The Embarrassing Clowns who Speak for the Pope

Pope Francis accepts an issue of 'La Civilta Cattolica' from Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the Jesuit-run magazine, during a Feb. 9 meeting with editors and staff. (Credit: CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout.)

Part of the problem with the Franciscan papacy are the clowns he seems to rely on. They are petty, ignorant and, far from the much lauded models of dialogue & accompaniment, seem intent on simply bullying anyone they disagree with.

Who can forget this ridiculous episode? Or this fiasco?

The latest cringe-making event has been co-authored by Francis' confidants, Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa, the editor-in-chief of the Argentinean edition of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. It is this extraordinary essay on US religious politics published in the Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica.

Writing for Crux, Fr Raymond de Souza states:
If Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro was not the editor of La Civiltà Cattolica, his recent attack on the “ecumenism of hate” he diagnoses in the United States never would have been published in that venerable journal.
He continues:
Wrong on Protestant history, ignorant of contemporary Catholic life, tendentious in its analysis, patronizing in tone and damning with faint praise the very policies of the Holy Father it seeks to defend, it is hard to understand what ambitions were had for a piece that does not even rise to the level of mediocrity.
Pope Francis deserves much better from those he has entrusted to interpret his thought.
I'm embarrassed for Spadaro, although this isn't quite as embarrassing as when he was caught making fake Twitter accounts which he used to attack anyone who criticised Pope Francis, but especially certain Cardinals.

Spadaro is unconcerned, however and has immediately taken to Twitter to crow over his incredible intellectual prowess and statesmanship:
I think Dr Ed Condon's response best sums up my own feelings on that:


...because the article is being completely ripped to shreds by all and sundry, perhaps Dr Tim Stanley uses the sharpest scalpel here. But I will give the last words on this sorry matter to Fr de Souza, who finishes his article thus:
La Civiltà Cattolica derives much of its prestige from the fact that its pages are reviewed by the Vatican Secretariat of State before publication. Do the Holy See’s top diplomats agree with the characterization of their work as not “saying who is right or who is wrong” because all are fighting over power?
Spadaro and Figueroa’s theological assessment of the “ecumenism of hate” does not bear scrutiny. Their charges will dissipate quickly enough for lack of substantive argument. But the claim that the Holy See refrains from distinguishing between right and wrong in a world of tyrants and their victims needs a correction soon.
It would have been opportune for the Secretariat of State to have done so before publication.

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