I know that papal documents are not easy reading. I also know we all have lots on the go, and it is hard to find the time to sit down and read and think for a couple hours. But this is crucial: if you are Catholic and worried about paganism having infiltrated the Church through the Amazon synod, but have not yet read Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical Laudato Si’, please read it as soon as possible. Word On Fire has a lovely site devoted to it, at laudatosi.com. It contains a well-formatted PDF version of the text.

The opening passages of Laudato Si’ alone provide a key to understanding the ongoing debates surrounding the Amazon synod, including the “Our Lady of the Amazon” statues and the question of whether or not the concept of Mother Earth is irredeemably pagan:

“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord.” In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs.”

This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.

Here, Pope Francis makes it very clear how we, as Catholics, should interpret the idea of Mother Earth. He describes her from a specifically Franciscan viewpoint (not surprising, for a pope named Francis) as a mother, and as a sister. Here, in plain sight, is the basis for the path of inculturation that we saw at the synod.

Some people are making much out of a prayer to Pachamama (an Incan fertility goddess, still worshipped by some in the Andes) that was found on a handout used in a church in Verona, for purposes unknown. On Twitter, I pointed out that this prayer was likely taken from a document created for the Amazon synod by the Missio Foundation, which is described on its website as a “pastoral body formed by the Italian Bishops’ Conference to support and promote, in collaboration with other organizations, the missionary dimension of the Church in Italy” (very rough translation). I suggested that the prayer be read in the context of the rest of the document, which provides a survey of the Indigenous cultures of the Amazon and issues affecting the Amazon region and its people, and places these within the framework of Laudato Si’. Providing this additional information does not seem to have helped, as the single page from the document with the prayer is now being shared as further proof of pagan infiltration, not just in that one church in Verona, but also within the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

But context and intent really do matter. Paying attention to context and intent is not a path to relativism; it is, in fact, how you can avoid mistaking your own private judgement for the unalterable truth. Read some sections of the Missio Foundation website (through whatever translation application you can find, if like me you don’t read Italian) in order to understand why they might have included that prayer in one of their documents. Read some of the document itself, which is located here (and the Pachamama prayer is on page 17, for those curious). At least do that, before judging.

After considering the context, which of the two following possibilities do you think is more likely?

  • This Pachamama prayer was included as a means of introducing a demonic paganism into Catholicism, for the purpose of undermining and ultimately destroying the faith.
  • This Pachamama prayer was included as an example of how Indigenous people in the Andes (and by extension, the Amazon) conceive of the natural world as Mother Earth, opening up a missionary path for inculturation in line with Laudato Si’.

I know my answer. If you still think the first possibility is more likely, I’ll say it again: read Laudato Si’.

Although it felt like a social-media sideshow, the Our Lady of the Amazon controversy and this latest Pachamama prayer controversy are all part of the messy and sometimes confusing process of inculturation. The concept of Mother Earth, which is part of many Indigenous traditions and, as Pope Francis has made clear, part of Christian tradition, is the link through which we can connect with Indigenous Catholics and also non-Catholic Indigenous cultures, in order to engage in a process of upbuilding and evangelization through dialogue. That is what the Amazon synod was all about.

Those now-famous Our Lady of the Amazon statues—inexpensive souvenir items brought to the synod as symbols of the Amazon—may have originally been produced to reflect a more generic concept of Mother Earth or even just womanhood for tourists in Brazil. But now they are more than that. They represent the Amazon, womanhood, generation, Mother Nature, and Our Lady all in one. Is this a form of illegitimate syncretism? No. To understand, we need only turn again to Laudato Si’, but this time the closing section. I will quote a long segment here. I hope that if you will not take the time to read all of Laudato Si’, you will at least take the time to read this:

The Father is the ultimate source of everything, the loving and self-communicating foundation of all that exists. The Son, his reflection, through whom all things were created, united himself to this earth when he was formed in the womb of Mary. The Spirit, infinite bond of love, is intimately present at the very heart of the universe, inspiring and bringing new pathways. The world was created by the three Persons acting as a single divine principle, but each one of them performed this common work in accordance with his own personal property. Consequently, “when we contemplate with wonder the universe in all its grandeur and beauty, we must praise the whole Trinity.”

For Christians, believing in one God who is trinitarian communion suggests that the Trinity has left its mark on all creation. Saint Bonaventure went so far as to say that human beings, before sin, were able to see how each creature “testifies that God is three.” The reflection of the Trinity was there to be recognized in nature “when that book was open to man and our eyes had not yet become darkened.” The Franciscan saint teaches us that each creature bears in itself a specifically Trinitarian structure, so real that it could be readily contemplated if only the human gaze were not so partial, dark and fragile. In this way, he points out to us the challenge of trying to read reality in a Trinitarian key.

The divine Persons are subsistent relations, and the world, created according to the divine model, is a web of relationships. Creatures tend towards God, and in turn it is proper to every living being to tend towards other things, so that throughout the universe we can find any number of constant and secretly interwoven relationships. This leads us not only to marvel at the manifold connections existing among creatures, but also to discover a key to our own fulfilment. The human person grows more, matures more and is sanctified more to the extent that he or she enters into relationships, going out from themselves to live in communion with God, with others and with all creatures. In this way, they make their own that trinitarian dynamism which God imprinted in them when they were created. Everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity.

Mary, the Mother who cared for Jesus, now cares with maternal affection and pain for this wounded world. Just as her pierced heart mourned the death of Jesus, so now she grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for the creatures of this world laid waste by human power. Completely transfigured, she now lives with Jesus, and all creatures sing of her fairness. She is the Woman, “clothed in the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1). Carried up into heaven, she is the Mother and Queen of all creation. In her glorified body, together with the Risen Christ, part of creation has reached the fullness of its beauty. She treasures the entire life of Jesus in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19,51), and now understands the meaning of all things. Hence, we can ask her to enable us to look at this world with eyes of wisdom.

Mother Earth, in this context, is no longer the Mother Earth of paganism. Those little statues no longer represent some touristy stereotype—they have a symbolic connection to Mary, the birth of Jesus, creation, and the Trinity. If we can’t see this, we must appeal to Mary to “enable us to look at this world with eyes of wisdom.” At the Angelus on October 27, after the close of the Amazon synod, Pope Francis proclaimed:

For the way ahead, let us invoke the Virgin Mary, venerated and loved as Queen of the Amazon. She became one not by conquering, but by “inculturating” herself: with a mother’s humble courage she became the protector of her children, the defence of the oppressed. Always going out to the culture of the peoples. There is not a standard culture, there is not a pure culture that purifies the others; there is the Gospel, pure, which is inculturated. To she who cared for Jesus in the poor house of Nazareth, we entrust the poorest children and our common home.

This is the path that the pope set for the Amazon synod, and for the Church. We should trust him as our Holy Father. Remember, EWTN is not in charge of the Church. OnePeterFive is not in charge. Where Peter Is is not in charge. The pope is in charge, aided by the Holy Spirit, and he asks us to invoke Mary, Queen of the Amazon, Queen of All Creation, as we move forward.


Image: Mangrove and woodland near the Amazon river, by Cesar Paes Barreto, Wikimedia Commons

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
415 Shares

47 Responses

  1. Avatar Anne Lastman says:

    Hi again, at this moment I am feeling sooooo hurt for the Holy Father and our church. fb has been used so maliciously against the Pope. Even yesterday he was called “the false prophet”
    I know that there are the American group leading the way but in Australia there is a female leading the way in a horrific manner.
    I am just left with a sense that at a time when the voice of the Holy father should be heard loud and clear because of the attacks against life what we have now is confusion so that His voice on these matters is muted.
    Why wont the Lord act strongly to bring this confusion to an end because more and more are joining the anti Francis caravan.
    I am down and confused not seeing help from the Holy Spirit who we believe protects the Church and the Vicar of Christ.?
    Please help this confusion I’m in

    • D.W. Lafferty D.W. Lafferty says:

      Remember that all of this is bigger than us. All we can do is trust the pope and trust that the Church will get through this. The anti-Francis people are not as numerous as they seem on social media. Pray for the Holy Father, and make sure to take some time away from all the chaos online. God bless!

    • Avatar Christopher Lake says:

      Anne,

      I hear your sadness and struggle with the attacks on Pope Francis (and with more people believing in them and engaging in them). Take heart– at many different points in history, there have been unfair attacks on the Church and our Popes, and while the attacks are saddening, they do not mean that God has abandoned the Church and her members. Moreover, God still continues to draw converts to the Church too.

      It is very unfortunate that even within our Church, people are attacking the Pope. It is tragic that some people go so far as leave the Church. However, even in the cases where souls seem very far from God, as long as a human being is still drawing breath, there is still hope, and even after a person’s death, we can still pray for him or her.

      During and after World War II, there were many attacks on Pope Pius XXII, falsely alleging that he either did not care to save Jews from the Holocaust, or that he did not do nearly enough to save them. As the years have passed, more and more accounts have come out about he actually helped to save the lives of many Jewish people in those times– and yet, some people, including my dear, deceased Jewish aunt, still believed at least some of the attacks on Pius XXII. Sadly, I think that those attacks played some role in my aunt never becoming Catholic or any other kind of Christian. (She was also treated terribly, as a child, by some Catholic boys in her neighborhood, who called her a “Christ-killer.”)

      It is a fact of history (and not just of our current time with the attacks on Pope Francis) that some people in the Church will make very lamentable choices, and that those choices will influence others. None of this means, however, that God has abandoned the Church and her members, including the Pope. Even if only a few Catholics in the world remained faithful to the Church and to the Pope, that would still not mean that the situation had somehow slipped out of God’s hands. He is sovereign. He does still leave room for our free choices, but he can take even the bad choices and bring good out of them.

      Believe me, I can speak out good being brought out of bad. From a very early age, as a small child, and into adolescence, and even after that, to some extent, my life was filled with abuse, trauma, and terror of various kinds, and yet, God found ways to bring good out of the deepest of darkness, and He continues to do so. He will bring good out of the attacks on Pope Francis too. He is already doing so, in part, through this very website. God bless you, my sister in Christ. I am praying for you. Please pray for me (and thank you in advance!).

      • Avatar Christopher Lake says:

        P.S. Sorry, Anne and everyone– I meant to type Pope Pius XII, not the XXII, as we obviously *haven’t had* a Pope Pius XXII yet! 🙂 I’ve typed too much for one day, and tt’s late here– past time for bed!

      • Avatar Cian O'Brien says:

        Christopher,

        I find your caparison to the attacks on Pope Pius XII to the current doubts concerning Pope Francis are comparing apples and oranges. That is the attacks of Pope Pius XII were mostly if not near exclusively from outside the Church by anti Catholic factions, and about alleged political choices of the Pope as a leader of a state with its relation to Nazi Germany and occupied Europe. This is not the nature of the “attacks” on Pope Francis. The secular forces seem to love our current Pontiff, which one should ponder deeply about. These “attacks” are pleads to our supposed Sheppard that he is not keeping to his primary vocation and properly leading the Church as it relates to tradition and Church teaching. His job is not to Pontificate on “anthropocentric global warming”, which is scientifically a sham, nor the crying out of mother earth – until Pope Francis there was no mother earth, this is new doctrine. The reference to St Francis to such a “being” crying out is a real stretch if not a pure fabrication. Scripture and tradition is clear that we should confront our brothers and sisters if they appear to be in error, Pope Francis is as much our brother as our Pope. This is a real problem, and stating it is not an attack.

      • Avatar Mary Angelica says:

        “His job is not to Pontificate on “anthropocentric global warming”, which is scientifically a sham, nor the crying out of mother earth – until Pope Francis there was no mother earth, this is new doctrine. ”

        St Francis spoke of “our sister mother earth”. He was probably drawing from the scriptures on this one too. In Romans 8, Paul speaks of the suffering of creation (not just human suffering) in expectation of the eschaton, and he uses maternal language in reference to creation itself.

        ” For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. ”

        I don’t care for synchretism. I think REPAM is too soft on it, and I don’t trust some of the organizers of this synod. But speaking of the earth as a kind of mother isn’t un-Christian at all. And the earth crying out in suffering is straight from the scriptures. It cries out in labor pains because of death and violence unleashed through original sin, and it continues to cry out because of the death and violence unleashed through our personal sins as well. Care for the earth, on the other hand, was one of the original commands God gave to man in Genesis 2. There are some central themes going on here, and one doesn’t have to be some fluffy progressive to recognize that.

  2. Avatar Faith says:

    Anne, just today I was reading about the secrets of Fatima and how Pope John Paul II didn’t reveal it all because, in his own words, “people would lead it for the wrong reasons, namely curiosity, and the knowledge would not aid them in prayer.” The best thing we can do is pray the rosary, live our faith, and defend the Holy Father/ the Church when we are able, according to our calling and state in life. I am sad, too. Many of my family and friends have jumped on the bandwagon you speak about… it is not helping them live out their faith. Also, it helps me to acknowledge that there are many social media commenters who must never see the light of day; I pity them and their circumstances that must have led them to use vicious words against the faith, and spend their energies for dark forces. Let us pray for them! Most of all, let’s be a force for light, read Laudato Si and keep abreast of Pope Francis’ words. It is always darkest before the dawn. I believe good things are happening. It’s just social media that has “reified” our culture and way of communicating. Look towards the light!

  3. Avatar Faith says:

    I meant to say, “*read it for the wrong reasons”… but let me take this opportunity to share that I visit this fine website for the right reasons indeed: to fortify my faith, seek knowledge in the service of truth, & find support and give support to my brothers and sisters in Christ. God bless you all.

  4. Avatar Cian O'Brien says:

    Mr Lafferty,

    I write this as a brother in Christ, with no ill intent nor insult meant. I doubt we will with our fleshly wills change each other’s minds and hearts, but that the Holy Spirit provide anyone the true correction they may need to sway them onto the proper course, including myself if in error.
    I have participated on this site before and have since watched and held back from further comment as I did not think it would do much good to point out some obvious truths. That said when I saw Ann’s comment I felt compelled to throw in my $.02.

    First the Pontiff’s primary job is to clarify the Magisterial teachings of Holy Mother Church to his flock in the context of the current times in salvation history. At the very least Pope Francis is failing utterly at his primary vocation, as demonstrated by the previous response. Both those who support him and those “anti-Francis”, as you call us, are to do back flips to make heads or tails of what the Holy Father is really teaching, especially if that teaching is both consistent with deposit faith and not heretical. And again, at a minimum, even if there were no harm in bringing a pagan idol to the Vatican to venerate and give it the place of the Theotokos, why do it? What positive purpose does it serve? And would any such benefits outweigh the obvious damage it is causing the Church and the faithful? Does it really clarify the long-standing teachings of the Church that our Lord Jesus Christ is “…the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jn 14:6. Why muddy the waters? The clarity taught to our pagan ancestors that Thor, Zeus, Demeter or whatever earth goddess you like is completely distinct and a distraction from salvation worked well for us and this was the universal message for a Universal Church. Would it be clear teaching to bring a statue of Danu to the Vatican today and do the same? Of course not! It would be a reversal of what was taught to the Celtic peoples who became great upholders of the Faith upon their conversion from paganism, not synchronicity with it. Is there something fundamentally different with the Amazonian people then the Europeans of antiquity? Of course not! That is the true context and to say otherwise is just pure gobbeldy gook.

    This leads to your piece, which I am afraid to say is no more philosophically nor theologically sound than much of Burgolios work. First you reference Laudate si’, somewhat unique in its expanding of the magisterial teachings beyond its normal bounds and addressed to the people of the world, not just the faithful. Many have had issues with Laudate si’ since its publication and were very concerned of its content, as it was suggestive of a launch point of the type of heresy, we witnessed with the Pachamama. Pantheistic and syncretic. This was predicted and at the time, and traditional Catholics were being told we were over reacting. https://akacatholic.com/laudato-si-a-giant-leap-toward-formal-heresy/

    So, from my perspective, your first argument is circular, as to why not to be concerned about the Pachamama. You are referring to a heretically framed document to support heretical acts.

    Secondly, you claim a false dilemma (paraphrasing you here): That either Bergoglio is part of a conspiracy to summon demons into the church, or the Holy Father is using a kosher paradigm in which to accompany an indigenous people in some unique way that is consistent with the magisterium via Laudate si’. There are other options but the most graceful one is that through the well intentioned, but false construct of this accompaniment, melding pantheistic false religious beliefs with the authority of the Church, yes, demons are inadvertently invited to do much damage to the Body of Christ and to the souls of the faithful. There is a great spirit of distress and confusion.

    When Paul was in Athens he did not recommend taking the monument of the unknown god to accompany the pagans to the Christian churches, but to get the Greeks to see that the unknown god represents Jesus Christ, albeit imperfectly.

    Acts 17: Paul in Athens
    22 Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. 23 For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26 From one ancestor[i] he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27 so that they would search for God[j] and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28 For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,
    ‘For we too are his offspring.’
    29 Since we are God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. 30 While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

    Syncretic allowances are no longer valid when the true teaching is known. The proper teaching the Pope should be conveying to the people of the Amazon is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and once that is known they should be led into repentance in accordance with the Gospel. Indulging the sacrifices of earth to a false goddess is the exact opposite of what Paul is teaching here. This is the deposit of faith. This could not be more clear, and my simple mind cannot get past the obvious contradiction something like the Pachamama presents to the faithful.

    I know this site is well intentioned, but it is full of similar contradictions and pretzel twits to try to justify the teachings of the current Pontiff. People with my point of view are much more numerous than you believe, and we are mostly silently praying for Holy Mother Church, in the fullness of faith. We will all get through these dark, difficult and confusing times. Hopefully in the full light of salvation.

    Pax Christi,
    Cian

    • Avatar jong says:

      The simple question to your long post is, If I use the gift of prudence whom will I trust?
      Jesus entrusted His Church to Peter, gave him the Keys and assured him that his faith will not fail.
      Pope Francis very clearly said “theres no idolatrous expression” while the Rad Trads see evil when Pope Francis sees no evil.
      So, the simple question boils down to one thing, If I use the gift of prudence and embraced Jesus words, whose words or judgement will I trust on Pachamama interpretation. The words of Pope Francis the Supreme Interpreter & Guarantor of Faith or your words of interpretation?

      • Avatar Michael Eberl says:

        Jong, How do you square the circle with the FACT that we have had bad Popes in the past? Should the flock have listened to every statement made by same?

      • Avatar Cian O'Brien says:

        Jong,

        There are a few problems with your simplistic approach, which is basically the approach of this site. some of which are longer answers based on Natural Law on our God given conscious as outlined in the Catechism. Not to mention logic and common sense identifying base contradictions with the teachings of previous Pontiff’s – when both are to be the interpreters and Guarantors of the Faith. But let me take your approach for a moment and make this simple. One of the major problems of the current Pontificate is he will not engaged directly with the “Rad Trads” as you call them. He declined to answer the Dubia, claimed he “will not say a single word” about the Vigano letters and associated allegations, there are other examples. Frankly there was much confusion about the Pachamama until he admitted plainly that it was the Pachamama. So as to the quote you have provided “theres no idolatrous expression”, I have not seen that and would love the reference. I am happy to check it out in context. However he has also not directly answered Scalfari’s allegation that “Pope Francis conceives Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, a man, not God incarnate.” the Vatican press did not outright say Scalfari was incorrect but that was “his interpretation”. So there is a lot of interpretation going on here due to lack of clarity, which is my point.

        So my question to you is this. If Pope Francis did clarify this and say yes Scalfari’s interpretation is correct and that
        “he conceives Christ as Jesus of Nazareth, a man, not God incarnate.”, would you believe that yourself? Your position would seem to indicate you would have to take it as magisterial teaching of the Church. And if not why not?

      • Avatar Marie says:

        jong- You are absolutely right, and in the end this is what it always boils down to, and what those who dissent refuse to fully accept. Not only did Christ gift us with the promise of protection, he went above and beyond, and told us not to worry, for what is bound and loose on earth will be bound and loose in heaven. So even if something were ever not quite exactly as he intended, he has given us his word that he will honor it. How fantastic is that! Yet still, for some this is not good enough. They need to impose their will.

        I cannot help but continue to shake my head in disbelief, reading otherwise intelligent and well informed people unable to recognize their dissent, because they demand their ‘intellectual’ arguments be understood, for they are right and the pope is wrong; they know Tradition. The Church, obviously fully aware that this is human nature for some, teaches that the AUTHENTIC interpretation of Tradition and Scripture is given to the Magisterium ALONE, but again this is ignored, and ‘but the pope has erred’ continues.

        There are no ya buts with faith. You either accept the teaching or you do not, but if you don’t, referring to yourself as faithful is not really being truthful, as you are only being faithful to what you believe to be true. Maybe that is why so many dissenters constantly refer to themselves as “the faithful”, often repeated ad nausaum.

        The very fact that Christ gifted us with the Church, with Peter and with the promise of the keys to the kingdom through Peter tells us he knows too well the human condition of pride, and the damage it can do, so the one and only solution remains to accept his gift and stay with the pope. This site is also a gift for anyone who wants to receive it. All the answers to anything you may question are here for the taking, in countless articles, if you are open to receive them, to help you journey back to where you need to be, humble and willing to give submission of the will and intellect, as the Catholic Church continues to teach.

      • Avatar Michael Eberl says:

        Marie, how does one explain the teaching differences between Pope Francis and Pope John Paul II? As a practicing Catholic, who decides which Pope is correct? How does one Pope contradict another according to your above views? I simply dissent from any new teachings that completely contradict past Church teachings or doctrines. The gospels order us to do same.

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Michael- The gospels do not order you to do that. The Church teaches the exact opposite. I personally do not see anything contradictory in JPII and Francis. Quite the opposite, the death penalty being a prime example. I think the problem is some people focus on a tree in the forest rather than the forest itself. I choose to see the forest. Regardless, if we struggle making the connection to something, we accept that there is one, and try hard to understand it. That must be your starting point, your centre point and your concluding point of understanding. Sometimes we get it all, sometimes most of it, and sometimes, despite our efforts, we remain a little confused. Faith requires us to accept all of the above, and embrace it going forward.

        I forgot to also mention, with Christ’s gift, he also gave one more gift/warning to the faithful doubters. “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” . We need to always remember that. Gifts come with expectations when we have free will.

      • Avatar Michael Eberl says:

        Marie, St Paul appears to state differently : I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. [7] Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. [8] But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. [9] As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema.
        Pope John Paul II clearly stated a divorced and remarried Catholic without an annulment could NOT receive the Eucharist UNLESS they lived as brother and sister. Pope Francis clearly stated differently on the matter.
        Pope John Paul II clearly stated the Death penalty was just under certain circumstances. Pope Francis claims it is never just.
        Pope John Paul II was fiercely pro-life and anti-abortion. Pope Francis once called abortion a “small minded matter”.
        Pope John Paul II clearly stated no female ordination under ANY circumstances. Pope Francis is entertaining a female diaconate .
        How does one square these differences?

      • Avatar Jude says:

        It seems like the Vatican (and perhaps the pope) is more interested in saving face and not being questioned, than accuracy. How can you take it seriously when they say there is nothing wrong. They say that they didn’t know what the figures were, they didn’t know what the represent, they didn’t know what the natives were doing, and they still don’t. yet despite that.. All they know is that nothing inappropriate happened. And their apologists run with that too. “whatever it was, it wasn’t bad, because some important personage who’s more bureaucrat than cleric said so”

        Maybe they were caught by surprise, Maybe they didn’t know what would happen at the ceremony. I don’t see why they wouldn’t say so, if that were the case.

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Michael- How does one square these differences? Firstly, and most importantly by being honest with what one claims the differences are. This you have not done. When someone purposely omits the truth, or twists it, it is hard to believe that the issue is really about an inability to make the connections and more about the desire to keep things as they see fit. To portray JPII position as “just under certain circumstances”, leaving out a significant point, plus his and Benedict XVII desire to ABOLISH the death penalty worldwide, is disingenuous of you, as is to suggest Pope Francis is just lukewarm on abortion. If you need to misrepresent the truth, perhaps that should be a clue something is terribly wrong with your reasoning.

    • Avatar Mary Angelica says:

      ” First you reference Laudate si’, somewhat unique in its expanding of the magisterial teachings beyond its normal bounds and addressed to the people of the world, not just the faithful.”

      This isn’t true. Several encyclicals have been addressed to people that were not Catholics as well as people who were. Typically these are referred to as “men of good will”: See John XXIII’s “Pacem in Terris”, Paul VI’s “humanae vitae”, JPII’s “Evangelium Vitae”, “Centissimus Annus”, (heck most of his encyclicals include “all men of good will”), and Benedict’s “Caritas in Veritate”. The encyclicals aren’t addressed to men of good will because these Popes thought that they would be saved anyway. They addressed it to them because these Popes were trying to preach the Gospel to all men of good will, and as much as I might critique some of PF’s approaches, that’s what he was trying to do too in Laudato Si.

      I wouldn’t call myself a Pope Francis defender, but the article you cited regarding Laudato Si, seems to be rather reaching in its attempt to argue that PF is teaching universalism in it. It only quotes one passage, but none of it logically implies universalism…? Pope Francis uses the first plural “we” to mean various groups of people, depending on the context. Sometimes it is in reference to all human beings. Sometimes, it’s specifically the faithful. Sometimes it’s just him. I even use “we” in some of my own reports, which is in reference to me and those reading it. You can’t argue for universalism just on this basis.

  5. Avatar Jennifer Tellis says:

    I see in this article an attempt to justify and defend the very confusing and misleading actions by our clergy of alleged “idolatry” and worship of Pachamama during the Amazon Synod.

    A question for all of us in our discernment of this critical issue:

    Given the “explanation” the author has provided, would you now be comfortable permitting Pachamama in our churches, lighting candles before her, bowing down, turning your back to Our Lord in the tabernacle, and prostrating yourself before this wooden statue of her in imitation of our clergy and other Synod participants? Yes or no?

    I know for me, personally, as a faithful practicing Catholic, that you would have to kill me before I would ever physically bow to Pachamama or venerate her in our churches or in my heart. I hope that all of us here can say the same.

  6. Avatar Ann Malley says:

    If one is concerned regarding the Pachamama debacle, absolutely, read Laudato Si. Another problematic communique from a pontificate that, for whatever reason, seems intent on confusing clear Catholic teaching with pagan elements. There is a pattern forming and it is not of the Holy Ghost–who doesn’t merely surprise and confuse, but clarifies and instructs.

    This blog seems disturbingly bent on aiding and abetting whatever is said, done, or not done under a false flag of obedience.

    Catholics should indeed be asking where Peter is. And when Peter suggests that we avoid Jerusalem to cozen up to the world, the flesh, and paganism, should engage the language of Our Lord and say, “Get behind me, Satan.” For Francis seems to not know of what spirit he is.

    Shouldn’t we as good and faithful children aid our father in finding his way back to the truth which he is vowed to uphold?

  7. Avatar Rita Michele says:

    D.W., this is brilliant! As an English major, I also think it’s perfectly written. It gave me chills. I’m very excited about these new pathways for the Church, and I intend to read “Laudato Si” in its entirety. Thank you so much, and Godspeed!

    • Avatar Marie says:

      I find this excellent too Rita. Sorry I got sidetracked D.W., as this article provides great insight. I’ve only read about half of Laudato Si, and that was a while ago, so I’m anxious to tackle it again.

  8. Avatar Christopher Lake says:

    Cian O’Brien,

    I’m replying to you down here, far below your reply to me, simply because there was no “Reply” button for me to click to answer you above. I wish that this one feature of the WPI comment boxes could change, but I don’t know if that is possible.

    You are correct that the attacks on Pope Pius XII are not the same as the attacks on Pope Francis– because the attacks on Francis are actually much, much worse. The attacks on Pius XII were lamentable, but they largely came from people who were non-Catholics– who, quite understandably, did not even begin to acknowledge the Pope to be the Vicar of Christ, as the Church teaches that he is.

    The attacks on Pope Francis, from fellow Catholics, at least *in my experience* of reading and hearing them, largely seem to arise from certain convictions and/or assumptions, on the part of these Catholics, some of which appear to be:

    1. We understand the teaching boundaries, duties, and resposnsibilities of a Pope at least as well as the current Pope, if not better than him.

    2. Given the “fact” of #1, we also have the right and the responsibility to call out the Pope, whenever we perceive (and we are not likely to be mistaken in this perception) that he is failing, or falling seriously short, in living out his Papal teaching boundaries, duties, and responsibilities.

    3. We understand Catholic doctrine at least as well as, if not better than, the current Pope.

    4. Given the “fact” of #3, we perceive (and, again, we are not likely to be mistaken in this perception) that the Pope is clearly contradicting past Catholic doctrine, and I have the right and responsibility to call him out on these perceived contradictions, about which there is little to no chance that I could be mistaken.

    For myself (Christopher Lake, speaking here now), I reject all of the above four assertions. I am, simply, a Catholic who believes (as do the official writers, and many of the commnters, here at “Where Peter Is”) that Pope Francis is *not* contradicting past Catholic doctrine. I firmly believe that he is both teaching, and living out the implications of, the Catholic faith quite well– not perfectly, at every moment, but quite well. I am not a Papal sycophant. I don’t believe that I must affirm the Pope’s every single word and action. I do believe that when he teaches publicly, as the Pope, on a matter of faith and morals, he will not teach heresy. I also believe, contrary to many of his critics, that his teaching is orthodox, and that he *has not come even close* to teaching heresy.

    On the matter of his “Laudato Si” encyclical, Pope Francis actually has an academic background in science, having studied it at the university level, prior to entering into seminary studies for the priesthood. Francis knows much, much more about various aspects of science than I do, and he also knows more about science than most climate-change-denying political commentators, who, like me, usually do not have an academic background in science. His view on climate change is not infallible, but the overwhelming majority of “Laudato Si” is not even about climate change, per se, but rather, about caring for and protecting God’s creation, of which we humans are stewards (having been made stewards by God). There is nothing pagan, or humanistic, or anti-Christian in any way, about “Laudato Si.” It is an *explicitly Christian* document. Christian stewardship of God’s creation is most certainly a matter of faith and morals, even if you disagree with the very small part of “Laudato Si” which mentions climate change.

    Last thoughts– the Catechism teaches that it is, first and foremost, the Pope, and then, the Bishops who are teaching in communion with him, who have the authentic, Magisterial authority to interpret both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition for the Church. If I don’t understand something that the Pope is publicly teaching, or even if that teaching, seems, to me, to be heretical, I at least have the duty, as a lay Catholic *who does have Magisterial interpretive authority,* to listen to the Pope and try my very best to understand and obey him, especially when he and his Magisterial colleagues state and try to show, repeatedly, how his teaching is actually *in continuity with, and not in contradiction to*, with Scripture and Tradition. By the logic of the Catechism’s teaching on the Pope’s teaching authority, it would be quite unhelpful for me, as a lay Catholic, to assume that I understand the Catholic faith, and how to teach it, as well as, or better than, the Pope.

    • Avatar Christopher Lake says:

      P.S. Sigh– I meant to type, in that last section of my reply, “….I at least have the duty, as a lay Catholic *who does not have Magisterial interpretive authority*…”

      Oh, for an edit function for our comments at WPI! 🙂

      • Avatar Michael Eberl says:

        Christopher, I readily admitted I was NOT a climate expert in my below comment. I was simply pointing out that assuming Pope Francis has some greater knowledge of climate change because he has a degree in chemistry is questionable, at best. He never actually worked in the field of chemistry as far as I am aware, and neither did I. I was hired in law enforcement while in college, and to be honest, after 33 years I have practically zero knowledge left of chemistry anymore.

    • Avatar Michael Eberl says:

      Pope Francis received a degree Chemistry. I also hold a degree in Chemistry, and I can confirm that degree did not make me a Climate expert. In fact I find it difficult to propose CO2 gas as a pollutant. It is a natural occurring substance, no different than oxygen or nitrogen. The climate is ALWAYS changing, and to suggest we have some way to stop this is ridiculous.

      • Avatar Mary Angelica says:

        Eh… I am personally agnostic on climate change, but I’m seconding Mr. Lake; this document wasn’t mainly about climate change, but rather was about a Catholic vision of our relationship with creation as a whole, and what God’s salvific work implies for it. It’s a pretty darn good treatment on it, comments on air conditioning notwithstanding (heck, I even liked what he had to say about air conditioning, but I’m also romantically a bit of a luddite).

        Second, even if climate change is not a thing, local pollution and environmental damage is obvious and devastating to communities who endure it. In certain ways, I find the clamor on climate change to be a way for us least affected by pollution to pretend we care for the environment, because it’s such a bogey-man whose threats are ever serious, ever menacing, but also ever abstract. But the way more immediate effects of consumer culture and a disregard for our environment are already present. Whether or not climate change is caused by humans, we should focus on these more apparent issues. Then, if climate change is in fact true, we might actually be solving the issue by solving the more local ones.

      • Avatar Christopher Lake says:

        Michael,

        If having a degree in Chemistry does not make Pope Francis a climate expert, then it logically follows that your having a degree in Chemistry also does not make you a climate expert. The Pope believes, based on the current research of the majority of scientists in the world, that certain actions of human beings are playing a negative role in climate change, and that, partially by changing said actions, human beings can play a positive role. You appear to disagree with him on that. In any event, I am not aware of anywhere where the Pope states that human beings can *utterly stop* climate change, He knows, full well, that this is impossible. Therefore, it is deeply unfair for you to imply that he is suggesting something that he has never suggested.

        Again, though, his statements on climate change comprise a very small amount of his *overall teaching* on Christian stewardship of the environment. “Laudato Si” cannot be fairly summed up *or* fairly dismissed as simply being a climate change encyclical. It is so much more than that. It presents a beautiful Christian understanding of God’s creation, and of our care *for* that creation as a Christian privilege and responsibility. This message is one that all Catholics, and all other Christians as well, and all human beings, period, should hear and take to heart.

      • Avatar Pete Vickery says:

        Hey Michael, I also have a BS in chemistry and am not convinced that CO2 is the bad guy climatologists are making it out to be. There are just too many variables in play wrt climate science. Ironically where I live, the two most well respected meteorologists (one just retired a few years ago) are also what would be classified as climate skeptics. I got a chance to get into a long discussion with one of them recently and his wife gave up on us. Anyway I think you need to read Lumen Gentium 25 and ask yourself if you are falling into a ‘sola Traditio’ mindset. We rightly point out to Protestants that when they say that the pope contradicts Scripture, they are making themselves the final arbitrer of what is true or false. Unfortunately Catholics today are using Tradition the same way Protestants use Scripture. Please read LG 25 and then ask yourself if Pope Francis owes you or me any explanation. Also read Pedro Gabriel’s piece Sola Traditio. Francis has a much better grasp on the teaching of the Church than we do. It’s been his chemistry textbook for eighty years. He also has what we don’t have: the keys of the kingdom courtesy of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit that comes with them. We don’t. Neither does Burke or Mueller; they’re also subject to submission to the supreme pontiff as stated in Lumen Gentium. Finally, in case you’re wondering, my skeptic meteorologist friend does recognize that the climate is slowly warming. He just doesn’t think CO2 is the culprit. And I must say that your final statement to Christopher Lake that “The climate is always changing ” is of course scientifically sound but “To suggest we have some way to stop this is ridiculous” is a statement of faith if you’re trying to insinuate that we have no ability to affect the climate. Don’t underestimate man’s ability to affect the climate. Several nuclear explosions could throw up enough particles in the atmosphere to bring about a significant cooling event. Yes the climate is always changing. But man has the ability to wreack havoc on the environment and the atmosphere. Industrial pollution, deforestation, polymers of plastic that don’t break down… etc. I wish CO2 was the only product generated by combustion and all the other processes used in industry. Unfortunately,as you and I know, there are way more nasty compounds being generated. Emphasis on care for the environment is way overdue.

      • Avatar Manuel Dauvin says:

        Michael, I have no degree in chemistry. But I am human.
        Would you say that human activity could destroy the habitability of an area of say, 900 square miles(think aral sea only smaller)? If you had no vehicle how often in your life would you travel outside an area that size? Is that not your world? If the destruction of your land cannot be stopped by local means because it is perpetrated by forces outside that area would you not have to appeal to powers above the perpetrators? The destruction will affect generations. When pockets of the world are being destroyed…DESTROYED…by the effects of a globally adopted lifestyle is it not semantics to decide that there is no proof of man made climate change?
        Pope Francis is appealing for global action that CAN increase the chances of us saving the WORLD of a poor person who is not as lucky as we are to view the issue from above and afar.

        All that without a chemistry degree.

    • Avatar Cian O'Brien says:

      Christopher Lake,

      Thanks for the well intentioned reply. And yes the Reply function seems to be limited, so I get it. As to your position we can agree on some things but on your main points I tend to disagree. I believe many clarifications and challenges to Pope Francis are valid and without malice, such as the Dubia, And the Open Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church are earnest attempts at clarification. You may have experienced less well intentioned or uninformed attacks, and I would give you that I have seen them hurled both ways on this very site. But I would say because some dissenters are not well informed, did not take the time to make their case well or even have proceeded with malice, it does not follow that all dissenters meet your criteria. I know you did not state that and you left room outside your experience to allow for that, this was not missed on me.

      As to 1 – Strongly Disagree – I have outlined the essential role of the Pope in my response to Manuel. I believe it essential for all Roman Catholics to understand the role of the Pope. If you are unable to do so how can you evangelize or even explain the critical differences between say Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox? The history and development of the schism sums up the boundary disputes quite well if understood. I guarantee you many Orthodox Christians would claim to understand the essential role of the Pope in the negative, and they wold argue against Papal authority under that understanding. Let us say that a Roman Catholic should have the understating that the Pope has the primary function of protecting, defending, clarifying and developing the magesterm and deposit of faith. In the Roman Catholic tradition this function was added to the responsibilities of the Bishop of Rome and developed over time in such a way as to blur these functions.

      2 – Mostly Disagree – If we take the above definition we can clearly see when a Pope needs to act or intervene as Pope, or he is acting as a Bishop. As Pope he has a singular function, unique, not extended to any other Bishop. As Bishop he is just like any other Bishop. If my Bishop makes a mistake, misspeaks the teaching of the Church, allows ridiculous or even bad things to happen in his diocese, I have the obligation to speak out as I would to the Bishop of my diocese. Likewise if my Bishop wants to write letters to his flock, have a bake sale or any other activity that does not contradict the teachings of the church, that is in his jurisdiction he can do so without dissent. The role as Bishop is less strictly defined and has many layers, and one cannot account for all of the specific activities a Bishop can undertake as long as they are in his jurisdiction and do not contradict the faith. The key here is do discern when Francis speaks in a Papal capacity or he is shooting from the hip as Bishop of Rome.

      3- Mostly Disagree – I would add that at any given time there may be, and most definitely are today, Bishops, Priests, Decons or even lay people that have some better understanding of the Churches teachings in some area and that is how we have a Pontificate of many appointed by the Pope, different roles required, filled and acted within to support the Pontiff to provide the information he may need to discern in his Papal function. Such as the Congretation for the Doctrine of the Faith and many others…
      http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_pro_14071997_en.html

      4- Disagree – I think we can agree that a dissenter is not any more and even less likely to be infallible than the Pope and we can also agree that prior to any such dissent one is obligated to inform their conscience as you outline well in your last thoughts. Where we disagree is that if a lay person in good conscience has developed their conscience in the areas that may require dissent, and their conscience is telling them something seems or is wrong, they have the obligation to their own soul and to others who may also be confused to at least ask for clarification if not openly dissent if they are compelled to do so.

      I would add as a parent that the Church charges us to be the primary catechists for our children, and if it expects that it does require that I understand the faith well enough to separate the wheat from the chaff.

      As you are aware I have grave reservations about this Pontiff, but have always left open that my perceptions and knowledge are far from perfect. I also believe God can work his intent through very flawed and even malevolent people so I am not concerned about the big plan. But as a Roman Catholic living in this age, especially as one who so appreciated Pope Benedict’s clarity, Pope Francis is causing quite a mess (and he said we should we should all create a mess). He is like a rorschach test, almost avoiding clarity in such a way as to allow people to pin their hopes and fears on him based on his most recent quip against the traditionals, or “who am I to judge” statements. Frankly his behavior is quite bizarre, he even seemingly contradicts himself, such as statements on abortion. I do not claim he has changed any teaching here but both opposing statements claimed on this post are true, he has both minimized abortion as something many Catholics fixate on and said it was a grave sin and like an assassin, which is it?. In a case like this I will give him the benefit of the doubt but such duplicitousness is not usually a sign of a holy man. The wisdom and the gospels very much speak against such double speak.

      Not to mention all of the non-doctrinal real world issues of scandal real and alleged, alleged corruptions and coverups, sexual, financial, political, and otherwise. Until his letters Archbishop Vigano was known as a very respected straight shooter, and seemed to have nothing to gain by alleging what he outlined. The cast of characters surrounding Pope Francis, such as McCarrick, etc. of which many Pope Francis elevated in the Church hierarchy, many of whom which have been quite questionable on church teaching such as the German bishops who orchestrated this bizarre Amazonian summit in he first place. Scripture tells us we can judge a tree by its fruit, from *my experience* the fruit smells bad and tastes rotten.

      Sincerely, as a brother in Christ,
      Cian

  9. Avatar Manuel Dauvin says:

    Cian
    You point out a false dichotomy in the article. He only allows 2 options. You say there are other possibilities and yet you fall very neatly into one of them.
    If pope francis is a syncretist like you say I certainly don’t think he is so unwittingly which makes him a tool of the evil one that is destroying the church.
    Let’s call a spade a spade. Just say it. The blogs you read are saying it. Be hot or be cold but give up the pretended balancing act.

    • Avatar Cian O'Brien says:

      Manuel,

      I stated a false dilemma – this is a specific fallacy where someone only provides two options, A and B, when in reality there could be A + B, or C or D etc. I formulated something like B + (partial A ) in order of operation without the ill intent, that is I would grant that the ceremony was NOT conducted for the “purposes of undermining and ultimately destroying the faith.” when it may have done so without that intended purpose, at least with respect to the Pope as I do not have privileged access to his heart or mind. This does not neatly sit in either option, and I could allow for other interpretations beyond what I covered here. Hence it is a false dilemma: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

      This is not an act, this is how one does logic and philosophy. For the record there are cases where there are true dilemmas, and if you are asking for me to say yes or no to the Pachamama ceremony at the Vatican I thought I was pretty emphatic that it was entirely unnecessary, a horrible idea, blasphemous and is likely to have very negative consequences.

      You are right to point out one thing, that I personally cannot have it both ways. That is, how can I remain a practicing Roman Catholic, in good faith and also have the doubts I do about this Pontiff. It is a conundrum for sure, for those I disagree with are also right about one thing and that is we were promised One Church led from the Petrine Throne, elected by a conclave, guided by the Holy Spirit for the purposes of Gods design for His Church. How I would square my particular circle is to very much limit the Pope’s role primarily to solving disputes of doctrine, as was originally intended and anything beyond that is not his job other than to be Bishop of Rome, and I mean Rome. So much like an evil priest can still consecrate a valid Eucharist and molest the innocent, a bad or evil pope could do his duty as intended but also do much damage by pretending to areas outside the scope of his office, intentionally or not. I would liken my understanding of the of the Pope’s role to that of a conservative Supreme Court Judge in the US that is a strict Consistutionalist, but instead of the Constitution we are focused on the magisterium and the deposit of faith, which he is to discern and decide on based on the raised issue. The rest of his job is a Diocesan Bishop as any other Bishop, with some forms of pastoral extension perhaps as it relates to the ordination of bishops but this is not necessarily required to keep the continuity of the apostolic succession. That is why I call the Pachamama episode unnecessary because I do not know what it has to do with resolving any dispute or question, and much of Ledadi Si’ is the same, I did not know a single Catholic before it was written that was arguing that we were not entrusted stewards of this planet, which is consistent with scripture and tradition. One can argue about how that is best done, what human impact on the planet is etc. But is that really the essential job of the Pontiff? I think not, hence all the confusion. And that confusion is only increased when such musings seem contradictory to the theological underpinnings of the Church.

      Hope that clarifies things.

      Pax Christi

  10. Avatar Michael Eberl says:

    Marie, Are you stating Pope John Paul denied the death penalty in all cases? Funny, the Catechism was only recently changed by Pope Francis regarding this issue. Can you provide me an incident when Pope John Paul invited pro abortion population control members to the Vatican and appointed them to positions? How about praising an abortionist, involved in 30,000 abortions, and who invented a suction machine to assist in same, as a wonderful woman? Did not Pope Francis make the statement he did not want to concern himself so much with small minded matters, which he included abortion? I see you deflected a response regarding the divorced and remarried, as well as female ordination. Who is actually presenting the truth ?

    • Avatar M. says:

      It’s just that those faithful Catholics who believe in the teaching authority of the Pope have spent so much time disproving these *exact points* ad nauseum. Y’all never give up, even when your arguments have been answered, and answered, and answered. It’s exhausting. I don’t think y’all realize that you really do regurgitate exactly the same stuff you read on those blogs and news sites you follow, over and over and over. And was it Pedro who invoked Brandolini’s Law? When we try to refute or answer you claims, the amount of text required to do it will make y’all run for the hills anyways. You’ll never read it, you’ll never accept it. Why?

    • Avatar Manuel Dauvin says:

      So Michael, you didn’t witness any of the instances you describe so you are relying on those who did to relay the facts. And why would a trad blog lie when it comes to Francis given that he is their bread and butter.

      Ok, that said, I read from your comment that you believe that we have a catholic Pope who praises abortionists because he thinks abortion is a small minded issue and that he is populating the curia with proaborts. Do you consider abortion to relate to faith and morals in a universally binding way? I do.
      So, according to you “who are actually presenting the truth”, the Holy Spirit appointed a proabortionist to the office of papacy! Wow. ..ok…yep John Paul II would never have done that. What could the Spirit be thinking?

      And there is zero interpretation of the events that would make the Spirit seem a little more competent than that.?!?

      • Avatar Manuel Dauvin says:

        @Michael
        Abortion is a “small minded” issue to the pope who compares it to hiring a hitman?

        https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/25/world/europe/pope-abortion-sick-fetus.amp.html&ved=2ahUKEwjO4Ji05cjlAhVohq0KHXwCA8MQFjABegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw089kAWzjp3AjkuvD2QqU2G&ampcf=1

        Would you reread your comment and ascertain the likelihood that it maligns a pro lifer? It is bold to claim to “present the truth” when you obviously have not read the pope’s views on abortion. Review the reliability of the articles from whence you gleaned your juicy tidbits.

      • Avatar Michael Eberl says:

        Manuel. It appears you are suggesting my examples are false because I personally did not witness them occur. All my examples are readily available from main stream media sources, many on video. For example “The following comes from a February 29 Christian Today article by Shianee Mamanglu-Regala:
        Pope Francis shocked church traditionalists and pro-life advocates after he recently praised a leading abortion rights advocate and even dubbed her as one of Italy’s “forgotten greats.” The pontiff made the statement during an interview February 8 with Corriere Della Serra, where he compared former Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino to great historical figures such as Konrad Adenauer and Robert Schuman. Bonino has been known for decades as Italy’s most outspoken abortion rights activist. At 27, she had an illegal abortion and then worked with the Information Centre on Sterilisation and Abortion which boasted over 10,000 abortions. There are famous photos of Bonino performing illegal abortions using a homemade device operated by a bicycle pump. Arrested for the then-illegal activity, she spent a few days in jail, was acquitted and then entered politics, according to reports.”

        Then there is the following “VATICAN CITY (AP) — Signaling a dramatic shift in Vatican tone, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church had become obsessed by “small-minded rules” about how to be faithful and that pastors should instead emphasize compassion over condemnation when discussing divisive social issues of abortion, gays and contraception.
        There is then the fact that Pope Francis refused to make any statement against abortion when he visited the U.S. as well as his speech at the U.N. We then have the issue of Pontiff’s visit to Ireland, three months after the country voted on whether to repeal the ban. Too bad he decided to wait until after abortion was VOTED to be legalized before he spoke out against it three months after the fact. I posit both Pope John Paul and Benedict would have voiced opposition in both cases. Pope Francis speaks out of both sides of his mouth. True, he has spoken out against abortion, but then remains silent when he should strongly speak out against such so called “small minded rules.”

        Lastly I guess you believe the Holy Spirit guided the Cardinals who voted in the small percentage of bad Popes we have had over the past 2000 years?

    • Avatar Jude says:

      So, it is your contention then that we have entered a new age where abortion or adultery is no longer a sin because, you know , mercy.
      Or, just that receiving communion in a state of sin is not a sin (ah…. I suspect that the real basis, that or that no sin is really a mortal sin)

      I don’t know what’s in Biden’s heart, neither does the priest. as you say, only God knows. So, he can only act on the evidence (and the need to avoid scandal… although at this point scandal has been so great for so long, why bother) If he were to presume that the man has had a change of heart, it must have happened 30 seconds ago, i.e. after the last time he appeared in front of a camera, otherwise he would be not properly disposed to receive the sacrament without committing sacrilege, and the priest should not facilitate that.

      You know, we are not talking about the fine points here, we are talking about fundamentals. I may not know all that there is to know about the 1st amendment to know how to apply it to a gay man working in a the cafeteria of a Catholic hospital that takes money from the government, but I, and anyone over the age of 10 should know that a law prohibiting the publication of books about Catholic teaching on subject is unconstitutional. In the same way, though I may not know enough about moral theology to parse the limits of usury viz international debt relief, I should know enough to know that adoring mother earth isn’t right or that giving communion to Biden helps absolutely no one, including Biden himself. Of course the priest who did so will probably have to prepare for a long period of persecution.

    • Avatar Michael Eberl says:

      How would you feel if another catholic presidential candidate, who publicly expressed his white supremacy views during a presidential debate heard by millions, presented himself for communion at a Catholic Church? Should he also receive the Eucharist in such a grave state of sin? I suspect most catholics that think Biden should not have been refused actually vote for pro-abortion candidates, and thus if they agreed with the priest they themselves would have to acknowledge how sinful it is to vote for such a pro abortion candidate.
      In regards to Pope John Paul, I see you agree with my statement that he was not against the death penalty under ALL cases.

  11. Avatar Trog says:

    Franciscan missionaries pray lauds in South America: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUKnphIFOGA

  12. Avatar Manuel Dauvin says:

    Michael…I didn’t say that you didn’t read about it. I questioned the interpretation your sources give to the events given that the pope openly considers abortion premeditated murder.
    Also concerning the holy spirit picking bad popes. ..are you not the one who was saying that the popes appointments of “questionable” people made him a bad pope? Am I not then free to ask you if the appointment of Francis makes the Holy Spirit a bad GOD?
    I guess I should spell out my logic for you…but it looks like you simply wanted to give a laundry list of headlines without addressing how an openly pro life pope can be accused of pushing a pro abortion agenda.
    Perhaps the person the pope praised was praised because they are better known for other noble causes. Why don’t you research what he was actually praising them for.

    • Avatar Michael Eberl says:

      Manual, The Holy Spirit guides the Cardinals in choosing the correct Pope, yet each Cardinal has free will, therefore some Cardinals can actually choose a bad Pope, as we have seen in the past 2000 year history of our Church. Your nonsense about a bad God is insulting. Simply explain how Pope Francis can one day state anyone involved in abortion is an executioner, yet the next day praise an abortionist, or appoint pro abortion and population control advocates to high positions in the Vatican? This is not my interpretation but fact. Are you starting the Pope did not do these things? Abortion is the single most intrinsically sinful act committed in our time. Period
      I guess one could praise a person like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Charles Manson or even Judas, because they are also known for some noble causes in their past.

  13. Avatar Nellie Wright says:

    I LOVE your article about recent negative about Pope Francis ! I am not a theologian ..I am a mother of nine adult children and grandmother to 15 so far…I have had a prayer group for priests for 27 years..Pope Francis is the Head priest 🙂
    What does your time in prayer say ? What does your heart say..your time with God? What is the Holy Spirit saying to you?

    I was judgemental about Pope Francis, until I prayed…(but I didn’t express the negative !)

    On Jan 10, 2019, at 4:29 PM,

    “Direction For Our Times’ is an apostolate based in Ireland. The bishop has approved of these messages..which started as a fruit of a pilgrimage to Medjugorje.

    In the Spring of 2018 these words in bold print were posted as part of a message from DFOT

    https://www.directionforourtimes.com/new-locutions-jesus/

    I have pondered these words;” Do you wish to argue with the Holy Spirit in him? Then you must look to Me, and do so silently in prayer. Perhaps I can help you to see that the people in every assembly are unworthy.”

    My thoughts after pondering…Pope Francis is more proactive than the father of the prodigal son, who waited and prayed for his son’s return. I think of the father in the prodigal son story as being like the Sacred Heart picture, holding His heart out, for us to approach. I think of Pope Francis, as being like the Divine Mercy picture..Jesus is walking TO us with His hand blessing us and BRINGING us His Blood and Water, healing rays of mercy.
    I also see Pope Francis as a father who knows a great STORM is coming (and it is already here !) and he is out calling all his children into the protection of his home/church. If they stay outside they will surely perish! If they come inside they MAY find real Christians who will help them recover from their wounds.. which we all have. Maybe the new wounded ones will hear the Word of God spoken and be convicted of the Truth…maybe they will even feel compassion from those who have spent their lives inside the church confines. Maybe they will find MERCY, not judgement and be converted from any sin which they may have.

    Jesus left the 99, who were in the protection of the sheep fold, the church, and went to find the one who was lost or caught in the brambles of life. I see Pope Francis doing that and not explaining to the OLDER BROTHER why he is doing it…they are already in the house/church, but may have more to learn about the Good Shepherd.

    God bless our Pope with wisdom and help us all know and do the Will of the Father.

    Addition thoughts, April 5th 2019…

    Perhaps there are many in this generation who are like the Older Brother in the Prodigal Son story…they have always stayed home ( in the Church), they have always been faithful, they have many fruits of this faith…like many letters after a name in the secular world..they look like the ones who God would choose ..and He did…but now they look at what Pope Francis is doing and they have decided that the pope is wrong in his approach with the younger brother…maybe somethings never change!

    Maybe the hearts of the Older Brother need to change and to try to understand the Father’s love. His EXTREME love for His lost and wayward children..who he is begging to come Home to the Church – to be saved. YET the Older Brother is self righteous, perhaps angry at the Father, and he wants things done his way, the way we are used to. Maybe there is another way..like Jesus did when He walked the earth..He hung out with real sinners…He went to their home ..in dong so they followed Him into his Church..and the saints in the Church helped these newly saved brothers and sisters.. Perhaps they need more conversion ( we ALL do !) Perhaps it is time to stop and pray and be silent because we may be wrong in the negative judgements against Pope Francis. These words, which have the approval of the local Church and are sent to Rome says so….
    I know the Older Brother may say..well Rome is corrupt…there have always been Judases …

    What does your time in prayer say ? I was judgemental about Pope Francis, until I prayed..

  14. I have indeed read Laudato Si, and even wrote an appreciative article about it, https://distributistreview.com/laudato-si-critique-technocratic-paradigm/ Likewise, in several articles I have defended Pope Francis’ remarks about economics, which are entirely in line with those of his predecessors going back at least to Leo XIII. And I have no problem with the use of the term “mother earth” as a metaphor. But I do think that the bringing of the Pachamama images into a church and their use in ceremonies connected with the recent synod were, at best, confusing and problematical, and tend to blur the line between worship of God and honor to saints and angels, on the one hand, and honor shown to the image of a pagan goddess, on the other, regardless of the intentions of those doing so, which obviously are difficult to discover. I do think that these activities with regard to Pachamama have rightly given rise to suspicions that some are either promoting paganism or at least are not sufficiently aware of the symbolic value and impact of rites and ceremonies, ceremonies which are novel and not well explained.

  1. November 24, 2019

    […] Don’t jump to conclusions concerning evidence of pagan practices in the Catholic Church. Have a read of these interesting articles about an Amazonian ceremony performed at the Vatican. By Pedro Gabriel (Syncretism versus Inculturation) one, two, three, https://wherepeteris.com/our-lady-of-the-amazon-solving-the-contradictions/. Also read this blog posting by D.W. Lafferty https://wherepeteris.com/still-worried-about-pachamama-read-laudato-si/ […]