How much it cost the impressive exhibition of poverty which Pope Francis starred October 4 in Assisi is not known.
Sure, at a time when it should be so fashionable simplification, is to say that the historic day has had very little Franciscan. A score well written and well played, if you want, but without the quid that made only the spirit of Francis, the saint: the surprise that displaces the world. Francis, the Pope, who embraces the sick, who clings to the crowd, making the joke, speaking off the cuff, which rises on the Panda,
that the Cardinals spring lunch with the authorities to go to the dinner table of the poor was the most obvious that expected, and is regularly occurred.
Of course with great competition of the Catholic press and paracattolica to exalt humility gesture of pulling a sigh of relief because, this time, the Pope spoke of the encounter with Christ. And the secular to say that, now, yes, the church begins to move with the times. All good stuff for titlist medium caliber who wants to quickly close the newspaper and you will see tomorrow.
There was not even the surprise of the dramatic gesture. But even this would have been very poor thing, given how Pope Bergoglio said and done in only half a year of his pontificate culminated in winks with Eugenio Scalfari and interview with Catholic Civilization.
The only ones to be displaced, in this case, would be the "normaliens" those Catholics pathetically intent to convince others, and even more pathetically to convince themselves, that nothing has changed. And 'normal and, as usual, it is the fault of the newspapers that to deliberately misrepresent the Pope, who would say only in a different way the same truths taught by their predecessors.
As journalism is the oldest profession in the world, it is difficult to give credit to this thesis. "Holiness", asks for example Scalfari in his interview, "there exists a unique vision of the Well? And who decides that? ". "Each of us," says the Pope, "has its own vision of Good and Evil also. We have to make him move towards what he thinks is the Good. " "Your Holiness," urges jesuitically Eugenio, which does not seem real, "he had already written in the letter that I addressed. The conscience is autonomous, he said, and everyone must obey their conscience. I think that's one of the most courageous steps called by a Pope. " "And here I repeat," reiterates the Pope, which does not even seem real to him. "Each has its own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. This would be enough to improve the world. "
A Vatican II and post-conciliar already concluded more than well underway, in chapter 32 of "Veritatis Splendor", John Paul II wrote, arguing "some currents of modern thought", which & nbsp; "Have individual conscience is the status of a supreme tribunal of moral judgment which hands down categorical and infallible decisions about good and evil (...) so that it has come to a radically subjectivist conception of moral judgment." Even the "Normale" more whimsical should find it difficult to reconcile the Bergoglio 2013 at the John Paul II in 1993.
In the presence of such a turnabout, the newspapers do their work honestly and discounted. Resume phrases Pope Francis in stark contrast to what the popes and the church has always taught and become front-page headlines. And then the "Normale", who always says what he thinks and wherever the Osservatore Romano, brings up the context. Phrases taken out of context blessed not reflect the mens who has made them. But, and it is the history of the church that teaches, some complete sentences make sense and to be judged independently. If in a long interview someone claims that "Hitler was a benefactor of mankind", is unlikely to get away before the world by invoking the context. If a Pope says in an interview "I believe in God, not in a Catholic God" the omelet is done regardless. Are two thousand years the church holds the doctrinal statements isolating them from the environment. In 1713, Clement XI publishes the constitution "Unigenitus" condemning 101 propositions theologian Pasquier Quesnel. In 1864, Pope Pius IX in public "Syllabus" a list of erroneous propositions. In 1907, St. Pius X attached to "Pascendi dominici gregis" 65 sentences incompatible with Catholicism. And they are just a few examples to say that the error, if there is, it is recognized by the naked eye. A ripassatina to "Denzinger" would not hurt.
Moreover, in the case of interviews of Bergoglio, context analysis may even make things worse. When, for example, Francis Pope tells Scalfari that "proselytizing is a solemn nonsense," the "Normale" now says that you are talking about the aggressive proselytizing of sects South America. Unfortunately, in the interview, Bergoglio tells Scalfari: "I will not convert it." It comes down to, in the authentic interpretation when defining "solemn nonsense" proselytism, refers to the work done by the church & nbsp; to convert souls to Christianity.
It would be difficult to interpret the concept otherwise, in the light of the marriage between the Gospel and the world, that blessed Francis interview with Catholic Civilization. "The Vatican," said the Pope, "was a re-reading of the Gospel in the light of contemporary culture. He produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. The fruits are huge. Just remember the liturgy. The work of the liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation. Yes, there are lines of hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, however, one thing is clear: the dynamics of discounted in today's Gospel reading that was typical of the council is absolutely fatal. " That's right, not the world's most developed form in the light of the Gospel, but the Gospel deformed in the light of the world of contemporary culture. And who knows how many times must take place at each of cultural change back whenever putting in default the previous reading: nothing but the permanent council theorized by the Jesuit Carlo Maria Martini.
On this track, is rising on the horizon the idea of a new church, the "field hospital" mentioned in an interview with Catholic Civilization where it seems that the doctors so far have not done their job. "I also think the situation of a woman who has had a failed marriage behind him, in which he also aborted," he always says the Pope. "Then this woman has remarried and is now serene with five children. Abortion weighs enormously and is sincerely regretted. He would like to move forward in the Christian life. What does the confessor? ". A speech carefully constructed to be concluded by an application after which you go head and changes the subject, as if to emphasize the inability of the church to respond. A change confusing if you think that the church meets for two thousand years that question with a rule that allows the acquittal of the sinner, as long as it is not repentant and is committed to remain in sin. Still, subjugated by the overflowing personality of Pope Bergoglio, legions of Catholics are drinking the tale of an issue that actually never existed. All there with guilt for two thousand years of alleged outrages against poor sinners, to thank the bishop came from the end of the world, not for solving a problem was not there, but for having invented it.
The disturbing aspect of the thinking behind such statements is the idea of an alternative between irreconcilable doctrinal rigor and mercy, if there is one, there can be no other. But the Church has always taught and lived exactly the opposite. They are the perception of sin and repentance of having committed, together with the purpose to avoid it in the future, making it possible for God's forgiveness. Jesus saved the adulteress from stoning, carry out, but dismisses her, saying, "Go, and sin no more. " She did not say, "Go, and it's quiet that my church does not exercise any spiritual interference in your personal life."
Given the virtually unanimous consensus in the Catholic people and the love of the world, against which, however, the Gospel should make it suspect, would say that six months of Pope Francis changed era. In fact, there is the phenomenon of a leader who tells the crowd just what the crowd wants to hear. But it is undeniable that this is done with great talent and great craft. The communication with the people, who became God's people where in fact there is no more distinction between believers and non-believers, it is only in small part direct and spontaneous.
Even the huge crowd in St. Peter's Square, the World Youth Day, Lampedusa or in Assisi are filtered by the media, who are responsible to provide the events together with their interpretation.
The phenomenon Francis is no exception to the fundamental rule of the game media, but rather uses it to become almost innate. The mechanism was established to great effect in the early eighties by Mario Alighiero Manacorda in an enjoyable book from enjoyable title "The language of television. Or the crazy anadiplosis ". The anadiplosis is a figure of speech that, as happens in this line, does start a sentence with the main term contained in the preceding sentence. This rhetorical device, according Manacorda, has become the essence of language media. "These modes are purely formal, unnecessary, useless and incomprehensible in substance" saying "lead the listener to follow the formal part, that the figure of speech, and to forget the substantial part".
With time, the mass media has come to permanently replace the formal than substantive, the appearance to the truth. And it did, in particular, thanks to the rhetorical figures of synecdoche and metonymy, with which it is a part for the whole. The speed increasingly dizzying information security challenges of neglecting the set and leads to focus on some particular expertly chosen to give a reading of the overall phenomenon. Increasingly, newspapers, TV, websites, summarize the major events in detail.
From this point of view, it seems that Pope Francis has been made for the mass media and the mass media have been made for Pope Francis. Just mention the only example of a man dressed in white coming down the ladder of the plane carrying a tattered black leather purse: perfect use of synecdoche and metonymy together. The figure of the Pope is absorbed by the black bag that cancels the image sacral handed down through the centuries to give back a completely new and fashionable: the Pope, the new Pope, it's all in the detail which enhances poverty, humility, dedication, work, contemporary, everyday life, the proximity to the most terrain imaginable. The final effect of this process leads to the location in the background of the concept of impersonal Papacy and the simultaneous rise to prominence of the person who embodies. The effect is all the more disruptive if it is observed that the message recipients transposing the meaning exactly the opposite: hail the great humility of the man and think that these ports luster to the Papacy.
As a result of synecdoche and metonymy, the next step is to identify the person of the Pope with the Papacy: a part for the whole, and Simone ousted Peter. This phenomenon causes Bergoglio, while expressing formally as private doctor, transform virtually every gesture and every word her in an act of the Magisterium. And if you think that even most Catholics are convinced that what the Pope says is infallible only and always, you're done. As you may protest that a letter or an interview with a Scalfari anyone have even less of an opinion from a private doctor, mass media era, the effect it will produce will be immeasurably greater than any solemn pronouncement. Indeed, the more the gesture or speech will be formally small and insignificant, the more will be effective and will be considered as unassailable and incriticabili.
Not surprisingly, the symbology that supports this phenomenon is made of poor everyday things. The black bag carried in hand on the plane is an example of a school. But when it comes to the pectoral cross, ring, altar, sacred vessels and vestments, we talk about the material they are made, and no more than what they represent: the formless matter took precedence over form. In fact, Jesus is no longer on the cross that the Pope wears around his neck because people are led to contemplate the iron in which the object was produced. Once again, the part you eat all that is written here with the "T" capitalized. And the "body of Christ" is found elsewhere, and everyone ends up where he wants to locate the Holocaust that is most suited. These days in Lampedusa, gone tomorrow. And 'the result of the wisdom of the world, St. Paul banned as foolishness and today is used to read the Gospel through the eyes of TV. But already in 1969, Marshall McLuhan wrote to Jacques Maritain: "The environments of electronic information, which have been completely ethereal, foster the illusion of the world as a spiritual substance. This is a reasonable facsimile of the Mystical Body, deafening manifestation of the antichrist. After all, the prince of this world is a great electrical engineer. "
Sooner or later you will even awaken from sleep great mass media and return to contend with the reality. And we must also learn the true humility, which is to submit to someone bigger, which is manifested through immutable laws even by the Vicar of Christ. And we must find the courage to say that a Catholic can only feel lost in front of a dialogue in which everyone, in homage to the supposed autonomy of conscience, is encouraged to continue toward a personal vision of good and evil. Because Christ can not be an option among many. At least for his vicar.
Alessandro Gnocchi and Mario Palmaro
(Journalist and literary scholar first, canon lawyer and professor of & nbsp; the second Bioethics, the authors are authoritative expression of the world & nbsp; traditionalist Catholic).
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