Don Boys, Ph.D.
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I’ve always been wary and now weary of collective apologies. Individuals seldom sincerely apologize for wrongdoing, but collective apologies are now in vogue. Pope Francis has made collective apologies a “cottage industry.” He has apologized for the Vatican scandals, to homosexuals, to the poor, women, exploited children, for mistreatment of natives of South America during colonial days, and for capitalism. Of course, he has not offered to sell the enormous Vatican treasure: paintings, sculpture, jewelry, manuscripts, etc., and give the proceeds to the unfortunate. But the pope is free with apologies since they cost nothing and are usually worth about that much.
While the Roman Catholic Church has much to be ashamed of since its beginning in the fifth century, (not the first century, as all honest historians know) much of these recent apologies are simply damage control. And Francis is the one who keeps doing the damage!
Furthermore, this month the pope told a group of poor people visiting the Vatican to “Pray for the rich, the wise and the hypocrites. Pray that the Lord may bring about a conversion in their hearts.” Francis, never missing an opportunity to spout error and banalities, assumed that the poor were Christians while the rich and wise were not! Someone at the Vatican needs to apologize for Francis!
The Roman Church has been in deep doo doo for many years. The major problem is the sex scandal; plus the declining number of priests worldwide, the loss of the religious elementary and secondary schools in the U.S., the hypocrisy in standing against abortion yet permitting major politicians to stay in good standing while they promote (and have) abortions, makes principled people gag. But then the Roman Catholic Church permitted Mussolini, Hitler, and assorted South American dictators to remain in the church until they did the world a favor and assumed room temperature after pointing their toes upward.
Columnist Burt Prelutsky referred to the Roman Church’s refusal to deal with politicians who advocate abortion asking why some famous people are not excommunicated from the Church. He opined that the Church “should start booting these high-profile backsliders out on their collective fannies. Otherwise, when it comes to their members as well as their leaders, we have to assume that the Elks, the Moose and the Rotarians all have higher standards than the Catholic Church.” Wow, not bad for the Jewish talk show host and columnist!
Francis wrote in his book, A Big Heart Open to God: “Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?” I’m not sure Francis was expecting an answer from me but the fact is God always loves the homosexual (and fornicator, thief, glutton, liar, false prophet, Liberal, etc.) but condemns all our sins and offers forgiveness only through the work of Christ on the cross.
Recently, the pope told some journalists that the Catholic Church owed “gays” an apology “for the way the church has treated them in the past”; however, history proves that the Catholic Church has been very friendly to homosexuals. U.S. News and World Report revealed that “most priests are gay” (July 29, 2013) so the hierarchy has been very casual in their screening process. One Roman Catholic clergyman suggested that “30 percent [of priests] were gay, 30 percent were straight and 30 percent are in denial!” I don’t think I would joke about something like that, but maybe he was serious.
Trying to push all the right buttons Francis said, “I think the church must not only apologize … to a gay person it offended, but we must apologize to the poor, to women who have been exploited, to children forced into labor, apologize for having blessed so many weapons.” What an inane statement.
Francis declared that homosexuals “should not be discriminated against” but should be treated with respect and “accompanied pastorally.” Frankly, it is difficult to respect people who do unbelievably vile things to each other and are in rebellion against God’s plan for the human race.
As to “accompanied pastorally” I have no idea what that means. Maybe the pope should apologize for his ambiguity.
Francis could start by apologizing for and nullifying Pope Boniface’s asinine statement in his 1302 papal Bull Unam Sanctam: “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff.” The Church professes not to believe that today but it was an “irreversible doctrine” and still stands! That means, according to Catholic doctrine, the pope and the Vatican Council II were wrong to say that non-Catholics can go to Heaven. The Roman Church has always taught salvation is found only in their church but that is bad public relations.
Does Francis blush when he reads that he and all popes are God according to the Fifth Lateran Council of 1512? “For thou art the shepherd, thou art the physician, thou art the director, thou art the husbandman; finally, thou art another God on Earth.” Surely, with blushing face, pounding heart, trembling hands, and knocking knees, Francis will repudiate that blasphemous statement.
Most people don’t know that no pope has ever apologized for the Council of Trent curses upon true believers. While it is five hundred years late, maybe Francis could in the spirit of the much-vaunted ecumenicity, lift the curses! Now, that would be a major move but don’t expect it because Trent was the beleaguered Church’s desperate, defiant, and divisive response to the Reformation.
The infamous Council of Trent declared, “We define that the Holy Apostolic See [Vatican] and the Roman Pontiff hold the primacy over the whole world.” Will Francis repudiate that teaching?
How about canon nine where all who believe that men are redeemed by faith in Christ alone are to be cursed? Will Francis repudiate that teaching?
Canon twenty-four curses those of us who believe that good works are good, but are not essential for eternal salvation. Will Francis lift that curse?
Obviously, Francis and the Roman Catholic Church have much for which to be ashamed. How about some genuine apologies followed by lifting the Trent curses!
No, Francis will not and cannot apologize for me.
Boys’ new book Muslim Invasion: The Fuse is Burning! was published recently by Barbwire Books; to get your copy of Muslim Invasion, click here. An eBook edition is also available.
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives; ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis, wrote columns for USA Today for eight years; authored 15 books and hundreds of columns and articles for Internet and print media publications; defended his beliefs on hundreds of talk shows. These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations and may be used without change from title through the end tag. His web sites are www.cstnews.com and www.Muslimfact.com and www.thegodhaters.com. Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)