In an exclusive interview with Bishop Schneider, Diane Montagna of LifeSiteNews reports on the Bishop scoring a clarification on diversity of religions from Pope Francis – ROME 3-7-2019
At a March 1 meeting, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan, obtained from Pope Francis a clarification that God only permits but does not positively will a “diversity of religions.”
LifeSiteNews: Can you say [something] about how Pope Francis responded to your concern about the Abu Dhabi statement on the diversity of religions? The controversial passage reads:
“The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.”
Bishop Schneider: On the topic of my concern about the phrase used in the Abu Dhabi document – that God “wills” the diversity of religions – the Pope’s answer was very clear: he said that the diversity of religions is only the permissive will of God. He stressed this and told us: you can say this, too, that the diversity of religions is the permissive will of God. I tried to go more deeply into the question, at least by quoting the sentence as it reads in the document. The sentence says that as God wills the diversity of sexes, color, race and language, so God wills the diversity of religions. There is an evident comparison between the diversity of religions and the diversity of sexes. I mentioned this point to the Holy Father, and he acknowledged that, with this direct comparison, the sentence can be understood erroneously. I stressed in my response to him that the diversity of sexes is not the permissive will of God but is positively willed by God. And the Holy Father acknowledged this and agreed with me that the diversity of the sexes is not a matter of God’s permissive will. But when we mention both of these phrases in the same sentence, then the diversity of religions is interpreted as positively willed by God, like the diversity of sexes. The sentence therefore leads to doubt and erroneous interpretations, and so it was my desire, and my request that the Holy Father rectify this. But he said to us bishops: you can say that the phrase in question on the diversity of religions means the permissive will of God.
LifeSiteNews: For readers who may not be familiar with the distinction between the permissive and positive will of God, can you give some examples of other things that God allows through his permissive will?
Bishop Schneider: Yes, permissive will means that God allows certain things. God allowed or permitted Adam’s sin and all its consequences; and even when we personally sin, in some sense God permits this or tolerates this. But God does not positively will our sin. He permits it in view of the infinitely meritorious sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, and because he does not want to destroy our freedom. This is the meaning of the permissive will of God.
/// That’s the heart of it. Great! But, what does this actually mean? I was explaining the above exchange to another priest who exclaimed that what it means is not really hard to figure out. However, sometimes you have to spell things out. Shall we?
To indicate that Islam belongs to that category of things definitely NOT positively willed by God but only “willed” by way of grudging tolerance in view of the free will God gave to us (the so-called “permissive will” of God) is to say that Islam is a false religion and that to choose willingly and knowingly to belong to that “religion” is a grave sin. So, let’s just say that all on its own, shall we? …
Islam is a false religion.
Pope Francis might as well have said to the imam guy: “Islam is an insult to God and is detrimental to mankind. Pope Francis might as well have said that Islam, that is, error has no rights, no rights to murder the innocent, no rights to stop the worship of true religion, no rights to stop the free exercise of true religion, no rights to tax non-Muslims to death, no rights to force non-Muslims into exile, no rights to hack down non-Muslims wherever they might be found, no rights to rights to spread by the sword that “religion.”
Having said that, keep in mind that all that which is Judeo-Catholic is but one religion. Everything in the Hebrew Scriptures points to the Jewish Messiah, the Suffering Servant, the Son of the Living God. Now that expectation is fulfilled. Jews have been given the fullness of revelation, as Siri and Lagrange and before them, Aquinas, said so eloquently. Paul has it that there is a veil, which speaks to the fullness of true religion, just that there is presently a veil.
Note that religion is a virtue of justice, rendering to God that which God is due in justice, that is, our obedience, that which, after original sin, only Jesus can accomplish of His own, taking the initiative to lay down His life for us (see Gen 3:15), standing in our stead, the Innocent for the guilty, having the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, to have us once again be obedient, in Him, to God: