There is increasing concern among Catholic faithful that Pope Francis, in a weird attempt to reconcile the Catholic Church with “modernity”, is making concessions that are clearly at odds with doctrine. This should be worrying not only Catholics, but everyone who believes that all human beings should fully enjoy the protection of their human rights and dignity from the time of conception unto death, because the Catholic Church has for many decades been a lonesome bulwark to advocate and defend these rights against the relentless attacks ideologues and self-serving pressure groups, to which certain governments and international organizations have been all too receptive. Now it looks as if that bulwark were to be eroded.
It all began with statements that Catholics “should not be too obsessed with issues like abortion and contraception”, which immediately earned the Pontiff praise and thanks of the abortion lobby, while causing astonishment and confusion within the Church itself. Obviously, the statement left room for interpretation: it is right that one should not be “obsessed” by anything in particular – but is the remark really appropriate in a situation where 50 million children are killed in their mothers’ wombs every year, and Planned Parenthood sells their dead body for 100 Dollars apiece? It is like if in the 1930s Pius XI., instead of issuing the encyclical “Mit brennender Sorge”, had told people they should “not be obsessed with Nazism”… Similar winks and hints followed with regard to sodomy (“Who am I to judge?” – he certainly is not called to judge individual persons, as this is something God will do on the day of judgment, but everybody is called to accept the general judgment that sodomy is at odds with the natural purpose of sexuality and therefore wrong), and with marriage (e.g. the Vatican’s step to facilitate marriage nullity proceedings to such an extent that they now bear a rather strong resemblance to a new kind of Catholic no-fault divorce, or the attempt, which is considered heresy by many and risks bringing the Church to the brink of a schism, of legitimizing the access of re-married adulterers to the sacraments).
More recently the Pope has misleadingly (but very much in line with the newspeak consistently used by the abortion lobby) described abortion as “interruption of pregnancy”, and dismantled the Pontifical Academy of Life founded by St. John Paul II, which thus is ceasing to exist as a pro-life think-tank. Instead, the Vatican is now – to the amazement of all those who for decades have defended the right to life in politics and media, often at a high personal cost – hosting radical population planning advocates such as Jeffrey Sachs, Paul Ehrlich, and John Bongaarts as guests of honour, offering them an occasion to spread their truly anti-human ideology apparently with the blessing of the Catholic Church itself. This is called “dialogue”, but it is always the others who are speaking, while the Church seems to be nodding complacently. It appears that the Pontiff is now signing up to Malthusianism. It has also transpired that the Holy See is nowadays, knowingly or not, taking its cues from George Soros’s foundations.
At this blog, we generally prefer to stay clear of religious issues, and we have no intention of changing this. Let us therefore just offer a very general remark: Only Catholics believe that a pope is infallible – and that belief concerns only very rare and narrowly circumscribed situations – the ones where the Pope is speaking “ex cathedra”. This is something Pope Francis has not done so far, and apparently does not intend to do in the future. This belief in infallibility is a necessity for the Catholic faith, as it is needed to explain why people should have confidence in the Church. But if there is an apparent contradiction between what a Pope says and what the Church’s perennial and constant teaching says, Catholics follow the constant teaching of the Church.
Five hundred years ago, Pope Alexander VI. allegedly organized a banquet where fifty courtesanes danced naked with his guests and then had sex with them. Such was the state of corruption of the Church then that these accounts are, at least, not devoid of all credibility. But while these events may be part of the Church’s history, they obviously are not an expression of the Church’s doctrine.
Pray for Pope Francis and his conversion. And don’t forget that what we are defending here are the unchanging precepts of Natural Law, not the fashionable ideologies currently holding sway at the UN.