"I let myself be crucified a second time", the answer should have been.
"Quo vadis, Francisce? " all faithful Catholics ask after what happened yesterday. Yesterday, at an audience of representatives of Christian churches and other religions .
It is Wednesday 20 March 2013, in the Clementine Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace. Pope Francis has asked the representatives of the non-Catholic churches, Judaism, Islam and other religious communities to an audience.
The Pope thanked the Orthodox Christians, that they appeared at his inauguration. He had during the Mass "felt the presence of their spiritual communities" said the pontiff.
The Council is praised, more specifically, the spirit of ecumenism, which the Council has produced and which culminates in the desire " ut unum sint "-" that they may be one ". The desire of the Pope at first sounds traditionally faithful: "Let us ask the merciful Father, that we live the faith that was given to us on the day of our Baptism, in abundance, and that we can make a free, happy, courageous witness to him." Unity in the true faith: That was certainly the desire of Jesus.
The way of "ecumenical dialogue" Pope Francis will continue. The commitment to promote "friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions," he says twice.
This is all very laudable, that's all desirable. The other religions should be treated with respect. For the Catholic Church that is - in contrast to some other religion that has spread through blood and war - nothing new. Respect and friendship for other faiths have been maintained in the High Middle Ages: Each scholastic discussion started with the arguments of those who think differently. Their objections were heard first, and formulated, the opposite was paid faithful attention.
Therefore there may be a good dialogue, a dialogue that is characterized by respect, but also has the courage to ask the crucial question: "Is Jesus Christ the Messiah for all people or not?"
Back to the speech of the Pope. It will be more concrete, one is curious in the hall. Jewish and Muslim representatives are present and expect to be addressed by the Pope. What is Francis now say to them?
The Pope speaks softly, almost a little nasally, holding both hands in front of the manuscript, which he reads verbatim, speaks into the microphone, which winds its way from the stand up from his mouth:
"And now I turn to you, dear representatives of the Jewish people, with whom we share a very special spiritual bond, since - as reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council -" the Church of Christ [recognizes] that according to God's salvation, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets, see "(Declaration Nostra Aetate, 4). Thank you for your presence and trust that we, with the help of the Most High to continue those fraternal dialogues as the council wished (cf. ibid) and was actually implemented but has born particularly in recent decades, not much fruit.
Everything perfect, everything right. Yes, and yes: we share an incredibly intimate bond: Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, and founder of the Church, with the Jewish people. The Council says in the passage quoted nothing new, for the mysteries of salvation began in fact in the Old Covenant. The Pope goes on only on the surface, more precisely: circumnavigating diplomatically the cliffs. He does not speak of conversion, not the recognition of Christ, he speaks only of the "fraternal dialogue" that he wishes to "continue profitably." Here, too, every Catholic faithful to Tradition could follow, for without discussion, for without dialogue, it is not possible to announce Christ as the Son of God.
Then follow the words about Islam. Perhaps the tension is also so great because they are the first words of the man, to whom seven days ago the Keys of Kingdom were entrusted. Because he first as the Successor of Peter directly addresses those who oppose the founder of the Christian religion as the Son of God, the Muslims:
"I greet you all well and thank you, dear friends, you who belong to other religious traditions, especially the Muslims, who adore the one, living and merciful God, and call to prayer, and you all. I really appreciate your presence here today. In it I see a tangible sign of the will to grow in mutual respect and cooperation for the common good of humanity. "
Quo vadis, Francisce? "The Muslims worship the one living and merciful God"? Of course, that's a quote, that is one of those points , for which the SSPX insists on a definitive review of certain conciliar texts . "Muslims pray with us to the same God." (Nostra Aetate 3, Lumen Gentium 16)
Is that not a direct, open betrayal of Christ? " Isa ", as the Qur'an calls Jesus. And " Isa "is a prophet, not more. This is the teaching of the Koran, which says in Surah 4.171 , "Verily, the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah [...] It is far from Allah, that he had a son.".
Now one could to save the Pope pointing out Nostra Aetate 3 and Lumen Gentium 16, refer indeed to God the Father, not Christ. The Muslims pray to one God yes, so are monotheistic, and that God indeed is the same as in Christianity.
But this argument shows just how far our time has been removed from the true image of God. Basically exactly what Christ said of the Pharisees applies to the representatives of the thesis "God-is-still-in-all-religions-the-same "If God were your Father, you would love ME, for I came out from God. " (John 8:42) And again. "No one comes to the Father but by me." (John 14:6)
In other words, whoever does not believe in Christ to be the Son of God does not believe in the Father. These are not the words of the SSPX, those are the words of St. John: "Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father. (He that confesseth the Son, hath the Father also.)" (1 John 2:23) And the Evangelist pushes it to: "Who is a liar, but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ? (This is Antichrist, who denieth the Father, and the Son.") (1 Jn 2:22) (Cathcon note- my brackets- SSPX do not use the full quotes shown here- just the text outside the brackets)
One can formulate the question to Pope Francis differently: How, Your Holiness, how do you move the Muslims ever to accept faith in Christ, the Son of God when they worship without Christ the true God?
The speech closes with humanist rallying calls. It is about- how could it be otherwise - "friendship", "respect among people", "responsibility for Creation", "reconciliation", "peace", "defense of human dignity," "peaceful coexistence among peoples" , "integrity of creation" etc. etc. etc.
Inner worldly horizontalism, which since the break of the Conciliar years has been worn like a greasy leather jacket from the same period.
The Pope awakens only once even a vague hope, one almost has the impression that in the pre-prepared speech, the unconventional Argentines added these sentences:
"Above all, we need to break into the world's thirst for the absolute life as we cannot permit a one-dimensional view of people to take the upper hand, according to which people are limited to what they produce and what they consume: The is one of the greatest threats to our time. "
Anti-Consumerism, which is Franciscan, that's good. It is to be praised, especially in our hedonistic prosperous industrialized countries for which the church just as the scapegoat of all humanly possible misdeeds from a sinister pre-enlightened time.
"Keep the thirst for the Absolute alive" - Yes, Holy Father, yes.
But why does the 266th Successor of Peter, not say who or what this absolute is? It is like a drama, in which the curtain falls before the climax is reched, like an advertisement that pours out intensive images, failing to mention the product by name.
Oh, that the Pope had but repeated those words spoken by his predecessor, two thousand years earlier and a little more than two thousand miles to the east. Back then, in Caesarea Philippi, the situation was similar: People did not know what they thought about Jesus as in the audience of the Pope. Some said - similar to the Islamic representatives present- he was merely a prophet, others thought he was a reincarnation of an enlightened predecessor. In all the confusion of opinionsm, the first Pope takes a position saying: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew 16:16)
Francis could have said that, at the very least, to the representatives of non-Christian religions . He could have written hisstory, he would be immortal in the annals of the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana as the first pope, who would have ventured after the Council, to again say the word "error" .
"They are in error," Pope Francis could have said, and thus approached the doctrine of his patron saint who went once to the Sultan to get him to repent of his error, "they are in error, whoever deny that Jesus Christ is the true Son of Hod"
At the same time, he could have been thus accepted as the first truly tolerant Pope in history. Tolerance consists not in the talking away of all differences- and now mistakenly assumed by everyone these days. They can be dismissed or swept under the carpet, under the motto: "Nothing results from Christ, come on, we're talking about protecting the environment."
That's just tolerance, that's respect, that's respect, if I do not share the opinion of the other but in spite of that highly esteem them as a people, not storming at them, on the contrary, I listen to their arguments, let them finish, and then answer in peace.Or even more sharply worded: "Tolerance is only possible where there are two really different opinions ."
The post-Conciliar church has forgotten in the Dionysian frenzy of brotherhood to proclaim the truth. Not for nothing now so many a Catholic on the street thinks: "What truth is to be proclaimed since the Council all the differences between religions have disappeared?".
The objection of diplomacy still remains. Sure, the representatives of Islam and Judaism reject Jesus as the one true Messiah, just as John describes it. But if the Pope would have told them with John to the face, you are "liars", the "Antichrist"? After all, the representatives have appeared at his inauguration, at least they pay respect to the Pope. Such a speech would have been almost an affront and would have caused a scandal.
In fact, a speech to non-Christian religions must be given with sense and sensibility. But also by a desire for the proclamation of the truth - according to the words of Christ: "For this I have come into the world to give witness to the truth." (John 18:37)
Could Pope Francis have used these word or similar?
Dear representatives of non-Christian religions, I am glad that they came. I assure you ofd my deepest friendship and esteem. Jesus Christ is the true Son of God and the founder of the one true religion. You know, my dear friends, this is our unwavering faith. And we have a longing that Christ was even more known, loved even more by all people on this earth. The mission of the Church is not a humanitarian mission, but a mission of faith. From the true faith follows love, from the love of God, the love of neighbor, and from this human charity, which in contrast to the humanism of the world is not done for money, but for love of Christ, whose incomparable phase was a legacyto the Faithful: "What have you done to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Mt 25:40)
We ask you to formulate as the very first step of our common dialogue your personal beliefs, your arguments but also your objections. We will make every effort not only to listen but also to understand them properly. We will repeat it and only start with the answer, if you, dear religious leaders say: Yes, my point was understood. For this first, real dialogue, we invite you on behalf of the Catholic Church. I say 'first real dialogue', for it is a dialogue in which the differences are not discussed to death, but remain standing. For every choice of faith, both yours and mine, must be free and come from within, as St. Thomas Aquinas said 750 years ago, and today remains just as true as ever. I am sure that this dialogue will show us Catholics, what arguments you give for your convictions, but also vice versa: it will open up a variety of arguments which speak for the Catholic faith. After the exchange of arguments everything else is your highly personal decision which you alone take before the face of the Most High. Because '(And the Lord said to Samuel: Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature: because I have rejected him, nor do I judge according to the look of man:) for man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart."(1 Sam 16:7) (Cathcon- I give the whole verse- SSPX does not use the part in brackets)
By the way: After Peter's confession, "You are the Son of the living God" the office of Supreme Pastor twas entrusted to Peter: "I tell you, you are Peter, upon this rock I will build my church." (Matthew 16:18)
This has a profound meaning: This position is given to Peter, to Christ, to proclaim the Son of God. This was true of the first representative of Jesus, that also applies to the 266th Successor: Pope Francis. (PAS)