The De-Missionized "Missionary Church"
by Christopher A. Ferrara
December 13, 2017
One of the hallmarks of ideology is a perversion of meaning according to which words no longer have their original meaning but rather a new meaning with which the ideology invests them. And that meaning is usually the opposite of the original meaning. Thus, in Marxist ideology, “freedom” means subjugation by the collective, which is tyranny.
So it is amidst the human element of the Catholic Church today, where traditional terminology has been evacuated of its original meaning in order to serve, not the Faith, but what Msgr. Guido Pozzo, referring to Vatican II, has called a “para-Conciliar ideology.” That ideology, to quote Pozzo, involves the attempt to impose “a new form of the Church in rupture with the past,” which exhibits three characteristics: “1. … the renunciation of anathema, that is, the clear contradistinction between orthodoxy and heresy… 2… the translation of Catholic thought into the categories of modernity… [and] 3. … the interpretation of the aggiornamento desired by Vatican Council II,” according to which “dialogue” ends up “obscuring the urgency and the call of conversion to Christ and adherence to His Church.”
Accordingly, although we hear endlessly during this pontificate of a “missionary Church” that goes to the “peripheries” of its mission, we never hear a proclamation of the Gospel and a call to conversion for the salvation of souls. The “missionary Church” of the para-Conciliar ideology has essentially rejected missionary activity. “Mission” now means, effectively, “no mission.”
A perfect example of this ideological transformation of meaning was seen during the Pope’s trip to Myanmar, where, as Sandro Magister notes, “There was only one moment in which Jesus was named and his Gospel proclaimed” — not by Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ, but by the Buddhist foreign minister Aung San Suu Kyi, who said this:
“Jesus himself offers a ‘manual’ for this strategy of peacemaking in the Sermon on the Mount. The eight Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:3-10) provide a portrait of the person we could describe as blessed, good and authentic. Blessed are the meek, Jesus tells us, the merciful and the peacemakers, those who are pure in heart, and those who hunger and thirst for justice.
“This is also a programme and a challenge for political and religious leaders, the heads of international institutions, and business and media executives: to apply the Beatitudes in the exercise of their respective responsibilities. It is a challenge to build up society, communities and businesses by acting as peacemakers. It is to show mercy by refusing to discard people, harm the environment, or seek to win at any cost.”
Ironically enough, the Buddhist foreign minister was quoting Francis himself, from a message he had published for the 2017 World Day of Peace. But although Pope Francis had traveled to the “peripheries” of Myanmar, his own speech there had nothing to do with mission or the Gospel but rather, says Magister, “was completely ‘secular,’ except for the final invocation upon those present of “the divine blessings of wisdom, strength and peace.”
But from Pope Francis there was not the least mention in Myanmar of the Christ whose Vicar he is, nor the Gospel it is the Church’s mission to spread in order to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” (Matthew 18:19-20) The Buddhist politician in attendance did more to preach the Gospel than the Pope.
The para-Conciliar ideology, in its various manifestations, now exceeds even the Arian heresy in the scope of its devastation. But with the worst crisis in Church history must come, in God’s good time, the most dramatic restoration in Church history. Doubtless this will involve obedience at last to the imperatives of the Message of Fatima.