(LifeSiteNews) — The Supreme Pontiff has revealed that he is writing a second part of his encyclical Laudato si, which deals with integral ecology.
He made the announcement during an audience granted to a delegation of jurists from the member states of the Council of Europe, signatories of the Vienna Appeal. The work in progress is aimed at incorporating “current problems” into that text. I quote the Pope’s words: “We must never forget that the younger generations have the right to receive from us a beautiful and livable world, and that this invests us with serious duties towards the creation we have received from the generous hands of God.”
In his address to the visitors, he mentioned “the difficult current context” of the Old Continent, “due to, among other things, the senseless war in Ukraine.”
Let us remember, in passing, that the Vienna Appeal commits countries to preserve the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. Francis continued: “I thank you for the important contribution you are making to the promotion of democracy and respect for freedom and human dignity at a time when times of social, economic, identity and security crises challenge Western democracies to respond effectively but always remaining faithful to their principles, principles that must be continually reconquered and whose defense requires great vigilance.”
For this reason, Francis warned that: “The fear of unrest and violence, the prospect of breaking the established equilibrium, the need to act well in the face of emergencies, can lead to the temptation to make exceptions, to delimit at least temporarily the rule of law, in the search for easy and immediate solutions.”
The text read by Francis was surely composed in the Secretariat of State. I do not know if the Pope would have perceived its tone, which made him – analogously to the Popes of Christendom – a champion of world democracy. The authority that he arrogates there would be rightly used in defense of the Truth and Tradition of the Church, which are instead overwhelmed by the relativistic moralism that has been imposed in Rome.
I consider that this intervention of Francis shows that the Church is locked in the enclosure of Practical Reason, adoring finiteness and temporality, as an arbiter of the imaginary “globalist Christianity.” In short, the Church has her back turned to Heaven, where she should be directing the gaze of mankind. I say this with deep regret, because I firmly believe that these words were spoken by the Successor of Peter.
Christ’s command to the Apostles is unmistakable: “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20).
The Greek text of Matthew says “mathēteusate panta ta ethnē… didaskontes autous tērein,” or, “to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe” all that I have commanded them.
The end of Mark’s Gospel says: “kēryxate to euangelion,” or, “preach the Gospel to every creature” (16:15), and, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, he who does not believe will be condemned” (16:16).
The content of the Gospel of the Kingdom is clear in the biblical texts; it cannot be stretched to make room for novelties, at the pace of aggiornamento. According to Luke (24:47), what must be preached, as expressed in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms, is conversion (metánoia) for the forgiveness of sins. The concept of sin is central to the New Testament.
It seems appropriate here to quote the Danish Socrates, Soeren Kierkegaard, who wrote in his Diary: “The function of an Apostle is to spread Christianity, to win men to it.” The same author, in his “Exercising Christianity,” wrote: “The Absolute consists only in choosing Eternity.”
+ Héctor Aguer
Archbishop Emeritus of La Plata
Buenos Aires, Wednesday, August 30, 2023.
Feast of Saint Rose of Lima, Patroness of Ibero-America.