We Cannot Insist Only On…?
Let’s recall what Pope Francis said in an interview six months into his papacy which was published by America Magazine.
“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.
“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.’
For a moment, for a very brief moment, when His Holiness made his address to the US Congress, I thought that after he made this statement…
“The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development…”
…that a rallying cry in defense of the unborn was in the offing. Let’s recall that at the current time there is a huge, epic culture battle going on in the US with the Senate voting on defunding Planned Parenthood, the biggest industrial killing machine of human beings the entire continent has ever seen. Incredibly, as if to plunge a knife into the hearts of the massive pro-life movement in the US, he followed his statement with this…
“This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of…”
You can almost hear the pro-life movement watching, thinking, ‘He’s going to say it! He’s going to say it! Say abortion! Say abortion! Please, say abortion!’ And then it comes, from out of nowhere, disjointed because it has nothing to do with a ‘stage of development’ but rather the application of statutory justice for criminal offenses…
“…the death penalty.”
And you can hear the hearts of millions breaking. He’s not going to champion the unborn because the unborn are just an ‘obsession’, it would seem, that has held back the Church. Neither is he going to rebuke the judicial arm of Government, the Supreme Court, for having legislated same-sex marriage into the law of the land. No.
So what to make of this? I find it unfathomable. I cannot understand, when the dragon of Planned Parenthood, exposed for the evil that it is, placed at the top of the political debate in the US, there is Pope Francis in Congress. With one word, one sentence, His Holiness, like St George, can slay this accursed beast.
Yet, he doesn’t. Pope Francis’s US ‘pastoral’ visit so far makes it strikingly clear that Francis’s ‘new’ Church does not ‘only’ insist on’ the defense of the unborn or the sanctity of marriage and the family. No. So far, his visit it making it clear that the Church does not insist on these issues at all. But it does insist on some and here are those recurring issues on which His Holiness does insist, openly and fearlessly, at great cost to souls, at great cost to the Church, its ministers and Her mission and here they are…
- Climate Change
- Immigration and Refugees
- The Death Penalty
There may be others so I apologise if I have forgotten them. Neither during his first address at the White House or at the US Congress has the Successor of St Peter dared to say the Holy Name of Jesus, so it goes to show that Francis cannot even ‘insist upon’ the Name of the very Man he represents on Earth as Vicar! Remove a little of the religiosity and religious sentiment from his speeches so far and you could be forgiven for thinking that Ban Ki-Moon or his predecessor was visiting the corridors of power in the US. His Holiness says that…
‘The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.’
However, unless the Holy Name of Jesus is mentioned without fear, unless the sanctity of life in the womb is championed in a country whose powerful representatives are reeling from videos exposing this brutal evil upon the nation’s unborn children, unless the sanctity of marriage and the family is defended by the assaults made upon it by the militant homosexual movement in the United States, in what manner is the Gospel proclaimed. Neither is it really proposed concretely to his hearers. A new gospel, a false gospel instead is proposed which is no less obsessed with issues than the real one advocated by those who believe, quite rightly, that every unborn life matters to God, that marriage matters to God, that the Salvation of souls matters to God. It is just unfortunate, for you, as a Catholic, if his issues, the issues he thinks the Church needs to focus on, aren’t your issues or if you think that while his issues are important, the Salvation of souls, the sanctity of human life and the defense of marriage and the family must be the highest priorities in the mission of the Church.
We cannot insist only on social and environmental issues while re-iterating masonic conceptions of a harmonious society in terms of fraternity…Abortion and same-sex marriage are important issues as well.
If the Pope cannot join his VOICE to the millions in the US who are protesting and campaigning for the defunding of Planned Parenthood then I ask you, in what sense is this Pope’s visit ‘pastoral and to whom, precisely, is he a pastor’?
If at this ‘critical moment in our civilisation’ the Successor of St Peter cannot bring himself to stand publicly in defense of the unborn in a nation that murders them systematically, at a particular time and peculiar context, when the US media and its politicians are being literally forced to confront the issue because of one brave Catholic investigator and his assistants, then it isn’t the case that the Catholic Church shouldn’t, in his view, ‘obsess’ about these ‘issues’ unduly. It is that these issues, rather, do not matter any longer at all. They are not ‘as well’ they are, in reality, replaced entirely. Nothing else can explain the semantics with which these issues are studiously and craftily avoided.
I hope and pray that having said all that can be said about the issues listed above which appear closest to the Pope’s heart in the houses of temporal power in the United States, His Holiness can redress the ‘balance’ a little and give new heart and new energy to those who, for the sake of Jesus Christ and His Gospel, wish to build a culture of life in the United States and do everything possible to discourage the culture of death which, to this day, throttles a beautiful, but now quite beleagured nation.
“Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.”
That is an interesting use of words of the Pope today. Is that a veiled, quite innocuous assessment of the Supreme Court’s ruling? You could be forgiven for not getting it. Pope Francis says he ‘cannot hide’ his concern but why would a Pope want to ‘hide’ his concern for the family from anyone? It is just incredible how a Pope can speak so boldly in declaring his opposition to the death penalty, but can dance so gingerly around the words ‘abortion’ and ‘same-sex marriage’ as if the power of speaking these words alone could ignite a fire in the building. Was he talking about the US or the Synod in Rome? With millions of viewers, what ‘can’ he do? What ‘can’ he say?
‘I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life’.
No, your Holiness. The media and the powerful of this world are all applauding you and they are all at your feet. You can say and you can do a lot better than that. The question many Catholics in the US will be asking is why you don’t seem to want to do so. You ‘can’ say, if you should feel so inclined, with utter conviction, with the certainty and bravery of Martin Luther King, that marriage is between one man and one woman for life and no court on Earth, no earthly power, can ever, ever change that. I still hope that during this trip His Holiness will do so, but this may be a hope in vain. After all…
“There is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners.”
…which might go some way to explaining why not only his Congress speech, but the upcoming Synod on the Family, spells such doom for the Church and the acceleration of evil in the World. That little quote will be music to the ears of relativists both inside and outside Congress. If it isn’t the Pope’s responsibility to speak every now and then, especially to the mighty, of good and evil and the difference between the two, I ask you seriously, whose responsibility is that?
The Pope in the United States – Ambiguous on what should be clear, clear only on his political priorities
Pope Francis’ visit has shown us once more that he can be clear and unambiguous on his priorities, and vocal and forthright in saying what he wants to say. He did not hesitate to make direct statements on immigration, on the environment, on the abolition of the death penalty and in praise of religious liberty (that is, religious liberty as understood by the Western secular consensus rather than the defense of the Church’s right to proclaim the truth in any society). There was no question left about the importance he placed on these issues. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the importance he accords to the defense of the unborn and of true marriage.
We affirm — and we are not alone in doing so — that the entire papal visit to the US and the UN was a series of missed opportunities and a monumental failure to affirm Church teaching precisely where it is under greatest threat from public opinion and secular power. These will come back to haunt the very same Catholics who have tried so hard to justify all of the Pope’s omissions in the past week.
Pro-lifers and the defenders of true marriage should ask themselves in all honesty if the papal visit will encourage the bishops and the clergy to speak even more forcefully in defense of the unborn and of marriage. The more the Pope’s well-meaning advocates defend his omissions, the more they tell the clergy that there is nothing wrong with downplaying or saying very little about Church teachings on sensitive topics. Instead of pretending that the few bones the Pope threw in their direction was a lavish feast, pro-lifers and the advocates of true marriage need to think hard about how to overcome the even greater clerical apathy that will now surely be their lot.
To a Catholic, the Pope’s frequent praises of marriage and family (sans qualification) can only pertain to true marriage between a man and a woman; but to “gay activists” these could just as well apply to homosexual “marriages” and “families” made up of two persons of the same sex and the children they have “adopted”. We are not saying that the Pope was surreptitiously supporting abortion and homosexual “marriage”; what we are saying is that his words on marriage and the defense of the unborn were not sufficiently clear so as to prevent these from being “heard” with a completely different meaning, contrary to any Catholic intention. This is why in the defense of the unborn and true marriage there can be no space for ambiguity, no hold given to the other side that will allow them to twist what has been said. We cannot afford to preach the Gospel of Life in terms that either side can interpret to its liking. There can be no verbal ecumenism with the culture of death.
My Comment : So a Trip for nothing ? well, A pope applauded by the world but a Pope who dare not even utter the name of the Lord (JESUS CHRIST) to whom is normaly the Vicar, this should be in my humble opinion worrisome for each Catholic and without talking of the Planned Parenthood scandal, even there the word abortion was like prohibed, seriously what going on ? and don’t tell me that these 2 articles are too Traditionalist or Conservative, are your serious ? but even some US Evangical leaders looks worried :
So what going on ? If you have the answer then let me know.