instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"With the eyes of discipleship"

Rocco Palmo has posted the text of Pope Francis's address to the Coordinating Committee of CELAM, the Latin American and Caribbean conference of Catholic bishops. It looks like I will have to make yet another note to read the Aparecida Document, if I want to have any understanding of what the Pope is up to.

What particularly caught my eye in skimming through the address, though, was Section 4, "Some temptations against missionary discipleship," in which Pope Francis provides a tidy classification of things Catholics do instead of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every living creature:
  1. Ideology
    1. Sociological reductionism
    2. Psychologizing
    3. Gnosticism
    4. Pelagianism
  2. Functionalism
  3. Clericalism 
I wrote a post last month on the Pope's use of "Pelagian" to describe an impulse toward "the restoration of outdated manners and forms which, even on the cultural level, are no longer meaningful." That's not my fight, but I hope Traditionalist Catholics will be able to accept this criticism and test their own faith against it.

It should be noted, though, that the "outdated manners and forms" the Pope deprecates is by no means pre-Vatican II Catholic culture in toto. He (referencing the Aparecida Document once again) sees popular piety as an antidote to clericalism -- and, I'd add, it would help counter the problems of ideology and functionalism, too.