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Editors Note: When I first wrote the below text, really late at night, I must admit I did it for its comedic value. However, after sleeping on it, I realized that there is a larger, more serious point that could have been made. Therefore, I have edited the below, leaving everything that was in the earlier text, and added more explanatory text in an attempt to capture an essential issue that I have with Pope Francis’s “magisterium”.
The reason that I am using the “m” word is that it is commonly accepted that the daily homilies of Francis are a new form of magisterial teaching. It is not I who claim that, but others, better informed individuals than I. And until this contention is denied by the bishop of Rome or Fr. Lombardi, I will assume that the above statement is correct. To support this contention I will provide links (see here and here), as I come across them.
Francis gave another one of his infamous morning homilies today. He returned to a favorite theme of his: the lukewarm Christians that will be spit out of the mouth of God. (see here)
Francis stated the following:
“I wish you were either cold or hot,” St. John writes to the Church of Laodicea. “So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
Since there are senior Church clerics who do not know what Francis means when he says what he says, (see here) and since this passage is a favorite of the bishop of Rome and since this blog is the Deus Ex Machina blog for a specific reason (see here) and since we do not discriminate against spotting and pointing out the use of other logically problematic literary and rhetorical devices such as “straw men” arguments (see here), it is only natural that we should parse Pope Francis’s homily so that we might be able to drill down to what exactly His Humbleness really means to say.
So let’s get cracking, shall we?
First let’s define the methodology.
Logic would dictate that to understand the idea that Francis wanted to get across to his listeners at the Casa Santa Marta, we need to define exactly who the bishop of Rome is referring to when he uses the terms the Hot Christian, the cold Christian and the Lukewarm Christian.
So far so good.
From the biblical passage quoted by Francis, we can be very certain that we are dealing here with what a statistician would call a Population. This Population would encompass all eventualities, i.e. would be collectively exhaustive. ALL Christians would fit somewhere in that definition HOT,COLD and LUKEWARM.
Furthermore, the possibilities inside the Population would not be mutually exclusive. For example, a category “Hot” Christian who is a ‘young slut’ on the moral issues could also be “a good Catholic, good Christian, friend and benefactor of the Church that – it has been revealed – acted for personal profit’, which would put her in the “Cold” Christian camp in terms of ethics. With the above example, we see that we are not dealing here with three fixed categories i.e. Hot, Cold, Lukewarm, but rather with a continuum, or a range of possibilities.
However, all the possibilities are collectively exhaustive as stated earlier. In other words, they can not fall outside of the Hot,Cold, Lukewarm continuum.
Now that we know how to categorize these Christians we need to define what would constitute a particular type of Christian, so that we can put them on our HotColdLukewarm continuum. Just like the one below. (On an aside, the caption text is not the author’s.)
At this point it might be a good idea to remind ourselves why we are constructing this HotColdLukewarm continuum. The reason being, that if we can identify where a particular Christian falls on this continuum, we will be able to assess whether this Christian will be loved by Our Lord or whether Our Lord will spit him out of His mouth. Now back to the methodology.
At this point we really don’t know what a Hot Christian or a Lukewarm Christian is, since the bishop of Rome has never really defined these two concepts. However, he definitely has defined the concept of a Cold Christian.
Therefore, if we take the definition of a Cold Christian, and use “antonyms/opposite meaning of terms” to define the opposite extreme of our continuum, i.e. the Hot Christian, we will have the two extremes of our continuum defined. And then we can infer what would constitute a Lukewarm Christian by locating him on the HotColdLukewarm continuum, so that we will know exactly who God will be spitting out of His mouth.
So here is the cast of character; the Cold Christian; the Hot Christian; the Lukewarm Christian.
We definitely know how a Cold Christian is defined by the bishop of Rome. We can use the excellent Francis Little Book of Insults from that excellent blog That The Bones You Have Crushed May Trill (see here) that defines the Cold Christian as follows:
“Old maid!”, “Fomenter of coprophagia!”, “Specialist of the Logos!” , “Rosary counter!”, “Functionary!”, “Self-absorbed, Promethean neo-Pelagian!”, “Restorationist!”, “Ideological Christians!”, “Pelagian!”, “Mr and Mrs Whiner!”, “Triumphalist!”, “Rigid Christians!”, “Modern gnostics!”, “Liquid Christian!” , “Superficial Christians!”, “Slaves of superficiality!”, “Museum mummy!”, “Renaissance prince!”, “Airport Bishop!”, “Leprous courtier!”, “Idealogue!”, “Long-faced, mournful funeral Christian!” , “Gnostic!”, “Careerist Bishop!”, “Sourpuss!”, “Authoritarian!”, “Elitist!”, “Querulous and disillusioned pessimist!”, “Sad Christian!”, “Pickled pepper-faced Christian!”, “Children! Afraid to dance! To cry! Afraid of everything!”, “Asker for certainty in all things!”, “Christians allergic to preaching!”, “Closed, sad, trapped Christian who is not a free Christian!”, “Pagan Christian!”, “Little monster!”, “Defeated Christian!”, “Creed-reciting, parrot Christian!”,”Watered-down faith, weak-hoped Christian!”, “Inquisitorial beater!, “Seminarians who grit their teeth and wait to finish, follow rules and smile [who] reveal the hypocrisy of clericalism – one of the worst evils!”, “Abstract ideologue!”, “Fundamentalist!”, “Smarmy, idolator priest!”, “Worshiper of the god Narcissus!”, “Vain, butterfly-priest!”, “Priest-wheeler dealer!”, “Priest-tycoon!”, “Religious who have a heart as sour as vinegar!”, “Promoter of the poison of immanence!”, “Those closed in the formality of a prayer that is cold, stingy [who] might end up as Michal, in the sterility of her formality.”, “Older people nostalgic for structures and customs which are no longer life-giving in today’s world!”, “Young people addicted to fashion!”, “Pastry-Shop Christians!”, “Luscious cakes, sweet dainties. Delectable, but not real Christians!”, “Existential tourist!”, Anesthetised Christian!, “Christian hypocrites only interested in their formalities!”, “They disguise themselves, they disguise themselves as good people: they make themselves up like little holy cards, looking up at heaven as they pray, making sure they are seen—they believe they are more righteous than others, they despise others!” ‘Mah,’ they say, “I’m very Catholic, because my uncle was a great benefactor, my family is this, I’m that… I’ve learned… I know this bishop, this Cardinal, this priest… I am this or that…’ They think they are better than others. This is hypocrisy!” “Sloth-diseased, acedic Christians!”, “I think of many Christians, of many Catholics: yes, they are Catholics, but without enthusiasm, even embittered!”,”They are people without light – real downers!”, “And how many Christians are like this?” he asked, “selfish, out for themselves.”, “Christians who do not leave space for the grace of God – and the Christian life, the life of these people, consists in having all the paperwork, all the certificates, in order!”, “The theologian satisfied that his thought is complete and conclusive is mediocre.”, “The theologian who does not pray and does not adore God ends up drowning in the most disgusting narcissism.”, “This is an ecclesiastical sickness. The narcissism of theologians and thinkers does such harm; it’s disgusting.”, “Your institutions are not machines for producing theologians and philosophers.”, “There are Christian bats who prefer the shadows to the light of the presence of the Lord!”, “Starched Christians, too polite, who speak of theology calmly over tea!”, We have heard of so many good Catholics, good Christians, friends and benefactors of the Church that – it has been revealed – acted for personal profit. They presented themselves as benefactors of the Church and made money on the side…”, And in the Church there are climbers, people driven by ambition! There are many of them! But if you like climbing go to the mountains and climb them: it is healthier! Do not come to Church to climb!, A simple numerary in this sect!
So the above are the Cold Christians, and according to the homily that Francis gave today , God loves them.
If the above is the definition for a Cold Christian, then it must follow that the below is the definition of a Hot Christian:
Young slut, maintenance engineer (janitor- I am keeping this clean on purpose), theological ignoramus, holy roller, anarchist, self loathing, “opposite of Promitian Neo-Palagian whatever the hell that is- but Fr. Blake takes a stab (see here) so it’s the opposite of that, Modernist, Non-ideological Christians, Anti-Pelagian, Mr. and Mrs. Sunshine, Defeatist, Lax Christians, Ancient Cretin, Solid Agnostic Christian, Profound Atheist Christian, Free from profundity, Spring Chicken, post-modern peasant, Bus Bishop, Healthy insulter, non-ideological, Smiley-faced, joyous tongue talking Pentecostal Christian, Cretin, Slacker bishop, Smiley Face, Revolutionary, Pedestrian, Easy-going happy go lucky optimist, happy Protestant Christian, Ripe tomato Episcopalian Christian, Old folks, Tango dancing, emotionalists, Irresponsible, Accepting half-measures, Baptist Christian on street corners, Open, happy, emancipated Evangelical Christian who is a free spirit, Believing Pagan Christian, Big softy, Victorious infidel Christian, Speaking in tongues, babbling Pentecostal Christian, solid agnostic Christian, strongly despaired Lutheran Christian, Non-judgmental cuddler, Seminarians who don’t grit their teeth and rush to finish taking their time (on the diocese dime), don’t follow rules, never smile [who] hide the truthfulness of their clericalism – one of the best virtues, Materialists, Deconstructionist, Course non-observant priests, Worshiper of the god of self loathing, shy, caterpillar priests, pauper priest, priest anti- capitalist revolutionary, Religious who have a heart as sweet as cotton candy, promoters of the antidote of exit, Those rubric hating, emotionally obsessed who might end up as Lucifer, in the non existence of substance, Older people nostalgic to recapture their youth, stuck in the 1960’s and no longer relevant to the world today, young people rebelling against fashion, vegetarian Quakers Christians, Ham sandwiches, sour krauts, Hideous but not real Hari Krishna’s Christians, Stay at home realists, Moaning Christians, Christian hypocrites only interested in the latest liturgical fad, They disguise themselves, they disguise themselves as good people: they make themselves up like “Godspell or JC Superstar actors”, hands held up to heaven as they pray, making sure they are seen-they believe that they are more righteous than others, they despise others!, Mah, they say, I’m don’t believe in organized religion,, because I hated my grandfather who was a great benefactor, screw my family, screw everything, I hate the bishop I despise this Cardinal, this priest… I am this or that…’They think they are better than others. This is hypocrisy! Energetically-healthy, alkaline Christians, I think of many Christians, of many Catholics: yes they are Catholic, but superficial enthusiasm, even bland, They are people with superficial light – emotionally draining, And how many Christians are like this? Francis asked, “unselfish, looking after others to the detriment of themselves, Christians who do not believe in the grace of God- and the Christian life, the life of these people, consists in disregarding the essential administrative tasks, not attaining the required knowledge for the work that they perform, The theologian not bothering with formal formation but just winging it is mediocre, The theologian who does not pray and does not adore God ends up drowning in the most disgusting narcissism (fits Bergoglio to t), This is an ecclesiastical sickness. The narcissism of modernist theologians and thinkers does such harm, it is disgusting, Your institutions are not college dorms for producing quasi-theologians and pseudo philosophers, There are Christian bats who think they are in the light of the presence of the Lord, Wrinkled Christians, disrespectful, who disregard theology for the life in the favela on the Churches dime, We have heard of so many good Catholics, good Christians, friends and benefactors of the Church that – acted for an ideological and revolutionary cause. They presented themselves as wanting to help the poor, an made money on the side…, And in the Church there are climbers, people driven by ambition! There are many of them! But if you like climbing go to the mountains and climb them: it is healthier! This sound advice is given to you by a “non climber” who became pope. And by the way, do not come to Church to climb, and a simple numerary in this sect (?).
So the above are the Hot Christians and according to today’s homily, God loves them also.
And now for those who do not fit on the extremes, i.e. the ones who are neither Hot Christians nor Cold Christians would by default fall in the Lukewarm part of the HotColdLukewarm continuum.
And those are according to today’s homily, the Christians that “God will spit you out from His mouth”?
Commentary. Those of you dear readers who have familiarized yourselves with the concept of the literary and theatrical device Deus Ex Machina, will notice that there is no contradiction between Francis saying that God loves Cold Christians one day when at other times Francis is belittling them by calling them names. And you also know that it has nothing to do with “Jesuitical thinking”. The reason that there is no contradiction between these two nominally contradictory positions is explained away through the fact that a “Cold Christian” or a “Hot Christian” is just a Deus Ex Machina. A “god from a contraption” which Francis invents on a case by case basis, lowers at any give point in time into his
storyline magisterium to provide a sudden or unexpected, albeit contrived solution. Francis inserts the “Deus Ex Machina”, whether consciously or not is a separate issue, to get to whatever point that he is making, to the audience on that given day.
I hope the above also helps to clear this issue up, the issue of not knowing what Francis means by what he says. With the help of the DEM, we can gain new helpful insights into what Francis has to say. Or the lack there of.
For our immediate needs, the definitions of Hot, Cold and Lukewarm Christians will allow us to understand who Francis was referring to at today’s homily at the Casa Santa Marta.
And speaking of the Casa Santa Marta, which by the way is still “administered” by Msgr. Ricca. I wonder where on the HotColdLukewarm continuum the good Msgr resides?