The usual one-sided and misleading drivel…
Idolatry, the Poor, and the God of Surprises: A Critical Look at Francis’ Sermon Ending the Synod 2023
The 2023 edition of the Synod on Synodality is over, and ‘Pope’ Francis did not fail to give an ideology-laden sermon for the closing ‘Mass’ in St. Peter’s Basilica last Sunday:
- Antipope Francis, Homily for Conclusion of Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (Oct. 29, 2023)
The theme of the sermon, based on the day’s Gospel (Mt 22:34-40), was the love of God and neighbor. It is one of Bergoglio’s favorite topics because it is so easy to manipulate and hijack in favor of his apostate agenda.
Let’s look at some examples, beginning with Francis’ expressed concern about idolatry:
In worshiping God, we rediscover that we are free. That is why the Scriptures frequently associate love of the Lord with the fight against every form of idolatry. Those who worship God reject idols because whereas God liberates, idols enslave. Idols deceive us and never bring to pass what they promise, because they are “the work of men’s hands” (Ps 115:4). Scripture is unbending with regard to idolatry, because idols are made and manipulated by men, while God, the Living God, is present and transcendent; he is the one “who is not what I imagine him to be, who does not depend on what I expect from him and who can thus upset my expectations, precisely because he is alive. The proof that we do not always have the right idea about God is that at times we are disappointed: We think: ‘I expected one thing, I imagined that God would behave like this, and instead I was wrong’. But in this way, we turn back to the path of idolatry, wanting the Lord to act according to the image we have of him” (C.M. Martini, I grandi della Bibbia. Esercizi spirituali con l’Antico Testamento, Florence, 2022, 826-827). We are always at risk of thinking that we can “control God”, that we can confine his love to our own agenda. Instead, the way he acts is always unpredictable, it transcends our thinking, and God’s way of acting consequently demands amazement and adoration. Amazement is very important!
We must constantly struggle against all types of idolatry; not only the worldly kinds, which often stem from vainglory, such as lust for success, self-centredness, greed for money – let us not forget that the devil enters “through the pockets”, the enticements of careerism; but also those forms of idolatry disguised as spirituality – my own spirituality: my own religious ideas, my own pastoral skills… Let us be vigilant, lest we find that we are putting ourselves at the centre rather than him.
This is an old Bergoglian favorite: the denunciation of ‘idolatry’. Of course he is speaking of idolatry in a figurative sense — and only in a figurative sense.
Although he claims to be opposed to “all types of idolatry”, notice that he omits mentioning the most important kind, that of people literally worshipping a creature — “the work of men’s hands”! — as polytheistic pagans do. That, ironically, is the one type of idolatry Bergoglio has no problem with. In fact, he endorses all religions as simply “different ways of coming to God” and an “enrichment” to humanity:
If in the past, our differences set us at odds, nowadays we see in them the richness of different ways of coming to God and of educating young people for peaceful coexistence in mutual respect. For this reason, education commits us never to use God’s name to justify violence and hatred towards other religious traditions, to condemn all forms of fanaticism and fundamentalism, and to defend the right of each individual to choose and act in accordance with his or her conscience.
(Antipope Francis, Address to Participants in the Meeting “Religions and Education: Towards a Global Compact on Education”, Vatican.va, Oct. 5, 2021; underlining added.)
“Different ways of coming to God”! How much more anti-Christ can it get? “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); “Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Also, we must not forget that with his signing and implementing of the Abu Dhabi declaration on human fraternity in 2019, Francis has declared that idolatry is even willed by God!
Francis does not merely endorse paganism in theory, however; he also participates in idolatrous ceremonies if the occasion suggests it:
- For ‘Access to the Sacred Circle of Spirits’: Francis participates in Native American Smudge Ceremony
- Francis says he doesn’t go to the Doctor, he goes to “the Witch”
Here are some more resources on idolatry being endorsed by Francis or under his watch:
- Francis: The Different Religions are an ‘Enrichment’ for Humanity
- Hindu Eco-Activist: Francis’ Laudato Si Encyclical reads like Sacred Text of Hinduism
- Time for Diwali: Vatican promotes Idolatry in Message to Hindus
- Give to Gaia what is Gaia’s? Vatican issues ‘Mother Earth’ Coin
- Francis stands up for the Rights of Tradition – Heathen Tradition, of course!
So much for his concern that “idols enslave”!
But even with regard to figurative idolatry, Francis should take some of his own advice, for he ‘adores’ refugees, migrants, the poor, the sick, and the marginalized — as well as subjective conscience.
We have long seen that Francis is a manipulator extraordinaire. He will say or teach whatever ‘works’ in a particular circumstance, that is, whatever is most helpful to his agenda at that particular moment.
In the sermon under consideration, his aim is to prepare people to accept novelties as the will of God, so he is conditioning them to abandon divine revelation under the pretext of shedding one’s mistaken human expectations of God, which are claimed to be ‘idols’.
That is complete nonsense, of course. The ‘god of surprises’ Francis preaches is the false god of doctrinal whim. Yesterday God may have condemned sodomy and adultery, but tomorrow it could all be different, so watch for the ‘signs of the times’! After all, we wouldn’t want to confine God to that narrow little box of our own ideas and prejudices, now would we?
What Bergoglio offers here is simply rhetorical shysterism at its finest. His aim is to confuse people and make them ultimately doubt divine revelation itself. But dogmas are truths fallen from Heaven, so to speak; they are perennially valid: “For I am the Lord, and I change not” (Mal 3:6); “Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same for ever. Be not led away with various and strange doctrines” (Heb 13:8-9).
With his new Motu Proprio Apostolic Letter Ad Theologiam Promovendam, issued Nov. 1, 2023, and not yet translated into English, the false pope is kicking the Neo-Modernist revolution into still higher gear. Approving new statutes for the Pontifical Academy of Theology, Francis takes the errors of Vatican II to the next level:
Opening up to the world and to humanity, “with its problems, its wounds, its challenges, its potential”, theological reflection must make room for “an epistemological and methodological rethinking”, and is therefore called to “a courageous cultural revolution”.
What is needed is “a fundamentally contextual theology”, writes the Pope, “capable of reading and interpreting the Gospel in the conditions in which men and women live daily, in different geographical, social, and cultural environments”.
(Tiziana Campisi, “Pope: Theology must interpret the Gospel for today’s world”, Vatican News, Nov. 1, 2023)
When Modernists like Francis use the word “courageous”, watch out! It is not the virtue of courage he has in mind, nor the gift of fortitude. It is simply a deceptive way for him to extol the proud and foolhardy Modernist passion for novelty! His candid and carefree admission that his aim is nothing short of a “revolution” only serves to underscore that. “Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty! God hateth the proud and the obstinate mind”, Pope St. Pius X warned us in Pascendi Dominici, n. 49.
The dogmas Francis seeks to overthrow — not so much by attacking them directly but by changing the underlying theology in Modernist fashion so that all truths become subject to perpetual change — are believed firmly by Catholics because the all-good and all-knowing God has revealed them. Any ‘expectations’ of God that follow with logical necessity from those dogmas are not only permitted, they are obligatory. It is the false pope, Francis, who tries to break up the certainty generated by Faith, making people doubt God’s revelation and its implications, under the false pretext that it is not the truth of God being deconstructed but merely our self-made, idolatrous view of God.
What Francis proposes looks very much like Error No. 22 in Pope St. Pius X’s Syllabus of Modernist Errors:
[CONDEMNED:] The dogmas which the Church professes as revealed are not truths fallen from heaven, but they are a kind of interpretation of religious facts, which the human mind by a laborious effort prepared for itself.
(Pope Pius X, Decree Lamentabili Sane, n. 22; Denz. 2022)
Francis is trying to neutralize the objective truth of divine revelation by reducing dogma (or at least certain key dogmas) to mere self-made ideas people have about God.
Ironically, his main weapon in the fight is ideas he has about God, not God’s actual revelation. In other words, Francis makes up things about God which contradict the received Faith, and then he accuses people of rigidly clinging to idolatrous, man-made conceptions of God instead of embracing his Bergoglian ‘surpriseology’. Such diabolical inversion takes a special kind of inspiration, and it’s not the good kind!
Next, let us move on to the second part of Francis’ sermon, in which he speaks about love as service to our neighbor:
To love is to serve. In the great commandment, Christ binds God and neighbour together so that they will never be disconnected. There can be no true religious experience that is deaf to the cry of the world. There is no love of God without care and concern for our neighbour; otherwise, we risk becoming pharisaic. We may have plenty of good ideas on how to reform the Church, but let us remember: to adore God and to love our brothers and sisters with his love, that is the great and perennial reform. To be a worshiping Church and a Church of service, washing the feet of wounded humanity, accompanying those who are frail, weak and cast aside, going out lovingly to encounter the poor. We heard in the first reading how God commanded this.
(italics given; underlining added)
Notice, first of all, that Francis speaks of (not) having a “true religious experience”, once again signaling his Modernism. Using this term in the given context is very much out of place. He could have, and should have, simply said that a Catholic must not be oblivious to the needs of the poor. Instead, he talked about a “religious experience”, and once again waxed metaphorical by talking about being “deaf” to a “cry”.
What does it mean to have a true religious experience, as opposed to a false one? And who is he to judge which ones are ‘true’ and which are ‘false’? If at least he had said there can be no true religious experience apart from the true religion, but of course that is the furthest thing from his mind!
Pope St. Pius X pointed out the problem with the Modernist concept of religious experience:
What is to prevent such experiences from being found in any religion? In fact, that they are so is maintained by not a few. 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 Saint Pius X, Encyclical Pascendi Dominici, n. 14)
Thus it is not all surprising that ‘Pope’ Francis stated in 2016: “…the true religions [sic] are the development of the capacity that humanity has to transcend itself towards the absolute”. Got it?!
Secondly, we notice that in his homily, as usual, Bergoglio reduces all service to our neighbor to corporal works of mercy, that is, assisting our neighbor in his temporal needs — to the point of omitting, or at least greatly downplaying, the spiritual works. No thought is given by him to what is ultimately of much greater benefit to our neighbor than his bodily well-being, and that is, of course, his spiritual welfare. For whereas temporal life ends at death, which no one can escape, eternity will never end: “For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?” (Mk 8:36).
Francis only cares about bodies, about earth, about the climate, about this present life; for that is where practically all of his focus is. Thus he is extremely popular among secularists, who care nothing for the supernatural life of the soul either: “They are of the world: therefore of the world they speak, and the world heareth them” (1 Jn 4:5). The Catholic’s gaze, instead, is turned toward heavenly things: “Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth” (Col 3:2).
The Irish spiritual author Fr. Edward Leen (1885-1944) has explained how ultimately futile are the efforts of those who would ‘save the world’ but then ultimately perish with it:
The thoughtful ones of earth contemplating the scene presented by a human activity that continually changes its purpose and is powerless to assign itself any purpose that human reason cannot instantly question, must feel the pathos of much well-meaning and humanitarian effort. Great generosity is shown and real kindness is spent in praiseworthy attempts to arrest the ravages of mortality, especially amongst the young. “Save the children” is an appeal that finds a ready response in the hearts of the humane and the kindly. Not with cynicism, but with real sympathy, one may ask, “Save them for what?” Is it for the adult life that frets itself away in vain endeavours to assign itself an adequate reason for living? Is it worth while to preserve children for what any person would logically confess to be not worth while? [Footnote: There is question only of those who have not the view of the aims and objects of life as furnished by the true faith or even by sound philosophy.] Is this charity of the kind-hearted dictated by the hope that somehow life for these children may prove different to what it has been for those who have tried to save them from death and disease? Are there grounds for hope that the little ones when come to adult age will light on, by chance, a solution of the problem of existence that has evaded their grown-up benefactors? What is the use of bestowing health unless there can be given with it the key to such a use of life as will issue in happiness? Life is a precious gift when it is accompanied by the knowledge of how to live rightly and the means to exercise this right living.
Death is not a break, but a stepping stone by which one passes from one stage to another in the same existence. But man will perversely and blindly strive to effect a cleavage in that line and persuade himself that the good of the human life that precedes death can be different from the good of human life that follows death. The result is that he is necessarily at cross-purposes with God. It is not surprising that the creature, seeking to gain the goal of life — namely happiness — by a use of life’s powers and energies at variance with the design of the Creator, should be continually frustrated in his main object, should enjoy no peace, and should be involved in contradiction and become a prey to perpetual dissatisfaction. What is the way out of this impasse? The way out is through a thorough understanding of the religion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and a practice based on such understanding.
(Rev. Edward Leen, Why the Cross? [London: Sheed & Ward, 1938], pp. 23-24,35-36; italics given; underlining added.)
Christ Jesus is the ultimate Servant of mankind: “Even as the Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a redemption for many” (Mt 20:28; cf. Mt 23:11). Yet, His service to humanity did not confine itself to healing the sick or giving alms to the poor. In fact, improving people’s temporal condition was not even the main focus of His ministry:
The [Gospel] passages that reveal Jesus in the exercise of works of mercy, in healing disease, in consoling grief and in overcoming death, are given an undue emphasis [by Naturalists]. In this way the central truth is obscured, the truth, namely, that the conflict of the Redeemer was primarily with spiritual evil and only incidentally with physical evil. His purpose was to banish from earth the ills that appear to God as such, not those that appear so to the pain-dreading nature of man… The gospel is not a record of a more or less successful philanthropic mission.
…To Christians, who persist in thinking that the function of Christianity is to provide men with good things and banish from their life evil things — understanding by good and evil what appear such to fallen human nature — life will speedily prove unintelligible. To men with such views the mystery of pain becomes insoluble. In the face of the harsh realities of existence their belief stands condemned. They have no answer to give to the ever-recurring question: if God is kind and good and tender towards human suffering, why does suffering continue to be not only for those that deserve it, but also for those who do not?
That Jesus, in His power and goodness, did not put an end to all human suffering shows that, in His eyes, suffering is not the real source of human unhappiness.
(Leen, Why the Cross?, pp. 54-56; original italics removed, others added.)
The true Gospel concerns itself primarily with the supernatural/spiritual and only secondarily with the natural/physical.
Interestingly enough, Fr. Leen’s observation that Naturalists “have no answer to give to the ever-recurring question: if God is kind and good and tender towards human suffering, why does suffering continue to be not only for those that deserve it, but also for those who do not?” is verified in none other than Jorge Bergoglio, who is on record stating more than once that he has no answer as to why God permits children to suffer. Worse still, in his homily for Dec. 31, 2021, the apostate from Buenos Aires explicitly repudiated the idea that there is any supernatural purpose to suffering temporal ills.
‘Pope’ Francis doesn’t just want to go to hell himself, he wants to take as many as he can with him.
Image source: YouTube (screenshot)
License: fair use