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Pope Francis Has Single-Handedly Destroyed Catholicism AGAIN

June 25, AD2015

 

Birgit - saint francis

I’ve previously written about how Pope Francis had single-handedly destroyed Catholicism, and now it’s happened AGAIN.

I’m sure you’ve heard about Pope Francis’ recent encyclical Laudato Si’, in which the Holy Father commands that every Catholic, upon pain of excommunication, MUST believe that climate change/global warming is a scientific reality, caused entirely by Catholics, and that only the Democrats can save us from ourselves.

Except that he didn’t, despite what most non-Catholic news sources would have you believe.

You would think people would learn by now that when any non-Catholic media source, right-wing or left-wing, starts a story, “Pope Francis Declared…” or “Pope Francis said…” whatever follows is going to be a misrepresentation of epic proportion.

This happened with Pope Benedict as well. Remember Pope Benedict’s Nazi Past? Or when Pope Benedict said Catholics can use condoms? Or when Pope Benedict insulted Jews with an anti-Semitic Prayer? Or when Pope Benedict angered Muslims by saying Mohammed was evil and inhuman? Or when Pope Benedict attacked capitalism and all[ied] with Occupy Wall Street when he published his encyclical Caritas in Veritate? For crying out loud, the media even proclaimed far and wide that the Benedict XVI’s red shoes were Prada (apparently wearing fancy shoes in order to make up for his “lack of charisma,” according to the Associated Press). At least some organizations later had the grace to admit that it wasn’t true (but not until after his resignation).

If social media had been as prevalent during Pope St. John Paul II’s tenure as it was/is during Benedict XVI and Francis’ pontificates, he would have gotten much the same treatment. As it was, John Paul II’s release of Dominus Iesus in 2000 spawned dozens of newspaper headlines (one of which I remember seeing in my college newspaper) proclaiming that “the Pope says non-Catholics aren’t really Christians!” And many bishops and Church theologians issued documents clarifying what the Pope had actually said, contrary to media reports.

I’m not old enough to remember Paul VI’s pontificate, but those who are tell me that there were many news stories about how the Pope was poised to change Catholic teaching on contraception. Even priests had started to tell their congregants to go ahead and use it, it was just a matter of time. If social media had existed back then I’m sure there would have been Facebook memes and Twitter statuses galore about how Paul VI was going to revolutionize Church teaching by giving the papal nod to contraception. Except they were wrong.

I repeat, once again: The media does not exist to tell the truth – it exists to make money. Juicy headlines sell newspapers and garner millions of website hits, which generate revenue. “Pope Reiterates 2,000-year-old Teaching of the Church” doesn’t make money; “Pope Declares that All Atheists Go to Heaven” does. Truth has nothing to do with it, and this type of misrepresentation for personal gain is something that’s been happening as long as the papacy has existed.

Choose your sources of information carefully. Always read the source document for whatever remarks are in question, because they likely contain important context that the media completely ignores.

For example, if someone tells you that the Pope said Catholics shouldn’t breed like rabbits, read his actual comments, in which he simply reiterated the Church’s teaching about responsible parenthood. The media wanted you to think that the Pope was endorsing contraception and abortion, which he most emphatically was not (in fact he condemned both, strongly, and has done so throughout his pontificate.)

If someone tells you that the Pope said Catholics had to believe in global warming, go and look at paragraph 188 of Laudato Si’, in which the Pope specifically says,

There are certain environmental issues where it is not easy to achieve a broad consensus. Here I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good.

If the White House tries to downplay the fact that Laudato Si’ condemned abortion, go look at paragraph 120, where Pope Francis said:

Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away”.

If some news sources or Facebook memes (right-wing ones in particular) claim that the Pope said that people who own guns aren’t Christian, read the actual transcript of his words, and take into account their context and the content of the entire document, not just one or two lines blown out of proportion by the media. As blogger Jennifer Fitz writes,

Pope Francis doesn’t obey this law [of communication].  It’s as if he thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to take multiple sentences, multiple paragraphs, sometimes even a whole encyclical, to lay out his ideas in succession, each part contributing to the whole.  He expects you to listen, perhaps ask yourself questions as you listen, but to wait until the idea is fully presented.  Only when he’s done talking do you have the whole story; until then, he’s not done.

Sadly, even some publications that identify as Catholic can’t be trusted. For example, the National “Catholic” Reporter (which still calls itself Catholic despite the fact it was told not to by the bishop) opined that Pope Francis was wrong not to embrace contraception in Laudato Si’. 

On the other side of the dissenting coin, the online publication The Remnant tells us that we are free to ignore the Holy Father’s teaching if it doesn’t fit our preconceived biases. I can’t figure out how they don’t see that their attitude is exactly the same as the one expressed in the National “Catholic” Reporter – let’s just ignore all the teachings we don’t like, and embrace the ones we do! It’s cafeteria Catholicism at its finest. Both of them would do well to heed the words in Lumen Gentium:

This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.

And since I’m sure the folks at The Remnant dislike Vatican II as much as they dislike Pope Francis, I’ll share with them the words of Pope St. Pius X:

Therefore, when we love the Pope, there are no discussions regarding what he orders or demands, or up to what point obedience must go, and in what things he is to be obeyed; when we love the Pope, we do not say that he has not spoken clearly enough, almost as if he were forced to repeat to the ear of each one the will clearly expressed so many times not only in person, but with letters and other public documents; we do not place his orders in doubt, adding the facile pretext of those unwilling to obey – that it is not the Pope who commands, but those who surround him; we do not limit the field in which he might and must exercise his authority; we do not set above the authority of the Pope that of other persons, however learned, who dissent from the Pope, who, even though learned, are not holy, because whoever is holy cannot dissent from the Pope.

What to do if you hear a “Pope Francis said that…” and want to know if it’s true? First find the original source. This can be problematic given the current speed of the news cycle, where stories alleging what Pope Francis said can travel across the globe in minutes, while the official transcript of his remarks don’t appear until hours or even days later (and sometimes it takes even longer to find an English translation). But don’t assume anything is true until you can read the Pope’s remarks in context from their original source, usually at Vatican.va or sometimes at Zenit.org.

One helpful resource is the National Catholic Register (which, unlike the Reporter, actually cares about promulgating authentic Catholic teaching).

Longtime apologist and blogger Jimmy Akin is especially adept at parsing a document down to its essential points and refuting the media falsehoods (his initial article on Laudato Si’ is particularly good). The apostolate he works for, Catholic Answers, provides solid Catholic teaching and reporting.

And, of course, you can always check Catholic Stand for our take on issues (but I’m biased in that regard).

Read the original source to find out what the Pope actually said as opposed to what the media claimed he said. Then sigh in relief, secure in the knowledge that the Pope has not destroyed Catholicism, despite the media reports.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

JoAnna was baptized, raised, and married in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America but converted to Catholicism in May 2003, on G.K. Chesterton's birthday. She has six terrific kids here on earth, four saints in heaven praying for her, and a wonderful husband who supports her in all things. She enjoys defending the Catholic faith online (in between her duties as chief cook and bottle washer for La Casa Wahlund, and her role as Senior Editor of Catholic Stand). She blogs at www.catholicworkingmother.com and more sporadically at http://a-star-of-hope.blogspot.com.

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  • Aaron Rose-Milavec

    Dear JoAnna,

    It troubles me that you believe that a Church that cannot change, that cannot reconsider harmful teachings, that cannot admit to having harmed others by misdirection IS SOMEHOW ALWAYS THE TRUE CHURCH.

    Seven Destructive Errors

    The
    forward progress of preaching the gospel of truth and justice and of promoting
    Church reform is impeded by a series of seven bad decisions inside the Church
    that have turned the sheep into wolves and turned love into hate (Did 16:4).
    These decisions were arrived at without adequate consultation and without the
    collegial process that was the hallmark of discovering the truth at Vatican II.
    These decisions were based upon defective biblical studies, faulty historical
    studies, and the near absence of pastoral and psychological consultation.

    Here are the Seven Destructive Errors:

    Error #1
    Contraceptives are intrinsically evil and sometimes cause abortions

    Error #2
    Clerical celibacy originates in the life and teachings of Jesus +++

    Error #3
    Indulgences are rooted in the apostolic teaching

    Error #4
    Human life begins from the first moment of conception

    Error #5
    According to God’s plan, women are called either to motherhood or to virginity

    Error #6
    Women cannot be Catholic priests because Jesus deliberately chose only men

    Error #7
    Homosexual sexuality is intrinsically disordered and contrary to natural law

    The vast
    majority of Roman Catholic priests and theologians have been forced into a
    reluctant silence when it comes to discussing birth control, celibacy of
    priests, ordination of women, homosexuality, and papal authoritarianism. I
    myself, while teaching in Roman Catholic seminaries for twenty-five years, was
    required to follow the official Vatican stance on these issues. But this
    suppression of free inquiry did not serve me, and it certainly did not advance
    the critical skills and pastoral effectiveness of those whom I was preparing
    for lay and ordained leadership.

    Want more information? Contact Pope Francis. Go to http://www.churchonfire.net
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0178GWFTW/

    Fraternally,
    Dr. Aaron Milavec

    • Dear Dr. Milavec,

      It troubles me considerably that you believe you are right when you are so easily proven wrong.

      1. Yes, they are, (http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/controversy/common-misconceptions/contraception-why-not.html) and they may cause abortions. Read the package insert for any brand of hormonal contraceptive. The secondary mechanism is to render the endometrium inhospitable for implantation, which causes a newly-conceived child to die because s/he cannot implant. Otherwise known as, abortion.

      2. Yes, it does. http://www.catholic.com/tracts/celibacy-and-the-priesthood

      3. Yes, they are. http://www.catholic.com/tracts/primer-on-indulgences

      4. It does. Even pro-choicers admit this: “It is possible to give ‘human being’ a precise meaning. We can use it as equivalent to ‘member of the species Homo sapiens’. Whether a being is a member of a given species is something that can be determined scientifically, by an examination of the nature of the chromosomes in the cells of living organisms. In this sense there is no doubt that from the first moments of its existence an embryo conceived from human sperm and eggs is a human being.” – Dr. Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, 2008), 85-86.

      5. According to God’s plan, men and women have various callings. Some may be called to marriage, some may be called to religious life, some may be called to the single life. I’m not sure how this is an “error.”

      6. True. http://www.catholic.com/tracts/women-and-the-priesthood

      7. True. http://www.catholic.com/tracts/homosexuality

      Also, Pope Francis agrees with me 100%! If you believe otherwise, again, you are woefully misinformed.

      Please spend some time at Catholic.com and educate yourself on what the Church teaches and why she teaches it. You’ll find that it is wonderfully, logically consistent.

  • vince bingham

    The Catholics justify every thing they do. No where does the Bible even come close to having a pope. Or Rosary beads, or praying to Mary?? Whats that all about. Praying to saints. And now of course he says Catholics should believe global warming as fact.And of course calling priest Father. Where it states clearly by Jesus. No one shall be called father, but the father in heaven. That’s only a few. What is a pope in politics anyway? Catholics you better wake up, and think about what your doing.

    • “And now of course he says Catholics should believe global warming as fact.” In fact, he says the opposite. Did you read the article? I prove that you are incorrect in it.

      I have to say that I can’t really take you seriously when you get such a simple fact wrong.

  • Helen Stevens Blanton

    History has distorted the truth about how religion developed, the gaps in the archeological footprints between mythology and theology are becoming more apparent and people are beginning to realize we all have been believing in myths. Science and medicine have also proven that economic progress got in the way of the substances which should have been condemned that have altered the brains of many people in which now only medicine can alleviate with anti-depressants or opiates such as Suboxine for life. Example: Heroin changes the brain permanently and no amount of prayer, will power or believe in God can feed the need the nervous system no longer can produce. Intelligent people or powerful people who have the ability or power to change society were considered Gods by the dependent upon them and Kings whos authority was required in order to bring about social order used religion to keep people in submission. Females in particular were ignored throughout history and the autonomic structure of our bodies kept us in confusion about the confidence we otherwise could have had in being pro-active as family protectors. Religion has been de-bunked by in large and there is more to be discovered about what happens when we die.

  • ThugTug

    I guess when the pope said you can’t be a christian if you are a gun manufacturer or when he accepted the hammer and sickle crucifix from the Bolivian president or when he said that capitalism is the root of all evil. I guess the media made that up too. This pope is an incompetent marxist fool. That doesn’t mean I don’t love him. But he is a such a disappointment to us all, especially for those of our brothers and sisters who are being raped/killed in the middle east.

  • With regard to Christians who produce arms I can only say this: Who am I to judge?

  • Adam1776

    Yes, but…The only way to saving people and the planet is Jesus. Why is the Pope so oblique? He encourages the politicians to come up with global plans, but when does he urge them to change their hearts? Evo Morales stands before the Pope with the figure of a Che Guevara, a murderer, on his chest. How can the Pope say nothing, not even mentioning the need for God’s love? I don’t get it. I hope you can explain.

    • He does both. Haven’t you read anything he’s written or listened to anything he’s said?

  • RooforLife

    So what do you think about this
    Pope calls unfettered capitalism ‘dung of the devil’ http://cnn.it/1MlgOYU

    Pope Denounces Capitalism and Colonialism
    Love of money is “the devil’s excrement” http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/pope-denounces-capitalism-and-colonialism
    Some of Pope’s Address
    And behind all this pain, death and destruction there is the stench of
    what Basil of Caesarea – one of the first theologians of the Church –
    called “the dung of the devil”. An unfettered pursuit of money rules.
    This is the “dung of the devil”. The service of the common good is left
    behind. Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once
    greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins
    society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human
    fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see,
    it even puts at risk our common home, sister and mother earth…….
    http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2015/july/documents/papa-francesco_20150709_bolivia-movimenti-popolari.html

    What are some of the bible verses on love of money greed. wow the Pope condemns love of money and greed, and making capital an idol. I see no controversy in a Christian leader condemning making idols of things and love of money over love of neighbor especially since Christ said Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    Mark 12:28-31
    Are there scripture that condemns love of money, greed http://www.openbible.info/topics/love_of_money

    • jamey brown

      He’s following the Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 2425): “The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modern times with “communism” or “socialism.” She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of “capitalism,” individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for “there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market.” Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.” http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/epub/index.cfm#

  • Magdalen

    I always call the NCR the National Catholic ‘Distorter’ so as not to get confused with the National Catholic Register. Try it; you may like it. Good article; shared on fb. I definitely know a few ppl who are not Catholic who need to read it.

  • Tervuren

    I did like your comment to go to the original sources. But please, do not try to defend Benedict. He did huge harm to the reputation of the Catholic Church.