Watch the video below with the realization that most Catholics are so badly catechized since Vatican II that they don't believe in the Real Presence nor do they believe in many core doctrines like the sanctity of human life, the nature of marriage, the reality of sin, the existence of hell, the sinfulness of contraception, fornication, abortion, sodomy, etc.
Imagine you know very little about your faith. What message would you take from this video?
You would probably notice two big true statements that are lovely and comforting:
1) We are all children of God.Of course that's true and something to rejoice in. But what else is going on here? Is there any ambivalence in the video? Absolutely! And what is that ambivalence?
2) We are called to love one another regardless of our religious differences.
Let me answer that question within the context of some definitions:
Context: the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed:
Connotation: an idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaningThe context of the video is the pope's monthly intention and this is just the first of what is expected to be regular monthly video productions. But the context decidedly does NOT set the message within Catholic doctrine, i.e., the doctrine about the nature and relationship of the Catholic faith to other faiths. Does anyone watching this video "get" the message of Vatican II that:
...it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God.Does this video not rather present a context of the oneness of all religions -- especially the final scene showing the religious symbols (including a statue of Buddha) held out by the four participating faith representatives and the declaration of each participant that "I believe in love?" Does the repetition of that sentence not connote that love (undefined) is the universal law and all these religions in sharing love (again undefined) share unity? What is love to a Buddhist? What is love to a Muslim? Are all these people speaking the same language? Do a Buddhist, a Unitarian, a Muslim, a moral relativist mean the same thing when they speak of "love?"
That particular part of the video reminded me of Joseph Fletcher's book, Situation Ethics, which presented a "love" that could even be used to justify killing because the intention of love is what matters even if the action taken "for love" results in evil.
And then there is what the video implies.
Imply: to strongly suggest the truth or existence of something not expressly statedI think it implies the same message as the bumper sticker above, a message of Syncretism.
Syncretism: the merger and analogizing of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths.The unspoken message appears to be that there is an "underlying unity" between non-theistic religions like Buddhism, non-Trinitarian religions like Judaism and Islam, and, finally, Christianity. It is interesting that the representative Christian is a man in a roman collar who may be a Catholic priest, but could just as easily be an Episcopalian, Anglican, or other Protestant tradition whose ministers adopt the same clerical garb. The only explicitly Catholic figure is the pope himself. Did the video deliberately imply syncretism, or is this just one more example of confusion which has become the hallmark of Pope Francis?
Many Catholics today already live in a faith world of religious indifferentism:
Indifferentism: in the Roman Catholic faith, is the belief held by some that no one religion or philosophy is superior to another.No conversion is necessary to Catholicism. No religion, no church can be described as the "one, true Church" founded by Christ. Evangelization is unnecessary. We are all good people and God is too nice to send anyone to hell which probably doesn't exist anyway, so it doesn't matter a wit what your religion is or even what you do as long as you do it out of "love."
Good grief! Why did Jesus die on the cross?
I confess, I found this video one more baffling contribution to confusion. How does it contribute to the salvation of souls with its mushy message? And, it seems to me, that it also casts doubt on the actions of all the Catholic missionaries who died to spread the one, true faith and bring pagans and heretics to repentance. Were they all just rigid zealots, unmerciful and doctrinaire? Were St. Isaac Jogues and, St. Jean de Brebeuf too close-minded to see the beauty of the Indians' natural religion? Were St. Boniface and St. Peter Chanel and countless others just intolerant bigots who believed they had "absolute truth?" Why did they shed their blood when all they needed was "love" and a theology based on "I'm okay, you're okay?"
As I listened to this video I remembered my personal response as a young college student to a message like this -- a moral theology class that used Joseph Fletcher, Harvey Cox, and other voices of the world to teach students to "believe in love." I swallowed it hook, line, and sinker for a time, left the Church, and floundered around on my own until I realized what Edith Stein taught:
Pray for the pope daily and pray for Holy Mother Church. We are in the time predicted by Our Lady at Akita when, "The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres...churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord." Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us."Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie.