The Pope

This Pope has abdicated ever invoking speaking ex cathedra. So infallibility is off the table. So the article loses significance to anything but a story about the relatives of an institutional figurehead. But people like to see figureheads brought down so it still sells papers.You are assuming that papal infallibility entails special knowledge. If it is miraculous it may be simply a miracle of speaking. In the catholic texts ive seen referring to it it is always about SPEAKING ex cathedra not about KNOWING es cathedra. The simplest explanation is that it’s a social reality like money. When a Pope spoke ex cathedra, his word was declared to being controvertible.Faithful Roman Catholics understand that it is meant to be infallible therefore they accept it as such. Or so ideally it would go.

Gossip columns may contain truthful information. It is the juiciness [a synonym for salacious] and the high status of the target that makes it newsworthy gossip.

I just welcome the fact that this Pope is giving his office a more human touch and is doing away with a lot of baggage that the role has accumulated over time. I think that the future of the church depends on this, even if it may take a few generations to fold up. We have to come to terms with the fact that the spiritual content of the church is shared with other traditions and therefore brings those traditions together, which does away with the exclusive standpoint and gives humanity a chance to see itself as a whole.

I think that the whole morality question is hyped up anyway and all of the sickening behaviour arises from suppressed sexuality and a moral idealism which can only promote guilt-feelings amongst the congregation. We need to get back out of heaven and realize that we belong on this planet, in this body, with these feelings and desires. As long as we are not pure consciousness we cannot ignore the carnal aspects of life. And love … after all the Bishop is marrying the woman … Love is just there, whether timely or untimely. Let’s get back down to earth!

“Pope Francis’ robe sticks out from a boner, without Viagra” That’s gossip. Unless it’s on youtube, then it’s entertainment … and fodder for pope groupies.

Time - Pope Francis, Person of the year.

I think he earned it.

Now this is interesting. Pope Francis brands right wing Christianity as an illness. Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?

Pope Francis Takes Aim At Ideologically Obsessed Christians, Says They Have Illness

I don’t think so, the problem is exactly the way it is described - ideology takes the focus off of the inclusiveness of neighbourly love and focuses on the exclusion of moralistic discrimination. The focus is not on who I can become a neighbour to, as in the example of the Good Samaritan, but on the question of the Pharisee, “who is my neighbour?” Which is what Jesus was making his point about.

 The Pope said ideological Christianity was an illness. If you read the actual quote and not your website's interpretation of the words, he could just as easily have been talking about the liberation theology of the Christian left. Not that he [i]was[/i], because that's probably his camp, but there's not even a hint of a reference to anything like conservatism or right-wing-ness in anything he said.  He condemns collectivism in the same source document that this website is using to presume that he's talking about only right-wing Christians in the above quote. 
For what it's worth, the idea of ideology corrupting the good of tradition is an immanently conservative theme, as is not perusing capitalism as an end in itself.

As so often I must protest here since the Jesus of the Gospels was about everything which is non-conservative, whether or not Christianity later followed that course, and whether or not it is sensible. He promoted spontaneous compassion in the faith that this was what God wanted, and sure that this was what being the salt of the earth was all about. He is portrayed as being blatantly wasteful with compassion and he is killed by the combination of the two most conservative forces in his time and place, the Sadducees and the Romans.

I am not saying that it is feasible to follow such behaviour, although it sure would be something that would help people on the ground and a reversal to the pompous past of Roman Christianity.

Really Bob? How do you explain the Jesus quote below then? Do you have a non-conservative interpretation? None is coming to me at the moment. Jesus can be so inconvenient. Cuts both ways I think.

When this Pope was selected I read multiple articles saying that he was a conservative during his days in Argentina. If that’s true he’s gone through a instantaneous radical transformation from conservative to liberal unsurpassed by anyone since Arianna Huffington’s.

Jesus is saying, you have been told not to commit adultery, but he is criticizing the conservative thought that the deed is where it begins and as long as I haven’t done the deed, which was the pharisaic defence, I am faultless. He says that sin begins in the mind, in the intention or the imagination of the deed. He then goes on to describe very graphically the fact that being mindful of our thoughts can help us escape their power. The more we suppress such thoughts, the more they take over.

Jesus is not conventional and he attacks the conservatist arrogance which condemns others whilst whitewashing themselves. It doesn’t mean that adultery is not inappropriate behaviour - but the idea that the deed alone condemns us is equally inappropriate.

I get the internal part of your reading. But, I don’t think you have done justice to the severity of the commanded amputation. Since the context is sexual lust, hand is phallic euphemism. Even fundamentalists balk at this one or there would be many more one handed or castrated ones. At any rate, severe punishment for minor infraction is not liberal.

It isn’t a command but a provocation, which is liberal. The more dramatic the confrontation the more effective it becomes. Conservatives don’t generally provoke in this way.

I’m trying to wrap my mind around what your’e saying. Remember, Jesus is speaking to his followers. So why throw them a curve ball? I mean if you are right, clear teaching might have prevented 2000 years of misunderstanding on this point. So, your Jesus is a wise ass?

Depends on what a wise ass is, I suppose. In the story he says “You have heard …” Who has said these things? Jesus then makes the point we are talking about. Amongst other things the whole series of sayings present a different approach to the questions at hand. However we judge them today, he opposes the conservative leaders all along the way, presenting a dramatically liberal approach by comparison. If we return to the question we started off from, we find the present Pope in a similar position - apparently conservative, but dramatically liberal in many ways.

PS: remember that the Torah gave out the death sentence on adultery, which the Pharisees and Sadducees seem to have placed firmly on the woman (the seducer). Jesus seems to be turning the tables and pointing the loaded gun back at the accusers again: “let he who is without guilt …” This seems to be a method he often employs, using their own judgements on the accusers.

Hey bro Bob. As I see it, The Old Testament depicts God as a conservative, and the New Testament depicts Jesus as a liberal.

And that’s why Gnostic’s called the OT God a demiurge, or lesser God. They couldn’t jibe the OT God with Jesus. So we, humankind, didn’t fall in the garden. The creator, law-giver God, was, or is, what’s wrong with us, and the creation. The manufacturer was flawed.

There definitely is a break between OT and NT, but the garden story has more facets and so I wouldn’t give it up so quickly. We have to accept the storyline and not fall into the trap of literalism, which we would if we ignore the fact that the Gospels are compositions presenting a storyline which in Mark is essentially a tragedy, peaking at the transformation on the mountain and then sinking to death on a cross and the fear of the believers. Matthew picks up the story and adds his polemic against the Sadducees and Pharisees, as well as other niceties. Luke advances the story to an epic and even gives it a sequel. John chooses a completely different approach and some say it was to combat the Gnostics.

The Jesus that rises out of this is a disappointment to the Jews and doesn’t make the mark amongst Greek philosophers, but he is a person that appeals to the heart and his followers follow suit - all the way to Martyrdom, believing that the world was about to end anyway. That is really the problem with Jesus - he doesn’t have plans for a future world. He is all spontaneous goodness and belief that it will turn out alright in the wash, which is why Paul changed that, and later Theologians put him on a pedestal.

The Pope is equally problematic. He can do a lot of short-term good, but what will remain in the end? If you are expecting the rapture anytime, perhaps it is unimportant, otherwise the church will need structure to survive the next century, but it will have to be less dogmatic.

Great post Bob. This new Pope is pushing away from the church being dogmatic :

“The 12,000-word interview, which lighted up social media and jolted Catholic commentators worldwide, buttressed impressions that the new pope is far less interested in reinforcing orthodoxy and dogma than his immediate predecessors were, and that he sees his role as essentially pastoral.”

Jesus was something of a trickster. He often spoke in riddles. Most of his followers had the good sense not to take him seriously on the lust=>amputation formula. Not so the Muslims with Muhammed. They have their sharia law where limbs are amputated as punishment. You think the prevailing unserious Christian reading of Matthew 5:29 is correct. But, are you certain? Or is it that they and we come to that conclusion because we all read him through the lens of Paul’s theology of grace?