Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What if Pope Francis Means Exactly What He Says?

So, diversity is the
road to unity?
Here's a story from Catholic News Agency about the Pope's visit to Pentecostals in Caserta, Italy.

In a visit with his long-time friend Evangelical preacher Giovanni Traettino, Pope Francis apologized for Mussolini's persecution of Pentecostals during the 1930s, which Catholics, "tempted by the devil," joined in.

The Pope admitted that he, also was tempted by the devil. He said this: “there is the temptation of assessing: I am the Church, you are a sect. Jesus has prayed for unity. The Holy Spirit makes diversity in the Church. But the same Holy Spirit makes unity, and the Church is unity in diversity. A diversity reconciled through the Holy Spirit.”

This is worth looking at more closely.

  • the Pope is tempted by the devil -- nothing wrong with this, we're all subject to temptation, but...
  • it is the devil who suggests that the Catholic Church is the one true faith, and Traettino's Pentecostals are just "a sect" -- however, this suggestion cannot come from the devil, because it is true, and the devil is a liar and the father of lies, so where is the discernment?
  • the Holy Spirit makes diversity in the Church -- hard to make sense of, but in the context of a meeting with Protestants, it suggests that Protestantism is part of the God-given diversity of the Church (good luck arguing otherwise in the context)
  • the Church is "unity in diversity" -- what is this other than Modernist doublespeak?

So, the Pope holds that anyone who believes the Church is the one true faith and non-Catholic groups are just sects is under a demonic delusion. The Pope believes that Protestantism is just part of the Holy Spirit's wonderful plan of "diversity," which will one day be resolved by that same Holy Spirit, and all of us richer for it.

Was Martin Luther under the influence of the Holy Spirit when he launched the diversity-creating Reformation? Perhaps Henry VIII, when he diversified England with his personal no-fault adultery Church? 

Is there any, any call in anything the Pope says to these people he obsessively meets with, and apologizes to, to return to the Church? Not metaphorically, as in "going to the peripheries and touching the flesh of Christ," but by coming into the Church and consuming the flesh of Christ?

The answer is no. 

What does the Pope really believe about the Church he leads? Deep down and as a practical matter?

Honestly, I don't know.

And that is a pretty disturbing admission.


  1. Well, yes. It's an extremely disturbing situation we've got, and eventually this craziness from His Holiness is going to reach critical mass. He has already abused his sacred office inexcusably, imo. I just don't know what recourse scandalized Catholics have in a circumstance like this. Petitions? Delegations to the Domus Sanctae Marthae? We already know that Francis has demonstrated contempt for Catholics who believe certain key Church teachings.

    1. We are already at the fallback position of, "Well, he may have some strange ideas personally, but these are all off the cuff remarks. It is not like he is actually teaching them officially." Spend 60 seconds really considering that and feel the emptiness in the pit of your stomach.

      And so another torture device is hauled out and shown to those undergoing the gray martyrdom of the Novus Ordo Church. But God is permitting all of this for His own reasons.

  2. Indeed, if his personal dispositions are exactly as he's telling us, I do not think in good conscience we could follow Francis as the Pope...It is a rather scary thing to think about...but it really couldn't be any other way. What were our dear Cardinals thinking.

    1. He's the Pope. I don't know what else to say. Does God value our personal fund of knowledge about Church doctrine, or does he value obedience to the lawfully elected Vicar of Christ? Does humility trump all? I think the conversation in almost all but professional Catholic chattering class is moving beyond "What have we here," to "What do we do?"

    2. Yes, he's indeed the Pope, and I do not doubt this for one minute, but this is one of those times where the Eastern approach to the Papacy is working wonders for my spirituality...our leadership for our particular church is our Metropolitan archbishop in our tradition we don't "look to Rome"...(one of these days I'll do a post on my blog on it)....even if Pope Francis were a heretic (I don't believe that he is) the Church (aka College of Cardinals) would have to depose him of his office via a canonical trial...I've been ignoring Rome and reading the teachings of my Metropolitan, and life has been so much less stressful :)

  3. "What does the Pope really believe about the Church he leads? Deep down and as a practical matter?

    Honestly, I don't know."

    c'mon Bear...after the last year and a half of gut-wrenching, blood curdling, apostacizing evidence...you know. We all know. The fact that it is unthinkably, unspeakably awful makes it all the harder to admit......but you know.

    1. Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt is in my bones. I keep thinking there has to be some explanation. If, God forbid... I think it's time for for the Bear to say exactly what he thinks about this Pope.

  4. I tend to agree with Joe. This whole mess is the fault of the Cardinals who had enough of Benedict and voted in this man who came in second place in 2005. He obviously does not believe outside the Church there is no salvation, and is instead preaching Religious Indifferentism which is a sin.

  5. I tend to have come to the same conclusion as Bear has. Innocent until proven guilty. (maybe I should have gone into Law:) I keep thinking the same thing. There has GOT to be an explanation, and a reasonable 'Catholic' method to his madness. I admit, I'm having one heck of a time finding it. I feel as if I am trying to climb a greasy pole. I guess if you look at the history of the Church, you will find numerous 'bad' Popes that we have actually survived, and we will survive this one if he turns out to be leading the Church in the wrong direction, which is becoming more obvious by the day, and is slowly breaking down my 'denial'. He is becoming the 'elephant' in the room. I think Bear's advice is solid. Nail your foot in front of your pew and stay there until you die.


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