Pope Francis a Rad Trad? The Pope of VENGEANCE!

No, he is not a rad trad, unfortunately (radical coming from radix, meaning 'back to the root, makes 'rad trad' a redundancy). His de-emphasis, so far, on worship precludes that. 

However in his ideas, even the ones that strike many of us as modernist, he might actually be a shrewd cutting edge presentation of the traditional faith.

When he says we mustn't focus on abortion, sodomy, and contraception, to the exclusion of focusing on unemployment, poverty, the bereft elderly, etc., he is in fact teaching from the Catechism OF TRENT.

There are 4 sins that, according to Trent, cry to heaven for vengeance. See this post by Taylor Marshall.

Francis is simply reminding us that we will be damned not ONLY because we murder our innocents and sterilize ourselves, but because we steal from the worker and ignore the widow, dishonor our parents, and fail the fatherless.

And honestly these are the sins in which everyone indulges, not just the non-Catholics. The latter two sins are the real danger within the Church.

Thank God the Church has finally begun to purify herself of the ambiguity towards abortion, contraception, and sodomy that we saw in the 70's, 80's, and 90's.

We haven't begun (except for Dorothy Day and other un-heeded thinkers) to purge our laxity in economics, however. 

While most Catholics know that we mustn't abort, sterilize, and sodomize (even if the majority still do so), practically NO Catholics know that they are responsible for ending the latter two sins that cry to heaven for vengeance in their own lives.

Our economy has sucked us in, our personal and collective choices as a people have sucked us into a usurious 'free' market to which we can blithely pass the buck of responsibility for our neighbors. We use the laws of the market to justify sins that the bible clearly condemns, such as taking interest from our neighbor, inflating the currency in which the worker is paid, and the savings of the elderly. 

And we 'conservatives' have the nerve to be outraged by CRS and CCHD scandals? Have we offered a traditional alternative? 

We have not had the courage to consider radical alternatives to the American, Enlightenment way of economy.

When, we the Church, do wipe the sleep out of our eyes, and consider the need for charity, we too often deputize systems, big-government and big-economy systems. We rarely care for our neighbors, assuming systems will provide care. We too often donate to, and support causes or projects, rather than being with, eating with, living and working with our neighbors.

We need to return to a Biblical economy, one that has at it's purpose not individualism, but the communal worship of God. Cardinal Ratzinger has a good chapter on this in "The Spirit of The Liturgy". The land was given to the people so that they would have a place to worship God. Instead all to often Israel used the land as the place in which to pursue their interests, their livings. The Temple was the shrunken space left for God's rights and interests. The other 99% of the land was for natural and, eventually, unnatural pursuits.

God must reign everywhere, temple and land alike. The church is his throne, the land his home, his footstool, where he puts up his feet at the end of a long, hard day, and rests in the company of his children and sings a love song to his wife.

We must be in solidarity with every brother and sister, not just our family and friends. We have to love our enemies, not just as ourselves, but as Our Lord loves them, in penance, suffering, making their good our good. Willing the good for them, at the cost of our own penance and care.

We 'conservatives' have been complacent about the sins that cry to heaven for vengeance. That we have erected our own culture of vengeance--wars against terrorism, punishments against criminals-- is a hypocrisy God can overlook only because of His great mercy and care for us.

Pope Francis is right. The great evil of our time is the abuse of the widow and the fatherless. And our collective fraud against the laborer. We must purge interest-taking from our lives. We must visit the widows, the single mothers, the victims of divorce, the fatherless children. We must protect children from abuse. We must honor our parents and care for them, and be humble to them.

Fr. Vincent McNabb had several chapters in his book on social teaching saying much the same as Francis: that the Church must proclaim the necessity of the natural law, the goodness of family life and matrimony, but that she must likewise proclaim her social teaching. 

He said it is alot to ask of people living in city apartments, on small wages, working long hours, and most inhuman of all, bereft-- because of our individualistic, mobile, rootless, career-centered, option intoxicated economy-- of community support.

Francis is saying much the same. To convert youth away from temptations of abortion, contraception, fornication, etc. (and to heal the temptations of married people to adultery, divorce, contraception, etc.) we must live rooted, Christian communities, supporting one another, building each other homes, helping each other in times of need, employing one another, godparenting, etc., sharing, welcoming the stranger and sojourner as Christ. To 'restore tradition' we must honor our father and mother, not 'retire' them from family life and governance, not consign them to the system. 

Our homes and parishes must restore the tradition of hospitality. As Francis said, the Church is a 'field hospital' for the walking wounded. The domestic Church is where those wounded souls are sent to convalesce.

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