Pope Francis in conversation with Jesuit priest: I have never been a right-winger…

Pope Francis in conversation with Jesuit priest: I have never been a right-winger…

Pope Francis in conversation with Jesuit priest: I have never been a right-winger...

Click on the photo of Pope Francis to read an “exclusive interview” conducted by a Jesuit priest. The link came to me in an email from a reader down south, with the short and to the point message “Guess you’ve seen this – shocking in parts”

Well, I hadn’t seen it, so thanks for the alert. Another reader emailed a link to The Telegraph, which he described as being “full of Pope Francis” – seems he is very popular with the media, our new pontiff, if not with Catholics of any level of “traditional” leaning. We are increasingly concerned for the health and well-being of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

Are we right to be concerned?

Comments (106)

    • editor


      I find the custom odd, to say the least, of posting a link to an article without any personal comment from you. It appears to suggest that this one article proves beyond doubt that Pope Francis is not the liberal he’s portrayed as being. Wrong.

      It would be a courtesy if, in future, you would offer some thoughts yourself on the links you provide.

      September 23, 2013 at 8:06 pm
      • Michelangelo

        Just thought it’d be of interest to the thread! No, I’m not suggesting this – chance’d be a fine thing!

        September 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm
      • editor

        Thanks for your forbearance, Michelangelo – I sounded a bit harsh there, not my usual gentle, soul of charity, slim, glamorous, highly intelligent, witty self – so apologies….

        I think the author of that article is a young convert (I think I’ve seen him on TV) who is always at pains to defend the indefensible but then it’s hard enough for those of us born into the Faith to face up to less than perfect (to say the least) pontiffs but for converts it must be doubly difficult.

        Anyway, thanks again for posting the link and for not going into the huff over my rather sharp reply. You are a star!

        September 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm
  • 3littleshepherds

    I really think it’s amazing how much St. Francis has been used in the post conciliar years. From the Asissi meetings to Pope Francis’ vision of divesting the Church and Papacy like the poor, humble St. Francis. I don’t think it’s apparent to the Popes, but I do think they are being tempted to do major damage. It just seems like the devil has a particular hatred toward St. Francis of Asissi.

    September 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm
  • Leo

    Although I haven’t yet read all of the Holy Father’s much talked about interview, the blogosphere has highlighted quite enough very worrying elements.

    Miles Immaculatae has very helpfully brought our attention to some of them on this thread already (20 September, 5.00pm). To avoid readers having to scroll between posts, I’ve copied them here.

    “Unfortunately, I studied philosophy from textbooks that came from decadent or largely bankrupt Thomism. In thinking of the human being, therefore, the church should strive for genius and not for decadence.” (On Thomism)

    “Even the dogma of the Christian religion must follow these laws, consolidating over the years, developing over time, deepening with age.” (On doctrinal development)

    “The view of the church’s teaching as a monolith to defend without nuance or different understandings is wrong.” (ditto)

    “What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.” (Concerning the dangers of the Traditional Latin Mass)

    If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. (Those mad perfidious, Pelagian traditionalists)

    As a compare and contrast it might be interesting to consider the following.

    This is stretching things a bit in trying to think the best, but maybe the Pope is criticising a certain way that Thomism was presented rather than Thomism itself. I don’t know. It doesn’t really appear that way, and more than likely, I’m guilty of lack of realism, or comprehension here. Frankly, it would be more than a bit surprising to find Pope Francis a strong admirer of Thomism. Not so, pre-Conciliar Popes including Pius IX, Leo XIII, Saint Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII.

    Pope Saint Pius X identified Thomism as the remedy against Modernism, in Pascendi. Also, “We admonish professors to bear well in mind that they cannot set aside Saint Thomas especially in metaphysical questions, without grave disadvantage.” (Pascendi, #45)

    Pope Pius XI describe Thomism as the “Christian, Catholic Roman philosophy” and “as innumerable documents of every kind attest, the Church has adopted his philosophy for her own” (Studiorum Ducem) and made clear that “no Doctor of the Church is so terrifying and formidable to modernists and other enemies of the Catholic faith as Aquinas.” ( Apostolic letter, Officorum Omnium)

    As is obvious from the above, Thomism is one of the main weapons against the deadly New Theology that has caused devastation since the middle of the last century.

    Pope Francis’ words don’t give grounds for optimism on the matter of doctrinal development either (see quotes copied from Miles Immaculatae’s post). Can we be confident that His Holiness will include the following in a future interview?

    “The Church of Christ, zealous and cautious guardian of the dogmas deposited with it, never changes any phrase of them. It does not diminish them or add to them; it neither trims what seems necessary nor grafts things superfluous…but it devotes all its diligence to one aim: To treat tradition faithfully
    confirmed and defined.” – Saint Vincent of Lerins, Commonitoria (5th Century).

    “Therefore…let the understanding, the knowledge, and wisdom of individuals as of all, of one man as of the whole Church, grow and progress strongly with the passage of the ages and the centuries; but let it be solely in its own genus, namely in the same dogma, with the same sense and the same understanding” – St Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium primum, 23, n.3

    “This you (the bishops of the world) will do perfectly if you watch over yourselves and your doctrine, as your office makes it your duty, repeating incessantly to yourselves that every novelty attempts to undermine the Universal Church and that, according to the warning of the holy Pope Agatho, “nothing that has been regularly defined can bear diminution, or change, or addition, and repels every alteration of sense, or even words.” – Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari vos 15 August 1832

    The First Vatican Council itself declared that:
    “That understanding of the sacred dogmas must be perpetually retained, which Holy Mother Church has once declared; and there must never be recession from that meaning under the specious name of a deeper understanding…”
    Any development of the understanding of a dogma must be “solely in its own genus, namely in the same dogma, with the same sense, and the same understanding.” First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Concerning the Catholic Faith, Chapter 4: Dz. 1800

    “For the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter that they might disclose new doctrine, but that by His help they might guard sacredly the revelation transmitted through the Apostles and the new deposit of faith, and might faithfully set it forth.” Vatican I,Decree Pastor Aeternus, Chapter 4 see Denzinger 1836

    Pope St. Pius X, in , Pascendi Dominici Gregis, stated regarding the false belief of the Modernists that human experience somehow renders a “different understanding” of Catholic truth: “This doctrine of experience is also under another aspect entirely contrary to Catholic truth. It is extended and applied to tradition, as hitherto understood by the Church, and destroys it.”

    Consider the the Oath Against Modernism, which stated :

    “I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers, in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another, different from the one which the Church held previously.”

    The issue of Mass has been addressed plenty of times on this blog. The fact that theological questions, not aesthetics or nostalgia, or liturgical preferences, are the primary issues has been pointed out repeatedly.

    I think most readers know by now that Pope Saint Pius V, by the full force of the Petrine authority, granted “in perpetuity” that “this Missal is hereafter to be followed absolutely, without any scruple of conscience or fear of incurring any penalty, judgement, or censure, and may freely and lawfully be used” and no priest is “obliged to celebrate the Mass otherwise than as enjoined by Us.” – Quo Primum

    Everyone in the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculata who is involved in the attack on the Mass might do well to memorize those words. And it looks like someone needs to remind the Holy Father of them, as well.

    And I’m sure Pope Francis would not consider that Saint Thomas was guilty of “ideologization of the Vetus Ordo”.

    “It is absurd and a detestable shame, that we should suffer those traditions to be changed which we have received from the fathers of old.” The Decretals (Dist. Xii, 5) Cited by St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica, II,I, Q. 97, art. 2

    As for “traditionalists”, the point of moral certitude on what the Pope thinks of us was passed some time ago. The initial warning from Bueno Aires has only been confirmed. That doesn’t give grounds for despondency by any means. We only have to consider these words from the Church’s history, and times of crisis.

    “Only one offense is now vigorously punished, an accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions. For this cause the pious are driven from their countries and transported into deserts.” – Epistles of Saint Basil, n. 243

    “But you are blessed, who by faith are in the Church, dwell upon the foundations of the faith, and have full satisfaction, even in the highest degree of faith which remains among you unshaken. For it has come down to you from apostolic tradition, and frequently accursed envy had wished to unsettle it, but has not been able.” Saint Athanasius, Festal Letters 29, 330 AD

    “And if some new contagion should seek to poison, not only a little part of the Church, but the whole Church at once then his (the Catholic’s) greatest care should once again be to adhere to antiquity, which obviously cannot be seduced by any deceitful novelty. “ Saint Vincent Lerins, Commonitorium, Chapter 3, section 7.
    “In the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold the faith, which has been believed, everywhere, always and by all.” Ibid, chapter 2

    “It is necessary to obey a Pope in all things as long as he does not go against the universal customs of the Church, but should he go against the universal customs of the Church, he need not be followed.” Pope Innocent III, De Consuetudine

    And so we continue to pray for Pope Francis, the Supreme Pontiff, the Vicar of Christ, whether he regards us as “legalists” or not. For some reason, I thought judgement was now out. As for “restorationist”, I’ll take that as a compliment.

    At this stage, can we please have no more neocon spin about the media spinning the Pope.

    September 23, 2013 at 9:02 pm
  • Leo


    I think the devil certainly does have a hatred towards Saint Francis, and with very good reason. Here are a few words of the great Saint that mightn’t have been heard too much over the last five decades.

    “See you blind ones, you are deceived by your enemies: by the flesh, the world, and the devil; because it is sweet to the body to commit sin and it is better for it to serve God;… And you have nothing in this world or in the one to come.
    The body becomes sick, death approaches, and this man dies a bitter death. And no matter where or when or how a man dies in the guilt of sin without doing penance and satisfaction, the devil snatches up his soul from his body with so much anguish and tribulation that no one can know it unless he has experienced it. And they leave their substance to their relatives and friends, and these have taken and divided the inheritance among themselves. Worms eat the body. And so they have lost body and soul in this passing world, and both will go down to hell, where they will be tormented without end.”
    – 2nd Letter to the Faithful

    September 23, 2013 at 9:25 pm
  • Thurifer

    Leo, what an awesome quote of St. Francis of Assisi! I never knew he said such hard-hitting words. If only the pope would live up to his namesake.

    September 24, 2013 at 12:51 am
  • 3littleshepherds

    I wish the Holy Father would be like the real St. Francis, too. Most likely he won’t be. We’ll have to wait to see what he does for any future Asissi meetings.
    I like reading your posts. The spiritual battle interests me most of all so I appreciate your quotes from prophecy , Saints and the disoriented. It gives a good overview and puts everything into focus.

    September 24, 2013 at 7:24 pm
  • Leo


    Those words of Saint Francis of Assisi are pretty strong alright. They are probably as good and as concise an expression of the Church’s teaching on the Four Last Things as it is possible to get.

    Not much hinting at universal salvation there!

    I don’t expect that we will be hearing a whole lot either about the time that Saint Francis went on Crusade and crossed the lines to go and convert the Moslems and challenge the imams to trial by fire. Not quite VII dialogue. Needless to say, the great saint didn’t believe in showing “respect” for Islam or talking about the “spiritual fruits” of Ramadan.

    In the Conciliar craziness, he would probably be seen as a “restorationist” or a “triumphalist”, or judgemental.


    Thank you for your very kind and flattering words. I know I have to make more of an effort to keep from going on a bit. It’s not intentional. It’s just that the cut and paste function is great. It’s then a matter of trying not to say anything stupid in between.

    We really are in a massive spiritual battle right now, alright, so it’s as important as ever to be able to call on the Church Triumphant, and in particular, the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady. That’s why spreading the message of Fatima and Quito, as per the latest thread, is so vital.

    September 25, 2013 at 9:45 am
  • gabriel syme

    The Pope Franci interview received a rather withering response from a conservative Catholic Spanish journalist, in the Spanish ABC newspaper. Here are the last three paragraphs, with added emphasis (see the link for more):

    I who am the most senseless man in the world spent many years delivering myself joyfully into martyrdom, in a battle with the world that left me in shreds, with my literary career thrown in the wastebasket and turned into the laughing stock of all my colleagues; and I made this daily exercise of immolation joyfully, because I considered that my obligation was not to please the world, but to fight it until my last breath.

    Where there were nests yesteryear there are no birds this year, Don Quixote tells us, when he comes back to his senses. I am unaware if I was insane before; but today, reading a certain interview that kicked up a dust cloud, I felt that I played the fool during all these years.

    And, following the example of the distinguished interviewee, I will dedicate myself from this day forward to pleasing and flattering the world, in order to avoid its condemnation.”


    September 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm
  • crofterlady

    I’ve been away for almost a week and have just caught up with the blog. I listened to Editor’s radio input in “Have your say.” I thought she did a great job and I don’t understand (Constantine the Great) why you think she sounded like a fishwife; she was only being her natural self!

    September 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm
    • editor


      Talk about mixed signals! I can only reply: “Thanks and watch it!”

      I’m posting today’s Voris video on the homepage – he’s discussing this “new tone” coming out of the papal office and I think it’s very good indeed. Nobody could accuse him of being a fish-husband. Well said Michael!

      September 26, 2013 at 12:00 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        He makes an excellent point:

        Apparently, we Catholics should stop being obsessed about abortion and contraception.

        Wait a minute! How many Catholic bishops and priests have you heard preach obsessively about abortion and contraception? If only!

        The obsession comes from the media, as he says, not the Church.

        The recent blog in Eye of the Tiber satirises the point quite effectively in the post titled Doctor tells patient to stop being obsessed about his cancer.

        On a positive note though, maybe Steven Fry will now think the Catholic Church is now a force for good in the world? Him thinking that can only be a good thing.

        September 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm
  • crofterlady

    Editor: You and Michael would make excellent and productive fishmongers… Yes, it’s a marvellous clip.

    September 26, 2013 at 11:14 am
    • editor


      Thank you for your kind comments about the debate.

      I’ve just read this latest crackpot defence of the Pope’s words and couldn’t help imagining the reaction of the gentleman who rang me earlier, JUST having read the interview and Mgr Basil Loftus’s delighted take on it in the (anything but) Catholic Times.

      That gentleman assured me that he is no sedevacantist but insisted on two things:

      1) this pope is not a Catholic
      2) if he really is the pontiff who is to consecrate Russia, then Our Lady will have to work a massive miracle.

      Anyone care to disagree with him – on either count?

      September 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    Well, I would agree on the first count because he is seriously separating himself from the Church on the Church’s moral teachings. Just look at his comments on gays, abortion, contraception and cohabiting couples. It’s not in sync with the teaching of his predecessors. Even the mixed up Paul VI issued ‘Humanae Vitae’ which condemned artificial contraception. It’s really galling for me personally because I uphold all, and I mean all, of the Church’s teachings, and yet the Pope comes out with this tripe and gets away with it. One hundred years ago, during the Pontificate (with a capital P) of St Pius X, Francis would have been reported to the Holy Office for heterodoxy, or worse heresy. He epitomises what the Jesuit Order has become. You wouldn’t have seen an Opus Dei Pope saying any of this, because they obey the Magisterium to the point of obsession. Believe me I know. Maybe the pope should, to echo Pope Innocent III’s words to St Francis, ‘go roll in the mud with the pigs’ to learn obedience.

    September 28, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: