VATICAN CITY STATE (CR News) — Divine Mercy! From the beginning, it has been the main theme for Pope Francis’ papacy. We learn about the Pope’s thinking on God’s mercy in Misericordiae Vultus.
Misericordiae Vultus is a document that the Holy Father began writing early in his papacy to explain the importance of mercy and to begin the Jubilee Year of Divine Mercy (Dec 2015-Nov 2016). But could the emphasis Pope Francis places on mercy actually be the source of much of the anger we are witnessing from radical traditionalists (aka. “Rad Trads”) on social media?
Here’s some background. You decide!
The Papal Bull we’re referencing, and yes, that’s actually what it’s called, was published by the Vatican in 2015. The best way we know to characterize it is to share selected key quotes from the document, adding very little editorial text to the quotes. We’ll editorialize in the “Nitty Gritty” section of this article.
There’s a link to the document itself at the end of this article. The document is on the Vatican’s website. You can view it and print it out for free.
KEY SOURCE: Misericordiae Vultus; “Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy”; Francis, Bishop of Rome; St. Peter’s, Rome, 2015.
The Nitty Gritty
Here are the selected quotes. Again, you can see the whole document using the link on the bottom of this page.
“Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith.” [para 1]
“Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life.” [para 2]
“We recall the poignant words of Saint John XXIII when, opening the Council, he indicated the path to follow: ‘Now the Bride of Christ wishes to use the medicine of mercy rather than taking up arms of severity… The Catholic Church, as she holds high the torch of Catholic truth at this Ecumenical Council, wants to show herself a loving mother to all; patient, kind, moved by compassion and goodness toward her separated children’ “ [para 4]
“Errors were condemned, indeed, because charity demanded this no less than did truth, but for individuals themselves there was only admonition, respect and love.” [para 4]
“The modern world’s values were not only respected but honoured, its efforts approved, its aspirations purified and blessed… Another point we must stress is this: all this rich teaching is channelled in one direction, the service of mankind, of every condition, in every weakness and need.” [para 4]
The Holy Father’s intentions seem beyond criticism. Jesus is the face of mercy. Mercy is a fundamental law. Mercy is a medicine that works far better spiritually than severity. And there was still more.
From our perspective, this type of writing and thinking (from Pope Francis) are the source of a large measure of the conflict that Satan is stirring up in the Church today. With that said, we also concede that we could find very little (if any) discussion on repentance (which is quite different from the “severity” that is included in the reference) in the Papal Bull on mercy. But then, does that really make Francis a demon or Satan’s son or something else evil?
The critics might also ask justly, “Where is the call to repentance?” Jesus himself told those He healed to “sin no more.” (Jn 8:11)
And didn’t Peter compel those in the crowd to “repent and be baptized.” (Acts 2:38)
This discussion on “Mercy without Repentance” is emblematic of what we have witnessed so frequently online. The Pope writes something that is theologically correct, but he fails to include something else in his paper or his speech or his answer to a reporter’s question. And quite literally, all hell breaks loose.
Going forward, for those who are declaring Pope Francis to be a “bad Pope,” how about keeping your focus on doctrine and dogma. Sound the alarm only when you catch Pope Francis changing a dogmatic truth of the Church (which has not happened since he was installed in 2013).
So you decide. Maybe Pope Francis is truly a holy man with a heart of great mercy thrust into a job that is impossible for any man to do without the active assistance of God Himself. And maybe this man, intelligent as he is, is not one of the great communicators of our age.
To support our admonition, we will remind our readers of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region (October 2019). Social media was abuzz with pundits alerting the world that Pope Francis called this synod in the Amazon where few reporters would be … because he was planning to use that synod to justify the ordaining of female priests … and he was the anti-Christ standing in the Holy of Holies … about to destroy the Church. And, of course, along with every other accusation, he was also an illegitimate Pope … and on … and on!
Or maybe he is what some people are saying … a Satanic rebel who has sacked the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI … kidnapped the real pope and is holding him captive in a garden somewhere at the Vatican … an illegitimate pope himself and an undercover agent for the demonic forces of Satan (which are real, for sure).
Or maybe there’s something else going on. Something that is in between the two options above and which better describes the man and papacy that is Pope Francis.
You decide. But in the meantime, do no harm to the Bride of Christ, which is the Church — because you will some day face Jesus with your immortal soul. He will not be very happy with anyone who attacks his sweet mother or his beloved Bride.
That’s our story, and we’re sticking to it.
We chose a limited number of quotes from the text in an attempt to represent the contents of this Papal Bull. The entire document is free to read or download online from the Vatican.
To read the whole document online, click HERE.
We’ll plan to review some other Vatican documents in the future.
It’s cool to be Catholic. COOL2B!