Pope Francis Attacks Christian Fundamentalism Again, Says It’s ‘Not Healthy’
AUTHOR: STEPHEN D. FOSTER JR. JANUARY 3, 2014 5:10 PM
Prepare to hear more howling from conservative critics of the Holy Father. Pope Francis has called out Christian fundamentalism for being ‘not healthy.’
Pope Francis attacked Christian fundamentalism as “not healthy.”
On Friday, La Civiltà Cattolica published remarks that Pope Francis made in November during a meeting with the leaders of men’s religious orders. The pontiff once again blasted those who stick to extreme ideology and attacked fundamentalism for being blind to reality.
“It is not a good strategy to be at the center of a sphere,” the Pope stated. “To understand we ought to move around, to see reality from various viewpoints. We ought to get used to thinking.”
Ah, thinking. A concept that most conservatives fail to grasp either because they’re desperate to defend a hateful ideology that doesn’t work or they fear that their heads will implode from the effort. Of course, Pope Francis says being entrenched in such an obsessive ideology is unhealthy.
Pope Francis referred to a letter written by Father Pedro Arrupe in which he spoke of poverty and how “some time of real contact with the poor is necessary.” The pontiff believes that if people who have much spend time with those who are poor, they’ll be more sympathetic to their plight and be more understanding. Instead of believing that the poor are mere bottom-feeders who are lazy, wealthy conservatives would grow hearts and change their tune if they actually spent time with those who struggle in poverty.
“This is really very important to me: the need to become acquainted with reality by experience, to spend time walking on the periphery in order really to become acquainted with the reality and life – experiences of people,” Pope Francis continued. “If this does not happen we then run the risk of being abstract ideologists or fundamentalists, which is not healthy.”
In short, if we don’t do this, we risk becoming heartless conservatives who believe in hating everything and everyone instead of being more like Jesus.
Pope Francis has consistently stood against most of what Christian conservatives believe.
Pope Francis has been a relentless thorn in the side of Christian right-wingers. Ever since he became the head honcho of the Catholic Church, conservatives have viewed the new Vicar of Christ as an enemy. Far from being the harbinger of hatred that Christian righties wanted, Pope Francis has condemned hating gays, called for a more pro-women approach, advocated for environmentalism, and has strongly stood up for the poor, immigrants, and the marginalized. The man has even called upon Christians to treat atheists and Muslims with respect, kindness, and understanding. Pope Francis has pretty much condemned everything conservatives stand for here in America. And that includes their refusal to budge from a rigid, extreme, and narrow-minded ideology based on hate.
In October, Pope Francis called ideological Christianity “an illness” that needs to be more in line with the teachings of Jesus.
“In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness,” the pontiff declared during a daily Mass. “And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements. The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?”
Pope Francis has even criticized the superior complex that conservative Christians demonstrate on a daily basis. In front of an audience in St. Peter’s Square last month, the pontiff said that Christians shouldn’t act superior to others because:
“God reveals himself not as one who stands above and who dominates the universe, but as He who lowers himself. It means that to be like Him, we do not have to place ourselves above the others, but come down, come down and serve them, become small among the small, and poor among the poor.”
Pope Francis is calling out conservatives again by condemning Christian fundamentalism.
Fundamentalism is dangerous. It always has been throughout history. Pope Francis understands this, which is why he is condemning it. It’s an extreme ideology steeped in hate that is based on strict interpretations — most of which are actually misinterpretations — and outdated notions that have become unacceptable to society. The Christian fundamentalism practiced by conservatives fits this description perfectly, and Pope Francis just called it out again. And an overwhelming majority of Americans and American Catholics, as well as people all around the world, agree with the Holy Father. Clearly, it’s time for conservatives to change.