Thursday, February 16, 2017

Ill Mannered Children: Disrespecting the Pope

Many families raise their kids to respect their parents. In Judeo-Christian families, this mandate is substantiated by the 10 Commandments where God-Yahweh commands that we must "Honor our father and mother" (Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:2). In light of this, it boggles the mind why any alleged Catholic would disrespect the Holy Father, the pope. While not a biological father to Catholics, the pope is our spiritual father (1 Corinthians 4:15). We even call him "Holy Father" to show the importance of his paternal role in the Church. The word "pope" comes from the Greek "pappas" which means father, according to both the Cahtolic encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Since the election of Pope Francis, I have noticed some alleged Catholics referring to the pope as "Bergoglio." They do this out of spite and disdain against the Holy Father. Clearly, they do not like the man. They have their reasons to dislike him, but have none to disrespect him in the way they do. In doing so, they break the commandment to honor our father and mother, which also applies to those in authority. Paragraph 2199 of the Catechism states:

The fourth commandment is addressed expressly to children in their relationship to their father and mother, because this relationship is the most universal. It likewise concerns the ties of kinship between members of the extended family. It requires honor, affection, and gratitude toward elders and ancestors. Finally, it extends to the duties of pupils to teachers, employees to employers, subordinates to leaders, citizens to their country, and to those who administer or govern it.
This commandment includes and presupposes the duties of parents, instructors, teachers, leaders, magistrates, those who govern, all who exercise authority over others or over a community of persons.

As you may know, breaking the commandments is a sin. Since these people are doing it intentionally, with full consent, and know it is a serious matter, then they are clearly committing a mortal sin (Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1857). Mortal Sin corrupts the heart and charity (paragraph 1855). Those alleged Catholics who call the pope "Bergoglio" in order to disrespect him and delegitimize his papacy are being uncharitable. They are offending Christ by offending His Vicar on Earth.

Here are some offenders:

Critics of the current pope have their reasons to criticize his words and actions. We can agree or disagree with them. However, resorting to disrespect and delegitimizing his papacy is puerile and unbecoming of a real Catholic. Outsiders are watching us. If a teacher in a class is disrespected by a student, most likely, other students will join in the disrespect. This is because the authority of the teacher was challenged and dissolved by the offending student.  Alleged Catholics who disrespect the pope are doing a disservice to Catholicism. They are giving power to those outside of the Church who also want to join in the disrespect.

Granted, this pope has said some crazy things and has not always been clear; however, above all, he is the pope. We have to respect him as a person and pope, and be obedient to him in matters of faith and morals. Going around on social media and writing blogs calling the pope "Bergoglio" is silly and childish, especially when the things posted are based on strawman fallacy. I question the catholicity of those who do this. Are they really Catholic, or are they only Catholic when the pope agrees with their bias? Calling Pope Francis 'Bergoglio' is not only disrespectful, but shows pride. The person who calls him this thinks he or she has a say on who is pope or not. Lay people have no such say, neither do the clergy. The Holy Spirit via the cardinals have the say on who is the pope. With all due respect, you are a nobody in the Church and this is why you need social media and blogs to voice your petty opinions because you have no authoritative platform for them.

To those who call the pope "Bergoglio:"

  •  Are you the Holy Spirit? 
  •  Do you decide who is pope?
  •  Is the Catholic Church yours? 
  •  Do you decide her pronouncements and doctrines? 

The truth of the matter is that you do not have the authority to decide who is pope, nor what the Church can pronounce via the pope. Get off your high horse or start your own religion where you can worship your cognitive bias over the teachings of Christ and His Catholic Church. You are no different than Luther who thought he held the rights to the Catholic Church and papacy. As of March 13, 2013 Jorge Bergoglio is now Pope Francis, end of story. If this bothers you, then deal with it or just leave the Church and stop being a hypocrite. You are committing a mortal sin. Stop being a petulant child. Cut it out!


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