by John-Henry Weston, LifeSiteNews.com
It’s one of the most frequent talking points of Pope Francis. It’s definitely part of his appeal for the media and simultaneously one of the most hurtful things for those inside the Church for whom the faith means everything. I’m speaking of the Pope’s penchant for castigating faithful adherents of the Catholic faith as “obsessed,” “doctors of the law,” “neo-pelagian,” “self-absorbed,” “restorationist,” “fundamentalist,” “rigid,” “ideological,” “hypocritical,” and much more.
The effect of the all-too-frequent barrage from the lips of the Pontiff himself is potentially deadly. It confirms the prejudice of the world against faithful Christians as the media constantly portrays them – as hypocrites and worse. Moreover, it permits the false categorization of adherent Christians with fundamentalist Islamic radicals who need to be suppressed to ensure public safety.
Who can blame the media for such comparisons when the Pope has made them himself? “Fundamentalism is a sickness that we find in all religions,” said the Pope in November while flying home from Africa. “Among Catholics there are many, not a few, many, who believe to hold the absolute truth,” he added. “They go ahead by harming others with slander and defamation, and they do great harm. … And it must be combated.”
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