Over the years, I’ve had my issues with Francis, who is my Pope, a man I traveled all the way to Rome to see, and not for a private audience; but his jam-packed weekly service in St. Peter’s Square just outside the Vatican.
Overall, though, even though I’ve disagreed with Francis, I felt (and still feel) it’s good for the Catholic Church to have a large intellectual tent when it comes to political and social views. There’s religious dogma, something that must be protected at all costs. But there need not be intellectual and political dogma when it comes to our views of the outside world.
That there is room in my Church for a right-leaning Bill Donohue and his Catholic League, and a socialist Pope, neither of whom I agree with fully, is healthy.
What Francis said this week about the coronavirus, however, is something entirely different…
Asked by British journalist Austen Ivereigh whether the COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity for an “ecological conversion,” the pontiff reasserted his belief that humanity has provoked nature by not responding adequately to the climate crisis.
“There is an expression in Spanish: ‘God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives,’” Francis said in the interview published Wednesday. “We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that a year and a half ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods?”
“I don’t know if it is nature’s revenge, but it is certainly nature’s response,” he added.
“Every crisis contains both danger and opportunity: the opportunity to move out from the danger,” he said. “Today I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world.”
This is absolutely disgraceful…
This is no different than blaming this China virus plague on abortion or homosexuality, which is something we have heard from the fringes during other human tragedies and disasters.
But Francis is not a fringe figure. He’s the Pope, for crying out loud, the single most important and renowned religious leader in the world. There is not even a second place. And here he is, with all evidence to the contrary, exploiting a medical catastrophe that has so far taken 90,000 lives worldwide, to further a far-left political agenda.
And to say such a thing during the holiest of Holy Weeks only compounds this sin.
And make no mistake, this is a sin.
Forget about Francis’s reprehensible politics; his utterly grotesque belief that, as he said above, “I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world.” He’s entitled to hold that grotesque opinion. He’s entitled to make that grotesque belief part of the religious debate. He’s dead wrong and seems determined to plunge a world that has been almost entirely saved by capitalism back into the dark ages of pre-capitalism poverty. Where that mind-set comes from is utterly alien to me, as is his bizarre idea we should slow down to “contemplate the natural word.” Shouldn’t he be telling us to slow down to strengthen our relationship with Christ? But that’s just my opinion…
It was God who gave us a conscience to help divine scripture, and if this Pope believes our souls will be saved if we’re all equally poor tree huggers, so be it.
That’s not what this is about…
What this is about is a man, no one less than the Pope, blaming a worldwide plague on those who disagree with his politics. And that is not just undignified, un-Christian, anti-human, cheap, and indefensible; it is not just an appalling act of anti-science scapegoating — it is the very definition of a blood libel.
If Francis is not ashamed of himself yet, I’m ashamed enough of him for the both of us.