Just listen to your heart!
Francis to African University Students: Avoid the ‘Supermarket of Salvation’, but be ‘Apostles of the Earth’!
On Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, the Argentinian apostate Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”) was busy helping university students build bridges across Africa. To that end he participated in a Zoom video conference event entitled, “Building Bridges Across Africa: A Synodal Encounter between Pope Francis and African University Students”, sponsored, among other entities, by the Pan-African Catholic Theology and Pastoral Network.
The main theme of the dialogue with university students was “Ubuntu: A culture of encounter; we all belong”. According to a report published by Crux, “Ubuntu is an ancient African word loosely meaning ‘humanity to others’, and is often used to reinforce the importance of communal ties under the heading that, ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’.” That sort of thing, of course, is right up Francis’ alley. Speaking from his central command in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta guest house, he referred to Ubuntu as “salvation through community”.
The entire event can be viewed in the following video. The webinar with Francis’ participation begins at the 19:50 timestamp and runs through 1:38:21, interrupted only by a short musical interlude:
After listening to questions and remarks from other participants, Francis weighed in with his own ideas.
The first student to ask him a question was Miss Twiza Nachilongo from Zambia. She expressed her desire to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ and wanted to know, “How can we grow in spirituality, especially because there are so many healing ministries, prosperity gospel message[s], spiritual movements in Africa, and we don’t know how to discern among those groups?” In response, Francis boldly promoted relativism, subjectivism, Indifferentism, and Liberalism. In essence, he communicated to the questioner that it doesn’t matter what religious group she embraces, as long as she follows her “heart”.
Crux summarizes this scandalous episode as follows:
Asked how to discern from among the various groups and movements vying for their attention and involvement, Pope Francis cautioned against being seduced by a “supermarket of salvation” and said that when the path seems unclear, “you’ll find the answer in your heart.”
“Go forward, and along your path you’ll realize if you are becoming more mature,” he said, saying the most important quality to look for when contemplating whether to join a religious group is that “it doesn’t take your freedom away. If it does, it’s not healthy.”
(Elise Ann Allen, “Pope urges African youth to be protagonists in shaping future”, Crux, Nov. 2, 2022)
Since this matter is of the greatest importance, let’s look at what Francis said in total, verbatim, and in context. We quote the translation that was given while he was speaking, from the above video:
During your remarks, you mentioned something which brought to mind a so-called “supermarket of salvation”. You mentioned the ministries of salvation, or offers of spirituality. And when facing these real “supermarket” offers, we sometimes don’t know which path to choose. But we do have a clear criterion that we can look to: We’ll find the path in our heart. The heart is what makes us feel something directly without intermediaries. You can feel in your heart that you are looking for God, that you are looking for others. Go forward, and then along your path you’ll notice if you are becoming more mature. Don’t look to all of the various religious offers; don’t listen to those who say, “I belong to such-and-such a religious group.” You belong to your motherland; you belong to God. And, regardless of the religious group you belong to, keep in mind that the most important thing for a religious group is to make sure that it doesn’t take your freedom away from you. When it does, it isn’t healthy. And then, in all of this, you mentioned that you can achieve spirituality also through discernment. You can understand which spiritual group is allowing you to grow. And that will lead you to the answers you are seeking for [sic]. That’s what came to mind as I was listening to your remarks. Thank you.
Wow! What an absolute philosophical and theological train wreck of an answer! What Francis said there is pure Modernism.
Can anyone imagine our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ giving such an answer to an inquiring soul about how to follow Him? What a scandal! Francis’ response is essentially: “It’s not that important what religious affiliation you choose. Just make sure it works for you, that it corresponds to your innermost feelings. You are already God’s and now you just need to mature.”
When asked regarding the “supermarket of salvation”, a Catholic has to point out, first of all, that of course only one religion can be true, and that it is of the utmost importance to find out which one that is. Then he would need to engage in classic apologetics in order to prove that only the Roman Catholic religion is true and all the others — including the Orthodox and Protestant sects — are false. There are many tools available for apologetics, and they include more accessible items, such as Fr. Anthony Alexander’s College Apologetics, Cardinal James Gibbons’ The Faith of Our Fathers, the famous Radio Replies of Fathers Leslie Rumble and Charles Carty, or David Goldstein’s What Say You?, to more advanced works such as Laying the Foundation (originally We Stand with Christ) by Fr. Joseph Clifford Fenton, Defense of the Catholic Church by Fr. F.X. Doyle, Apologetics by Mgr. Paul Glenn, or Principles of Catholic Apologetics by Fr. Thomas Walshe.
Such traditional apologetics, however, is detested by the likes of Bergoglio because it is objective, certain, and fixed. It claims to prove the Roman Catholic religion to be the only true one. Modernists, instead, love to make everything subjective, doubtful, and changeable. They detest certainty because they are not interested in attaining truth, classically defined as the correspondence of the mind with reality. Wisely did Pope St. Pius X say of the Modernists that “they pervert the eternal concept of truth and the true meaning of religion…” (Encyclical Pascendi, n. 13). Thus they do not believe there is such a thing as the one true religion in an objective sense: “Indeed, Modernists do not deny, but actually maintain, some confusedly, others frankly, that all religions are true” (Pascendi, n. 14).
The following propositions were condemned by the Holy Office in 1924 under Pope Pius XI. A number of these errors are reflected in what Francis told his hapless interlocutor:
III. No abstract proposition can be regarded as unchangeably true.
IV. In the attainment of truth, the act of the intellect, taken in itself, is deprived of every power, in particular the apprehensive [power], and it is not the proper and sole instrument of this attainment, but is effective only in the compass of all human action, of which it is a part and a moment, and to which alone it belongs to attain and possess truth.
V. Wherefore, truth is not found in any particular act of the intellect, in which “conformity with the object,” as the Scholastics say, would be had, but truth is always in the becoming, and it exists in the progressive equivalence of the intellect and life, to wit, in a certain perpetual motion, by which the intellect endeavors to develop and make known that which experience brings forth or action demands, but still on these terms: That nothing in the entire advancement to a more finished state ever be regarded as confirmed and firmly established.
VI. Logical arguments alone, both about the existence of God and the believability of the Christian religion, per se operate with no objective, as they say, value; in other words, they prove nothing per se with reference to the extra-mental order [of things].
VIII. The value that arguments of this sort can have does not arise out of their manifest validity or argumentative strength, but out of the “subjective” pressing necessities of life or action, which require these truths in order that they be properly developed and self-consistent.
IX. The particular apologetic strategy that proceeds “ab extrinseco” [“from a source outside”] — namely, that which, through the medium of discursive reasoning, rises from the natural knowledge of historical facts recorded in the Sacred Books, especially in the Gospel, to establish the supernatural and divine character of the same facts, from which at length it concludes that God is the author of the revelation that they support — is a feeble and childish mode of proceeding, and it does not answer to the genuine pressing needs of the human mind such as it is today.
X. A miracle, taken simply in itself — namely, insofar as it is a sensible fact that can be imputed to divine power alone, exclusive of both its symbolic meaning and the subjective pressing needs of man — does not furnish a substantial argument for Revelation.
XII. Even after the reception of faith, man ought not to rest in the dogmas of religion and cling to them irrevocably and immovably, but [he should] always remain solicitous of advancing to a further truth, namely by developing into new senses and even correcting that which he believes.
(Holy Office, Condemned Propositions concerning the Philosophy of Action, Dec. 1, 1924)
It is for good reason that Pope St. Pius X required all clerics, seminary professors, etc., to swear the Oath against Modernism, part of which says:
…I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:19), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our Creator and Lord.
(Pope Pius X, Oath against Modernism; underlining added.)
Bergoglio mentions one criterion to determine what religion to choose: listen to your heart! In other words: Choose a religion that corresponds to what you think and feel internally. Religion should conform to you — it is not you who should conform to (true) religion. What incredible apostasy! It is easy to see why Pope Pius X said of the Modernists that “their system means the destruction not of the Catholic religion alone, but of all religion” (Pascendi, n. 39).
Fallen man who is looking for the truth is in desperate need of light and grace, and his “heart” is no reliable guide to anything: “But Jesus did not trust himself unto them, for that he knew all men, and because he needed not that any should give testimony of man: for he knew what was in man” (Jn 2:24-25). He did know indeed: “For from within out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile a man” (Mk 7:21-23).
But then somehow Francis does manage to come up with one external criterion by which to choose a religious group to join, namely: “make sure that it doesn’t take your freedom away from you”. Brilliant! But what constitutes genuine freedom, anyway? The modern-secular concept is certainly not the same as the Christian concept. He who does not possess “the freedom wherewith Christ has made us free” (Gal 4:31) is a slave to the devil, to sin: “For by whom a man is overcome, of the same also he is the slave” (2 Pet 2:19). That is the whole reason why God in His mercy sent us a Redeemer — to purchase us back from slavery to the evil one, to restore in us once again the sanctifying grace lost through original and actual sin. “Jesus answered them: Amen, amen I say unto you: that whosoever committeth sin, is the servant of sin. Now the servant abideth not in the house for ever; but the son abideth for ever. If therefore the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” (Jn 8:34-36).
Francis tells the young woman, “You belong to God.” But until we are born again through sanctifying grace in baptism (see Jn 3:3-5), we do not belong to God but to the devil, for we are “by nature children of wrath” (Eph 2:3). We become the adopted children of God through sanctifying grace, which we can lose again through mortal sin: “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. Whosoever is not just, is not of God, nor he that loveth not his brother” (1 Jn 3:10; cf. Rom 8:15-17).
From his comments, it is clear that Francis believes that all religions are ultimately the work of man. Not a single one of them has been supernaturally revealed by God; instead, God puts man in touch with Himself through any religion. That is perhaps why Bergoglio increasingly refers to them merely as “religious traditions”. It is certainly the reason he can regard all religions as an “enrichment” for humanity, and why he can affirm that God wills a “diversity” of religions — because in his mind they are all natural tools equally capable of giving access to the “transcendent”, being simply “different ways of coming to God”. What is this if not open apostasy?!
Let us never forget Bergoglio’s definition of the word religion, which he first presented to the world in 2016: “…the true religions are the development of the capacity that humanity has to transcend itself towards the absolute” (source).
Against all this dangerous nonsense, we will simply give the very clear teaching of Pope Leo XIII, which is that “the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, and which He committed to His Church to protect and to propagate” (Encyclical Immortale Dei, n. 7). From this truth derives the objective moral obligation for every human being to embrace Roman Catholicism — not by force or other coercion, but freely: “The Church is indeed conscious of her divine mission to all mankind, and of the obligation which all men have to practice the one true religion…” (Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Divini Illius Magistri, n. 39).
The simple fact of the matter is that Bergoglio is not a Catholic. He believes the very thing Pope Gregory XVI condemned:
Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care. With the admonition of the apostle that “there is one God, one faith, one baptism” [Eph 4:5] may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that “those who are not with Christ are against Him” [Lk 11:23], and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore “without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate” [Athanasian Creed]. Let them hear Jerome who, while the Church was torn into three parts by schism, tells us that whenever someone tried to persuade him to join his group he always exclaimed: “He who is for the See of Peter is for me” [St. Jerome, Epistle 57]. A schismatic flatters himself falsely if he asserts that he, too, has been washed in the waters of regeneration. Indeed Augustine would reply to such a man: “The branch has the same form when it has been cut off from the vine; but of what profit for it is the form, if it does not live from the root?” [St. Augustine, in psalm. contra part. Donat.].
(Pope Gregory XVI, Encyclical Mirari Vos, n. 13; italics and bold print given.)
Francis has made abundantly clear several times in the past that he is not interested in converting anyone to Catholicism. And why should he be? It’s not his religion either.
To accuse Bergoglio of Indifferentism is no exaggeration. This destructive error has infested the New Church since Vatican II introduced ecumenism and interreligious dialogue. To see how deep the rot goes, just take a look at the following report from Asia News, which quotes the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, “Cardinal” Louis Raphael Sako (b. 1948):
“We are all responsible,” warns the Chaldean primate, for what happens “on our planet and in our country”. God, he warns, “will not ask” whether we are “Shia Muslim or Sunni, a Catholic Christian or an Orthodox”, but will judge “on our concerns” and for what we have done “for our sister[s and] brothers”. Only this morality, he warns, can truly guarantee “peace and security” that are the way and the light “for eternity”.
(“Card. Sako: from interreligious forums a new commitment ‘to peace and fraternity'”, Asia News, Nov. 14, 2022)
This is apostasy! It is the very error condemned by Pope Gregory XVI, namely, “that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained”. What a horrific affront to God, but also to the holy martyrs, who endured the most cruel tortures for testifying to the only true God and His Gospel!
Love of our neighbor is indeed crucial, but it alone will not save anyone. We are required not merely to assist the needy but also, first and foremost, to love God above all things, and we must do so not merely with our our whole heart, soul, and strength, but also with our whole mind: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment” (Mk 12:30). Thus even our love of neighbor must be subordinated to, and proceed from, our love of God, if it is to merit us eternal life: “For whosoever shall give you to drink a cup of water in my name, because you belong to Christ: amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward” (Mk 9:40).
The shocking, openly heretical remarks of “Cardinal” Sako show how misguided it is to think, as some traditionalists seem to do, that the Eastern rites are not tainted by the errors of the Vatican II Church, simply because they have retained their traditional Catholic liturgy. They are, we must remember, in full communion with Bergoglio and imbibe the same heresies, errors, blasphemies, as anyone in the Latin rite. They too were educated and trained in the Novus Ordo religion. We must not allow ourselves to be fooled by externals. Even the apostate Hans Küng (1928-2021), ordained in 1954, once offered Mass in the traditional Roman rite.
“Pope” Francis and his henchmen aren’t interested in saving souls — either because they hate souls, or because they don’t believe in an afterlife, or because they think everyone goes to Heaven anyway. However, when it comes to saving the planet, Francis is not so carefree. Then one cannot simply listen to one’s heart or conscience. Then it doesn’t matter if our freedom is taken away. Then he even endorses proselytism and wants young men and women to become “apostles of the earth”!
Take a look at what he said in response to a woman from Ivory Coast. After calling deforestation a “crime against humanity”, he stated:
When you were speaking, I felt your love for your land, for your soil; a love for a land, an earth which is being assassinated, it’s being violated. And we have to truly think about how savage it is to rape the earth, just as it is to rape a woman. We are raping the earth because we want to dominate it because we want wealth and that’s a very harsh thing to think about. And therefore I urge you to be committed in battling those who want to rape the earth. Please consider that any act which leads to an imbalance in the earth is something that can be countered if we act as the apostles of the earth.
There it is! What religious group one affiliates oneself with, isn’t that important to Bergoglio. The spiritual life, the life of grace, true doctrine, eternal salvation — these are matters of the “heart” that are ultimately regulated by one’s personal inclination, for which God will not judge us. He does not hear the cry of the Lord on the Cross, “I thirst” (Jn 19:28) — for souls! — because he only cares about the cry of the poor at the alleged cry of the earth. And while it is important to assist the poor and needy, our Lord did not become incarnate so we would give food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty.
As Pope St. Pius X made clear:
…Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be, nor in the theoretical or practical indifference towards the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged, but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being. Catholic doctrine further tells us that love for our neighbor flows from our love for God, Who is Father to all, and goal of the whole human family; and in Jesus Christ whose members we are, to the point that in doing good to others we are doing good to Jesus Christ Himself. Any other kind of love is sheer illusion, sterile and fleeting.
(Pope Pius X, Apostolic Letter Notre Charge Apostolique)
And the same Pope went on to set straight Bergoglio’s errors about “human fraternity”, pointing out that a fraternity based on Naturalism will achieve no success — only supernatural Christian charity will ease the temporal afflictions of this world:
Indeed, we have the human experience of pagan and secular societies of ages past to show that concern for common interests or affinities of nature weigh very little against the passions and wild desires of the heart. 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.
Notice the emphasis on the supernatural vocation of every person. Easing temporal suffering is fine as far as it goes, but we must not lose sight of the ultimate goal: eternal life in Heaven, the Beatific Vision, perfect union with God. Our souls and the life of grace are so much more important than our body and our temporal life: “For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mk 8:36-37).
Yes, of course we ought not to exploit the earth God has given us, nor ruin it for ourselves and our progeny. However, neither should we obsess over it, attaching ourselves to it such that we make a veritable religion out of its conservation:
Therefore I say to you, be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the meat: and the body more than the raiment? Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature by one cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith? Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.
The ultimate purpose of our existence is not found in the present world. In fact, when all is said and done, this world will be destroyed by God Himself, and all that will matter is our union with Him — how much we have loved Him and our neighbor for His sake: “But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence, and the elements shall be melted with heat, and the earth and the works which are in it, shall be burnt up” (2 Pet 3:10); “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more” (Apoc 21:1).
The Modernists have reduced religion to little more than a sentiment of the heart, and have redirected religion’s focus on the temporal world, as if the truth of the Gospel were of no consequence, or rather, as if the Gospel consisted essentially in nothing more than God telling us to help our neighbor in his temporal necessities.
Anyone who reads an approved traditional Catholic translation of the New Testament (such as the Douay-Rheims or the Mgr. Ronald Knox translations) can see how false that is. Our Blessed Lord warned that “he that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mk 16:16); and to the Jews he said specifically that “if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sin” (Jn 8:24). It is extremely serious not only to accept the Gospel once but also never to abandon it: “The man who goes back, who is not true to Christ’s teaching, loses hold of God” (2 Jn 9; Knox translation).
Francis, however, does not care; it is all the same to him, for he does not believe. He is focused on temporal life, not eternal life. He is worried about bodies, not souls. He is one of those “who mind earthly things”, whereas the Catholic knows that “our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil 3:19-20). “Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth”, St. Paul instructs us (Col 3:2).
Sacred Scripture warns us in several places against focusing too much on the present world: “He that is of the earth, of the earth he is, and of the earth he speaketh” (Jn 3:31). And again: “They are of the world: therefore of the world they speak, and the world heareth them” (1 Jn 4:5). Indeed, in the Parable of the Wheat and the Cockle, our Lord teaches us that “the cares of the world” can “choke the word” so that “it is made fruitless” (Mk 4:19).
Having abandoned the supernatural doctrine of the true Gospel, Bergoglio and his henchmen preach fraternity and environmentalism. It is all they have left. Despising things eternal, they can only worry about what is temporal.
They will reap their reward.
Image source: YouTube (screenshot)
License: fair use