Thursday, February 05, 2015

Jack Tollers on Francis the Argentine


Some time ago I did an article entitled "First Impressions" in which I asked readers to submit what they recalled were their very first 'gut reactions' upon hearing of the election of Jorge Bergoglio to the Chair of St. Peter. We got 82 testimonies, and anyone who takes the time to read them all will notice an eerie similarity among them all. I encourage you to view the original post "First Impressions" and browse the comments. Very interesting.

At that time I was contacted by Argentine traditionalist Jack Tollers. Jack is a casual reader who has occasionally popped in and out of my comboxes over the years. I first met him when doing some research on the great Argentine priest Fr. Castellani. Jack has translated some of Fr. Castellani's works and self-published several books on items of interest to traditional Catholics; he also has his own Spanish-language website called Et Voila!

Anyhow, Jack offered his own insights on the election of Jorge Bergoglio from the perspective of an Argentine who intimately knew who this man was and how he operates. For the vast majority of Anglos, Bergoglio was somebody we only heard about for the first time the day he was elected. But Argentines have a long history with him. Jack brought an interesting perspective to the discussion and I asked him to compose a brief essay on understanding Bergoglio in light of Argentine culture.



I posted this on Facebook some time ago but somehow never got it up on the blog, so now you have it. If you have been struggling to understand the character of the current Pontiff or make sense of some of his erratic actions, this essay should help fill in some gaps. It is a troubling sort of essay, but a necessary one.

I want to thank Mr. Tollers for composing this essay for Unam Sanctam. Please see his excellent works on Fr. Castellani.

UPDATE: Interest in this post led to another interview with Mr. Tollers, this time from the blog From Rome. Please view this interesting addendum to this post at the From Rome blog.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I found that article to be rather superficial. It really did not add a whole lot of substance to the discussion.

Although it clearly does not make me any kind of expert on the subject of Argentina, I spent a semester studying at the Universidad de Belgrano. The professors under which I studied were exemplary. I truly enjoyed the culture and the people. Obviously the country has problems. In my opinion, it is not Peronism per se, but Caudillismo that creates the problem (Peronism being just a variation on the theme). I think the Mr. tollers would agree that there is a strong trend of Caudillismo in Pope Francis' papacy.

Mr. Tollers could offer quite a bit more, I am sure, if he expanded upon his article in some detail.

To sum it up, I loved Argentina, not too happy about Pope Francis, and we all got problems.

I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this part of the problem? Sort of a duality? Francis has said some lovely things about Our Lord, Our Lady, and he does teach sometimes in a truly Catholic way.
However, out of the other side of his mouth he will say something so outrageous that we gasp and can't believe he said it.
You had a good experience in Argentina during your short time there. Jack Tollers lives there and has a deeper experience to relate. Yes, his article is superficial, but it was not meant to be a footnoted study, more of a 'taste' of his experiences.
If I were to give my impression of Francis as a personality - which he seems to want us to do - it would be totally negative - superficial, nay, at least materially heretical.
Tollers' article gives me some background in which to 'see' Francis.
Barbara

Anonymous said...

Well, maybe the fact that he was once against Arrupe gives some hope. [Read Malachi Martin's "The Jesuits."]

Marietta

c matt said...

I did not grow up in Argentina, but my parents were from there and older sister was born there. As I sometimes say, "Born in the USA. Conceived in Argentina."

Anyway, my impression of Argentina and its people: Italy, minus all the hard workers. Argentines love to discuss - anything and everything - but few care to actually do. Perhaps explains Bergoglio's affinity for dialogue.

Anonymous said...

Well, 'Nobody is a prophet in his own land'

What about Pope Francis is still smiling, after all that is said about him ..

Anonymous said...

Saying or writing something entirely Catholic on one day and then saying or writing something outrageous the next is a definition of neo Modernism. He is simply a neo Modernist, already which is condemned by the Church.

joannis said...

I'm afraid its exactly his deeds which speak the loudest. every decent catholic worth their salt knew for years that kasper was the biggest waling red devil heretic that ever was ordained. there's no way that anyone can properly explain the fact that bergoglio out kasper in charge of the synod and he's still in charge, along with pro-homogenized baldisseri and bruno forte being the the lace covered choir director singing in falsetto. for don't anyone be surprised at this: to show we all can give a wink at secular gays and their humongus new rule of the culture of the west, this is not half the story - the other half of the story is the amount of them in the priesthood and so to wink at them is to wink at the ones within and they won't have to feel like such an anomaly - for they can't FIRE them all or there's be only a small rump left, if you'll excuse the sad and sadder ecclesiastical pun!

David L Alexander said...

"Saying or writing something entirely Catholic on one day and then saying or writing something outrageous the next is a definition of neo Modernism."

It won't say that in a dictionary, so no, it's not a definition. What it is, is a description of poor formation as a young Jesuit, a lack of confidence with the glare of the public eye, and signs of a melancholic temperament, possibly the early stages of dementia. Heresy is not the same as saying something foolish, and a summation of that upon which one could elaborate does not make it "superficial." Tollers could say more; he chose not to. What he *did* say is the most plausible explanation for a conflicted personality occupying the See of Peter. One could imagine he is not the first. They didn't have cable news in the days of the Borgias.

jck4711 said...

I have always been conflicted on pope Francis. I don't know what to think of him. Sometimes he sounds very Catholic, and it seems that he approaches things from a more simple perspective. But other times I am astonished by some of his statements that sound either naive or blatantly offensive to Catholics who are faithful to the Church. I have felt like this since he was elected, and things haven't gotten any clearer. I don't know whether he is humble or if his humility is a mask.