His message was about getting along with your brother. Insults come from the same place as murder, the Pope said, because the root of both is hatred. "There are [also] those, who, in their hatred, express their hate through insults with great flourish – and that hurts."
In familiar three-point style, the Pope urged realism, coherence and fraternity.
Realism requires compromise, the Pope said, even though many find compromise "too vulgar." The Pope compared those reluctant to compromise with the Pharisees, who, with their "holier-than-thou attitude" "kill" people with whom they disagree with gossip, calumny and defamation.
The Pope said the Pharisees used "smoke and mirrors" to cover their lack of coherence, because they were ideologues, unwilling to compromise.
Fraternity demands that we be willing to compromise, because we have the same Father.
The Pope's favorite trope is pitting the rigid, holier-than-thou ideologue against the loving freedom of the Spirit. Is there a reason for this? Some fear that he is both tipping his hand and isolating those who wish to remain true to the Catholic faith in advance of change.
It is a bad prophet who inveighs against the right sin at the wrong time. (And the Bear believes Pope Francis sees himself in the prophetic, not pastoral, role.) Is the Church today endangered by fusty old traditionalists clinging to their incense and Latin? Is rigidity the danger, or should the Pope, rather, be addressing laxity?
Compromise is a good thing in many situations. Without compromise, the criminal justice system would grind to a halt, because only a fraction of the cases brought could ever be tried. The defendant is willing to accept some punishment, and the state is willing to give up some justice in order to get the job done. Compromise in religion is an entirely different matter. Certainly, there are things that might be compromised on, but there can be no compromise in matters of faith and morals. (The Bear is happy to be corrected on this opinion.)
Also, compromise depends on two persons sincerely willing to make it. It is difficult to know what the Pope is trying to say, since he always keeps us guessing with vague statements.
The Bear does not understand the point being made about coherence. Perhaps something was lost in translation. It would be so much easier if he would simply state what he means, identify his targets, because surely he has someone in mind when he repeatedly utters the same criticisms.
In Other News...
Father Z dutifully beat his guns into bird-feeders.
Okay, that was the cheap shot. Is there something more to this?
Maybe the Pope is talking about people who build nuclear submarines, not Colt Manufacturing, LLC. Or tanks, or stealth bombers. Rosie the Riveter is an icon of freedom. Did the board of directors of Boeing go to Hell because it made the B-17 during WWII? If national defense is legitimate, why is it illegitimate to manufacture the means of that defense? Or is the Pope just condemning trendy munitions such as land mines?
This is the sort of fuzzy, absolutist thinking one expects from the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Granted, it makes not one whit of difference, but it demonstrates the intellectual capacity and priorities of the Pope.
"Realism" is indeed a valuable quality, and prudence is a virtue.