Pope weighs in on Islam, embattled French cardinal, SSPX

Pope weighs in on Islam, embattled French cardinal, SSPX

[Pot-pourri from the Pope-pourri]

Catholic World News – May 17, 2016

In a wide-ranging interview with La Croix, Pope Francis discussed various issues facing the Church in France, as well as Islam and migration.

“I do not think there is now a fear of Islam, as such, but of Daesh [ISIS] and its war of conquest, driven in part by Islam,” he said. “The idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam, it is true. But it could be interpreted with the same idea of conquest [found at] the end of the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus sends his disciples in all nations.”

“Faced with the current Islamic terrorism, we should question the way in which too Western a model of democracy was exported to countries where there was a strong power, such as in Iraq,” he added. “Or in Libya, [with its] tribal structure. We cannot move forward without considering that culture.”

Referring to France as “the eldest daughter of the Church, but not the most faithful,” Pope Francis said his favorite French saint is St. Thérèse of Lisieux and paid tribute to two writers, Cardinal Henri de Lubac and Father Michel de Certeau, as “Jesuits who were creative.”

Asked about the priest shortage in France, he said:

Korea offers an historical example. That country was evangelized by missionaries from China, from whose work the faith spread there. Then, for two centuries, Korea was evangelized by laymen. It is a land of saints and martyrs today with a strong Church. To evangelize, there need not necessarily be priests.

The Pope was also asked to comment on the priestly abuse scandal. He stated:

For the Church in this area, there can be no statute of limitations: for these abuses, a priest who is called to lead people to God destroys a child. He spreads evil, resentment, pain. As Benedict XVI said, tolerance must be zero.

Responding to a question about Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, who is under fire over his handling of the sexual abuse crisis, the Pope said, “Based on the information I have, I think that, at Lyon, Cardinal Barbarin has taken the necessary measures, he has taken things in hand,” the Pope said. “He is a courageous man, a creative man, a missionary.”

Asked whether the cardinal should resign, the Pope said, “No, that would be a contradiction, an imprudence. We shall see after the conclusion of the trial. But now it would be tantamount to his calling himself culpable.”

The Pope, asked about the Society of St. Pius X, said, “They love the Church … These are Catholics on the path towards full communion.”

Describing the Society’s superior general, Bishop Bernard Fellay, as a “man with whom one can dialogue,” the Pope characterized a personal prelature as a “possible solution, but first it is necessary to establish a fundamental agreement with them. Vatican Council II has its value.”

[Complete text in English here]

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9 comments on “Pope weighs in on Islam, embattled French cardinal, SSPX

  1. I suppose the ten plagues of Egypt had their value too.

  2. “I do not think there is now a fear of Islam, as such, but of Daesh [ISIS] and its war of conquest, driven in part by Islam,” he said. “The idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam, it is true. But it could be interpreted with the same idea of conquest [found at] the end of the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus sends his disciples in all nations.”
    So, according to Bergoglio, Our Lord’s directive to make disciples of all nations is equivalent to Islam’s Jihad which resulted in the slaughter of Catholics since the 7th century?
    Is Bergoglio really this stupid? Or is he just so far away from the teachings of Our Lord and His Church spiritually, historically and theologically that he truly is blind to the truth? I ask that in a sincere and serious fashion.
    It’s no surprise that Jorge paid tribute to Henri de Lubac, two modernist peas in a pod.

  3. Vatican II acceptance is still a precondition for being Catholic in full communion. Years pass and it gets nowhere. The reason Pope Francis is talking nice about the SSPX is because they are now perceived as being “less radicalized”and more ready to accept Vatican II. So what can the SSPX expect? Future deaconesses? Future attendance and accommodation in both liturgical and pastoral matters for divorced/remarrieds, gay and cohabitating “families”, when SSPX priests meet other outside clergy in conferences and functions and when visitors come and hear ” culturally shocking” “hate speech” that they would no longer expect in their novus ordo parish.

  4. In the full interview, Pope Francis said this:
    “The Second Vatican Council set out an ideal of synodal and episcopal communion. This still needs to be developed, including at parish level, with respect to what is required. There are parishes that still do not have a pastoral council, nor a council for economic affairs, even though these are obligations under canon law. Synodality is also relevant at this level.”

    Actually, my understanding is that Canon Law requires at least a Finance Council in each parish. The parish Pastoral Council is not required; however, it can be mandated by the local bishop. Nevertheless, both of these councils (finance & pastoral) are only consultative (advisory), rather than deliberative. This distinction is often lost when pastors are relegated to the role of presider, rather president or chairman of the council.

    Canon Hesse once pointed out that the Russian word for council is “soviet”. We have become of church of soviets.

    On the contrary, the grace of Holy Orders includes the charism of governance, whereby bishops (and by delegation, priests) have the responsibility before God for the well-being of the souls entrusted to their care. Archbishop Lefebvre was prescient in his view that collegiality (synodality) would diminish priestly authority and therefore undermine the sovereignty of Christ over His Church.

  5. “The idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam, it is true. But it could be interpreted with the same idea of conquest [found at] the end of the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus sends his disciples in all nations.”

    I find this statement utterly reprehensible.
    Islam is using beheadings, bombings, crucifixions, raping and countless other acts of atrocity as it attempts to enslave the world. Our Lord asked His followers to spread the news of the Gospel and win people for Christ by proclaiming the truth.

    How dare this Pope compare the peaceful call to baptism and salvation, that Our Lord enjoined upon His followers, with the barbarous acts of Islam.

    Is their no depth to which this man will not sink in his desperate effort to be popular with all?

    I am rapidly coming to the conclusion, outrageous though it may sound, that this Pope does not actually like Christianity.

  6. Francis equivocates between Catholic evangelizing and muslim conquest?

    May 17, 2016
    Posted by Tantumblogo
    veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/francis-equivocates-between-catholic-evangelizing-and-muslim-conquest/

    The semi-official publication of the French episcopal conference, the magazine La Croix, conducted an interview with Francis recently. There have been two portions of that interview that have caused a good deal of comment. The first contains some conciliatory, if non-committal, words from Francis regarding the SSPX. He claims they are working towards full communion. That’s not exactly explosive to me, but it is a far cry from the cries of “protestant” and “schismatic” directed towards the Society by some in the hierarchy over the past 40 years.

    What has caused far more controversy is this statement below, following a question from La Croix regarding islam (I’m sure there will be some argument over translation):

    La Croix: The fear of accepting migrants is partly based on a fear of Islam. In your view, is the fear that this religion sparks in Europe justified?

    Pope Francis: Today, I don’t think that there is a fear of Islam as such but of ISIS and its war of conquest, which is partly drawn from Islam. It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.

    Who, of any substance, has ever interpreted the Great Commission in such a tawdry manner? Who has ever drawn comparisons between the almost entirely peaceful spread of Christianity through Europe and much of the world (I know there have been exceptions), with the almost entirely violent spread of islam? Islam is a religion that has only and ever been spread by conquest. It has made very few converts, historically, save with the threat of physical violence and other means of repression. Only very recently, in Europe and other parts of the West, has islam begun to attract more than a handful of disaffected, disillusioned souls, souls who have never known the Truth of Jesus Christ?

    One of the most disturbing qualities of Francis is his tendency to believe things which are not. Yes, many in Europe (and elsewhere) are extremely concerned over the spread of islam, and not just ISIS. No, there is no reasonable equivocation between Catholic evangelizing and muslim conquest. No, it is not possible to reconcile those who persist in manifest grave sin with reception of the Blessed Sacrament. Yes, protestants absolutely should and indeed must convert to the Catholic Faith. And so on…….

    What we are witnessing in so many aspects of this pontificate (including numerous statements in his official, magisterial works) is a fundamental failure of rational thought. Much of what is posited is not simply contrary to the Faith but an attack on reason itself. Such thinking is very prevalent among progressives, who at the same time tell us that sexuality is absolutely fixed at birth and utterly immutable (in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary), while sex (as in “gender”) is as fluid as can be, subject to change on a whim, including the whim to watch women undress. One can see a certain analogy in claiming that what has always been a sin now somehow isn’t, or at least isn’t an impediment to reception of the Blessed Sacrament. Or that the peaceful spread of Christianity somehow mirrors the spread of islam.

    I read at One Peter Five a statement by Steve Skojec that Francis is the most authoritarian pope the Church has seen in decades, but that he is using all that papal authority to destroy it, long term, in a sort of kamikaze fashion. That is to say, Francis is using, or intends to use, a sort of papal absolutism to drive fundamental change in the Church, in the process, transferring (it hasn’t happened quite yet?) authority from the papacy to new dicasteries (headed by women?) and especially national conferences. His successor will then be hobbled with an office denuded of much of its authority and unable to change what he hath wrought. An interesting theory, which I pray does not come to pass.

  7. I find it harder by the day to envisage any logic in a deal with Franciscus.

  8. Pope Francis: ‘Idea of conquest is inherent to the soul of Islam,’ but says one can see Christianity that way, too

    MAY 18, 2016 BY DEACON ROBERT SPENCER @ www.jihadwatch.org/2016/05/pope-francis-the-idea-of-conquest-is-inherent-to-the-soul-of-islam-but-hey-one-can-see-christianity-that-way-too

    A few years ago the Pope wrote that Islam and the Qur’an rejected all forms of violence. Now he is contradicting himself. “The Pope went on, however, to acknowledge that the ‘idea of conquest is inherent to the soul of Islam,’ while immediately adding that ‘one could also interpret the end of Saint Matthew’s gospel, where Jesus sends out his disciples to all nations, as the same idea of conquest.’ It wasn’t clear whether the Pope actually believes that Jesus’ mandate to his disciples to evangelize the nations was truly equivalent to violent Islamic jihad, or whether he merely said this in order to appear balanced and self-critical.”

    Pope Francis is profoundly confused. Christianity has no doctrine mandating warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers. Islam does. And he is supposed to be the head of the Catholic Church, the largest Christian body in the world. He should thus be defending Christianity, not indulging in politically correct and fallacious moral equivalence.

    Note also that even though he acknowledges that the idea of conquest is inherent in Islam, he wants Europe to open its doors to huge numbers of Muslim migrants. He wants Europe to commit civilizational suicide.

    Pope Francis: ‘The Idea of Conquest Is Inherent to the Soul of Islam,’” by Thomas D. Williams, Breitbart, May 17, 2016:

    Choosing his words carefully, Pope Francis recognized that the idea of conquest is integral to Islam as a religion, though he was quick to add that some might interpret Christianity in the same way.

    In an extensive interview with the French Catholic daily La Croix published Tuesday, the Pope offered his thoughts on a number of issues ranging from French secularism to immigration to Islam.

    Asked point blank what he thought of the widespread fear of Islam in the West, Francis replied that his impression is that most people don’t fear “Islam as such” but rather “Daesh [the Islamic State] and its war of conquest, drawn in part from Islam.”

    The Pope went on, however, to acknowledge that the “idea of conquest is inherent to the soul of Islam,” while immediately adding that “one could also interpret the end of Saint Matthew’s gospel, where Jesus sends out his disciples to all nations, as the same idea of conquest.”

    It wasn’t clear whether the Pope actually believes that Jesus’ mandate to his disciples to evangelize the nations was truly equivalent to violent Islamic jihad, or whether he merely said this in order to appear balanced and self-critical.

    In the interview, Francis also wondered aloud whether jihadism wasn’t exacerbated by Western incursions into the Middle East, in countries like Iraq.

    “Faced with modern Islamic terrorism, we should question the way an overly Western model of democracy was exported into countries where there was a strong power, such as Iraq,” he said.

    “Or into Libya, with its the tribal structure,” he added. “We cannot move forward without considering that culture. As said a Libyan said some time ago: ‘We used to have Gaddafi, now we have 50 Gaddafis!’”

    The Pope expressed his fundamental belief that “coexistence among Christians and Muslims is possible.”

    “I come from a country where they live together in good familiarity,” Francis said. “The Muslims venerate the Virgin Mary and Saint George. In a country in Africa, I’ve been told that for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Muslims wait in a long line at the cathedral to pass through the Holy Door and pray to the Virgin Mary. In Central Africa, before the war, Christians and Muslims lived together and must learn to do so again today. Lebanon also shows it is possible.”

    Asked whether Europe should be accepting so many migrants, the Pope recognized that “it is a fair and responsible question because we cannot open the doors irrationally.” He then immediately shifted to the “basic question” why there are so many migrants in the first place.

    As he has done on other occasions, the Pope said that the problems at the source of Europe’s migrant crisis are the wars in the Middle East and in Africa, as well as underdevelopment throughout the African continent. If there are wars, he said, that’s because there are arms producers—which is justifiable for defense—and above all arms dealers.”…

  9. Hugh Fitzgerald: Pope Francis: Islam and Christianity Share “the Idea of Conquest”

    MAY 19, 2016 BY HUGH FITZGERALD @ www.jihadwatch.org/2016/05/hugh-fitzgerald-pope-francis-islam-and-christianity-share-the-idea-of-conquest

    Pope Francis continues to astonish. He has just said, in an interview with the French Catholic paper La Croix, that “the idea of conquest is inherent to the soul of Islam.” As far as his understanding of Islam goes, this is a marked improvement over his disturbing statement, back in November 2013, that the “Koran is a book of peace” and “Islam is a peaceful religion.” Now he at last recognizes – how could he not, after yet another year of Muslim bombs and bloodletting all over the place? – that Islam has something to do with “conquest,” that is, spreading Islam by conquering non-Muslim lands. He must have been doing some reading, possibly even learning more about the life and works of that prophet and warlord, Muhammad.

    But then, remembering to act as advocate for Islam, he immediately supplies a preposterous Tu Quoque against Christianity (and thus against himself), claiming that “it is also possible to interpret the objective of Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.” The “same idea of conquest”? What is the similarity between peaceful missionaries armed only with the Bible, sent out to persuade the pagans, and the armed might of Muslim Arab armies waging Jihad, with a religious mandate to subdue by force the Infidels, and then to present them with a stark choice: to be killed, to be at once converted (no complicated theological discussions needed), or to endure the dismal and deliberately humiliating condition of dhimmi, with its many social, economic, and political disabilities? The sleight-of-word that would treat the two ways of spreading the respective faiths, as both involving “conquest,” is bizarre. The Pope does not say outright that the objectives are the same; with pusillanimity aforethought, he says “it is possible to interpret the objective[s] in terms of the same idea of conquest.” But the “objective” of Muslims conducting Jihad is to subjugate and impose; the “objective” of those Christian disciples sent out to spread the Gospel was to persuade.

    The Pope also demonstrates a desire to rescue Islam from suspicion: “Today, I don’t think that there is a fear of Islam as such but of ISIS and its war of conquest, which is partly drawn from Islam.” On what basis does he make this claim? Pope Francis claims there is fear only of ISIS, and not of Islam “as such.” But when non-Muslims are polled in France, in Germany, in Great Britain, in Italy, in Poland, in Denmark, in Sweden, as to whether they fear Islam, or are suspicious of Muslims, the answer increasingly is Yes, despite the frantic efforts of members of the media and political elites (and now Pope Francis) to substitute ISIS for Islam. Europeans are coming to understand that ISIS is merely Islam on stilts, a version that attempts to mimic the behavior and beliefs of the earliest Muslims. And why does Pope Francis claim that ISIS’ war of conquest is “partly drawn from Islam”? It is based entirely on Islam; had there been other, non-Islamic sources for ISIS’ ideology and its acts, you can be sure the Pope would have identified them.

    The Pope says nothing about where the current “conquest” by Muslims is most in evidence – Europe itself — and by what means. He fails to discuss the duty of Jihad in Islam, or how Jihad can be conducted using whatever instruments are available and effective. In Western Europe, the most effective instrument at this point is not combat, qitaal, but the seemingly inexorable growth in Muslim numbers. Conquest need not be by force of arms; demography will do. Far from expressing any alarm over this amazing Muslim invasion of Europe, the Pope repeatedly has discussed the duty he thinks Europeans have to take in more and more of these Muslim migrants. And he is careful to minimize differences (between Islam and Christianity) where they are great, and exaggerate differences (between Islam and ISIS), where they are small. Both his heart, and his rhetoric, are in the wrong place.

    Then there is the Pope’s duty to not misrepresent the past. It appears that he is willing to pass over in silence the role of Christianity in Europe’s history, in order – so he must think — to win temporary favor from Muslims in the present, and attain that famous interfaith dialogue on which he keeps placing his hopes. When asked why he never refers to the “Christian roots” of Europe, Pope Francis said he “sometimes dreads the tone [of those who mention those roots], which can seem triumphalist or even vengeful.” This objection is difficult to comprehend. The Pope refuses to make a simple statement of fact, which even the most convinced atheist could not deny; indeed, the Pope does not deny the “Christian roots” of Europe. Instead, he just won’t mention it, in his tender solicitousness for Muslim sensibilities, and his worry that because some people at some time have mentioned Europe’s “Christian roots” in a tone he describes as “triumphalist or even vengeful,” then he, Pope Francis, should refrain from mentioning those “Christian roots,” because he just might, you see, remind people of those who in the past have sounded “triumphalist or even vengeful.” And then, to complete the absurdity, he alludes to the Original Sin of White Western Christianity, Colonialism. Mention of “Christian roots” takes on, he claims, “colonialist overtones.” How? The “Christian roots” of Europe antedate colonialism by some 1600 years. The Pope, in a straightforward and sober tone, should be able to acknowledge those “Christian roots” of Europe without worrying about non-existent “colonialist overtones.” Don’t expect this Pope, by the way, ever to dare to recognize that the most successful example of colonialism in world history is that of Islam itself, where the colonized are taught to despise or forget their own pre-Islamic histories.

    Is it really too much for the Pope to describe the differences between conducting Jihad and spreading the Gospel? Is it beyond him to proclaim the role of Christianity in Europe’s history, without sounding “triumphalist or even vengeful” or smuggling in “colonialist overtones”? If he doesn’t feel up to it, why not cut to the chase and try another solution: hand over the Papacy to the ghost of the islamochristian Arab Edward Said? What better way to win the trust of Muslims, so that the “dialogue” the Pope keeps hoping for can at long last begin? Or, taking a different tack, in an I-have-a-dream mode, why should Pope Francis not reverse course and ask for some history lessons from his predecessor, and put that dialogue-chasing on permanent hold?

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