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Pope Benedict Has an Atheist Friend, Too
And He's No Friend of Francis

by Christopher A. Ferrara
July 12, 2017

The indispensable Life Site News has just reported the explosive news that Marcello Pera, “an atheist philosopher friend of Benedict XVI has strongly criticized Pope Francis, accusing the Holy Father of not preaching the Gospel but politics, fomenting schism, and issuing secularist statements aimed at destroying the West.”

A look at the original Italian language interview of Pera in Il Mattino (translation mine)  reveals one bombshell after another. Pera, the co-author with then Cardinal Ratzinger of the celebrated book Without Roots, says of Pope Bergoglio that “his political and social view, and his view on migrants, is the same Peronist justicialism [a term for the Peronist political philosophy of populism and nationalism] which has nothing to do with the Western tradition of political liberty and its Christian matrix.”

“In essence,” Pera continues, “he suggests that our states commit suicide, he invites Europe to no longer be itself: the Pope reflects all the prejudices of South America toward North America, toward the market, liberty, capitalism.”

Now, the market, the modern notion of liberty and capitalism are certainly deserving of a thorough Catholic critique, which indeed they have received in the social encyclicals of the great Popes before Vatican II. But the critique Pope Bergoglio offers, as Pera observes, is not that of the Magisterium, rooted in the law of the Gospel. Rather, he says, “it is not the Gospel, but only politics. Francis has little or no interest in Christianity as doctrine, from the aspect of theology… His affirmations seem based on Scripture, but in reality are strongly secularist.”

And then this assessment of the Bergoglian pontificate, devastating because it comes from an outside observer who sees the reality of our situation even without the Faith: “There is underway a hidden schism in the Catholic world, and it is pursued by Bergoglio with obstinacy and determination.”

Observing what has long been obvious from the perspective of Fatima, but whose recognition by an atheist is wholly remarkable, Pera declares that with Pope Bergoglio “the Vatican Council has finally exploded in all its revolutionary radicalism… That aggiornamento of Christianity laicized the Church, triggering a change that was quite profound and was very likely to lead to schism, though it was kept in check in the following years.” Only relatively speaking!

But now, with Pope Bergoglio, Pera concludes, “The rights of man, totally and without exclusion, have become the ideal point of reference for the Church; for the rights of God and tradition there is almost no space.”  I am reminded here of the protest of Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus (The Outlook on the Future): “The world has heard enough of the so-called ‘rights of man.’ Let it hear something of the rights of God.”

That even an atheist feels compelled to give this assessment of the Bergoglian pontificate should indicate to the fair-minded Catholic observer that something has gone terribly wrong with this papacy. Pope Bergoglio is not the first wayward Pope the Church has had to endure. But surely it is reasonable to conclude that, as things now stand, his deviations from the path of Tradition are in a class by themselves. And that sui generis situation would suggest a unique intervention by Heaven itself to make an end of this continuing disaster.