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Monday, April 08, 2013

Zuhlsdorf's Folly

I didn't really appreciate the condescension and dismissiveness that Zuhlsdorf has shown the new pontiff.

What's the problem?

"Pope Francis needs some time to learn how to be Pope"

Apparently, Zuhlsdorf assumes that Pope Francis is not smart enough to recognize the office he holds. In fact, as I think I've shown, Francis knows EXACTLY where he wants to take his office, and he's been moving along the course he set from the first Holy Thursday Mass, through his Good Friday "Way of the Cross" remarks and into his Easter Sunday Urbi et Orbi address. He apparently learned his new position a lot faster than Zuhlsdorf can comprehend. 

"Even though Francis has painted himself into a corner through his abrupt dramatic changes, he is more than likely going to adjust to the exigencies of his office, which include decorum at a different level and an awareness that he is more than the bishop of a diocese somewhere."

I don't see where Zuhlsdorf gets off judging what is an appropriate level of decorum for a Pope. Zuhlsdorf doesn't fill the office, I daresay he never will, so where do these highly dismissive and indecorous public remarks come from and what is Zuhlsdorf trying to prove by making them? That he's smarter than the Pope? That he's holier than the Pope? That he understands the papacy better than the Pope? Really?

"He must be wondering if he is going to wake up from some sort of long, strange dream."

More could be mined from this post, but this incredibly dismissive closing remark on Zuhlsdorf's part is sublimely ridiculous. Zuhlsdorf is saying Pope Francis is too stupid, incompetent, etc., to recognize that he's been elected Pope?

Just because Pope Francis doesn't do what Zuhlsdorf would do, Pope Francis gets treated like the dullard step-child by the all-merciful Zuhlsdorf, who is willing to overlook Francis' little peccadilloes until such time as Francis learns to hew to Zuhlsdorf's line.

That's the impression I am getting from Z.
Frankly, Z is pretty sickening.

If this is the best the traditionalists can do, it's no wonder the rest of the Catholic world finds traditionalists disgusting. 


Anupama said...

Agree wholeheartedly!

Nick D said...

You sound like a Protestant; cherry-picking lines just to prove some point

Vox Cantoris said...

A rather puerile and hypocritical post, read your first line brother.

Vox Cantoris

Adam said...

I guess you missed this part:

"Here is my point.

We must not pit Francis against Benedict right now. We find the continuity between them."

And this:
"There are a lot of things Francis is showing which traditional Catholics can sincerely applaud (if they can get over themselves long enough to see them)."

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Thanks, Adam, for demonstrating what I said in spades.

You see, as your own quotes demonstrate, Zuhlsdorf implies that "traditional Catholics" cannot sincerely applaud many of the things Pope Francis has done. We must not pit the Benedict and Francis against each other RIGHT NOW (later maybe, but not now).

It's called "damning with faint praise", and every successful chancery official is a master of the art. This is how ordained men mock each other with perfect deniability, "But I was defending him, you see!"

Anyone who has worked at the diocesan level has either been the target or the beneficiary of this tactic, or both, at points during his career.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Nick D and Vox Cantoris,

To be Catholic, I am required to be in communion with the Pope. I am not required to agree with every random priest.

Indeed, given that nearly every heretic the Church has dealt with has been an ordained man who celebrated the TLM, there is good reason to look askance at Zuhlsdorf.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry, but you and your ignorant commentators are a repugnant example of thoughtless, illogical, and poorly structured criticism that any 5th grader should be able to deconstruct.

Look at what the Holy Father said to today with respect to talking behind (and to the face of) people we don't "like"; which is clearly your problem here. Look at the action of Satan in your impoverished attempt at criticism and find the humility to head to the confessional. After penance, a public apology would be appropriate.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Sign your posts and I'll consider it, Unknown.

As it is, your comments "ignorant... repugnant... thoughtless... illogical... poorly structured" seems to apply to us both equally, no?

Oh, well, except that I've backed my statements up while you just threw names around. Yeah, apart from that the remarks are identical.

Paul Zummo said...

Thanks, Adam, for demonstrating what I said in spades.

Well no, not really. In fact the quoted text quite clearly demonstrates that you completely misrepresented what Fr. Z had to say. I've read enough passive aggressive liberal types like Fr. Martin to recognize when someone is being disingenuously laudatory, and this is certainly not the case here.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Paul, I've worked with enough parish and chancery officials to know that the ones who can be easily identified as passive-aggressive don't last long in the chancery office.

Zuhlsdorf worked for a dicastery.
That means he's a master at the craft.

William Hutson said...

This blog needs more substantial content.

Starts with a propped up, teetering point and then in comments just spends God's oxygen defending itself with superficial snippy hissing.

Man it up some..and quit trying to over clericalize matters with all your inside baseball nonsense.

Pick up First Things and read, read, think and if absolutely necessary blog.

Bill H

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Thanks, William.
Now the rest of us have less oxygen.

susan said...

Steve Kellmeyer is a self-aggrandizing, publicity seeking (but never finding), self-promoting (ohhhh look at the books I've written that nobody reads), windbag who couldn't make a cogent argument if his life depended on it.

That's the impression I am getting from Steve Kellmeyer..
Frankly, Steve Kellmeyer is pretty sickening.

TH2 said...

I'm not as optimistic as is Mr. Kellmeyer toward Pope Francis. In fact, my mindset is more or less with in line with the posts at Rorate Caeli. Nonetheless, I need differing perspectives, I need criticism of my own positions, I am open to them, and I like a good whack across the head every so often. It makes me rethink and re-evaluate. That is a good thing. This is why I regularly visit this blog.

Interestingly, both The Fifth Column and Rorate Caeli, though coming from different perspectives, have been ostracized and vilified by certain self-appointed light bearers merely for the posting on the facts and providing different opinions in a manner straightforward - and there is absolutely nothing wrong with writing in such a manner. It is necessary. Bluntness and precision are things to which many abhor, unfortunately.

People's emotional reactions to such issuances are secondary, irrelevant, because they don't address the facts/opinions proffered, getting easily offended and lost within the "tone" of article. In effect, this provides cover and protection for the aforementioned light bearers who are appalled at any criticism whatsoever toward them, refuse to engage for whatever reason, and will shut critics down, cut them off. Fiefdoms have to be protected. With the support of a mass of obedient, all-affirming commenters, this is how Third Rail blogger personalities develop. Thus, anyone who has the audacity to criticize is charged with committing a grave offence against the refined sensibilities of these light bearers.

Some words of wisdom from Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn: "The intolerance toward criticism is the certain sign of characteriological inferiority. It is the mass man that cannot bear contradiction".

JM said...

Sheesh. Just let people have their opinions already. The pope has his own set of Big Boy pants and does not need you to take offense on his behalf. Fr. Zs is a nice blog, and a bot more tempered than your faux-shoot from the hipsterism. Dude. If I dodn't know bettter I'd think you're jealous.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Thanks, TH2.

Obviously, I don't agree with Rorate, but I respect that they are honest about their disagreements, and they lay out their case.

Can't argue with that approach.

In nearly a decade running this blog, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of comments I have edited and/or deleted. People have a right to have their say.

I don't much respect blogs that don't follow that approach. Z doesn't. For that, and for other reasons, I don't much respect his opinions. He doesn't brook those who disagree with him.

The clerical mindset is strong in him - he's got a lot of similarities with the worst excesses of the Curia and with other parish and diocesan authorities I have known. That's why I don't trust him.