Pope Benedict XVI once wrote that the Catholic Church is about to be wiped out – only then to start from the beginning and gradually rise again.
Though His Holiness hasn’t uttered a public word about his Vatican successor, one is in little doubt that he sees him as having more to do with the first part of this prophecy than the second – a view Pope Francis seems eager to justify.
Even his admirers will admit that the present Pope is a man of the Left, a movement whose founding raison d’être was, and its current one remains, waging war on every religious, cultural, social and political vestige of Christendom.
Hence a ‘left-wing Christian’ is to me an oxymoron, a ‘left-wing priest’ even more so, and a ‘left-wing Pope’ more still. That, however, is an inner contradiction for every man to resolve privately.
A pontiff’s personal politics ought to have no more effect on his public mission than his taste in food. He’s there to be the Vicar of Christ, not a political agitator.
The trouble starts when a Pope uses St Peter’s throne to promote a secular political agenda, especially one that’s at odds with the very Christian message he’s supposed to preach. This, I’m afraid, is exactly what Pope Francis has done ever since he first occupied the aforementioned throne.
His actions this summer did nothing to dispel this impression. First, the Pope combined political folly with bad Christianity by recognising a nonexistent ‘State of Palestine’.
By doing so he showed how deep the Church has sunk since 1095, when Pope Urban II blessed the First Crusade. Pope Urban understood something Pope Francis doesn’t: Islam is a mortal enemy not only of Jews but also of Christians.
But even if we narrow our perspective to today and tomorrow, what kind of state will ‘Palestine’ be if it gains statehood? Since the past and present are the most reliable indicators of the future, there’s only one possible answer to that question.
It’ll be a jihadist state so anti-Semitic and anti-Christian that it’ll be committed to the genocide of both Jews and Christians. This state will also be an implacable enemy of the West, and it’ll joyously act as a global terrorist base. As a short-term objective, it’ll do all it can to act on its current promise to ‘drive Israel into the sea’, presumably along with all its inhabitants.
Does His Holiness believe that this kind of state deserves pre-natal recognition? Evidently yes, because his next act this summer was to approve of the Iran nuclear deal.
Unlike the ‘State of Palestine’, the state of Iran already exists, and it already is what ‘Palestine’ will be: virulently anti-Semitic, anti-Christian and anti-Western.
Empowering this state to develop nuclear weapons in 10-15 years may well lead not only to a regional holocaust but indeed to a global one, with mushroom clouds popping up all over the world like toadstools after an autumn rain.
What part of this scenario does the Pope like? None, would be my hope. It’s more likely that he simply doesn’t understand the full implications of this agreement. Then why approve it?
As in his recognition of the ‘State of Palestine’, His Holiness didn’t act in a holy or even rational way. He allowed his visceral political views to add poison to his Eucharistic water, thus betraying the mission to which he supposedly dedicated his life.
Islamic passions are at their most febrile at the moment, with their fire consuming the Middle East and threatening to spread over Europe as well. The Pope should use the authority of his office to rally not only Catholics but all decent people against the blight rapidly reaching pandemic proportions.
Instead he effectively sides with those who vow to wipe both Jews and Christians off the face of the earth. That’s inexplicable – unless His Holiness is secretly committed to making the first part of his predecessor’s prophecy come true as soon as possible.