Sunday, November 17, 2013

A vulgar pope

For no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as also Christ doth the church.
 -- Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Ephesians 5:29
The original meaning of "vulgar" is from "vulgus" for  "common people". Typically,  when someone uses the term "vulgar" these days they usually mean obscene. I am using the term "vulgar" in its original sense of relating to the "common people". And in this sense to call Bergoglio "vulgar" is really something which I think he would heartily agree with and it is his "vulgarity" which really is the distinguishing characteristic of his papacy.

(And by the way, the word "Vulgate" also comes from this same origin because it was the translation of the scripture into the language of the common people which was Latin.)

Bergoglio has chosen to identify himself with the "common people" and yet we know that he is a Jesuit and he is well educated. So he has enough education and social upbringing to speak elegantly and yet he chooses instead a sort of beer-hall style of speaking with the press and even in his homilies. You could lift  out passages from his homilies and they would fit right in with a conversation in a bar over beers -- both the content and the style of speech. I have to conclude that this style of speech is deliberate on the part of Bergoglio and that he speaks this way in order to "reach out" to the "common people".

So what is wrong with this? What is wrong with appealing to the lowest standards of speech? Why haven't past popes employed this type of vulgar language in order to reach out to the "common people"?

For one thing, rather than lifting up Catholics to a higher culture level, it encourages the faithful to set low cultural standards for themselves. "Well, what is wrong with that?", you might say. Perhaps you think that the Church suffered from cultural elitism in the past, and that it neglected the popular culture.

But by lifting up the Catholic faithful culturally, the Church also lifted them up spiritually. And yes, there is a sense in which being vulgar, implies an earthly outlook focused on basic necessities rather than a heavenly outlook which is focused on our ultimate destiny.

And in addition, the type of culture that Bergoglio is promoting is not so much "popular culture" which the Church has always promoted in the best sense -- but rather Bergoglio is promoting the invasion of "pop culture" into the Church. And yes, "pop culture" is not just "vulgar" it is also obscene.

And this explains in a great part the popularity of Bergoglio. He is seen as giving the "OK" for Catholics to fully participate in the vulgar pop culture which surrounds us. So, this is "Catholic for dummies", because no one is required to change anything in their lives -- just go on living the way you always have and believing the false ideas that the "pop culture" thrusts upon us and you can still be a full-fledged Catholic.

This sort of "Catholicism" requires no sacrifice, no penance -- not even a sense of guilty unease. Oh, well if you really still must sacrifice, then you can make some sort of secular humanist "sacrifice" like recycling in order to save the environment. This is "Catholicism" perfectly aligned with secular humanism. It is EZ-Catholicism.

This vulgar approach of Bergoglio even fits in with his theology which is "teología del pueblo". This is often translated as "theology of the poor" but translates literally into the "theology of the people". The word "pueblo" in Spanish has the connotation of referring to the "common people", so "teología del pueblo" can be translated as "theology of the common people". And since "vulgar" refers to the "common people", we can also translate this as "the vulgar theology".

How appropriate. A "vulgar theology" for a "vulgar pope" who wishes to transform the Catholic Church into a "vulgar church".

Now there is nothing wrong with the "common people" and the Church has always been about common people from the beginning. Wasn't Peter a simple fisherman? But Christ lifted up Peter as he has lifted up all of us with His Death and Resurrection. The Catholic Church is anything but "common" -- it was divinely created to be extraordinary.


  1. Michael: well said. That is why we see him disdaining the regal symbols of the true Throne of Peter, because, after all, if it is not a 'throne,' than it is vulgar.

    In this reality, he cannot wear the red shoes; that is too symbolic of walking in the royal Precious Blood of Christ. But a red clown nose -- no problem. it is vulgar and not royal.

    There is nothing common about the royal Blood of Jesus and the Citadel He founded called the Catholic Church. It is all about Kingship.

    Bergoglio has denigrated the Kingship of Christ, preferring to be a vulgar clown. So on that note, as Francis tells everyone after one of his 'sermons,' 'good bye and have a good lunch!'

    Blessings and another Ave Maria your way!

  2. Dear Anon,

    It certainly gives me no pleasure to write these sort of posts that are critical of the pope. And yet it is necessary to point these things out. "Vulgar" seems like a harsh word, and yet is a word that seems to perfectly describe this papacy.

    Thank you for your prayers and please keep the pope and the Church in your prayers as well. If the Church is following the will of God, then everything else will fall into place.

    May the peace of Christ be with you,

  3. Thanks to your outstanding post it now seems clear to me what “being pastoral” or the” new evangelisation” means in our Orwellian times.
    To be pastoral is to “smell like the sheep”. This is Pope Francis´ ideal that he stressed from the beginning of his pontificate. For a priest “to smell like his sheep” means to be as vulgar as they are. Now I understand why the priest friends from Buenos Aires which Pope Francis praised most are looking so vulgar.

    And regarding the “new evangelisation”:
    “Evangelisation is not about going as one who imposes a new obligation”
    “You must reach everyone and share the joy of having met Christ … this is not about going as one who imposes a new obligation, as those who merely limit themselves to reproach or complaint before what we consider imperfect or insufficient,” Francis continued.
    Real shepherds do not act like “princes or mere officials who focus mainly on discipline, rules and organisational mechanisms.” Because this always steers pastoral care initiatives away from the people and fails to promote and ensure people’s meeting with Christ and other brothers.”

    A "pastoral" missionary approach of the "new evangelisation" therefore would sound like this:
    You´re vulgar? Don´t worry, you´re OK, I´m OK, there´s no new obligation, let´s just share the joy!

  4. Hello Martina,

    Yes, his message is something like "you're OK". This is what makes him so popular. He doesn't demand anything. He doesn't say "no" as at times a real spiritual father must.

    "Pastoral" seems to mean don't disturb the sheep by leading them towards God, instead let the sheep go where ever they want and eat whatever noxious weeds they find in the fields and drink from whatever filthy pools they come across.

    At first this might actually attract more people to the Church. But then after a while many would just stop coming because they can get the same message by staying home and watching TV.

    Those who keep coming are simply looking for entertainment, so we get balloons, and dancing and louder music -- and even clown noses. After all, we have to compete with the TV.

    He uses the word "joy", but he really means "fun" or "happiness".

    "Joy" is a spiritual word. Joy comes from God and it never leaves us, because God is always present and always loves us.

    "Happiness" comes from worldly things. Happiness is fleeting. Happiness must be constantly fed with buying new toys or experiencing new sex partners.

    The sign that the Church has abandoned God is the search for "new things" -- "novelty". It is a very modernist disease to be "bored". The Christian is never "bored", because we drink from the source of living waters.

    God bless you,