The official text does not make things better. Zenit has an English translation.
|The Pope has a nice religion.|
He should come up with a name.
No doubt the professional chattering class of Catholics will be shoving the text into the faces of those who found the whole thing objectionable. "See! This lovely little speech with bunnies and ponies and rainbows was what you were having a spittle-flecked nutty about!"
The Bear shall remain unmoved.
One cannot disregard the context. The recently-deceased "Bishop" Tony Palmer -- the one who played the iPhone address to televangelist Kenneth "Name It and Claim It" Copeland -- was instrumental in organizing the fiesta. This was Pope Francis going to meet and speak to Protestants. Everything he said must therefore be considered in that context.
The theme was division and diversity, with the now-obligatory apology thrown in. The Pope of Rome never once suggested that that diversity must be found within the Catholic Church, or that unity must be achieved by those outside of the Church coming into the Church. And the official text still contains this remarkable passage:
He who creates division is in fact the Envious One, the king of envy, the father of envy: the sower of darnel, Satan. He interferes in communities and creates divisions, always! From the first moment, from the first moment of Christianity, this temptation was in the Christian community. “I belong to this one,” I belong to that one.” “No! I am the Church, you are a sect.” And so the one who wins over us is him, the father of division – not the Lord Jesus who prayed for unity
Mark this carefully and remember it. If you distinguish between the One True Faith and a group of Protestants, you are under a delusion of Satan.
In the Franciscan Church, what is essential is "touching the flesh of Christ on the fringes," not consuming the flesh of Christ as a sacrament. Christ's Church is not a sphere, uniform with all points equidistant. It is a polyhedron, with unique, individual faces. (The odd analogy comes from Pope Francis.) The Catholic Church is one of those faces, perhaps a beautiful and important one, but there are many others. Or perhaps, due to its history of hatred and persecution, the Catholic Church has even less moral authority than some Bible-thumping preacher at a tent revival.
Pope Francis succeeds in being "attractive," in preaching a lovely message to those outside the Church. It has fragments of true Catholicism in its concern for the poor. But it is not Catholicism. He could not expose the hollowness of post-Vatican II ecumenism more thoroughly had he tried.
Perhaps the Pope could give one of his famous interviews to the Bear, and explain just what he thinks the Church is, and whether it is essential for non-Catholics to enter it?
The final word goes to G.K. Chesterton, who might have written it for this calamitous occasion. Substitute "Church" for "world."
The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered...it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.
The Church has finally gone mad with the same distemper as the rest of the world. Do not be fooled when the professional Catholic chattering class tries to clean up the Caserta calamity. Pope Francis made a lovely speech. But it wasn't Catholic.