I was encouraged and nearly positive about the election of Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio(Pope Francis) to the papacy. A Jesuit, he exhibited qualities of humility while archbishop of Buenos Aires. He rode the buss to work, cooked his own meals and lived in a modest apartment. This kind of behavior is typical of the Jesuit order(The Society of Jesus). It should be pointed out and remembered by people of faith and especially those who follow the teachings of Jesus, that the founder of the Jesuit order was Ignatius of Loyola, a trained soldier whose services Pope Paul III used to fight Rome’s battles. The Jesuits are fiercely loyal to the papacy and played an important role at the Council of Trent, during which the Catholic Church attempted a reformation to counter Martin Luther’s reformation. Reality set in as I investigated further the background of this new pope and reminded myself of the history of the papacy.
The reality is that the papacy is a corrupt religious institution with a history of murder, sexual abuse and perverted teachings. Not only were the crusades directed against the muslim world they were also directed at the orthodox Christians at Constantinople (the Greek Orthodox Church). The inquisition was originally directed toward the so called Cathar heretics, a group of extremely devout Christians with whom even the future Saint Dominic could find no fault; and in fact led to the principles upon which the Dominican order was founded.
This new pope has also adopted the name Francis in honor of Francis of Assisi, who was a layman that gave up worldly possessions to live among the poor preaching and bearing witness to a Christian life. He and his followers formed the mendicant order of begging friars. Later Pope Honorius III established the Franciscan Order in 1223. The papacy used the order to further establish temporal power rather than spiritual authority. So this new Pope Francis, may be seen as a blending of the Franciscan and Jesuit traditions. When viewed in a historical context, this is not a good sign despite some of the good deed performed by these orders.
It is particularly telling how uninformed the adherents to catholicism are when most act as if the modern corruption with the church is something new. The secular corruption is bad enough, however it is the spiritual perversions that are the most damning: the efficacy of relics and indulgences, the seven sacraments, celibacy of priests along with the scores of other perversions of the teachings of Jesus enumerated in Martin Luther’s ninety-five theses of 1517. Perhaps the most egregious of the perversions is the outright untruth of the unbroken lineage of popes to the apostle, Peter. Such a claim would be laughable if it were not so tragic. There was at one time no less than three reigning popes during what was called the Great Schism(1378-1417). Billions of souls are being misled. I have sympathy for these human beings just as I do for all human beings who are misled by false teachings and corrupt church leaders.
If this new pope is to be any different than the 256 popes before him he would do the following:
- sell all church assets and distribute them among the poor(indulgences were sold to finance the building of St. Peters Basilica and to fund other church activities-talk about heresy);
- renounce all pagan practices involving relics;
- renounce the concept of indulgences;
- get rid of the seven sacraments;
- aggressively purge the church of all sexual offenders;
- apologize for all past atrocities not already acknowledged;
- abandon the claim of the pope as the vicar of Christ;
- abandoned the claim of lineage back to the apostle Peter
- seek reconciliation with all non catholic Christians,
- abandon the claim of being the “universal church”
- Allow priests to marry if they wish
- Find and compensate the families of the many so called heretics that were murdered by the church
- Renounce the dogma that the pope, when speaking from his throne on a matter of faith or morals, is inspired by God and is therefore infallible.
All of these actions would be evidence of the Catholic church moving forward. The pope should also publicly repent of all of the sins of the prior popes and then boldly step down and establish a new order of leadership. These would be the actions of a spiritual leader following the Way, as taught by Jesus. What the Catholics would lose in temporal power they would gain in spiritual authority. I believe such actions would have a profound effect upon the faithful, causing them to live deeper spiritual lives, filled with the Holy Spirit and equipped with the mind of Christ.
To God Be The Glory