Tuesday, March 24, 2020

What Pope Francis told a Spanish journalist Sunday ...

Pope Francis told a Spanish journalist Sunday that nature never forgives and the coronavirus pandemic is nature’s cry for humans to take better care of creation. - Source

"They" are taking him down for this.  No surprise.  

I'm not at all sure what the Holy Father said is so crazy.  Obviously he's speaking metaphorically when he says 'nature is unforgiving' - Fr. Z spends a little time spinning that.  How often has an artisan or cook said some thing, some medium is unforgiving?  How many times has a rock climber said a mountain is unforgiving if an athlete makes a mistake?  Yet when the Pope says something like that in a skype interview ...  I know.

Ten days ago I posted some thoughts related to Fr. Z's musings on a biological solution to take care of all the problems in the liturgy (here) - something Republicans seem to be musing on to help the economy get back on its feet BTW (here).  I also speculated on religious figures pointing to the COVID-19 pandemic as God's chastisement.  At the time I was reflecting on something an Italian Cardinal said about the virus, that it 'could' be seen as a chastisement - but not from God - he wasn't specifying particular evils or groups of 'evil-doers' (here).

"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents?"

This past week, Cardinal Burke got a little more specific - some of his followers interpreted what he had to say, indicating the virus and incredible amount of deaths in Bergamo may have been punishment for the idolatry of Pachamama - and especially the prayer composed by the Archdiocese of the area, in honor of Pachamama. (here)  Likewise, the usual suspects have been held responsible for the chastisement.

It all sounds/reads crazy to those who are facing the unknown, as the virus spreads.  People can't be blamed for think what the Pope had to say, sounded strange - especially as it get's repeated on social media.  That said, a friend made a comment on the post I refer to, speculating on the notion of chastisement.  Perhaps anticipating the Pope, but more because she has read Laudato si, my friend had another view of the chastisement theory.  She wrote:

"This pandemic is the result of our destruction of the earth. All Coronavirus, e.g. SARS, comes from animals. Covid-19 originated from a live animal market in Wuhan. We are destroying the habitats of animals, displacing them and coming into contact with them in ways we never did before. Pope Francis has said it is sinful to destroy the earth. We are reaping the results of our sins, but it is not from God. We caused it ourselves." - Catholic in Brooklyn
"If we thought of this situation as a punishment from God, we would betray the very essence of the gospel."Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti

I have to agree, which may account for my sense of understanding for what the Pope said metaphorically about 'nature taking her revenge on humanity.'  Personally, I do not see this as a particular chastisement, or divine punishment for the usual suspects, but rather a natural development, or effect. Catholics know there are natural consequences to sin.  Therefore, there are natural consequences for what human beings do to nature.  Habitat destruction, pollution, and other abuses against nature result in natural consequences.  I am surprised religious people consider such a notion to be steeped in idolatry or nature worship.  Our Lord himself told the Pharisees, who asked him to rebuke his disciples, “I tell you, if they keep silent, the stones will cry out!”  The Pharisees of today react in the same way to Pope francis, as they look for ways to 'catch' him in some error.

On the other hand, those who look to empty locutions or mundane messages from soap-opera style apparitions, might do well to keep in mind what Sr. Lucia, who saw Our Lady at Fatima, said about chastisement.  She pointed out that it is not God who is causing it, rather it is we ourselves doing it:

And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment. In his kindness God warns us and calls us to the right path, while respecting the freedom he has given us; hence people are responsible”. - Message of Fatima

If it should happen one day - and it could be today - that I become a victim of ... Bl. Christian de Chergé 

Tomorrow there is a hidden feast day, under Our Lady of the Annunciation's mantle, if you will.  It is the feast of St. Dismas crucified, the penitent who didn't judge, didn't condemn and did not claim anything from Christ crucified except to implore him to have mercy upon him - that he remember him.  Dismas, in his agony, looked at the other thief, who insulted Christ and made demands upon him.  What did Dismas say, to make him understand what was happening?
Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong. - Luke 23
I see all of us - no matter who or what we are - pretty much in the same situation.  Rather than pointing fingers at one another, or deriding one another because we disagree, let's remember the sentiment St. Dismas expressed to the complaining thief:
We are all under the same sentence ...
COVID-19 is a global pandemic.  We are all under the same sentence.


  1. The Lord is raising up great Saints among his people in this hour of great need and hope. I am convinced that Papa is one of them. His example and his witness is a glorious light shining in the midst of the darkness for all to see. May we be gifted to see his light and take it to heart that all is not lost. <3

    Viva Cristo Rey! Viva la Virgencita de Guadalupe! Viva il Papa!

    1. I read this comment somewhere else ... :)

    2. Really? interesting ... ^^) I know you agreed though.

  2. I just think that the old protocols should be restored and the Holy Father should stop talking to journalists. His Holiness speaks out of the simplicity of his heart but whatever he says is twisted. This is why the popes in the past never spoke at audiences, unless it was a carefully prepared statement.

    1. Many more, myself included, find comfort in the fact that our Papa wants to remain close to his people whether he gives interviews or not. He speaks to millions who find comfort in his words. Sure, there is the risk of his words being twisted but he's not the one twisting them to be sure.

      Viva il Papa!

    2. Definitely, it is the media twisting what His Holiness says. I find comfort from his words, too. I just wish he would not make off-hand comments to journalists.

  3. Dr. Fauci is awesome. Is he Catholic? Praying for him and all of his family.


    1. Thanks for the link! I heard Trump praise Dr. Fauci last night and it sounds like they are all working together.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. You are welcome. I read an interview with Dr. Fauci where he said despite their differing views on certain matters, they get along. I am grateful he is on board to help with this pandemic. Stay well!

  4. Terry, This news just came over the wire ...


    Gracias a Dios, some Bishops are using common sense in order to protect the flock that has been entrusted to them. I am sad but now it will be for a short while until all of us are in the clear. L.A. County Health Dept. is reporting that we are two weeks behind New York before we get hit with an increase of infected folks. Please pray for us especially for those of us who live with family members who are in denial and ignorant of the facts. I wish I could just pack up my mom and get her out of here but she's high risk as am I. We all are who live here. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph pray for us! Amen.

  5. There are no easy answers. There never are. We have an economy built on consumerism. The amount of waste my wife and I generate is constantly growing. I have more trash now then I ever did with three children at home. My trip to England & Spain to visit my middle child is of course off. I had plans to spend Easter at Santa Familia. Little did I know Church on Easter anywhere in my Diocese will be prohibited this year. As we debate whether to just cast caution to the wind and start consuming again I wonder how many will die? I wonder if this is the first wave with another, perhaps bigger, come in the Fall? We will find out. My rosary is my comfort now more then ever. Peace and good health to all who visit here.

  6. I have to be careful of what I say online - it elicits responses from many people I never could imagine would approve of the things they do, relative to the COVID-19 contagion and who to let die, and so on. I thought it bad enough finding out the contempt many Catholics have for the Pope, but now their deeper beliefs are emerging and many facades are falling away revealing an interior corruption. Pope Francis has been correct all along - about the very rigid, the idolatry of money and so on.

  7. My church has been closed for a few weeks; however, Fr and a cantor are there and he reminds us that since the two of them are there, we're all there. And the Cathedral is livestreaming, my Cathedral in Ohio


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