There continues to be considerable back and forth about a disorientation in the Church, about the heretical character to the new FrancisChurch and what to do about it. It doesn’t wane because it’s constantly prompted and rejuvenated by the Pope. For what purpose did Pope Francis give yet another interview to his atheist friend, Eugenio Scalfari, where we now hear that the Pope is one of those who believes there is no Hell, just annihilation? Will the Pope retract? Will this also be placed among the Pope’s other interviews at the Vatican website?
Why do these things keep happening? Is there some point or mission to this Pope, placed rather abruptly at the head of the Church when a faithful Pope astoundingly stepped down due to a lack of energy? It’s fascinating how the Leftist media was in full-gushing hype mode the moment he emerged on the balcony in 2013, and they haven’t stopped. Why do they care? Why do atheists feel the need to comment and applaud? Why do Communists?
Why does shrill anti-Catholic dissident Garry Wills sing praises of Pope Francis, telling us he chose the name of St. Francis because he was a ‘subversive‘ and a ‘radical’; and why in the world is Noam Chomsky so interested?
I think there are a few clues in this video of Chomsky. In it he gives a rendition of history and unfortunately, ‘geopolitical’ perspective on the Catholic Church, Vatican II, Latin America, and Francis. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that hard-Leftists like Chomsky, despite the fact that they are generally atheists who hate the Church, seem to have a certain understanding of Pope Francis.
To summarize: In the mind of Chomsky Vatican II was a sort of ‘liberation’ of the Gospel from elitists who captured and suppressed it since the time of Constantine. Jesus himself was a ‘radical pacifist,’ but that true Jesus has only now been revealed. As an immediate result of VII, Liberation Theology was born in Latin America, where armies of new Catholic clergy and religious went among the poor and the rural organizing peoples’ rebellions. According to Chomsky, this was the natural result of the now-liberated Gospel.
Next, the U.S. right-wing anti-Communists, through vehicles like the “School of the Americas”, moved to crush these rebellions, creating “a long bloody list of religious martyrs” like Abp. Oscar Romero. These Americans lined up with the Vatican against these new Catholics because they “didn’t want the true Gospel to be taken seriously.”
There are two things we can say about this Noam Chomsky idea of ‘c’atholicism. It’s radical. It’s also very Protestant, co-opting Christian purity by claiming to reach deep into history beyond a time when the Church was not persecuted.
Citing an account in the New York times, Chomsky agrees that Pope Francis did not side sufficiently with the people in what was a losing fight. So, Catholics need to ask ourselves in light of this Latin American reality, “To what degree does the Pope align with this vision of the Church?” If he wisely played things safe in the brutal environment back then, what does he have in mind now that he’s Pope and, America being what it now is, he rides powerful tail winds and faces much weaker opposition?
A Church for the Poor
This weekend Pope Francis corralled homeless people again to circulate among the crowds in St. Peter’s Square and distribute pocket Gospels. Message: The neediest bring us the word of God.
This latest stunt is the thousandth iteration of the ‘poor are the center of the Gospel’ theme the Pope pounds home, but is that true? Are the poor at the center of the Gospel? This ‘preferential option for the poor’: is that truly Church teaching?
I know Our Lord teaches us charity and that certainly includes love for the poor. I know He also teaches (and St. Francis reinforces) a love for poverty, for the discipline and the holiness which can be gained through it, through unselfishness and generosity.
The problem is there is really much much more to the Gospel than that. To elevate concern for the poor to the center is to skew and twist it, to make the Gospel only something material just like the Communists do to everything.