Correcting Pope Francis’ Correctors (3) Is Pope Francis pimping “The Whore” or is he waiting for attractive writing?

whore-of-babylon-martin-luther

The Whore of Babylon printed in Martin Luther’s expression of rebellion.

You’ll remember Correcting Pope Francis’ Correctors (1) and then (2) which had a link to Amoris laetitia 351 gradualism casuistry. A comment about the big picture needs to be made amidst all the flurry of questions and dubia and, for some, accusations and bitterness…

Here’s the deal: Pope Francis does know what an infallible statement is. He does know what the Scriptures have for us. He does know Canon Law. People can spout those things off to him until they are blue in the face and that will not change the fact that he already knows those things. People think he rejects all of that. Maybe so. I don’t know that for a fact. I don’t think for a second that he’s pimping “The Whore of Babylon” on purpose. What I do know is that he has called for dialogue in the opening paragraphs of Amoris laetitia, especially paragraphs 3-4. Dialogue is what it is, messy, full of ambiguity and whatever rubbish people bring to it. That’s what it is. But it prepares for something else.

It’s true: We have heard from those who do reject the clear teaching of Christ, from those who seem to mock the Holy Scriptures’ inspiration by the Holy Spirit, from those who seem to be holding themselves up to be God himself. They have been eloquent in their own way merely because of their obnoxious flurry of bullying. They have artistically represented what error manifests. Some, of course, have been most sincere.

But it’s also true that from the traditional side of things, that is, from those who would at least like to think that they are with Sacred Tradition, with Sacred Scripture, with the Sacred Magisterium of the Church, we have heard precious little. The objection is that we have the example of Tradition, that we have those brief sayings in Scripture, that we have Familiaris Consortio and that we even have the absolutely clear dubia. “That’s enough!” they say. And that’s all good and is way more than sufficient for the believer, but it’s not enough for others, for those who don’t know how to believe because there is no one to walk them through it all. Pope Francis does not believe that those other things are enough. Neither do I. People unfamiliar with Tradition, unfamiliar with Scripture, unfamiliar with Familiaris Consortio and the dubia are in need of preaching and catechesis. Saint Paul mentions this:

“How then can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15).

Is Pope Francis waiting a really long time? Yes. For a reason and, I think, a good reason. He hasn’t heard from the beautiful side of things and desires to hear this. Pope Francis has been begging non-stop for that which is written in a beautiful way, an inviting way, an attractive way, a positive way, a comprehensive way. Where is it? Perhaps Pope Benedict’s Deus Caritas Est? Not even that. And yes, I know, there are surely tens of thousands of tracts and pamphlets and books and films and what-not flooding the market. But we need something that profoundly reflects the beauty of Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterial interventions precisely in the face of the challenges we find with Amoris laetitia. Let me repeat that: Precisely in the face of those challenges. Was the book sent to all the participants of the Synod enough? No, it was not. It was good. It was technical. But we need beautiful answers to the agonizing difficulties. And if beautiful means the glorious but tortured wounds of Christ in the midst of his wedding with his Immaculate Bride the Church, then it’s about those wounds we must write in a way comprehensible not just to some Cardinals, some canon lawyers, some exegetes, some moral theologians, but also to everyone. Let’s get to work.

I, for one, after finishing commentary on the “Dog-Woman” (see: 2018 Bishops Synod: young people and vocational discernment: no rigidity), intend to start in on the description of marriage in the first chapters of Genesis. Some might think that the younger John Paul II’s work on the Theology of the Body is enough and that I should shut up, but even the older John Paul II himself admitted that he did not give enough consideration and balance to ToB because of almost entirely ignoring the effects of original sin. I’ll not insult the great saint by ignoring his protestations. I’ll take a hint and try to fill in the lack, and that, by the way, will make it all the more beautiful as it will put us face to face with those glorious wounds of Christ Jesus. But I have little talent for writing and, at any rate, am very much unknown. So, we all need to get to work. So, let’s get to work!

george-david-byers-john-paul-ii

Just before Christmas Day, 1985

5 Comments

Filed under Amoris laetitia, Pope Francis, Synod on the Family

5 responses to “Correcting Pope Francis’ Correctors (3) Is Pope Francis pimping “The Whore” or is he waiting for attractive writing?

  1. Amen! Prayer for your success.

  2. Cathy

    Somehow, Fr. Byers, what seems lacking in everything is the joy of trust.

  3. Father George David Byers

    I like that phrase: the joy of trust…

  4. Monica Harris

    Ah, I see what you are doing. How can we help you, Fr Byers?

  5. elizdelphi

    I like this idea. I’m consistently more enthralled by beautiful ideas than beautiful writing style. I say, comtemplare et contemplata aliis tradere and it will be beautiful.

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