Recently, Pope Francis penned an editorial in the New York Times which seemed to side with the draconian orders of the dictator in Albany, New York regarding the Chinese flu pandemic. This was a day after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in an unsigned per curiam opinion that, in essence, said the Constitution and First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause do not take a holiday and quarantine themselves along with the rest of New Yorkers. Clearly, Pope Francis believes that the “efforts” of people like Andrew Cuomo and Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan are the bees knees when it comes to handling the Wuhan flu.
This pro-government action at the expense of religious exercise- whether temporary or not- is a dangerous position to take for the leader of the largest Christian denomination in the world. It is hard to discern how many Roman Catholics actually adhere to the thoughts and words of the Pope, but there are many who take their cue from him.
The Pope’s editorial confirmed to many Catholics, me included, that Pope Francis is heading the Catholic Church down the path into the arms of globalists. His pandering on issues of climate change, immigrants and refugees, wealth redistribution and now how to deal with a pandemic leads one to believe that he simply wants a seat at the future table.
That world mirrors the Great Reset and the UN’s Agenda 2030. It is a world where climate change dominates the economy. It is a world of unrestricted immigration and migration. It is a world of gradual embrace of the belief that the sexual revolution was somehow a moral gain for society. It is a world where a pandemic compels systemic change in all countries.
This is based on an assumption that the Catholic faithful will embrace a policy of secularization and globalism. The best way forward is for the many Bishops and priests to conform to this belief and strategy and that it will somehow increase the size of the flock. Is this strategy successful? Thus far, he has received rave reviews from the media and world leaders.
On the opposing side is another living Pope– Benedict XVI. He believes that the Catholic Church should reform itself around its most faithful and devout members. On religious grounds, one can consider him an elitist. He viewed the mass of Roman Catholics as leading the Church astray through assimilation into a secular and globalist world.
For Benedict, the reform would be hard and ugly. Things would get worse before they got better. However, unlike bowing before the idol of political correctness and all the policies that emanate from it, Benedict believes that faith will ultimately prevail. Although elitist, it is also more religious. And it is certainly more Roman Catholic.
Unlike Francis, Benedict believed in a contraction in the size of the Roman Catholic Church led by shedding lax and secular-leaning members. That also included priests and other church leaders besides the laity. En route to the future survival of the Church, there had to be a necessary shrinking and contraction. What would evolve would be a smaller, but more devout Catholic Church and that it would plant the seeds of future growth. It was a future of renewed “differentness” from the secularized world into which Pope Francis seems determined to assimilate.
In short, Benedict saw a future Catholic Church as smaller, but no less influential. It would be the counter-balance against the excesses of secularization and globalization. It would be one that pushed back against mainstream socio-political power centers- the bureaucracy, the media, and large corporations. Against that is the major forces of the secular world with their emphasis on sexuality, environmentalism, race, and, now, how to handle a pandemic. Benedict was an advocate of the ancient belief that the Church represented the City of God. The Church of Pope Francis represents the City of World Government.
The Benedictine strategy is religious renewal. The Franciscan strategy is assimilation. The Franciscan model makes the Catholic Church not unique and distinct, but no different than the voices of Big Tech, the mainstream media, and the multibillionaires who could afford to be locked down and feel no suffering from climate changes actions, massive immigration, etc.
Thankfully, at least for now, five American jurists upheld their oath to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, not pay moral or religious fealty to the Pope in Rome.