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Dueling Catholics

Posted on the 02 October 2013 by Brutallyhonest @Ricksteroni

Are two of Patheos' heavy hitters involved in a fracas over Pope Francis' latest interview?

Let's first go to The Crescat:

Below you’ll find some excerpts from the interview. Mr. Scalfari’s questions and comments are in bold, PopeFrancisfollowed by the Pope’s responses. My thoughts are interjected after each block quote. However if you were to ask me to sum up the interview with a single quote it would be this — Pope Francis states, “I have the humility and ambition to want to do something.”

Maybe the headline should read; Pope Declares Himself Humble

Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?

“Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.”

That sounds an awful lot like relativism. But I’m sure something was just lost in translation. You know English isn’t his first language. Or maybe he was just being intentionally vague or something because he was talking with an atheist. Just insert whatever excuse and move on.

There's more and it's biting.  Katrina is clearly not impressed.

The Anchoress however sees things differently: 

Reading the first English translation found online this morning, I cursed my poor Italian and kept thinking, “this must be a sloppy translation — some of this isn’t even making sense.”

Well, “Nunblogger” Sister Anne Flanagan, a Daughter of Saint Paul, saw issues too, and since she reads Italian well, she has become a piecemeal translation that offers clarity:

If “everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them,” is the Pope saying that there is no such thing as objective truth, or objective right or wrong? This is where it is really, really helpful to know Italian: “Ciascuno di noi ha una sua visione del Bene e anche del Male. Noi dobbiamo incitarlo a procedere verso quello che lui pensa sia il Bene” is more literally (and helpfully?) translated as “Each one of us has his/her own vision of the Good or even of Evil. We must encourage him/her to move toward that which he/she sees as the Good.” The Pope is not leveling the difference between truth and untruth, right and wrong: he is saying that we all have a duty to encourage people to pursue the Good, knowing that the true Good will not fail to manifest himself, even if “through a glass darkly.”

I will stop here for a second, because someone has already complained to me that this translation is still not enough — that people need more explicit instruction as to what good and evil, but I disagree, and I think Aquinas would, too. If Francis seems to be trusting the Holy Spirit to lead people Christ-ward once he encourages them to walk toward the good, it is likely because he knows the sacraments — especially baptism — orient us toward being able to find our way (even if we have been detoured) toward the good, and then toward the light of All Goodness. I do understand the concern that people will take this incorrectly, and call evil good or slip into relativism. But again and again we’re seeing a stripping down to fundamentals in what Francis is saying.

She too has more and it's all, as usual, most worthy.  Most. Worthy.

So is this (Kat) fight serious?  

I doubt it.  I've followed them both for a good while and think they're way beyond having a serious falling out but clearly they're disagreeing over this Pope.

I happen to like Katrina Fernandez alot.  She is raw, human, and yes, brutally honest and all of that I admire in people, particularly if they can make me laugh.  Katrina makes me laugh.  Often.

But I also think she's wrong about this Pope.  Way wrong.

And I wish she'd give him the benefit of the doubt.

I believe God's working in and through him.  I really do.  I'm hoping The Crescat will as well.

But that, at this point, may take a miracle.

Hey, it could happen.

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