical mass of liturgy-trads are stupid enough to ask for trouble, that is, in which case they might get it, good and hard.

    But we’ll see. I still know next to nothing about what to expect.

  • Proph says:

    He just reconfirmed the entire Curia (which is bad), albeit explicitly on a provisional basis (which is good). I was hoping for the heads of Bertone, Sodano, and a few others mounted on pikes along the Via della Conciliazione by day three, but continuity in government while he figures out who his enemies are is probably the more prudent course.

  • If Francis explicitly repeals Summorum Pontificum, then I’ll worry. Otherwise, I think it’ll be business as usual at the parish and diocesan level. Pope Benedict XVI was probably the most Trad friendly pope we’ll see in our lifetimes. Yet there I sat every Sunday of his pontificate listening to “On Eagle’s Wings” and “Gather Us In” performed by the Caruso family folk guitarists. Give Francis a chance, for the love of God.

    And I’ve heard from several sources that he prays fifteen decades of the rosary every day. That alone makes him tops in my book.

  • Vanessa says:

    Do you think it’s possible that the Great Schism will finally close during his pontificate?

    Or do you think that will only happen after he learns to ride unicorns and leap buildings with a single bound? I don’t want to pressure him, what with him being pope for a grand total of three days now.

  • Zippy says:

    I wouldn’t rule it out; I really have no sense of the odds at all, and it would be such a spiritually enormous event I’m not sure what words would suffice.

    I’d feel kind of sorry for Rod Dreher: he’d be like the guy who quits his job at a company he despises, gets a job where he is much happier, and then the new company gets bought by the old and he ends up working for his old boss again.

    But I focus on the little ironies because the larger event would be pretty much beyond what speech can reasonably capture in the moment. A few hundred years later historians could start writing about it with some objectivity.

  • Vanessa says:

    I pray for it every day. I’m trying to not get my hopes up.

  • katmandutu says:

    “‘And I’ve heard from several sources that he prays fifteen decades of the rosary every day. That alone makes him tops in my book.”

    In mine too, Beefy. 😀

    “The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families…that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”

    Sister Lucia dos Santos

    Yes, indeed, many graces are obtained through praying the Rosary.I draw great strength, consolation and the grace to persevere, from praying the Rosary.

    At times when I I have gotten caught up in every day events and become lax and neglected my daily Rosary, I have found the going much tougher.

  • William Luse says:

    “I really have no sense of the odds at all.”

    I do. It won’t happen. If it does, I’ll happily buy you and the lady Vanessa the dinner of your choice.

  • Morticia says:

    I think we will get more Prots joining through his Papacy. That is my gut instinct anyway.

  • Scott W. says:

    “‘And I’ve heard from several sources that he prays fifteen decades of the rosary every day. That alone makes him tops in my book.”

    Fifteen and not twenty. Perhaps meaning he is not doing JPII’s newly-minted Luminous Mysteries. Perhaps he is more traditional than we think.

  • Vanessa says:

    I think we will get more Prots joining through his Papacy.

    I’ve had the same thought. He really speaks in a way that’s clear and understandable and straight to the Gospel. The last two popes were very holy and wise, but a lot of what they said was incomprehensible to me. I kept having to read other people’s interpretations, which is like a world-wide game of telephone.

  • Zippy says:

    I admit that I stayed away from the Luminous Mysteries for a number of years. Now they may even be my favorites.

  • Arkanabar says:

    Just in case it’s important to have the true story here, Cdl Bergoglio implemented Summorum Pontificum in his own diocese within 48 hours.

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