Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thor’s Day: Pope Francis

Drawing our attention

By James Knudsen

With regard to last week’s “Fish for Friday” column, which led off with Pope Francis, I’ve always wondered whether “Fish for Friday” was a reference to the Catholic tradition of not eating meat on Fridays [it is]. Of course, by the time I arrived in the Johnson & Johnson & Johnson era, the practice had been relegated only to the forty days of Lent which would be…five Fridays? Vatican II must have made Charlie the Tuna cry.
Me in my first uniform at St. Aloysius
    I spent seven years under the tutelage of the priests, nuns, and lay people of St. Aloysius Parochial School [in Tulare, California]. I never heard the Liturgy in Latin. I’ve never known a priest with his back turned to the congregation. But as Pope John XXIII urged his clergy to speak to their congregants in their language, I see this recent pope, Francis I, urging his clergy and his congregation to speak, to act, to live the Good Word in ways never seen till now.
    I was just watching some of the coverage of his visit to the U.S. Two priests were assisting Katie Couric with their color commentary. And one commented that Pope Francis is really much more at home among common folk. And in light of his actions as Pope, visiting the poor, the homeless, the imprisoned, it would appear that, for him, the more common the better.
    At best, I’m a “Cafeteria Catholic.” I pick the things I like about the Church and pass on the things I don’t. And I don’t go to the cafeteria very often. But I like this Francis. There will always be those for whom even the best intentions and actions are not enough, and any deviation is grounds for ignoring all of the good.
    The canonization of Father Serra will be enough for some to dismiss the words and deeds of Pope Francis. [“Pope Francis Honors First Hispanic Saint in U.S.,” by Tamara Audi, The Wall Street Journal, September 23; “Friar responsible for California’s mission system that helped colonize state”] I think that’s a perfect way to avoid doing anything about the things that need our attention.
    And as a Jesuit, it was probably a little distasteful for the Pope to canonize a Franciscan. I hear they’re like Yankees and Red Sox fans.

Copyright © 2015 by James Knudsen


  1. I urge you all to stay tuned for my take on Pope Francis.
    "Do I Dare Piss off The Pope and His Supporters?" by Bob Boldt
    We seem to have a pretty good balance of diverse opinions here. Perhaps we could get a discussion thread going on the Church and the Pope.

  2. I wouldn't go quite this far but I appreciate the sentiment.