Abu Dhabi-gate: Round and Round We Go
Then, confronted with his own heretical statement by Bishop Athanasius Schneider during an ad limina visit, Francis told the bishop privately that “you can say this, too, that the diversity of religions is the permissive will of God” — which can only mean, as the Church teaches, that God tolerates the “diversity of religions” replete with error and superstition as an evil from which He is able ultimately to draw a good. In no orthodox sense can the divine toleration of false religions be likened to the divine positive will that there be differences of “colour, sex, race and language” among men.
Next, however, Francis doubled down on the original heresy by ordering that the Joint Declaration, without correction, be circulated to “professors, priests, and sisters at universities to ‘facilitate the distribution, the study, and the reception’ of the document, adding that the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue ‘will be grateful to you already now for any possible initiative, in the frame of this institution, which aims at the spreading of this Document.’”
But now Francis has issued a “clarification” in the form of an impromptu remark during his General Audience of April 3. The “clarification,” however, essentially affirms that the “diversity of religions” is a good thing, not merely a tolerated evil. To quote Francis (translation by Diane Montagna of LifeSiteNews):
“But some may wonder: but why does the Pope go visit the Muslims and not only the Catholics? Because there are so many religions, and why are there so many religions?So, according to the clarification:
“With the Muslims we are descendants of the same Father, Abraham: why does God allow so many religions to exist? God wanted to allow this: the Scholastic theologians referred to the voluntas permissive [permissive will] of God. He willed to permit this reality: there are many religions; some are born of culture, but they always look to heaven, they look to God.
“But what God does will is fraternity among us, and in a special way — hence the reason for this journey — with our brothers, who are sons of Abraham, like us, the Muslims. We must not be afraid of the difference: God has permitted this. We ought to be frightened if we do not work in fraternity, to walk together in life.”
- “With the Muslims we are descendants of the same Father, Abraham…”
- “God wanted to allow this [the diversity of religions].”
But, on the other hand, the colloquial “wants” would be appropriate in explaining the revealed truth that God “will have [“wants”] all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim 2:3-5). That revealed truth, as should be obvious by now, is about the last thing Pope Francis would proclaim.
Granted, this may be merely yet another case of the inexact colloquial speech that litters Francis’ endless stream of theological improvisation. Yet it conveys the false impression that God “wanted to allow” the evils in question because there is something good about the evils as such, which is exactly what Francis thinks, as the next point explains.
- “there are many religions; some are born of culture, but they always look to heaven, they look to God.”
“that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule.And finally:
“Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little, turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.”
- “what God does will is fraternity among us… We must not be afraid of the difference: God has permitted this. We ought to be frightened if we do not work in fraternity, to walk together in life…”
Francis has clarified his position alright. He has made it quite clear that he sees no evil in the diversity of religions nor any imperative that their adherents “be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” because “there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”
For six years, Francis has been taking the faithful on a ride on a roundabout, and it seems we always return to the point at which the ride began. And there we find what Francis really thinks as opposed to what the Church teaches.