Truth is, I am not really sure. Did he mean me?
(Vatican Radio) Christians are called to proclaim Jesus without fear , without shame and without triumphalism . Those were the words of Pope Francis at Mass this Tuesday morning at the Casa Santa Marta. The Pope also stressed the risk of becoming a Christian without the Resurrection and reiterated that Christ is always at the center of our life and hope. Lydia O’Kane reports.“Jesus is the Winner who has won over sin and death.” Those were the words of Pope Francis on Tuesday morning during his Homily at morning Mass. He was referring to the Letter of St. Paul to the Colossians in which the Saint recommends we walk with Jesus " because he has won, and we walk with him in his victory “firm in the faith."This is the key point, the Pope stressed: "Jesus is risen ."But, the Holy Father continued, it is not always easy to understand . The Pope then recalled that when St. Paul spoke to the Greeks in Athens he was listened to with interest up to when he spoke of the resurrection. "This makes us afraid , it best to leave it as is." Pope Francis said.Continuing his Homily the Pope recalled the Apostles, who closed themselves up in the Upper Room for fear of the Jews, even Mary Magdalene is weeping because they have taken away the Lord's Body . " …they are afraid to think about the Resurrection." The Pope noted that “there are also the Christians who are embarrassed. They are embarrassed to "confess that Christ is risen.Finally, said Pope Francis there is the group of Christians who "in their hearts do not believe in the Risen Lord and want to make theirs a more majestic resurrection than that of the real one . These, he said are the “triumphalist” Christians."They do not know the meaning of the word ' triumph ' the Pope continued, so they just say “triumphalism”, because they have such an inferiority complex and want to do this ...When we look at these Christians , with their many triumphalist attitudes , in their lives, in their speeches and in their pastoral theology, liturgy, so many things, it is because they do not believe deep down in the Risen One. He is the Winner, the Risen One. He won."This, the Holy Father added, is the message that Paul gives to us " Christ "is everything," he is totality and hope , "because he is the Bridegroom , the Winner " .
Again, I admit that I don't really understand to whom the Pope refers.
I know that that in the past, progressives have used the term 'triumphalist' as a derogatory term for traditionalists. If this is the Pope's intent, I am just as confused as alarmed.
First let me say, I am not a fan of this style of speaking. The use of shortcut terms with a history of derogatory use does not seem fitting for use by the Holy Father. Additionally, the true target of his critique is obscured by its use. I have been reading around to try and see if anyone had more insight than I, but it seems that the confusion is general.
"They do not know the meaning of the word ' triumph ' the Pope continued, so they just say “triumphalism”
I suppose if this were true, that certain Christians repeatedly used the word triumphalism as their banner, this general confusion woudl not exist.
When we look at these Christians , with their many triumphalist attitudes , in their lives, in their speeches and in their pastoral theology, liturgy, so many things, it is because they do not believe deep down in the Risen One. He is the Winner, the Risen One. He won.
Reading these specific words, I think they could easily apply to progressives within the Church who think that the simple message of Christ's birth, death, and resurrection and the redemption offered to us is insufficient. They believe that more is needed, that it is their human creativity that is needed to seal the deal. This attitude is reflected in their pastoral theology and constantly reinvented liturgy.
Alas, I doubt that this was the Pope's intended target.
If his real target is traditionalists, I think it would be better if he just said so. If traditionalists are the target, as many suspect, then I don't think that the critique hits its mark. For sure, there may be some few on the fringes that think every action of the Church infallible and put the 'triumph' of the Church ahead of the 'triumph' of the Resurrection, but I do not see this is not mainstream traditionalist thought. If aimed at a fringe subset of a subset, the critique hardly seems worth it and might serve to unfairly label many.
I am particularly alarmed by the Pope's reference to 'triumphalist' liturgies. Are we to suppose that anyone attached to the Extraordinary form should now be suspected of 'triumphalist' tendencies.
All in all, I do not see these comments as clear and their murkiness serves only to muddy.