He is risen !
N° 215 – Novembre 2020
Director : Frère Bruno Bonnet-Eymard
from John XXIII to Francis
POPE Francis’ encyclical is an unprecedented monument, because it is intended not to be Catholic. The first two words: “Fratelli tutti,” are taken from Saint Francis of Assisi, but without appealing to the love of the Heart of Jesus-Mary which, for Saint Francis, is the source of this universal brotherhood. It is only a matter of proposing “a way of life marked by the flavour of the Gospel” and to the liking of “my brother Bartholomew, the Orthodox Patriarch who has spoken forcefully of our need to care for creation,” with the encouragement of “the Grand Imam Ahmad At-Tayyeb.” with whom Francis signed a common declaration in Abu Dhabi to recall that God “has created all human beings equal in rights, duties and dignity, and has called them to live together as brothers.”
This is Pope Francis’ profession of faith: “This was no mere diplomatic gesture, but a reflection born of dialogue and common commitment. The present Encyclical takes up and develops some of the great themes raised in the Document that we both signed.”
We would never have imagined that Francis would answer the question asked by Saint Pius X in this way:
“What must be thought of the promiscuity in which young Catholics will be caught up with heterodox and unbelieving folk [...]? What are we to think of this respect for all errors [...]? Finally, what are we to think of a Catholic who leaves his Catholicism outside the door?” (Letter to the Sillon, § 37) This is literally what Pope Francis, Saint Pius X’s successor has done: “Although I have written it from the Christian” – rather than ‘Catholic,’ in view of ecumenism – “convictions that inspire and sustain me, I have sought to make this reflection an invitation to dialogue among all people of good will. This is exactly what Saint Pius X foresaw: “We do not work for the Church, we work for mankind.”
What Saint Pius X condemned, Pope Francis has made it his programme.
Now, at the very moment, “as I was writing this letter,” Pope Francis indicates, “the Covid-19 pandemic unexpectedly erupted, exposing our false securities.” (no. 7) Is this not God’s answer? Well, no! “I do not want to speak of divine retribution.” (no. 34)
What is it then? “Aside from the different ways that various countries responded to the crisis, their inability to work together became quite evident.” (no. 7)
Yet, Jesus warned us about this two thousand years ago! “Without Me, you can do nothing.” Pope Francis, however, “is denying reality” – which is what he denounces in others (ibid.) – the reality of the need for grace, which is confirmed by the two thousand year experience of the Church. He therefore proposes another remedy: “It is my desire that, in this our time, by acknowledging the dignity of each human person, we can contribute to the rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity. Fraternity between all men and women. ‘Here we have a splendid secret (sic!) that shows us how to dream and to turn our life into a wonderful adventure.’ ” This is not the secret of Fatima! Nor is it a quotation from Saint Francis of Assisi, but Pope Francis is quoting himself. We are therefore in a vicious circle, throughout this encyclical dedicated to “dreaming” of “a community that supports and helps us, in which we can help one another to keep looking ahead.” He speaks as though the Church of which he is the Head had never existed: “Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travellers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his beliefs and convictions, each of us with his own voice, brothers.” Although they do not have the same ‘voice.’
Yet, before embarking on the utopia of his “dream” the Pope keeps his eyes open on the “Dark Clouds over a Closed World.” This is the title of his first chapter. He draws our attention to “certain trends in our world that hinder the development of universal fraternity” (no. 9).
“For example, there was the dream of a united Europe” and “the growing desire for integration in Latin America” that are “showing signs of a certain regression.” Why is this? Because of “instances of a myopic nationalism.” “In some countries,” the Pope does not specify which ones – Salvini’s Italy, Orban’s Hungary, Putin’s Russia, Bolsonaro’s Brazil – “a concept of popular and national unity influenced by various ideologies is creating new forms of selfishness and a loss of the social sense under the guise of defending national interests.” This was exactly the language that Pope John XXIII used when he expounded the same “dream” as Pope Francis, in his encyclical, Pacem in Terris of April 11, 1963, extolling an ideal, future world to be built on the good will of all men.
In opposition to this ideal, Father de Nantes put forward the declaration of Colonel Bastien-Thiry before his judges. Pope Francis would have described it as an “alleged defence of national interests,” since the French officer was serving his country, according to the laws in force and in accordance with the concrete possibilities and necessities of the world in which God had placed him.
“It is easy,” our Father wrote, “to build a moral doctrine and a political programme on the basis of an abstract view of human nature, in which the respect for the rights of man and of peoples serenely develops its high moral standards and in which, in return, the feeling of duty imposes on everyone the charge of doing his part of the common effort in view of everyone. Then, if man forgets the concrete conditions and the laws that govern our communities, if man disregards original sin and human malice, he manages to trace the picture of a free, equal and brotherly world community, wherein each man and each people receives all that they can naturally desire, wherein nations are independent and the religions, cultures and ideologies agree and “converge,” wherein there are no longer dominating peoples and dominated peoples, wherein at last men of good will desire in the depths of their hearts peace and harmony, having cast aside ancestral misunderstandings and conflicts of interests, submitting their moods and their passions to the supreme good of universal peace. It is a useful and pleasant exercise of optimism.” (Letter To My Friends n °139)
This is exactly what Pope François does.
He is led to condemn, in the name of the new City that he is advocating, the daily acts of submission and faithfulness that our historical communities and their written and unwritten laws had always required of and obtained from individuals.
“This is the path.” (no. 11) It is not that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pope Francis’ path is much broader! Where does it lead? It must be noted, sixty years after Pacem in Terris, that “opening up to the world” led men to “openness to foreign interests or to the freedom of economic powers to invest without obstacles or complications in all countries. Local conflicts and disregard for the common good are exploited by the global economy in order to impose a single cultural model that promotes individual interests and weakens the communitarian dimension of life” (no. 12) to the benefit of the “the more powerful slick marketing techniques primarily aimed at discrediting others.” (no. 15) The Pope does not cite any examples, but the attempt to halt the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is emblematic.
“With the Grand Imam Ahmad At-Tayyeb, we do not ignore the positive advances made in the areas of science, technology, medicine, industry and welfare, above all in developed countries. Nonetheless, ‘we wish to emphasise that, together with these historical advances, great and valued as they are, there exists a moral deterioration that influences international action and a weakening of spiritual values and responsibility. This contributes to a general feeling of frustration, isolation and desperation.’” (no. 29)
This is why, “once this health crisis passes, our worst response would be to plunge even more deeply into feverish consumerism and new forms of egotistic self-preservation. God willing [the Italian and French versions use expressions containing the word Heaven (Voglia il Cielo che… ; Plaise au ciel que…) which leads to Brother Bruno’s following commentary], after all this, we will think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those,’ but only ‘us.’” (no. 35) So there is a Heaven? Yes, the Pope makes this wish four times.
This, however, is the first and last time. Throughout this encyclical, there is no question of looking heavenward. Two paragraphs (nos. 54 and 55) under the title “Hope,” show that Francis must be counted among “those who do not hope” and for whom the precursor Angel of Our Lady of Fatima taught us to pray.
“54. Despite these dark clouds, which may not be ignored, I would like in the following pages to take up and discuss many new paths of hope. For God continues to sow abundant seeds of goodness in our human family. The recent pandemic enabled us to recognise and appreciate once more all those around us who, in the midst of fear, responded by putting their lives on the line. We began to realise that our lives are interwoven with and sustained by ordinary people valiantly shaping the decisive events of our shared history: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, storekeepers and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caretakers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public safety, volunteers, priests and religious. They understood that no one is saved alone.” The mention, in extremis, of “priests” might lead us to “hope” that the Pope is thinking of Heaven’s “eternal salvation.” This is not the case:
“55. I invite everyone to renewed hope, for hope ‘speaks to us of something deeply rooted in every human heart, independently of our circumstances and historical conditioning. Hope speaks to us of a thirst, an aspiration, a longing for a life of fulfilment, a desire to achieve great things, things that fill our heart and lift our spirit to lofty realities like truth, goodness and beauty, justice and love… Hope is bold; it can look beyond personal convenience, the petty securities and compensations which limit our horizon, and it can open us up to grand ideals that make life more beautiful and worthwhile.’ Let us continue, then, to advance along the paths of hope.”
Towards what? Towards “nothingness,” whispered by the demon to Saint Thérèse in agony! This is frightening!
THE GOOD SAMARITAN
A second chapter, “A Stranger on the Road” ushers us into the Gospel “although this Letter is addressed to all people of good will, regardless of their religious convictions:”
“Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him: ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ And he said to him: ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’ Yet, wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus: ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied: ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said: ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers? He said: ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him: ‘Go and do likewise.’”(Lk 10:25-37)
The commentary of Pope Francis includes him among “those who do not believe,” for whom Our Lady of Fatima has asked to pray and make sacrifices, since he does not believe in original sin:
“This parable has to do with an age-old problem. Shortly after its account of the creation of the world and of man, the Bible takes up the issue of human relationships. Cain kills his brother Abel and then hears God ask: ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ (Gn 4:9). His answer is one that we ourselves all too often give: ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ (ibid.). By the very question he asks, God leaves no room for an appeal to determinism or fatalism as a justification for our own indifference. Instead, He encourages us to create a different culture, in which we resolve our conflicts and care for one another.” (no. 57)
What about original sin, the cause of these immemorial conflicts? In the beginning, God made man holy and happy. The Pope does not believe it. Since he does not believe in the fall, he does not believe in the need for redemption either. He only appeals to “our origin in the one Creator as the basis of certain common rights,” The Book of Job is given in support: “Did not He who made me in the womb also make him? And did not the same One fashion us in the womb? (Job 31:15).” (no. 58)
As a result, our Lord and Redeemer is eliminated and replaced by wise “Hillel (a rabbi of the 1st century b.c.) who said about the command not to do to others what you would not want them to do to you: ‘This is the entire Torah! Everything else is commentary.’ ” In particular, the Gospels!
The reference to Hillel, however, is provided by the Babylonian Talmud (Sabbath 11 a), which was written several centuries after the Gospels! The plagiarism is therefore obvious! The roles must not be reversed!
This is what Cardinal Ratzinger called the “other sources,” in the C.C.C., sources “other” than the canonical Gospels! Pope Francis, as a good disciple of Benedict XVI, continues:
“In the New Testament, Hillel’s precept (sic!) was expressed in positive terms: ‘In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets’ (Mt 7:12). This command is universal in scope, embracing everyone on the basis of our shared humanity, since the heavenly Father ‘makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good’ (Mt 5:45). Hence the summons to ‘be merciful, just as your Father is merciful’ (Lk 6:36).” (no. 60)
After quoting many Old Testament texts that recommend charity towards strangers, in memory of Israel’s condition in the land of Egypt, the Pope quotes the New Testament: “For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Gal 5:14).” (no. 61)
Thus, “in the Johannine community, fellow Christians were to be welcomed, ‘even though they are strangers to you’ (3 Jn 5).” (no. 62.)
Under the title: “Abandoned on the Wayside”, the Pope explains: “Jesus tells the story of a man assaulted by thieves and lying injured on the wayside. Several persons passed him by, but failed to stop. These were people holding important social positions, yet lacking in real concern for the common good.” Saint Luke specifies: “A priest, then a Levite,” dedicated to the service of God in His Temple. They are not just any civil servants! They, however, were in a hurry. “Only one person stopped” The Pope does not specify his identity; he only points out that the passer-by who stopped to take care of the wounded man “approached the man” (no. 63). Pope Francis thus prepares Jesus’ answer to the legist’s question, making it his own to question his reader: “Which of these persons do you identify with?”
“This question, blunt as it is, is direct and incisive. Which of these characters do you resemble? We need to acknowledge that we are constantly tempted to ignore others, especially the weak. Let us admit that, for all the progress we have made, we are still “illiterate” when it comes to accompanying, caring for and supporting the most frail and vulnerable members of our developed societies. We have become accustomed to looking the other way, passing by, ignoring situations until they affect us directly.”
“Someone is assaulted on our streets, and many hurry off as if they did not notice. People hit someone with their car and then flee the scene. Their only desire is to avoid problems; it does not matter that, through their fault, another person could die. All these are signs of an approach to life that is spreading in various and subtle ways. What is more, caught up as we are with our own needs, the sight of a person who is suffering disturbs us. It makes us uneasy, since we have no time to waste on other people’s problems. These are symptoms of an unhealthy society. A society that seeks prosperity but turns its back on suffering.” (nos. 64-65.)
Here is the remedy:
“Let us look to the example of the Good Samaritan.” [The Italian and French versions begin the following sentence with “It is a text that… (È un testo che… ; C’est un texte qui…), which leads Brother Bruno to ask…] The Good Samaritan is “a text”? Yes, a story invented by the early Church that “summons us to rediscover our vocation as citizens of our respective nations and of the entire world, builders of a new social bond. This summons is ever new, yet it is grounded in a fundamental law of our being: we are called to direct society to the pursuit of the common good and, with this purpose in mind, to persevere in consolidating its political and social order, its fabric of relations, its human goals. By his actions, the Good Samaritan showed that ‘the existence of each and every individual is deeply tied to that of others: life is not simply time that passes; life is a time for interactions.’”
What about Jesus? Pope Francis does not think for a second to identify the Samaritan, the foreigner despised by the Jews, with Jesus Who came down from Heaven to raise up the man “assaulted” by sin, “lying injured on the wayside” and doomed to death. He “approached the man,” [In Italian: ‘gli ha donato vicinanza’: gave him closeness] that is to say His Person, He “cared for him personally, even spending his own money”... better than that: His Precious Blood!
All the Fathers of the Church have understood this, but Pope Francis remains a stranger, undeniably, to this extraordinary novelty of love of neighbour, introduced into history not by a “text,” but by the crucified Jesus (cf. insert). The Cross is eliminated from this ‘encyclical’ where the very word of this source of our ‘fraternity’ appears only once incidentally.
“The decision to include or exclude those lying wounded along the roadside can serve as a criterion for judging every economic, political, social and religious project.” This is the meaning of the parable of the Good Samaritan according to Pope Francis! It is explained under the title “A Story Constantly Retold”: “Each day we have to decide whether to be Good Samaritans or indifferent bystanders. If we extend our gaze to the history of our own lives and that of the entire world, all of us are, or have been, like each of the characters in the parable. All of us have in ourselves something of the wounded man, something of the robber, something of the passers-by, and something of the Good Samaritan.” (no. 69.)
Pope Paul VI had already applied the parable of the Good Samaritan to the Second Vatican Council, in his Closing Address on December 7, 1965, “a Discourse unlike any other in the annals of the Church and unlike any other that is ever to come, a Discourse that culminated in proclaiming the cult of Man openly and before God,” Father de Nantes exclaimed, spurred by indignation.
“The Church of the Council, it is true, has also been much concerned with man, with man as he really is today, living man, man totally taken up with himself, man who not only makes himself the centre of his own interests, but who dares to claim that he is the principle and finality of all reality.
“Secular, profane humanism has finally revealed itself in its terrible stature and has, in a certain sense, challenged the Council. The religion of God made man has come up against the religion – for that is what it is – of man who makes himself God.
“What happened? An impact, a battle, an anathema? That might have taken place, but it did not. It was the old story of the Samaritan that formed the model for the Council’s spirituality. It was completely filled with a boundless sympathy for men. The attention of this Synod was taken up with the discovery of human needs – which become greater as the son of the earth (sic) makes himself greater.
“At least grant it this merit, you modern humanists who renounce the transcendence of supreme things, and come to know our new humanism: we also, we more than anyone else, we have the cult of man.”
Father de Nantes’ commentary in his “Liber Accusationis in Paulum Sextum” could be applied literally to the encyclical of Pope Francis. Although, contrary to our Father’s expectation according to which “there would never again be such a discourse” in the future, Pope Francis repeats it, fifty-five years later
“This allows us to assess how your heteropraxy is inexorably slipping into a full and entire heterodoxy. I can no longer refer to it as heresy, but as apostasy. In your apostolic generosity, going against the wise counsels and infallible teaching of all your Predecessors, you want to be the Good Samaritan of the Gospel, affectionately turning your attention to every man his brother!”
The encyclical Fratelli Tutti expresses this immoderate feeling in all its fullness, as in Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem in Terris. It is therefore pointless to appeal to ‘Saint’ John XXIII and ‘Saint’ Paul VI to oppose Pope Francis, who is merely imitating his ‘holy’ predecessors.
In fact, the third chapter of the encyclical Fratelli Tutti incurs the major “accusation” that Father de Nantes’ brought against Paul VI: “In your unfettered love you make friends with the Goliath of the Modern World, kneeling before the Enemy of God who only defies and hates you. Instead of steeling your heart and fighting, like David, against the Adversary, you declare that you are full of love for him, you flatter him, and end up in his exclusive service!” This is what Pope François is doing with regards to Xi Jinping. Yet, in Pope Francis’ encyclical, the title of this chapter “Envisaging and Engendering an Open World” heralds nothing else. A world open to what? To whom? To the cult of man…
“People can develop certain habits that might appear as moral values: fortitude, sobriety, hard work and similar virtues. Yet if the acts of the various moral virtues are to be rightly directed, one needs to take into account the extent to which they foster openness and union with others. That is made possible by the charity that God infuses.” (no. 91) What is it?
“Let us now return to the parable of the Good Samaritan, for it still has much to say to us. An injured man lay on the roadside. The people walking by him did not heed their interior summons to act as neighbours; they were concerned with their duties, their social status, their professional position within society. They considered themselves important for the society of the time, and were anxious to play their proper part. The man on the roadside, bruised and abandoned, was a distraction, an interruption from all that; in any event, he was hardly important. He was a ‘nobody,’ undistinguished, irrelevant to their plans for the future.” (no. 101)
Here is the cult rendered to the idol: “Fraternity is born not only of a climate of respect for individual liberties, or even of a certain administratively guaranteed equality. Fraternity necessarily calls for something greater, which in turn enhances freedom and equality.” Liberty, equality, fraternity: Satan’s revolution cannot be forgotten! This time, it is the legacy of “Saint John Paul II whose forcefulness has perhaps been insufficiently recognised: ‘God gave the earth to the whole human race for the sustenance of all its members, without excluding or favouring anyone.’ For my part, I would observe that the Christian tradition has never recognised the right to private property as absolute or inviolable, and has stressed the social purpose of all forms of private property.”
This is true and “this suffices to show that this right to private property cannot be the absolute and individualist right of the liberal bourgeois who brought about the Revolution of 1789” (Point 132 § 2 of our 150 Points). Nevertheless, “ecological science posits as a principle that property is an element of the natural freedom of families and one of the bases of order, vitality and stability for any society. All property is recognised as legitimate once it is inherited or acquired in accordance with custom and law, whether it be the capital accumulated by families or the fruits of an honest income, of savings, work, services rendered, an exchange or a normal gift, the use and intention of which is not for society to discuss.” (ibid., § 1)
On the other hand, the fundamental principle of the cult of man consists in “calling for an acknowledgement of the worth of every human person, always and everywhere.” (no. 106)
The preservation of this “great dignity as human persons” requires “States and civil institutions that are present and active, that look beyond the free and efficient working of certain economic, political or ideological [and religious?] systems, and are primarily concerned with individuals and the common good.” (no. 108) The “institutions” envisaged by the Holy Father are without religion. They are revolutionary. Jean-Luc Mélenchon● is not mistaken! “His words resemble my own enough to move me. So I don’t insist. May the reading of the Pope be as convincing as possible!”
Under the title: “Promoting the Moral Good,” numbers 112 to 117 are an exhortation “to promote the good, for ourselves and for the whole human family (!), and thus to advance together towards an authentic and integral growth.” Without Christ, without grace, without an Ave Maria ? Then the Pope is working for the triumph of “selfishness, violence, corruption in its various forms,” which he deplores and which are the work of Satan engaged in his final struggle against the Immaculate, whose blessed Name is all but absent from this encyclical!
The fourth chapter is entitled: “A Heart Open to the Whole World.” It is neither the Sacred Heart of Jesus nor the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but the human heart that is being “challenged” to welcome migrating persons:
“I would mention some examples that I have used in the past. Latino culture is ‘a ferment of values and possibilities that can greatly enrich the United States’ [...]. Intense immigration always ends up influencing and transforming the culture of a place. In Argentina, intense immigration from Italy has left a mark on the culture of the society, and the presence of some 200,000 Jews has a great effect on the cultural ‘style’ of Buenos Aires. Immigrants, if they are helped to integrate, are a blessing, a source of enrichment and new gift that encourages a society to grow.” (no. 135)
For example by broadening the interpretation of Gospel parables in the light of the Talmud?
That is not all: “On an even broader scale, Grand Imam Ahmad At-Tayyeb and I have observed that ‘good relations between East and West – in other words, between Islam and Christianity – are indisputably necessary for both. They must not be neglected, so that each can be enriched by the other’s culture through fruitful exchange and dialogue. The West can discover in the East remedies for those spiritual and religious maladies that are caused by a prevailing materialism.’ ” (no. 136)
I ask: What authority does Pope Francis have to remake the world? Since he no longer wants to be the “Vicar of Christ,” his authority is null and void. “Alas! yes, the double meaning has been broken: the social action of the Sillon (today of Pope Francis) is no longer Catholic,” Pope Saint Pius X exclaimed in his letter “Our Apostolate Mandate” of August 25, 1910: “When we consider the forces, knowledge, and supernatural virtues which have been necessary to establish the Christian City, and the sufferings of millions of martyrs, and the light given by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the self-sacrifice of all the heroes of charity, and a powerful hierarchy ordained in Heaven, and the rivers of Divine Grace – the whole having been built up, bound together, and impregnated by the life and spirit of Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, the Word made man – when we think, I say, of all this, it is frightening to behold new apostles eagerly attempting to do better by a common interchange of vague idealism and civic virtues. What are they going to produce? What is to come of this collaboration? A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train.” (§ 38)
This is what Pope Francis has observed today. Instead of seeing it as an obvious verification of his predecessor’s prophecies, he proposes a cure that is worse than the disease in his fifth chapter, entitled “The Better Kind of Politics.”
“At other times, leaders seek popularity by appealing to the basest and most selfish inclinations of certain sectors of the population. This becomes all the more serious when, whether in cruder or more subtle forms, it leads to the usurpation of institutions and laws.” (no. 159)
The cause of the evil, “the bigger risk comes from human weakness, the proclivity to selfishness that is part of what the Christian tradition refers to as ‘concupiscence.’” It is not our fault, since this “flaw has been present from the beginning of humanity, and has simply changed and taken on different forms down the ages, using whatever means each moment of history can provide. Concupiscence, however, can be overcome with the help of God.” (no. 166)
Yet if God made man like this, how can we count on him to correct this “flaw” It is the fault of the Good God: He made us this way!
“International power” (no. 170 to no. 175) can do nothing about it. We know this from experience. “A social and political charity” (nos. 176-185) does not exist, the Pope acknowledges this, but this is precisely what he wants to change! How can this be done? Through “political love”:
“Recognising that all people are our brothers and sisters, and seeking forms of social friendship that include everyone, is not merely utopian.”
This is already what ‘Saint’ Paul VI said! Today, forty years later, in the span of a generation, we are witnessing the failure of these “utopias” initiated by ‘Saint’ John XXIII, formulated by the ‘holy’ Second Vatican Council, and implemented by ‘Saint’ John Paul II.
The next chapter: “Dialogue and Friendship in Society,” calls for “a new culture” but brings nothing “new” capable of “recovering kindness,” (nos. 222-224) the source of which is Love.
For Love is the third Person of the Blessed Trinity, which both Jews and Muslims explicitly reject!
The last chapter Paths of Renewed Encounter, is precisely an attempt to get around this obstacle that prevents us from being Fratelli tutti. The first subtitle is full of promises: “Starting Anew from the Truth”! “Those who were fierce enemies have to speak from the stark and clear truth.” Ah! Marvellous! “Only by basing themselves on the historical truth of events will they be able to make a broad and persevering effort to understand one another and to strive for a new synthesis for the good of all.” (no. 226)
Yet what a disappointment! After perfectly ineffective sociological considerations on the conditions of peace in Africa and Asia, Pope Francis suddenly calls on the Gospel:
“Jesus never promoted violence or intolerance. He openly condemned the use of force to gain power over others: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you” (Mt 20:25-26). Instead, the Gospel tells us to forgive “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) and offers the example of the unmerciful servant who was himself forgiven, yet unable to forgive others in turn (cf. Mt 18:23-35).” (no. 238)
The Pope adds that in “other texts of the New Testament, we can see how the early Christian communities, living in a pagan world marked by widespread corruption and aberrations,” – and rebellious Jews! – “sought to show unfailing patience, tolerance and understanding,” for example when “the Acts of the Apostles notes that the disciples, albeit persecuted by some of the authorities (sic!), ‘had favour with all the people’ (2:47; cf. 4:21.33; 5:13).” Why not call the said “authorities” by their proper name? Is this what Francis calls “starting anew from the truth?”
“The truth” is that the error of our Holy Father Pope Francis is immense: “Poor Holy Father!” Saint Jacinta lamented, echoing the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we now understand why.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the course of the “paths” to the “renewed encounter” that he is seeking. There is no other because, for children who want a “renewed encounter,” there is no course other than the mediation of their Mother, the Spouse blossoming through the gift and indwelling of the Holy Spirit Who is really, physically and personally communicated to Her by Her divine Spouse.
She, however, is given no significant role in this encyclical, and she is not even invoked in the final prayer! Mankind will remain prostrate in its filth and evil as long as Pope Francis does not open his eyes to the absolutely grandiose, fruitful, ravishing, and consoling beauty of the Immaculate Heart of Mary crowned with thorns and asking to be “consoled”: in Fatima, by the daily recitation of the Rosary, in Pontevedra by the Reparatory devotion of the First Saturdays, in Tuy by the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.
Pope Francis is only following the Council that turned its back on these maternal demands. Since then, every creature has been imbued with his own beauty and dignity and demands his full freedom with regard to others and to God. Woman wants to be man’s equal and man wants to be God’s equal. Every creature, denying its essential emptiness, its femininity, its need of and desire for the help of Another, renders itself an idolatrous cult and yields, as did the First woman, to the temptation of the Devil and with the same result: vain gloriousness and wretched sterility beneath God’s anger.
The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that “God wishes to establish in the world” is alone capable of turning the creature away from this mad pride that pushes him to erect altars to himself, by showing him that his vocation as child of Mary, if the creature begins with the humble recognition of his own nothingness and the trusting docility that is fitting to his filial prayer and expectation of God, will end in his grandiose transfiguration, thanks to the Holy Spirit indwelling the Heart of Mary, with His love, His glorious and inexhaustible fecundity, in all sorts of good works and successful childbearing. Finally the creature’s vocation as child of Mary will end in the resurrection of the flesh become the home of the Holy Trinity and in the happiness of the eternal face to Face, where he will say this prayer over and over again:
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I beg pardon for those who do not believe, who do not adore, who do not hope, who do not love You.”
Brother Bruno of Jesus-Mary.
JESUS IS THE GOOD SAMARITAN
Who does not know this beautiful parable by heart? A priest passes by, then a Levite, but it is the despised and spurned Samaritan who stops, gives assistance and helps the man in an almost exaggerated manner. His concern manifests an uncommon charity, a surprising tenderness; Jesus even purposely exaggerates the excessiveness of this devotion to a stranger.
With that, how many times have we practiced meditating on fraternal charity! We reflected on the enmity that reigned between the Jews and the Samaritans; that seemed to us the key to this parable. We thus had to give assistance to our enemies, and every man in need immediately became our neighbour. Did not this Samaritan forget century-old reproaches in order to save this despoiled and wounded Jew as he would have done for his own brother? This interpretation is beautiful; it is not false, but it is nonetheless a further misinterpretation of the Gospel, one of those that deprives the Sacred Book of its mysterious and mystical richness, its hidden Wisdom, in order to give it the appearance of an oriental paradox, of a call to the most insane, the most disarming, and when all is said and done, the most baneful unrealism, for if our enemies are our brothers, what will become of our brothers? I know some who, on the pretext of this parable, organised ambulances and refuges for hunted fellaghas…
Let us plumb the depths of the divine account: “Which of these three men, do you think,” Jesus asked, “proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the brigands’ hands?” Quite obviously, the other can only reply: “The one who showed mercy to him”… The answer is simple, but the question is very mysterious in its unexpected reversal. We always make the mistake, by reading too rapidly and without religious attention, of believing that Jesus invites us to conclude that this Jew in dire straits was the neighbour of this good Samaritan. In actual fact, however, Jesus wants to lead us to remarking that this Jew could hardly divine from where salvation would come to him and that his neighbour, his brother, his friend, would be this unknown stranger and not the priest or the Levite of his own nation. The neighbour in the parable is not, of course, the brigands who kill and plunder (we would have to wait for our “tortured consciences” of the 20th century to hear this proclaimed from the pulpit of truth), but neither is it the man next door, the man of the same race, his friend. Who then is it Lord? What is all this mystery? The neighbour is he who, with regard to you, has the supernatural charity of sons of God.
This answer is somewhat disconcerting for many. For twenty years that was how I commented on “You will love your neighbour,” in a totally natural and petty manner. I would have explained that the man next door or a relative, the person with whom we live without having chosen him is our neighbour. Then, one day, I had to comprehend better the Gospel and understand that my neighbour is designated for me by something other than physical closeness, or relationship by family or race. Like every good “mashal,” every oriental enigma in search of a precious and mysterious truth, the parable arouses curiosity instead of satisfying it. Thus, Lord, with this scribe, I ask you anew, humbly: Who is my neighbour?
For their part, the Fathers of the Church had a clear understanding because they were full of Christ. It is still with them that we, replete with the mystery of Salvation, must read the Gospels. Even in the simplest figures and accounts, it is Jesus Who reveals and manifests Himself in advance; it is from His majesty and His immense example that the simplest moral exhortations and remarks of the most human wisdom receive their brilliant light. Later on, when He will have suffered, all would become manifest to the eyes of the Faith, that of the Evangelists, of the Fathers, of ourselves, provided that we read with the eyes of the Faith…
He is the Good Samaritan. The entire parable implicitly reveals the very work of Redemption, this “familiaritas stupenda nimis,” this “philanthropia,” excessive love, amazing mercy, incredible familiarity of our God towards a guilty and wounded humanity, the victim of devils that has fallen into decline by the excesses of its own crimes. In the same way as the Parable of the Prodigal Son takes up the theme of the ancient allegories of the Bridegroom and the unfaithful spouse, but in a climate of perfect modesty, here Jesus is transposing Chapter 16 of Ezekiel, which is still too violent and too immersed in the flesh. God became enamoured of this child, Israel, thrashing about in her blood, abandoned in the desert… Here, He is depicted as a man arriving from a foreign country, a traveller in this land of Jerusalem where He is unknown, despised and hated. Is it by chance or in search of a mysterious task on which His Heart was set? Here, He is in the presence of a man who is lying on the ground, wounded and despoiled, in the ditch on the roadside, while the snickering devils flee with their spoils. He Who said: “Love your enemies, do good to those who persecute you,” He Who showed the abyss that separates worldly love and Christian charity, “for if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Even the publicans do as much, do they not? And if you save your greetings for your brethren, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do as much, do they not? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:43-48), it is He Who shows to His sinful People such great mercy, such perfect tenderness that it still moves us like something unthinkable, when we read this parable in which He wanted to give us the example so that we do as He did.
This is God’s Justice about which Saint Paul spoke in length to the Christians of Rome; it is totally revealed in advance in this parable before being incarnated in this Flesh handed over and this Blood shed that the Church will adore until the end of the world: “We were still helpless when at the appointed time Christ died for sinful men. It is not easy to die even for a good man – though of course for someone really worthy, a man might be prepared to die – but what proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners.” (Rm 5:6-8)
The parable of the Good Samaritan is either this, or it is nothing. The Good Samaritan for every man who comes into this world is Jesus. You, however, will say, we knew so for a long time now. Well, add with the Evangelist himself, this Good Samaritan, for me while still, a sinner wounded by the devils, is my neighbour!
You ask, O man, who your neighbour is? Whom must you love as much as yourself and with the same love full of the dazzling reverence and love with which you love God? It is Jesus! It is Jesus! It is He Who did you the greatest good, that no other can ever equal, and you, like the Jew of the parable, you did not think of it, you did not expect it! Although baptised, you perhaps waited twenty years, forty years to stretch your arm towards Him… or, purified by Him, fed by Him, enlightened by Him about everything, perhaps you never reflected on the unfathomable mystery of this Heart, this Heart of God, Who so loved men, these men who were not yet of His race, they believed, and had nothing but indifference, scorn, coldness and forgetfulness for Him!
Thus Jesus bursts into my life like this passer-by from Samaria who burst into the life of a Jew who did not expect it and to whom he would not have dreamt of stretching his arms or giving his heart… and then now there is the memory of this bend in the road from Jerusalem to Jericho and of this certain summer evening with a storm brewing when an unknown bushy face of a Samaritan turned his attention to my misery, my wounds, my mouth white with froth, parched with thirst, my eyes already lost in the dereliction of death… “Out of the depths I have cried to You,” and now, because of the living water that came down on my lips, because of the holy Oil poured forth on my wounds, because of this very gentle Hand that caresses my cheek, because of this good Voice and this strong arm that hauled me up on this mount, because of this Heart… Jesus, more than a brother… true good Samaritan!
Father Georges de Nantes.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a French politician. A member of the Socialist Party from 1976, he successively held various elected positions. He was part of the left wing of the Socialist Party until the Congress of 2008, at the outcome of which he quit that party to found the Left Party with Marc Dolez, a member of the National Assembly. In August 2014, he then abandoned that party to found his own, La France insoumise in 2016. Its political positioning is mainly analysed as radical left-wing, but also sometimes extreme left-wing.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a socialist republican and historical materialist, inspired primarily by Jean Jaurès (the founder of French republican socialism). He is a proponent of increased labour rights and the expansion of French welfare programmes. Mélenchon has also called for the mass redistribution of wealth to rectify existing socioeconomic inequalities. Mélenchon supports homosexual marriage and women’s right to abortion. He also supports the legalisation of cannabis. He is very much in favour of better treatment of animals. He changed his diet to reduce consumption of meat and relieve animal suffering.