Pope Bungles Theodicy on Leftist Talk Show

News: World News
by Jules Gomes  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  February 7, 2022   

Francis plays to celebrity who makes millions on anti-Catholic network

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VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - In an interview on Italy's most left-wing talk show and predictably loquacious on his pet themes of Mother Earth, migrants, clericalism and pacifism, Pope Francis was tongue-tied on the theological question of why innocent children suffer. 

Fazio interviews Francis on a left-wing talk show

During his 50-minute exchange with celebrity talk show host Fabio Fazio on Italian state television Rai 3, the pope shrugged his shoulders when asked to explain the tragic suffering of innocent children.  

"Of course, questions remain open: Why do children suffer? I find no explanation for this," Francis admitted. "I have faith, I try to love God who is my Father, but I ask myself: 'But why do children suffer?' And there is no answer."

The "only one way" response to avoid the "temptation" of such a question is to suffer with suffering children, Francis said. "In this 'a great teacher' was Dostoevsky," he added.

When responding to the problem of theodicy — the defense of God in the face of evil — the pontiff failed to mention sin, the fall of humanity and the redemption won by Christ. 

We have a supreme pontiff comparable in all respects to an unpredictable and uncontrollable loose cannon.

Instead, Francis trotted out a semi-pelagian response to the question of evil, claiming "so many evils come precisely because man has lost the ability to follow the rules, has changed nature, has changed many things — and because of his own human frailties."

Francis alluded to the Devil as "another who sowed evil in the world out of envy," but did not attribute suffering to Satan. Rather, "one does not speak" with evil as "dialogue with evil is dangerous," he warned. 

"So many people go, try to dialogue with evil. I too have found myself in this situation many times, but I wonder why — a dialogue with evil, that is a bad thing. The dialogue with evil is not good, this is true for all temptations," Francis waffled. 

Silence on Redemptive Suffering

In comments to Church Militant, Italian theologian Federico Catani compared Francis' comments to communist revolutionaries, who during the 1871 Paris Commune cursed God singing: "God does not exist and, if he existed, he should be shot. That old man with the white beard who has decided to make the children cry must not get away with it."

Catani, author of The Miracle of the Holy House of Loreto, explained: 

Despite a dimension of mystery that remains and will always remain, God has given an answer to the problem of innocent suffering — not a lesson as a philosopher, but with the very presence of Himself: the suffering of his innocent Son. A pope should speak to us about this.

Among the many children who have experienced pain and lived it in a holy way, I would like to mention one, the venerable Silvio Dissegna, an Italian boy who died of cancer at the age of 12 in 1979. Silvio was able to offer his sufferings for the conversion of sinners, in union with the passion of Jesus.

Dismayed by the pontiff's display of theological ignorance, Italian historian and novelist Elisabetta Sala told Church Militant her grandmother would have been able to offer a reasonable defense to the problem of suffering.

Why do children suffer? I find no explanation for this.

"Suffering entered the world together with evil and death when man committed Original Sin. The paradigm of innocent suffering is Christ's Crucifixion, which brought our redemption," Sala observed. "Surely Francis could have told Fazio that the biggest suffering of innocent children — of genocidal proportions — is caused by the abortion of preborn babies?" 

Sala added: 

While Catholics are more and more perplexed at Francis' declarations, the mainstream extols, flatters, cheers him and even worship him as a saint. He is all friends with left-wing journalists, with oligarchs, but he persecutes faithful Catholics and ignores persecuted Christians. There's the key word: persecution. Our Lord told us that we would be persecuted, not loved, by the world.

Secularized Papacy

As liberals extolled the pope's interview on the program Che tempo che fa (What's the weather like), Stefano Fontana, director of the Cardinal Van Thuan International Observatory on the Social Doctrine of the Church slammed the Rai 3 interview as "an accentuated secularization (or deconsecration) of the papacy."

"During the communist revolution in China, Mao made the Mandarins parade naked to show their ridiculous weakness once they discarded the solemn ceremonial robes and once they were taken down from the seats of hieratic power," Fontana remarked, noting there is "no more irreligious television broadcast" than Fazio's Che tempo che fa.

Anti-Catholic celebrities: Fabio Fazio and Luciana Littizzetto 

Editor of L'Isola di Patmos, Fr. Ariel Levi di Gualdo described "the sinister Fabio Fazio" as "the embodiment of the most politically correct partisan of the radical chic Left — that of the hippies with the super-penthouses" who "has for years taken the pi*s out of Catholic doctrine and morality."

How can the pope appear on a show whose regular guest, the oligarch comedian Luciana Littizzetto, "has for years been throwing sh*t at the Church and the clergy, mocking Catholic doctrine, morals and the pastoral care of the Italian bishops at every turn?" the priest asked. 

"How can you ... how can you ... this is the question addressed to me in these days by priests who have contacted me from all over Italy: How can the supreme pontiff fall so low and therefore drag us all down?" Fr. Gualdo added.  

"Perhaps for the first time in the history of the Church we have a supreme pontiff comparable in all respects to an unpredictable and uncontrollable loose cannon," he lamented, noting "a tragic pontificate is ending in satire."

Veteran Vaticanist Aldo Maria Valli told Church Militant the world was treated to a "reversal of the roles" with "Fazio, the left-wing pontiff, granting an audience to Bergoglio and Bergoglio participating in such a progressive and politically correct liturgy."  

A tragic pontificate is ending in satire.

Valli elaborated: 

As foreseen by this progressive liturgy, social themes prevailed over those concerning one's relationship with God. The liturgy offered no surprises and was rather boring. Bergoglio repeated what he always repeats on every occasion. The only moment in which Bergoglio said something Catholic was when he spoke of prayer as a relationship with the Father. Perhaps he got distracted there!

In his 50-minute exchange with the celebrity talk show host, Francis made a single reference to "Christ" as a challenge to the "empty spirituality" of Pelagianism and Gnosticism

Fazio interviewing Barack Obama in 2021

"Without the flesh of Christ, there is no redemption possible. We must return to the center once more: 'The Word became flesh.' In this scandal of the Cross, of the incarnate Word, there is the future of the Church," Francis said.

Francis' Predictable Themes

While Francis devoted a considerable portion of the interview to Muslim migrants making their way to Europe from countries like Yemen and Syria, the pontiff did not mention the skyrocketing persecution of Christians in these countries.

"We must think intelligently about a continental policy for migration. And the fact that the Mediterranean is today the largest cemetery in Europe must make us think," he stressed.

Francis raised "the alarm coming from the Amazon with its problems of deforestation, lack of oxygen, climate change" risking the "death of biodiversity" and "killing Mother Earth." He spoke of "war as the contradiction of creation." 

The only moment in which Bergoglio said something Catholic was when he spoke of prayer as a relationship with the Father. 

"We have to put this in our head: take charge of Mother Earth," he added, citing the case of fishermen in San Benedetto del Tronto who found three million tons of plastic in the sea.

The pope attacked "spiritual worldliness" as "the greatest evil of the Church," and went on to castigate "clericalism" as "a perversion of the Church." 

Fazio with Lady Gaga

"Clericalism exists in rigidity and under every type of rigidity there is always rot," he emphasized, noting that the "ugly things" in the Church today are "ideologically rigid positions" that take the place of Gospel.

Fazio's Televised Politics

In 2019, populist politician and then-interior minister Matteo Salvini asked why Italians were paying "three to four million euros" for Fazio's talk show, which was essentially a progressive "political program." 

"I want Fazio on the air on all channels 365 days a year because the more he makes left-wing propaganda, the more Italians open their eyes," Salvini remarked.

Rai television, funded by the Italian taxpayer, pays Fazio a gross salary of 2.24 million euros per year. In addition, Fazio's companies, L'Officina Srl and Magnolia Spa, which produce Che tempo che fa, raked in 11.05 million euros in 2018. 

Fazio owns 50% of the shares in L'Officina Srl. Rai pays L'Officina Srl another 10.64 million euros a year for the production contract. This sum includes 704,000 euros per year for the rights of the "format" that are due Fazio.

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