02 October 2015

Short Reflection on Jorge Bergoglio's Theological Confusion

There have been hints that Jorge Bergoglio (I am speaking of the man as an individual person, and not in his official role) is some sort of universalist, a pluralist of some sort...  One of the Scalfari interviews even had him saying that those who don't go to heaven are annihilated at death.  There's a good deal of evidence that he doesn't believe denominational membership matters—the famous story of his Anglican friend who wanted to convert to Catholicism until Bergoglio told him not to.  Disturbing hints.  

There have been so many suggestions in all sorts of directions—both orthodox and heterodox—over the past two years from this man, that my instinct is to say he is theologically very confused. A priest reported being told by him that "Studying fundamental theology is one of the most boring things on earth." I realize that he has an S.T.L., and has taught theology, but doctrine seems decidedly unimportant to him.  And it is hard to understand how someone with a clear grasp of the faith can say such things as the following:
Q: Regarding victims or relatives who don’t forgive - do you understand them? 
A: Yes, I do. I pray for them. And I don’t judge them. Once, in one of these meetings, I met several people and I met a woman who told me “When my mother found out that I had been abused, she became blasphemous, she lost her faith and she died an atheist.” I understand that woman. I understand her. And God who is even better than me, understands her. And I’m sure that that woman has been received by God. Because what was abused, destroyed, was her own flesh, the flesh of her daughter. I understand her. I don’t judge someone who can’t forgive. I pray and I ask God… God is a champion in finding paths of solutions. I ask him to fix it.
 How can you be sure that someone who has no faith, is "blasphemous" and an atheist is in heaven?  Perhaps there could be uncertainty.  One could say "God may have worked in her heart during her last moments to draw her to him, like a worker called to the vineyard at the last hour".  And one should definitely sympathize with her—she suffered something utterly abominable.  But to be sure that this woman, who is only identified by the things that would indicate her rejection of God—her atheism and blasphemy and loss of faith—is in heaven, is a little odd.  What it suggests to us is that Jorge Bergoglio does not believe that God holds us accountable for our sins.  It suggests that he thinks human actions don't ultimately matter—that that woman was incapable of rejecting God.  And this thought is completely foreign to the Catholic faith.  Faith is important.  Recall the words of the Athanasian Creed:
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith; which faith, unless every one keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.