Here we go again. Pope Francis has given another mayhem-creating, lengthy, exclusive interview to a major publication.
This one has especially caused jaws to drop as a result of him stating, among other things, that the ‘most serious’ evils in the world today are ‘youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old’.
What have so many been doing all these years, with great encouragement from past popes? Fighting with all their heart and soul the devouring, international monster of the rightly named Culture of Death. It appears now that their priorities were wrong. Or at least that is the impression from Pope Francis, even though we know he holds strong views against abortion and same-sex 'marriage'.
The hundreds of millions of unborn, and now other similarly vulnerable persons, being murdered are apparently not among the most important issues in the world. Nor is the damage done to women from these abortions. Nor the deliberate, moral corruption of millions of children by the sex merchants allied with the population controllers and abortion providers. Nor the blackmailing and economic and other punishments of entire developing nations who resist the de-population elites.
Ok, maybe I am over-reacting. Once I start to read the flood of articles that Catholic publication writers are all again laboring on to explain what the Pope really meant by each of his disturbing new statements, then I will be re-assured. After all, he is the Pope.
There will again be: he “likely meant”; "his real intent must have been to show”; “obviously he did not mean this, and instead meant that”; “What the Pope really meant”; “I can only come to the conclusion that”; “ We may, I suspect presume that”; “We’re not even sure if the Pope’s words were correctly conveyed”; "Seems to me the Holy Father is saying"; etc.
Let me emphasize one thing to those who will undoubtedly jump down my throat over these comments. I am not questioning the fidelity of Pope Francis. I am not trying to undermine the Pope. I am one of the last people who would do such a thing. I agree with his strong emphasis on the high priority that must be given to personal evangelization.
But, it is very plain, from many, many comments from the very best of people, that we have a huge problem here. Pope Francis is saying too many things that could mean this, or they could mean that, but no one is really 100% certain. He is raising many disturbing questions that only he can clarify.
Some of the comments by Francis appear to betray a considerable lack of awareness of what is actually going on, and has been going on for years, in the developed world of Europe and North America. It appears that, to Pope Francis, there is no deadly, worldwide culture war going on.
As famed Boston College philosopher Peter Kreeft has frequently repeated, "to win any war", one of "the three most necessary things we must know" is "that we are at war." He adds, "If you are surprised to be told that our entire civilization is in crisis, I welcome you back from your nice vacation on the moon."
There are numerous people working hard once again to put the best light or spin on these latest comments by Francis, as is naturally expected of them, since that is their job in Catholic communications. But why should they have to do this over and over again?
It is Pope Francis himself who should be far more carefully explaining to the world exactly what he meant and what his full reasoning was behind each of those confusing, controversial, very puzzling statements.
Then, we will know for certain (we hope) what he really meant. That is what Popes have usually done, but usually when they first make their statements. That is because their words are read and taken very seriously, probably more seriously than words said or written by anyone else on this planet. They are remembered, discussed and quoted - for centuries.
In the meantime, there are a lot of strange things being said and justified around the world now in response to what Pope Francis supposedly said.
For example, at my parish this past Sunday, there was an excellent homily on the angels and on the evil angels and Satan. Abortion was presented as one of the greatest evils in the world encouraged and applauded by the demons. Then there was an announcement about the upcoming LifeChain. The Mass ended with an announcement about a Defund Abortion Rally at the office of a local politician. The parish community applauded the announcement. It is rare for so many abortion related announcements to be presented at our parish on one Sunday.
Later, out in the parking lot, I overheard a disgruntled older couple complaining about all the abortion talk during the Mass. Then one of them said, “Don’t they know what Pope Francis just said?". I presume that meant that we should not be talking so much about, or only about, abortion. But of course the majority of what was announced and took place at the Mass had nothing to do with abortion.
Then there was a comment yesterday posted under a LifeSiteNews story:
“Well, given Pope Francis's recent comments about the Church being obsessed with abortion, contraception, and gay marriage, I don't blame the Republicans for dropping away from the fight on abortion funding. If the Pope doesn't like the bad press abortion talk gives the Catholic Church, then the Republicans can't be blamed for not wanting to be pummeled by the bad press they get which causes them to lose elections..”
Such things are being said everywhere now. Many immoral things are currently being justified in the name of Pope Francis. More than a few of the public and many in the media are interpreting (wrongly) the Pope as having said that, "whatever you think is right according to your conscience, is now alright with the Catholic Church."
There is growing moral and theological chaos happening in response to the statements of Pope Francis, especially in reaction to his press conference on the way back from Brazil and these last two interviews.
In one of my past two blog posts on the first Pope Francis interview, I noted that there was a need for much damage control to mitigate the problems caused by the misunderstandings of Pope Francis's statements in the Jesuit magazines interview.
That followed after my first blog noting that Pope Francis certainly has a way of stirring things up.
I really do not want to appear to be critical of a Pope, nor do I think it is normally appropriate to do so. To be frank though, many faithful Catholics and non-Catholic Christians are reeling from these interviews and other off-the-cuff statements of Pope Francis – regardless of what he really meant.
One of my roles is to be helpful to the Church on the matters that I and the excellent LifeSiteNews team have become international experts on. Charity, true love for our brother and sisters in Christ, often calls for some uncomfortable things to be said - with charity.
There are far too many yes-men and women and "professional Catholics" who see their role as one to always spin whatever their religious superiors say or do in the most positive light. And they would rarely, if ever mention to the bishop or pastor that there may be some serious problems with his statements or actions - at least on the controversial moral issues.
That has allowed some terrible things to develop these past 50 tumultuous years in the Church. This yes-man, professional Catholic institutional culture was one thing that likely contributed to the growth of the sex abuse scandals and the Church international development and aid agency scandals and other scandals. Another one of these concerns is the still large number of unrepentant, active homosexual clergy, at all levels, dangerously still in active ministry.
I have never experienced anything like this high level of confusion from a Pope in my 66 years’ lifetime and I assume no one else alive today could have experienced it either. We are indeed in strange and troubling times.
One thing is certain. All Catholics (and I hope many non-Catholics will join in) must pray and fast with intensity for Pope Francis.
A Pope is likely the most prayed for of all persons on earth. Everyday, he is mentioned in every Catholic Mass and he is prayed for in a special way by most religious orders and members of most Catholic movements around the world. So, regardless of whatever weaknesses and poor judgement he may have, there is real hope that any newly elected Pope will grow into a holy, great leader as a result of those prayers.
However, right now we need to add to all the usual prayers some extra special prayer and fasting for Pope Francis because of the current circumstances. Non-Catholics are most welcome to join in as well because of the huge influence on the world that a Pope can have.
To encourage this most necessary prayer, some of the LifeSiteNews staff have set up a special Pro-Life day of prayer and fasting for Pope Francis Facebook page.
The date set for this prayer and fasting is this Friday, Oct. 4, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the Pope’s patron. Check it out here. You are encouraged to add a post noting that you are joining in. Also invite friends and family to take part in the effort to pray for Francis.
If we do this, then we can be assured that we have done the very best thing possible in response to this controversy. Words have their limits compared to prayer.
It appears that Francis needs a stronger guiding light to help him in his incredibly challenging role. Inspired, courageous, authentic spiritual and moral leadership is desperately needed to fill a great vacuum of such leadership in much of the world in our time.
If that does not happen, other, extremely unpleasant things are certain to soon fill that vacuum.
We don't want to go there.
P.S. Please keep in mind that this blog is my personal opinion and does not represent an official position of LifeSiteNews.