Irish Saint Malachy was a 12th century bishop of Armagh. He is credited with having made some rather stunning predictions especially regarding the Roman Catholicism’s popes. None are so interesting as that which suggests Pope Francis will be the last. What comes after is not all that clear except to say Malachy predicted the subsequent ending of the world. Thus we are left hoping Francis either lives forever or Malachy was wrong. In any case, perhaps no more popes is not a bad thing, especially when considering this pope, his agenda and the prospects of a College of Cardinals packed with men of similar philosophies like a Supreme Court Franklin D. Roosevelt could only dream about.
Francis is not acting like the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, rather he is acting like a potentate injecting himself in political matters at the same time he is in conflict with the word of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the incarnation of whom this pope is supposed to be.
The Evangelist Mark wrote in chapter 7, verse 8 that once when Christ was sitting with his disciples eating a contingent of scribes and Pharisees approached to scold him about his and the disciples’ apparent disregard for ritual purification. “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
Christ quoted Isaiah who articulated the word of God, “This people honor’s me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
Then Christ told them, “You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
Properly explained Christ was saying the so-called leaders were constantly establishing rules and regulations which they themselves concocted for purposes of controlling the people. They effectively reduced God’s word to a lesser status, a sin in and of itself far greater than not washing one’s hands before eating.
Pope Francis is doing exactly the same thing. Instead of preaching the word of Christ, the resurrection, the forgiveness of sins as a result of Jesus’ sacrifice, he spends his time seeking the glory of men, for John told us in chapter 12, verses 42 – 43 about those who put human issues before God’s word when he wrote, “For they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God.”
Pope Francis’ continual demands for some kind of economic revolution to redistribute wealth in all nations and his linking of “climate change” to that call is bad enough, but when he attaches political philosophy to the teachings of Jesus Christ as if were Jesus here he would wholeheartedly be on board, it is sacrilege.
Who is the Pope to declare science complete? Where does he get his authority to call an end to debate especially in the face of extant data underscoring how wrong is the conclusion he and other climate change zealots have made? Where does he get the right to wrap it all in condemnation of some people merely because they are wealthy while exalting others because they are poor? While he struts about in the lap of luxury irrespective of his preference for simpler surroundings than the Papal palace, he harangues those who have actually worked for their wealth and have a God-given right to enjoy the fruits of their labors without guilt.
Matthew tells us in Chapter 6, verses 25-34 that Jesus eschewed the economics of life completely when he taught, “So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”
Why is not Pope Francis quoting this scripture instead of investing in the dialectics of Marx and Engels? It is because his history is steeped in political dogma rather than Catholic and he sees his role as a political revolutionary not a leader of the faithful.
Pope Francis is a secular man. He is a poor vicar of Christ. His concepts of right and wrong are constructs of human deliberations developed in the confines of university corners where the rights of man have infinitely more weight than the safety of the soul.
For literally millennia, Catholicism has been forged in the crucible of obedience to the Popes as representatives of Christ, but during that time we have been shamed by many, inspired by too few. Those who questioned papal dominance were as certainly excommunicated and condemned, often to death. Are we not supposed to question that which assaults our own consciences? Isn’t that what Catholicism is all about?
Contrarians to this indictment of Pope Francis will point to the political activities of Pope John Paul II, but the comparison falls flat. Pope John Paul fought for the liberation of people under oppressive Communist rule so that they could not only be free to live, but be free to worship God. His was not a gospel of social justice as much as it was the gospel of repentance in the surety of forgiveness for our sins once the freedom to do so had been won.
Not once do we hear from Francis about humankind’s sins, only about part of humankind’s sins as if those who have worked hard, earned their livings, made good on the promises of freedom and liberty and who have given back more than their fair shares to those in need are undeserving and evil. His is a political gospel of socialism, a system as devastating to mankind as the junk science that breeds stubbornly wrong conclusions which keep the poor in poverty.
Pope Francis is a divider who routinely lambastes the producers in society while painting a Dickensian picture of the poor’s intrinsic quality and value as if none refuse to win their bread themselves and all are morally and spiritually superior. His vision is as perverted as are his conclusions.
I am a Roman Catholic! I studied my religion from the time I could read. I was schooled in our faith. I believe in the holy Church, the resurrection of Jesus Christ who is the Son of the Living God. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the forgiveness of sins and the life to come. I believe the God of us all sent me to be what I am, no more and no less than that other man, regardless of his vestments and position in the hierarchy of my faith. And I believe he is wrong though he may speak ex cathedra, from the very chair of St. Peter on matters he can know as little about as all the scientists in the world who sit and scare for a living.
There is no such thing as man-made climate change just as there is no value in human stewardship of our planet beyond handing it down to our descendants in proper fashion for their use. It is not the planet that has a soul, it is we humans who inhabit and own it who do. We need saving far more than mother earth.
Francis may be the last pope, and a good thing if succeeding popes are to follow his example and be shepherd’s of the planet rather than its people.