Pope Francis Strikes Again
I do not know you, but I think that the shallowness of this Pope is getting seriously embarrassing. This, if we charitably assume that the Pope is being merely unintentionally shallow rather than wilfully disingenuous. As one tries to be charitable particularly concerning the Holy Father, I suggest we assume the first, but never become blind to the possibility of the second.
“Nessuno deve uccidere in nome di Dio” and “anche soltanto dirlo e’ una bestemmia”, the Pope has declared in one of his rather spontaneous sermons. Now, in Italian “uccidere” is in common parlance used both for killing and for murder, and the context tells you which is which, though if you mean “murder” you may well use unambiguous words like “assassinare”.
Therefore, the words of the Pope can be interpreted in an orthodox way (“no one can commit a murder in the name of God, and even to say so is blasphemy”; I certainly can’t hack a man to pieces with a meat cleaver in the name of God), but can also be understood in the “spirit of V II”, pacifist way of “no one can wage war in the name of God, and even to say so is a blasphemy”; negative implications for the capital punishment can be drawn in exactly the same way.
Now, has the Pope said countless saints of the past (think of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the real engine beside the promotion of the Second Crusade; or even Saint Francis, another great friend of the Crusades, to mention just two) were blasphemous, together with all those men who risked or gave their life in battle for Christ? No, he didn’t say so and, if confronted with the thoughtless shallowness of his own words, he would certainly deny it.
Still, this is the way everyone who so desires will be able to understand the Pope’s words, and there is no denying the constant desire for popularity coming from the Vatican media outlets took care that this is the case.
Now, whenever the Pope makes such affirmations we are not given the full text of the homily, possibly because of the inordinate rambling therein contained; but as the Pope allows this to happen, and allows the Vatican Radio to publish the “convenient” and “savoury” snippets of his sermons, he must be held responsible for the consequences of their posturing and cheap marketing.
Therefore, either the Pope knows better, but wilfully sows these kindergarten banalities in order to become popular among the ignorant and the stupid (we do not want to think that, if we can); or, more probably and more charitably, he is a man of such little depth that whenever he talks in public he utters every thought that comes to his mind without reflecting on the implications, and without any concern for the way his words will be interpreted; what this also tells us about his well-publicised humility, I will leave it for you to decide.
This Pope has been compared to a country priest. Frankly, I think we have the right to expect better than that from a country priest, too; but at least the country priest doesn’t have the Vatican Radio website to divulge urbi et orbi whatever is produced by his “streams of consciousness”.
My suggestion is that the Vatican Radio website either ignores the Pope’s homily or publishes them in their entirety. But the best solution would be that the Holy Father starts to understand what his role entails and to read homilies carefully prepared (possibly not by him, or reviewed by a sound theologian) beforehand, so that both theological nonsense and ambiguities are avoided.
This Papacy is becoming a kindergarten. The Pope seems not displeased.