Il Papa’s Not a Rollin’ Stone

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, has called the Rolling Stone’s recent cover story on Pope Francis superficial, negative, and crude.

That’s a good start.

“The Times They Are A-Changin’,” the title preens.

Well, all change is “progress,” right? As we all know from the history of the past 100 years or so.

Well, two things haven’t changed: first, the truths of the Catholic Faith; and second, the Rolling Stone’s superfried brain, fossilized in amber, laced with cocaine, and buried in the knee-deep mud of Max Yasgur’s farm near Woodstock, New York back in 1969.

The title borrows from a memorable Bob Dylan tirade calling on sons and daughters to rebel against their faith and their fathers.

Well, we know where that got us.

From there the Stone careens downhill: unlike his backward predecessor, Francis is in tune with the revolution, ready to embrace the Me Generation’s narcissism, self-indulgence, and arrogance, if only he lives long enough.

Hmm. As the Italians say, stronzata.

In 1972, The Temptations sang “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” a ghastly tale of a deadbeat womanizer (not Bill Clinton—he shows up later) whose early drug-induced death left his family destitute.

That “Papa” embraces all of the Stone’s heroic virtues. Not ours.

The Woodstock generation thought it was cool to “getcha picture on the cover of the Rollin’ Stone.” Pope Francis never did.

No, the Stone’s treatment merely exploits Francis’ popularity, hopeful that their cover picture will attract the unaware to their lies inside.

The contempt can’t wait: “After the disastrous papacy of Benedict….”

There they go again. Ah yes, that “staunch traditionalist who looked like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and menacing teenagers in their nightmares.”

Pulitzer material.

Naturally, Francis “seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic” after Benedict Scissorhands, right?

The article’s author, whom we will generically label “Stonehead,” continues with the usual drivel. His idea of the “average Catholic” is apparently somewhere between Nancy Pelosi and Rembert Weakland.

Meanwhile, the pope, a secret ally of the Gay Lobby, adroitly avoids discussing gay marriage, birth control and abortion. After all, they’re merely “divisive social issues,” not objective moral evils.

Predictably, Stonehead wraps them in Francis’ Papal Motto, “Who am I to judge,” implying that he’s as ethically unhinged as the Stone’s editorial board.

Ecce! The Vatican Vacillator!

Next, the mandatory Social Justice rehash.

“Astonishingly” (Stonehead is shocked, shocked!), Francis “devot[es] much of his first major written teaching to a scathing critique of unchecked free-market capitalism.”

Un-astonishingly, Stonehead didn’t read it. Less than ten percent of Evangelii Gaudium, Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, is devoted to the economy. And even less to economics.

The word “capitalism” never appears in its 52,000 words.

Pope Francis did write there that “economic growth, encouraged by a free market,” cannot “by itself succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.”

We all know that. Only by embracing Jesus Christ can the world make that happen.

Stonehead is dazed. “Who?”

Here’s another flash: “Open dissent, of course, is a rare thing in an organization as hierarchical as the Catholic Church.”

Not to worry. The fearless Stonedhead has pounded the pavement and risked his career to find one of those “rare” dissidents. Guess which one he found.

Yes, Stonehead gratefully channels one of America’s most self-promoting dissenters—fresh from a Jesuit magazine, no less, and now “a senior analyst at the left-leaning National Catholic Reporter,” a prominent bastion of the Gay Lobby in the United States.

It had to happen—and Stonehead is not alone. Throughout the country, media outlets are downsizing, offering buyouts, or just firing people.

Often the first to go are the “Religion” reporters. The “Culture” editors are next.

Enter Father Thomas Reese, S.J., bragging to a dazzled Stonehead that Cardinal Ratzinger (that ogre, remember) got him fired from his last job.   

The enterprising Father Reese has assembled a digital Rollidex of all those distraught, overworked writers and editors and offers his expert advisory services to them, free of charge.

“He sends backgrounders every week or two,” one religion reporter told me. “He promises to call back right away on his cell if I’m on deadline, and assures me that he won’t be upset if I don’t quote him by name.”

Wow, undergrads! Do you have a term paper due? Call yourself a reporter, and call Father Reese!

As Tom Lehrer sang, “Plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize! But be sure always to call it—research!”

“The election of Francis took him [Reese] completely by surprise,” writes Stonehead. “He hadn’t expected to see another pope who created such hope for the church.”

Still spiteful after all these years, Father?

Well, Benedict is arguably the most brilliant theologian alive. It is disappointing, but not unusual, that lesser lights should envy him.

One of this remarkable pontiff’s greatest gifts to the Church was his Motu Proprio that restores the rights of all priests to celebrate the Tridentine Mass (now the “Extraordinary Rite”).

Father Reese is unimpressed. He has a different view of the Eucharist.

In 2010, Tom Bethell attended a lecture by Father Reese in San Francisco (which once stood for “Saint Francis,” as I recall), where Joe Biden’s support for abortion came up.

Biden’s critics insist—and Canon 915 requires—that our brother Joe be pastorally advised to mend his ways and, in the meantime, to refrain from the scandal of receiving Holy Communion.

Father Reese did not agree. He elicited a “gleeful burst of laughter” from the “upscale Catholic audience” when he referred to Biden’s critics as “wafer watchers.”

Bethell adds wryly that, “of course, for those who don’t believe the Communion host is anything more than a wafer, obsessing about who consumes it really is a joke.” With critics like these, who could like Pope Benedict?

Stonehead’s prose soars: “controversial hypertraditionalists,” members of Opus Dei (Tremble! Tremble!), and “ultraconservative American Catholics”—all, no doubt, advocates of insidious intrigue (why, they even go to Confession—a Sacrament shrouded in the “seal” of secrecy!).

Stonehead rattles off a few more secular headlines—Francis is a closet Liberation Theologian; he has “sacked” Raymond Cardinal Burke; a “group of nuns” (all two of them—on George Soros’ bus, remember?) don’t like Rep. Paul Ryan.

He then conjures up a few headlines of his own: Juan Peron was a free-market capitalist, and, while Father Reese is free to dissent from the Church’s magisterial teachings, we are all morally bound to agree with his opinions regarding welfare-state legislation.

Father Lombardi is right. Stonehead is negative and superficial. His wrap-up is crude indeed.

During the press conference on the way home from the World Youth Day in Brazil, he writes, “a reporter attempted to pin Francis down on gay marriage and abortion.

“And what is His Holiness’ own position on these matters? The pope’s artful dodge struck me as brilliantly Clintonian. ‘That of the Church,’ Francis said simply. ‘I’m a son of the Church.’”


Stonehead “simply” left this out of the transcript:

The Church has already expressed herself perfectly on this. It wasn’t necessary to return to it, just as I did not speak about fraud or lies or other things about which the Church has a clear doctrine.

Pope Francis emphasized the point again in his America interview:

The teaching of the Church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the Church.

And “Clintonian”?

Hey, what difference, at this point, does it make?

The Stone considers it an honor that a mere cleric should be compared to the world’s most prominent prevaricating serial philanderer.

Memo to the Stone: The Rock of Peter doesn’t roll.

Editor’s note: This column is sponsored by the Bellarmine Forum and is reprinted here with permission.

Christopher Manion


Christopher Manion served as a staff director on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for many years. He has taught in the departments of politics, religion, and international relations at Boston University, the Catholic University of America, and Christendom College, and is the director of the Campaign for Humanae Vitae™, a project of the Bellarmine Forum Foundation. He is a Knight of Malta.

  • Assyrian

    Why do you take a tangential potshot at Bill Clinton as a womanizer and not at Newt Gingrich, the supposed “Catholic” convert who still persists obstinately in his adulterous relationship with Callista, his third “wife?”

    • Rock St. Elvis

      You again.

      You might notice that it was Rolling Stone, not Christopher Manion, who brought up Clinton by characterizing the Pope’s answer about certain issues as “Clintonian.”

      I’m guessing you are one of Gingrich’s exes, as often as you bring him up when he’s not even relevant to the topic at hand.

      • Crisiseditor

        Assyrian (a.k.a. “Nestorian”) has a new email and a new pseudonym, but the same old tiresome hobbyhorses. He is not one of Gingrich’s ex-wives. If he was, at least that would be a rational explanation for his obsession.

        • Objectivetruth

          There’s a long list of Democrats from the 90’s that still hold a grudge against Gingrich. Possibly, one of them.

          • Adam__Baum

            “Possibly, one of them. ”

            Or perhaps one of those Soros paid trolls.

            Have you noticed how many times an poster emerges that dwells on a topic that’s extraneous and irrelevant, posting it in article after article? Or how many times a poster appears, contemporaneously and ex nihilo, and then scrawls furiously about one article, never to be heard of again? Two different versions of jamming.

        • Art Deco

          The harridan in question is a she.

          • Adam__Baum


            • Objectivetruth

              I still think it is Bill Clinton. The man’s got a lot of time on his hands these days.

          • Crisiseditor

            That may be, but the email used by “Nestorian” contained a male name.

    • Guest

      Sounds like calumny to me. What proof do you have? Also, Clinton was mentioned in the original article why would anyone bring up Gingrich?

      • Calumny has to be false. It is a matter of public record that Gingrich likes young interns, and has twice divorced his wife to be with a young intern.

        For those of us “more Catholic than the Pope” the behavior of cradle catholic Calista reminds us too much of Melinda Gates.

        • Guest

          How do you know the status of his marriage with the Church? Is there public evidence?

          • I’m not talking about the status of his marriage *within* the church. I’m talking about his public example of immorality to others and the extreme scandal of so-called conservatives supporting that behavior.

            • Guest

              If the man had a conversion and was reconciled with the Church and his marriage is valid there is no reason for these false charges. If you other evidence then show us.

              • Just because his marriage is valid in the church, does not mean he didn’t cheat on his second wife, or for that matter, his first wife.

                Conversion and confession wash away the eternal effects of sin. They don’t wash away the TEMPORAL effects of sin. And they most certainly don’t wash away the POLITICAL effects of sin.

                • Guest

                  Those are not the issues. The issue is wrongly focusing on his past and repented sins and then comparing them to Clinton who has no such record.

                  • Record of what? Repenting?

                    I think Clinton *must* have repented. He’s still married to the woman he was married to all along, even through the dozens of affairs.

                    I also think he’s *still* serving his penance for those sins. You don’t exactly see Hillary and Bill living in the same house much anymore.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Living WITH Hillary would be penance.

                  • Church of the East

                    And just how are you in a position to know with any more certainty that Clinton has not also repented?
                    In the absence of adequate knowledge, it is hypocritical to apply a hermeneutic of suspicion to Clinton, but a hermeneutic of benevolence to Gingrich on grounds of sheer ideological prejudice.

      • Art Deco

        You don’t want to go there. During her last appearance in these parts, she offered the thesis that Rachel Lu was ethically obligated to excoriate Newt Gingrich when writing about the Texas Governor’s race. You may have noticed that Dr. Gingrich has never lived in Texas or run for office there. He did, however, appear in Steubenville, Ohio three years ago to introduce a film presentation, so you can see the relevancy to Dr. Lu’s topic very clearly. Or something like that.

    • Objectivetruth

      Agreed. “Direct” potshots should be taken at Bill Clinton as a womanizer, not “tangential” potshots.

      • Brian Dunning

        Isn’t calling Bill Clinton a “womanizer” kind of like calling Hitler an “autocrat”?

    • Church of the East

      You almost all (except Theodore Seeber, to his credit) respond to my pointing out of your blatant moral double-standard with ad hominem denunciations. Obviously, my pointing out of it has hit a sore spot in many quarters, as my accusations against Gingrich themselves are ultimately undeniable.
      Gingrich is twice-divorced, thrice-married, and has a long record of adulterous liaisons – just like Clinton. Yet this does not stop multitudes of Crisis-type Catholics from fawning over him because of his recent “conversion” to Catholicism, with the same eagerness with which they condemn Clinton for essentially the same thing. So please hold off on your denunciations of Clinton on this score – the hypocrisy is nauseating. And please hold off on your ad hominem attacks against me, and focus instead on Gingrich. (I am a once-married, never-divorced, faithful spouse.)

      • Objectivetruth

        If someone else wants to weigh in and correct me on my thinking, but this is my best thought process on Gingrich’s conversion:

        Gingrich converted to Catholicism in 2009.

        Prior to 2009, Newt was a Southern Baptist. None of his three marriages up to that point were to Catholics and none of the weddings were performed sacramentally in (or had the approval of, or dispensation from) the Catholic Church.

        So Newt was not a Catholic, none of his wives were Catholic, and therefore prior to 2009 he was never married in or with approval of the Church.

        Essentially then, when Newt was becoming Catholic, the Church never recognized his prior marriages, or could render judgement on those marriages. Gingrich of course had to confess his sins at this point, before sacramentally being married in the Church. This is how I believe he was able to be wed in the Catholic Church.

        • Objectivetruth


          But “Nestorian”, “Assyrian”, “Church of the East”……why the three different pseudonyms??

          • Adam__Baum

            Mark 5:9

            • Objectivetruth

              Yuk! Good one, A-B! You can tee ’em up like a Titleist on the 14th fairway!

              Yikes…! I hope it’s not Legion!

          • Crisiseditor

            I have not banned the use of “Assyrian” so there was no need for a third pseudonym. My hope was that by blocking Nestorian (but not his/her IP) this person would show some restraint.

            • Objectivetruth

              I’m not sure if he/she would be satisfied if Newt Gingrich himself posted here, explaining how he was married in the Church.

              • Guest

                Exactly. This focus on past sins after a man has converted is unCatholic.

        • Ruth Rocker

          Your reasoning is not sound. I was married and divorced twice before I met my husband. He is a cradle Catholic and we were married in a civil ceremony. Once I decided to join the Church, I was informed that even though those prior relationships were not seen to be valid in the eyes of the Church, I nonetheless had to file paperwork to receive annulments for both of them.

          • Augustus

            Is it possible that both of you are correct? Gingrich’s marriages may not have been the same as yours, or if they were, going through the process of annulment would be necessary to confirm in the eyes of the Church that the original marriages were not fully legitimate and that “remarriage” was therefore possible. In other words, it is possible that Gingrich had to go through the same process you did because he clearly ended up in the same place. Obtaining an annulment does not make the previous marriage(s) valid. It confirms that they were not.

          • Objectivetruth


            • I wish what happened was just between Gingrich, his priest, and their bishop.

              In the eyes of the world, supporting this man politically teaches *directly* that marriage is just something to be thrown away when it is inconvenient. I won’t do that.

              • Carl

                Exactly your problem! You have eyes of this world.

                OK, everyone join in and let’s lambaste the Apostle Paul better known as Saul of Tarsus and how her persecuted Christians and even had them murdered!

                Shouldn’t we remove all his teachings from the New Testament, OK, so he was knocked off his horse, he shouldn’t he been condemned to Hell—right?

                • Conversion is one thing. Preaching that divorce doesn’t matter and that the Sacrament of Marriage is garbage is quite another.

            • Church of the East

              I am no more committing calumny than did Christopher Manion with his swipe at Clinton. What on earth gives Manion the omniscience to declare that Clinton hasn’t repented and reformed? Why is he any less guilty of calumny and hardness of heart than you accuse me of being?

          • Church of the East

            With all due respect, the annulment game is a joke. Your first two marriages were undoubtedly real in the eyes of God.
            The Catholic Church is engaging in a farcical, mendacious slight-of-hand in saying they weren’t real (i.e., “valid”) so that it can refrain from condemning your present situation as adulterous, which by all rights it ought to do if its doctrine were applied to your situation with strict consistency.
            From the very beginning, the Eastern Orthodox Church has been far more reasonable on this matter. They have canons dating back as far as the 4th century that limit the number of marriages a person can enter into within the Church to 3. This demonstrates both their allegiance to the principle that a real marriage can die due to sin, and the antiquity of their adherence to this principle.
            (And by the way, the Nestorian Church, or “Church of the East,” is quite different from the Eastern Orthodox Church.)

        • Not none. Callista is a cradle Catholic, and sinned in having an affair with him and marrying him. I *assume* she confessed these sins.

          I’m saying that while confession and conversion wipes away the ETERNAL effects of his sin, the TEMPORAL and POLITICAL effects remain- and to support this man politically is to preach to the world that the Sacrament of Marriage is garbage.

        • Art Deco

          So Newt was not a Catholic, none of his wives were Catholic, and
          therefore prior to 2009 he was never married in or with approval of the

          You’ll have to consult Peter Vere or some such, but IIRC, marriages are presumed to be valid and if neither party to a marriage was a baptized Catholic and the ceremony was congruent with what is permissible in their denominations, the marriage does not have a defect of form.

          • Objectivetruth

            OK. Thanks for the clarification.

      • Objectivetruth

        And it’s not an ad hominem attack to point out that you are a follower of Nestorius, a 5th century Catholic heretic. Therefore, the reasons for your postings have to be suspect, at best. The tone of most of your posts are not to curiously ask how does a thrice married Southern Baptist Congressman get married in the Catholic Church, but your tone is attacking the Church for some false hypocrisy.

        • Church of the East

          You are assuming that a person can only come to the conclusion that the Catholic Church is in error, and that the Church of the East is the True Church (as I have) based on ulterior motives that are morally reprobate. That is an unwarranted assumption, I assure you.
          I have very good reasons for my position, and I would be happy to articulate what these are publicly were, say, the editors of Crisis willing to give me the opportunity to do so.

      • Guest

        We have evidence of conversion regarding Gingrich. Do you evidence he did not convert and was not reconciled? If not then you are simply calumniating the man.

        • His conversion wiped away the eternal effects of his sin. He is saved.

          His conversion did not and cannot wipe away the temporal effects of his sin. The children abandoned in his first and second marriages. The ex wives wronged.

          His conversion cannot wipe away the political scandal of his sin either. Conservatives who support him politically are engaging in his sin- are preaching to the world that marriage is not important.

          • Guest

            I cannot see how that is the case? The man was converted. Rejoice and stop painting him as a Clinton.

            • It is the case that by claiming that he’s repented, you’re degrading the importance of marriage, and giving in to the lie that past marriages don’t count, despite the fact there are *living people* that were wronged.

              Repentance is only the beginning. There is still penance to be served.

              • DD

                No, that is not accurate. I am defending the reputation of a man.

                • His reputation was made a long time before now. He’s got nothing left to protect.

              • Adam__Baum

                Yes, but that penance is a matter between the penitent and the confessor.

                That having been said, I think Newt has impulse control issues. The same frailty that made him “step out” is the same frailty that made him declare Hillary Clinton a healthcare expert some years back.


                • Art Deco

                  That having been said, I think Newt has impulse control issues.

                  Maybe that’s all it is. By some accounts, his mother was bipolar. He’s long struck me as self-centered and sociopathic, rather like a less lurid version of John Edwards. (Of course, my gut and a $1.17 will get you a cup of coffee in my little town).

            • Mopsuestia

              He has NOT repented; he is still involved in obstinate adultery with Callista. As such, his conversion is worthless.

              • Guest

                Prove it.

                • Church of the East

                  Why should I? After all, Christopher Manion made no effort whatsoever to prove that Clinton has not repented and reformed, yet still calumniated him in his article.

          • Art Deco

            Dr. Gingrich is 70 years of age and (one imagines) will never run for public office again. In this day and age, you are likely to be confronted with a panel of candidates who are not respectable, and the solution to that sort of dilemma is less than obvious.

            Although the matter is petty in the scheme of things, the intramural dispute here has not been with regard to one’s assessment of Gingrich as a human being or as a public figure or in comparison with his competitors for public office. Nestorian / Assyrian / Church-of-the-East has insisted that discussion of contemporary politics must default to discussions of Gingrich and that Rachel Lu and others have committed some sort of delict when they fail to discuss Gingrich. Yes, the stated principle is stupid; no, she does not delineate any reasons for it’; she just repeats herself.

            • And yet, at 67, he was running for office. And for some reason, I kept running into people who wouldn’t vote for Rick Santorum, a faithful Catholic Knight of Columbus, married once with several kids including a special needs kid, but who WOULD vote for Gingrich. Which tells me that many conservatives care more about their pocketbooks than the Church.

              • Art Deco

                Theodore, we have omnibus political parties. People who vote Republican have all manner of concerns and priorities, some of them conflicting with each other. If you expect the whole of the Republican electorate to think and act like members of Una Voce, you are bound to be disappointed.

                • Yep, which is why we need a third political party for faithful, Orthodox Catholics.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    Still believe in Salvation through politics, huh?

                    • More that I still believe that a faithful, Orthodox Catholic doesn’t let prudence separate him from Christ. In either politics or business.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Someday you’ll figure out the temptations of public office are far worse than those that come with wealth. There’s a reason Augustine discussed libido dominandi

                    • The temptations of public office are exactly the same as those that come with wealth- because the principle temptation is bribery. There is a reason why I say the only difference between a libertarian and a crony capitalist is having enough wealth to buy politicians.

                      It is all corrupting, all encompassing. Comparing the two is like comparing a flash flood to a tidal wave.

                      Which is why I prefer theocracy to either.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      If I don’t buy a Ford, they can’t do anything. If I don’t buy a “health plan” that the government decrees I must, they can then use coercion or even incarceration to force me.

                      Now stop it.

                    • But if you want to buy a Tucker, what happens?

                    • Adam__Baum

                      You pray for discernment and accept something less than an eccentric novelty. Otherwise you have an unhealthy material attachment. You think an accountant is unfamiliar with OCD?

                    • I’m just pointing out that sometimes, in fact most times, if you are selecting based on anything other than price, the best is simply frozen out of the market.

                      I’ve seen it happen time and time again in my industry. “Any project that takes longer than four months to bring to market is junk” is quite common- among people who care more about stock price than doing a good job.

                    • Adam__Baum
                  • Art Deco

                    The Primate of Spain in 1975 discouraged interested parties from forming a Christian democratic party therein. He may have been contemplating the experience of France, Italy, and Germany (and, now, several Latin American countries). The Church can benefit from allies among politicians in protecting its autonomy to undertake its institutional mission. It is much better if it has those allies across the map. The situation the Church now faces in this country (reliance on one party to protect it from the violence of the legal profession and the other party) is definitely suboptimal.

                    If you do not care for your choices, stay home. No one will be appreciably harmed by that.

                    • What ever happened to “all evil needs to flourish is for good men to do nothing”?

          • Adam__Baum

            “He is saved.”


            • I did misspeak, thank you for noticing. I will go back and edit after this post.

              He’s in the Church, and he’s part of the Visible Church, and like any one of our brothers working on repenting, he’s on his way to being in the Church Triumphant.

              That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have more penance to do. It doesn’t mean his past sins weren’t sins.

              • Adam__Baum


        • Mopsuestia

          Conversion?? Repentance?? Please. The man is still involved in obstinate adultery with Callista.

          And I don’t care if he has an “annulment” from prior marriage(s), as we all know what a sorry farce THAT particular canonical practice has become.

          • Guest


            • Church of the East

              Oh, is that so? Then so, too, has Christopher Manion calumniated against Clinton, since he is as little in a position to know whether Clinton has repented and reformed (or not), as you imply I am with regard to my knowledge of Gingrich.

  • AcceptingReality

    Rolling Stone is simply trying to “capitalize” on media misrepresentations of Pope Frances in the hope of marginalizing the truths of The Faith. It’s an affront to faithful Catholics everywhere. They attack Pope Benedict precisely because he is a faithful son of the Church. A man whose clarity of thought and words can only lead others to repentance and conversion. And of course, Rolling Stone can’t stand by and let that happen. Who would be left to buy their pointless magazines? It’s either that or they are deluded, like many others, into thinking that Frances will soon be ordaining women and performing marriage ceremonies for same sex couples.

    • Steve Frank

      I’m not so sure that Rolling Stone believes Francis to be a true “son of the church”. I believe what’s happening is exactly what happened with Barack Obama. Liberals are projecting their own hopes and desires onto Francis. When he claims to be a “son of the church”, they believe that is being said with a wink and a nod, just like when Obama claimed to be for traditional marriage when he campaigned for the Presidency, but liberals knew he didn’t mean it, and that he was just waiting for the right time to “evolve”. I think some of these liberals think (or at least hope) that the same thing is true of Francis…they want to believe that he is a stealth progressive who is speaking to them in code (“who am I to judge”, “proselytism is nonsense”, etc.) and that any occasional statements about being a son of the church are merely bones being thrown to conservatives until Francis thinks the time is ripe to “evolve” further. I’m not saying I think these liberal elites are correct about their judgments of Francis. But I do think they really believe he wants to change the Church to be more in line with their progressive world view and it’s their job to encourage him along. They are engaged in self delusion, although I will say that if Francis were more careful with this words, these misunderstanding would never have arose in the first place.

      • Paul Sho

        The liberals are completely right with their call. The traditionalists had better wake up and smell the coffee; there is something fundamentally (and crucially) wrong with this present papacy.
        “By their fruits you shall know them”

        • Arriero

          We don’t want anti-Catholics within the Church. Catholic critiques to the Pope do more harm to the Institution than outside critiques.

          You don’t seem to understand that this Pope comes from the Latin Church and the Latin tradition, probably the most succesful and respectable among all traditions, and the only one which placated the evil waves of protestantism.

          If you think this Pope is wrong (or it’s not clearly right), ask you why. Tell a single point in his speech that has gone against Catholic magisterium. Tell me a single one!

          As it was said in the Battle of Trenton: «Victory or Death!».

          • Paul Sho

            There are so many, but you asked for one. E.g. his homily in which he speculates that the Blessed Virgin Mary told God at Calvary, “lies, lies. You told me lies”. How can a Catholic say such a thing?
            my response –
            Mother Mary, we love you: Pray for us!

            • Link please?

              • Paul Sho

                Here is the audio file where the Pope states that Mary wanted to say
                <<>> at the foot of the

                Here is Vatican’s Radio’s transcript:

                • Paul Sho

                  if you want another take on how Mary felt at the foot of the cross see this link (posted on January 4th, 2014).


                  • I think you mean this:

                    There are tricks to the internet. One is to click on the heading of the article you want and use the deeper link.

                    I don’t see that as being any different at all than what the Pope said. Both are speculating on the inner mood of Mary at the foot of the cross, both are likely WRONG, but both are first and foremost praising Mary for staying pious and NOT questioning God’s motives at the crucifixion.

                    One might as well criticize St. Ignatius for not being Dominican enough.

                    • Paul Sho

                      Any prelate who dares to voice out the blasphemy that the Blessed Virgin Mary said or thought in her mind about God: “lies, lies, you told me lies”; that prelate is not a catholic and is not a christian. period.

                    • Arriero

                      And anyone who critizes the good faith of a Pope is not very Catholic either, don’t you think?

                    • Makalu

                      That is simply false. You go tell St. Catherine of Sienna that she is not Catholic since she reprimanded and criticized the Pope…

                    • So, you are not a Christian, but a Marianist instead? Tell me, did the Blessed Virgin Mary die on the cross for your sins? Perhaps you have replaced the Holy Spirit with the BVM?

                      It is your type that gives evidence to the fundamentalists when they say “Catholics worship Mary instead of Christ”.

                      Mary was human. She had the temptations of a human. Why would she not have the temptation of doubt?

                    • Paul Sho

                      “And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months; 6 it opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, THAT IS THOSE WHO DWELL IN HEAVEN.” (Revelation 13 v 5-6)

                    • The beast was Nero, and that was a very, very, long time ago.

                      I’m a Catholic, not a fundamentalist.

                    • Paul Sho

                      “And all that dwell upon the earth adored him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb, which was slain from the beginning of the world.
                      9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.” (cf Revelation 13 v 8-9)

                • Reading it in context- as a hypothetical “perhaps”- it makes sense.

                  Our Holy Mother was human. She was protected from sin. She was forgiven her sins by her Son before he was even born. But she was human. And through her example of staying silent, through her example of saying yes to God even when everything inside must have been screaming no, she gives us her most holy example.

                  Sorry, I don’t see this as the heresy you seem to. If anything, I see it as praise for Our Holy Mother.

  • Dick Prudlo

    “Me thinks Mr. Manion protest to much. The RS, with its circulation of nearly dead subscribers, hardly merits a paragraph. Someone once said that gratuitous comments deserve gratuitous responses. Why, by the way, does Mr. Manion feel obligated to dis this bunch who likes our new Bishop of Rome? Perhaps, he senses that being on the same side of the celebration of our Pope he wishes to separate himself and assure us all of the wonderful choice the conclave made last year.

    • Guest

      The Vatican pretty much condemned the RS piece.

    • Christopher Manion

      Idle ruminations aside, I was a working musician (more or less) for several years, so I remember the years back when the Stone had fact-checkers, and gifted writers like Austin Ruse.

      Yes, it’s a tired old rag, read only by the nuns on the bus and select paparazzi, but this **is** the age of the laity, after all — so why leave it to Father Lombardi to say the obvious?

      After all, I too am a son of the Church.

      • Dick Prudlo

        Fair enough, Chris

  • grzybowskib

    Mr. Manion, you are awesome. 🙂

  • John O’Neill

    I fervently pray that Francis will realize the damage he is doing to the Church by playing footsie with the American Left. The American Left which includes the Notre Dame/Georgetown axis is interested in promoting its very anti Christian agenda. The government will finance abortion; the government already finances a huge birth control program, the government will compel all Americans to bow to homosexual marriage and indeed the ensuing definition of marriage as anything the Left decides it should be. We already are seeing the beginning of the polygamy campaign; along with the legalization of incest and the lowering of the sexual age of consent etc. Please Pope Francis take a stand against the American culture of death and depravity and stop trying to sell yourself to it. Pope Benedict XVI was clear and coherent in his many speeches and writings; he made the Faith ring for us. He is a brilliant and holy man; please Francis try to learn from him.

    • Marc L

      But that’s the whole point of the article: the “footsie with the American Left…” is it live, or is it Memorex? The Vatican is just shadow theatre to the media, real-life events that “inspire” their interpretation… again, no thanks to fellow travelers like Reese. The verdict–“he’s Not Benedict”–was in from day 1, and it will take a JPII-level media-savvy to wrest control of the narrative.
      What a gentle, beautiful and brilliant pontiff we had in Benedict! But the decision had been made and there would be no deviation from the script.

      This may come to a head with the response to the ridiculous UN demands of late. Whatever. I’ll continue to get my “news” about the Holy Father by reading his actual words, and from outlets that care.

  • FrankW

    The RS piece is just another example of wishful thinking on the part of the American media, believing that Pope Francis can be swayed by them into believing as they do, and changing Church doctrine as the media believes it should exist.

    I will admit that some of the Pope’s actions have given me deep concern, especially the removal of Cardinal Burke from the Congregation for Bishops, and the Pope’s seeming willingness to ignore or pay less attention to pro-life issues than his predecessors. There seems to be little or no concern from the Vatican about the issues facing the Catholic Church in the US, especially in light of the current administration attempting to force Cathoilic institutions to violate their beliefs and bend to the will of the government. When the Pope meets with President Obama next month, I sincerely hope these concerns are voiced forcefully by Pope Francis. At this point, I’m not counting on it.

    All that said, devout Catholics should expect nothing less (or in this case perhaps nothing more) from the mainstream press than what was put forth in the Rolling Stone piece. The media wants the Catholic Church to change its teachings on birth control, abortion, gay marriage and the definition of the family, and they will continue their efforts for as long as they exist.

  • uncle max

    ANYONE who takes ‘rolling stone’ seriously has no one to blame but himself.

    • Objectivetruth

      Uhhhhh……max…’re taking a “rhetorical potshot”………..

      • uncle max

        explain, s’l vous plait, that I might defend myself

        • Objectivetruth

          Vous prenez “potshots” a Rolling Stone.

          • uncle max

            Good point, but I find it impossible to take rolling stone seriously, which makes it difficult

            mille pardons

            • Objectivetruth

              No worries, max…..I don’t take RS seriously either. Or Time, Newsweek, New York Times, etc. Which probably explains why I enjoy Crisis Magazine so much!

              • uncle max

                Moi aussi, and I also enjoy CWR except for the fact that Carl E. Olson takes himself MUCH too seriously. And to get through this a sense of humor is absolutely essential.

                • carlericolson

                  I do? Really? Says who? Says why? LOL. And why this seemingly random comment about me and CWR here? I’m mystified. In a semi-serious sort of way.

  • uncle max

    May I suggest that it is time to stop taking rhetorical potshots at each other across the ever-present ideological gap (and pausing to congratulate ourselves before starting up again) and remember the words of our Holy Father in a recent interview (can’t remember who with) when he opened with

    “First of all, I am a sinner.”

    • Guest

      What is your point as it relates to the piece?

      • uncle max

        We are ALL sinners and as such we should spend more time in prayer.

        • Marc L

          Agreed, but I still don’t get it… did this article strike you as too strident?

  • Arriero

    This Pope will put in their place all those who try to play with fire and with him.

    I see with good eyes his infiltration in the post-modern world, from within he will kill it altogether. This Pope seems to have a Trojan Horse to destroy all the current nihilistic forces against the True Faith. The Church, at last, has passed to real action.

    I don’t expect to pass more than two years til this «liberal» press began to critize the Pope. Let’s see if the Pope has been by then able to castrate them.

    PD- This Pope already told Hollande, the French president, how disgusting is adultery. He said it in his face.

    • Mopsuestia

      Will he say the same to Newt Gingrich’s face?

      • Guest

        Why? How are the situations equal?

      • Marc L

        Newt Gingrich holds an office?

  • Chase Padusniak

    While I largely agree that the mainstream media is misinterpreting Pope Francis (and so agree with much of the article), I’d like to pick a bone about one statement:

    “Pope Francis did write there that “economic growth, encouraged
    by a free market,” cannot ‘by itself succeed in bringing about greater
    justice and inclusiveness in the world.’

    We all know that. Only by embracing Jesus Christ can the world make that happen.”

    I think this is very much so an oversimplification. Pope Francis may not mention capitalism, but we’d be silly to think that he isn’t criticizing what most of us refer to as libertarianism. I’m not saying that the Pope wouldn’t be equally as critical of a Marxian brand of government, but we shouldn’t beat around the bush. The Pope does not (in agreement with his predecessors) think that unimpeded free enterprise is and should be the sole economic principle.

    The Rolling Stone article gets a ton wrong, but saying he critiques capitalism (insofar as it is represented by some as a free-for-all economic order), isn’t totally off the mark.

    And no, I am not a socialist: just a Catholic who thinks buying into a particular economic philosophy written by 17th and 18th-century quasi-religious protestants is not the best way to live a Christian life (I’d say the same about following the economic theory of a certain 19th-century German).

    • Adam__Baum

      “buying into a particular economic philosophy written by 17th and 18th-century quasi-religious protestant”

      And that is?

      • Chase Padusniak

        I’m sure my characterization might be called over-the-top, which, perhaps, it was. But the notion that a “free market” means that any interference from an outside (i.e. non-market) force is bad for freedom of economy. Normally, the state is held up as the thing to be afraid of and as limiting freedom.

        Catholicism is not reducible to American libertarianism (founded on principles set forth by thinkers such as Adam Smith and John Locke, who meet my given time-frame).

        In American parlance, the general opinion is you’re either a big government socialist or a small government libertarian. Those poles have dominated the debate.

        People on both sides try to reduce Catholicism / Christianity to one extreme or the other (think Liberation Theology on one hand and “Catholic” Tea Partiers on the other).

        I hope that answers your questions. I just think the author should recognize that the Pope isn’t endorsing the current system (or its more libertarian critics) anymore than he is endorsing a Marxist utopia.

        I for one, prefer to think of myself as a Chestertonian in things economic. That might make me a localist, but it makes me equally suspicious of unrestricted enterprise as I am of the state. Both have their flaws.

        Catholicism, however, is reducible to neither. Jesus was not an economist but the Christ. His mission was not specifically a political one. In that sense, no Catholic should try to force his faith to fit into the mold of one economic theory or another.

        • Adam__Baum

          No, you weren’t over the top, you were vacant.

          I’m sorry I wasn’t clear. I was requesting something other than cliches, platitudes, euphemisms and evasion.

          “no Catholic should try to force his faith to fit into the mold of one economic theory or another.”

          You mean like this?

          “I for one, prefer to think of myself as a Chestertonian in things economic. That might make me a localist, but it makes me equally suspicious of unrestricted enterprise as I am of the state.”

          “I hope that answers your questions.”

          How could it? You didn’t even try.

          • Chase Padusniak

            Well, that’s all just quite rude.

            Yes, I take advice from a particular Catholic for my economics, but my point is at least he takes both Catholicism and economics seriously. The same cannot be said for Locke or Hobbes or Rousseau or Marx. My Catholicism isn’t forced into a “Chestertonian” mold; my Catholicism has led me to examine his thought seriously. The same cannot be said for someone who thinks Jesus thought the free market was a deity (not that Locke did, but many of our contemporaries seem to).

            Anyway on that note, I’m going to bed. Good night and God bless.

            • Just one thing: capitalism and the free market predate Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, Marx and Smith. As a matter of fact, the first to examine them was St. Thomas Aquinas and later the Scholastics, especially in Salamanca. And their theories would be closer to none of those, but for Smith, but to von Mises and Hayek. IOW, they would be labeled libertarians nowadays.

              • Adam__Baum

                The interesting thing about Chase’s comment is that he seems to think Rousseau was some forefather of libertarianism.

                Not even close:


              • Chase Padusniak

                You are totally correct that the theoretical free market has always existed. As to its practice, that is a different question all together.

                • The free market is not a theory, but the trade that people freely engage with each other every day. The market are us. That you fail to recognize this indicates that you are an ideologue uninterested in the truth.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    We should pity these people who’ve never had the opportunity to swap a baloney sandwich for peanut-butter. They don’t see mutually beneficial trade as the sharing of one’s unique God-given gifts with the rest of humanity and the detachment from excess.

                  • Chase Padusniak

                    I don’t understand the need for name-calling.

                    What I am saying is: theoretically the “free” market exists in the sense of completely unbridled and free. From the beginning of time this concept has been with us.

                    The question is: has any economy ever been entirely free of coercion in the way imagined by contemporary libertarian ideologues? The answer: no.

                    Are there places where the government should stay out? Absolutely. But the notion of a “completely free” market is a concept not an actuality.

                    I’m not insulting anyone here. I am just trying to point to trends in contemporary American political culture, not straw men. As I said below, there’s no need to take person offense or to call people names.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      “I don’t understand the need for name-calling.”

                      All you traffic in is names. Rousseau, Hobbes…

                      “sense of completely unbridled and free.”

                      What you mean is lawlessness. Nobody is advocating lawlessness, and even in the most generous interpretation of the term, it’s not advocated by any appreciable group. College campuses and the halls of government are filled with Marxists, Socialists and Redistributionists, they are treated with respect and authority. But you give it a wink and a nod.

                      All you’ve done is set up straw men, accusations and insults and you apparently don’t even have the capacity or integrity to recognize it.

                      “free-for-all economic order”


                      “Rothbardian” (ad hominem)

                      “free market was a deity” (accusation of idolatry)

                      “17th and 18th-century quasi-religious protestants”. (accusation of apostasy)

                      You write: “But the notion of a “completely free” market is a concept not an actuality” and then rant about it being some kind of danger. .

                      You’ve been insulting, evasive, contradictory and then complained that you were treated rudely. Here’s an economic activity for you: buy a mirror.

                    • It’s not name-calling, but an assessment based on what you wrote here. I apologize if this is an injustice to you, because one can only express himself so much in a com-box. However, you do display some traits of someone who says things whose meaning is not really what you mean.

                      Additionally, you don’t seem interested in restoring the true to actuality, but in continuing the status quo, as if it were required by fate. Further, your use of empty cliches demonstrate that the time you spent to understand ideas was nearly nil, but a lot of time throwing them around, seemingly as if the only information about them you amassed in the Internet or on TV.

                      The greatest step to a fruitful and honest discussion is to state the positions clearly before arguing against them. Feel free to finally start to do so in this thread.

            • Adam__Baum

              Not allowing evasion is not “rude”, it’s charitable. Evasion is rude.

              I asked a very specific question in response to this question:

              “buying into a particular economic philosophy written by 17th and 18th-century quasi-religious protestant”

              The question is:

              And that is?

              It’s still begging an answer. If you cannot or will not answer, then simply indicate that and we can move on.

            • Objectivetruth

              Lighten up, Francis.

              • Adam__Baum

                Heh, heh, heh..

        • Arriero

          «Catholicism is not reducible to American libertarianism».

          Of course it is not. America is full of awful and disgusting protestant-liberalism. Their niohlisticanti-government-per-se rethorics are profoundly anti-Catholic and have helped to marginalize the Church and to set her aside as never seen since the Roman persecutions. The majority have not read a single word from real Catholic liberals – from the Latin Church – like Fater Juan de Mariana or Azpilicueta.

          «In American parlance, the general opinion is you’re either a big government socialist or a small government libertarian».

          The State is a liberal invention, period. They don’t understand that the most powerful state on Earth is the US. Has been so for at least the last 60 years, but they believe that Venezuela is a big state (Venezuela’s state is a joke next to the big american power). Thanks to the State America has succeded. They’re so cynics that they’re unable to go to an Army veterans Parade and yelling the soldiers for being «public servants defending the awful State».

          «Jesus was not an economist but the Christ. His mission was not specifically a political one.»

          But the Church, historically, HAS HAD a political power. Without political power you see the kind of things we’re seeing in this post-modern world.

          So you’re right. Don’t let the pseudo-calvinist Catholics to fool you. Read first the words of Catholic thinkers and liberals.

          • Adam__Baum

            “America is full of awful and disgusting protestant-liberalism.”

            Why don’t you tell us what cesspool you reside in?

            • Chase Padusniak

              I am awake and back after a day of work.

              ” The same cannot be said for Locke or Hobbes or Rousseau or Marx.”

              Here I am lumping Hobbes and Locke and Rousseau and Marx. The former representing 1st-wave liberalism, the latter two representing 2nd-wave liberalism.

              But to my point: Pope Francis is right to call out both the far right and the far left. The reality is that being Catholic should be one’s identity before one is anything else (be it political, economic, or national). The Pope called out the Rothbardians and the Marxians and he’s right to do so. Both sides (aside from being founded by atheists) propagate ideas that do not serve the Catholic call to justice and peace.

              And a final note, I am taking Marx and Rothbard as ideological poles, by extension, I am talking about both the “Statist” Left and the “Libertarian” Right.

              • Adam__Baum

                I’ll take that vainglorious excursion as an admission that you lack the ability to answer the question posed and merely intend to continually use the response function to provide more straw men to pugilize, because you know nothing about economics as it works outside your vivid imagination.

                I’ll also take it as fabulous contradiction of your injunction: “Catholicism should not and cannot be a political/economic agenda, but a religious one.”

                I made a diligent search to see where the Pope “called out”
                “Rothbarians”. I don’t see him referring to Rothbard, but he did say Marx is wrong. On the contrary, one could even see a certain intellectual confluence between the Pope’s rejection of the Idolatry of money and Rothbard’s criticism of the Fed, which is the highest temple to monetary idolatry.

                Of course in your simple world its Marxism or Anarcho-capitalism, it’s easy to see yourself as reasonable in a bipolar world of strawmen of your own imagining.

                It’s also a lot harder to examine arguments (the injunction was to test all things, not test all people), to extract the wheat from the chaffe. Frank Hyneman Knight was a noxious anti-Catholic, but his distinction between risk and uncertainty was a useful one. Part of his lack of notoriety is no doubt in part his bigotry. He was neither a god, nor a demon, but had he been less of an a**, we might have avoided the problems in part attendant to superimposing a Gaussian distribution on every contingency, whether or not it conforms to ANY probability distribution.

                But since you lack the acumen, education, training or experience to engage in this type of discernment, you drone on in vacant cliches and euphemisms.

                • Chase Padusniak

                  Perhaps, I am less learned than you, perhaps. I won’t bother saying where I go or the things I study because pedigrees are rather superfluous.

                  What I see in you is a man who speaks rather loudly and with vitriol. That, my friend, is not the Christian approach for a fellow brother in Christ.

                  And I was speaking in the generalities of the America in which we live. My issue is a distinctly practical one: what kind of Catholicism do I see on the ground? The answer: decidedly liberation theologian or libertarian. Philosophical discussion is meaningless if it doesn’t have a referent in existence.

                  I also do not recall the Pope needing to name someone for us to get his point. He is a critic of unbridled Capitalism. He has said this.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    “Perhaps, I am less learned than you, perhaps.”

                    On these matters, you aren’t learned at all. I have my “pedigrees” but I haven’t brought them up, here. We all have limitations. I don’t discuss music or art.

                    Don’t complain about vitriol when you are accusing people of stealth Protestantism, and then complain about people being rude because your statements are examined rather than treated with kid gloves.

                    • Arriero

                      “He is a critic of unbridled Capitalism. ”

                      He is a critic of the crappy system we’re living in now. The current system is not capitalist (as understood in an accumulation of Capital through Labour and Business), is not liberal (as understood by the first liberals in history: the School of Salamanca), is not republican (as understood by traditionalists from the XVIII century) and is not Catholic.

                      You don’t have to understand every concept from economy to see the Truth in the whole Affair. Your intuition (grace) is guiding you to the right understanding.

                      A new Counter-Reformation seems to be needed. This Pope will lead us. Because God guides him and the Church.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      The system we have now, and definitely the one that dominated Argentina was unbridled cronyism or corporatism. That is statism with a commercial veneer and NOT capitalism. If it’s possible to commit calumny against an abstraction, the people that call this “capitalism” are committing it.

                      “You don’t have to understand every concept from economy ”

                      But you do have to have SOME understanding or you end up ranting about the specters of your imagination. Humility requires people not to exceed their knowledge, training and aptitude. I will not occupy the cockpit of an airplane, design a bridge, pick up a scalpel or a violin because the result would be disaster. Somehow, everybody thinks they understand the dismal science, though and that they have the knowledge and authority to direct others in their affairs.

                    • Arriero

                      Argentina is from an economic point of view a total mess. Nothing to discuss here. But the EZ is from a monetary point of view a total mess too, and probably also economically. The US has been artificially (“nominally”) boosted – though it seems to be true that monetary policy affects nominal and real growth -. Besides, the US is a good example of coorporativism, however offset by still some real commerce it allows. Believe me that the US state is the most powerful on Earth. Argentina or Venezuela is nothing near to the US public power. Germany, despite the myths, is probably the most powerful state in Europe and it has one of the most chubby welfare states (and that’s saying a lot having in Europe countries like Sweeden or France). Both, the US and Germany, are two of the richest countries on Earth. Greece, Argentina, et al are poor, having inneficient and flawed states (Acemoglu-Robinson have good insights on the subject).

                      “Somehow, everybody thinks they understand the dismal science, though and that they have the knowledge and authority to direct others in their affairs.”

                      The economy is a lot about intuition and common sense. I still remember someone publishing that QE was deflationary (Williamson). Or Prescott, a nobel prize, writting the monetary policy cannot affect real GDP. Or those like Krugman who denied that monetary policy could offset austerity.

                      An eight year old boy understands economy better. Economy is overall easy, it’s not rocket science.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Great, another speech.

                • Arriero

                  “[…] the Pope’s rejection of the Idolatry of money and Rothbard’s criticism of the Fed, which is the highest temple to monetary idolatry”

                  Do you hate money? I don’t hate money, because money has helped us to be prosperous, to do commerce; it ultimately avoids wars and resentment and makes us free and better.

                  This is another obsession of nihilist Protestant-liberals: “Gold, gold, gold!”. I always think in the Golden calf, and in which were the words of God to such idolatry…

                  I like this article:–mahoney

                  Instead of critizing usurers and the greedy (through inflated interests, for instance), you attack Institutions, like the Fed. In the protestant spirit (I’m not talking of you now) there has always been a disdain towards any Institution, any control, any regulation (beginning with the Church’s one). Because for the selfish protestant spirit, eveything is between God and me.

                  Apart, from a pure theoretical point of view, you anti-FED views can easily be undermined. Have you ever studied why the majority of countries left the gold standard? Do you know how works a fiat money system?

         (from someone who knows what he is talking about, and not the protestant millenarists like Ron Paul).

                  • Adam__Baum

                    I don’t hate money. It’s a tool, like a hammer. Not idolizing isn’t hating. My grandmother, in the wisdom accumulated over nine decades always said “caskets don’t come with pockets”.

                    It’s rather rich for you to accuse me of attacking an institution after your regular attacks on the U.S. Hypocrisy, another diabolical trait.

                    • Arriero

                      Money is not a “simple” tool “like a hammer”. Under the current fiat money system, money is both the medium of exchange (MoE) and the medium of account (MoA), being these two the definitive features of money. Money is also a store of value in itself, but that is not a definitive feature because a hammer is also a store of value. I could arrive to accept your money – or better said, paper-money – “is a tool like a hammer” if we were yet under a gold standard. In this case, gold would be the MoA and paper-money the MoE, but we could arrive to a consensus and eventually consider hammers as the new medium of exchange instead of paper (that would still be somewhat controversial insofar as hammers require much more work than paper to be built). This explains why, in my humble opinion, bitcoins are not money: they’re not the medium of account; we pay taxes in dollars, and our government debt is also in dollars, for instance.

                      I also don’t idolize money. God comes first, no doubt. But I also don’t like to play with golden calf stories and other subtle idolatries.

                      I also remeber the elderly saying: “Acomodarse con la pobreza es ser rico. Se es pobre, no por tener poco, sino por desear mucho” (Coping – or ajusting – with poverty is to be rich. Someone is poor not for not having enough, but for wanting too much). Were other generations who had seen poverty directly to the eyes, but live decently and honorably with the few they had. They never questioned God. Wonderful examples.

                      I DON’T attack the US. Besides, it’s quite a nonsense attacking countries. In every country there are good and bad people. Yes, also in communist Cuba – or China – there are many great people, many of whom have been for years defending the True Faith and the Church. I’m just critizing the calvinist spirit from some Catholic circles – just like Pope John Paul critized the marxist spirit in some Catholics – and I’m also critizing the essentially protestant nature of anglo-saxon liberalism. You should know that in Germany, liberalism is from another kind (Ordoliberalism). It is also essentially protestant but from a very different perspective in comparison with the anglo-saxon one. Italy and France are both two rich countries with different “liberal” approaches. At the same time, I’m extolling the first liberalism of the School of Salamanca as an alternative to the current protestant-dominated liberalism. As simple as that. Don’t misread me.

                      PD- The FED has avoid this time another Great Depression. Americans should be thankful. Things could have been done better but also could have been done worse, like in Europe. Check Spanish unemployment rate, Greeks debt levels, Italy risk premium on debt, Portuguese fiscal situation, Target II balances, etc. Europe was not lucky enough to have competent public servants – like the great professional from the Fed, for whom I have a lot of respect – who might have helped to make this situation a bit less harmful for all. Luckily, you have a competent and quite efficient state. The problem is that the commander is not a real conservative. But that’s not the state’s fault.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      “The FED has avoid this time another Great Depression.”

                      No. The rest of your laborious post is specious (deceptive) cliches, another post with sulfur all over it, Wormwood.

                    • Arriero

                      «Oh sure, money solves everything, because you worship it.»

                      A very non-nietzschean nihilist statement. Money does not solve everything, but money (monetary policy) avoids some crisis to be disasters. This is pure theory. This is 100% Friedman, who is not susceptible of being considered a socialist/statist (both terms are not synonims, by the way).

                      «The rest of your laborious post is specious (deceptive) cliches»

                      In my last comment, paragraph 1 is about the basics of economic theory. Paragraph 2 is a personal opinion. Paragraph 3 is a personal remembrance. Paragraph 4 are the facts (and whys) of my critique. Paragraph 5 is historical evidence (take a tour along Europe and match the differences).

                      «Take you statist nonsense somewhere else. I will not serve your gods money and the state.»

                      Let me put to this a name: psychological projection.

                      Have a nice day.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      “This is 100% Friedman,”

                      Appeal to authority fallacy.

                      By the way the word is “synonym”.

                      I wish you the same you wish me.

                    • Arriero

                      «I wish you the same you wish me.»

                      Nothing bad, on my part.

                      «By the way the word is “synonym”.»

                      And ‘sinónimo’. Both words come from the same latin root. Latin is the common root and spirit of the Catholic Church. Ultimately, romans were able to civilize those «barbarians from the north» (as Livy would have said).

                      Synonym, Sinónimo: from lat. synony̆mus, and this from gr. συνώνυμος; from σύν, with, and ὄνομα, noun)

              • Arriero

                «The Pope called out the Rothbardians and the Marxians and he’s right to do so.».

                Rothbard is anti-Catholic. He is also a very mediocre intellectual. I remember reading a book where he critized Hegel; after the reading was pretty clear he had never read a single word from Hegel.

                Rothbard, besides, is an idealist, like Marx. From a philosophical point of view they’re quite close. Both movements deepens their roots in the first utopian protestantism, the one that entirely built America as the «new Jerusalem» (You only have to read Milton’s poem).

                Pope John Paul II fought marxism. He won.
                Pope Benedict fought nihilism. His views will prevail.
                Pope Francis wants to fight the calvinist wing within the Church. He will win. Praise God, he will.

                • Adam__Baum

                  Rothbard is anti-Catholic. He is also a very mediocre intellectual.

                  I’d ask whether Rothbard was anti-Catholic. I’m not his disciple and I’m not here to defend him, nor did I ask for your appraisal.

                  You stated the Pope “called out” Rothbardians. If you can’t provide a citation, it’s more evasion.

                  • Arriero

                    I would say this Pope has not read – luckily – anything coming from this man. In fact, he and his views are almost nonexistent in old millenarian Catholic nations, like the two homelands of this Pope: Italy and Spain. He cannnot critize something he has not read extensively, or something he just disown. Marx is an intellectual collossus next to Rothbard and that explains why the Church has fought for years him in order to avoid his carcinogenic ideas to spread.

                    I judge him because I’ve read him. And his book about Hegel was awful. Apart, his ideas are profoundly idealistic in its worst meaning. It’s the old protestant idea of building a “New Jerusalem” on Earth. This ideas was later bought by Marx, though he changed the name.

                    So the answer to your question: the Pope has not directly critized Rothbardian ideas because he probably does not know him directly. What is clear from having the Catholic magisterium above the table is that Rothbard is anti-Catholic in every point of his speech.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Well, you wrapped it in another speech but:

                      I would say this Pope has not read – luckily – anything coming from this man.He cannnot critize something he has not read extensively, or something he just disown.

                      Then I’ll stipulate as a prudent man Francis would not comment on something he has not read. We can then infer that he has not “called out” Rothbard or Rothbardians as asserted by Chase. P.

                      Speaking mediocre intellects, your last paragraph is wrong. You asserted an absolute.

                      Rothbard may have been overwhelming anti Catholic, (again, I don’t know, I was once given a thin volume “The Case Against the Fed”, I found it paucious and uninteresting. Life is short, I prefer more engaging and insightful writers.

                      His endorsement (as a Jew) of David Duke was bizarre. William F. Buckley’s of him appraisal was “defective”. Then again, I’m not his disciple. I find libertarianism amusing for it’s contradictions, such as the desire to legalize but REGULATE prostitution or the fact that they cite Ayn Rand who despised them (of course she despised just about everybody)

                      Now since he criticized central banks for their concentration of power, and concentrated power is a violation subsidiarity, the opposite is not complete.

                      Even a blind(folded) squirrel finds a nut, once in a while.

                      But Rothbard is regarded as a kook, whereas Marx enjoys a rather disturbing bank of prestige among the powerful and pretentious (you). You show your retroviral DNA when you call this misanthropic monster “intellectual collossus”.

                      Rothbard is a danger like “Bigfoot or “Sasquatch” is a danger”. Marx is a hungry pack of wolves.

                    • Arriero


                      The admiration of Ayn Rand is something that concers me, too.

                      William Buckley was a great intellectual, though I disagree with him in some points. I still remember his defense of American interventionism in Greece during a debate with Noam Chomsky in the 60’s. Of course, Buckley was a Catholic from another kind, less influenced by the anti-government-per-se rethorics and more republican.

                      I don’t like libertarianism in its protestant style. I advocate for Catholic Republicanism (small and homogenous nations) with a respected and powerful Church; being democratic but following the principles of natural Law and Truth; capitalism understood in its oldest meaning (fair trade, like Venetia during the XII century) and a regulatory body which based upon the teaching of the Church and always in the path of Goodness allows a framework of freedom to pursue salvation under a prosperous, admirable and respectable life of each individual in its community.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Chomsky is despicable. Keep talking, your Soros pedigree is becoming clearer and clearer, Wormwood.

                    • Arriero

                      You get a bit nervous with certain names, don’t you? I was only citing the debate in which Buckley discussed American interventionism. His speech about “american values”, “american democracy”, “american peace” was fairly funny, at least, for anyone watching it from the outside. If Catholicism has something is that the kind of values it teaches are universal, for every man and woman. Buckley was speaking about politics thinking he was talking about morality. Apart from that, he was a great intellectual, as I said. Lucklily, later in his life he renege from many post-modern so-called “conservative” principles; beginning with this pseudo-calvinist big-State – though anti-Catholic State – that was G.W. Bush.

                      Soros is an usurer. And a jew, like Rothbard and many other from the libertarian-austrian movement. Originally, not many Catholics there. Nowadays, yet many pseudo-calvinists who wrap themselves under a veil of “conservatism” are as usurers as him.

                      I know I’m in the correct path. This Pope, like the last ones, remind me what are the harmful ideas one has to avoid at any price. I read Evangeli Gaudium and I only see truths and more truths.

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Contemporary linguistic engineers make me as nervous as the long dead Calvin makes you.

                      You are a shill for the state, I get it. You are incoherent and inconsistent, with a discordant set of grievances that always leads you to defend a state that never existed and never will. You charge others with offenses you commit. Your writing style suggests several manias, with bi heapings of pride and scorn.

                      No authentic Catholic would ever write, ” I know I’m in the correct path.”, but would say please God, help me be on the right path. Saints pray for the virtue of right judgment, they don’t parade it.

                      Then again, under the veneer of righteous orthodoxy is that that most evil of sins, pride.

                    • Arriero

                      «Contemporary linguistic engineers make me as nervous as the long dead Calvin makes you.»

                      Linguistic engineers also make me nervous – especially deconstructivists -. But do dead calvinists make you nervous too? If yes, we have already won something. At least we could avoid odd situations like that one about a Catholic – who I really appreciate, except for his strange love for the nihilist Ayn Rand and some other not-very-Catholic tastes – running for vicepresident next to a devout mormon (have we forgot what is mormonism?). Certainly, there are things beyond my understanding. It’s fair saying that it’s also an odd situation seeing another Catholic running for vicepresident next to a president who is not yet very clear if he believes in something. But, well, Lincoln also had no further believes on religion – apart from having some notions and having learned some phrases from the Old Testament -, and he’s worshiped as an American hero – another example of American anti-Catholic revisionism -. (disclaimer: this is not a critique of America as a whole, but of certain characters and widespread myths).

                      «You are a shill for the state […] with a discordant set of grievances that always leads you to defend a state that never existed and never will.»

                      Maybe you see some political-fanatism on me because there is some fanatism on you. I say it again: libertarianism is nonexistent in any of the old millenarian Catholic nations, in the majority of the Catholic world and nonexistent throughout the history of the Church. My views are exactly the same expressed by this Pope and the last ones. My view about the state comes from a study of what is the Church, what is her tradition, what has historically been her position in the world, and what is the situation nowadays in relation with her Institutional and hierarchical power.

                      Ask me this question: do you appreciate the soldiers who are fighting for your country? This is «state». The army is «state». Jacksonian democracy is also «state». George Washington was also state. I think that you have quite a narrow view of the state. The state, I repeat it again, is a liberal (classical-liberal, for americans) invention!

                      «No authentic Catholic would ever write, ” I know I’m in the correct path.”, but would say please God, help me be on the right path.»

                      Sounds good, but I don’t buy it, sorry. If you’re Catholic, you are in the CORRECT path, period. You have to pray God for keeping you in this path, because we usually and freely choose to do the evil (by the way, this is Father Juan de Mariana’s thesis on freedom. American founders preferred the utilitarian-protestant one). It’s quite cynic asserting that a Catholic «is not in the correct path», don’t you think? Although we disagree (though not as much and not as heavily as you may firstly think), you’re also in the correct path; each one with their personal weakness and problems, of course.

                      «The “theologian” you most resemble is Luther, in style and content.»

                      I would never dare to call into question Church’s Institutional power and Church’s tradition and magisterium. Never.

                      ¡Buenas noches!

                      PD- I’m somewhat afraid. Do you think the NSA is reading these comments, maybe they could retaliate for criticizing the «greatest nation on Earth»? I don’t remember this happening in any «Big dirty socialist States» from Europe. Security laws passed by a protestant republican and still enforced by a post-modern – product of protestantism – no-one-knows-from-which-religion president. (Disclaimer: don’t take this last seriously)

                    • Adam__Baum

                      I always assume I’m be surveilled.

            • Arriero

              I very, very much appreciate the US (especially the Midwest, which I know better, place of great people).

              It hurts me so much (as Etta James would say) seeing a place of great Catholics – a very conservative country – being stolen by the calvinist spirit. I want the America Church – economically the most powerful, probably – to be a Church in the old tradition, teaching history accordingly to the Truth, and not wooing the pseudo-liberal protestant «geist». The rethorics are doing and have inflicted a lot of harm to the Church. I far more prefer the America of real conservatives (ergo real Catholics), than the America of nihilists wrapped under a veil of «social conservatism» (the old people of a Bible in the right hand, the rifle in the left hand).

              Freedom seems to be a misunderstood concept in America. I’m now reading an impressive book about the origins of commerce (3 volumes of 600 pages each one). The first one is called: «The enemies of commerce: historical view about the idea of property». I recommend it (though I don’t agree. I’ve found that it explains very well my «protestant-liberalism» concept). It is a moral, social, economical and political history from the Greeks to the actuality.

     (I don’t know if there’s an english translation. Even so, the author has translated Hobbes, Jefferson and Newton.)

              • Adam__Baum

                Answer the question. I asked where you live, not for your furious backpeddling. You want to complain about the U.S., we get to complain about yours-otherwise you need to inquire of yourself “who am I to judge”.

                If you can’t or won’t, then I’ll return to my assumption that you generally reside in sulphurous place.

                • Arriero

                  From a millenarian Catholic nation where the evil tentacles of protestantism were never allowed to penetrate.

                  Then, who are you to judge people who abort or homosexuals? Again, the same nihilistic-indivisualistic protestant spirit which has always misunderstood freedom.

                  • Adam__Baum

                    More disorder, more evasion.

                    Put up, or shut up.

                    • Arriero

                      Oh, no! I don’t want to be Calvin’s neighbor!

                    • Adam__Baum

                      Reading comprehension is a problem for you, eh Wormwood?

  • I for one have tuned out of Francis. I know this kind of prelate very well. It’s the same kind that brought the Catholic population in my home country from over 90% to 70% in a generation. There as in the whole world now, the enlightened elites cheer, but none convert. All the while, the poor became poorer because of the policies that such prelates support and those that yearn for a religion either put up with being put aside or seek other churches. It’s sad to have to stiffen the lip at a world scale now, but I’m afraid that I don’t speak for many of those who’ll end up at the mega church around the corner.

    • Mopsuestia

      Tune out the pope? And you call yourself a Catholic???
      Sir, you are as much of a “cafeteria catholic” as the liberals whom you love to denounce for the same.

      • Oh, my! How could people have called themselves Catholic before the dawn of global communications half a century ago?

    • Marcelus

      BRASIL is a clear example as to why a Pope as Francis has been chosen. And I think it is the other way around. People went to the mega church, (I Am reluctant to call these groups church) because of the lack of “Pastoral” approach.

      • Quite the contrary, too much of a pastoral approach drove the faithful away. The model of church that the pope is pandering has nothing to show for it, but the loss of faith, even in his own diocese. Most evangelicals are quite the opposite, stern and dogmatic. So much so that the representatives fiercely combating the culture of death are what is called the “evangelical front”, which counts with a handful of token Catholics, but battle the rest of congress whose majority is Catholic. While the culture of life is promoted primarily by Catholics in the US, in Latin America it’s the evangelicals who do this. What does that tell you about the approach of Francis?

        • Marcelus

          What it tells me Augustine is that we see and probably live things very differently. I have lived in SA 95% of my life and have not seen nr experienced what you state at all, but, you kwow, may be looking at it thru a different glass .Loss of faith in Buenos Aires?? and S America?? are you completely certain of your statement?My friend I think some info may have to be reviewed as a source but nevertheless. It is not me by the was, but the cardinal ta the conclave who determined that a pastoral approach was needed as Francis himself explained it in Brasil.The has to be a balance between doctrinal and pastoral reach. they do not exclude each other. Evangelicals figthing for life in SA??? Not sure what it is like in the US but these heretics evangelist in SA the only thing they uphold and desperatly look for are U$S, period. If anyone in the world has fought against abortion that man has been Crdl Bergoglio, though I suspect you do not like him much or accept him. And lost the battle by the way but put up a good one.No other bishop has had to stand against abortion & SS marriage since not all governments have passed or intendede to pass legistation on that, Gone beyond the original topic somehow., sorry,

          • As a Brazilian, I think that I can speak firt-hand about the demise of the Church in a Latin-American country since this pastoral approach was adopted. Not only did I see all of my family leave the Church, most for nothing, many for Evangelical churches, but the Catholic population in Brazil shrank from 90% in the 70s to less than 70% nowadays.

            The socialist leading party, along with the coalition parties, have been persistently pushing for the legalization of abortion, but their legislative plans stop only thanks to the Evangelical Front in Congress. In order to pass gay marriage, the activists resorted to their allies in the Supreme Court to circumvent the Brazilian Constitution to approve it, after many failed attempts in Congress.

            Yes, Card. Bergoglio did fight Pres. Kirchner strongly, but other than this, I’m not privy to the particulars in Argentina. Except that, according to an Argentinian friend of many, Catholic churches are mostly empty on Sundays and the faith is not practiced by the majority. During the cardinal’s watch, mass attendance in Argentina, with 30% of the population living in the diocese of Buenos Aires, fell from 30% to 20% (v. ).

            Really, in my experience, in the experience of Brazil, in the experience of Buenos Aires, this pastoral approach did not work. It did not work where it was tried, so I do not expect it to work at a world scale either.

            • Marcelus

              Well I guess time will tell. I noticed you were Brazilian when you mentioned the 70/90% issue. But you friend from Argentina May be quite mistaken as too church attendance believe me. Stand by Peter.

              • I did provide a link to the statistics on mass attendance in Argentina above, so it seems to me that my friend is not mistaken.

                But I must add a caveat. I was quite taken listening to him in Rio. As a matter of fact, he was uniquely both profound and practical in his homilies. Yet, it’s not the Francis that I’ve been getting since. It could be the filter by the Internet, but, reading his exhortation, I can’t quite see the same Francis I saw in Rio. Which begs the question about who was the author then and now. I suspect that he relied on material left by BXVI, but this is just my speculation.

                I do stand by Peter, when he teaches about faith and morals. Who else else could I stand by? But, as for the style and how to live the faith out, I’m skeptic that Francis is worth listening to.

  • Studio54

    What a coincidence Pope appears on cover w/times are a
    changin’ gentle revolution story right over the same weekend a mass same-sex
    wedding takes place at the Grammys. Rolling Stone is also well known for it’s
    Jewish homosexual owner: Jann Wenner –

    see him here w/his boy toy:

    Here’s some more of Wenner’s gay Jewish Hollywood music
    industry buddies, David Geffen & Clive Davis, w/their boy toys and grammy
    parties (Whitney Houston died after one of ’em; can’t say they had a good
    effect on Michael Jackson either or a number of other “teen boy”
    stars in hollywoood):

    Seems the pope just doesn’t hang out w/Jews and homosexuals
    at the Vatican, but in Hollywood too!

    The cover is the story here. All you left wingers swing both ways. Get the pic and then deny that the article. May you burn in hell for all eternity w/your papa the devil!

  • elle

    “There they go again. Ah yes, that “staunch traditionalist who looked
    like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and
    menacing teenagers in their nightmares.”

    Pulitzer material.

    Naturally, Francis “seemed a small miracle to the average Catholic” after Benedict Scissorhands, right?”

    That’s Freddy Kruger with the striped shirt and knife hands. Edward Scissorhands was a sweetheart, a tragic good guy…actually, kind of an almost but not really acceptable comparison with Benedict XVI. Misunderstood, compassionate. Liberals WISH he was/had been Freddy Kruger.

  • Francis’ popularity tends to be higher in rich countries than in poor countries: In other words, where destitute poverty is not an everyday reality, he’s liked; otherwise, he seems just like yet another materialistic prelate who reduces Christian poverty to material poverty. There is a reason why churches in poor countries are like palaces for the King sitting in them and in rich countries they are ugly and less rich than the homes of His subjects: materialism.