“Steven, you are supposed to eat it!”
The death rattle of the Novus Ordo Missae.
video source: Gloria.TV News, A Very Interesting Analysis of Pope Francis’ Personality, 15 March 2018
First of all, the doubt has been removed that Bergoglio may speak in a disorderly way only in Italian but not in Spanish, the language that is most natural to him.
We have received messages from Argentina:
“Even in Spanish Francis is rather disorderly when he improvises, although perhaps a bit less than in Italian.
And from Spain:
“He is disorderly and confused even when he speaks in Spanish. Sometimes he does not finish his sentences. He uses many expressions typical of Argentina, excessively local and informal.”
Having established this, an Italian reader has gone to the heart of the matter like this:
“I believe that Bergoglio’s disorderly and sloppy improvisation is intentional. His jumping from tangent to tangent makes it difficult for the interlocutor to come to grips with anything. This is the case, for example, of the inflight interviews, which he constructs and measures with undoubted political and manipulative skill. A skill that however in the end turns out to be to be short-lived, at least when the journalist presses him.
“As for his recent autobiographical account, the fact that he describes as an age of 'omnipotence' the period in which he was a superior makes one think. It reveals an affective approach to power that turns out to be problematic to say the least. The periods that he calls ‘dark’ in his life are in practice those in which he has no position of authority.”
Also from Italy:
“From an overall perspective, I would say this. There is in Bergoglio the typically Jesuit formative-cultural element, oriented more to the image than to the concept, heightened by a personality that seeks impact rather than real sharing - in keeping with his authoritarianism - all supported by a very acute psychological penetration.
"However, the way in which he has recounted his life reveals a basic ambivalence. That which is the exercise of a power of suggestion and of impression is, at the same time, the expression of an unresolved, fragile personality, with pockets of poorly digested rancor. His political and psychological skills allow him to manage this instability socially. But the result is not constructive. I think that with Pope Francis it may never be possible to define in a clear and crisp manner - and even he does not know this - how much in him is the calculated exercise of a consciously destabilizing power, aimed at setting 'processes' in motion, and how much is the expression of a personality like his own, unstable and thirsty for compensation."
And finally, for now:
“In many ways Bergoglio reminds me of Marcial Maciel, the charismatic founder of the Legionaries of Christ. He too, the pope, must be deciphered from a psychological rather than a theological point of view. I am convinced that part of his secret lies in his family of origin, of which, on balance, we know very little and about which he himself says little and in an evasive manner. I am struck, among other things, by the figure of his sister, Maria Elena [in the photo], with that homeless look and oddball mannerisms.
Both Bergoglio and Maciel have, had in common a strong personality, charismatic, but with that surface charisma proper to unstable personalities. Both are, were allergic to going deeper, to intellectual work. Both are, were masters of the art of dissimulation and with a special intuition in grasping the vulnerable points of interlocutors and bending them to themselves. Both with a mental energy out of the ordinary. Both implacable and vindictive towards the enemies, when these are weaker than they.”
(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)
‘Bergoglio Disclosed. Tell Me How You Speak and I Will Tell You Who You Are’, Settimo Cielo (2 March 2018)
“Reish Lakish said: “Great is תשובה (repentance) because it transforms זדונות (premeditated sins) into שגגות (inadvertent transgressions)”. Oh Really? Didn’t he also say? “Great is תשובה (repentance) because it transforms premeditated sins into זכויות (merits)”? There is no contradiction. The first one refers to “Teshuva Meyir’ah” (out of fear of G-d), the other refers to “Teshuva Me’ahava” (out of love for G-d)...the other statement of Reish Lakish is pretty puzzling. How can it be that every sin turns into a Mitzva? One can have life of unlimited hedonism, sins and transgressions, and yet, all of the sudden, by doing this ultimate Teshuva, every single sin is considered as a Mitzva. What is the sense of that?...Rabbi Yoseph Dov Soloveitchik discusses this matter in “Al HaTeshuvah.”...In this kind of Teshuva, one does not return but rather continues. Instead of suffocating the fire and desires of the sins, one can uplift and elevate them. Behind every sin there is much negative energy, which was invested in the sin. Sometimes that energy is stronger than the positive energies, which we put in the Mitzvot. The sinner can try to channel and convert that negative energy to Kedusha (sanctity). With the same passion one used to hate, envy and covet, he can now perform the Mitzvot. The evil of transgressions can be transformed into a powerful and steady catalyst for learning Torah [Talmud]. His Torah [Talmud] will be more “juicy” because the strong energies of sin will be now part of his Torah [Talmud]. In that sense, retroactively, every single sin is considered to be a Mitzva because now one knows how to redirect the sinful energy. This method requires one to remember his sins. When a person does Teshuvah, it can bring him closer to Hashem [the Name], more than he ever dreamt...If we are able to do “Teshuva Me’ahava”, we can transform every sin to a merit, as Rabbi Yochanan told Reish Lakish while trying to be Mekarev (reach out to) him : “Your strength should be devoted to Torah [Talmud].” (Bava Metzia 84a) — Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth
“Elul: Transforming Transgressions into Merits”, Beit Hillel (19 August 2015)
“He is calm. To confront this, he uses the Jesuit spirit and the third degree of asceticism: that of being indifferent to some things. But he is a human being, so he also suffers. Some critics, besides being gratuitous, reach the core of one's being. Like him betraying Church doctrine... this is not true. He does not accept this and it is the most serious accusation that one can receive.”— MSGR. ANGELO BECCIU, Substitute, Vatican Secretariat of State
“when I became a believer… you know I identified as a Christian and was reading the bible a lot, but the moment I really began to believe in Jesus Christ, I left the church.” — Wim Wenders
‘In Conversation with Wim Wenders and Donata Wenders’, ASX (16 December 2015)
“I had the highest regard for Pope Francis before I ever met him, just from seeing him on television and from reading his sermons or his encyclicals. But meeting him eye to eye, and then also seeing and hearing him every day in the editing room, not only in our own interviews, but also his many talks all over the world, to refugees, prisoners, politicians, scientists, children, rich or poor or regular people, made me realize how courageous he was, how fearless. And that would be my wish: that he never loses that relentless courage. Whenever he left our set, the last thing he said was: “Pray for me!” And that wasn’t just his way of saying good-bye, he meant it. And I’ve heard him ask the same from people all over the word. So that would be my other wish: that he is carried by all those prayers for him, from all these people (including my little film crew) for whom he represents a man whose word we can trust in. That has become such a rare and precious thing today: a man who is not acting for himself, but for the common good.” — Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders: ‘Pope speaks directly to viewer in new film’, Vatican News (13 March 2018)
“I applaud this initiative,” writes Pope Benedict. “It contradicts the foolish prejudice of those who see Pope Francis as someone who lacks a particular theological and philosophical formation, while I would have been solely a theorist of theology with little understanding of the concrete lives of today’s Christian.
The Pope Emeritus writes that he is grateful to have received the set of 11 books edited by Roberto Repole, President of the Italian Theological Association. Pope Benedict XVI adds that these volumes “reasonably demonstrate that Pope Francis is a man with profound philosophical and theological formation and are helpful to see the interior continuity between the two pontificates, even with all the differences in style and temperament.”
Mons. Dario Edoardo Viganò
Segreteria per la Comunicazione
Città del Vaticano
7 febbraio 2018
I thank you for your courteous letter of January 12 and for the attached gift of the eleven small volumes edited by Roberto Repole.
I applaud this initiative which is intended to oppose and react to the foolish prejudice according to which Pope Francis would be only a practical man devoid of particular theological or philosophical formation, while I would be solely a theoretician of theology who could understand little of the concrete life of a Christian today.
The little volumes demonstrate, rightly so, that Pope Francis is a man of profound philosophical and theological formation, and they therefore help in seeing the interior continuity between the two pontificates, albeit with all the differences of style and temperament. Nonetheless, I do not feel that I can write a brief and dense theological page about them because for my whole life it has always been clear that I would write and express myself only on books that I had also truly read. Unfortunately, even if only for physical reasons, I am not able to read the eleven little volumes in the near future, all the more so in that I am under other obligations to which I have already agreed.
I am sure that you will understand, and I extend to you my cordial greeting.
(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)
The Double "Foolish Prejudice." The Complete Text of the Letter by Benedict XVI, Settimo Cielo (13 March 2018)