Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Value of Things - Examples from Pope Francis

Number of rosaries said as reparation for the desecration of the Eucharist: 9

Along with an extended discussion and focus on the Real Presence, it's importance and promulgating a greater acceptance of its Truth, I am also going to continue on this theme of the value we place in ideas, objects, practices, and people.  For this post, I am going to focus on a few words from Pope Francis that he said on the plane ride back from his African trip (all taken from the National Catholic Reporter - link below)

No God in Absolute Truth

Fundamentalism is a sickness that exists in all religions. We Catholics have some, not just some, so many, who believe they have the absolute truth and they move forward with calumnies, with defamation and they hurt (people), they hurt. And, I say this because it’s my Church, also us, all of us. It must be combatted. Religious fundamentalism isn’t religious. Why? Because God is lacking. It’s idolatrous

Based upon this direct quote (as all quotes here are), and then looking at the highlighted parts, my critical thinking skills suggest the following about Pope Francis's values: he doesn't value the knowledge of Absolute Truth as a good thing because, to him, it lacks God rather than being the link to God.  This is fundamentally anathema to the Catholic worldview, but explains why he is so perplexing to so many Catholics - He doesn't view the world through a Catholic POV.  It is also why he hates Catholics that have a Catholic POV.

Secular Values

The problem is bigger ... this question makes me think of one they once asked Jesus: “Tell me, teacher, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? Is it obligatory to heal?” This question, “is doing this lawful,” … but malnutrition, the development of the person, slave labor, the lack of drinking water, these are the problems. Let’s not talk about if one can use this type of patch or that for a small wound, the serious wound is social injustice, environmental injustice, injustice that ... I don’t like to go down to reflections on such case studies when people die due to a lack of water, hunger, environment ... when all are cured, when there aren’t these illnesses, tragedies, that man makes, whether for social injustice or to earn more money, I think of the trafficking of arms, when these problems are no longer there, I think we can ask the question “is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” Because, if the trafficking of arms continues, wars are the biggest cause of mortality ... I would say not to think about whether it’s lawful or not to heal on the Sabbath, I would say to humanity: “make justice,” and when all are cured, when there is no more injustice, we can talk about the Sabbath.

This was an answer to a question about birth control to stop the spread of AIDS in Africa.  But if you look at the highlighted texts, he views various types of "injustice" as the problems that plaque the world and these are the problems that MUST be dealt with for the world to be what God wants it to be.  But here is another example of how Francis doesn't have a Catholic POV.  Rather than see the world as Christ saw the world -- distanced from Him because of sin and the need to create a road for fallen creatures such as us to come back to Him -- Francis sees the effects of sin as the real problem.  There is no significant interest by him in bringing people to Christ in that way the Church has always understood it.

Muslim/Catholic Commonality?

Wars don’t come from God. God is a God of peace. God made the world.

They have virtues, many virtues and these virtues are constructive. I also have the experience of friendship — it’s a strong word, friendship — with a Muslim, a world leader, we can talk, and he had his beliefs and I had mine, he prayed and I prayed. (There are) many values, prayer for example, fasting, religious values. Also other virtues ... We can’t cancel out a religious because there are some, or even many fundamentalist groups at a certain point in history. It’s true, wars between religions have always been there throughout history, always. We also need to ask for forgiveness, Catherine de’Medici was no saint, and that 30 years war, that night of St. Bartholomew, we must also ask for forgiveness from the fundamentalist extremists in the religious wars. But they have virtues, one can dialogue with them. Today I was at a mosque, an Imam prayed with me, he wanted to go around the small stadium with me in the popemobile, where there were many who couldn’t enter, and in the popemobile there was the Pope and an Imam. It was possible to speak. As everywhere, there are people with religious values, there are people who don’t ... how many wars, not only religious, wars we Christians have made. It wasn’t the Muslims who did the Sack of Rome. They have virtues.
 I think Francis connects the word "Christian" with the word "Fundamentalist" which he then connects causing major problems in the world.  This also explains why he goes out of his way to say that Muslims have the same values that we do, like prayer and fasting.  Because to Francis, values do not come from your knowledge (or confusion) about God, but if you have the right "secular" values.  Becoming a better Catholic doesn't mean anything to Francis if those changes aren't reflected in better secular values.  It is, again, a 180 degree adjustment from what any normal Catholic would think. 
That's also helpful to explain something that has always bothered me about Francis and his bishops - why he sounds like secular leaders from around the world rather than a spiritual leader.  And it's also why those same secular leaders love him so much -- he's one of them.

But for our purposes, as part of the Church Militant, the more important thing is his complete disregard to value anything SUPERNATURAL.  Ultimately, the Church is a supernatural entity.  The Sacraments are supernatural.  The Grace received from God is supernatural.  Prayers are supernatural.  If you can't see existence in this manner; if you can't pray the Mass in this manner or conduct Mass in this manner, you essentially can't be Catholic.

This is the great divide in the Church now -- do we value the supernatural or not?  If we do, there is still hope for us.  If not, we will die.

And the belief in the supernatural begins with the Creed and the Real Presence in the Eucharist.  You must believe these supernatural things to know the Truth and be guided by the Truth.  

How many of our Church leaders right now value and believe the Creed and the Real Presence?

How many of us believe in the supernatural?

1 comment:

Aquinas_54 said...

Great point about the Bergoglio "congruence", as I think of it, with the secular leaders he seems so eager to please, like Obama and the UN Secretary General. The one thing that most struck me about his speech to the U.S. Congress was that it sounded no different from what a Democrat Senator might have said (or even a few Republican Senators, for that matter.) He is essentially just a politician, a cross between a Peronist and an American leftist.

I came to visit on seeing your link in your comment on 1 Peter 5 to Dale Price's article. Good to see other faithful Catholics taking up the blogging torch to defend the Church and the Faith! My meager effort is also on Blogspot...check profile if you're interested. God bless.