“In whose hands are iniquities: their right hand is filled with gifts” (Ps 25:10)
Life of Buddha: Francis gifts Manuscript celebrating Paganism to President of Myanmar
(image credit: Servizio Fotografico Vaticano / used with permission)
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Beware of 21st-century Jesuits bearing gifts!
When Francis visited the Asian nation of Myanmar in late November, he gave, as is customary, a diplomatic gift to the country’s president, who is the official host; and, being the guest, he received one in return. President Htin Kyaw, who is a Buddhist, gave Francis a set of porcelain wares and also a painting of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Pope” Francis, who claims to be the Vicar of Christ and head of “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15), gave President Kyaw a Vatican-produced manuscript entitled Life of Buddha (the full contents of which can be accessed here). We turn to Vatican Radio for the frightful details:
When Pope Francis met on Tuesday with the President of the Republic of Myanmar, Mr Htin Kyaw, the two leaders exchanged gifts.
Pope Francis presented President Htin Kyaw with a manuscript, depicting the life of Buddha, the primary figure of the Buddhist religion.
The manuscript features six scenes from the life of Buddha: the conversion of individuals, including King Bimisara, to the teaching of Buddha; the conversion of entire cities; and Buddha’s own stay in the city of Rajagaha are all depicted.
The pictures are accompanied by the texts in the Burmese language.
The manuscript, which is typical of the sorts found in Myanmar, has been produced by the Vatican Library [!].
(“Pope Francis presents manuscript to Myanmar’s president”, Vatican Radio, Nov. 28, 2017)
So the “Pope” gave to a Buddhist a gift that confirms him in his Pagan errors. This is so contradictory that even President Kyaw was dumbfounded, as can be seen in the video clip provided by Rome Reports:
More photos of the trip released by the Vatican are posted here.
Some might object that just as the Buddhist president gave the “Pope” a gift that pays tribute to Christ, so Francis gave him a gift that pays tribute to Buddha. Isn’t that a fair sign of mutual respect? What’s the big deal?
The big deal is that the Catholic Church isn’t a human organization that plays by the rules of the world. The Catholic Church — of which Francis claims to be the head — is a divine institution with a divine mission, and that mission is not to esteem false religions for the sake of Christ receiving some esteem in return. Rather, the mission is:
Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. (Mt 28:19-20)
He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned. (Mk 16:16)
Francis claims to be the Vicar of the God who commanded this!
Indeed, now and again Francis likes to talk tough about how we have to preach the Gospel always and everywhere and that the Good News is not something to be kept hidden in a museum:
When asked in a new interview what specific mission he has for the laity, Pope Francis responded with a frequent appeal: to go outside of oneself and take risks in evangelizing, rather than staying stuffed up at home while the moths move in.
“Sometimes I think the best business we can do with many Christians, is to sell them mothballs so that they put them in their clothes and in their lives and aren’t eaten by moths,” the Pope said in the interview, published Sunday.
The interviewer, journalist Noel Díaz, had questioned the Pope about a comment he had made to him on a previous occasion to “tell the laity to come out of the caves.”
When asked about the comment and what mission he would give to the laity with that image in mind, Francis said that many times Christians “are locked up and they are going to get eaten by moths.”
“They have to go out, they have to go and bring the message of Jesus” to others, he said, explaining that the Good News is meant to be shared, not stored away.
“The message of Jesus is to give it; so just as I receive it from him through a brother or sister, the grace comes to me and I give it,” he said, stressing that Christians shouldn’t “can” the message, trying to conserve it in a jar, because “it’s not to save, it’s to give.”
(Elise Harris, “Pope Francis to the Laity: Go out and evangelize, or buy Mothballs”, Catholic News Agency, Jan. 29, 2017)
Here’s another recent example:
Pope Francis said Tuesday that the Word of God isn’t something that can be explained to people as a mere recommendation, or merely a good idea, but that it requires courage, prayer and humility to preach with honesty – and this is the only way it will have an impact.
“The Word of God cannot be given as a proposal – ‘well, if you like it…’ – or like a good philosophical or moral idea – ‘well, you can live this way…’” Pope Francis said Feb. 14.
“No! It’s something else. It needs to be proposed with this frankness, with this force, so that the Word penetrates, as Paul says, ‘to the bone.’”
(“Pope Francis: Don’t preach the Gospel like it’s a ‘Recommendation’”, Catholic World Report, Feb. 14, 2017)
In Myanmar, we saw this “courage”, “force”, and “frankness” in action: Not only did he not preach, even in the slightest, the Gospel of Jesus Christ to an unbelieving president, he did something infinitely worse: He explicitly confirmed the hapless soul in his soul-destroying Paganism!
To underscore how evil this is, we turn to a Vatican-endorsed book written in 1886 against the then-emerging Liberalism, which was a foreshadowing of the errors of Vatican II. The work in question is Liberalism is a Sin by Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany. It is a devastating refutation of the Novus Ordo religion, written roughly 80 years in advance. See what Fr. Sarda, with the explicit approval of Pope Leo XIII’s Sacred Congregation of the Index, wrote about how antithetical to true Catholicism the Liberal attitude towards Buddhism is:
When [Sir Edwin] Arnold’s Light of Asia appeared [a work promoting Buddhism –N.O.W.], not a few Catholics joined in the chorus of fulsome praise which greeted it. How charming, how beautiful, how tender, how pathetic, how humane; what lofty morality, what exquisite sentiment! Now what was the real purport of the book and what was its essence? To lift up Guatama, the founder of Buddhism, at the expense of Jesus Christ, the Founder of Christianity! The intention was to show that Guatama was equally a divine teacher with as high an aspiration, as great a mission, as lofty a morality as our Divine Lord Himself. This was the object of the book; what was its essence? A falsification of history by weaving a series of poetical legends around a character, about whose actual life practically nothing is known. But not only this, the character was built up upon the model of Our Lord, which the author had in his own mind as the precious heirloom of Christianity; and his Gautama, whom he intended to stand out as at least the divine equal of the Founder of Christianity, became in his hands in reality a mere echo of Christ, the image of Christ, made to rival the Word made flesh! Buddhism, in the borrowed garments of Christianity, was thus made to appeal to the ideals of Christian peoples, and gaining a footing in their admiration and affections, to usurp the throne in the Christian sanctuary. Here was a work of literary merit, although it has been greatly exaggerated in this respect, praised extravagantly by some Catholics who, in their excessive desire to appear impartial, failed or refused to see in Edwin Arnold’s Light of Asia a most vicious, anti-Christian book! What difference does it make whether a book be excellent in a literary sense or not, if its effect be the loss of souls and not their salvation? What if the weapon in the hands of the assassin be bright or not, if it be fatal? Though spiritual assassination be brilliant, it is nonetheless deadly.
Heresy under a charming disguise is a thousand times more dangerous than heresy exposed in the harsh and arid garb of the scholastic syllogism — through which the death’s skull grins in unadorned hideousness. Arianism had its poets to propagate its errors in popular verse. Lutheranism had its humanists, amongst whom the elegant Erasmus shone as a brilliant writer. Arnauld, Nicole, Pascal threw the glamour of their belles lettres over the serpentine doublings of Jansenism. Voltaire’s wretched infidelity won its frightful popularity from the grace of his style and the flash of his wit. Shall we, against whom they aimed the keenest and deadliest shafts, contribute to their name and their renown! Shall we assist them in fascinating and corrupting youth! Shall we crown these condemners of our faith with the laurels of our praises and laud them for the very qualities which alone make them dangerous! And for what purpose? That we may appear impartial? No. Impartiality is not permissible when it is distorted to the offense of truth, whose rights are imprescriptible. A woman of bad life is infamous, be she ever so beautiful, and the more beautiful, the more dangerous. Shall we praise Liberal books out of gratitude? No! Follow the liberals themselves in this, who are far more prudent than we; they do not recommend and praise our books, whatever they be. They, with the instinct of evil, fully appreciate where the danger lies. They either seek to discredit us or to pass us by in silence.
Si quis non amat Dominum Nostrum Jesum Christum, Sit anathema [“If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema”], says St. Paul. Liberal literature is the written hatred of Our Lord and His Church. If its blasphemy were open and direct, no Catholic would tolerate it for an instant; is it any more tolerable because, like a courtesan, it seeks to disguise its sordid features by the artifice of paint and powder?
(Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany, Liberalism is a Sin, Chapter 18; some formatting changed.)
Francis is not in the least concerned for the salvation of Pagans. He does not seek that idolaters or other members of false religions be converted to the True Faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is happy to confirm Pagans and other non-believers in their errors. Although he may not perhaps go so far as to say that all religions are equally good, he undoubtedly holds that all religions are good enough for salvation.
But this is not a position a Catholic is allowed to hold, for it is nothing short of the heresy of indifferentism — the idea that it ultimately doesn’t matter what religion you are. In 1846, Pope Pius IX taught:
Also perverse is the shocking theory that it makes no difference to which religion one belongs, a theory which is greatly at variance even with reason. By means of this theory, those crafty men remove all distinction between virtue and vice, truth and error, honorable and vile action. They pretend that men can gain eternal salvation by the practice of any religion, as if there could ever be any sharing between justice and iniquity, any collaboration between light and darkness, or any agreement between Christ and Belial.
(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Qui Pluribus, n. 15)
Notice that there is no talk here of not rejecting what is good and holy in other religions — neither is there talk of “ecclesial elements” or of the Holy Ghost using other religions as means of salvation.
In 1928, Pope Pius XI condemned “that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule” (Encyclical Mortalium Animos, n. 2).
If this does not sound like what you’ve been hearing in the last 55 years from the “Catholic bishops”, there is a reason for that: They do not believe it.
There is only one conclusion: The “gospel” Francis wants to spread is not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ but a false, man-made gospel that makes void the Word of God (cf. Mt 15:6; Gal 1:8-9), even in its simplest fundamentals: “Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:6).
By the way, Francis is not the first Jesuit to visit Buddhists this year. The Superior General of the (now grossly misnamed) Society of Jesus had a similar “encounter” in July. Remember?
The true Catholic Church is missionary in her very essence, always and necessarily preaching the true Gospel of Christ and seeking the conversion of all who are not yet in her fold. She preaches this Gospel in season and out of season: “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness” (1 Cor 1:23).
That Francis is not a part of that very Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ, could not be more evident. Wisely did King David warn of those “in whose hands are iniquities: their right hand is filled with gifts” (Ps 25:10).
Image source: Servizio Fotografico Vaticano