Francis seems to think he can best please Christ by pleasing the World

Francis seems to think he can best please Christ by pleasing the World

By Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S.

2017 has shown it again. Pro-Christendom stance, and even key points of Catholic doctrine, are being repudiated or undermined by Pope Francis’ Vatican while all but a tiny handful of the world’s cardinals and bishops look on with either fulsome praise or a sorry silence that bespeaks at best false prudence and at worst cowardice.

The Roman Curia – and thus, increasingly, the entire Catholic Church – is now labouring under the iron-fisted rule of an ostensibly humble, merciful and smiling Pontiff who has adopted the same media-savvy, Janus-faced, autocratic style of populist governance that he observed admiringly as a Peronista youth in Argentina.

Pope Francis seems to think he can best please Christ by pleasing the World, thereby neglecting the Gospel’s warnings of a deep and ineluctable tension between the two. The politically correct mould into which Papa Bergoglio is trying to squeeze Christ’s Church leads him to downplay or even disastrously relativize Christ’s moral absolutes in the area of marriage, sexuality and innocent human life, while at the same time he condemns absolutely other practices – e.g., capital punishment, convert-seeking, state establishment of Catholicism, and the building of border walls – which Catholic doctrine accepts.

As R.R. Reno perceptively points out, Francis is debasing Catholicism into a form of “bourgeois religion”, that is, “the fusion of church culture with the moral consensus held by the good, respectable people who set the tone for society as a whole” (First Things, Dec. 2017, p. 67). It’s the kind of religion the New York Times will approvingly pat on the head.

I warmly recommend two books from 2017 that document this unfolding papal catastrophe: George Neumayr’s The Political Pope: How Pope Francis is Delighting the Liberal Left and Abandoning Conservatives, and Marcantonio Colonna’s The Dictator Pope.

Fortunately, better news has been coming from the White House this year than from the Vatican. The brash and politically inexperienced Donald Trump has inevitably made mistakes in style and substance; but in the face of an unrelenting drumbeat of daily calumny and livid excoriation from the media, ongoing harassment from Obama-appointed FBI and “Deep State” officials, and meeting roadblocks at every turn from liberal judges determined to thwart his policy decisions, the President has managed in his first year to push through a surprising amount of the platform that induced the great majority of us traditional American Christians to vote for him.

One thinks of the pro-lifers he has appointed to federal courts and top government positions; his promotion of religious freedom (pushing back against the LGBT steamroller and Obama’s anti-life HHS Mandate); and his superb pro-Western Christendom speech in Poland.

Illegal immigration and unemployment have already declined significantly, while there’s a greater and more wary recognition that Islam is not just another innocuous religious minority. Also, early indications are that Trump’s hefty tax cuts for “the rich” will indeed bring their poorer and middle-class employees significant ‘trickle-down’ benefits. For, among other things, big corporations are realizing the Democrats will soon be voted back in if that doesn’t happen.

Last, and certainly not least at this time of year, we’ve heard Trump’s refreshingly explicit emphasis, not just on saying “Merry Christmas!” rather than “Happy Holidays!”, but on the fact that Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus, the Son of God and our Saviour.

Even if you’re not a Trumpster, hopefully you can at least agree that it’s been a refreshing change from the last eight years to hear it coming loud and clear from the White House that that is indeed the Reason for the Season!

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One comment on “Francis seems to think he can best please Christ by pleasing the World

  1. As long as the Church and Catholic institutions are held hostage by crazy progressive modernists and homosexuals hell-bent on substituting socialism and situation ethics for the Christian faith don’t expect much to change. Bergoglio exhibits the Stockholm Syndrome of other anti-Western Third World Cultural Marxists who genuflect to the trendy fashions of this world. Gandhi or Che Guevara might as well be Pope. The lunatic fringe is running the Vatican right now, while Europe collapses around it.

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