15 November 2013
Three Items for Reflection and Prayer
The Holy Father needs and deserves our prayers. He has the right to expect them of every Catholic. And we should always pray for the triumph of the Church, Christ's Mystical Body.
It is in this context that I wish to post about three items appearing on the web this week, three items that highlight the current mess in which the Church finds herself. A mess, unfortunately, that the words and actions of the Holy Father (intentional or not, misused or not) have brought about or made worse.
Item 1: The above video is the the latest, but I want to lead with it. Recall that Italy is a nation founded by freemasonic revolution, which, in direct opposition to the Pope, in defiance of the rights of the Church, and in an act of unjust appropriation of Papal lands, virtually imprisoned the Pope in the Vatican before Mussolini, of all people, signed the Lateran Treaty of 1929, recognizing the Papal right to the minimal territory it holds today. The Holy Father made a state visit to Italy yesterday, and the President of Italy made what he probably considered a glowing compliment to the Pope thusly:
"You have impressed us with the absence of any dogmatism, keeping your distance from positions that exclude all uncertainty, and by your call to leave room for doubt in that characteristic way of the great leaders of the people of God.
"We have heard your words vibrate with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council as the re-reading of the Gospel in the light of modern culture..."
This is a very practical example of how the modern world hears the words of the Pope as reported by the media. It is what they want to hear, of course. You can read them and decide which way is the likely message, or wait for Mark Shea to tell you what the Pope really meant. No matter. What effect do they have? Do they edify the faithful and call nonbelievers to conversion, or do they dismay the faithful and embolden the enemies of Christ?
Which leads directly to Item 2:
Illinois is the latest state to legally equate repeated sodomy with the institution of marriage. OK, yawn. This is so commonplace it is hard to get too worked up about it. But one thing is a bit disturbing. The proponents of sodomy--nominal Catholics, too-- in explaining their actions, cited favorably the reported words of Pope Francis. Apparently, they didn't wait for Mark Shea to tell them what he really meant:
The papal comments at issue came in an interview with reporters in July on Pope Francis’ flight back from World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. "If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?" the pope said.
According to the Tribune, those comments “sparked a wave of soul-searching by several Catholic lawmakers who had battled to reconcile their religious beliefs with their sworn duty to represent their constituents who were increasingly supportive of gay rights even as Cardinal Francis George remained opposed.”
Rep. Chapa LaVia said: "As a Catholic follower of Jesus and the pope, Pope Francis, I am clear that our Catholic religious doctrine has at its core love, compassion and justice for all people.”
Speaker Madigan did not name the pope, but made a clear reference to his comments. "For those that just happen to be gay — living in a very harmonious, productive relationship but illegal — who am I to judge that they should be illegal?" he said.
Actions have consequences whether they are intended or not. The public comments of the most important leader in the world will have consequences.
Finally, Item 3, from Pat Buchanan:
Buchanan has a fine article today addressing the very real consequences of a Pope who essentially has ceded the field in public morals to the zeitgeist of the day. The whole article should be read, but here are a few gems:
After noting the words of Bishop Cupich of Spokane that Pope Francis doesn't want 'cultural warriors', Buchanan writes: ... here is further confirmation His Holiness seeks to move the Catholic Church to a stance of non-belligerence, if not neutrality, in the culture war for the soul of the West.
There is a small problem with neutrality. As Trotsky observed, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” For the church to absent itself from the culture war is to not to end that war, but to lose it.
Goodstein quotes the Holy Father as listing among the “most serious of the evils” today “youth unemployment.” And he calls upon Catholics not to be “obsessed” with abortion or same-sex marriage.
But is teenage unemployment really a graver moral evil than the slaughter of 3,500 unborn every day in a land we used to call “God’s Country”?
The cultural revolution preached by Marxist Antonio Gramsci is continuing its “long march” through the institutions of the West and succeeding where the violent revolutions of Lenin and Mao failed.
It is effecting a transvaluation of all values. And it is not interested in a truce with the church of Pope Francis, but a triumph over that church which it reviles as the great enemy in its struggle.
Indeed, after decades of culture war waged against Christianity, the Vatican might consider the state of the Faith.
Our civilization is being de-Christianized. Popular culture is a running sewer. Promiscuity and pornography are pandemic. In Europe, the churches empty out as the mosques fill up. In America, Bible reading and prayer are outlawed in schools, as Christian displays are purged from public squares. Officially, Christmas and Easter do not exist.
The pope, says Goodstein, refers to proselytizing as “solemn nonsense.” But to proselytize is to convert nonbelievers.
And when Christ admonished his apostles, “Go forth and teach all nations,” and ten of his twelve were martyred doing so, were they not engaged in the Church’s true commission — to bring souls to Christ.
“Who am I to judge,” Pope Francis says of homosexuals.
Well, he is pope. And even the lowliest parish priest has to deliver moral judgments in a confessional.
“[S]ince he became pope,” writes Goodstein, Francis’ “approval numbers are skyrocketing. Even atheists are applauding.”
Especially the atheists, one imagines.
While Pope Francis has not altered any Catholic doctrines in his interviews and disquisitions, he is sowing seeds of confusion among the faithful, a high price to pay, even for “skyrocketing” poll numbers.
David Werthing at Ars Orandi has a more indepth analysis of the Buchanan article, and is worth a read here.
Troubling times indeed.
Pray for the Holy Father and the Church!