Pope Francis has done, yet another interview with the press, in which he says some good things and says some…bad things.
First, I direct your attention to the interview, which is posted in its entirety here.
I’m only going to comment on three things that I completely disagree and I find to be completely unacceptable for any Pope to say. But first, some disclaimers.
I don’t want to hear you say anything along the lines of “But he’s the Vicar of Christ, you shouldn’t disagree with him!” This is one of the most annoying arguments for disagreement. Just because he is the Pope, this does not elevate him from public criticism. If he is wrong, he is wrong. It just means he is a Vicar of Christ who is wrong. This is not being proclaimed as Dogma or Doctrine, so it is just personal opinion.
I will completely be honest, maybe I am immature in my faith and do not completely understand what he is getting at, so, if that is the case, please charitably respond in the comments and prove me wrong. After all, if I am wrong, the mature thing is to correct me, and help me understand where the Pope is coming from. It is also the Christian thing to do.
1. Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?
“Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.”
Your Holiness, you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that’s one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope.
“And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”
This to me seems to be moral relativism. Moral relativism in its simplicity is stating that if you believe something is good, than it must be good and if you believe something is bad, than it must be bad. How then, can the Pope promote something like this if we believe that Jesus Christ is the summit and source of all that is Good and True? You think robbing a bank is good? Go ahead and do it! Abortion isn’t evil? Than you say so!
2. Jesus in his preaching said that agape, love for others, is the only way to love God. Correct me if I’m wrong.
“You’re not wrong. The Son of God became incarnate in the souls of men to instill the feeling of brotherhood. All are brothers and all children of God. Abba, as he called the Father. I will show you the way, he said. Follow me and you will find the Father and you will all be his children and he will take delight in you. Agape, the love of each one of us for the other, from the closest to the furthest, is in fact the only way that Jesus has given us to find the way of salvation and of the Beatitudes.”
My confusion with regards to *why* he became incarnate is where I’m confused with what Pope Francis is saying. I thought Jesus came so that man can be saved? That is Jesus took on human flesh so that He could be offered as a perfect sacrifice, for the redemption of mankind and the forgiveness of our sins, hence why we don’t need the paschal lamb because Jesus IS The Paschal Lamb. This seems to me that it is a direct contradiction to what even the Church teaches us. Jesus came so that we may have eternal life and we are to follow Him so that we can partake in that eternal life.
3. Pope Francis told me: “The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don’t even look for them any more. They have been crushed by the present. You tell me: can you live crushed under the weight of the present? Without a memory of the past and without the desire to look ahead to the future by building something, a future, a family? Can you go on like this? This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing.”
I’m unsure how these are “evils”. I’ve read this interview on several site and another one referenced this paragraph as “problems with the Church”. To me, these are not problems. These are issues, yes, but not the two serious problems.
My thought would be the lack of priests we have in the Church to administer the Sacraments and the fleeing of the young from the Church after they have received Confirmation. 85% of those confirmed leave the Catholic Church within 5 years. How can a Church thrive when it posts losses like this? If a business lost 85% of its customers each year, they’d be…out of business. Granted Christ told us that Hell would not prevail against the Church, but this is still a major issue that needs addressing.
I do want to point out that I agree with Pope Francis on proper evangelization. We need to take people where they are at, explain the faith to them in ways they understand, without forcing it upon them. We may not get to see their conversion, but we may be an instrument for their conversion. We are planting the mustard seeds. I would like to come back to this in another post.
I’d like to end with this. I in all humility, may be wrong. These are my own personal thoughts and observations. If I am wrong, please tell me why. I would love to be able to say “oh, I get it now, this is awesome!” But I need your help!