So reads the front page headline in the National Post last week (July 28). Is this really news though, that the world may be at war? Jesus Christ said a sign of his coming would be his followers hearing of wars and rumours of wars… (Matthew 24:3 – 6)
The article declared, “The Pope was speaking at the start of his first trip to Eastern Europe, where anti-immigrant sentiments have been rising. He encouraged Europe to welcome refugees from war, hunger and religious persecution and called for compassion.”
“Francis is celebrating World Youth Day in Poland, where the government has shut the doors to migrants and many fear that accepting Muslim refugees would threaten the nation’s security and its Catholic identity.”
“As he started the five-day trip, he told an audience of Poland’s president, diplomats and other dignitaries that what is needed is ‘a spirit of readiness to welcome those fleeing from wars and hunger, and solidarity with those deprived of their fundamental rights including the right to profess one’s faith in freedom and safety.”
So in solidly Roman Catholic Poland, there is no legal immigration of Muslims as “many”, (a significant number, like a majority of the citizens?) fear Muslims refugees would threaten security and the place Catholicism has in Poland. And these are refugees fleeing war who would come into Poland legally. Meanwhile, when this same pope comes to Mexico, to the border where predominantly Catholic Mexicans are not fleeing war and are illegally entering the United States, he says Donald Trump is not a Christian because Trump thinks that these Mexicans should not be entering illegally and he would see that a wall is built so they cannot do so. Yes, very consistent.
One also wonders about “the right to profess one’s faith in freedom and safety” in light of the Fourth Lateran Council though.
In 1215, a great Middle Age assembly of Catholic clergy convened the Fourth Lateran Council, presided over by Pope Innocent III. According to Catholic author Lewis Ellies Du Pin: “In the third canon they excommunicated and anathematized all the heretics who oppose the Catholic and orthodox faith… “
This canon became part of Church law and the commandment to extirpate, or destroy, heretics was put into practice a short time later. According to Wikipedia, part of the third canon states that secular authorities are “…to take an oath that they will strive in good faith and to the best of their ability to exterminate in the territories subject to their jurisdiction all heretics pointed out by the Church…” (emphasis added).
This canon was one of a number decided on by this ecumenical council. A Catholic source called it “the most important council of the Middle Ages”, marking “the culminating point of ecclesiastical life and papal power.” Presided over by a Pope, the decisions made by such a council, according to Catholic sources, is just as valid, infallible and permanent as the judgment by the first church council in Jerusalem, detailed in Acts 15.