Pope Francis uses moral relativism to take the Roman Catholic Church in two dangerous directions. The first is an assault on the family, and the second is an assault on the free market, two favorite political targets of the left.
In the past month the pope has weakened the sacrament of matrimony by making annulments easier to obtain. The Church cannot grant divorces but it does grant annulments.
An annulment is a judicial finding that a valid marriage never existed. This generally requires a trial, at which the party seeking the annulment must prove the existence of the marital defect from the beginning.
Fair annulment trials are costly and time consuming, often taking years from the initial filing to the final appeal. Pope Francis arbitrarily ordered the entire process to be completed in 45 days or fewer. For contested matters, a fair trial in 45 days is impossible. So, to meet his deadline, more annulments will be granted administratively, not on the merits.
It gets worse.
The Church has taught for 400 years that abortion is murder. Because the victim of an abortion is always innocent, helpless and uniquely under the control of the mother, abortion removes the participants from access to the sacraments. Pope Francis, without consulting his fellow bishops, ordered that any priest may return those who have killed a baby in a womb to the communion of the faithful. He said he did this because he was moved by the anguished cries of mothers contemplating the murder of their babies.
Francis also assaults the free market, which he blames for poverty, pollution and the mass migrations into Europe away from worn-torn areas in the Middle East.
In his papal exhortation on capitalism, Pope Francis spectacularly failed to appreciate the benefits of capitalism to the health, wealth and safety of the poor. Instead, he has reworked the Peronism of his youth to advocate government-mandated redistribution of wealth and to condemn those who work hard, employ others and achieve wealth, even when they give some of that wealth to the Church.
When he is in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City later this week, he should take note of the recent and beautiful $200 million facelift. It was paid in full by rich Catholic capitalists who employed hardworking artisans and laborers to do the work.
The pope also believes that the world is an inherently unhealthy place because of human work. He embraces the highly questionable green science of those who want the government to tell us how to live, outside our homes and inside.
The pope has seriously disappointed Roman Catholics who believe the Roman Catholic Church preserves and teaches the Truth. The Truth is Christ died for our salvation on the cross, He rose from the dead and guarantees Christians eternal happiness in heaven. It is not a debate about the minimum wage or air conditioning.
Pope Francis is popularon the world stage, and the crowds love him. But if he fails in his basic duties as the pope, if his concern is more for secular than sacred, if he aids the political agenda of the atheistic left, he is a false prophet leading his flock to a dangerous place, where there is more central planning and less personal liberty.