Catholics and Protestants, we have a problem.
Throughout history, we’ve experienced good and bad politicians and good and bad Catholic popes. That the holders of these positions are elected according to well-established and accepted laws and traditions, it’s still amusing when someone makes the assertion that “[Insert name] is not my [insert political or religious official].” Trust me, I said it about Barack Obama and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. I’ve all but said it about Pope Francis.
Maybe it was this (emphasis mine):
Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope’s own advisers question.
One case has come back to haunt him: An Italian priest who received the pope’s clemency was later convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against children as young as 12. The Rev. Mauro Inzoli is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him, the Associated Press has learned.
The Inzoli case is one of several in which Francis overruled the advice of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced a sentence that called for the priest to be defrocked, two canon lawyers and a church official told AP.
Or maybe it was that Francis appointed a guy to a top communications post at the Vatican, who said this:
Faithful Catholics may be in for a “surprise” when they “get to heaven to be greeted by LGBT men and women,” said a controversial Catholic priest who was appointed by Pope Francis last month to the Vatican’s communications office.
Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin, editor-at-large of the Jesuit-run America magazine, made the comment on his Facebook page May 5 after posting a link to a pro-homosexual event put on by New Ways Ministry and calling it “another sign of welcome and building bridges.”
Martin recently published a book in which he outlines ways he thinks the Catholic Church should be building bridges of acceptance towards practicing homosexuals.
On a Tuesday in July of last year, Father Jacques Hamel was celebrating mass in Normandy, France. Two members of ISIS stormed into the church and demanded Father Hamel kneel. When he refused, they slit his throat. Of the incident, Pope Francis said:
“I don’t like to talk about Islamic violence, because every day, when I read the newspaper, I see violence,” Francis said, when asked about why he never speaks of Islamic terrorism or fundamentalism when condemning attacks such as the murder of a French priest last week, who had his throat slit by an Islamic terrorist as he was celebrating Mass.
The pope said that when he reads the newspaper, he reads about an Italian who kills his fiancé or his mother in law.
“They are baptized Catholics. They are violent Catholics,” Francis said, adding that if he speaks of “Islamic violence,” then he has to speak of “Catholic violence” too.
And who could forget Francis likening European camps holding Middle East refugees to concentration camps:
“I don’t know if he managed to leave that concentration camp, because refugee camps, many of them, are of concentration [type] because of the great number of people left there inside them,” the pope said.
It doesn’t help his case that in his meeting with President Trump, Francis gave the president a copy of his writings on the environment. Anyone remember Barack Obama gave the Queen of England an iPod containing audio files of his speech to the 2004 DNC Convention and his 2009 inauguration address? Of all the gifts one leader could give another to show appreciation and connection, I know the first thing that comes to my mind are speeches the entire world can pull up on YouTube. While not “un-popely” by itself, this type of gift demonstrates Francis’ lack of seriousness for matters of the soul.
In addition to the above, Pope Francis is clueless about the demise of American culture and our national security:
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel…”
I believe Pope Francis to be a good man (sneaks out of the Vatican to help the needy) but a bad religious leader when we could really use a good one.
photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales) Cardinal leads delegation of Muslim leaders to Rome to meet Pope Francis and dialogue with the Holy See. via photopin (license)