PopeWatch: Pope Canute

It is a sad day when a Jew, Dennis Prager, is more loyal to traditional Catholic teaching than the Pope:


Last week, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had changed the Catholic catechism. After 2,000 years of teaching that a moral use of capital punishment for murder is consistent with Catholic teaching, the pope announced that the catechism, the church fathers and St. Thomas Aquinas, among the other great Catholic theologians, were all wrong.

And God and the Bible? They’re wrong, too.

Pope Francis, the product of Latin American liberation theology — along with many other Catholic religious and lay leaders — is remaking Catholicism in the image of leftism, just as mainstream Protestant leaders have been rendering much of mainstream Protestantism a branch of leftism, and non-Orthodox Jewish clergy and lay leaders have been rendering most non-Orthodox synagogues and lay institutions left-wing organizations.

The notion that it is immoral to execute any murderer — no matter how heinous the murder, no matter how many innocents he has murdered, no matter how incontrovertible the proof of guilt — is an expression of emotion, not of reason or natural law or Christian theology or biblical theology.

Regarding the latter, the biblical commandment to put premeditated murderers to death is unique.

First, it is fundamental to biblical morality. The injunction of putting murderers to death is the only law found in each one of the first five books of the Bible (the Torah).

Second, all other sins involving the death penalty were only applicable to Jews (and for thousands of years, Jews regarded those death penalties not as literal but as pedagogic — to teach the seriousness of various offenses in an attempt to create a moral and holy nation).

But the Bible makes it clear capital punishment for murder is applicable to all of humanity. It is the first law God gives Noah after the flood, after commanding him to be fruitful and multiply. Putting murderers to death is therefore the first moral law God gives the world. Why this draconian penalty for murder? Because the penalty is a statement about the seriousness of a crime, and the God of the Bible deems the wrongful, deliberate taking of a human life the pinnacle of injustice. Allowing all murderers to keep their own lives diminishes the evil of murder and thereby cheapens the worth of the human being. In God’s words, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (Genesis 9:6).

It is precisely to preserve the unique worth of the human being that the Bible mandates putting murderers to death.

Go here to read the rest.  Perhaps the most significant feature of the current Pontificate, is the attempt of Pope Francis to force Catholicism to embrace the transient current intellectual prejudices and fads of Western elites:  from global warning to capital punishment, to mass immigration from Islamic countries and serial monogamy, Pope Francis seeks to have Catholicism dash with Holy Water the ephemeral political wish list of the chattering classes of the West.  This entire pontificate is a Syllabus of Errors writ large, with a Pope placing the timeless message of the Church in thrall to a political agenda that 50 years from now will likely be completely out of date.  It is a mistake to view the Pope as a radical.  He is instead a reactionary of the deepest hue, seeking to give victory for all time to the current wisdom of the Western elites who rub shoulders each day with their clerical counterparts.  The Pope is transforming the message of Christ from the salvation of all mankind into a crutch for the political consensus of Western elites, and a manifestly failing political consensus at that.  Pope Francis is playing King Canute, with the difference that, unlike Canute, he truly believes he can stop the tide from coming in.

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  1. The Pope “is a reactionary of the deepest hue…”. Precisely. Does anyone believe he wouldn’t change his convictions in a heartbeat if the Leftist Zeitgeist to which he’s enthralled demanded it? A revolutionary implies someone who actually believes in a truth, even if they are wrong. Francis only believes in power.

  2. Thank you, Donald McClarey for articulating the truth about Pope Francis. Pope Francis’ deliberate inference that the murdered victim of homicide in the first degree has lost his human dignity because he has had his innocent life taken from him, that his last will and testament to be interred under a cross has no value, that nations have no right to be sovereign, that the murderer is free to usurp God’s sovereignty over life and death and enjoy his crime, that governments are empowered to overrule man’s correct conscience in matters of “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God”, leaves Francis as not only an invisible Pope but a truly inept politician.
    Argentina refused abortion because of its respect for the Chair of Peter. If Argentina had followed Francis into his vacuum of reality, their inertia would be doubled down and their destiny would be obscured for generations until a wise leader took the reins of government.
    Maybe his own people will restore his integrity.

  3. Truth is intermediated through tradition and convention. What’s happening now is the destruction of effective teaching authority on the part of the Bishop of Rome. This supplements the destruction of a popular sense of what makes for proper liturgy, a project ongoing from 1965 to 1994, if not later.

  4. What’s amazing about this Pope is how shallow and silly are his expressed statements and sentiments. There’s a reason he never finished his dissertation: he doesn’t have the chops for that sort of thing. If my own experience of Catholic clergy is representative, you’d have to scrounge to find any this goofy. There had to have been a collection of schemers in the College of Cardinals who said let’s blow it up by putting a knucklehead in the Chair of Peter.

  5. God did not call for a death sentence for King David, who is was as guilty of murder as the assassin he called to do it…Just sayin’.

  6. KMBOLD:
    It is interesting that you bring up David and Bathsheba. The following is my exegesis of the incident between David and Bathsheba:
    You can see the Messianic role of Christ foreshadowed in the Old Testament in the matter of David and Bathsheba. In the incident between David and Bathsheba, David becomes guilty of adultery and murder. If you look at the charges that David was guilty of they are the same ones that the Israelite people were guilty of. Israel’s lapses into idolatry, which started at Mt. Sinai with the Golden Calf, led to the prophets calling Israel a harlot. Israel also stood accused of being the killer of the prophets. The covenant between God and Israel that was entered into at Mt. Sinai was a blood covenant. Moses sprinkled blood on the altar and on the people. Israel broke this blood covenant by building the Golden Calf. In ancient blood covenants the person making the covenant would slaughter an animal. The person would then take the covenant oath while standing in a pool of the animal’s blood, and would say that if they broke the covenant that what happened to the slaughtered animal should be done to them. A broken blood covenant had to be answered by blood. When God and Moses got into the discussion at Mt. Sinai about God wiping out the Israelite people, it was God’s way of letting it drop that the Israelite people had incurred a death sentence because of the Golden Calf incident. The Israelite people left Mt. Sinai under a cloud of a commuted death sentence.
    David by his own words told the prophet Nathan that what he had done was deserving of death. The unnamed son of David, whose life God took as ransom for David’s life, is the type of Christ the Messiah. In taking the life of the son of David and Bathsheba God established the role of the victim substitute. Christ as Son of David was also a victim substitute. David did seven days of repentance, which ended when the child died. Seven is a number of perfection in the Bible. David did perfect penance, but it still was not enough to clear David’s sin debt. This episode was what led to Psalm 51. Christ took Israel’s covenant curses to the Cross and redeemed them with His Own Blood.

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