Catholics who retain any real sense of their faith are being scandalized by the words and deeds of the man presently seated on the Chair of Peter. One almost wonders if he was put there to destroy what remains of the Catholic Church. Like a true child of Vatican II, he is turning away from God towards man. Here for example are the first nine of eleven key quotes extracted (not by me) from an interview given by Francis on September 24 to the atheist editor of an Italian newspaper.
Quotes 2 to 5 concern the Church (I summarize): 2 The Church administration must be more horizontal, less vertical. 3 The Roman Curia is too self-serving. It must go out to the people. 4 The Pope must no longer be a king surrounded by flattering courtiers. 5 Too many priests are self-serving, and obstacles to Christianity. Now quotes like these will obviously please a modern democratic public that has never liked being told by the official Church what to do, but are these quotes fair or just towards the countless Popes, Curias, Administrations and Priests that went before Francis for 1900 years to maintain the structure of the Church for the salvation of souls? Will Francis on the contrary leave any structure still standing, any souls saved, behind him?
Quotes 1 and 6 concern the world: 1 On my watch the Church will stay out of politics. To leave democratic men to throw themselves into Hell? 6 The world’s two worst problems today are the unemployment of the young and the loneliness of the old. Now these are two real human problems of today, but why? Is it not because churchmen like Francis leave, precisely, politics to the politicians, putting money in front of young people? And because churchmen like him refuse to enforce those Church laws which, by holding the family together, help it to look after old people?
Quotes 7 to 9 concern religion: 9 Jesus gave us only one way of salvation, love of one another. But love of neighbour without love of God coming first turns into hatred of neighbour, for example Communism. 7a Converting people makes no sense. It makes the greatest of sense, if, as is the case, nobody can get to Heaven without believing in God and in his Divine Son, Jesus Christ! 7b We must all mix together and move one another to the Good. But we must all move one another towards God. What else is the Good? If Francis will not mention God, who will believe in God?
Quote 8 is the gravest of all: 8a “I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God.” This is gravely misleading. True, God is the God of all men, but he instituted for all men one religion, and one religion only, and that is the Catholic religion. Thus the God of Catholicism is the one and only true God. 8b “Jesus is his incarnation, my teacher and my pastor, but God the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator.” Also gravely misleading. Does not that “but” suggest that Jesus is not the Creator? Does Francis believe that Jesus is anything more than just a man? 8c “Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them.” This is not misleading at all. This is the denial of all objective morality, the denial of all principles of Catholic morality. This is an invitation to all men to do as they like. Coming from the man who is to all appearances the Catholic Pope, it is sheer insanity.
Pope Francis may plead that he is trying to get through to modern man, but to get through to him without God is just like jumping into a dangerous river to help a drowning man without a rope tied to the bank. One will only drown with him. Your Holiness, you are not helping but drowning!
N.B. Error in the American address last week – not 6051 Watson Street, but 9051. Apologies.