You may have heard that today is a global day of prayer and fasting for all peoples and religions for the intention of ending the coronavirus pandemic. The day was established by some entity called the “Higher Committee of Human Fraternity” which sounds like something right out of Brave New World. Pope Francis has asked all Catholics to cooperate in this day of global prayer, petition, and penance, and Dr. Jules Gomes of Church Militant asked me, along with other Catholic writers, what we thought about this. Here’s an excerpt from the CM interview which includes my comments:
John Gravino, author of Confronting the Pope of Suspicion: The Key to Church Reform told Church Militant he wouldn’t participate in Pope Francis’ interfaith activities “because I cannot be sure that he won’t plunge us headlong into mortal sin.”
“Go back and look at the pictures of the Amazon Synod. Catholic clerics were bowing down to a South American fertility goddess! Folks, that’s not interfaith cooperation. That’s idolatry,” the popular Catholic speaker and commentator stated.
“Pope Francis wants a [pan-religious] day of fasting on the feast of St. Matthias — the one saint that proves that if a bad apostle can be replaced, certainly God will throw out a lousy pope. I’m celebrating the feast of the apostle [on Thursday],” he said. Source: Catholics Condemn Pope’s ‘Sacrilege,’ ‘Blasphemy’
Don’t Conflate This with Assisi
I want to emphasize that the basis of my criticism is not that the event includes non-Catholics and non-Christians. Pope John Paul II hosted such an event in Assisi, and he received a lot of heat from traditionalist circles in the Church. (While I share their love of tradition, I do not agree with their views on John Paul II or Vatican II. Another story for another time.) The late pope was a vocal defender of religious freedom and tolerance, which certainly was inspired by his experiences in a Soviet-controlled Poland. As Americans and Catholics, we should understand the value of religious freedom and freedom of conscience—it’s a basic God-given right enshrined in the First Amendment of our Constitution. And Assisi was intended as an expression of that basic human freedom. There was nothing more to it than that.
That basic freedom guarantees to all people the right to practice their religion free of interference. It’s a right that belongs to Catholics too. And if that basic freedom were truly respected, we would not have had our own Catholic churches desecrated with pagan idols as Pope Francis did this past October when he participated in pagan worship services at the Vatican. I’ve described these idolatrous acts elsewhere.
Thus, the reason for my refusal to participate in today’s day of fasting is simple: Pope Francis has shown himself to be untrustworthy. He has actively encouraged Catholics to engage in idolatrous and pagan acts which are, in fact, a violation of our own religious beliefs. Francis violates the religious freedom of his own flock! Thus, he is not to be trusted in his efforts at interfaith cooperation. If John Paul, OR ANY OTHER POPE IN THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, had asked this of us, I would have gladly participated. But Francis is the horrible exception. He’s the only pope I know of with a penchant for idolatry.
Exactly What I Suspected:
And right on cue:
I guarantee you that the Muslims who will be participating in this day of fasting will NOT be including symbols from other faiths in THEIR worship services. This is absurd. It is idolatrous and sinful. And that’s why I won’t be participating.
The Feast of St. Matthias
Today happens to be the feast of an important Apostle. He’s the one that teaches us that bad shepherds can and will be replaced. Pope Francis would do well to remember that. So today I will be celebrating the great Apostle’s day with a feast! St. Matthias, pray for us. Pray for the Church. Pray for Pope Francis!