by Christopher A. Ferrara
June 30, 2016
By now we have been accustomed to the shocking results of Francis’ insistence on blathering to reporters during flights to or from the destinations of the useless papal trips that have become a primary activity of the post-Vatican II papacy. In the midst of all the blathering, however, there are also inadvertently revealing remarks that indicate the scope of the crisis-within-a-crisis that is the Bergoglian pontificate.
The most recent example is the inflight press conference on the return to Rome from the papal trip to Armenia. A most revealing remark came in the context of a reporter’s question about key papal adviser Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s recent statement that the Church should apologize to “gays” for the way the Church has treated them. “Gays” have been added to the list of those to whom the Church must apologize and “beg forgiveness” — the endless mea culpa that John Paul II began and now seems to be perpetual, even though we have yet to hear a single apology from the powers of this world for their offenses against Christians, including state persecution and the genocide of scores of millions of them.
Francis, of course, obliged by replying that the Church “not only must say it’s sorry … to this person that is gay that it has offended. But it must say it’s sorry to the poor, also, to mistreated women, to children forced to work.” Please. At least, however, Francis clarified that by “the Church” he meant “Christians. The church is holy. We are the sinners.”
But then a most revealing remark: “I remember, as a child, the closed Catholic culture in Buenos Aires: one couldn’t enter the house of a divorced couple. I’m talking about 80 years ago. Culture has changed, thank God.”
In just one telling phrase Francis has revealed the depth of the threat his pontificate poses to the Church: “closed Catholic culture.” Francis thanks God that “the culture has changed” so that divorce and “remarriage” is no longer viewed as a form of adultery that Catholics would not condone by socializing in the homes of the partners in adultery. He thanks God the “closed Catholic culture” has given way to a culture where divorce and “remarriage” is accepted, indeed widely practiced, by Catholics.
Yet this is the same Pope who stage-managed a “Synod on the Family” that purported to address “a crisis in the family” posed by the very cultural change Francis thanks God for. Then again, the Phony Synod was, in the end, all about attempting to browbeat the Church into an institutionalized acceptance — Francis calls it “integration” — of what Our Lord Himself denounced as adultery.
So, we have a Pope who glibly heaps contempt on a culture in which an instinctual abhorrence of public sin among the simple faithful counseled them not to hobnob with people who ignored their marriage vows and took up with other partners to live in sin. Francis thanks God, in short, that culture is no longer Catholic.
This is the Vicar of Christ? Never in 2,000 years, never even during the pontificates of personally corrupt Popes, have we seen a man such as this on the Chair of Peter. This is not even a question of malice or cunning. We clearly have in Francis a Pope who, incredibly enough, does not have a very high regard for Catholicism, does not mind telling us so, and seems blissfully unaware of the rather apocalyptic paradox of an anti-Catholic Pope. A Pope who, in his profound confusion, calls the Church holy but thanks God that Catholics now accept unholy sexual unions.
More on this disturbing Bergoglian press conference (a redundancy, I know) in the next column.