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Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

First Gore, and now Castro: Thanks but no thanks?

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | May 12, 2015

On April 29th, Al Gore said of Pope Francis: “I was raised in the Southern Baptist tradition, I could become a Catholic because of this Pope. He is that inspiring to me. And I know the vast majority of my Catholic friends are just thrilled to the marrow of their bones that he is providing this kind of spiritual leadership.”

Would that leadership consist in the Pope’s interest in Gore’s career issue of climate change?

On May 10th, Raul Castro said of Pope Francis: “I read all the speeches of the Pope. If the Pope continues to speak like this, sooner or later I will start praying again and I will return to the Catholic Church—and I'm not saying this jokingly.”

Would these speeches be those in which the Pope addresses Castro’s ideological mantra of social reform?

These may well be points of attraction, and there is nothing wrong with that.

But note to self:

“Talk is cheap. Do not convert because the Pope seems to be saying what I want to hear. Rather, convert because he challenges me to change, and then connects me to Christ so that I actually can.”

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Oct. 19, 2016 5:44 PM ET USA

    Catholic anti-Catholic bigotry has been on the rise for a hundred years, especially the last fifty. And no, I'm not an anti-VII nut. The more humanity sins, the more sophisticated our denial processes become, including many within the Church making concessions to corrupt anti-wisdom social science that explain evil as socially determined and in need of elite minds to teach and manage out of existence, the exact opposite of a Catholic understanding of a fallen humanity in need of repentance.

  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Oct. 19, 2016 10:12 AM ET USA

    This is straight out of the Saul Alinsky playbook. Enlist ostensibly religious individuals to undermine the Church's teachings, thus confusing the faithful and altering their understanding of what the teachings actually are. Power gained...

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Oct. 19, 2016 9:55 AM ET USA

    I totally agree with Phil Lawler and believe these anti-Catholic Catholics are a cancer within the faith. There are others, though, who counter them rather effectively, most notably younger priests coming out of cleaned-out seminaries (tip of the biretta to JPII and Vitamin B1). From its founding, Holy Mother Church has been assaulted from within and without, yet she still stands and always will as the primary way to salvation. We have Christ's promise on this.

  • Posted by: WNS3234 - Oct. 18, 2016 8:13 PM ET USA

    I think it might be a case of administrative apathy maybe even dereliction yet I wonder if some of the USCCB staffers are sheep in wolf's clothing. They will lie to the bosses and hide behind human resource regulations to keep their employment. I've found this to be the case regarding Marriage, Family Life, Human Sexuality, Contraception and abortion far more than other justice issues. It seems easier to promote big box and local projects than struggle within.

  • Posted by: MWCooney - Oct. 17, 2016 3:56 PM ET USA

    Even when a good bishop gets through the gauntlet of vitriol and intimidation to become the head of a diocese, the imbedded infrastructure there can easily undermine what he thought he was going to do when appointed.

  • Posted by: feedback - Oct. 16, 2016 12:18 PM ET USA

    I keep thinking that before the Wikileaks this sort of information would be speedily denied, dismissed and ridiculed as another "conspiracy theory." Revealing of the evidence was truly providential.

  • Posted by: dfp3234574 - Oct. 15, 2016 10:54 AM ET USA

    Here's a question: Why was the email address of the late editor-in-chief and publisher of the National Catholic Reporter, Joe Feuerherd, in the email contact list for Sidney Blumenthal, close confidant of the Clintons? (Source: WikiLeaks) (The NCReporter has a long history of dissent against the Church.)

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Oct. 14, 2016 9:31 PM ET USA

    It's nice to have details to back up what you've already known and fought against for the last 30 years, but as you point out, there is no real news here. The U.S. Particular Church would not be where it is today--losing priests, nuns, and laity at record-breaking speed--if the rot was not supported by some (many?) of its pastors. It seems that many (most?) of the U.S. bishops feel constrained to only two choices: (1) to vote for Clinton, or (2) not to vote at all. Can prayer alone be enough?

  • Posted by: Leopardi - May. 13, 2015 8:40 AM ET USA

    When Al Gore seems to be coming around to my way of thinking, I usually go back and re-examine my position!

  • Posted by: cvm46470 - May. 13, 2015 12:12 AM ET USA

    Thank you Dr.Mirus. This all brings to mind the reading from Acts last week, with Paul telling the crowds not to deify him, but to "turn to the living God". Christ is the reason to be Catholic; we must pray that these men - and others - see the One to whom the Pope is pointing.