The Pope’s Lenten Meditation: Denying the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes… Again?
by Christopher A. Ferrara
March 14, 2016
Over the past three years we have seen persistent themes in the program that emerges from Pope Francis’ various statements, including denunciation of “rigorist” Catholics as “Pharisees” and “neo-Pelagians,” agitation for the admission of the divorced and “remarried” Catholics to the sacraments without amendment of life, a dismissal of doctrinal differences with Protestants as insignificant, a demand for the repeal of all laws authorizing capital punishment, even though the Church has traditionally defended its use for the gravest crimes, but no call for the abolition of laws authorizing abortion, divorce, the sale of contraceptives, and “gay marriage,” whose legalization the former Cardinal Bergoglio has consistently failed to oppose as Pope. All of these are documented abundantly here.
But then there are also minor themes of this disturbing pontificate, involving frankly Modernist “interpretations” of Scripture: Mary was angry with God at the foot of the Cross, Jesus only pretended to be angry with his disciples, Saint Paul boasted of his sins (rather than his “infirmities,” which are not sins), and so forth.
One particular example shows a remarkable persistence in undermining the Gospel account: the reduction of Our Lord’s miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. First, Francis declared that Christ’s miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes is “more than a multiplication, it is a sharing, animated by faith and prayer.” Leaving no doubt of his reductionist intentions, Francis on another occasion added the following:
…. And we can imagine this now: we can imagine how they kept passing the loaves and fishes from hand to hand until the food reached those who were farthest away. Jesus managed to generate a current among his followers: they all went on sharing what was their own, turning it into a gift for the others; and that is how they all got to eat their fill. Incredibly, food was left over: they collected it in seven baskets….
[Jesus] takes a little bread and some fishes, he blesses them, breaks them and gives them to his disciples to share with the others. And this is the way the miracle proceeds. It is certainly not magic or idolatry. By means of these three actions [taking, blessing and giving], Jesus succeeds in turning a “throw-away” mindset into a mindset of communion, a mindset of community ….
Of course, no “sharing” or “community” action was required, because it was precisely the point of Our Lord’s miracle to provide a superabundance of food so that everyone in the crowd of 5,000 “did eat, and were filled (Matt. 14:20)” without having to share anything with anybody. Thus did God Incarnate demonstrate His infinite generosity even in material terms, while providing a physical symbol of the superabundance of grace that would be made available in the Holy Eucharist.
By way of comparison, even Pope Paul VI presented the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes as literally and simply a multiplication, not a “sharing” of food: “With exceptional, inexhaustible prodigality, the loaves then began increasing in number in the hands of the Son of God.”
One thoroughly disgusted priest theologian, often a critic of traditionalist positions, was finally compelled to issue (albeit anonymously) a public protest:
Thus, the ensemble of what the Pope really preached… about the loaves-and-fishes event leaves us to draw the inescapable conclusion that, along with so many modern historical-critical biblical scholars, he has taken on board the well-known, century-old rationalistic “demythologization” of this Gospel miracle. So we are left to wonder what other miracles of Jesus he may think require the same treatment…. ‘Papa Bergoglio’ has made one of his major priorities clear in the title of his Apostolic Exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel”. But how much real “joy” will we find in “the Gospel” (singular) if “the Gospels” (plural) on which the Good News of salvation is based turn out to be a historically unreliable blend of fact and legend?
Well, it seems Francis is still promoting his view that “sharing” is the miracle Christ performed in feeding the multitude with a few loaves and fishes. This time, only days ago (March 9), his handpicked preacher of Lenten “meditations,” one Father Ronchi, repeated this canard yet again, but upped the ante by explicitly declaring that there was no multiplication of loaves and fishes, only sharing. As Vatican Radio reports with quotations:
The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and the fish shows us that Jesus is “not concerned with the quantity of the bread”, what he desires is that the bread be shared.
“According to a mysterious divine rule: when my bread becomes our bread, then little becomes enough. Hunger begins when I keep my bread to myself, when the satiated West holds on to its bread, its fish, its assets… It is possible to feed the earth, there is enough bread. There is no need to multiply it, it would be sufficient to just distribute it, starting with ourselves. We do not need prodigious multiplications: we need to beat the Goliath of selfishness, of food waste and the hoarding of few….
“The miracle is the five loaves and the two fish that the nascent Church places in the hands of Christ, who trusts, without calculating and without holding back anything for himself and for his own supper. It’s a little but it is all he has; it is a little but, it is the entire dinner of the disciples; it is a drop in the bucket, but that drop that can give meaning and can give hope to life… A gift of five loaves of bread is sufficient to change the world.”
Ronchi dares to reduce the divine miracle to Christ trusting in what the early Church has given Him, which never increases in quantity! Pure rubbish, of course. As the Gospel account tells us, after everyone in the vast crowd had eaten his fill, the fragments alone filled twelve baskets (John 6:13). Only a literal multiplication of loaves and fishes could have produced twelve baskets of crumbs versus the original five loaves and two fishes that would not have filled even one basket. That is why the Gospel recounts this detail: to preclude the claim that there was no multiplication.
Why this persistence in casting doubt on the only one of Christ’s miracles recounted in all four Gospels? Because the Modernist mind cannot tolerate literal miracles and must always find a way to “de-mythologize” them by reducing them to purely spiritual events. Consider this example symptomatic of a pontificate that in turn is symptomatic of the invasion of the Church by what Msgr. Guido Pozzo has called the “para-conciliar ideology,” whose action he describes thus: “A foreign way of thinking has entered into the Catholic world, stirring up confusion, seducing many souls, and disorienting the faithful. There is a ‘spirit of self-demolition’ that pervades modernism…”
Sister Lucia called it “diabolical disorientation” among the upper hierarchy. And it this diabolical influence in the Church that is no doubt foretold in the integral Third Secret of Fatima. Perhaps Paul VI was revealing as much when he himself admitted: “This state of uncertainty reigns even in the Church. It was hoped that after the Council there would be a day of sunlight in the history of the Church. Instead, there came a day of clouds, of darkness, of groping, of uncertainty. How did this happen? We will confide Our thoughts to you: there has been interference from an adverse power: his name is the devil…”