Let's recall what Pope Francis said in an interview six months into his papacy which was published by America Magazine.
“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.
“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.'
For a moment, for a very brief moment, when His Holiness made his address to the US Congress, I thought that after he made this statement...
"The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development..."
...that a rallying cry in defense of the unborn was in the offing. Let's recall that at the current time there is a huge, epic culture battle going on in the US with the Senate voting on defunding Planned Parenthood, the biggest industrial killing machine of human beings the entire continent has ever seen. Incredibly, as if to plunge a knife into the hearts of the massive pro-life movement in the US, he followed his statement with this...
"This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of..."
You can almost hear the pro-life movement watching, thinking, 'He's going to say it! He's going to say it! Say abortion! Say abortion! Please, say abortion!' And then it comes, from out of nowhere, disjointed because it has nothing to do with a 'stage of development' but rather the application of statutory justice for criminal offenses...
"...the death penalty."
|US Congress speech word cloud courtesy of CMR|
So what to make of this? I find it unfathomable. I cannot understand, when the dragon of Planned Parenthood, exposed for the evil that it is, placed at the top of the political debate in the US, there is Pope Francis in Congress. With one word, one sentence, His Holiness, like St George, can slay this accursed beast.
Yet, he doesn't. Pope Francis's US 'pastoral' visit so far makes it strikingly clear that Francis's 'new' Church does not 'only' insist on' the defense of the unborn or the sanctity of marriage and the family. No. So far, his visit it making it clear that the Church does not insist on these issues at all. But it does insist on some and here are those recurring issues on which His Holiness does insist, openly and fearlessly, at great cost to souls, at great cost to the Church, its ministers and Her mission and here they are...
- Climate Change
- Immigration and Refugees
- The Death Penalty
There may be others so I apologise if I have forgotten them. Neither during his first address at the White House or at the US Congress has the Successor of St Peter dared to say the Holy Name of Jesus, so it goes to show that Francis cannot even 'insist upon' the Name of the very Man he represents on Earth as Vicar! Remove a little of the religiosity and religious sentiment from his speeches so far and you could be forgiven for thinking that Ban Ki-Moon or his predecessor was visiting the corridors of power in the US. His Holiness says that...
'The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.'
We cannot insist only on social and environmental issues while re-iterating masonic conceptions of a harmonious society in terms of fraternity...
Abortion and same-sex marriage are important issues as well.If at this 'critical moment in our civilisation' the Successor of St Peter cannot bring himself to stand publicly in defense of the unborn in a nation that murders them systematically, at a particular time and peculiar context, when the US media and its politicians are being literally forced to confront the issue because of one brave Catholic investigator and his assistants, then it isn't the case that the Catholic Church shouldn't, in his view, 'obsess' about these 'issues' unduly. It is that these issues, rather, do not matter any longer at all. They are not 'as well' they are, in reality, replaced entirely. Nothing else can explain the semantics with which these issues are studiously and craftily avoided.
If the Pope cannot join his VOICE to the millions in the US who are protesting and campaigning for the defunding of Planned Parenthood then I ask you, in what sense is this Pope's visit 'pastoral and to whom, precisely, is he a pastor'?
|Baby parts for sale: The backdrop to the Papal Visit to the United States|
"Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life."
That is an interesting use of words of the Pope today. Is that a veiled, quite innocuous assessment of the Supreme Court's ruling? You could be forgiven for not getting it. Pope Francis says he 'cannot hide' his concern but why would a Pope want to 'hide' his concern for the family from anyone? It is just incredible how a Pope can speak so boldly in declaring his opposition to the death penalty, but can dance so gingerly around the words 'abortion' and 'same-sex marriage' as if the power of speaking these words alone could ignite a fire in the building. Was he talking about the US or the Synod in Rome? With millions of viewers, what 'can' he do? What 'can' he say?
'I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life'.
No, your Holiness. The media and the powerful of this world are all applauding you and they are all at your feet. You can say and you can do a lot better than that. The question many Catholics in the US will be asking is why you don't seem to want to do so. You 'can' say, if you should feel so inclined, with utter conviction, with the certainty and bravery of Martin Luther King, that marriage is between one man and one woman for life and no court on Earth, no earthly power, can ever, ever change that. I still hope that during this trip His Holiness will do so, but this may be a hope in vain. After all...
|After that speech: Buy your copy today!|
"There is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners."
...which might go some way to explaining why not only his Congress speech, but the upcoming Synod on the Family, spells such doom for the Church and the acceleration of evil in the World. That little quote will be music to the ears of relativists both inside and outside Congress. If it isn't the Pope's responsibility to speak every now and then, especially to the mighty, of good and evil and the difference between the two, I ask you seriously, whose responsibility is that?