Bird’s Eye View of the News
A shocking video finally provokes a response from Francis, who still does not criticize Islam
Before any commentary, I deem it more objective to transcribe the papal words as they were reported by L’Osservatore Romano (daily Italian edition, my translation to English):
• February 16 – To the Protestant leader of Scotland he affirmed: “Today I read about the execution of those 21 Copt Christians. I just said: ‘Jesus, help me.’ They were murdered for the sole fact of being Christians. You, my brother, have made reference in your speech to what happens in the land of Jesus. The blood of our Christian brothers is a testimony that cries out. It does not matter if they are Catholics, Orthodox, Copt or Lutherans: they are Christians. The blood is the same. The blood confesses Christ.
“By remembering those brothers who were killed for the sole reason of confessing Christ, I wish to encourage us to go forward with this ecumenism which is strengthening us, the ecumenism of blood. The martyrs belong to all Christians.” (L’Osservatore Romano, February 16-17, 2015, p. 7)
Francis tells the head of the Protestants in Scotland that the victims are all martyrs regardless of religion
• February 17 – The sermon of his Mass was a general rambling about human wickedness and man’s capacity to destroy, indirectly related to the terrorist killings. During the sermon he did not even once blame Islam and international terrorism for the brutal killings. Instead, he indirectly criticized the United States and other Western countries that produce weapons.
His words were: “Why are we so [bad]? Because we have this possibility to destroy, this is the problem! In wars, in the traffic of arms, we are producers of death! And so are the countries that sell arms to this and that group who are at war with each other, selling arms to both so that the war may continue.” (Ibid.)
It is not necessary to say that L’Osservatore Romano placed Francis’ statements in the lead story on its first page in the best Italian opera style.
From then on, Francis has not lost one opportunity to insist on his idea of “Christian martyrs” of different religions. On March 15, for example, he returned to the topic as he mentioned Catholics and Anglicans killed by Muslims in Lahore, Pakistan. (cf. L’Osservatore Romano, March 16-17, 2015, p. 8)
What are my comments on his words on this ecumenism of blood?
Not so original…
The first thing that comes to mind is that Francis is not saying anything new, as many pretend, when he speaks about ecumenism of blood. He is essentially repeating what John Paul II defended 20 years ago in his Encyclical Ut unum sint. In fact, JPII wrote:
“All Christian Communities … in fact have martyrs for the Christian faith. Despite the tragedy of our divisions, these brothers and sisters have preserved an attachment to Christ and to the Father so radical and absolute as to lead even to the shedding of blood. …
JPII with Coptic leader Shenouda II in Cairo in 2000, when he tried to introduce a 'common martyrology'
As the passing of the millennium approached, John Paul II planned to include in its celebrations an official establishment of a “common martyrlogy” between Catholics and the so-called Christians, which would include a whole gamut of heretics and assortment of Greek-Schismatics. On that occasion, a healthy reaction in the Roman Curia echoing the concern of Catholic authors who presented to the Pontiff a solid refutation of his sophism (1) stopped that initiative.
Now, the progressivists are striving to execute that same point of their agenda, this time taking advantage of Francis’ theatrical whimpering.
Let us not forgot that Francis’ outcry came very late, only in response to strong indignation raised worldwide over his silence in denouncing the Muslim atrocities against Catholics. Pressured by public opinion, he only spoke up when his silence was becoming scandalous.
And the best way he found to make this criticism was not to blame Muslins for the violence of ISIS, but rather the U.S. for providing weapons to Arab rebels, and not to stress the persecution of Catholics but rather the oppression of all supposed “Christians,” thus attempting to re-introduce that indifferentist “common martyrology” of John Paul II that was rejected in the year 2000.
Monophysites are not Christians, but heretics
Another point that can never be stressed enough is that the Copt “Orthodox” are heretics, different from the Greek “Orthodox” who broke away from the Catholic Church in the 11th century and became heretics later. The Copts have been Monophysites since the 5th century, when they rejected the definition of the Council of Constantinople about the two natures of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Francis addresses Coptic Tawadros II as 'Your Holiness' at a Vatican meeting in 2013
So, although all of us, as civilized persons, lament that those 21 Copt heretics were brutally killed by the Muslims, this has nothing to do with pretending that these persons went to Heaven and must be venerated as martyrs by Catholics. When the Pope says this, he goes against all the past Magisterium of the Church, which is set out clearly in many places on the TIA website (here, here, here, here, & here).
Further, when Francis admits that Catholics and Protestants must both be venerated as martyrs, as he did on March 15, he makes an out-and-out contradiction. Indeed, let us consider the religious wars of the 16th century. Catholics were fighting Protestants to defend the true Faith taught by Our Lord and preserved intact by the Church. The heretics were killing as many Catholics as they could. A Protestant kills a Catholic, and soon is killed in turn. How can any sane person accept that both the Catholic and Protestant should be equally venerated as martyrs by Catholics?
Independent of being a heresy – religious indifferentism – this is a manifestation of mental disequilibrium.
- See Atila Sinke Guimarães, Quo Vadis, Petre?, Los Angeles: TIA, 1999, pp. 10-26, 39-50.