Pope Francis on ‘Adolescent Progressivism’

From Catholic World News, we learn that the Holy Father denounced the “adolescent progressivism” that would throw away our traditions in the interest of being conformed to the values of the world. He did this in the context of meditating on the deuterocanonical First Book of Maccabees:

During his homily at Mass on November 18, Pope Francis called the first chapter of the First Book of Maccabees “one of the saddest pages in the Bible” because “a great part of the people of God withdraw from the Lord in favor of worldly proposals.”

L’Osservatore Romano reported that the Holy Father said:

“Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles round about us; we cannot become isolated” or remain stuck in our old traditions. “Let us go and make a covenant with them, for since we separated from them many evils have come upon us.” The proposal so pleased them that some of the people eagerly went to see the king, to bargain with the king, to negotiate.

L’Osservatore Romano continued:

The Bishop of Rome likened their attitude to what he called the modern-day “spirit of adolescent progressivism” which seductively suggests that it is always right, when faced with any decision, to move on rather than remaining faithful to one’s own traditions. “The people,” he said, “bargained with the king, they negotiated with the king. But they didn’t negotiate habits … they negotiated fidelity to God, who is always faithful. And this is what we call apostasy; the prophets called it adultery. They were an adulterous people” who “negotiated something essential to their very being, i.e., their faithfulness to the Lord.”

Let the Holy Father’s liberal amen corner scratch their heads over this one. He isn’t what they think he is.

He also went on to praise the 20th-century English novel Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson, whose fiction treated of apostasy “almost as though it were a prophecy, as though he envisioned what would happen.”

Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson was a convert from Anglicanism, who became a Catholic priest. He was the son of the (Anglican) Archbishop of Canterbury, Edward White Benson, and became very “anti-Anglican” inasmuch as he saw the Church of England as a false sect which was dooming itself by falling away into unbelief. In the book, all who take Christianity at all seriously become Catholic and Anglicanism becomes something of a social club with vaguely religious sentiments.

Considering that a former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, recently claimed that the C of E is “one generation away from extinction,” Monsignor Benson could have been prophetic on more than one point.

In the same homily, the Holy Father spoke of the murder of innocents that is legally tolerated all over the world.

So, to wrap up, the nice, cool, Pope Francis bemoans the apostasy of Christians in the face of modernity, highlights his point by using a book of the Bible that Protestants reject, praises as prophetic the work of a Catholic convert from Anglicanism that many Anglicans would find terribly offensive, and slips in a pro-life jab, too.

Once more, he isn’t what they think he is.