Over the last three years we have all accompanied Francis’ constant efforts to hold out a hand toward other religions in an attempt to foment ecumenical dialogue with surprising and novel implications.
This invariable fixation of his pontificate – for which he dedicates considerably more time than to the other pastoral initiatives we had become accustomed to in former pontificates – is undertaken while insisting on the necessity to ‘cooperate with all people of good will’ in order to open ‘opportunities for dialogue, which is essential if we are to know, understand and respect one another.’
Faithful to his plans, the Bishop of Rome has made it clear on repeated occasions that we are obliged to unite our efforts for the construction of a culture of encounter and peace. However, from the Catholic standpoint – which is the only one that really matters to a baptized person desiring to save his soul – things take on a different perspective. When a high-level ecclesiastical figure speaks to the world, his intent may be none other than to preach Christ, and Christ crucified. His words and example, as well as the enthusiasm that his person tends to inspire, are all founded on the link that unites him closely to God, whose authority he officially represents.
The Magisterium of the Church, to which we have had recourse along these three years, with great profit, in all the questions that recent events have been raising, makes it clear that the mission of the ecclesiastical hierarchy is to teach all peoples the Gospel, without eliminating any of the moral consequences inherent to its proclamation. Therefore, ecumenical dialogue should be understood as an opportunity to present the path of conversion toward Jesus Christ to non-believers; not as a search for neutrality, for compromise and confabulations between Greeks and Trojans.
Francis’ frequent and irrepressible incursions within the field of ecumenism reveal very different intentions. We have heard him repeat the same inter-confessional litanies in which he invokes human values much more often than the name of Jesus Christ, and in which the saints with their prayers for us and the Church don’t seem to be included. He rarely mentions anything suitable to his position, and fills his speeches with statements that could be easily and better gleaned from other sources.
It is time to reflect with a spirit of faith on what Francis is saying, so that his ecumenical proposal as well his conciliating speeches may be understood in light of their grave consequences. Above all, we should consider them in light of the will of God, the only factor that should motivate us to work for the good of our neighbor. Read more…