Thanks to Rorate Caeli, I was directed to another interview given by Pope Francis. This is more recent than that other "well-known" interview of his. His Holiness interviewed with Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica. The context makes clear that Scalfari is a fallen-away Catholic. I link now to the interview as it was rendered in English.
While I realize that there might have been some loss of meaning in the translation process, there couldn't have been that much. That said, the proceeds of this interview are most troubling. Many of His Holiness' replies seem to fly in the face of Sacred Tradition and Scripture. Of course Our Lord Himself guarantees that the Pope cannot teach error, presuming that he is speaking solemnly "ex cathedra". By no stretch of the imagination is this "ex cathedra". But there's no way to put a positive spin, a "happy face" if you will, on this.
The article starts off with a direct quote from His Holiness. I cannot determine what preceded this quote or what followed afterwards, but it is troubling. Here it is. "The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don't even look for them any more. They have been crushed by the present. You tell me: can you live crushed under the weight of the present? Without a memory of the past and without the desire to look ahead to the future by building something, a future, a family? Can you go on like this? This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing."
Here it is again, with my comments in red.
"The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. What of the rampant immorality, particular sexual immorality, that is reducing so many young lives to the level of animals? What of euthanasia that threatens so many ill and elderly? What of the lack of spiritual preparedness, through Sacraments, for death? The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don't even look for them any more. Aren't these ills, real though they are, not symptoms of the larger problem, that of not knowing Jesus Christ and the life He offers through the Church? They have been crushed by the present. You tell me: can you live crushed under the weight of the present? Without a memory of the past such as the history of Christianity and the deposit of the Faith and without the desire to look ahead to the future the ultimate future, of course, being heaven and eternity with Jesus and the Church Triumphant by building something, a future, a family? Can you go on like this? This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing." Does this not illustrate the absolute need for proselytizing that is, unambiguous preaching of Catholicism? More on that later.
When Scalfalr jokes that his friends fear the Pope will convert him, the Holy Father replied, "Proselytism is solemn nonsense. It makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us. Sometimes after a meeting I want to arrange another one because new ideas are born and I discover new needs. This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas." I understand that St Vincent Ferrer, a great Dominican preacher, marched into a synagogue one day, preached and converted 10,000 Jews. Somehow I doubt that he was all that concerned with "expanding the circle of ideas", if indeed he had the time to do so.
Here's a little "back-and-forth" by Scalfari and His Holiness:
(ES) "Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?"
(PF)"Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good."
(ES)"Your Holiness, you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that's one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope."
(PF)"And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place."
Wow! Ladies and gentlemen, everyone has a duty to form and inform their conscience according to God's objective, written law as promulgated through the Teaching Magisterium. Otherwise, disaster will be the order of the day. Let's look at a clear example. Adolf Hitler had a very defined "vision of good and evil". Does anyone doubt that he "moved towards what he thought was good"? Did Hitler, in following good as he conceived it, "make the world a better place"? Hitler's "vision of good and evil" was diametrically opposed to any real, objective definition of the same. Hitler really did think that "the good" meant that he had to exterminate Jews and pursue a "master race". Of course we can say that today a lot of "pro-choice" folks follow warped ideas of good and evil. The fact that they are settling for their own ideas as opposed to the Church's ideals has led to an ongoing murderous bloodbath. "Good and evil" are NOT to be subjectively defined.
I don't have time to go through this mess line by line. Let us pray for our Holy Father and the Church that he now shepherds.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
A Troubling Interview With Pope Francis
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Proselytizing is not evangelizing. It is beating people over the head with the Word of God. Totally not the same thing. Remember also it is very difficult to follow your conscience. Just because it tells you to do or not do something does not mean we always follow it. It is even more difficult for the 'unconverted' to follow their conscience whether formed well or not. The Pope is meeting people 'where they are' so to speak. Most unbelievers are not ready for the 'whole' truth sometime.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure what he is referring to about the young people only that there are areas where there is violence and war like the Middle East and Africa etc. Many are driven to 'extremes' there because of the hopelessness about their future. This has led to many atrocities over the years. Be at peace God is in control. The Holy Father is like Jesus talking to the Pharisees and Jews who thought they were following the letter of the law but forgot the 'Spirit' of it was more important. Remember 1 Cor. 13. Unless I have love, (even my enemies) my sacrifices, preaching, prophesying or any 'good works' are a waste. also MT 25 about the Last Judgement, and Jesus telling the people who cast out demons and prophesied in his name. I never knew you. I think we are being stretched in our comfortable thinking and like the disciples and Pharisees can think our sincerety and obeying the 'law' are enough but, we can be completely wrong.
I will not concede to your definition of "proselytizing". People, when brought face to face with plain truth, will often claim they are "beat over the head" if they are ill-disposed towards accepting it. That doesn't mean we not present the truth, for that would be disservice to our listeners.Delete
I too understand that it can be difficult to follow our consciences. That's a result of sin. Would it not be better to have the properly formed conscience? That way we would know where we must repent and improve our conduct.
The "letter of the law" and the Spirit of the law are not disjointed. Often the Pharisees actually twisted the law by adulterating it with their own regulations to suit themselves. No one follows the Holy Spirit who disregards God's laws - unless we believe God to be schizophrenic.
He was talking to an atheist, not a Christian. It was a conversation. Context is important with him Now I believe in speaking about youth that he was referring to the dire poverty that exists in much of the world. I have been to S.AMerica, Africa, Mexico. there are hundreds of million in this world living in tremendous poverty, nothing like poverty in this country. Abortion, Gay marriage, contraception are not big issues there. They are just trying to survive. We must stop listening to him with our american ears and look as he does at the whole world. He isn't obsessed with the western curlture. He is the Universal Pastor speaking even to those of other religions and atheists.ReplyDelete
"It was a conversation"? By nature of the fact that it was meant to be published on the internet where all the world would read it at the click of a mouse, it was in fact statements to the entire world, not a mere "conversation". I don't doubt that other areas of the world are living in dire poverty. But I also recall that Blessed Mother Teresa had some things to say about poverty and abortion. By the way - abortion and contraception are becoming big issues there as the reception of foreign aid is often tied to conditions of accepting contraception and abortifacients (Catholic Relief Services being an egregious example of that). They won't "survive" if they eliminate their progeny.Delete
He certainly is the Universal Pastor. The Church's teachings are universal, not just "big issues" to the western culture. We all, each and every one of us, will face our Lord and Savior at judgment. "Thou shalt not murder" is a big deal to Him - so I wouldn't be calling that "obsession".
I am talking about to the people of those countries they are not big issues. They just want something to eat, to survive. this leads to hopelessness and extremism. Remember MT25 Did you feed me clothe me, etc will be asked of us on the judgement day. He is down at the common peoples level. their day to day existence.ReplyDelete
I've no doubt that is your focus, but I've no reason to believe that the third-world folks are the Holy Father's sole focus. He is the Vicar of Christ to us all and the teachings of Christ apply to all.Delete
Let me give you some facts that might help. the US Catholic Church contains less than 10% of the Catholic Churches members with even the lest stats. The US itself is less than 5% of the World's popluation. Do you think everytime the Holy Father speaks he's addressing this 10%? Why would he ignore the majority of the the Church everytime he speaks. You could add Europeans and it would still be less than 20% of the Catholics membership. Again he is the Universal Pastor of the entire Church the US Church is not in his constant thinking and speaking.ReplyDelete
Yes. He speaks to the entire Church - not merely to the US, but also not merely to third-world, Mr. Scalfari, etc, but the entire Church.Delete