The pope of experience

” … God’s saving love… precedes any moral and religious obligation on our part …”

It seems to me that this simple idea, taken directly from Evangelii Gaudium, is the key to understanding Pope Francis’ entire pontificate. He has lots of different things dancing around in his head – Modernism, Catholicism, Liberation Theology, Lutheranism, etc. – but the common thread that makes all of these contradictory notions seem consistent is the doctrine of experience. Pope Francis is the pope of experience. The “experience of God’s love” – however nebulously defined – trumps everything. Without the right kind of experience or feelings, truth is irrelevant and morality is pointless. Do I overstate the case? I don’t want to be unfair. But it is only in light of this principle that Pope Francis’ many baffling utterances begin to make sense.

5 thoughts on “The pope of experience

  1. For the record, this doctrine of Pope Francis is so radical as to explicitly contradict even the Second Vatican Council:

    “In the depths of his conscience man detects a law which he does not impose on himself, but which holds him to obedience. Always summoning him to love good and avoid evil, the voice of conscience can when necessary speak to his heart more specifically: ‘do this, shun that’. For man has in his heart a law written by God. To obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged (cf. Rom 2:14-16).” Gaudem et Spes, Chapter 1, Par 16


  2. Jim, 1 Jn 4:19 is of course true, but it’s flat out wrong to say that we don’t have a moral obligation to love that is entirely independent of our experience. Remember that men have inherent moral obligations simply by virtue of being men that, due to original sin, we seldom keep. God is love, and God precedes everything, but in the context of EG that’s obviously not what Pope Francis was getting at.


  3. a lot of this is the fetid fruit of the vile root of Phenomenology….a terrible philosophy embraced by both JPII and Benedict. Francis seems to live it to the full.


  4. “And Jesus inaugurated His saving mission in the same way. He did not begin by revealing the principal truths of the faith. First He insisted that the soul must repent of every trace of sin that could render it impervious to the message of eternal salvation: ‘From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” – Pope St. John XXIII


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