"In discussing Panentheistic aspects of [Francis and] theologian Karl Rahner’s
philosophy,authors Stanley Genz and Roger Olsen state that Rahner’s view
implies that”the source of the difference between God and the world
lies in God himself, and therefore the difference is not absolute” (20th Century Theology,
InterVarsity Press, 1992, p. 249). Any stance which renders God’s
interaction with the world a part of his nature or an interaction of
necessity falls into the Panetheism category."
"Panentheism is also found commonly in the NEW AGE [my capitalization], forms of Christian-NEW AGE [my capitalization] syncretism (such as the beliefs expressed by Episcopal priest Matthew Fox), New Thought, Theosophy, and Neoplatonism." - Christian Apologetics Alliance [http://christianapologeticsalliance.com/2013/11/22/evaluating-panentheism/]
Vatican expert Sandro Magister, on his Chiesa website May 19, 2016 allowed Fr. Giovanni Scalese, former professor of philosophy and rector at the Collegio alla Querce in Florence to explain Francis's "Hegelian-tinged" thinking in the article "The four postulates of Francis."
Magister's overviews of it says:
"Scalese observes among other things that by virtue of these
historicist, Hegelian-tinged postulates, Pope Francis continuously
argues against the abstractness of “doctrine,” contrasting it with a
“reality” to which one must adapt.
As if forgetting that reality, if it is not illuminated, guided, ordered by a doctrine, 'risks turning into chaos.'”
The article by former professor of philosophy says the postulates of Pope Francis’ thought are:
"- time is greater than space;
- unity prevails over conflict
- realities are more important than ideas
- the whole is greater than the part.
"In 'Evangelii Gaudium' 221, Francis calls them “principles.” Personally I maintain instead that they can be considered 'postulates,' a term that in the Zingarelli dictionary of the Italian language designates a 'proposition devoid of evidence and not demonstrated but all the same admitted as true in that it is necessary for founding a procedure or demonstration.'”
The problem with Francis' thinking is that he allows his own abstract personal ideas to be his dogmas while over and over again arguing against the abstractness of “dogmas” and "dogmatic morals" which he contrasts with what he calls “reality”
According to Scalese, Francis thinking is not based on "Catholic doctrine founded on divine revelation", but his own abstract personal ideas that appear to be founded on "Hegelian-tinged postulates."
As G K Chesterton said those who claim not to have dogmas are ignorant of their own dogmas. He said all humans have dogmas. Only turnips don't have dogmas.
It appears Francis' "Hegelian-tinged postulates" are his dogmas and how he bases seeing "reality."
The former professor of philosophy ends his article with the following conclusions:
"'Another observation that could be made at the end of this reflection is that the presentation of these four postulates demonstrates that, in human action, it is inevitable to allow oneself to be led by some principles that are abstract by their nature. It is therefore useless to polemicize about the abstractness of 'doctrine,' opposing to it a “reality” to which one should simply adapt. Reality, if it is not illuminated, guided, ordered by some principles, risks turning into chaos.
"The problem is: which principles? It is genuinely not clear why the four postulates that we have considered should be able to legitimately orient the development of social coexistence and the construction of a people, while the same legitimacy may not be extended to other principles, which are continually confronted with their abstractness and their at least potentially ideological character.
"That Christian doctrine runs the risk of becoming ideology cannot be denied. But the same risk is run by any other principle, including the four postulates of 'Evangelii Gaudium'; with the difference that these are the result of human reflection, while Catholic doctrine is founded on divine revelation.
"May that not happen today which happened to Marx, who, while he taxed with ideology the thinkers who had preceded him, did not realize that he was elaborating one of the most ruinous ideologies of history."
Click to view Fr. Giovanni Scalese's"The four postulates of Pope Francis" article:
Might Francis's thinking be based on a Hegelian "New Age" Process Theology that denies "the very distinction between good and evil"?
In 2019, even the Francis friendly Church Militant reported that a theologian who wished to
remain anonymous said his Christmas message to the Roman Curia was
a "returning to progressive 'process theology.'"
Moreover, the Catholic news website's anonymous theologian statement was echoed by theologian Fr. Dwight Longenecker on December 21 on Twitter:
"[I]n response to the pontiff's [Christmas message] remarks, he [Longenecker] simply posted the words 'Process Theology' followed by a link to the Wikipedia entry on the topic."
(Church Militant, "Pope Spouts 'Evolutionary Theology in Christmas Address," December 24, 2019)
What is process theology?
The Fr. Longenecker link in the Themes section on the Wikipedia entry topic to Process Theology says:
"The universe is characterized by process... God contains the universe but is not identical with it (panentheism, not pantheism or pandeism)... God is changeable."
What is Panentheism and which teachings of Francis are Panentheistic?
On August 9, Crux reported that Francis said his Panentheistic Laudato si is the basis of his Synod on the Amazon and apparently his Christmas message:
"When asked why he convened a synod on the Amazon, Francis said, 'It is the ‘child’ of Laudato si’.'"
It is important to show that what Francis is promoting in Laudato si is not Pantheism, but Panentheism which is a major component of process theology.
The Washington Post explains that his radical environmental encyclical Laudato si teaches Panentheism:
'''The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face. The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things. [Quote from Laudato si.]'"
"Mystical nature panentheism in a papal encyclical! And with a nod to liberation theology! And with a footnote to the Sufi mystic Ali al-Khawas, no less."
"Whatever impact “Laudato Si’” has in the political world remains to be seen. But that the pope is here embracing a nature-based mysticism, a highly adumbrated anthropocentrism, and a radical “integral ecology” places the encyclical alongside the best of radical, progressive religious environmentalism — and far outside what even mainline Protestant denominations have affirmed heretofore."
What is Panentheism and why does it contradict Christianity?
Christian philosopher James N. Anderson spells out what it is and why it contradicts Christianity:
"There are many reasons why I reject panentheism, but in this post I want to mention just one. Panentheism comes from the Greek words for ‘all’, ‘in’, and ‘God’ — literally, “all-in-God-ism”. On this view, God is neither fully distinct from the universe (as in classical theism) nor identical with the universe (as in pantheism). Instead, the universe exists ‘in’ or ‘within’ God. The prepositions ‘in’ and ‘within’ are obviously not meant in a spatial sense (as in “Bob is in the kitchen”). Rather, they’re meant to capture the idea of ontological containment. God pervades and encompasses the universe in such an intimate fashion that there is an overlap or intersection between the being of God and the being of the universe. While God is more than the universe, there is no clear ontological distinction between God and the universe (which includes us, of course)."
"It’s not difficult to see the attractions of a panentheistic view of God. Who wouldn’t like to imagine that they’re within God — that their soul participates in the divine? Who wouldn’t like to think that — to put it somewhat crudely — they’re part of God? Such a view can do wonders for your self-esteem! (On the other hand, if you already have high self-esteem, panentheism nicely validates it.) Likewise, panentheism is convenient for legitimizing your lifestyle choices, whatever they happen to be. If it’s good enough for God, it’s good enough for me — and since it’s good enough for me, it must be good enough for God!'
"For the panentheist, however, matters must be very different indeed. Since the universe is in God, insofar as there is good in the universe there must be good in God. So far, so good — so to speak. But by the very same token, insofar as there is evil in the universe there must be evil in God. If the universe is a mixture of good and evil (which I take to be an obvious truth) then God must also be a mixture of good and evil, on the supposition that God contains the universe. Whatever pollutes the universe unavoidably pollutes God, on account of the ontological overlap between God and the universe."
"It follows that God cannot be the Absolute Good. If the panentheist takes seriously the reality of evil, he ought to conclude that God is not pure goodness. But then God can’t be the ultimate standard of goodness. So who or what is? The answer must be: nothing. For that standard would have to be independent of God, yet the panentheist maintains that everything is in God (“all-in-God”). In short, the root problem with panentheism is that it conflates the norm and the normed. Consequently, the very distinction between good and evil is obliterated. When there is no Absolute Good, there is no good at all — and therefore no evil."
The Christian Apologetics Alliance shows how Jesuit Karl Rahner's and apparently Francis's Panentheism is found "in New Age... syncretism":
"In discussing Panentheistic aspects of theologian Karl Rahner’s philosophy,authors Stanley Genz and Roger Olsen state that Rahner’s view implies that”the source of the difference between God and the world lies in God himself, and therefore the difference is not absolute” (20th Century Theology, InterVarsity Press, 1992, p. 249). Any stance which renders God’s interaction with the world a part of his nature or an interaction of necessity falls into the Panetheism category."
"Panentheism is also found commonly in the NEW AGE [my capitalization], forms of Christian-NEW AGE [my capitalization] syncretism (such as the beliefs expressed by Episcopal priest Matthew Fox), New Thought, Theosophy, and Neoplatonism."
Another panentheist was the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel:
"For Hegel, God does not exist apart from creation, perfect and complete. Instead, Hegel holds that God is actualized through the world."
(Springer.com, "Hegelian Panentheism," November 15, 2012)
It appears that what Hegel may have been saying is "God [who] does not exist apart from creation is actualized through the world" by "fully assuming the incarnation."
In other words, we don't need God the Creator of us and the universe to keep us in existence at every moment. Nor do we need His Incarnation to redeem us from our sin. Instead God needs us to be "actualized" and come into "reality" in the "particular, concrete."
It appears that Francis is a Hegelian Panentheist. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio wrote in 2006:
"It would be very difficult to make philosophy in the contemporary world by skipping Hegel... reality is always embodied, particular, concrete. There can be no access to universality without fully assuming the incarnation."
(Tierrasdeamerica.com, "Bergoglio, Hegel and Latin America, Notes of Cardinal Bergoglio's philosophy in the margin [preface] of a book by Amelia Podetti / American lands," January 17, 2014)
of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt
the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church
in such a situation:
"[T]he Pope... WHEN he is EXPLICITLY a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church MUST either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See."
(The Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)
Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said "the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church."
- "If Francis is a Heretic, What should Canonically happen to him?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2020/12/if-francis-is-heretic-what-should.html
- "Could Francis be a Antipope even though the Majority of Cardinals claim he is Pope?": http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2019/03/could-francis-be-antipope-even-though.html
- LifeSiteNews, "Confusion explodes as Pope Francis throws magisterial
weight behind communion for adulterers," December 4, 2017:
The AAS guidelines explicitly allows "sexually active adulterous couples facing 'complex circumstances' to 'access the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.'"
- On February 2018, in Rorate Caeli, Catholic theologian Dr. John Lamont:
"The AAS statement... establishes that Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia has affirmed propositions that are heretical in the strict sense."
- On December 2, 2017, Bishop Rene Gracida:
"Francis' heterodoxy is now official. He has published his letter to the Argentina bishops in Acta Apostlica Series making those letters magisterial documents."
Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church by the bishops by the grace of God.
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