Where it differs though in a direct way is with the strategy of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in terms of confrontation with the forces of secular evil against the Church. He chooses another way and it is worth waiting to see if this is of the Holy Spirit for this time and place of the papacy. Read on:
The Devil's Double-cross, For and Against Pope FrancisA UN report humiliates the Church while exalting the current pontiff. Who is not reacting and is even remaining silent after Belgium has legalized the euthanasia of children. The risks of the strategy of silence adopted by Bergoglio
by Sandro Magister
ROME, February 21, 2014 - Almost one year after his election as pope, the popularity of Francis continues its triumphal march. But he himself is the first not to want to entrust himself to the applause that is coming to him from even the most unexpected and far-flung venues.
For example, the cover dedicated to him by the magazine "Rolling Stone,” a full-fledged coronation in the temple of pop culture.
Or the commendation that by the report of the UN committee on the rights of the child has bestowed on the famous "Who am I to judge?" spoken by Pope Francis, the only one spared in a Catholic Church against which the worst of the worst is said in the same report.
In his first morning homilies as pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio often referred to the devil. And even this manner of speaking was appreciated, was found endearing.
But one morning, on November 19, instead of the devil he took aim at the “single form of thinking that is the fruit of worldliness,” that wants to subject everything to “hegemonic uniformity.” A single form of thought, he continued, that already dominates the world and even legalizes “the death penalty,” even “human sacrifices” complete with "laws that protect them." And he cited one of his favorite novels, the apocalyptic "Lord of the World" by Robert H. Benson.
When early this February he leafed through the sixteen pages of the UN report, which peremptorily enjoin upon the Catholic Church that it “correct” its teaching on abortion, on the family, on sex, Francis must have become even more convinced that events were proving him right, that the prince of this world was really at work and by heaping praise on his vaunted "openness" wanted to associate even him, the pope, with the enterprise of making the Church conform to the hegemonic school of thought, in order to annihilate it.
It is not easy to enter into the mind of pope Bergoglio. His words are like the tiles of a mosaic whose design is not immediately apparent. He also makes tough and biting remarks, but never at a moment in which they could generate conflict.
If he had pronounced that tremendous homily of his against the single form of thought that intends to hegemonize the world the day after the publication of the UN report and explicitly in response to it, the event would have entered into the "breaking news" of global information. But it was not to be. Delivered on an arbitrary day, that same homily did not cause the slightest chagrin. It was ignored.
And yet it is precisely there that the concealed thought of the Jesuit pope is to be found, his judgment on the present era of the world.
"The view of the Church is known, and I am a son of the Church," Francis says and says again. His thought is the same as that which is written in the catechism. And sometimes he recalls this combatively for those who expect him to change doctrine, as in the least-cited passage of his "Evangelii Gaudium," where he has the harshest of words against the "right" to abortion.
But he never proclaims Church teaching out loud at a moment when the dispute over an issue has become heated.
He has kept quiet now that the euthanasia of children has been permitted by law in Belgium. He keeps himself apart from the millions of citizens of every faith who in France and in other countries are opposing the dissolution of the idea of the family made up of father, mother, and children. He has remained silent after the unprecedented affront of the UN report.
With this he intends to blunt the weapons of the adversary. To defeat him with the immense popularity of his figure as pastor of the mercy of God.
There is a Jacobin-style attack against the Church, not only in France, that simply wants to exclude it from civil discourse.
But there is also a more subtle attack that cloaks itself as a consensus for a Church refurbished and new, up to date, in step with the times. There is also this in the popularity of Francis, a pope "like never before," finally "one of us," molded through a copy-and-paste of his open, adaptable statements.
This worldly cunning could not have been used against his predecessor, Benedict XVI. He, the meek one, preferred conflict in the open field, with the courage of the yes that means yes and the no that means no, "in season and out of season," as in Regensburg, when he lifted the curtain on the theological roots of the connection between faith and violence in Islam, and yet again on the "non-negotiable" questions. This is why the world was so ferocious with him.
With Francis it is different. A new match. But not even he knows how the game will unfold, now that he is getting tougher.