I remember when Jorge Mario Bergoglio, aka Pope Francis, entered the scene back in 2013, and almost instantly it seemed like I had no trust in this guy whatsoever. To me he was just the new Pope, and his benign and progressive personality was nothing more than an marketing ploy designed to redeem the image of the Catholic Church after the last pope, Georg Ratzinger, became known as the face of an organization that was simply out of touch with the modern world and complicit in the covering up of the sexual abuse of children by the Catholic priesthood. I have been expressing this on my own blog in the past since its early days, and I have to say I don’t think I’m entirely wrong on this.
Let’s get one thing straight: Francis himself does not appear as liberal and tolerant as he is believed to be. In fact, some of his famous quotes on the subject of God, the church and belief have been shown to be faked. For example, there was one alleged quote that was famously shared on Facebook in 2014 that goes as follows:
“It is not necessary to believe in God to be a good person. In a way, the traditional notion of God is outdated. One can be spiritual but not religious. It is not necessary to go to church and give money — for many, nature can be a church. Some of the best people in history do not believe in God, while some of the worst deeds were done in His name.“
It’s a perfectly admissible statement, to be fair, but he didn’t actually say it. There is no record of Francis ever having said that in real life. There is record of a homily that was made by Francis about atheists, and how he believes that even the atheists are or can be redeemed in the blood of Jesus on the grounds that all humans are created in the likeness and spirit of God, and according to a Vatican spokesperson, Friar Thomas Rosica, it is possible that this homily got lost in translation.
He also never claimed that the Catholic Church no longer believes in the traditional doctrine of Hell, nor did he declare that all religions were true and nor that the myth of Adam and Eve was indeed a fable during the “Third Vatican Council”. This seems to have been a hoax spread by a blog called Diversity Chronicle in 2013. What is Diversity Chronicle? Apparently it may be a satirical website, at least judging from the disclaimer. The icing on the cake. There was no “Third Vatican Council” for Francis to make these statements in to begin with.
Also, for someone who is supposed to so progressive about homosexuality, having allegedly stated that Christians should apologize to gay people because of the actions of the intolerance of their ancestors and also allegedly stated that homosexuals and transgender individuals should be embraced, he has more recently affirmed that the Catholic Church does not allow homosexuals into the Catholic priesthood, and the Catholic Church does not approve of anyone in support of “gay culture”. He also considers abortion to be a grave sin, not a million miles away from the typical conservative Christian, he just gives his priests greater power to forgive this “sin”. And he has recently made it clear that the Catholic Church will not repeal its ban on women entering the priesthood, stating that, in his opinion, the edict put in place by the church under the papacy of Karol Jozef Wojtyla (John Paul II) is to stand “forever”.
That being the case, I don’t think I understand why progressives and liberals are so keen on embracing Francis, as well as the hope that the Catholic Church could become anything other than the same old religious organization that it always was that is only trying to redeem its storied image in the eyes of the modern public. Hell, I never understood why liberals, progressives and especially homosexuals even needed some religious figure to guide them and give them hope to begin with. Judging from the scores of articles that go on about him supposedly delivering blows and stings to conservatives and right wing Christians, I can only assume that the left wants a progressive Christian figure to use as a stick with which to beat conservatives and other Christians, particularly in the United States of America where Christianity is still a big deal for people on the political right. It’s all part of an ideological/cultural war that the West is still fighting in the modern world, and the left will stop at nothing to morally browbeat its opposition. Religion, when it’s convenient, is but another justification for such things.