Firstly, as a little disclaimer, The Supreme Pontiff is an office, Jorge Bergoglio is a human being (like you or me) who currently occupies that office. I am sceptical of the man, Jorge Bergoglio, but am faithful to the office of The Supreme Pontiff that he currently occupies. Please read my previous posts regarding this position:
Sedevacantism? Sedevacantists? No, not a great idea.
Habemus Papam – Pope Francis – Gift of the Holy Ghost?
Indefectibility of the Church
So on to the content of the article:
Our Lord and Saviour said “That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” Mt 16:18-19
We see here that Our Lord specifically gives Peter the power to bind and loose. In the last article Pope Francis in a very verbose way said “don’t do violence”.
But I may ask, Did our Lord “advise” us not to do violence? Advising this or that, gives to me at least, the impression that there is an option.
The Pope is the supreme authority in the Catholic Church, he has the authority to order. Orders have a clarity about them, they have a purpose. Advice may be good, but it is not a binding order.
Cut the verbose, and crank out the Petrine authority. If violence and homicide is wrong, then condemn it and denounce any Catholic, promoting or engaging in it, as anathema. The wording could be like this:
“By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that violence and homicide towards the human being, in utero or post utero, is condemned and strictly forbidden for all time, and in all cases. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare wilfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.”
Job done. People won’t like it, there will be a hell of a hoo-har. But think about it, just how much easier is it to follow a clear, precise directive, which is very black or white. When you move past the shock of the statement, there is a “oh okay” moment and we get on with it.
Take it further, if the Pope stood up and did proclaim that, 1/3 of the worlds population would be under the binding law to put up their weapons and ceasefire, that or renounce their Faith. Then we’d see who was really Catholic. Think of all the Catholic politicians, Catholic military men (and sadly women), Catholic educators, Catholic entertainers, who would have to do a complete about face.
The problem is while Pope Francis says “Peace, peace” in mind-numbingly-long homiletics. The world turns around and (if it even managed to get to the end of the homily) says “Francis, you are a hypocrite”, pointing to Just War Theory and millennia of violent Catholic Christianity. And to be fair, they have a point. Well, dear Holy Father, with all respect, let’s cut the legs from beneath them, in one fell swoop.
As someone pointed out, the Church’s seemingly schizophrenic historical teaching on violence is the predominant reason why the Church has not had the impact on Pro Life issues that it should have. Why should the Pro-Death’er not kill the human in utero, if “Pro-Life” Catholics can kill them post utero? “Just what’s the difference?” They will say. Tough, not very palatable, plenty of defensive rhetoric can be given to it (helpless, vulnerable, no ability to reason), but, fundamentally, this is an unassailable position for the Pro-Death’ers. Now imagine a Catholic Church which condemned all violence, in utero and post utero. The Pro-Death’ers would have nothing to stand on.
Plus then think of the Grace too. Wow. Super-abundance of Grace. So, Jorge…
Stop the verbal diarrhoea. Cut to the chase. Nail your colours to the mast.
Enact Petrine Authority.