Topsy: I love this playground and it's so healthy to get the kids away from all the electronics and outside. They can climb all over the equipment or run up and down the field and everyone's in plain sight. [Calling to the eleven year old...] Keep an eye on your little brothers, honey. Send them to me if you have any problems. [ Her granddaughter waves and takes the boys to the swings.]
"In life there are moments of darkness. Too often we think that they only happen to others and not to us, to someone else, in another country, perhaps on a distant continent. Instead, we all ended up in the pandemic’s tunnel. Pain and sorrow have broken through the doors of our homes, invaded our thoughts, attacked our dreams and plans. And so today no one can afford to rest easy. The world will never be the same again.
[Looks up shaking her head...] Does he have any sense of history? As if the Chinese virus is a pivot point! For crying out loud, the Black Death in the Middle Ages killed about 1/3rd of Europe's population. Leprosy was another real scourge. In contrast, Covid has been the equivalent of a serious seasonal flu. And there are a score of other pandemics in history much more serious than Covid. If the world is "never the same" it will be because of the insane lockdowns and medical tyranny.
Tuptim: Hmm...you know maybe he's talking as a prophet referring to the Great Reset. If the global elites have their way, the world never will be the same. As for Covid, do we even know how many people have died? The virus appears to be the cure for flu, pneumonia and other serious illnesses since reporting on them is way down. Covid is the cure for a lot of other illnesses!
Topsy: [sarcastically...] Oh and don't forget the people with fatal bullet wounds who were reported as virus deaths. Only God knows the real numbers. [Reflecting for a minute...] You know, people talk all the time about death being "a tragedy." Sometimes it is like the shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, but mostly death is the last stage of life and we're all going there in the end. The only real "tragedy" about death is to die in mortal sin and go to hell.
Tuptim: Hmm....As I skim this article, it sounds just like Fratelli Tutti -- all the same buzz words.
Topsy: [interjecting...] Exactly, the pope has one tune and it's pretty discordant. Listen to his response to the reporter asking what principles should inspire us:
"What is happening can awaken everyone. It is time to remove social injustice and marginalization. If we seize the current trial as an opportunity, we can prepare for tomorrow under the banner of human fraternity, to which there is no alternative, because without an overall vision there will be no future for anyone.
[Looking up while marking her place with her finger...] There's that mantra of "human fraternity" again and it's the only alternative he offers. Nothing about prayer and repentance and embracing God's laws. Fraternity, in the pope's dictionary, seems to mean all human action to create a Utopia of dialogue based on secular values. But real fraternity can only be found in our union with Jesus Christ, he is the source of meaningful brotherhood and a real fraternity of love.
Tuptim: [pensively...] You know, the pope seems almost ashamed or embarrassed by Jesus Christ. He almost never mentions Him. I don't think we've seen one reference to Him yet since we started slogging through this document. I guess that would interfere with his idea of "fraternity" that includes all the non-Christian and even pagan religions that we need to respect and dialogue with. Hey, remember the Amazon Synod. The pagans of the Amazon with Pachamama have more to offer us in terms of true spirituality, especially with Mother Earth, than the Communion of saints. Jesus appears to interfere with the pope's embrace of one-world religion that includes Muslims, new-agers and even idol worshipers. Jesus Christ has become invisible at the Vatican!
Topsy: Absolutely! Listen to this from the book [reads...]:
...the leaders of nations, together with those with social responsibilities, can guide the peoples of the Earth towards a more prosperous and fraternal future. Heads of state should talk to one another, confront each other more and agree on strategies.
Tuptim: Good grief! As if Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and all the Democrat leadership are guiding us to "a more prosperous and fraternal future" and will give us good strategies for solving problems, like their brilliant strategy on the border with kids jammed into facilities filled to over 700% capacity! Or the Chinese Communist Party's strategy for destroying the underground Church with the Vatican's help. And our country has never been so divided! Democrat politicians and heads of state deliberately foment a strategy of division for their own political gain.
Topsy: Not to mention how they've used the Wuhan virus to devastate the world's economy. The next two sentences sound like a speech by Saul Alinsky and Rahm Emmanuel and all the other community organizers pushing our country toward socialism:
Let us all keep in mind that there is something worse than this crisis: the drama of wasting it. We cannot emerge from a crisis the same as before: we either come out better or we come out worse."
Tuptim: This book and Tutti Frutti are like mirror images of each other looking for all answers through government. Where is Christ: the Way, the Truth and the Life? Everything Pope Francis says makes me want to shout, "Hey wait a minute. That simply isn't true." Like this statement in paragraph 203 of FT:
Let us not forget that “differences are creative; they create tension and in the resolution of tension lies humanity’s progress”.
[Shaking her head and laughing a little...] Check the footnote. That's a quote from the Pope Francis movie. [Pausing....] I keep coming back to the reality of history. Were the differences between the American colonies and Great Britain "creative?" How about the tensions during the Civil War and World War I and World War II? Did the "resolution" of those wars contribute to "humanity's progress?" World War II made the world safe for the Communists as FDR and the other superpowers played chess with peoples' lives and divided up Europe among the power brokers. Somehow I doubt if all those countries and East Berlin swallowed up by Stalin would say the war's "resolution" was a sign of "progress."
Topsy: We don't have to look that far back these days or any farther than our own Church. Are the tensions between dissident Catholics like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Blase Cupich, Fr. James Martin, etc. vs. the orthodox who defend the faith "creative?" Substitute the word "sin" for tensions and then tell me that sin is creative and leads to man's progress. The only "resolution of tension" that lead's to a man's progress happens in the confessional.
Tuptim: You won't hear the pope say that because it flies in the face of his support for a fraternal one-world religion. Protestants don't want to hear about Confession so sweep that sacrament under the rug and put up a statue of Martin Luther! [She sighs....] It's all so disheartening.
Topsy: [nodding...] I know what you mean. You expect the pope to defend the faith and promote the truth. He hasn't done much of that since his election. So...what did you think about the discussion of "consensus and truth?"
Tuptim: [rolling her eyes...] It made me think of Hegel's dialectic.
Topsy: [Laughing....] Uh-oh! Are you going to go all philosophical on me? My eyes started to glaze over when you said "dialectic."
Tuptim: [Smiling...] I'm not sure I know what I'm talking about. Hegel is hard to read, but my understanding is that the dialectic uses opposing views and tension to try to come to some form of consensus. Sound familiar? The governing class wants a particular outcome. So they create a problem, a tension in opposing views, and then manipulate the public to move in the direction they desire. We've seen it bigtime with the Democrats using race and class over and over to demonize and create division among people. Then they can come in with a "solution" that always involves them taking more power as they move on to the next crisis that will advance the agenda a few more steps. I wonder if Hegel would agree with the pope's discussion of "dialogue and consensus." Listen to this from paragraph 212. [She reads....]:
Inherent in the nature of human beings and society there exist certain basic structures to support our development and survival. Certain requirements thus ensue, and these can be discovered through dialogue, even though, strictly speaking, they are not created by consensus. The fact that certain rules are indispensable for the very life of society is a sign that they are good in and of themselves. There is no need, then, to oppose the interests of society, consensus and the reality of objective truth. These three realities can be harmonized whenever, through dialogue, people are unafraid to get to the heart of an issue.
Topsy: What the heck does that even mean? Sounds like pragmatism. If a rule "works" it must be good. And what rules are "indispensable?" I think Planned Parenthood would say access to abortion is a public and necessary and indispensable "good" for any society.
Tuptim: It's such meaningless blather. The pope goes on from there to talk about "certain universal moral demands." But what are they? Judging from his other writings one can reach the conclusion that his overriding concerns are to move toward globalism and one-world religion and government.
Topsy: I think you mean "fraternal globalism." And don't forget his stress on extreme environmentalism. What did you think of this from paragraph 214? [searches out a highlighted section and reads....]:
As believers, we are convinced that human nature, as the source of ethical principles, was created by God, and that ultimately it is he who gives those principles their solid foundation. This does not result in an ethical rigidity nor does it lead to the imposition of any one moral system, since fundamental and universally valid moral principles can be embodied in different practical rules. Thus, room for dialogue will always exist.
Tuptim: [shaking her head and laughing ruefully..] So God gives us "principles" with a "solid foundation" but he's not rigid like all of us orthodox Catholics and would never impose "one moral system" like the one he told the apostles to implement when he gave them the Great Commission to baptize the entire world. Nope! All those "valid moral principles" can be found in "different practical rules" whatever those are. Sounds like "different strokes for different folks." You have your "practical rules" and I have mine.
Topsy: Hey, Tuptim, if you want to find the truth you have to stop being so rigid and dialogue with those who worship Allah and Pachamama. You can hold the meetings in the dialogue room at the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi. [She pauses...] The funny thing is that I love "encountering others," another papal buzz phrase. I used to engage the pro-aborts at rescues. Once I talked to a young man in D.C. when we were blocking Planned Parenthood. He was yelling at us and calling us religious fanatics and Bible thumpers. I told him I had my Bible with me and used it to help me make moral judgments and asked what he did. "I think for myself," he responded. "But what do you think about?" I asked him. "Do you have some kind of infused knowledge?" We went back and forth and the college girls told him to stop talking to me. He shot back, "I'll talk to whoever I want." It was funny and I had to stifle a laugh. I really liked him and said, "You seem to me to be a young man searching for the truth and if you're searching for the truth you're searching for God." Then I said I'd like to pray for him and asked what his first name was. He wouldn't tell me so I said, "I have a son named David who is about your age, so I'll pray for you as David. God knows your name." Then the police were coming to arrest us and I sat down on the curb. A minute later he reached over, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "My name is Dan." I've been praying for Dan ever since -- for about 25 years in fact. I hope we meet merrily in heaven some day.
Tuptim: Wow! I love that story! [Pensively....] The pope treats us all like we hate everyone who disagrees with us, but stories like yours are common among orthodox people because they want to bring people to Christ and we meet them where they are. I agree with the pope when he says we need to "cultivate kindness," but what does he mean by that? Does it mean encouraging people in their sins and calling it pastoral. That leads souls straight to hell!
Topsy: I had to laugh though when I read the last paragraph of Chapter VI. This sentence is so ridiculous:
Kindness frees us from the cruelty that at times infects human relationships, from the anxiety that prevents us from thinking of others, from the frantic flurry of activity that forgets that others also have a right to be happy.
That sounds like the argument of a teenager.
Tuptim: [Disgustedly...] "A right to be happy!" Really? I had a friend who wanted to divorce her husband because she'd met someone else. She was a practicing Catholic, but at that point she started a mantra of, "I don't know what I believe anymore!" And followed that up with "I have a right to be happy." Of course her kids who loved both their parents and were devastated by the breakup didn't have that right! I wonder how many mortal sins are justified by people saying, "I have a right to be happy." What does it even mean to have a "right to be happy?" If anybody has a right to be happy it's innocent children, but that doesn't keep some of them from terrible trials and suffering and being ripped apart by abortionists. True happiness comes from conforming our wills to God's will even when that means embracing the cross. But how many worldly people believe God owes them a comfy life and hate him when he doesn't perform according to their will.
Topsy: What's really ironic is that the pope, while preaching kindness, is so often unkind -- especially to those who love the Latin Mass or wear veils or send him spiritual bouquets or disagree with his environmental extremism or are simply orthodox. He's kinder to people like Greta Thunberg with her nutty ideas about global warming and that atheist journalist Scalfari who creates a firestorm every time he claims the pope said this or that, like he doesn't believe in the devil. And then, of course, there are the abortionists and eugenicists he praises and the ones he puts on papal commissions.
Tuptim: [Thoughtfully....] I think the most unkind thing anyone can do is to embrace an "I'm okay, you're okay philosophy" and do nothing to stop people heading pell-mell toward hell. The kindest thing one can do is to pray and make sacrifices and engage in the spiritual works of mercy to challenge those in danger of losing their souls: admonish the sinner, instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, etc. I had a priest friend who used to say, "Make a friend, be a friend, bring a friend to Christ." There's nothing kinder than that.
Tuptim: [seeing their laughing grandchildren running toward them....] Here come the kids. I guess we're done until next time. Get out the snacks!
Topsy: And then we'll head over to make a visit at Church and on to 7-11 for those slurpees.