Pope Francis and His Revolutionary Language
Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
(Rome) The historian and well-known Catholic intellectual Roberto de Mattei published a column yesterday in the Rome newspaper Il Tempo (18th May), about the “revolutionary language” of Pope Francis.
The revolutionary language of Pope Francis
by Roberto de Mattei
In the Church’s history there have been many “reformist” popes, but Pope Bergoglio seems to belong to a different category, which has been alien under the Roman popes to date, that of the “revolutionary”.
The reformers of the past aimed to restore the doctrine and the discipline to its purity and original integrity, which is why they can be referred to from this point as “traditionalists”. Such popes were Pius IX. and Pius X.
The revolutionaries, however, are those who want to make a break between past and present, by locating the achievable ideal in a utopian future.
The breach of Pope Francis with the past takes place more in language than on the doctrinal level. However, the language has a greater power to change than the idea that it represents in the media age. It is no accident that Cardinal Schönborn was called to launch the Papal Letter Amoris laetitia at the press conference in Rome as “a linguistic event”.
The decision for a particular “house style”, which is expressed through words, gestures and omissions, requires a certain mindset and implicitly offers new doctrine. The claim, however, carries out a linguistic revolution, from which one denies that it is also a doctrinal revolution, which inevitably leads to confusion. However, the confusion, the disorientation and a certain schizophrenia seem to be the distinctive cipher of the current pontificate.
Recent examples of the confusion surround the concept of poverty. The poverty of the Gospel is confused with that of the socialist-communist ideologies.
The former is a state of perfection, which arises from the conscious decision of the individual. The second is a social state which is imposed as a mandate from above.
In addition, if the men of the Church and Catholics should live generally on a personal level in the spirit of poverty, in the sense that they should not depend on earthly goods, that does not mean that the Church should be as poor as an institution founded by Christ, but have all the necessary material resources to carry outn its mission.
To rob the Church of this means depriving it of the means, to amputate and weaken its action in the world. From the point of this poverty mongering, Pope Bergoglio puts the Church in danger by taking away its vitality, to change it in order to immerse it in the process of secularization that has been dissolving what the Church once was in the Christian West.
* Roberto de Mattei , historian, father of five children, Professor of Modern History and History of Christianity at the European University of Rome, President of Lepanto Foundation, author of numerous books, most recently appeared: Vicario di Cristo. Il primato di Pietro tra normalità ed eccezione (Vicar of Christ, the Primacy of Peter Between Normality and Exception.), Verona 2013; in German translatio: The Second Vatican Council – A Previously Unwritten History, Ruppichteroth 2011. The intertitles are from the editors.