Thursday, August 11, 2016

An excerpt from Catholic World Report written by Carl Olsen “The Pope and Fundamentalism

4984francisflig_00000004693“…This is apparently how Pope Francis understands fundamentalism as well, based on remarks made on several occasions, most recently in his presser on the flight back to the Vatican from his time at World Youth Day in Krakow. As is often the case during such press events, his remarks were fragmentary and not entirely consistent.

A reporter asked Francis about “the barbarous assassination of Fr. Jacques Hamel” in France and noted that the pope had recently insisted that all religions want peace; in fact, Francis had placed the blame on economic inequality: “When I speak of war I speak of wars over interests, money, resources, not religion. All religions want peace, it’s the others who want war.” That is, to put it nicely, nonsense (some commentators were harsher in their assessments). The reporter then asked: “So Holy Father … why do you, when you speak of these violent events, always speak of terrorists, but never of Islam, never use the word Islam?”

The answer given by Francis was painfully shallow and evasive:

I don’t like to speak of Islamic violence, because every day, when I browse the newspapers, I see violence, here in Italy… this one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law… and these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics! If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence . . . and no, not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent. It is like a fruit salad; there’s everything. There are violent persons of this religion… this is true: I believe that in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists. Fundamentalists. We have them. When fundamentalism comes to kill, it can kill with the language — the Apostle James says this, not me — and even with a knife, no? I do not believe it is right to identify Islam with violence. This is not right or true.

Several observations could be made about the above excerpt; I’ll stick to three. First, Francis either doesn’t understand the simple question or he purposefully reshapes it into a straw man. Every Christian knows (or should) that everyone sins, and that Christians are capable of murder and other horrible sins. We are all deeply flawed and mortally wounded by sin. That is Basic Catholic Theology, just as it is basic common sense, as Chesterton noted in Orthodoxy: “Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved.” When Mr. Smith murders Mr. Jones in a fit of jealous rage in a bar in Toledo, Ohio, we don’t think, “Ah, he is following his Christian beliefs to their logical conclusion”, or, “Ha! He merely took the Sermon on the Mount and actualized its inherent violent subtext”, but rather, “Alas, he just committed an act of objective evil and has broken one of the Commandments.” …

For the whole insightful article and the multitude of comments, click HERE.

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