The plain text didn’t fit his ideology…
Christ and the Poor: Francis brazenly distorts Gospel Reading for Monday in Holy Week
His pace of apostasy is exhausting: The Antipope on April 6, 2020
Life for “Pope” Francis is not easy: Every time he preaches, he has to find a way to read his ideological talking points into the Scripture readings of the day. This becomes especially challenging when the Gospel text directly contradicts the Bergoglian agenda.
Such a day was today, April 6, 2020. It is Monday in Holy Week, and the Gospel passage for the day was the beautiful story of St. Mary Magdalen anointing the feet of our Lord — and Judas’ protest:
Jesus therefore, six days before the pasch, came to Bethania, where Lazarus had been dead, whom Jesus raised to life. And they made him a supper there: and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that were at table with him. Mary therefore took a pound of ointment of right spikenard, of great price, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the purse, carried the things that were put therein. Jesus therefore said: Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of my burial. For the poor you have always with you; but me you have not always. A great multitude therefore of the Jews knew that he was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests thought to kill Lazarus also: because many of the Jews, by reason of him, went away, and believed in Jesus.
(John 12:1-11; underlining added.)
This is a tough one for the Argentinian apostate because it directly rebukes his false “gospel of man” with its exaggerated emphasis on the poor.
Yet, far from being intimidated, Francis decided to reaffirm his liberation theology all the more in his homily. Here are some excerpts (a video of it can be watched here).
…I want to pause here: “The poor, in fact, you always have with you.” There are poor, there are so many: there is the poor man that we see, but this is the least part; the great quantity of poor are those that we don’t see, the hidden poor. And we don’t see them because we enter into this culture of indifference, which is a denier and we deny: “No, no, there aren’t so many, they aren’t seen; yes, that case” . . . always diminishing the reality of the poor — however, there are so many, so many.
Or even, if we don’t enter this culture of indifference, there is a habit of seeing the poor as ornaments of a city: yes, they are there, as the statues; yes, they are, they are seen; yes, that little old lady who asks for alms . . . But as if it [were] something normal. It’s part of the ornamentation of the city to have poor people. However, the great majority are the poor victims of economic policies, of financial policies. And some recent statistics summarize it thus: there is so much money in the hands of a few and so much poverty in so many — in many. And this is the poverty of many people, victims of the structural injustice of the global economy. And [there are] so many poor that are ashamed to make it seen that they can’t make it until the end of the month; so many poor of the middle class, who go hidden to Caritas and ask privately and feel ashamed. The poor are many more than the rich, many, many . . . And what Jesus says is true: “The poor in fact you have always with you.” However, do I see them? Am I aware of this reality, especially of the hidden reality, those that feel ashamed to say that they cannot make it to the end of the month?
…And there are so many, so many . . . to such a point that we will meet them in the Judgment. And the first question that Jesus will ask us is: “How did you fare with the poor? Did you give them to eat? When [one] was in prison, did you visit him? In hospital, did you see him? Did you help the widow, the orphan? Because I was there.” And we will be judged on this. We won’t be judged for [our] luxury or the trips we took or the social importance we have. We will be judged for our relation with the poor. However, if today I ignore the poor, I leave them to one side, I believe they aren’t there then the Lord will ignore me on Judgment Day. When Jesus says: “The poor you have always with you,” He means: “I will always be with you in the poor. I’ll be present there.” And this isn’t to be a Communist; this is the center of the Gospel: we will be judged on this.
(Antipope Francis, Homily for Apr. 6, 2020; translated and provided by Zenit; underling added.)
This sermon is simply disgraceful!
Let’s look back at the Gospel text. The main focus of that passage is not the poor. It is really not about the poor at all. In fact, it was Judas Iscariot — clearly a man dear to Francis’ heart — who brought the poor into it, as a way to detract from Our Lord and to camouflage his greed. But Christ sets things in the proper perspective. Yes, it is right and just to give alms to the poor; but He, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, is more important than the poor. It is good and necessary to love one’s neighbor, but what is even more important is to love one’s Maker! The love of neighbor, after all, is only the second greatest commandent — the greatest is the love of God (see Mt 22:36-40).
But Francis does not merely turn this Gospel passage into a promo for the poor, he also brazenly misinterprets the rather clear words of Christ. Though he first pays lipservice to our Lord’s words, noting, “…what Jesus says is true: ‘The poor in fact you have always with you'”, he gives it a wholly new meaning at the end of his homily: “When Jesus says: ‘The poor you have always with you,’ He means: ‘I will always be with you in the poor. I’ll be present there.'”
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that that is simply false, and quite outrageously so. When Christ says we will always have the poor but not always have Him, then that’s exactly what He means! The parallel passage in Mk 14:7 is even more clear: “For the poor you have always with you: and whensoever you will, you may do them good: but me you have not always.” There is not a hint of “I will always be with you in the poor” there — Bergoglio made it up!
Not that the obvious requires any justification, but we see this clearly confirmed in traditional Scripture commentaries.
For example, the magnificent Fr. Cornelius à Lapide explains our Lord’s words in the parallel passage in Mt 26:11 thus:
The world is always full of poor people, to whom ye may always do good; but I, after six days, shall die and go away to heaven, so that ye will not be able to pay me any respects, nor even to see, hear or touch Me. Allow then this woman’s act of service toward Me. In six days ye would vainly desire to do the like.
(The Great Commentary of Cornelius à Lapide: The Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew, vol. II, trans. by Thomas W. Mossman, rev. and compl. by Michael J. Miller [Fitzwilliam, NH: Loreto Publications, 2008], p. 516. Alternate edition available here.)
Not surprisingly, the same interpretation is given by the Benedictine Fr. Bernard Orchard:
Christ defended Mary from the charge of prodigality brought against her under the pretence [sic] of solicitude for the poor. Her action was a gesture of homage to him. In view of the nearness of his death, no one should find fault with the lavishness of the expenditure. Opportunities to assit the poor would never be lacking, but Christ would not be visibly present among them much longer.
(Dom Bernard Orchard, O.S.B., ed., A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture [London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1953], n. 739b)
Of course it is nevertheless true that we will be judged, as Francis says, on how we acted towards the poor. Indeed, we will be judged on whether we fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, visited the sick, etc. — these are the corporal works of mercy (see Mt 25:31-46). However, we will also be judged on whether we instructed the ignorant, counseled the doubtful, admonished sinners, prayed for others, etc. — those are the spiritual works of mercy.
Additionally, we will be judged on whether we believed and taught (or doubted, denied, or distorted) the Gospel; whether we committed idolatry, blasphemy, sacrilege, vanity, sins against purity and modesty, theft, false witness, contumely, envy, sloth, etc. “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mk 16:16); “Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9-10).
To claim that the poor are “the center of the Gospel”, then, is simply false. Although we will be judged on how we treated the poor, that doesn’t make them the center of the Gospel — if it did, then all the other things we will be judged on would likewise be the center of the Gospel, in which case there would be no reason to single out the poor.
By reminding us that the poor will always be there, but He will not always be there (visibly), Our Lord Himself makes clear that He, not the poor, is the center of the Gospel. Our Lord is the Divine Protagonist of the Gospel: He is the Son of God; the promised Savior; the Messiah; the Prince of Peace; the Divine Physician; the Lamb of God; the Redeemer. We are called to model our lives according to His (see Mt 5:48 and Jn 10:30; Mk 8:34). All of Christian life is essentially a following or imitation of Christ: It is His Covenant which men must accept; His Church they must enter; His commandments they must obey; His forgiveness they must seek; His Gospel they must believe and proclaim; His brethren they must love and serve. This is not terribly difficult to grasp, and it takes real contempt for Divine Revelation to force liberation theology into it.
In his homily today Bergoglio also complained that people tend to look upon poverty “as if it [were] something normal”. But it is something normal in this fallen world; just as it is normal that men become more frail with age, that people contract diseases, and that some die young whereas others die old. Our Lord Himself prophesied that poverty would remain until the end of time, and it is Socialism, not Catholicism, to consider all poverty an injustice. This does not mean that we need not or ought not to alleviate the sufferings of the poor and give alms. Of course we should.
In 1878, Pope Leo XIII presented the Church’s position on the inherent social inequality of all men, and what does — and does not — follow from it:
…in accordance with the teachings of the Gospel, the equality of men consists in this: that all, having inherited the same nature, are called to the same most high dignity of the sons of God, and that, as one and the same end is set before all, each one is to be judged by the same law and will receive punishment or reward according to his deserts. The inequality of rights and of power proceeds from the very Author of nature, “from whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named.”
…But Catholic wisdom, sustained by the precepts of natural and divine law, provides with especial care for public and private tranquillity in its doctrines and teachings regarding the duty of government and the distribution of the goods which are necessary for life and use. For, while the socialists would destroy the “right” of property, alleging it to be a human invention altogether opposed to the inborn equality of man, and, claiming a community of goods, argue that poverty should not be peaceably endured, and that the property and privileges of the rich may be rightly invaded, the Church, with much greater wisdom and good sense, recognizes the inequality among men, who are born with different powers of body and mind, inequality in actual possession, also, and holds that the right of property and of ownership, which springs from nature itself, must not be touched and stands inviolate. For she knows that stealing and robbery were forbidden in so special a manner by God, the Author and Defender of right, that He would not allow man even to desire what belonged to another, and that thieves and despoilers, no less than adulterers and idolaters, are shut out from the Kingdom of Heaven. But not the less on this account does our holy Mother not neglect the care of the poor or omit to provide for their necessities; but, rather, drawing them to her with a mother’s embrace, and knowing that they bear the person of Christ Himself, who regards the smallest gift to the poor as a benefit conferred on Himself, holds them in great honor. She does all she can to help them; she provides homes and hospitals where they may be received, nourished, and cared for all the world over and watches over these. She is constantly pressing on the rich that most grave precept to give what remains to the poor; and she holds over their heads the divine sentence that unless they succor the needy they will be repaid by eternal torments. In fine, she does all she can to relieve and comfort the poor, either by holding up to them the example of Christ, “who being rich became poor for our sake,” or by reminding them of his own words, wherein he pronounced the poor blessed and bade them hope for the reward of eternal bliss….
(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Quod Apostolici Muneris, nn. 5,9; underlining added.)
A reward of eternal bliss! Remember that? It’s easy to forget about the true goal of human existence when listening to Bergoglio because his chief concern is always the natural world and man’s temporal needs (cf. 1 Jn 4:5). He tends to relegate eternal and supernatural matters to a proverbial footnote, if that; and yet the goal of human life is the supernatural bliss of the Beatific Vision.
To conclude, we observe that when he is confronted with a Gospel passage in which Christ declares that helping the poor is not the be-all and end-all of the Gospel, the Jesuit squatter in Vatican City nevertheless uses it to preach precisely that. The man is shamelessly defiant in his apostasy!
And why is he? He is because he can be. Looking back at the last seven years, it is amazing to see what he has gotten away with, most notably his blasphemous Abu Dhabi heresy in 2019, according to which God positively wills there to be a diversity of religions. The relative lack of outrage about his apostasy has no doubt emboldened him even more, to the point of directly and manifestly contradicting the Gospel not only with impunity but even with the applause of most of his underlings and of the world (cf. Lk 6:26).
What the Gospel teaches didn’t match what Francis believes, so Francis dumped the Gospel.
Now it’s time people dumped Francis.
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