Monday, December 30, 2013

Lucia What the media tells you about Pope Francis, so make sure you get better news sources

I continue to be amazed how many news articles there have been published in the New Zealand news media on Pope Francis.  This is probably because he is considered to be less Catholic than other Popes have been.  For this reason, it is important for those that are really interested in what Pope Francis has to say, to read better news than just the local Stuff, because there is important information being missed out in the more secular NZ press.

Compare the New Zealand Stuff article from Reuters with the much more comprehensive  Pope Francis was talking about Saint Stephen's martyrdom, celebrated by the Church as a Feast Day on the day after Christmas.  The day we more commonly refer to as Boxing Day, or the day when everyone goes to the shops to get really good sales items.

The Stuff article connects Pope Francis' words to what is occurring in Islamic countries with regards to religious freedom.  However, religious freedom is also under attack in Western countries, those that "protect freedom and human rights on paper".  From the Stuff article:
Francis did not name any countries but the Vatican has long urged Saudi Arabia, the site of Islam's holiest places, to lift a ban on Christians worshiping in public.

This year there have been a number of incidents of intolerance and attacks against minority Christians in Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria and other countries where their rights are guaranteed by law.
In my opinion, if you read carefully what the Pope is saying, he's not referring to just those crazy Muslim places.  From the article, much more of his exact words:
For the pope, Saint Stephen's martyrdom is the reason why "we are praying today especially for Christians who suffer discrimination because of their witness to Christ and the Gospel."

"We are close to those brothers and sisters who, like Saint Stephen, are unjustly accused and subjected to violence of various kinds. This happens especially where religious freedom is still not guaranteed or not fully realised. In my opinion, there are more today than in the early days of the Church. As it happens however, even in countries and places that protect freedom and human rights on the paper, believers, especially Christians, encounter limitations or discrimination."

Countries that protect freedom and human rights on paper could easily mean countries such as Britain and the United States, there have been clashes between the right to freedom of religion and the new right to not be discrimated against if a person wants to call themselves married to a person of the same sex and all that leads to.  Such as Catholic adoption agencies having had to close because they won't adopt children to same-sex couples. Where choosing not to make a cake for a same-sex marriage will get you sued.

Then there's the increasing pressure by Muslims and atheists against Christian symbols and holidays, such as the wearing of a cross in Europe.  In America, saying the word Christmas during the Christmas season is not allowed in some places, which then means Christmas carols can't be sung and children's handmade Christmas cards can't be given out.  And then there's the ACLU trying to get the 10 Commandments removed from state monuments.

Etc, etc, etc ...

The Pope continues:
"For these brothers and sisters, I would ask you to pray, for a moment, in silence, everyone," the pope said off the cuff. After a brief moment of silence, he continued, saying, "Let us entrust them to Mary," and called on everyone to say a Hail Mary for them.

"For Christians," he added, "this is not surprising because Jesus foretold it as an opportunity to bear witness. Nevertheless, injustice must be legally reported and eliminated."

"May Mary Queen of Martyrs help us experience Christmas with the ardour of faith and love that shines in Saint Stephen and all the martyrs of the Church," the pope said in concluding.
I started this post off with the intention to just highlighting a couple of the many tabs that I have open on my desktop at any one time that all be turned into a blog post.  However, I can't always seem to be able to just do an off the cuff post, no matter how hard I try, I often have to make sense of it.

So, I will finish off with some snippets of a post by Tim Stanley.  He's writing about the media creating this fictional Pope Francis, and it's that fictional Pope Francis who got named Time Magazine's Man of the Year.  Again, this is why it's vitally important, if you are a person who is interested in news about the Pope to read better news sources than the secular ones for a more complete picture of Francis, because he's not who the media thinks he is.

There are two Popes. One is Francis as he actually is: spiritual shepherd of the Catholic faithful, the man chosen to defend and articulate the beliefs of the Church. The other is Francis as the liberal establishment would have him be: a crusading humanist on the verge of making the Catholic Church socially acceptable at Manhattan dinner parties. Guess which Pope Francis Time Magazine just made Man of the Year?

The Catholic writer Billy Newton has done a great run down of why Time's Pope is not the real Pope, with two killer observations. First, the magazine calls him The People's Pope – as if a pontiff could be anything else, or as if all those that came before him were distant aristos who ate the poor for breakfast. Second, Time is obsessed with sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, sexy sex. Will the Pope embrace homosexuality? Will he make it a little less wrong to have an abortion? Will he distribute prophylacticos to the masses of Rio, flinging them from his Pope-copter like confetti on a parade? Or, at the very least, will he stop talking about sex and leave Catholics to run their own sex lives in peace?


The Time piece misunderstands Francis and his job description. It trawls through the details of his biography and mines every little ambiguous thing he's ever said because it presumes that the Church is an extension of the will of one man. It is not. It is, according to Catholic doctrine, the mystical body of Christ. It is the Way, the Truth and the Life as discovered through revelation, scripture and tradition. It is not guided exclusively by a man but by the Holy Spirit. It cannot err, change its mind or bend according to fashion because it is a divine instrument and God doesn't change his mind. Sorry if all this language seems a bit religous-y, but we are talking about a Church here – not a political party or a corporation. As such, it can't be reduced to biography.
Related link: Time Magazine's Man of the Year is Pope Francis. Alas, it's not the real Pope Francis ~ Tim Stanley, The Telegraph

8 comment(s):

Irv Spielberg said...

Jesus predicted that just before His return as Judge, there will be a
strange, dangerous fad - a spontaneous global steamroller notable for
its speed, violence, and impudent in-your-face openness. In Luke 17 He
called this worldwide craze the
repeat of the "days of Lot" (see Genesis 19). By fulfilling this
worldwide mania that's secretly coordinated by unseen spirit beings,
gays are really hurrying up Christ's return and making the Bible even
more believable!

They've actually invented strange architecture: closets opening not on
to bedrooms but on to Main Streets where kids can see naked men having
sex in "Madam" Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco Brothel District. We wonder
how soon S.F.'s underground saint - San Andreas - will get a 10-point
jolt out of what goes on over his head (see the dire prediction about
cities in Revelation 16:19, and Google "Obama Supports Public
What's really scary is the "reprobate mind" phrase
in Romans 1:28. A person can sear his conscience so much that God
finally turns him over to S, the universal evil leader whose unseen
agents can give a "possessed" person super-human strength that many cops
with tasers have trouble subduing!
Remember, gays don't have to
stay bound to their slavery. Their emancipation is found in a 5-letter
name starting with J (no, not James or Julia). As soon as they can find
out the all-powerful J name, gays will really start living! (Google
"God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up," "USA - from Puritans to Impure-itans," and "The Background Obama Can't
Cover Up.")
Was Jesus silent about gays? Google " 'Jesus Never Mentioned Homosexuality.' When gays have birthdays...."

Leftrightout said...

Yes, Lucia, you DO need to get some beter and more objective sources for your news.

It is my understanding of the US situation that this is correct. As a government facility it cannot endorse any one religion. And not everyone in a hospital is a christian or open to listing to the caterwauling of children at the best of times. The children are, however, free to sing carols as often as they like on church or private property.

Hard to be sure about this case, but any article that concludes with Ah, the fruits of the administration of The First Gay President! is probably suspect. But again, the US constitution forbids the military from favouring one religion over another, but it does not prevent individuals from practising their religion, saying "Merry Xmas" or anything similar.

Once again, this violates the US Constitution. Religious conservatives in the US love to bang on about how they respect the constitution, just not when it gets in their way of trying to make us all bow to their gods. All the ACLU is doing is getting the government of Oklahoma to abide by the law; why are you so keen on supporting law breakers? And as I have posted on your blog before, there many times the ACLU has taken up the case of xtians whose rights were being denied.

Now, the Oklahoma legislature can keep the 10 commandments, as long as they declare the area a limited public forum. But I bet they won't do that, because THAT means equality for all, not xtian privilege.

As to the baker, he knowingly broke the law and has paid the price. Religion is a private matter, not a get out of jail free card.

Catholic adoption agencies do not own children, they act on behalf of the state and therefore must follow the laws decreed by the state. What is wrong with that?

The world is a wonderful place and is becoming more marvellous each day as old superstitions and prejudices are buried and a new, freer and more humane society is built.

Anyhoo, the last time I looked, you lived and voted in Aotearoa. Seems you xtians still get a pretty easy ride here.

Lucia Maria said...

Yep, I can always rely on you for a totally different world view. One that is destroying the heritage of countries that are founded upon the Western tradition.

Leftrightout said...

So, you condone law breaking?

I don't see much of our heritage being destroyed by rational humanists. We still have a form of democracy, passed down to us by the Greeks. We still have a form of the rule of law, passed down to us by the Romans. The SCOTUS is upholding (mostly) the US constitution, created by some of the best minds of the Enlightenment. Those who follow a religion here are still free to practice their religion without let of hindrance from the government. Women have been freed from the drudgery of housework and child bearing as their sole function, to become full participants in the community.

So just what heritage is being destroyed?

ZenTiger said...

Your above paragraph deliberately "forgets" the role of Christianity in the building of our civilisation. The preservation of some of the greek and roman knoweldge you mention are credit to the Church. Hospitals and Universities have some thanks to make. In medieval times, when women were consigned to lowly status, they were given powerful roles in the Church. The strengthening of marriage and the family helped protect women and children thanks to Church teachings. The fight against abortion and infanticide - mostly committed against females another credit to our Christian heritage. Church attitudes were ultimately reflected in the secular laws of the times.

This heritage is being deliberately forgotten and deliberately rejected. So what you will be left with is the form of democracy and the form of the rule of law, and the form of the family - with the substance slowly eroded into something that becomes empty of the core Christian values that shaped western civilisation and culture.

Leftrightout said...

Your above paragraph deliberately "forgets" the role of Christianity in the building of our civilisation. The preservation of some of the greek and roman knoweldge you mention are credit to the Church.

As xtianity spread, millions of books were destroyed.

The Gnostic Basilides were burned, by order of the church.

Pope Gregory VII burned the Apollo library.

The crusaders burned every book they came across, including a great many hebrew scrolls.

In their zeal to conquer and xtianise the "New World", the Spanish destroyed the history, culture and temples of those they came to "save".

The utter destruction of the 500,000 to 750,000 books and scrolls of the incredible library at Alexandria by a Christian mob stands as perhaps the greatest single testimony to the overwhelming hatred of learning and education held by the rank-and-file majority who flocked to the new religion.

“The Christian World came to wage crusades against Muslims but eventually knelt before them to gain knowledge. They were spellbound to see that Muslims were owners of a culture that was far superior to their own. The Dark Ages of Europe were illuminated by nothing but the beacon of Muslim Civilization.” Author : F.J.C Hearushaw Book Reference : The Science of History

“The Renaissance of Europe did not take place in the 15th century. Rather it began when Europe learned from the culture of the Arabs. The cradle of European awakening is not Italy. It is the Muslim Spain.” Author : Robert Briffault Book Reference : The Making Of Mankind

Medieval Islam was technologically advanced and open to innovation. It achieved far higher literacy rates than in contemporary Europe; it assimilated the legacy of classical Greek civilization to such a degree that many classical books are now known to us only through Arabic copies. It invented windmills, trigonometry, lateen sails and made major advances in metallurgy, mechanical and chemical engineering and irrigation methods. In the middle-ages the flow of technology was overwhelmingly from Islam to Europe rather from Europe to Islam. Only after the 1500's did the net direction of flow begin to reverse. Author: Jared Diamond Book Reference: UCLA sociologist, and physiologist who won the Pulitzer Prize for his book: "Guns, Germs, and Steel."

During all the first part of the Middle Ages, no other people made as important a contribution to human progress as did the Arabs, if we take this term to mean all those whose mother-tongue was Arabic, and not merely those living in the Arabian peninsula. For centuries, Arabic was the language of learning, culture and intellectual progress for the whole of the civilized world with the exception of the Far East. From the IXth to the XIIth century there were more philosophical, medical, historical, religious, astronomical and geographical works written in Arabic than in any other human tongue. Author: Phillip Hitti Book Reference : in 'Short History of the Arabs

ZenTiger said...

Unfortunately, the usual selectivity that requires you ignore the good and exaggerate the bad. The flow of technology you speak off was driven by the flow of conquest and forced slavery of Christians by Muslims. In many cases, it went in the other direction - they appropriated knowledge and claimed it as their own.

The Arabs are credited with windmills (mostly improved in Spain which - a country conquered by Muslims on and off over 800 years. Windmills may have been around in Northern Europe at the same time also though. The Irish invented Tidal Mills. Other inventions of that time, a credit to our civilisation you denigrate: The compass, the European architecture, the hourglass and later the mechanical clock, the blast furnace. The printing press. Eyeglasses. The plough. The horseshoe and improved horse harnesses. The humble pitchfork. Crop rotation made big advances in France, Britain and Western Europe.

There are many instances of pro-Islamic books claiming any advances made by Christian civilization is totally to the credit of Islam. The only problem with this theory is the evidence of that modern, advanced Islamic civilization still exists today, and it actually looks pretty backward, and has pretty much stagnated since they were pushed back out of Europe.

Yes, Islam had its successes, but so did other cultures. It's not just the "Arabic" numbering system, but the "Arabic-Hindu" numbering system. India, China and the Mongols contributed a lot of knowledge, and some of that was fed via Western paths as much as from Islamic sources. This was the advantage Islam had at the time - being smack in the middle of the trade routes between India and China and the West, it became a melting pot of ideas and technologies - borrowing heavily from both directions and ultimately advancing themselves. You speak only of "Islam to Europe" as the flow, and it was not that at all. You have to draw the line beyond the selective prism you show.

My point here is that there was a lot more going on of credit to Christendom and other cultures (India, China) and bolstering Islam is one thing, but your efforts to recast our own history to suit the narrative of the atheist is exactly why "we must never forget". Communist societies (the other notable type of atheist) were far more deliberate in rewriting history than the destruction of books that accompanied war of those times - destruction carried out by all parties in those wars. I too have a bunch of quotes from reputable sources of Islamics burning books by the thousands. Some of them are burning their own books by the thousands. I also have some articles that suggest the burning of books at the library of Alexandra did happen repeatedly - sometimes by Muslims. There is also some dispute that the fire you speak of was deliberately lit - it may have been accidental.

Lucia Maria said...

Man, LRO. Cutting and pasting an Islamic page to justify your hatred of Christianity, without even crediting it as a source. How low can you go?

Islam: The Ultimate
Source of Knowledge

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