Defending the Pope: Ten Quotes From Tom Hoopes

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"Defending the Pope: Ten Quotes From Tom Hoopes" (CatholicMom.com)

Courtesy of The Gregorian Institute at Benedictine College. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Tom Hoopes, editorial director of the Gregorian Institute and author of What Pope Francis Really Said: Words of Comfort and Challenge, gave a presentation on Nov. 17 called “Is the Pope Catholic? Answering Common Concerns About Francis” at Benedictine College. Benedictine College theologians Dr. Andrew Salzmann and Dr. Matthew Ramage were respondents.

Here are 10 quotes from Hoopes’s presentation.

1: “I spent a year reading Pope Francis, and it was the hardest year of my life. It wasn’t that Pope Francis is hard to read — he’s not. It is just that he was really hard to read in 2015-2016, if you knew you had to write a book defending what he was saying.”

2: “’I wish I could just sit and watch this pontificate unfold instead of having to write about it!’ I complained to friends. ‘I don’t want to have to defend this guy.’”

3: “Whether we like it or not, we are supposed to defend the Pope. It’s part of our job description as Catholic lay people.”

4: “If you can’t exactly embrace what the pope says, at least decline to publicly undermine the things he says.”

5: “Catholics should not parrot the media’s misunderstandings of the Pope. When we do, we help ensure that the uninformed, dissenting version of what Pope Francis said becomes the definitive version of what Pope Francis said.”

6: “In the don’t ‘be like rabbits’ quote, Pope Francis wasn’t telling large Catholic families that they were being irresponsible. He was telling European secularists that the Church isn’t irresponsible.”

7: “One thing that became obvious in researching my book is that many of the problems people have with Pope Francis they should also have with Pope John Paul or Pope Benedict, too.”

8: “Many of his most shocking statements are not shocking at all, they are just Catechism quotes translated into everyday speech.”

9: “He had a powerful experience of Christ as a 17-year-old in the confessional, and to this day prays a Holy Hour and a full rosary every day. He told African children what he always carries in his pocket: A Way of the Cross and a rosary.”

10: “Pope Francis once said: ‘With these two things you have the action plan: the Beatitudes and Matthew 25.  You do not need anything else.’ Laudato Sícan be read as a detailed, bold application of the Beatitudes to life in the technological age … And if we all committed ourselves totally to accomplishing the works of mercy the way Pope Francis has asked, we would transform the world.”

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Copyright 2016 The Gregorian Institute at Benedictine College. This article was originally published at thegregorian.org and is reprinted here with their kind permission.

The Gregorian Institute is Benedictine College’s initiative to promote Catholic identity in public life by equipping leaders (the Gregorian speech digest), training leaders (the Gregorian Fellows), defending the faith (the Memorare Army for Religious Freedom), and celebrating Catholic identity (the Catholic Hall of Fame).

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2 Comments

  1. “Whether we like it or not, we are supposed to defend the Pope. It’s part of our job description as Catholic lay people.”

    This is very, very wrong. I noticed you didn’t cite a source on this one. I will, though.t St. Thomas Aquinas, and other theologians, say clearly that it’s not virtue to blindly defend the Holy Father if he is wrong, stating that there are even times where one should oppose your bishop and even the Holy Father.

    “If the faith is in imminent peril, prelates ought to be accused by their subjects, even in public.” -St. Thomas Aquinas (Summa Question 33, Article 4, Re to Objection 2)

    “Now it can be said briefly that those who defend blindly and indiscriminately any judgment whatsoever of the Supreme Pontiff concerning every matter weaken the authority of the Apostolic See; they do not support it; they subvert it; they do not fortify it… . Peter has no need of our lies; he has no need of our adulation.”) [Melchior Cano, De locis theologicis, liber V]

    “Many of his most shocking statements are not shocking at all, they are just Catechism quotes translated into everyday speech”
    Again, simply not true. The CCC speaks quite strongly against those in objectively gravely sinful relationships being admitted to holy communion, unlike Pope Francis. Likewise, with Lutherans receiving communion.

    “One thing that became obvious in researching my book is that many of the problems people have with Pope Francis they should also have with Pope John Paul or Pope Benedict, too.”
    Correct. JPII and B16 were not perfect, and occasionally messed up too.

  2. I had an interesting conversation with a priest recently who is a convert as am I. I was expressing the fact that I feel like in the company of Catholics I can look into a field and describe a Holstein dairy cow and then they will mutter…”I don’t see it. All I see is a BMW motorcycle”. He said “well, I have found that those raised in the Church often in these days do not see what is obvious to everyone else”.

    Yes, it has gotten THAT absurd.

    The fact that this generation of Catholics is ignorant of the Sacred Scriptures AND the perennial Magesterium of the Church and many often seem to simply “believe what he believes’ as if they don’t have to believe it for themselves doesn’t help resolve the matter.

    I wholly affirm the responsibility for Catholics to defend…the TRUTH. That the Pope is the vicar of Christ is part of that Truth and most often, almost entirely in fact thru history, St Peter IS speaking the Truth and we should defend those words, but when St Peter is standing by the fire warming his hands and denying Christ when confronted as an Apostle of Christ…are we then supposed to defend what he has to say or are we to stand on our heads, flap our hands, close one eye, eat a banana upside down and proclaim that his denial is actually an affirmation of the Nicene Creed except the folks around the fire misinterpreted it?

    If nothing else, we now know that Bellarmine was wrong and Suarez was right…

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