Thursday, June 11, 2015

A THOUGHTFUL AND THOROUGHLY CATHOLIC COMMENT ON POPE FRANCIS' UPCOMING ENCYLICAL ON THE ENVIRONMENT

A recent comment on another post by Mark Thomas is worth its weight in gold in terms of having it as its own post. I am still astounded, although I shouldn't be, by the contempt that so many so-called "good" Catholics who call themselves conservative or traditional heap upon Pope Francis in the most disrespectful way. There is nothing traditional or conservative about their attitude toward the papacy, bishops or the Magisterium. They have done more damage to the cause of orthodoxy in the Church than any progressive group has done over the last 50 years. They are the inverted mirror image of the same but more venomous and uncharitable than any other group in the Church. They simply are not true Catholics, pure and simple. They are a concoction of something else and many of them are becoming what they are: schismatic, neo-orthodox, neo-protestants.

So I like Mark Thomas comment below, not only about the upcoming encyclical but also about his hoped-for encyclical on the liturgy. It makes sense to me given the abysmal state of the liturgy in so many of our parishes in this country and around the world. The Extraordinary Form of the Mass is simply not the problem with the liturgy today. The manner in which the Ordinary Form is celebrated is with its kitschy, banal, contemporary music which creates superficial hormonal changes in a person's body  and the loss of Catholic identity of the clergy and laity as the lines between the two are continuing to be blurred.

Here's Mark Thomas recent comment:

"When does the encyclical on saving trees come out?"

I don't have a problem with Pope Francis having composed said Encyclical [on the environment]. As a Catholic who favors the Traditional Roman Mass and Holy Tradition, I very much recognize Pope Francis' Social Teaching as being in line with Tradition.

My attachment to the Church and Her Holy Tradition compels me to be, if you will, a "tree hugger". I practice organic gardening and am very much an environmentalist.

There also isn't any reason as to why His Holiness Pope Francis should not issue said Encyclical.

For example, during the height of World War II, Pope Venerable Pius XII issued various speeches and documents that were not related to the daily pressing events of said war.

That said, I believe that an Encyclical related to liturgy has been much-needed for decades within the Church.

His Holiness Pope Francis must continue "the good work in the liturgy begun by Pope Benedict XVI". A great way to help with that task is via an Encyclical that promotes the Church's authentic liturgical Tradition.

We need Pope Francis to call major attention to the reality that the (Latin) Church's liturgy has collapsed and is in dire need of repair along the line of Holy Tradition.

Mark Thomas

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

"They simply are not true Catholics, pure and simple. They are a concoction of something else and many of them are becoming what they are: schismatic, neo-orthodox, neo-protestants."

Who are you to judge? Who are you to condemn?

It is simply untrue and not Catholic to think this pope or any pope is above criticism. He is not a Demi God and neither are you. Many many saints have said it is not only permissible to speak out when a pope is doing/saying something scandalous or heretical. And it is just as permissible to speak out against any priest who is wrong. You have no right to publicly teach anything that is not Catholic teaching. Period end of story. There is no such thing as minor and major mortal sins YOU MADE THAT UP.

Catholics who actually believe and try to live the Catholic Faith as it has always been taught generally do have a problem with Pope Francis. As they should. His non stop, never ending, every single day, constant speaking off the cuff comments illustrate the absolute lack of Catholicity in this man. I don't care how many statues he kisses. His refusal to say anything about what happened in Ireland is on a par with Judas. He did not speak to the Catholics of Ireland and confirm them in the Faith. He was silent when they turned their backs on Christ and HIS Church. He was wrong. He is scandal. And thank God people like Cardinals Burke, Pell, Muller, Sarah etc are speaking out. If they didn't it's a real possibility that this scandal of a synod that Francis called will allow sacraligeous communion and the 100% evil, unCatholic, unChristian notion that their is good in homosexual activity that can benefit the Church. That synod wasn't called to defend the Family, it was called to change TRUTH.

You, Father, can rant and judge orthodox Catholics all you want. It is outrageous that you would call us new Protestants. It's plain that you have read Sol Alinski cover to cover.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

You make my case for me. As a Catholic of the cusp and having known pre-vatican II Catholics very well, not one of them, as faithful Catholics, would make a comment like yours, not one! We all were taught, though, that it was only in the areas faith and morals that we must listen to the pope and that is when His Holiness is speaking officially, and that there were differing degrees of teaching, from a homily, to a letter, to a speech and to an encyclical, the latter being the most authoritative but certainly when something was declared from the chair, we must accept, such as canonization of saints, IC and Assumption, not to mention the myriad of dogmas from ecumenical councils. And yes, an ecumenical council is higher than an encyclical when it is ratified by Peter to include Vatican II a pastoral council which has very authoritative teachings and reiterates infallible dogma.

We were also taught prior to Vatican II and understood this very well, that popes can have opinions and that opinioins of the pope were always to be respected, never denigrated and taken with a grain of salt if necessary. Respect was high in the Church prior to Vatican II. What you and others like you have done and are doing is exactly what liberal Catholics have been doing since Vatican II but they've been a bit nicer about it. That's the only difference.

jolly jansenist said...

Good stewardship of the creation is one thing, but to issue encyclicals on the environment in the midst of the complete collapse of values and morals in the country and with the continued implosion of the Church and the swelling tide of unbelief is like painting the ceiling while the roof collapses. Plus, supporting bad science and hysteria is just another example of this Pope's ambiguous and questionable belief system. We should be reminded that, ultimately, in the scheme of salvation history, the environment matters not one whit.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

No one but the pope and a host of others who aren't talking know what is in the encyclical. Italians did not like it when popes and bishops interfered in their politics to allow abortion, contraception and divorce calling all these things political issues that were none of the Church's business.

The Church must be concerned about the salvation of souls but also of the world, an ecology of both as not only is Christ's salvation for souls but for the world and the establishment of a new heavens and a new earth at the Final Judgement.

Anonymous said...


"We were also taught prior to Vatican II and understood this very well, that popes can have opinions and that opinioins of the pope were always to be respected, never denigrated and taken with a grain of salt if necessary. Respect was high in the Church prior to Vatican II. What you and others like you have done and are doing is exactly what liberal Catholics have been doing since Vatican II but they've been a bit nicer about it. That's the only difference."


A serious question Father. Are you medicated? You never can respond to a legitimate argument that counters your opinions. You just continue expanding on your thoughts without rationally explaining why you are right and someone else is wrong. I guess you didn't study St. Thomas in the seminary and we're not taught how to argue reasonably. You are no Fr. Neuhaus or a Bishop Sheen. Your lack of ability to defend your beliefs in a reasoned way without emotion is telling.

And I don't care if you think I am nice or not. Nice doesn't get someone into Heaven, charity does. And it is not charitable to stand by and do nothing while the truths of the Faith are being ignored or denigrated. You should worry less about being nice and man up and fearlessly teach the Faith.

John Nolan said...

Those who like the chummy informality, the rumty-tumty music, the modern hymns, the invasion of the sanctuary by lay people of either sex, the distortion or ignoring of rubrics, the ad-libbing, even the occasional liturgical dance and new-age silliness are usually well educated middle-class people who are not going to be impressed by an encyclical telling them that's not how it should be. Those who cordially dislike all of the above have over the years developed strategies for avoiding it, not least the negative one of simply staying at home.

20th century papal meddling with the liturgy (in particular Paul VI's endorsement of an extreme wing of the liturgical movement which scrapped the Roman Rite and replaced it with a new and radically different one) has been a large part of the problem. Pius X and Pius XII are not blameless either.

Benedict XVI knew that there had been a decisive rupture in the Western liturgical tradition and that he couldn't put Humpty together again. However, since Summorum Pontificum we no longer talk about the classic Roman Rite in the past tense; it is still current and will remain so. The principle that the Church cannot and does not suppress orthodox liturgical rites has been shown to be immutable.

If, however, the Novus Ordo is found at a future date to be unorthodox, it could indeed be suppressed.

Anonymous said...

"Good stewardship of the creation is one thing, but to issue encyclicals on the environment in the midst of the complete collapse of values and morals in the country and with the continued implosion of the Church and the swelling tide of unbelief is like painting the ceiling while the roof collapses. Plus, supporting bad science and hysteria is just another example of this Pope's ambiguous and questionable belief system. We should be reminded that, ultimately, in the scheme of salvation history, the environment matters not one whit."

Spot on observation! And again Father you cannot respond to this person's comment. The point is that yes the environment is important BUT when entire nations are turning from Christ and believing in unbelievable things like a man putting on a wig and having two water bags implanted in his chest is suddenly a woman, why the silence on these issues which are more important than saving a rain forest. Yes I don't know what the encyclical says, that's not the point. The point is why the silence on everything that is not embraced by modernists? And you won't address that you will just say we have to be nice and can't say things about Francis.

rcg said...

Good stewardship is a vital aspect of Christianity. Concern for the environment smacks of simple worry and leads to fear mongering and power grabs that is only a variation on xenophobia. I do think many westerners are not aware of the true abuses of the environment and society that Pope Francis has seen in South America. What we fear is that he will paint us with the same brush.

Dialogue said...

Anonymous,

First of all, in discussing grave matter for mortal sins, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "the gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft". Both murder and theft are defined by the CCC as mortal sins.

Second, the liturgical rubrics are contained in the liturgical books, our canonical rights and obligations are described in the Code of Canon Law (and its Eastern equivalent), and the doctrines of the Church are described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There's no need for an encyclical this year on each pressing topic contained in these books.

Third, Father McDonald provides this blog as an act of pastoral solicitude, but it is up to him whether its tone will be that of casual conversation or formal instruction. Few people would read it if it were the latter, as you suggest it should be.

Perhaps it would make you feel good to hear a priest, bishop or pope standing at a street corner reading from the Summa Theologica, but everyone else would ignore him. No one would be converted. That's why the clergy must do what pleases God, rather than what pleases you.

Anonymous said...

When Our Lord saw that His father's house was being turned into a den a thieves, He took the time to make a whip, kick their tables over, and drove them from the temple. Was Christ not being " nice" or was He setting an example for us?

Lefebvrian said...

Anonymous, you should not be distressed to find Novus Ordo clergy calling faithful Catholics names or misrepresenting the Church's teachings and supporting the pope in his bizarre endeavors. If the Novus Ordo clergy agreed with Tradition, they wouldn't be Novus Ordo clergy and our fight for the restoration of the Church and an end of the crisis would be complete.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Thanks Dialogue! Although I do wish that Pope Benedict had codified some of his restorative practices, such as mandating it to be universal law, such as kneeling for Holy Communion, the use of Latin as he was modeling in all of his papal liturgies and the option of either a truly ad apsium liturgy with traditional altar arrangement or facing the nave with traditional altar arrangment which Pope Francis has maintained. He could have also mandated the propers and demanded a return to chant and better liturgical music.

I personally think the USA needs a national hymnal with the Latin propers, and parts of the Mass, the English equivalent in the Roman Missal and maybe one or two other English parts that the nation should no nationally, unless the mandate from the Vatican was that the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei always be in Latin everywhere in the Latin Rite, which would do away with the silly multi-lingual Masses or bi-lingual (Spanish/English) we have in so many places.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Our Lord made a whip of cords...

Coloring book Catholics do not understand the hierarchical nature of the Church and that the Lord was modelling His behavior for His vicar, the popes of the Church--successors of Saint Peter, Vicar of Christ and for His apostles/bishops. Next.

Dialogue said...

I think the reason Pope Benedict's papacy accomplished so little liturgically was because so few bishops were interested in following his example. Had they done so, a few of their priests would have followed, and that would have gotten the ball rolling in the right direction, slowly but surely.

If Pope Francis were to begin offering the Eucharistic Prayer ad orientem, or some similar reform, I wonder how much better his example would catch on, due to his popularity.

Dialogue said...

Anonymous,

Have money changers done this to Father McDonald's church?

Anonymous said...



Father, the problem is that we are now in unchartered waters. No pre-Vatican II Catholic has ever experienced anything quite like the current papacy before. We are not used to a Pope who doesn't speak out against the moral evils of our time. We are not used to a Pope who has said the Church has dwelt too much on abortion, homosexuality, etc. We have not heard a Pope say that athiests go to heaven. We have not heard a Pope say, "Who am I to judge?" simply because it is the Supreme Pontiff who does judge and the world looks to him for guidance.

I think that if Pius XII or any recent Popes had made such statements then we would see Catholics speaking out against such things as they are now. Let's face it, Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider might not be naming names but they seem to be pointing the finger in one direction and they are telling faithful Catholics to speak up and speak out and I follow their guidance as good, holy men who adhere to the Church's teaching and are not vague or wishy-washy in their statements.

I think that we will have to wait until the Synod on the Family before we truly know what direction this papacy is headed. I hope for the best but I fear the worst. We can clearly see the Church is dividing into two camps and it is clear to me that the Pope is leaning one way more than the other ...

Jan

John Nolan said...

Fr AJM

Pope Benedict knew full well that mandating a 'Reform of the Reform' would not have worked. You yourself admitted that your own congregation would revolt if confronted with a Novus Ordo in Latin. You now have a Communion rail but discourage its proper use at most Masses, preferring 'Host stations' and 'Chalice stations' manned by lay people and everyone else queues up and effectively self-communicates. You allow young females to wear clerical choir dress and invade the sanctuary.

Do you honestly believe that you need an order from Rome to change all this? Is your bishop likely to kow-tow to a papal mandate and risk offending the minority of Catholics who still attend Mass? No, he will join with his confreres in the USCCB to petition for an exception for 'pastoral reasons'. And, hey presto, Rome will cave in because it can't offend a country the size of the USA.

I'm afraid the buck stops with you. All these reforms have to be bottom-up, not top-down.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

If we had a mandate from Rome to use Latin (as we had a mandate to use the revised English Roman Missal) I would implement it the day it was allowed if not before and at all our Masses with proper explanations as to why.

Then it wouldn't be seen as my personal idiosyncrasy or some kind of ideology I was foisting on the parish.

My personality is such that I don't like to see the laity yanked around by the leadership of their priests even though that leadership might be ahead of its time or prophetic. I know full well that the our one Sunday Mass that is ad orientem and communicants kneel at the altar railing full length will be done away with by the next pastor. And no I am staying put for the foreseeable future, at least next 8 years when I plan to retire form active ministry at 70.

Anonymous said...

Genesenist, you are wrong. Misuse of Gods gifts is sinful, whether those gifts are sexuality (formication), material possessions (greed), or our environment (pollution). Like it or not, we will be judged by our actions and our misuse of God's gifts.

Yes, in the scheme of salvation, our respect for God's gifts matter.

Mark said...

I am amazed at certain comments here (not from Father) that has continued the following narrative that has prevailed among Traditional Catholics:

-- His Holiness Pope Francis does not speak against the sins of our times (the sins of all time).

-- Pope Francis remains silent in the face of the onslaught of sin that, in particular, has invaded the West.

-- How dare Pope Francis issue an "environmental" Encyclical when the Church is in a state of collapse.

Pope Francis daily has confronted the "sins of our time". He has time and again spoken in favor of true marriage and authentic Catholic family life.

During a General Audience this year, Pope Francis called attention to a group of pilgrims who worked to enact laws that forbade homosexual "marriage" and adoption of children by homosexuals. He praised said group of pilgrims.

During an audience with some 7,000 Catholics late last year, Pope Francis defended and promoted strongly the Church's family-related teachings.

Time and again Pope Francis has called attention to Satan's existence. His Holiness has exhorted us to flee Satan and sin.

Late last December and into this January, Pope Francis at least three times made it clear that the Catholic Church is the One True Church.

I pray that Pope Francis will issue an Encyclical related to litgurgy.

That said, and in fairness to His Holiness, Pope Francis has spoken on the need for the Church to promote sound liturgy. He has praised the TLM and Summorum Pontificum.

Yes, we need desperately from Pope Francis an Encyclical on liturgy. But the Pope has at least called attention to the collapse of Latin Church liturgy.

Pope Francis has time and again promoted the Culture of Life and condemned the Culture of Death.

The problem is that liberal and Traditional Catholics, as well as news media spin-doctors, do not wish to report Pope Francis' teachings and declarations that do not fit the narrative that Pope Francis is a modernist.

Traditional Catholic bloggers refuse constantly to discuss Pope Francis' countless Traditional declarations. Instead, they choose to promote controversy in regard to His Holiness.

I have asked Traditional bloggers why they have ignored Pope Francis' promotion of Holy Tradition. They have refused to respond to me.

To claim that Pope Francis has not addressed pressing issues of the day within and without the Church is preposterous.

His Holiness has every reason to address environmental issues as he has not overlooked additional critical issues that plague the Church.

Mark Thomas

John Nolan said...

Priests are supposed to provide leadership. Unfortunately too many are yanked around by over-mighty laity. I am aware that trendy priests in the 1970s rode roughshod over established customs, re-ordered sanctuaries and removed rails, claiming that they were following Vatican II. That won't wash any more.

Dialogue said...

John Nolan,

While I tend to agree with you in general, in this case I'm afraid the problem is that the moment a priest chooses the more traditional options for the Mass, offended parishioners write to the bishop, and a chancery official then instructs the priest to cease and desist. If the offending priest fails to heed the warning, he will be removed as "Parish Priest" and given a less "dangerous" assignment. This effectively prohibits the bottom-up approach in almost every US diocese.

Mark said...

If I may add please to my previous post.

The notion that Pope Francis fiddles as the Church burns...how dare he "waste" time on an environmental-related Encyclical when he refuses to address critical Church-related issues...is preposterous.

Example: The terrible persecutions of Christians at the hands of various Moslems is a key issue within the Church. There are Traditionalists who have accused His Holiness of having remained silent on said issue.

I confronted last year several Traditional bloggers in regard to the following:

The Extraordinary Synod on the Family ended last October 19. The following day, October 20, 2014 A.D., His Holiness Pope Francis convoked a Consistory at which the issue of terrible plights and sufferings of Middle Eastern Christians at the hands of Islamic terrorists received front-and-center attention.

How many Traditional Catholic blogs discussed said critical Consistory? Not one that I had visited.

I posted messages last October on several Traditional Catholic blogs to ask why they had ignored said Consistory.

Many Traditional Catholic blogs blast His Holiness daily for his supposed refusal to address issues critical to Catholics. But said blogs refuse to report the important news of such events as last October's Consistory and discussion of Middle Eastern Christians.

I am a Catholic who favors the Traditional Roman Mass. I favor Holy Tradition. I believe that the Vatican II Era liturgical "reform" and involvement in the 20th Century Protestant-created Ecumenical Movement have inflicted damage upon Holy Mother Church.

But as a Catholic, I am compelled to be fair. Therefore, the endless attacks upon and misrepresentations of His Holiness Pope Francis by Traditional Catholics have sickened me.

I realize that Pope Francis has issued troubling off-the-cuff remarks. I realize that he has had his share of unfortunate moments that have upset Catholics attached to Holy Tradition.

What Pope has not made prudential mistakes?

That said, let us please exercise at least some degree of fairness in regard to Pope Francis. He has not failed to have addressed issues critical to the Church.
Pope Francis has not fiddle as the Church continues to collapse.

His Holiness has promoted solid liturgical practices...the Church's teachings in regard to marriage and family...he has promoted the Culture of Life and time and again condemned Satan's Culture of Death.

The problem is that Catholics of all stripes have refused to acknowledge the above.

Liberal and Traditional are on the same page in that each group in question promotes the narrative that Pope Francis is a radical who is determined to overthrow the Church.

The furor over the pending Encyclical, that we haven't read, is a prime example of the above.

Many Traditionalists have rejected an Encyclical that they haven't read...and besides, "how dare the Pope discuss the environment as the Church burns"...and liberals have promoted the Encyclical, which they haven't read, as a wonderful ultra-liberal document.

What utter nonsense from liberals and Traditionalists.

Neither group will accept that Pope Francis is very simply the man whom he has proclaimed himself to be...a loyal son of the Church.

But of each group in question, I a very disappointed in particular of Traditional Catholics. They should know best that Pope Francis' Social Teachings have been Traditional to the core.

Even Rorate Caeli blog noted that Pope Francis' Social Teachings have been very much in line with Holy Tradition.

Let us please give the upcoming Encyclical a chance. I have every reason to believe that Pope Francis' Encyclical in question will promote Holy Tradition and the Culture of Life.

Thank you, Father, for having tolerated my lengthy comments.

Peace to all.

Mark Thomas

George said...

Some things that I hope are in the Holy Father's Encyclical:

The genetic modification of living organisms-the manipulation of the genes of plants and animals (of course that in itself could be the subject of a whole other encyclical).

The impact of environmental pollution on the health of human beings (an increase in Cancer rates and respiratory diseases for example).

The recognition that the contribution of human activity to recent climate change is not settled science.

The acknowledgement that the First world nations have done much to curb pollution and protect the environment but that other parts of the world (including his own South America) have been woefully deficient in that area.

Proposals to get help to, and to spur commitment by, those countries in which pollution and environment destruction are a problem, but which are lacking in the resources and technical expertise that the First world nations have.

At any rate,it's his encyclical not mine, so I'll wait to see what he has to say.

Anonymous said...

The truth is that Pope Francis has remained silent in the face of the collapse of the Faith in Ireland. He said nothing before the vote or after the vote. HE HAS REMAINED SILENT. That is scandalous on a level not seen since Judas.......and everybody knows it. He remains silent because if he taught the Catholic Faith on marriage the world would HATE him. And he isn't about to let that happen. And one must ask the question does he care? Does he care that an entire country turned from Christ and embraced sodomy? Does he care?

Dialogue said...

It's the same situation for Pius XII. Everyone blames him for not speaking out more against Hitler, as if the Nazi's were eager to do whatever the pope told them to do.

No, a pope speaks only to those willing to listen. There is no need for a pope to speak to those who will not listen.

Anonymous said...

Mark, do you know why the Holy Father called a synod on the family to discuss giving holy communion to the divorced and remarried (adulterers) when Pope John Paul II The Great settled the issue? Pope John Paul II said: "The 1980 Synod of Bishops on the family considered this painful situation and gave appropriate pastoral guidelines for these circumstances. In the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio taking the Synod Fathers' reflections into consideration, I wrote: "The Church which was set up to lead to salvation all people and especially the baptized, cannot abandon to their own devices those who have been previously bound by sacramental marriage and who have attempted a second marriage. The Church will therefore make untiring efforts to put at their disposal her means of salvation"

Do you know why Pope Francis waited until October before speaking out on the persecution and beheading of Christians when attacks on Christians and beheadings were happening months and months before? People all over the blogs were crying out to the Pope to say something but the Pope remained silent and because of that he lost faith with many Catholics including me.

Do you know why Pope Francis appointed a Commissioner, Fr Volpi, to the Franciscans of the Immaculate a once-thriving order - one of the fastest growing order in the Church - and allowed him to close down their seminary and their publishing house, dispersing their seminarians to other orders? This has virtually destroyed the order. Despite appeals from the order and petitions directly to him the Holy Father has done nothing to rectify this. Fr Volpi has died in the past few days and so it seems Divine Providence has now stepped in.

Do you know why on two or three occasions the Pope has given an interview to an athiest and then claimed what he said was misrepresented? If he was being misrepresented by this athiest why then did the Holy Father make the mistake of giving an interview to him a second time?

As Anonymous says at 6.00 pm the Holy Father has remained silent in the face of the collapse of the Faith in Ireland. We have also heard that in Holland they are closing down two-thirds of parishes. I haven't heard any comment from the Pope on that either.

The leadership that we have been accustomed to from all of the Popes after the Second Vatican Council appears to me to be sadly lacking and it is not the time for people to remain silent on these issues.

Jan

jolly jansenist said...

Seven years ago, ABC predicted that NYC would be under water by 2015. Yep, the video of that news cast is currently playing on a couple of forums. Man, the Pope is in great company...

Mark said...


Jan said..."Do you know why Pope Francis waited until October before speaking out on the persecution and beheading of Christians when attacks on Christians and beheadings were happening months and months before? People all over the blogs were crying out to the Pope to say something but the Pope remained silent and because of that he lost faith with many Catholics including me."

Dear Jan, well prior to October, His Holiness Pope Francis had spoken about the horrific and unacceptable persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

On June 20, 2013 A.D., Vatican radio reported Pope Francis' remarks in regard to the above.

I also note the following excerpt from a Catholic News Service story from November 22, 2013 A.D. :


Pope Francis: ‘We Won’t Resign Ourselves to a Middle East Without Christians’

CNSNews.com) – Pope Francis expressed new concern Thursday for the situation faced by “Christians who suffer in a particularly severe way the consequences of tensions and conflicts in many parts of the Middle East.”

“Syria, Iraq, Egypt and other areas of the Holy Land sometimes overflow with tears,” he told a gathering at the Vatican of leaders from Eastern rite churches that have links with the Roman Catholic Church.

“We won’t resign ourselves to a Middle East without Christians who for two thousand years confess the name of Jesus, as full citizens in social, cultural and religious life of the nations to which they belong,” he said.

The pope appealed for “everyone’s right to a dignified life and to freely profess their faith [to] be respected.”

Pope Francis’ comments drew attention to the plight of minority Christians targeted by Muslim extremists across the Middle East, especially in the three countries he mentioned.

=============================================================

Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Mark, compared with what Pope Francis said about Palestinians his was a very poor response and only came after several Patriarchs appealed to him:

https://melkite.org/patriarchate/syria-gregorios-iii-appeals-to-pope-francis-for-help

I couldn't find any such report you refer to dated June 2013. There are a lot of things reported but nothing on the persecution of Christians.

What he said when thousands were driven out of Mosul was very poor indeed. The Patriarch I remember asked why the Pope remained silent. Pope Francis said: "Today our brothers are persecuted,” the Pope said. "They are banished from their homes and forced to flee without even being able to take their belongings!”

Little children were among those murdered for their Faith and he should have condemned these killings outright. He has plenty to say about other matters.

And when the Yazidi were trapped on the mountain - just a mere murmur from him. I am sorry, Mark, although the Pope has been speaking our more often he remained silent for far too long and only sent a papal envory after many people were asking why he was doing nothing and remained silent. Perhaps too busy thinking up insults against Catholics for the Little Book of Insults perhaps?

Jan



Anonymous said...

My law school contracts professor once told our class: "You cannot blow hot and cold in the same breath." I thought it profound, and still do. So here's my point. The greatest single force (some would argue the "only" force) driving pollution and the degradation of our environment . . . is PEOPLE. We've got lots of them, rich and poor, careful and careless, etc. To assume that telling everyone to "act better" and they will follow is pure foolishness. So the solution, it would seem, is fewer people. Which would lead a rational mind to think of birth control. But this pope, and the Catholic hierarchy, have always been opposed to birth control. Why is that? Isn't this blowing "hot and cold in the same breath?" Encouraging as many new births as possible, then lambasting those same people for destroying the environment? By the way, it isn't just Catholics who fall into this trap. Lots of religions doctrinally forbid birth control, because to limit the growth of their support base, limits their overall power in the world. Just sayin'.