Catholic World Report Nails It: What is Pope Francis Doing? FeaturedBy: Michael J. Matt | Editor
This just in from Catholic World Report: "Pope Francis’ visit to Mexico, which began on February 12, has been received with all of the fanfare expected for a papal visit from one of the most Catholic nations in the world. Just as Mexicans warmly welcomed John Paul II and Benedict XVI, so they are also giving a very enthusiastic reception to the current pontiff, who is making a point of focusing on the country’s suffering lower classes. However, in his rhetorical enthusiasm for the poor and downtrodden, the pope is taking a decidedly different tone from that of his predecessors, one that appears to show sympathy for the region’s controversial tradition of liberation theology, as well as other ideologically-charged political causes....
"Prayer at the tomb of controversial bishop
"However, in his direct addresses to the Mexican people, the pope has touched less on universal themes and more on ideologically-charged issues that tend to fall under the rubric of liberation theology, a tendency that was fought vigorously by Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger during the papacy of the former.
"On Monday, the pope prayed before the tomb of Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia, former prelate of the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas, a controversial figure famous for his perceived support for neo-Marxist movements in the state of Chiapas, where a military uprising allegedly inspired by his highly politicized pastoral approach took place in the mid-1990s. Ruiz was reputed to encourage a synchronistic approach to indigenous cultural practices, seeking to promote indigenous traditions rather than teaching the gospel to the locals, and resulting in a mixture of pagan and Catholic practices among the Maya of the region that remains to this day. His emphasis on politics was so strong that the sacraments were reportedly neglected by his activist clergy; membership in the Catholic Church plummeted and 30% of children in his diocese were reportedly unbaptized when he left office. He also publicly associated with notorious condemned exponents of liberation theology, such as ex-priest Leonardo Boff and others.
"Ruiz’s activities were regarded as so subversive of Catholic doctrine that he was denounced in a letter to the Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico by Cardinal Bernadin Gantin, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Bishops, and consequently asked to resign by the nuncio in 1993. However, he refused to do so and held out until his 75th birthday, submitting his resignation in accordance with the Code of Canon Law in 1999.
"The pope’s embrace of one of the major figures of liberation theology in Mexico follows his eyebrow-raising acceptance of Marxist symbols mixed with the figure of Christ in July 2015, when President Evo Morales of Bolivia gave the pope an image of Christ crucified on a hammer and sickle, the traditional symbol of communism embraced by the former Soviet Union. The pope, who brought the image back with him to the Holy See, explicitly acknowledged in a press conference during the trip that the image was the creation of the neo-Marxist Fr. Luis Espinal, who had embraced a form of liberation theology in the 1980s that was later condemned. Although Francis seemed to distance himself from the Marxist intentions of the symbol, his acceptance of the gift was the cause of much consternation in Latin America." READ CWR ARTICLE HERE
REMNANT COMMENT: It is obvious that the pontificate of Pope Francis is now giving many people grave cause for concern. It's not just The Remnant anymore. If the Holy Father were to continue down this road and show himself a foil to Tradition and a sympathizer to some of the Church's greatest opponents, then could it not be said that the fall of the human element of the Church may be at hand? And if that is in fact the case, is the pontificate of Pope Francis not the biggest news story in hundreds (if not thousands) of years? In fact, if there is anything taking place anywhere in the world today that deserves our attention and concern more than the apparent takeover of the Chair of St. Peter by one who seems to be at war with the fundamentals of Catholicism, I'd like to know what it is.
May God save His Church, may God have mercy on us all.
Michael J. Matt | Editor
Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000. Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.