Thursday, December 26, 2019

Pope Francis: Being Catholic Is More Work Than It's Worth

My man Deano summed up a recent interview with il Papa with this pithy tweet.

Here's the context from Life Site News.
ROME, December 23, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In an apparent repudiation of the Great Commission to baptize and teach all nations (Matthew 28:16-20), Pope Francis has recently told a group of high school students in Rome that speech should never be used in order to convince a non-believer of the truths of the Catholic Faith.
Father Matthew Schneider, a Catholic priest with whom I almost always agree, penned a defense of the Pope's comments. Here's his excerpt from the Pope's answer to the question of conversion.
[Pope Francis Answers:] [He begins describing how he lived in school in Argentina, then he notes,] This kid was Muslim, that kid was Jewish… but we all played soccer together, we were all friends. This has taught me so much, that we are all the same, all children of God and this [comradery] purifies your gaze, it makes you human. […] You must be consistent with your faith. It didn’t occur to me and it doesn’t have to be like saying to a boy or a girl: “You are Jewish, you are Muslim: come over here, get converted!” You should be consistent with your faith and that consistency is what will make you mature. [A mature Christian as he has said before, is one whoa ttracts others to Jesus. Thus, consistency in faith is a way of sharing the Gospel.]
The Pope then goes on to tell the students not to threaten to stab people with swords if they don't convert. I'm not sure how that suggested itself to His Holiness, but it did. In any case, here's part of Fr. Schneider's argument.
(W)e have to look at the context. Pope Francis is speaking about a fellow student who is an atheist. In a similar situation, think of two coworkers: one spends lunch hour preaching to you and your coworkers, and another does simple things like prays before meals but you also see joy and authenticity in him. Most of us will tune out the former. On the other hand, you would likely ask the latter about their life, which would include their faith.
First off, what is with all these straw men? "Don't threaten to slaughter unbelievers like the Crusaders did." "Compare the guy who rants at you at lunch with the guy who buys you a Diet Coke when you forgot to bring your wallet." I get it already. You're trying to discourage us from talking about the faith because, left to our own devices, we'll be violent, raving maniacs. However, that's not the real problem.

The real problem lies in this sentence and it's one the Pope has repeatedly said.
It didn’t occur to me and it doesn’t have to be like saying to a boy or a girl: “You are Jewish, you are Muslim: come over here, get converted!”
Turn it around, use it on the Catholic students and what do you get? If you don't have to be Catholic, why do I have to be Catholic? It's a lot of work with all the Holy Days of Obligation and the sexual teachings and the nonsense about hating gays we have to endure. What's the payoff?

I always get the feeling that he's telling me to shut up and I'd be just as good if I was anything from an atheist to a Muslim. Like, whatever, man, it's all the same.

There are two other huge problems with what he said that I'll address in future blog posts. For now, this controversy was more of the same from Pope Francis.

It's like the Pope feels as if he's been given the Bengals' head coaching job. He takes a look at us and shakes his head in disgust, wishing he was Episcopalian or something. Geeze, dude, I'm sorry we're such a disappointment.


WC Varones said...

First abortion became totally cool with Catholic lawmakers.

Now evangelism is out.

And they wonder about declining numbers.

Foxfier said...

I was expecting a joke based on the old misattribution of that "if necessary, use words" line.

(it's not just inaccurate, but ironically inaccurate-- he's pictured with a bird because when humans didn't show up, he preached to the animals who DID)

tim eisele said...

"It's a lot of work [. . .] What's the payoff?"

That's a really good question, KT. Why do people join the church in the first place? It might be interesting to ask around next time you are in church to find out why they are there. In particular, how many of them converted/came back as a result of evangelization efforts, as opposed to other reasons?