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Just saw this..

George Weigel on Pope Francis: "I was frankly surprised by the rapidity of the conclave (although I had been given a tip before the Wednesday voting session that things might in fact move faster, which they clearly did). I was pleasantly surprised by the determination to clean house, and not just in terms of letting a few manifest incompetents fade into the sunset, but in the sense of a real commitment to cultural change in the curia -- which I take as a sign that the new evangelization is taking hold, because it's seized the imagination of the Church's shepherds, or at least a critical mass of them. And I was sadly surprised that some senior churchmen still don't seem to understand that chronic self-referentiality is not a winning way to preach the Gospel."Apologies, if this was linked in the many Popenotes below.Who are Weigel's "manifest incompetents"? And self-referentiality! Name his book.

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Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.



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George Weigel has a problem with "self-referentiality?" Now, that is change we can believe in.

Just when I'm ready to give myself the "Nobel Prize for Charity," I read something from George Weigel and realize that I'm not yet a candidate. There's no so-called "conservative" writer that makes me return faster to my blood pressure meds..not so much for his opinions (which I usually do not share), but for the "self-referentiality" that permeates his writings. Back to the "charity 101" classes..

You're ahead of me..I am in the pre-K charity classes. Not that there isn't solid provocation.Still, who is Weigel happy to see go off into the sunset?? Benedict?

So he got a tip before Wednesday's voting. Is he excommunicated?

He probably got two tips, one that things might move faster, and the other that things might move slower. So he was ready and can say that he was well informed.

I was informed that things would move at just the pace they did. I'm sorry, I can't reveal my source.

What a joke - notice his humility? *...received a tip on Wednesday* which, in translation, means that, of course, I am important.New Evangelization - Weigel must be confused. Would suggest that Papa Pancho by his example and decisions will *ressource* the church back to living the gospel (oh yeah, that was evangelization). Not sure that the *new evangelization* was ever a *cultural change*? Cultures just are - neutral. And do you think Benedict meant new evangelization targeted the curia?Incompetents - imagine his list would be very different from Papa Pancho's.He joins many others this week (especially traddie blogs) who are spending hours spinning and doing damage control.

"manifest incompetents" -- all cadinals and members of the curia not named "Weigel."

It is certainly a different tone from Weigel. One that we obviously are not accustomed to from him.

The good news is that as we hear more 'preferential option for the poor' and see less pomp in dress, struts, language the 'bella figura' will fade away into the sunset. first to go... SSPX..

Hold on, guys. So far we know that it is likely that Francis will be an exemplary shepherd of the poor. But so far he has given little or not indication that he is inclined to even discuss the hot button issues of sexual morality and questions of ordination. He did support civil unions for gays, which is a b is hopeful. It shows that he is capable of changing his mind. But otherwise, as I see it, he has found no problems at all the old teachings about sexual morality and ordination. So I expect that initially, at any rate, he will come out in support of traditional morality and celibacy in all male priesthood. I expect that he will have to be convinced somehow athat there are people who suffer from current Church teachings about those matters and, therefore, that they must be reviewed. Because many do suffer because of those teachings I'm optimistic that he will eventually review them; But in the meantime I expect the same ole same ole. And George Weigel will say "I told you so".

"Still, who is Weigel happy to see go off into the sunset?? Benedict?"Yes, I'm sure he was referring to Benedict.

Mark P: How do you know? I mean, proof? What exactly is/was his problem with Benedict? I honestly don't know, though I think you are probably right.

I am quite sure George was referring to Bertone, the Secretary of State, above all. As well as some Bertone allies. The dynamic is that Benedict was done wrong by his staff, not that Benedict was wrong. If Benedict was wrong it would mean that George and the Cath cons were wrong about him as the perfect choice in 2005. Ratzinger was the answer to every question. Bertone is undoubtedly not a stellar SecState, but Benedict also refused to sack him, and staffed his administration with theologians and yes-men and friends. The past eight years, and certainly the latter years of JP2's reign, have been a disaster for the Catholic right. They're a bit like Republicans today, who are shocked, shocked to find that we are in debt and spending so much money and in terrible straits and pointing the finger of blame at others who they say have to make the tough choices to clean up this mess. There is a lot of fancy footwork and repositioning going on by these days. It's funny to watch. Pull up a chair.

!Referindose al Papa como Pancho me ofende! Me hubiera esperado un comentario ms respetable. Qu has logrado con esto? Nada.

David:I think that you are correct on Bertone. He seems to be the preferred whipping boy/scapegoat. Whether that is fair or not is another question but such is politics.I was speaking to a Chinese friend and outside observer and mentioned that this election was touted as reform. He is far from a Communist but quoted Mao who said that he was only able to clean up a few blocks. Entrenched privileges.I think Pope Francis is doing an end run around the who apparatus and trying reform a la his namesake and Jesus! Ultimately, it doesn't matter who is in place as long as they are reasonably competent and have good moral character and are trying to do the right thing by way of purification of conscience and reflection.

Ann Olivier:Let's start with COLLEGIALITY. That's a big enough task for now. If the bishops are no longer treated like altar boys by the Curia Romana, then other issues may yet be engaged. Let's hope for a retrieval of the Council first.

Let's start with the POOR! That is the task for now.

Eight days. That's all it's been. With all he's had to do recently, Pope Francis may not have his bags unpacked yet. If good things are coming in this papacy, I'm content to wait for them; and if they are not, I see no need to rush disappointment.We will know soon enough.

Perhasp wee should start a journal called "The Catholic Scallion" and begin with the headline"Pope Francis Pontificate Deemed A Failure! George Weigel Named Extraordinary Biographer Chronicles Disaster in 900 Page Book That He Has Already Written."

Scallion Bulletin!!!"George Weigel Has Just Published His Second Book on Pope Francis! "Maybe Not What He's Cracked Up to Be.. Why Then is He is a Youth Jail? Something From His Past we Should Know...?"

Pope Francis' s concluding words to the diplomatic corps, at the Vatican this morning, the tenth day of his Petrine ministry:"To struggle against poverty both spiritual and material; to build peace and construct bridges. These are the points of reference on the road which I desire each of the countries represented here to take. A difficult road however, if we do not learn more and more to love the Earth. Also in this regard it is of help to me to think of the name of Saint Francis, who teaches us a deep respect for all creation, the protection of our environment, which too often we do not use for good ends, but exploit to the harm of one another." (unofficial translation)

Correction: "but exploit GREEDILY to the harm of one another."

The vaunted "tip" could easily have been the blanket e-mail that Cardinal Dolan sent around his archdiocese on Monday predicting that we'd have a pope by Thursday and that he could be installed on St. Joseph's Day.

Peg:I am so glad to see that you have noticed how GW managed to flog his new book every time he "reported" on the goings on in Rome.

Jim McC. --Pope Francis has already begun with the poor. This morning he said Mass for some garbage men! Yay, yay, yay, Francis!!

Every day I check out the news about the pope, and good news keep streaming in. No more brainy homilies, that I confess I will miss sometimes, but, instead, a person who seems to seriously be taking Jesus as his model. The other day I daydreamed that Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict would pen a joint pastoral letter, with both of their signatures affixed.

And let's never forget Weigel trumping the Iraq war along with Neuhaus and Novak. Now the data is overwhelmingly in that this most shameful war in our history was one that really could be prosecuted by Nuremburg as an aggressive war. A preemptive war. What a tremendous blight on the USA by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld etc. Plus the aforementioned super Catholics.

Hmmmm. Jamie Manson at NCR tells us that the new pope and the Argentinian Evangelicals get along just fine."Apparently their respect runs so deep that, according to another Christianity Today article, at least one evangelical scholar, Cecil Robeck, professor of church history and ecumenics at Fuller Theological Seminary, says "his Argentine friends have described Francis as a Bible-oriented man who holds to literal interpretation of much of the Bible, so he'll likely affirm much evangelical theology.""Frances leans to literal interpretation of the Bible? Looks like George Weigel might be at least partlyright. Francis is theologically REALLY unreconstructed.

Pope Francis will find some sharp minds on the subject of creation and science among the Jesuits at the Vatican Observatory, if he wants to talk about literal interpretation of the Bible and science: .Brother Guy told us his quarters or office ( I can't remember which) are just above the Papal apartments at Castel Gandolfo.

Anne Olivier, I'd take the notice of Francis's biblical literal mindedness with a grain of salt...maybe a whole cup. Between those who hope to find faults and those who hope to claim him, there will, no doubt, be extravagant claims. In this case, not even the most conservative Catholics could be described as literal minded readers of the bible or as fundamentalists, or at least as biblical fundamentalists. Papal fundamentalists perhaps...

Ms. S. --Robeck's claim is actually a somewhat qualified one -- he says Francis " holds to literal interpretation of much of the Bible". Notice the "much of". But even so, that some knowledgeable fundamentalists view him close to them is a bit scary. I hope they're wrong. Francis was a chemistry major in college, so I doubt that his literal interpretations concern evolution. Does that leave mainly the moral issues? We'll see.

Ann: I am happy to be referenced by you for something I wrote, but Jim McK wrote that to which you referred above @ 03/22/2013 - 2:32 pm. I don't even know his real name!Also, I don't know where you live (03/22/2013 - 2:32 pm), but in my 'hood, garbage men are FAR from being "the poor" (assuming that they are unionized, as so many of them are)!Is it a job many of us would want? No, thanks. Is it a degree of income that many would want? Oh, yes!

Jim McC. --My apology to Jim McK. The garbage men here aren't well paid. No city workers are, though I think that the garbage service is now being handled by a private company. But you couldn't pay me enough to do what they do!

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