After all, it’s just blasphemy…

Bergoglio: ‘Respond to Blasphemy with Tenderness’

Guest Commentary by Patricius

Atheist Blasphemer Leon Ferrari

UPDATE 7/25/13: Leon Ferrari has died – CLICK HERE for News Story

On November 29, 2004, God-hating atheist “artist” León Ferrari, founder of CIHABAPAI (“Club of Impious Heretics, Apostates, Blasphemers, Atheists, Pagans, Agnostics, and Infidels”), opened a blasphemous “art” exhibition at the Recoleta cultural center in Buenos Aires, Argentina – offensive not only to Catholics, but to Christians, theists, and civilized people in general.

Some of Ferrari’s wicked “art” can be seen at the following links, but be warned: What you will see there is extremely disturbing, containing indecent, impure, sacrilegious, and blasphemous displays, incl. nudity:

The Novus Ordo “archbishop” at the time was none other than “Cardinal” Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the very same man who is now running around the Vatican sporting the fancy title “Pope Francis”. How did Bergoglio respond to this horrific outrage?

On December 1, 2004, he released a pastoral letter addressed to the clergy and laymen of his “archdiocese” (see here in Spanish and also coverage of it here in English) in which he denounces the blasphemous exhibition. Granted, in it he asks for people to make December 7 a day of prayer and fasting in reparation for the outrage, and this is well and good — but he kept his distance from those courageous militant Catholics (of the Asosciación Cristo Sacerdote) who entered the exhibition and began to destroy Ferrari’s wicked works, shouting, “¡Viva Cristo Rey!” [“Long live Christ the King!”] — the battle cry of the Mexican Cristeros in the 1920s. (See some coverage of this by secularist IPS correspondent Marcela Valente, who ironically ascribes the militants’ heroic actions to Bergoglio’s conciliatory letter: “Catholic Intolerance vs Freedom of Expression”.) At the same time, for the sake of truth, we have to mention that Bergoglio did assist with monetary funds the Cristo Sacerdote members to help them in their legal battle to have the exhibit closed down (see El Día que el Arte Desnudó a Jorge Bergoglio).

That Bergoglio’s preferred plan of action was one of “meekness” and “tenderness” in the face of these frightful and diabolical insults to Our Lord, Our Lady, and the Saints, is confirmed by the Christmas Eve sermon he gave on December 24, 2004. In it, he addressed this wicked mockery of the True God and the True Faith once more, but instead of commending the militant Catholics in Buenos Aires who had already valiantly fought against it, he insisted that the proper response to Ferrari’s exhibit was one of “tenderness” and that people should repress any desire for the blasphemous “art” objects to be destroyed! (At the time of the sermon, the exhibition had already been closed early due to the protests and riot — though it was allowed to reopen in early 2005 at the decision of a judge.)

Bergoglio’s entire sermon can be read in the Spanish original here. The relevant passage is:

La respuesta del cristiano no puede ser otra que la misma respuesta de Dios a nuestra pequeñez: ternura, mansedumbre. Acuérdense de aquella vez, cuando a Jesús y sus Apóstoles no los quisieron recibir en un pueblo de Samaría, Juan le propuso a Jesús: “¿…hacemos caer fuego del cielo…?, que es lo mismo que decir “nos metemos adentro y les rompemos todo”. Y Jesús les responde “no saben de qué espíritu son ustedes”; los reta, hoy les diría eso no es cristiano. Acuérdense también de aquella noche en que tomaron preso a Jesús y Pedro saca la espada, heraldo, defensor de la Iglesia que nacía, defensor infeliz (pues pocas horas después lo traicionó) y Jesús le dijo: guarda la espada ¿acaso no crees que si yo le pidiera a mi Padre más de doce legiones de ángeles para defenderme no las mandaría? (Cfr. Mt. 26:53), pero mi camino es otro, es la ternura.

English translation:

The answer of the Christian cannot be other than the same answer of God to our littleness: tenderness, meekness. Remember that time, when Jesus and his Apostles were refused in a village of Samaria [see Lk 9:52ff], John proposed Jesus: “…shall we call down fire from Heaven?”, which is the same as saying, “we go inside and break all their things”. [Note: This is in reference to Ferrari’s blasphemous “art works”]. And Jesus answers them: “You don’t know of which spirit you are”; he chides them, today he would tell them that isn’t Christ-like. Remember also that night when they took Jesus prisoner and Peter brandishes the sword, as a herald and defender of the nascent Church, an unhappy defender (for few hours later he betrayed him), and Jesus told him: “Put up again your sword into its place; don’t you think that I cannot ask my Father, and he will give me presently more than twelve legions of angels?” (Cfr. Mt 26:53); but my way is another, it is tenderness.

Bergoglio is tampering viciously with Our Lord’s words here. In neither case did He demand we show “tenderness” towards blasphemy! Remember how Our Lord Himself cleansed the temple and drove out the money changers with violent force (cfr. Mt 21:13), whose sacrilege was as nothing when compared with the wickedness of Leon Ferrari.

Let’s be clear — Ferrari’s exhibition included such horrible blasphemies as the following:

  • An image of the Virgin Mary with cockroaches and scorpions
  • A frying pan packed with figures of Saints
  • A chessboard with figurines of the Sacred Heart and of toilets
  • Michelangelo’s Last Judgment defecated by caged canaries
  • Jesus Christ crucified on a war aircraft
  • A bottle full of condoms with a little photo of the “pope” stuck in front
  • A scene of the Last Supper with Jesus and the Apostles accompanied by gorillas and orangutans

To ask for “tenderness” towards acts of hatred against God and godly things is not Christian. Turning the other cheek (cf. Lk 6:29) is fine as long as it is our own cheek that is struck, but not when God or the saints are insulted or attacked. In fact, demanding “tenderness” in this instance is to deny every part of the Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father who art in Heaven

  • If the Christian must be tender towards God-hating pictures and towards the greatest enemies of God, including impersonal ones (ideologies, attitudes), he cannot be tender towards God and call Him “Father”.
  • If God is just as tender towards wicked works as He is towards sublime ones, what becomes of His Fatherhood?
  • If that which tends of itself to destroy the attributes of God, which are His essence and existence, finds no divine objection and no obstacle, God is not in Heaven, because he is not and does not exist.
  • If the Christian must be tender with that which comes from Hell and leads to it, he must be harsh with that which comes from Heaven and leads to it, and does neither consider nor acknowledge Heaven, nor, therefore, God who is there.

“Hallowed be thy name”

  • If the Christian must be tender with that which profanes the name of God and what is His, he cannot consistently nor sincerely ask or wish for the name of God to be hallowed.

“Thy kingdom come”

  • If the Christian must treat the kingdom of blasphemy with “tenderness”, then he does not wish and procure, as far as it is possible and permissible, that the kingdom of blasphemy should go away, and therefore he cannot wish and procure that the kingdom of God should come.

Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven

  • If sin is preeminently that which according to God’s will should not be, and if public blasphemy is a most grievous sin and the Christian must be tender towards it, he is not willing that public blasphemy not be, and he is not willing that God’s will be done.

“Give us this day our daily bread”

  • If our daily bread is Grace, Truth, Love, and Fear of God, but tenderness is granted to horrible poisons, God’s bread is not sincerely wished or asked for.

“And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”

  • If the Christian must be tender towards great abominations, he must be the tenderer towards his own sins, and therefore neither repent of them nor ask God to forgive them.
  • Moreover, if the Christian is to view sin with tenderness, he cannot be merciful with anyone and cannot forgive, for there would be nothing evil or offensive, and only evil and offensive acts can be forgiven.

“And lead us not into temptation”

  • If the Christian owes tenderness to anti-Christian profanations, he also owes tenderness to every temptation, and there is no problem in falling in any of them, nor any reason to ask God to forestall it.

“But deliver us from evil”

  • If the Christian owes tenderness to anti-Christian profanations, there is no evil in anything, much less fault or lack, and there is no reason to do anything, to fight for anything and to love anything.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons (Tecnópolis Argentina; cropped)
License: CC BY 2.0

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