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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:40 am 
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Sabbath wrote:

I think there might be some confirmation bias operating here!

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:56 am 
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Sabbath wrote:

I doubt that the AL footnote is meant to be against the idea of Hell.

Name calling people and dismissing their arguments on that basis is a horrible way to proceed.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:09 pm 
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Doom wrote:
MichaelD14 wrote:


As a reader of Hans Urs von Balthasar (inspired by recommendation of Cardinal Ratzinger), I do not get any sense Pope Francis shares that extreme exaggeration of God's Mercy.

He has never given any indication it's a temporary state, as purgatory.

He has warned it's eternal.

Pope Francis has been quite clear on this topic.

Th Liturgy, well - that's another topic for another day...


Let me be bluntly honest with you: I have absolutely no confidence in this pope. Absolutely none. When he was first elected, my reaction was optimistic, I thought he would be a great reforming Pope. But in the first few months of his reign, I noticed that he was making a number of rather bizarre and inexplicable public statements, such as 'who am I to judge?' (is this a serious question? You're the pope, the vicar of Christ on Earth, you are the one person on this planet who is the MOST QUALIFIED to judge, to say this, is to say that you refuse to do your job) and he said 'Catholics shouldn't be breeding like rabbits', which is a comment he claims he said to a woman he met in Argentina who had 8 children, this is a statement which seems to imply that he has no problem with contraception, and indeed, maybe contraception might even be mandatory (to make sure that we don't 'breed like rabbits'), on another occassion, he made a statement that made it seem like he approved of sex change operations, and this is just the FIRST YEAR.

Over the past 5 years, I've gone from being hopeful to being confused to being angry, to where I am now, which is almost total despair at the fact that it now seems that to be a faithful Catholic, I have to completely ignore everything the Pope says and does.

Are you familiar with ER Chamberlin's classic text 'The Bad Popes'? I think that 100 or 500 years from now, someone will add a chapter to that book about Pope Francis, to go along with the chapters about Benedict IX, Boniface VIII, Celestine V, Alexander VI, Julius II and Leo X.


As an outside observer, I have concluded the Holy Father doesn't have the capacity to think things through. Clarity is the real problem. He cant treat the world like a suitor that requires gifts and attention. He sets himself up.
Hence the passive aggressive questions repeatedly posited by people like Eugenio Scalfari. Which lead the faithful to ask: Is the Pope Catholic? It is the reason that I focus on Biblical truth and not people.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:19 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Sabbath wrote:

I think there might be some confirmation bias operating here!



Skimming the article, Dave says First things and Crisis magazine are “reactionary”? :) what??

I grow tired of those so-called “traditionalists” who do indeed react to everything and uncharitably assign every reported word that Pope Francis says as a 100% accurate. But I think it’s just as reactionary to try and defend Francis in every word and blink of the eye he takes, and how he is running things (e.g. keep giving Scalfari interviews, then Scalfari appears to fabricate things, then Pope Francis says nothing about it as scandal starts to spread).

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:03 pm 
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The problem I have with Dave Armstrong, in general, is that he tends to commit the 'refutation by labeling' fallacy. He tends to dismiss criticism of Pope Francis simply by calling critics 'reactionaries' and accusing them of 'Pope bashing', only rarely does his argumentation get much deeper than that. The problem with this is that many of the most vociferous critics of Pope Francis are people who are NOT 'Pope bashers' or 'reactionaries', and many are fans of Benedict XVI and John Paul II, or even Paul VI or John XXIII. I mean, Cardinal Mueller has been pretty vocal in his criticism of Pope Francis, is Cardinal Mueller a 'pope bashing reactionary.' But beyond that, even if someone actually is a 'pope bashing reactionary' simply calling them that doesn't refute their concerns, to do that, you need to actually engage their arguments, which Armstrong rarely does. The truth is, that I would like someone to convince me that my concerns are misguided and things aren't as bad as they seem, but Armstrong's tendency is to dismiss all critics as 'pope bashers' and 'reactionaries' only reinforces my suspicion that no rational defense is possible.

In the same way, during the 2016 election cycle, he tended to dismiss every conservative who expressed reservations about voting for Trump as a 'NeverTrumper', as if that label alone is sufficient to dismiss their concern.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:14 pm 
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I think what he means by "pope-bashing" would be better expressed by "Pope Francis-bashing"; it's not people who attack the papacy in general.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:48 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I think what he means by "pope-bashing" would be better expressed by "Pope Francis-bashing"; it's not people who attack the papacy in general.


Yup.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:07 pm 
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In which case, if that is what he means, then the argument is simply tautological. To dismiss critics of Pope Francis as 'Pope bashers' is to assert that critics are wrong simply because they are critics. He needs to learn that there is a difference between being a faithful Catholic and being a Popeolator.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:39 pm 
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I'm rather confident that Dave Armstrong is a faithful Catholic.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:59 pm 
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As Alexandros notes above, there are people who seem bound and determined to find fault with Francis as much as possible, and such people can reasonably be termed "Francis-bashers." So the term itself is not illegitimate. But, as Doom notes, extending it to all people who voice criticism, even persistent criticism, of the Holy Father is unreasonable and ultimately circular.

The same goes for the loaded pejorative term "reactionary." It's not helpful. I know people who are deeply concerned with some things Pope Francis says who are not in any sense of the word "reactionaries." This is just the bad old days of compiling lists of enemies.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:30 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
As Alexandros notes above, there are people who seem bound and determined to find fault with Francis as much as possible, and such people can reasonably be termed "Francis-bashers." So the term itself is not illegitimate.


But even if that is so, simply calling someone by that label isn't enough to refute them.

This is exactly how many prominent Catholics reacted at the time of the Reformation, hurling labels and terms of abuse at the reformers, 'Hussite', 'Lutheran', 'Calvinist', 'Neo-Christian', etc, but without really addressing the claims they made in any meaningful way. It didn't work out very well, people read the tracts and said 'well, Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli are offered a reasoned argument for their positions, and the Catholics aren't' and half of Europe was lost as a result.


It is actually somewhat amazing just how many of the common terms used to describe religious groups from the era of the Reformation and later started out as insults and terms of abuse. Protestant, Lutheran, Calvinist, Anglican, Non-Conformist, Quaker, Puritan, Separatist, Anabaptist, Arminian, Baptist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Methodist, Fundamentalist, and many other terms all started out as insults. Lutherans never called themselves 'Lutherans', they called themselves 'Evangelicals'. Calvinists never called themselves 'Calvinists' they called themselves first 'True Catholics' and later 'Reformed Catholics', Quakers called themselves 'Friends', Puritans called themselves simply 'the godly', Methodists never called themselves anything at all because they thought of themselves as members of the Church of England and not members of a sect.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:12 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
As Alexandros notes above, there are people who seem bound and determined to find fault with Francis as much as possible, and such people can reasonably be termed "Francis-bashers." So the term itself is not illegitimate. But, as Doom notes, extending it to all people who voice criticism, even persistent criticism, of the Holy Father is unreasonable and ultimately circular.

The same goes for the loaded pejorative term "reactionary." It's not helpful. I know people who are deeply concerned with some things Pope Francis says who are not in any sense of the word "reactionaries." This is just the bad old days of compiling lists of enemies.

It seems to me that every time there's some sort of controversy--at least the ones I've noted--there tends to be some sort of follow up that of course PF is doctrinally sound and toes the traditional line. I don't mean to put that down at all . . . I note, Obi, your own comments about him just not being in the habit of watching his words carefully. So this raises a question for me that strikes me as relevant in several parts of my own life.

Do you think the issue here is that PF is, in some ways, pioneering at the papal level a different tone rather than a different theology--a tone that more liberally minded Catholics (with or without scare quotes around Catholic as you see fit) like to claim they take? If so, that could explain several things to me. The old cliche about walking, talking, and sounding like a duck justifies the observation that its a duck might apply. Francis seems to talk and sound like a leftist SJW, and that tone as well as some of his criticisms of some aspects of the Church and the Western hemisphere more generally are exactly the kind of thing that actual leftist SJWs can resonate with. Doom raised the never-Trumper comparison, but maybe Trump himself is the better comparison. I don't think the man is racist or a neo-nazi in the least, but it is undoubtable that some of his language and tone and rhetorical style is exactly the kind of thing that actual white supremacists are looking for and can relate to. So it makes the connection of Trump with that ideology easy, especially if you are on the left and so are emotionally invested in rejecting him.

Could something similar be happening here? Could PF, but either choice or habit or whatever, be taking a "pastoral" and "non-judgemental" tone that, while certainly theologically justifiable and even praise-worthy, is easily connected to a complete rejection of or even just an excessive de-emphasis on basic theological truth? In such a case, I could see where both sides are coming from . . . all three sides if we consider the "liberal" side in all this?

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:33 am 
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The "leftist SJW" stuff doesn't bother me in the least, except insofar as it conflicts with Catholic doctrine (which it doesn't as often as American conservatives think it does ... but I digress).

And yes, there are definitely some similarities between Trump and Pope Francis. For example, they are both populists who eschew the traditional means of communication -- Trump uses Twitter, Pope Francis uses Scalfari.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:01 am 
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It's one thing to voice concerns, quite another to write books w/such titles as "The Lost Sheppard" and "The Dictator Pope", don't ya think?

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:52 am 
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Some of what is being discussed, I offer, could be cultural. Francis is an Argentinian. He is not a European and does not come from the mainstream of European Popes -- German or Polish or Italian. Modes of expression in Latin America are decidedly different than in, say, the US or Germany or wherever.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:54 am 
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Sabbath wrote:
It's one thing to voice concerns, quite another to write books w/such titles as "The Lost Sheppard" and "The Dictator Pope", don't ya think?

Depending on the knowledge and prominence of the people involved, no. Especially if they've tried to make their concerns known first to the appropriate authorities.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:01 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
Sabbath wrote:
It's one thing to voice concerns, quite another to write books w/such titles as "The Lost Sheppard" and "The Dictator Pope", don't ya think?

Depending on the knowledge and prominence of the people involved, no. Especially if they've tried to make their concerns known first to the appropriate authorities.



Yea, ok... :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:07 pm 
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Peregrinator wrote:
MichaelD14 wrote:
Sabbath wrote:
The author of this book was interviewed on "World Over Live"... /


Philip Lawler's book "The Faithfully Departed" I appreciated. This one is tainted with confirmation bias.

How so?


Phil expressed his bias right from the introduction - on how the pope issues daily reminders (exaggerated slightly) that he does not approve of Catholics like him. He seems intent to find each and every utterance he finds insulting and confusing. Others hold less weight.

I agree Pope Francis has stated things that could be deemed insulting to traditional-minded Catholics. Unlike Pope Benedict XVI, who tended to challenge and attack ideas, Pope Francis challenges and attacks attitudes – yet, it is not always as clear whom, if anyone, holds such attitudes. And this can seem a bit more personal to many.

His premise that for “35 years loyal Catholics were accustomed to look to Rome for guidance, to ease the confusion that arose from uncertain leadership at the local level. Now the situation has been reversed, particularly in the United States.” May be saying more about Phil and his perception on his diocese than the universal Church.

I appreciate the book is also critical of many bishops for not addressing the confusion and fears of some of the faithful. And he rightfully notes; “If the pope himself has gone astray, the duty falls upon the other shepherds to bring the Church back to safe pastures.”

IMO, overall the book doesn’t have a full outlook of this pontificate.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:49 pm 
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MichaelD14 wrote:
His premise that for “35 years loyal Catholics were accustomed to look to Rome for guidance, to ease the confusion that arose from uncertain leadership at the local level. Now the situation has been reversed, particularly in the United States.” May be saying more about Phil and his perception on his diocese than the universal Church.


Maybe. I would argue that such "guidance" has had serious problems since the 1960s, but I guess we're all bias in some way.

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 Post subject: Re: P. Francis: "There is no Hell"
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:54 pm 
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To put it frankly, the idea of ordinary lay Catholics looking to the POPE for guidance on day to day matters of the faith is a sign of a serious imbalance in our understanding of the Church. Before the 20th century, such a thought would have seemed downright bizarre to Catholics.

Prior to the Reformation, the Pope was a distant and remote figure to Catholic who didn't live in the papal states, the pope was primarily thought of as the court of last appeal, kind of a Catholic Supreme Court, to settle theological disputes which had become so contentious that they threatened the unity of the Church. If you had asked the average Catholic circa 1500 to name the current Pope, probably most would have been unable to do so. You know who Catholics looked to for guidance in their day to day lives? Their parish priest, and occasionally, their bishop.

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