How Do You Know?

Understandably, there has been much discussion of the first in the papal fireside chat video series that we are promised frequently during the Year of Mercy. Much like the spiritual hand-grenade thrown into the Catholic world on the Feast of the Holy Family (Our Lord Jesus Christ begging forgiveness for his 'escapade'), the inter-faith dialogue I-believe-in-love-so-let's-torch-2000-years-of-Catholic-teaching video is jaw-droppingly astonishing and really quite painful. Generally, with the video released in such close proximity to the Epiphany, at which we commemorate the showing forth of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, we can surely sum it up as being another 'teaching opportunity' sadly missed, because if we really needed someone to tell us 'all you need is love', we could have just listened to the Beatles.

One could mention the clear indifferentism shown in the video, on the Feast of the Epiphany, as others have, the lack of the Crucifix as a clear Icon of Christianity and much else. However, what really concerns me - among so much that I find quite eerie in this video - is this statement...

It's not followed by: '...Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life'.

It's followed by:  '...we are all children of God'.

I just have one question:

How do you know?

How does His Holiness, as a religious leader, lay claim to the certainty that 'we are all children of God'? How does he, as the Successor of St Peter, know with certainty, that God exists at all? Because, you know, if we are saying that God definitely exists, that is dealing in an Absolute.

What makes his claim to knowledge of God's fatherhood of humanity more important than that of an atheist? Basically, why should anyone believe him? Is it because the Lord Jesus said, 'Thou art Peter...' ? Because if His Holiness believes that's where his Authority comes from, we can be sure that there is much more than his statement above of which he can be 'certain'.

For instance, if the Church and the World should listen to the Pope because he is the Vicar of Christ on Earth, the Successor of St Peter, with all the authority invested him by the only Begotten Son of God, then that first principle of certainty ('I am certainly, for example, the Pope') means he can say, unapologetically, that many other certainties also exist.

These include 'certainties' like...

  • Jesus is the Son of God.
  • Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and nobody comes to the Father except through Him.
  • Many people believe in love, but Jesus is Love Incarnate.
  • The road to Heaven is narrow and few people find it.
  • Hell exists, just as Jesus taught, and it is eternal.
  • Those who divorce and remarry commit adultery.
  • Baptism is necessary for Salvation.
  • Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of God and drink His Blood, you have no life in you.
  • And much, much more...

Either Pope Francis is who and what he is by virtue of that Authority which Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of God has given to him, or he is of no more importance or no more worth listening to than Richard Dawkins. His teaching credibility relies on the fact that he comes to us claiming authority given to him by the Lord Jesus Christ to 'teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit'. The incredibly limited framework within which the Holy Father says we can have 'certainty' has clear implications for him and his hearers. If he is certain that his unique authority to speak on matters of faith and morals comes from Jesus Christ, then other certainties flow from that - including the certainty that all that Jesus taught about Salvation is true. If he is uncertain about that, how can he (or we) even be certain of his message that 'we are all children of God'.

There is room for doubt, after all, because Christ taught the Pharisees who would not accept Him...


Oakes Spalding said…
Does "we all" mean EVERYONE or only "believers"? Then again if even Buddhists are categorized as believers, perhaps the two sets are the same.
FĂ©lix M said…
It depends on what the Pope means. And, of course, he's a very woolly thinker.

If the Pope means that he personally has one certitude, then - as you say - the question is whether he regards the rest of Christian teaching as certain. A worrying question.

But perhaps he means that all believers are certain about the notion that we're all God's children. Predictably, he gets this wrong. For example, the Buddhists don't even believe in God. And Islam (as I understand it) says that God is compassionate to humans etc but objects to saying that He is our "father".
Mary Kay said…
Thank you. If he does not speak of the God we know through holy scripture and tradition,of what 'god' does he speak? And the question I'd like to ask him following my first question: why do you accept your livelihood from the very people you so strongly insult, who request you to simply teach the Truth that has been handed down to you?' I shouldn't keep beating a dead horse, as they say...
Joe Potillor said…
The best way to deal with this pope is to act as if he does not exist. (I'm by zero means a sede-vacantist)...Infalibility only applies when he re-states what the Church already teaches, whether in an ordinary or extra-ordinary matter....It's hard to take anything he says seriously at this point...REALLY hard I might add.

Insofar as every person has a dignity that's God given, but that in of itself does not make one a child of God. God's love is unconditional, but it doesn't mean that we're supposed to stay where we are.

Loose lips, do sink ships...may the year of mercy...end with an early retirement from this Holy Father...I don't think anyone can handle any more of this.
Anonymous said…
Mmm yes. I had made a mental note not to bother tuning on to listen, as I do for Richard Dawkins. How sad. Personally, I believe in one God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord. He was conceived...I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church... And I believe absolutely that we better turn to Our Lady, our Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy.
viterbo said…

God is neither capable of deceit or being deceived. And He Promised His Bride would neither be deceived or a deceiver.
Anonymous said…
Whatever happened to "We are God's children by adoption [i.e. Baptism] and grace"?
viterbo said…
Roxanne said…
I'm so disappointed, when I saw the picture I thought the Vatican was advertising a Papal Rummage Sale. You know, clear out that old junk from the attic that has nothing to do with the Faith.
E. said…
You know, what will make me to be able to go through this papacy is that popes come and popes go. This is my 7th. I'll just wait for him to go away and pray for his soul. However I have to confess, I do miss Ratzinger.
Amen, Fr King. If all the unbaptized have now been declared to be children of God, then I guess that Baptism is just another sacrament we can ditch and forget everything the Church has believed until now.

While all people have the potential to become sons and daughters of God, it is quite depressing that a Pope could do anything so crass as declaring that all people are children of God already.
Unknown said…
Only sede chapel I see in England is:

The 1570 Society
Fr. Eugen Rissling, Fr. Johannes Heyne (CMRI) Sunday Mass (2h30 pm) about once a month (formerly held in Downham Market).
Local contacts: 01353 649472
or 01366 383954
Unknown said…
Oh also the Canon Regular who are in the Archbishop Thuc line like my priest operate a Mass center in England:

James said…
Pope Francis is a nightmare.
Liam Ronan said…
We're in deep if he starts to publicly rattle those Keys in his pocket, binding and loosing willy-nilly.
Girrard .OP said…
Maybe we are brothers and sister, children of God.
“I deliberately address you as brothers: that is certainly what we are, because we are members of the same human family, whose efforts, whether people realize it or not, tend toward God and the truth that comes from him. But we are especially brothers in God, who created us and whom we are trying to reach, in our own ways, through faith, prayer and worship, through the keeping of his law and through submission to his designs.
But are you not, above all, brothers of the Christians of this great country, through the bonds of nationality, history, geography, culture, and hope for a better future, a future that you are building together? Is it not right to think that in the Philippines, the Muslims and the Christians are really traveling on the same ship, for better or for worse, and that in the storms that sweep across the world the safety of each individual depends upon the efforts and cooperation of all?...

“Dear Muslims, my brothers: I would like to add that we Christians, just like you, seek the basis and model of mercy in God himself, the God to whom your Book gives the very beautiful name of al-Rahman, while the Bible calls him al-Rahum, the Merciful One

John Paul II, address to representatives of Muslims of the Philippines, February 20, 1981 to representatives of Muslims of the Philippines, February 20, 1981.”

viterbo said…
Bergoglio has empty pockets, Liam. The only keys he holds are the ones to his apartment at St Martha's. He can and will rattle every antichrist wish-bone people let him get away with, however.
FalseTeachers said…
He actually doesn't believe in God - so he uses his (stolen) pulpit/throne to lie to anyone seeking Jesus Christ. You didn't publish my propehtic insight into Peter worshiping (false bodybuilding strong man) Crist (w/out 'H') [abraham & sara-as sign of covenant given 'h' in their names - stands for grace in Hebrew alphabet]. Here is another one for you: all Catholics hung up on Bergoglio are like those Catholics hung up on Vatican support of Bowie. They too have become instrument of the devil - instead of avoiding bad companions and false teachers - they spread their false doctrines far and wide -- but never say enough is enough and break w/them as Bible/Jesus Christ and His apostles command. [and yet these "catholic" blogs suppress the truly filthy dirt like story below:

Or this about barros:

Popular posts from this blog