PopeWatch: La Croix

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The Pope has given an interview to the French paper La Croix.  In that interview he sounds themes familiar to PopeWatch readers:

 

– In your speeches in Europe, you refer to the “roots” of the continent without ever describing them as Christian. Rather, you define “European identity” as “dynamic and multicultural.” In your view, is the expression “Christian roots” inappropriate for Europe ?

Pope Francis : We need to speak of roots in the plural because there are so many. In this sense, when I hear talk of the Christian roots of Europe, I sometimes dread the tone, which can seem triumphalist or even vengeful. It then takes on colonialist overtones. John Paul II, however, spoke about it in a tranquil manner.

Yes, Europe has Christian roots and it is Christianity’s responsibility to water those roots. But this must be done in a spirit of service as in the washing of the feet. Christianity’s duty to Europe is one of service. As Erich Przywara, the great master of Romano Guardini and Hans Urs von Balthasar, teaches us, Christianity’s contribution to a culture is that of Christ in the washing of the feet. In other words, service and the gift of life. It must not become a colonial enterprise.

 

 

On April 16, you made a powerful gesture by bringing back the refugees from Lesbos to Rome. However, does Europe have the capacity to accept so many migrants ?

Pope Francis : That is a fair and responsible question because one cannot open the gates wide unreasonably. However, the deeper question is why there are so many migrants now. When I went to Lampedusa three years ago, this phenomenon had already started.

The initial problems are the wars in the Middle East and in Africa as well as the underdevelopment of the African continent, which causes hunger. If there are wars, it is because there exist arms manufacturers – which can be justified for defensive purposes – and above all arms traffickers. If there is so much unemployment, it is because of a lack of investment capable of providing employment, of which Africa has such a great need.

More generally, this raises the question of a world economic system that has descended into the idolatry of money. The great majority of humanity’s wealth has fallen into the hands of a minority of the population.

A completely free market does not work. Markets in themselves are good but they also require a fulcrum, a third party, or a state to monitor and balance them. In other words, [what is needed is] a social market economy.

Coming back to the migrant issue, the worst form of welcome is to ‘ghettoize’them. On the contrary, it’s necessary to integrate them. In Brussels, the terrorists were Belgians, children of migrants, but they grew up in a ghetto. In London, the new mayor (Editor: Sadiq Khan, the son of Muslim Pakistanis) took his oath of office in a cathedral and will undoubtedly meet the queen. This illustrates the need for Europe to rediscover its capacity to integrate.

I am thinking here of Pope Gregory the Great (Editor: Pope from 590 – 604), who negotiated with the people known as barbarians, who were subsequently integrated. This integration is all the more necessary today since, as a result of a selfish search for well-being, Europe is experiencing the grave problem of a declining birth rate. A demographic emptiness is developing. In France, at least, this trend is less marked because of family-oriented policies.

– The fear of accepting migrants is partly based on a fear of Islam. In your view, is the fear that this religion sparks in Europe justified?

Pope Francis: Today, I don’t think that there is a fear of Islam as such but of ISIS and its war of conquest, which is partly drawn from Islam. It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.

In the face of Islamic terrorism, it would therefore be better to question ourselves about the way in an overly Western model of democracy has been exported to countries such as Iraq, where a strong government previously existed. Or in Libya, where a tribal structure exists. We cannot advance without taking these cultures into account. As a Libyan said recently, “We used to have one Gaddafi, now we have fifty.”

Ultimately, co-existence between Christians and Muslims is still possible. I come from a country where they co-habit on good terms. Muslims come to venerate the Virgin Mary and St George. Similarly, they tell me that for the Jubilee Year Muslims in one African country formed a long queue at the cathedral to enter through the holy door and pray to the Virgin Mary. In Central Africa, before the war, Christians and Muslims used to live together and must learn to do so again. Lebanon also shows that this is possible.

Go here to read the rest.

The Pope has a few ideas jangling around in his brain that come out in this interview:

  1.  Wars are caused by arms merchants.
  2. Free markets do not lead to prosperity.
  3. Mass immigration from Islamic countries to historically Christian countries is a good thing.
  4. Celebration of our Catholic past is triumphalist or colonialist.
  5. Investment in third world nations is important, even while the Pope attacks the economic system that makes investment possible.
  6. At bottom Christians seeking to convert all the nations to Christ are conquerors just like the Islamic conquerors.
  7. Islamic immigrants can be integrated into historically Christian countries, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.
  8. Free markets constitute an economic system that worships money.
  9. The Pope is ever a fan of government intervention in the economy.
  10. The Pope is no fan of democracy.

 

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17 Comments

  1. Islam is never having to say “I’m sorry.”
    .
    Taharrush – The Muslim rape game is not a game. It is employed to signal to the serfs that they cannot protect their women.
    .
    You know the end is near when the elites (ruining the country) try to appease the barbarians at the gates.
    .
    It takes a special kind of lunatic to think that importing welfare recipients that want to kill us is a good idea (or social justice).
    .
    It’s past time to stop pretending that Islam is a religion.
    .
    This is cultural suicide. You knew it was coming from Obama and Hillary; but, from the Pope??? The stupid: it hurts.

  2. Thank you for posting this, but it is increasingly hard to read the drivel that comes out of this man’s mouth. What a fool. He sounds like the spoiled teenager who has no idea why Dad leaves the house every morning and comes back late. He just knows that Dad needs to answer for the fact the world is not precisely as the teenager wants it at the moment and it must be Dad’s fault.

  3. I don’t think you’re fairly characterizing the Pope’s statements on a few of these points. But you did leave out what to me was the most shocking bit of the interview. On the matter of church-state relations (with reference to France), Francis said ” States must be secular. Confessional states end badly. That goes against the grain of History. “

  4. He definitely didn’t say your point #3, that mass immigration from Islamic countries to historically Christian countries is a good thing.

    Your point #4 about Europe’s Catholic past misses that he specifically said that it’s possible to talk about it without being colonialist, citing JP2.

    He didn’t say #6, that Christians missionaries are just like Islamic conquerors, although he apparently only raised the comparison out of fear of causing offense.

  5. Agree with most of what you point out, but no. 2 seems a little beyond what he says in this interview at least. He does recognize the value of free markets, albeit with regulation – which is what we have anyway. He may envision more regulation than what others are comfortable with, but he at least does recognize some form of capitalism works.

  6. “…when I hear talk of the Christian roots of Europe, I sometimes dread the tone, which can seem triumphalist or even vengeful. It then takes on colonialist overtones.”

    What?!
    Is he saying that Christianity is something alien to Europe, something that was brought in by outsiders?
    That is how it sounds.
    That is astounding. A religion – his religion – that was brought to Europe by people listed in the canon of saints, including his foremost Petrine predecessor, is seen by him as having ‘colonialist overtones’? St. Peter a colonialist? Does he even realize what he is saying?

    This is a man who has spent too much time being a pastor to leftists and too little time being a teacher of the truth to leftists. It cannot be put any other way.
    Our Pope needs a Nathan to confront him on this. Who has the stature and intellect to do so? Cardinal Pell? The Pope Emeritus? There aren’t many others that come to mind.

  7. On number 7, PF’s examples seem to point to those places where Muslims are not an overwhelming majority. Sure, they are “peaceful” when in the minority (or one of many minorities), but once they get the upper hand, all bets are off.

  8. I hate this : “when I hear talk of the Christian roots of Europe, I sometimes dread the tone, which can seem triumphalist or even vengeful. It then takes on colonialist overtones”
    We are exactly SUPPOSED to change the world!

  9. “We are exactly SUPPOSED to change the world!”
    YES! For the Pope to imply that we shouldn’t is to deny Matthew 28:19, which is part of the Gospel he says we must uphold to our last breath.

  10. Huh? Where did the Pope imply that we’re not supposed to change the world? He’s a South American who doesn’t think we should idolize or idealize Europe.

  11. Pinky, why is the Pope giving credence to the idea that Christianity ‘colonized’ Europe? The only people who talk about Christianity ‘colonizing’ Europe are those who are trying to denigrate it.

  12. I think the Pope is wrong to see colonialism in this. I’m not sure if he’s referring to Christianity “colonizing” Europe, or Christian Europe “colonizing” the world, or maybe he’s seeing a connection between the two ideas. He says that he doesn’t want a conquering Christianity but a serving one, and that’s fine by me as long as he supports an expanding Christianity. He’s probably trying to make a distinction between Islamic militaristic expansionism and Christian missionary expansionism, but he lacks the subtlety of his immediate predecessor.

  13. Pinky, I think you are reading far too much into what Pope Francis means. Yes, its plain that he wants Christians to act out of service, that’s good and fine. But he uses terminology here that only someone who despises Christianity could love. My feeling is that he has spent too much time with Argentine leftists who spout this stuff, and to ‘keep open communication’ with them (to be a good pastor who is always ready to help the lost sheep) has spent too much time smiling at them, nodding his head, and validating their worldview. Frankly, all this does is to keep them lost.

  14. “He definitely didn’t say your point #3, that mass immigration from Islamic countries to historically Christian countries is a good thing.”

    He clearly did Pinky because that is what is going on in Europe today. The Pope is all for it and opposes any move by European nations to tighten their borders.

    “Your point #4 about Europe’s Catholic past misses that he specifically said that it’s possible to talk about it without being colonialist, citing JP2.”

    That was real big of him Pinky. What sort of leftist loon does the Pope have to be to think that celebrating the history of the Catholic Church in Europe is in any way colonialist?

    “He didn’t say #6, that Christians missionaries are just like Islamic conquerors, although he apparently only raised the comparison out of fear of causing offense.”

    Disagree Pinky. That is clearly what he said and clearly what he meant. It sheds a whole new light on his stance against proselytism.

  15. I think you’re reading far too much into his statements too! This is where the internet (or any other form of communication) fails. We’re each trying to construct a framework for interpreting the Pope’s statements. A more precise speaker would eliminate the need – we never had to do this under Benedict.

  16. “He didn’t say #6, that Christians missionaries are just like Islamic conquerors, although he apparently only raised the comparison out of fear of causing offense.”

    That’s just the point Pinky. He raised this unfair and unjust comparison out of fear that he would lose credibility with those Europeans who would take offense – more precisely because he fears losing what influence he has with them. Those Europeans who BTW have no love for Christianity and their ‘offense’ is largely manufactured.

  17. Triumphalist, vengeful and colonialist are the main problem words I don’t like in that statement. Even worse, I don’t like “overtones” either 🙂

Comments are closed.