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Monday, October 12, 2015

Pope Francis Comes to North America, and Catholic Pundits Can't Agree on the Outcome

by Lawrence Fox 

Curiosity kills the cat.
Pope Francis visits USA Sept. 22-27, 2015
While driving home from Lincoln, Nebraska, when Pope Francis was visiting the United States, I turned on the car radio to hear what was being said.

I heard visceral rhetoric opposed to the Pope's visit, complaining about what he didn't say, and jubilant rhetoric in favor of words they imagined he said. I tried my best not to engage the conversation on either side. Years ago I was told, “We are Catholics and disciples of Jesus Christ and not disciples of mad and sometimes foolish people.” 

Catholic pundits rejecting the Deposit of Faith -- as captured in the encyclicals Casti Connubi by Pope Pius XI and Humanae Vitae by Pope Paul VI -- castigated Pope Francis for seeking an end to capital punishment among the modern nations.

It seems many forgot that it was Pope Saint John Paul II who outlined in his encyclical, Gospel of Life, the moral argument against capital punishment when other options, such as permanent incarceration, were available. It was stated that Pope Francis did not speak clear enough on the horrors of abortion before Congress. 
"The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development. This conviction has led me to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. Every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes." Pope Francis before Congress with Speaker of the House Catholic John Boehner weeping. 
Many forgot that Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta spoke about the dire consequences of abortion in 1994 before U.S. President Bill Clinton, members of the United Nations and U.S. Congress, and students at various universities. "But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself." She spoke also of contraception: "The way to plan the family is natural family planning, not contraception." 

Blessed Mother Teresa warned that tolerance for such an evil would result in a greater evil -- nuclear war. And it appears the world – unrepentant for its sins of abortion -- is going merrily into hell in a hand basket as all the conditions for nuclear World War III are emerging in the Middle East.

I cannot think of one politician who publicly changed his or her position on abortion as a result of Mother Teresa’s comments. If someone did then, “Praise God!”

I remember a young woman in charge of the youth in my parish, saying, “My greatest inspiration is Mother Teresa of Calcutta.” Months later she invited speakers from Planned Parenthood to speak to the youth about human sexuality without allowing their parents to attend the presentation. So much talk -- with no conversion of heart.
"At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future." Pope Francis told members of Congress
Most of the world heard Mother Teresa speak about the gift of human life and so what? Even after it was revealed that Planned Parenthood alters the abortion procedure to provide living children for body parts, Catholics and Christians still support Planned Parenthood. Does anyone really think that if Pope Francis used the word “abortion” before Congress anything would change? I certainly do not.

Blessed John Paul II wrote eloquently about the gift of human sexuality. Pope Benedict spoke about the philosophical errors promoting same-sex unions. I cannot think of one politician who publicly changed his or her position on same-sex unions as a result of encountering Catholic teaching.

More often than not, we hear, “God does not make junk.” It’s a theological argument in favor of same-sex unions. Again, so much talk -- with no conversion of heart.
"Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children?" Pope Francis's address before Congress on Sept. 24, 2015 
Some castigated Pope Francis for talking about migrants living on a common continent. It was Saint John Paul II who said, there is not a North or South America, only one America. Prudent? I don’t know, but who can know the mind of God? 

“Take care not to be like mad and foolish people who set themselves up to investigate and judge the deeds and habits of God’s servants. Those who do this deserve severe correction.” St. Catherine of Sienna wrote in her letter to Caterina di Scetto (a Dominican laywoman) (Siena Passion for the Truth; Compassion for Humanity page 28)

Sound advice for most Catholic pundits. 

Lawrence Fox also writes biting satire:


  1. Great post!
    I personally love the pope! I know republicans think that he's the anti-christ but I don't see anything wrong with the guy. He serves the poor. He cracked down on vatican crime. He's sold his own possessions. He wants to take care of the planet God gave to us. He wants us to love others even if they don't believe what we believe.

    Maybe I am crazy but I think Francis is a great pope.


  2. Pope Francis in so very many ways is a Good Shepard of our church.The trips made were really impressive & I'm sure helpfull and unforgetable to many. I was really interested in all re Washington. It does'nt seem to matter who has dignitary meetings , it causes a person to keep low profile. This is with most. Truthfully I was hoping for stronger words on some Laws we have at this time. Also PP. Pope Francis is an extremely kind perso of great faith. What Iam waiting for now is the results of synod.

  3. Re: synod many people did want stronger words hav ing to do with abortion, same sex & making it easier for some to receive communion. Many people are confused; others have given up the battle. Personally I don't see many happy people. A person can go from one cathoic church to another and "their word, actual beliefs" are not the same. Plainly does'nt seem catholic. Things began to fall away when we took God out of the equation. The Govt. Educates our children. When OBAMA GAVE SPEECH AT Notre Dame , he made all Crosses removed!. The school complied!! No wonder the youth are in such a mess. They look to us and we give?. Going with Chicago -"Does anyone know what time it is?". Time? Time to follow Jesus to His Letter, not ours.Scripture gives directions. Only Directions to follow. Can't say we were'nt warned ! There is only One way.We are not on right path, remember it's narrow, but our Lord gives us so much help- all Grace we ask for to heip us. Yes we're on wrong path if we follow man made teaching & dismiss Commands of God, Horrific suffering & death of Our Precious Jesus, for our Eternal Life. We still have our part to do. Why is such Faith History in jeopardy??