Pope Francis holds the highest office in one of the crucial factors that contribute to the unique civilization that has as its roots the history, traditions, and beliefs from ancient Greece and Rome, Northern Europe, and Christianity, and elements of Judaism - particularly political ones, that were not filtered through Christian thought.
I have noted in previous posts that Mainline Protestant Churches have far more in common with the Catholic Church than they do with Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christianity. The latter, with their drastic changes to the place of baptism in the life of the believer, their quite modern insistence in the "once saved. always saved", doctrine of salvation, and their utter lack of appreciation for either anything that predates - or is not directly related to, the Christianity of their own definitions puts them in a category that in its own way stands in contrast with Western Culture almost as much as do Marxism, Atheism, Islam, and the movements to restore European culture without the key element of the Church.
What must be remembered, however, is that there are many key operators withing the Catholic Church herself who not only also stand outside of Western Culture but also seek to cut the ties between the Church and the culture of the West - the one that protected and contributed to the formation of the Church in so many ways for almost two thousand years.
Not content with this, Pope Francis is apparently seeking to tear the church from - not only Western Culture, but also Christianity itself.
Theologians and other Christian writers have sought to explain the incredible range of thoughts that must have run through the mind of the Mother of God. The maid of Nazareth, by her freely-given agreement became a type of second Eve. She lived the rest of her life shortly after the birth of Christ recalling the words of the righteous man Simeon "....Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed......" Luke @:33-24, and later grieved as she suffered that which even Abraham was ultimately spared with his son Isaac.
Our Lady was certainty experiencing unimaginable grief, but as the first true believer in the mission of her Son, she would have at least still have had faith, just as the grieving Patriarch had when he obeyed God's command to sacrifice his son born of the promise - and even in the moments leading up to the point when he would bind Isaac".....God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son....." Genesis 22:8.
No doubt she remembered her reply to Gabriel from three decades before - ".....let it be to me according to your word." Luke 1:38.
Pope Francis will have none of that simple faith nonsense - he postulates that Mary was thinking quite different thoughts - and falsely brings in the late John Paul II as a co-conspirator in his crime:
“.....The Gospel does not tell us anything: if she spoke a word or not… She was silent, but in her heart, how many things told the Lord! ‘You, that day, this and the other that we read, you had told me that he would be great, you had told me that you would have given him the throne of David, his forefather, that he would have reigned forever and now I see him there!’ Our Lady was human! And perhaps she even had the desire to say: ‘Lies! I was deceived!’ John Paul II would say this, speaking about Our Lady in that moment. [read below for correction of Francis' slander of Pope John Paul II]. But she, with her silence, hid the mystery that she did not understand and with this silence allowed for this mystery to grow and blossom in hope.......”
-Earlier in Pope Francis' rule I would have been willing to suggest that he misspoke. As I have noted in my previous posts on his statements (links included in yesterday's post), however, no one makes that many mistakes, especially of such magnitude.
"The daring [To refer to this is as daring is frighteningly generous] interpretation that Pope Francis gives to Mary's silence, gives rise spontaneously to two questions.The first question that imposes itself is: In what document or speech is Pope John Paul II to have put such words of the Virgin Mother of God in her mouth?
And now, standing at the foot of the Cross, Mary is the witness, humanly speaking, of the complete negation of these words. On that wood of the Cross her Son hangs in agony as one condemned. "He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows...he was despised, and we esteemed him not": as one destroyed (cf. Is. 53:3- 5). How great, how heroic then is the obedience of faith shown by Mary in the face of God's "unsearchable judgments"! How completely she "abandons herself to God" without reserve, offering the full assent of the intellect and the will"39 to him whose "ways are inscrutable" (cf. Rom. 11:33)! And how powerful too is the action of grace in her soul, how all-pervading is the influence of the Holy Spirit and of his light and power!
Through this faith Mary is perfectly united with Christ in his self- emptying. For "Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men": precisely on Golgotha "humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross" (cf. Phil. 2:5-8). At the foot of the Cross Mary shares through faith in the shocking mystery of this self- emptying. This is perhaps the deepest "kenosis" of faith in human history. Through faith the Mother shares in the death of her Son, in his redeeming death; but in contrast with the faith of the disciples who fled, hers was far more enlightened. On Golgotha, Jesus through the Cross definitively confirmed that he was the "sign of contradiction" foretold by Simeon. At the same time, there were also fulfilled on Golgotha the words which Simeon had addressed to Mary: "and a sword will pierce through your own soul also.'
[ Redemptoris Mater, 18]"