Thursday, March 11, 2021

Pope admits charges of ‘heresy’ are ‘risk’ he’s willing to take to ‘move forward with other religions’

ABOARD PAPAL PLANE, March 10, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis said charges that he acts against “Catholic doctrine” and is even on the verge of committing “heresy” are a “risk” he’s willing to take to move forward on the path toward “human fraternity” with believers of other religions.

“This is important, human fraternity, that as men we are all brothers, and we must move forward with other religions,” said the Pope on March 8 while speaking to reporters on the plane returning from his trip to Iraq.

“The Second Vatican Council took a big step in this, and also the institutions after, the Council for Christian Unity and the Council for Interreligious Dialogue,” continued the Pope.

“Cardinal (Miguel) Ayuso accompanies us today. You are human, you are a child of God and you are my brother, period! This would be the greatest indication, and so many times you have to risk to take this step,” he said.

It was at this point that the Pope mentioned the risks he is willing to take.

“You know that there are some criticisms: that the pope is not courageous, he is a reckless person who is taking steps against Catholic doctrine, that he is one step away from heresy, there are risks. But these decisions are always made in prayer, in dialogue, in asking for advice, in reflection. They are not a whim and also are the line that the Council taught,” he said.

The Pope made these comments while responding to a question about his meeting two years ago in Abu Dhabi with Imam Al Tayyeb of Al Azhar where both Pope and Imam signed the controversial Declaration on Human Fraternity, sometimes referred to as the Abu Dhabi statement.

The document stated, among other things, that the “pluralism and the diversity of religions” are “willed by God.” At no point does the document mention the name of Jesus.

A number of prominent Catholic clergymen and scholars reacted by accusing Pope Francis of committing heresy. In an April 2019 open letter to the Pope, they charged him of backing the notion that “God not only permits, but positively wills, the pluralism and diversity of religions, both Christian and non-Christian.”

Read the rest here.

HT: Blog reader JL.

I am not opposed to conversations with the leaders of other faith groups. After all you can't convert someone you won't talk with. And if conversion is not on the table then a certain level of mutual respect and tolerance aimed at peaceful coexistence is desirable. But "dialogue," the favorite word of the left, should never be at the expense of religious indifferentism or a watering down of the Faith. 


Stephen said...

While it's never good when hierarchs spout nonsense and heresy, Pope Francis serve for the good after all by disabusing Catholics of the errors of Pastor Aeternus and all the unnecessary baggage that has gone along with it. Of course, that the current Patriarch of Constantinople sees no comedy or stupidity, much less irony, in making claims as the "lesser Pope" (much like Chris Cuomo is the lesser Cuomo generally in comparison to his older brother the handsy governor) only serves to underscore how badly needed a reform of the very notion of what is, and what is not, understood in the office of bishop. Both of them have shot themselves in the foot so often it's a wonder they can walk.

rick allen said...

"Pope Francis serves for the good after all by disabusing Catholics of the errors of Pastor Aeternus."

The fact is, the more strictly Catholic a pope is, the more heretical he must be in the eyes of Protestants and Orthodox. Accepting Pastor Aeternus, a Catholic dogmatic pronunciation from a Catholic Ecumenical Council, obviously makes a pope more objectional to non-Catholics, not less.

Why is emphasizing common ground between Catholics and Moslems unthinkable, but that between Catholics and Orthodox acceptable? There are differences between Catholics and both. Maybe the common term "Christian" makes these kinds of recognitions possible? Maybe, but in fact Catholicism's conception of God is much closer to Islam's than that of, say, the Latter Day Saints, yet both are called "Christians."

But, having said that, I doubt that that was what Francis intended. I think he just made what should be an unassailable fact, that the very enterprise of theology raises the risk of heresy. I don't know how you can look at the history of the Church, or the history of dogma, and not agree. If we suppress every instinct we have to discuss or interrogate or follow out the implications of our beliefs, we will avoid all risk of heresy. But of course we can't, we do take that risk. We are human beings.