Pope Francis: other religions are false

World Youth Day 2016 Pope Francis and Jesus

[[Update: putting this up again in view of Amazonian belligerence. It seems a bishop defended that cultures killing of kids by saying everyone does that so in the Amazon it is a good thing. That doesn’t follow. It just means we all need redemption and salvation. No one has ever said elsewhere that Jesus said killing kids is good. Having said that, I don’t understand Pope Francis tolerating any “dialogue” about the murder of children. Creepy.]]


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:

Jewish Jesus is Religion Incarnate.

17 Comments

Filed under Ecumenism, Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Pope Francis

17 responses to “Pope Francis: other religions are false

  1. pelerin

    It is all so confusing. A few weeks back I watched the Pope on KTO – I forget at which event he was speaking – and the French translation of what he said was ‘Il vaut mieux avoir des tesselles (mosaic tesserae) de plusieurs couleurs que des tesselles d’une seule couleur.’ This shocked me as it seemed to mean that he believed a variety of religions is better than one sole religion. This has worried me ever since as I had never doubted I had found the One True Faith against all odds. I have never regretted my decision but when I hear things like this I do sometimes wonder if I did the right thing.

    • Father George David Byers

      You did the right thing. He’s not speaking to the universal Church, just this or that person. It’s not infallible!

  2. pelerin

    So if I had met Pope Francis 54 years ago do you think he would have told me not to consider converting and thus saving my parents the resulting pain that I caused them by following what I was convinced – and still am – was the right thing to do?

    • Father George David Byers

      Well… I don’t know. That attitude was certainly everywhere by the mid-1970s. But that’s just him. That wouldn’t be ex cathedra. Jesus and HIS sacraments and HIS Church are important. Personal views or volleys in dialogue are not important. Jesus is the One, the only One.

  3. sanfelipe007

    I agree. Sometimes the truth must be spelled out.

  4. elizdelphi

    This is good to see Pope Francis acknowledged that it is true only as God’s permissive will. God’s permissive will is even why demons can attack us.

  5. Bob

    “Permissive will” is also not defined; not ex-cathedra. So are we playing semantics?

    • Father George David Byers

      Permissive will is self evident in view of the free will God created us with. To throw tantrums that it be ex-cathedra is entirely absurd. Surreal. Perhaps you’re playing a semeiotic version of a dialectical ideology and so choose not to understand. Keep your we to yourself.

    • Bob

      Are we confusing Religion with Faith? Did not St. Paul make a distinction between Law and Grace? Law is Religion; Grace is God’s gratuitous gift of Faith. Are we the ones to determine what God wills using our theological concepts? Do we really know what God wills, and what he only permits? Have we eaten of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?

      • Father George David Byers

        Religion is part of the virtue of justice, rendering to our Heavenly Father that which is His due. Jesus is religion incarnate. “Not my will but thine be done.” Judeo-Catholic. We have the gift of enmity. Try it sometime. Do good. Avoid evil. Free Will is not erased by grace. Jesus is the One. Follow Him.

      • Bob

        Fr. Byers, Are you taking my comment as a personal affront? Can you be less clerical and more pastoral in your reply?

      • Father George David Byers

        Your second question answers your first. I’m not interested in any affrontery hissy-fit you think you have to offer as something that has to be received. It’s interesting, though, that you seem indignant that you can’t browbeat all priests, wanting them to cower in submission to you as if that sycophancy were to be equated to being pastóral. Oh, the power of it all. Pfft. Try reading the Gospels. Jesus is quite up front with people about their fickleness. His was not a reaction but an instruction.

  6. Father George David Byers

    Also, mercy, a potential part of the virtue of justice, and justice, are the same in God. Jesus is also Irony Incarnate. God so loved the world… You know, Jn 3:16.

    • Father George David Byers

      To the young, the pure, and the ingenuous, irony must always appear to have a quality of something evil, and so it has, for […] it is a sword to wound. It is so directly the product or reflex of evil that, though it can never be used – nay, can hardly exist – save in the chastisement of evil, yet irony always carries with it some reflections of the bad spirit against which it was directed. […] It suggests most powerfully the evil against which it is directed, and those innocent of evil shun so terrible an instrument. […] The mere truth is vivid with ironical power […] when the mere utterance of a plain truth labouriously concealed by hypocrisy, denied by contemporary falsehood, and forgotten in the moral lethargy of the populace, takes upon itself an ironical quality more powerful than any elaboration of special ironies could have taken in the past. […] No man possessed of irony and using it has lived happily; nor has any man possessing it and using it died without having done great good to his fellows and secured a singular advantage to his own soul. [Hilaire Belloc, “On Irony” (pages 124-127; Penguin books 1325. Selected Essays (2/6), edited by J.B. Morton; Harmondsworth – Baltimore – Mitcham 1958).]

  7. Aussie Mum

    “But he (Pope Francis) said to us bishops: you can say that the phrase in question on the diversity of religions means the permissive will of God.”
    Yes, they can say it, and Bishop Schneider has, but it would be better if the pope said it. By refusing to clarify the matter himself he is raising doubts that shake faith in Our Lord and His Church, for if God positively willed – rather than permitted – many religions, that would mean that He set up Satanism (direct devil worship), Paganism (indirect devil worship via idols) and heresies (e.g. Protestantism and Islam) in order to lead people away from what He became man and died for. Impossible!
    Ambiguity from the pope in matters of the faith undermines it, prompting the question: What is he thinking?

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