Playing the Indian Card

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

New Life Gives Rise to Mercy.

Pope Francis sent this tweet just before Christmas:

It crystallizes something for me. Not in a happy way. As far as I can tell, it is meaningless. Just a selection of warm fuzzy words: “Happy Happy Joy Joy.” “Mercy,” “Hope,” “Joy,” “New Life.” Why not “joy gives rise to mercy”? Why not “mercy gives rise to peace”? “Peace gives rise to love”? “Love gives rise to new life”?

It smacks to me of words mattering more than their meanings. Just say the right words, and do what you like.

What I love most about Catholicism, stretching back to Pope Paul on abortion, more so with JPII, Benedict, and the new catechism, is the moral clarity. This is what we need. We do not need to feel good about ourselves. We need the truth. Otherwise, the Pharisees were all we ever needed. That disturbing business about the crucifixion is best forgotten. Too upsetting.

I accept that Francis’s emphasis is on the pastoral. Fine. But it must not be at the expense of clarity. His job is guidance. His insistence on “creative ambiguity” in the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia seems of a piece with this. I see no value to anyone in this sort of thing.

If there were, it seems to me that Hallmark Cards have it covered.

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