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Today I will take a stab at commenting on the Francis pantheism video and try to put it into context. I have put up the Louie Verrecchio subtitled video since it captures the OBJECTIVE REALITY of the message that its producers and in turn “enablers” inadvertently (?) conveyed.
The philosophical basis for the content of this video can be described as HUMANIST in nature. By HUMANIST, and giving Francis the benefit of the doubt (that point 1. is not the case here), we are dealing with points 2. and 4. of the below definition: (see here)
1. (Philosophy) the denial of any power or moral value superior to that of humanity; the rejection of religion in favor of a belief in the advancement of humanity by its own efforts
2. (Philosophy) a philosophical position that stresses the autonomy of human reason in contradistinction to the authority of the Church
3. (Literary & Literary Critical Movements) (often capital) a cultural movement of the Renaissance, based on classical studies
4. interest in the welfare of people
In support of the above contention, I have also reproduced a Reuters article below that was re-posted on the NBC website. What should strike the casual observer is the headline, i.e. “Migrant Influx Threatens Europe’s ‘Humanistic Spirit'” (see here). Consider this as supporting evidence of the HUMANIST nature of not only the Francis’ video, but by extension the underlying basis for Francis’ teaching office. For those who are not aware of what constitutes Francis’ “magisterium”, please refer to the side bar or to the post titled The Loose Canon (see here).
In the body of text, we also find a very interesting connection which Francis makes between “European values and traditions” and “humanistic spirit”. Further insight into the mind of Francis and his magisterium, I would conclude.
Drilling down into the text, what should also strike the casual reader is that a Roman pontiff suggests that this “influx THREATENS” Europe’s “humanistic spirit”. From this FrancisSpeech, we can observe a “HIERARCHY OF VALUES” that Francis is propagating. To be more precise, Francis does not see a “THREAT” from Mohommedans eradicating Christianity from the Middle East, an issue on which he was silent until a few months ago. (see here) One can likewise make this inference since Francis has not used a rhetorical formula where “Islam/Muslims” – “threaten” – “Christianity/Christians” when referring to the situation in the Middle East. Likewise, Francis has not used a formulation like “Islam/Muslims” – “threaten” – “Christianity/Christians in Europe”. Yet now we find Francis using the following formulation: “Migrant Influx Threatens Europe’s ‘Humanistic Spirit”.
Summing up the two above observations, what this formulation signals to the careful reader is that which is important in the mind of Francis. What we are seeing is prima facia evidence that Francis is in fact a “HUMANIST”.
And the reason that this is troubling is that according to this IDEOLOGY, i.e. HUMANISM, it would appear that the REAL THREAT to humans does not come from Mohammedans killing Christians, but rather from Christianity killing HUMANISM.
Proof of this last statement comes from none other than the “bible of HUMANISM”, a.k.a. the New York Times. In an article that appeared in an Op Ed column (see here), the author, one Mr. KAMEL DAOUD makes a quite prescient observation as to the real threat to him and his kind, i.e. HUMANISTS.
After a tortured epistle about how the “right wing” and Islamists are the same, yet at the same time different, Mr. DAOUD writes the following:
One might counter that of the two groups, only Muslim extremists kill. Which is true, at least when it comes to people. But the extremists of the right kill humanism, and that’s the only thing that could save us all.
Reading this column carefully, one quickly observes first that Mr. Daoud does not provide ANY argument for why Muslim extremists “don’t kill HUMANISM”. The logical conclusion could be made that IF the Muslims kill all non-Muslims, THEN they will by default kill HUMANISM, since they are not HUMANISTS themselves. And that the Muslims want to eradicate everything non-Muslim, is a very easy conclusion that can be drawn from his column.
The second observation is this. While not naming Christianity directly, all the adjectives and phrases describing what “right wing extremism” constitutes, i.e. returning to some (imagined) original state of purity, restore the land of its Gallic ancestors to what it was before immigrants and so forth, eerily sound like they include Christianity, or more accurately Traditional Catholicism. Simple logic, my dear Watson!
Which brings me back to Francis and his speech as related in the NBC post below and the January video. What we see is Francis promoting a HUMANIST IDEOLOGY. We can see in the video that Francis is making a positive case for HUMANISM. And as a HUMANIST, Francis no doubt would also believe that what he terms “right wing extremists”, such as “traditionalist” seminarians (see here) and the “traditionalist bishops” who ordain them, or what an objective observer would constitute a Catholic, as a threat to not only HUMANISM in general, but specifically to Francis’s magisternium by default.
And this is the proper context for Francis’ January video message.
FOR THE RECORD:
Pope Warns Migrant Influx Threatens Europe’s ‘Humanistic Spirit’
Pope Francis warned Monday that the recent influx of migrants risked overwhelming European values and traditions, but said he was confident the continent could successfully integrate the newcomers.
ALESSANDRO BIANCHI / Reuters
In an annual address to diplomats at the Vatican City, the pontiff said the flood of new arrivals, mainly from the Middle East and Africa, was a major burden for Europe and had given rise to “significant” fears over security and international terrorism.”
The present wave of migration seems to be undermining the foundations of that ‘humanistic spirit’ which Europe has always loved and defended,” he said.
Despite the “inevitable difficulties” in trying to absorb the migrants, who brought with them different cultures and traditions, the pope said he hoped European nations would prove capable of integrating and accepting the refugees.
“Europe, aided by its great cultural and religious heritage, has the means to defend the centrality of the human person and to find the right balance between its two-fold moral responsibility to protect the rights of its citizens and to ensure assistance and acceptance to migrants,” he said.
More than 1 million people flowed into Europe last year in search of new lives in the West, including many trying to escape violence in Syria, Iraq and sub-Saharan Africa.