BY SAMUEL STEVENS
Since his ascendancy as Pontiff, political liberals have cheered on the efforts of Pope Francis as he has moderated the traditional message of the Church on culture war issues such as homosexuality, birth control and abortion.
Whatever anyone may think of these issues, the role of the Catholic faith is not to alter its doctrine with whatever opinions happen to be fashionable. While none of the Pope’s statements have officially altered the Catechism of the Church, they have altered the image of the faith.
In fact, no religion is supposed to bend with the times. The entire point of a religion is to offer a set of stable principles and moral guidelines to live by.
Francis’ motivations for these pronouncements have much more to do with practical considerations than they do with Christian goodwill. According to Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, outside of Catholic immigrants from Latin America, 24 percent of American Catholics attend mass. Only about 25 percent of Americans are Catholic.
The Pope’s appeals to the United States government for more immigration and dilution of the Church’s message are part of an attempt to gain more followers and more donations.
Rather than focus his efforts on reforming the administration of the Church and rooting out the longstanding issue of pedophile priests, Francis is using politics to make the Vatican look better without actually tackling the problems plaguing it.
While the priest abuse scandal has fallen off the headlines, it unfortunately continues within many parishes. Law enforcement still continue to arrest priests on sexual abuse charges.
Further, the Pope demonstrated extreme hypocrisy when he recently criticized Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan for a wall along the Southern border. A large wall encloses the Vatican, and the small state took in literally one Syrian refugee family in 2015, according to Religion News Service.
Francis opens himself up to political criticism by commenting on these issues. On the question of immigration, Pope Francis stands with the immigrants, especially the Mexicans and other Central Americans entering the United States’ southern border.
Trump’s plan for American immigration, if it were to happen, would strike a blow to the number of Catholic followers in the United States, and in turn affect the Church’s finances. Once again, the Papacy’s humanitarianism is a cover for their earthly political and monetary needs.
In the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe, Francis has only made demands of the European governments to spend even more money on the refugees, while doing little with the resources of the Church. With the Mexican immigrant situation in the U.S., he has not made demands of the Mexican government to stabilize their country.
It would be one thing if the pope was a secular leader, but it is another to be leader of the Catholic Church and openly speak out against the 2,000-year-old doctrines and traditions of the Church.
Francis believes his dilution of the message will bring more followers into the faith, but he will only succeed in driving out the core believers.