Vatican City, Oct 9, 2019 / 04:41 am (CNA).- In his general audience Wednesday, Pope Francis warned Catholics to not turn their faith into an ideology, as he said St. Paul did when he was persecuting Christians before his conversion.
St. Paul, called Saul before his conversion, was “an ideologist; for Saul, religion had become ideology, religious ideology, social ideology, political ideology,” the pope said Oct. 9.
Reflecting on Saul’s behavior toward Christians is a chance for everyone to consider how they are living their faith, he said, suggesting people ask themselves: “How do I live my life of faith? Am I going to meet others or am I against others? Do I belong to the universal Church, good, bad, everyone? Or do I have a selective ideology?”
“Do I love God, or do I love dogmatic formulations?” he continued. “How is my religious life? Does the faith in God that I profess make me friendly or instead hostile to anyone who is different from me?”
Pope Francis, in his catechesis, spoke about St. Paul before and after his conversion and baptism. Saul, as he was called then, wanted to “destroy the Church,” the pope said, but later became “the instrument chosen by God to proclaim the Gospel to the nations.”
The Acts of the Apostles recounts that Saul, with the approval of the high priest, was chasing and capturing Christians. Saul was doing this believing that he was serving the law of the Lord, Francis explained.
According to the pope, “the young Saul is portrayed as intransigent, that is, one who shows intolerance towards those who think differently from him…”
But while Saul is chasing down Christians, Christ is chasing down him, Francis stated. The Lord appears to Saul as light and voice on the road to Damascus, saying: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
Pope Francis added that with this phrase the Lord is saying, “to strike a member of the Church is to strike Christ himself.”
Only through Christ does Saul’s transformation takes place, Pope Francis said. “Then he will teach that the true battle ‘is not against flesh and blood, but against […] the rulers of this dark world, against the spirits of evil.’”
Saul will go on to teach, he said, that “people should not be fought, but the evil that inspires their actions.”
Saul then receives baptism, which marks for him, “as for each of us, the beginning of a life,” the pope stated. The sacrament helps him to see God, himself, and others differently. His enemies become brothers in Christ.
“Let us ask the Father to let us too, like Saul, experience the impact of his love that can only make a heart of stone a heart of flesh, capable of embracing ‘the same sentiments of Christ Jesus,’” he concluded.
If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!
Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.
“Reflecting on Saul’s behavior toward Christians is a chance for everyone to consider how they are living their faith, he said, suggesting people ask themselves: ‘How do I live my life of faith? Am I going to meet others or am I against others? Do I belong to the universal Church, good, bad, everyone? Or do I have a selective ideology?'”
It doesn’t get any more “ideological” or manipulative than this. Nobody beats Bergoglio for the use of false dichotomies while juggling phrases from “The Best of the 70s.”
This is why, folks, Thomism had to go: to make room for bogus, pseudo-Ignatian “Examens.”
After so many of these “Examens” someone could incrementally come to consider the Apostolic Tradition, the Magisterium, the authentic Catholic Faith (minus Amazonian paganism?) “a selective ideology” and accept instead…a substitute.
The “universal Church” of Bergoglio is NOT the Catholic Faith, the Church of St Peter, and St. Paul. Bergoglio considers the Magisterium, the Apostolic Tradition…the “selective ideology” of Saul. The defenders of this Catholic Faith are the “pseudo-schismatics” and his enemies which…have become Bergoglio’s “brothers in Christ?”
Bergoglio of course simply ignores most of the exhortations of St. Paul in his Epistles. He needs the Saul-St. Paul dichotomy to frame false and frankly malicious dichotomies. For example. if one does not “go to meet” the Amazonians…why would a person be “against” those people…in the “Gospel” way Bergoglio formulates? What is the real meaning of “going to meet?”
Bergoglio actually needs Saul much much more than St Paul to authenticate his agenda. For Bergoglio, there are never enough Pharisees.
Bergoglio’s pronouncement is self-refuting.
He is attacking as “ideological” anyone who objects to the highly ideological innovations he is intent on substituting for authentic Catholic teachings.
Like leftists throughout history, he accuses his opponents of doing what he is himself is guilty of.
I can’t help wondering if he isn’t actively working to create a schism in the Church.