What Else Can the Pope Embrace? By Peter West

     The Pope is in full political correctness overdrive, saying that Trump’s wall is evil and basically that God will destroy it (it is never going to be built, but is a useful foil for the chattering class).  Also, that there should be penalties for those with a high carbon footprint because global catastrophe waits from climate change. Yes, all this from a typical jet-setting member of the praying class who probably has 500 times our carbon use, but expects the ordinary deplorables to bare the cost, as with the illegal invasions. Wow, all I can say is I hope that he is right about climate change because we really need some Darwinian catastrophe to turn off the mined control machine that has been feeding zombie memes into the brains of Western man.

“Critics of the pope have often complained that he intentionally sows “ambiguity,” and the pontiff’s words Thursday would seem to suggest that he owns this criticism as a badge of honor because he sees a desire for doctrinal clarity as anti-evangelical. Francis famously refused to answer four cardinals who presented him with five questions or “dubia” to clarify certain purportedly unclear teachings in his 2016 teaching letter, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). In 2017, the former doctrinal chief of the U.S. Bishops Conference (USCCB) wrote a powerful letter to the pope, criticizing his “intentionally ambiguous” teaching, derision of conservatives, and resistance to constructive criticism. The Capuchin priest, Father Thomas Weinandy, whom Pope Francis himself named to the Vatican’s International Theological Commission in 2014, listed five points that illustrate the “chronic confusion” that seems to characterize the Francis pontificate, namely, intentional ambiguity, disdain for doctrine, the naming of heterodox bishops, sowing division in the Church, and vindictiveness in the face of criticism. The Pope’s guidance “at times seems intentionally ambiguous,” the theologian stated, leaving the faithful confused and spiritually adrift. “To teach with such a seemingly intentional lack of clarity inevitably risks sinning against the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth,” the priest said. While the pope accuses his critics of making doctrine into an ideology, “it is precisely Christian doctrine that frees people from worldly ideologies and assures that they are actually preaching and teaching the authentic, life-giving Gospel,” Weinandy said. Other observers have attributed the Pope’s habitual vagueness to his training in the Jesuit order. “For those unfamiliar with Jesuits,” wrote Dominic Lynch in The Federalist, “vague and porous doctrine is almost their raison d’être. Indeed, it is so baked into the order that finding a conservative Jesuit is more difficult than finding a liberal in West Texas.”

     It is easy; he is just a communist. That is all. If that was not enough, even his theological statements undermine the gospels:

“The former doctrinal chief of the U.S. bishops’ conference has published an article criticizing the Abu Dhabi statement signed by Pope Francis in February, alleging that the statement undervalues the person of Jesus and undermines the Gospel itself. In a joint statement with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, Pope Francis asserted in February that God wills a plurality of religions just as He wills a plurality of colors, sexes, races, and languages. “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in his wisdom, through which he created human beings,” the statement said. In his article this week, Father Thomas Weinandy took issue with the statement, insisting that the existence of a variety of colors, races, and languages in humanity is very different from a variety of contradictory truth claims about God’s identity and way of acting. Pope Francis later walked back the statement, saying that rather than “willing” a plurality of religions, God really only permits the existence of many religions. In a series of unscripted remarks, the pope attempted to clarify that what God really wills is fraternity among all peoples, while he only allows a plurality of religions. “But someone may wonder: why does the Pope go visit the Muslims and not just Catholics? Why are there so many religions? How is it that there are so many religions?” Francis said.

“With the Muslims we are descendants of the same Father, Abraham. Why does God allow there to be so many religions? God wanted to allow this. Scholastic theologians referred to God’s voluntas permissiva [permissive will]. He wanted to allow this reality: that there are so many religions,” he said. “Some are born from culture, but they always look at heaven, they look at God,” he said. “But what God wills is brotherhood among us and in a special way – and this is the reason for this journey – with the Muslims, our brothers and sisters, children of Abraham.” “We must not be frightened by the difference: God allowed this,” the pope continued. “We should be frightened if we do not work in brotherhood, to walk together in life.” The pope did not, however, take back his support for the Abu Dhabi statement or ask to have it amended. In his article, Father Weinandy said that Pope Francis is noted for his ambiguous statements, but the Abu Dhabi text is “the most egregious.” “By implication, it not only devalues the person of Jesus, but it also, and more so, strikes at the very heart of God the Father’s eternal will. Thus, such studied ambiguity undermines the very Gospel itself,” he wrote.

With his sloppy and imprecise language, the pope plays rights into the hands of contemporary academics and pundits who argue that Christianity can no longer claim itself to be the one true religion, Father Weinandy said.
According to Catholic belief, the priest said, Jesus Christ is “the universal Savior and definitive Lord” and cannot be compared to any other religious founder, guru, or guide. “Christianity is principally founded upon the saving actions of God; first anticipated and prefigured within his saving actions among the Israelites and fulfilled in the sending of his Son into the world – the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” he said. The theologian also cites Saint John Paul II, who wrote: “It is precisely this uniqueness of Christ which gives him an absolute and universal significance, whereby, while belonging to history, he remains history’s center and goal.” Regarding the Abu Dhabi statement itself, Father Weinandy said that one would like to think “that Pope Francis unwittingly, and so not consciously aware of the doctrinal implications of his signature, did not intend what the document seems to declare.” “Regardless, no one, not even a pontiff, can undo or override the will of God the Father concerning Jesus his Son,” he concludes. “In his love the Father has given the world Jesus his Son, and ‘there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12),” he said.”

     Probably the Pope wants to be a Muslim, or, wallowing in affluence, just does not care, because talk is cheap. Ask any Marxist philosopher; come to think of it, almost all academics.



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Wednesday, 21 October 2020
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