No, it’s not an April Fool’s joke…
Francis in Morocco:
“Being a Christian is not about Adhering to a Doctrine”
It was bound to happen. On the last day of his two-day
apostolic journey blather tour in Morocco, Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope” Francis) once again spoke his heretical mind. Whenever this man’s lips part, there is no predicting what will come out of his mouth, and this time he had a few theological indiscretions prepared for his audience.
At the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rabat, Francis addressed his own Novus Ordo clergy, as well as members of the so-called Ecumenical Council of Churches. Vatican Media has provided the following video of the meeting:
A full transcript of Bergoglio’s speech has been posted on the Vatican web site:
- Francis’ Address at Meeting with Priests, Religious, Consecrated Persons and the Ecumenical Council of Churches (Mar. 31, 2019)
The address is the typical mixed bag of truths, half-truths, and outright errors. We will highlight some of them.
In all seriousness, Francis opines that “Jesus did not choose us and send us forth to become more numerous!” That is a direct denial of the Great Commission (see Mt 28:19-20); but of course Francis wouldn’t be Francis if he didn’t nevertheless affirm in his very next sentence: “He called us to a mission.”
But what does mission and preaching the Gospel mean for Francis? To him, its essence lies in “our capacity to generate change and to awaken wonder and compassion.” If you can’t recall the Gospel passage where Christ sends His disciples to generate change and awaken wonder and compassion, you’re not alone. It only exists in the gospel according to Francis, and that is a false one (cf. Gal 1:8-9).
The false pope proceeds to explain that whatever preaching the Gospel and being missionaries may mean, it is definitely not making converts of unbelievers:
We do this by the way we live as disciples of Jesus, in the midst of those with whom we share our daily lives, joys and sorrows, suffering and hopes (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 1). In other words, the paths of mission are not those of proselytism. Please, these paths are not those of proselytism! Let us recall Benedict XVI: “the Church grows not through proselytism, but through attraction, through witness”. The paths of mission are not those of proselytism, which leads always to a cul-de-sac, but of our way of being with Jesus and with others. The problem is not when we are few in number, but when we are insignificant, salt that has lost the flavour of the Gospel – this is the problem – or lamps that no longer shed light (cf. Mt 5:13-15).
Ah yes, that ever-present scourge of “proselytism”! Francis never fails to warn his people against that great evil! Remember?
- Francis: “Evangelization is not Proselytizing”
- Francis: “Do you need to convince the other to become Catholic? No, no, no!”
- Francis: “Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense”
- Francis: “Never Proselytize in Schools!”
- Francis: “It is not right to convince others of your Faith”
This time, the pretend-Pontifex even assures his listeners that proselytism “leads always to a cul-de-sac”, a curious assessment for which he offers no rationale whatsoever, of course.
The professional Novus Ordo apologists — you know, the likes of Tim Staples, Jimmy Akin, Patrick Madrid, and Dave Armstrong — will try to tell you that “proselytism” refers not to the making of converts as such but rather to the making of converts using dishonest, intimidating, or otherwise immoral means. That, however, is definitely not what Francis means, and we can prove it:
- Jimmy Akin and the Definition of “Proselytism”
- Francis: Converting the Eastern Orthodox to Catholicism is “Great Sin against Ecumenism”
- Francis told Anglican Bishop not to convert to Catholicism
- Francis: “I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism”
- Two more Protestants affirm Francis “not interested” in converting them
- Francis: No One owns the Truth, it is an Encounter with Christ
- Francis doesn’t care what Religion you are
- Francis disses Catholic Apologetics, Seeking Conversion of Protestants
Francis’ denunciation of proselytism is nothing new, then, and it is not surprising that he should have brought it up again, given the opportunity. However, he did have something new for his listeners, too, something that is no less outrageous:
I believe we should worry whenever we Christians are troubled by the thought we are only significant if we are the flour, if we occupy all the spaces. You know very well that our lives are meant to be “yeast”, wherever and with whomever we find ourselves, even if this appears to bring no tangible or immediate benefits (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 210). For being a Christian is not about adhering to a doctrine, or a temple or an ethnic group. Being Christian is about an encounter, an encounter with Jesus Christ. We are Christians because we have been loved and encountered, and not as the result of proselytism. Being Christian is about knowing that we have been forgiven and knowing that we are asked to treat others in the same way that God treated us. For “by this everyone shall know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35).
So here the Jesuit apostate from Buenos Aires informs the world that being a Christian, a disciple of Jesus Christ, is not about adhering to a doctrine. Really? Let’s see.
In his Apostolic Letter against the French Sillon movement, Pope St. Pius X taught:
No, Venerable Brethren, there is no genuine fraternity outside Christian charity. Through the love of God and His Son Jesus Christ Our Saviour, Christian charity embraces all men, comforts all, and leads all to the same faith and same heavenly happiness.
We wish to draw your attention, Venerable Brethren, to this distortion of the Gospel and to the sacred character of Our Lord Jesus Christ, God and man, prevailing within the Sillon and elsewhere. As soon as the social question is being approached, it is the fashion in some quarters to first put aside the divinity of Jesus Christ, and then to mention only His unlimited clemency, His compassion for all human miseries, and His pressing exhortations to the love of our neighbor and to the brotherhood of men. True, Jesus has loved us with an immense, infinite love, and He came on earth to suffer and die so that, gathered around Him in justice and love, motivated by the same sentiments of mutual charity, all men might live in peace and happiness.
But for the realization of this temporal and eternal happiness, He has laid down with supreme authority the condition that we must belong to His Flock, that we must accept His doctrine, that we must practice virtue, and that we must accept the teaching and guidance of Peter and his successors.
Further, whilst Jesus was kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared. He loved them all, but He instructed them in order to convert them and save them.
(Pope St. Pius X, Apostolic Letter Notre Charge Apostolique; underlining and paragraph breaks added.)
All this is pretty clear. But since Francis also says that Faith “must be constantly nourished by the word of God”, we will also take a look at the testimony of Sacred Scripture regarding the importance of doctrine in Catholicism:
And they were astonished at his doctrine. For he was teaching them as one having power, and not as the scribes. (Mk 1:22)
Jesus answered them, and said: My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. (Jn 7:16)
The high priest therefore asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. (Jn 18:19)
And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)
And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying: Commanding we commanded you, that you should not teach in this name; and behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and you have a mind to bring the blood of this man upon us. (Acts 5:27-28)
Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine, the same hath both the Father and the Son. If any man come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house nor say to him, God speed you. (2 Jn 9-10)
I charge thee, before God and Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead, by his coming, and his kingdom: Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. (2 Tim 4:1-4)
Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle. (2 Thess 2:14)
I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. (Gal 1:6-9)
Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark them who make dissensions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. (Rom 16:17)
Which things also we speak, not in the learned words of human wisdom; but in the doctrine of the Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Cor 2:13)
These things proposing to the brethren, thou shalt be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished up in the words of faith, and of the good doctrine which thou hast attained unto. Till I come, attend unto reading, to exhortation, and to doctrine. (1 Tim 4:6,13)
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing… (1 Tim 6:3-4)
Exhort servants to be obedient to their masters, in all things pleasing, not gainsaying: Not defrauding, but in all things shewing good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. (Titus 2:9-10)
…But being a Christian is not about adhering to a doctrine, huh?
Quick, someone call Catholic Answers and tell them to close down their offices. It’s not about doctrine, it’s all about an “encounter”, an experience. Maybe the Vatican will soon change the name of its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to Congregation for the Experience of the Faith. At this point, anything is possible.
However, Francis isn’t quite so consistent in his dissing of doctrine. Keep in mind that he is the same theological shyster who at other times will suddenly play zealous guardian of orthodoxy and feign concern about a re-emergence of the heresies of Pelagianism and Gnosticism (see Letter Placuit Deo, approved and ordered by Francis); when, of course, he is the true Pelagian (atheist is in Heaven because he was “good”) and the real Gnostic (new doctrines from the “god of surprises”). In other words, being a Christian is all about doctrine whenever it suits him and his agenda.
Of course it is true that to be a genuine disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ, we must do more than simply believe and profess His holy doctrine. To enjoy God’s grace and ultimately make it to Heaven, we need not only Faith but also hope and charity, final perseverance (see Mt 7:21; Jas 2:14-26; Denz. 808). But that’s not the issue because that’s not what Francis was addressing: He didn’t say that in addition to professing the truth we must also live it if we wish to be saved. Had he said that, we could take no issue with it.
Instead, he said that “being a Christian is not about adhering to a doctrine.” Yet that is precisely what it is, above all. For he who adheres to the true doctrine but does not practice it, although he is a hypocrite and on his road to damnation, is nevertheless a Christian, a member of the Catholic Church, albeit a lifeless one:
If any one saith, that, grace being lost through sin, faith also is always lost with it; or, that the faith which remains, though it be not a lively faith, is not a true faith; or, that he, who has faith without charity, is not a Christian; let him be anathema.
(Council of Trent, Session VI, Canon 28; Denz. 838)
For not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy. Men may lose charity and divine grace through sin, thus becoming incapable of supernatural merit, and yet not be deprived of all life if they hold fast to faith and Christian hope, and if, illumined from above, they are spurred on by the interior promptings of the Holy Spirit to salutary fear and are moved to prayer and penance for their sins.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, n. 23)
Thus, he who retains Faith, even though he be in mortal sin, is still a Christian, still a member of the Church. (This important truth has immense repercussions for the visibility of the Church; otherwise one could not know who is and isn’t a Catholic, since one cannot tell whether another is in the state of mortal sin or in the state of sanctifying grace.) On the other hand, possessing charity and hope without Faith, is not possible: “But without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Heb 11:6).
Francis, then, has once again uttered a heresy, and quite an idiotic one at that. If Christianity isn’t about doctrine, why do we have a Creed?
Yes, yes, of course we are quite aware that one can spin Francis’ words to mean all sorts of things, as in, “Let me tell you what Francis meant by this”, but that’s beside the point. The point is what he actually said, not what he should have said or could have meant.
The false pope then turned to the topic of dialogue, talking about a “dialogue of salvation and friendship” to which we have supposedly been called, and exhorting his listeners to be a “living sacrament of the dialogue that God wants to initiate with each man and woman”. In this context, Bergoglio asks: “How can we fail to think of Saint Francis of Assisi, who at the height of the Crusades went to encounter Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil?”.
That’s a really great point, so let’s recall exactly how that “encounter” went between the two and discover if beyond a “dialogue of salvation” in which he “generate[d] change” and “awaken[ed] wonder and compassion”, St. Francis didn’t also engage in some of that dreaded “proselytism” that always ends in “a cul-de-sac”:
The Sultan Meledin asked him who sent them, and for what purpose they came? Francis answered with courageous firmness: “We are not sent by men, but it is the Most High who sends me, in order that I may teach you and your people the way of salvation, by pointing out to you the truths of the Gospel.” He immediately preached to him, with great fervor, the dogma of One God in Three Persons, and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind.
(Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, The Life of S. Francis of Assisi [New York, NY: D. & J. Sandlier & Co., 1889], pp. 197-198)
Clearly, if St. Francis were alive today, Bergoglio would be the first one to denounce him for proselytizing and spreading “religious supremacy”, another concept he disses in the same speech: “Dialogue, then, becomes prayer… A prayer of intercession that says to the Father, ‘Thy kingdom come’. Not by violence, not by hatred, not by ethnic, religious or economic supremacy….”
If there is no religious supremacy, that means all religions are equal. But this is a betrayal of the Gospel, a most frightful betrayal of Jesus Christ, who is the only Way to Eternal Life (see Jn 14:6; cf. 2 Cor 6:14-18).
In his landmark encyclical against Freemasonry, Pope Leo XIII warned:
…[T]he great error of this age [is] that a regard for religion should be held as an indifferent matter, and that all religions are alike. This manner of reasoning is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion, and especially of the Catholic religion, which, as it is the only one that is true, cannot, without great injustice, be regarded as merely equal to other religions.
(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Humanum Genus, n. 16)
Yes, Catholicism claims religious supremacy. It alone is the true religion; all others are false.
Francis preaches the fraternity and indifferentism of Freemasonry. Earlier this year in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, he had blasphemously declared that the “pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.”
No wonder he considers all religions equal. To him, what matters is encounter and experience; the rest — like doctrine, for example — is unnecessary bells and whistles:
What is to prevent such experiences from being found in any religion? In fact, that they are so is maintained by not a few [Modernists]. On what grounds can Modernists deny the truth of an experience affirmed by a follower of Islam? Will they claim a monopoly of true experiences for Catholics alone? Indeed, Modernists do not deny, but actually maintain, some confusedly, others frankly, that all religions are true.
(Pope St. Pius X, Encyclical Pascendi Dominici, n. 14)
Francis is a true and proper Modernist and therefore inherently incapable of being the Pope of the Catholic Church.
Image source: youtube.com (Vatican Media; screenshot)
License: fair use
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