A Better Interpretation of the Pope on War

troops rising

(I think the Pope’s comments on war may have been far more canny than I first realized. He probably was NOT ignoring the role of ISIS and Islamic fundamentalism in the terrors that now beset the world, but offering a universal definition of how to recognize legitimate religion. If that is the case, he lays the groundwork for people of all faiths, including those Imams who want their faith without the terror and oppression, to reject murderous terror as contrary to any religion. It may or may not bear fruit, but it gives a chance at safe haven for any who want faith without terror.

One of the commenters here, Monica, gave a much better interpretation of it all than I did. So after a few reminders of upcoming events, I offer you her take.-CJ)

Tomorrow I will be in Riverside, California:

Riverside, CA (Free Event)

Friday July 29, 2016

7:00 pm:  Canyon crest country club,  975 Canyon Crest Drive, Riverside, CA. 92506

Contact Vanessa at tnrs.riverside@gmail.com

Also, Anthony Mullen, US national director of the Flame of Love Movement, will be in the Sacramento, California area this weekend. His appearances will be at:

Friday, July 29, 6pm – 8pm

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church

4123 Robertson Ave.

Sacramento, California


Saturday, July 30, 6 pm – 8 pm

St. Mel’s Catholic Church

4745 Pennsylvania Ave.

Fair Oaks, California


Sunday, July 31, 6 pm – 8 pm

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church

2700 Dover Ave.

Fairfield, California


And now, Monica’s solid piece on the Pope and war:

By Monica

“When I speak of war, I talk about it seriously, but it’s not a war of religion. It’s a war for money, for resources, for nature, for dominion. This is the war,” Pope Francis told journalists on his July 27 flight from Rome to Krakow.

“Could one think of a religious war? No. All religions want peace. Others want war,” he said. “Is that clear?”-(Pope Francis)

I believe that our Holy Father was more than likely trying to be prudent and was too wise to get cornered by the press into stating on a plane bound for World Youth Day that we are in a war with Islam. I believe he has learned even more since he became Pope about dealing with the press and was advised well on this issue. He knew not to let the press corner him into saying something that would make things worse and spark a fire. I am hopeful he will clarify at the proper time and place that the war is with those terrorists particularly in ISIS who murder and that they do not practice a legitimate religion. By his definition a legitimate religion would seek peace if one knows the one true God or they would not act as they do-committing evil atrocities for power, money, domination or simply pure hatred (or for any other reason for that matter).
Let us love, appreciate and support our Pope. He is after all viewing the world at war, recognizing it, proclaiming it and beginning to define it for us in the least incendiary way possible. Popes have a very great responsibility to lead us. As Catholics we can look to our Pope to help us understand the times we are living in. The Pope is infallible on matters of faith and morals when he speaks ex-cathedra. However, I know a Pope might not get everything exactly right on issues not relating to faith and morals here or there. They may also misspeak from time to time. Priests, Bishops and the Pope are after all human. I know when I say something that is confusing for someone else I would appreciate their providing me the Christian charity of allowing me an opportunity to clarify.

When Jesus proclaimed Peter the first Pope. He knew we would need someone who could clarify matters of faith and morals. I believe He also gave us the gift of the Papacy to help us to come through storms, encourage us and help us to understand the times that we live in. If we can find this in our friend Charlie and others, how much more can we find this in the successor of Peter? There have been dark and difficult times in the years since Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima as we await the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Era of Peace. During these years, Jesus has blessed us with some excellent Popes who have indeed helped us through the storms, encouraged us and helped us to understand the times that we live in. I love Pope Francis and I believe he will give us the direction we need in this matter because it is after all effecting his flock-those Jesus placed in his loving care. Below are the words of Jesus from the Bible as He proclaimed Peter our first Pope. I love this chapter!

Mathew 16:13-20 Peter’s Declaration about Jesus
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah
Below is a link to a very good article stating what the Pope actually said. It is from this article that I quoted the Pope’s words above. May God hold Charlie and all of you in His warm and comforting embrace, Monica

About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
This entry was posted in Church Governance, Discernment, Guest Columns and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

420 Responses to A Better Interpretation of the Pope on War

  1. CrewDog says:

    Well!! The Christmas Season will Kick-Off in about three weeks when Wally-World puts-up the garden stuff and puts-out the Christmas stuff ;-( …….. and most of BoobLand USA (Earth) will start dreaming of Football, Halloween and Sugar Plum Fairies ……….. I’m hoping most here have already pulled their heads out of their ….. and are planning for a pleasant best outcome ……….. but considering “more useful items” to place under the Christmas Tree and in the “Stockings” ……… Right!? …..EH!!??
    “Islamic State Answers Pope Francis: Ours Is a Religious War and We Hate You’



    Liked by 2 people

    • zsa says:

      Amen CrewDog. And may God in His mercy save souls everywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Snowy Owl says:

      Benedictus Deus Pater Franciscus Pontifex vivat!!!

      Liked by 3 people

      • janet says:

        Many might not know of a mystical experience which occurred to Pope Francis on September 21, 1953, when he was 17 years old.

        One of the central claims of the Catholic faith is not only that God exists, that He is real, but also that He can communicate with human beings, that human beings can be “pierced” by the actual sense of the divine presence, can experience and be aware of this real presence, can — as the very first verse of the old Baltimore Catechism taught — “know” God, then “love and serve Him.”

        The Vatican had released a statement about the Pope’s coat-of-arms.
        But hidden in the statement was something that few knew up until now: that there was a mystical experience at the origin of this Pope’s religious life.

        That this Pope, at the age of 17, while deep in prayer, was touched by God.
        That this Pope, at the age of 17, was filled with the Spirit of God, in a very special way, and given the grace to begin a life of total commitment to God, which has ended up bringing him to the throne of St. Peter.

        We know that many young people (all young people?) pass through a period of time when they seek with great intensity to know their place in this world — to hear their calling, to find their true vocation.

        And now we know that Pope Francis passed through this process of discernment, too.
        The homily of the Venerable Bede on the calling of St. Matthew “is a tribute to the divine mercy and is reproduced in the Liturgy of the Hours for the Feast of St. Matthew,” the Vatican told us in a press release.

        This homily “has a particular meaning in life and the spiritual journey of the Pope,” the Vatican said.

        “In fact,” the Vatican continued, “on the Feast of St. Matthew [September 21] in the year 1953, the young Jorge Mario Bergoglio experienced at the age of 17 years, in a very special way, the loving presence of God in his life.

        “Following a confession, he felt his heart touched and sensed the descent of the mercy of God, who with a look of tender love, called him to the religious life, following the example of St. Ignatius of Loyola.”

        In these few, spare words, we are told of an experience which transformed the life of young Jorge.

        He felt his heart “touched” and he “sensed” the “descent of the mercy of God.”
        He felt, “in a very special way,” the “loving presence of God in his life.”

        He felt, we are told, as if God were gazing upon him, “with a look of tender love.”
        These are all the elements of a personal experience of Christ (for Christ is God, and Christ is God’s mercy).

        These are the elements of a mystical, life-transforming experience of God’s actual presence. These are the elements of an experience of meeting God, face to face.

        This is the secret of Pope Francis: that he experienced personally, in a powerful way, the goodness and mercy of God, and found the experience so powerful, that it changed his entire life, led him to become a priest, a Jesuit, and now the Bishop of Rome and head of the Church.

        Pope Francis, after much prayer, experienced something extraordinary. “the descent of the mercy of God.”

        Liked by 6 people

  2. zsa says:

    I hardly ever read Fr. Z and don’t know if he often speaks poorly of Pope Francis. Just wanted to point out that the article using the term “Bergoglio” is from a blog called Fr Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment at liturgicalnotes. Seems Fr. Z reposted the whole article from July 29. So in this case, the disrespectful wording isn’t directly from Fr. Z. I dislike the use of the Pope’s last name to belittle him. 😦 God bless everyone here! I’m learning so much. Thank you all. 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Thanks for pointing that out, Zsa. When someone disrespectfully calls Pope Francis “Bergoglio” I usually almost immediately tune out to anything else they have to say.

      Liked by 3 people

      • zsa says:

        Charlie, I used to follow MDM, till caring people showed me the truth. Now I try to help others. Reading so much against Pope Francis and the disrespect wears one down. But I try to give them the truth. Usually doesn’t work though.

        Liked by 6 people

        • charliej373 says:

          Oh, I am so glad you got shed of MDM. She was a toxic fraud…but I have sometimes thought the devil was not really trying to convince too many people of her message. It was such a clumsy fraud I wonder if the devil was not just trying to convince people he is clumsy.

          Liked by 5 people

  3. Gary says:

    It seems then that most if not all the hierarchy in America is guilty of violence against the Catholic Faith..i.e Biden officiates at a homosexual marriage and Wuerl says nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Darlene says:

    I think what our Holy Father is trying to say/do is redirect our attention to the truth that what is in the hearts of MOST of our brothers and sisters, most of God’s children who are walking the face of this earth, is goodness and a desire for goodness. God lives in each of us, regardless of our circumstances or religion. The Muslims that I know personally are of the same heart as mine — they love and laugh and hurt and struggle and empathize daily — just as you and I do — and they wish harm to no one. They simply do not have it in their hearts or nature or psyche to strike or cause harm or pain or injury to anyone, just as you yourself are not inclined to violence against your brother. While it’s true that certain cultures, regions, conditions — and governments — foster despair and violence, it is not true that religion itself does; if that was true we would be fighting this fight individually, on a daily basis, with every Muslim we encounter. It’s the fear that this WILL happen, and someday soon, that is driving the negative attacks and comments regarding our Holy Father and these times we live in. That’s an understandable, but unfortunate, reaction that we should try to resist. Religion resides in the hearts of men, right where God is. Pope Francis is trying to remind us that our millions of good and decent and gentle and loving and kind Muslim brothers and sisters — real people, neighbors and friends that we know and love — are not suddenly going to turn off their hearts and their very natures, and turn into monsters. He is speaking pastorally to remind us that who we are fighting, undeniably and far too frequently, are unbalanced, miserable, radicalized, cowardly and faulty individuals, and clusters of faulty individuals, who have, as seen throughout history, used faulty justifications to strike out violently at humanity. When we fall into the trap of speaking of all Muslims in general and universal terms of fear and hatred and distrust, it’s as if we forget that our Muslim brothers and sisters who are peaceful and honorable even exist. That’s wrong, and is in itself a fostering of hate and distrust that will only foster more hate and distrust. Instead of sitting and stewing, a constructive thing to do would be to go out and get to know the hearts of our muslim neighbors in our own communities. Really get to know them. Like, now. God bless you Papa.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gary says:

      There is only on true religion. Everything else is a falsehood or paganism. If Christ established the Church and He said I am the way, the life, and the Truth, then evil created Islam. If they reject Jesus then they reject God.


      • YongDuk says:

        Not sure if you ever really read Psalm 15, Gary, but I offer it here.

        Psalm 15

        LORD, who may abide in your tent?
        Who may dwell on your holy mountain?

        Whoever walks without blame,
        doing what is right,
        speaking truth from the heart;

        Who does not slander with his tongue,
        does no harm to a friend,
        never defames a neighbor;

        Who disdains the wicked,
        but honors those who fear the LORD;

        Who keeps an oath despite the cost,
        lends no money at interest,
        accepts no bribe against the innocent.c

        Whoever acts like this
        shall never be shaken.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Darlene says:

          Beautiful – thank you for posting


        • Gary says:

          I read the Divine Office so yes I am familiar with this Psalm. I do not presume know what God does
          with pagans, but I do know that Christ said go to all nations and preach the Gospel and those who reject the Gospel will be judged. Only through Christ’s church can any one be saved. Look at the Khan individual who pulled out the constitution and waved it at Trump, while he had a copy of Sharia law in his other pocket. They will ingratiate themselves to us, but can they really be trusted, when they are allowed to lie in order to establish the Caliphate. In a short period of time in Bosnia peaceful coexistence was destroyed with neighbors killing each other in the name of Allah. No Christian can exist in Islamic states with out being oppressed. Where are all the Islamics for them?


  5. Darlene says:

    But Gary, Christ didn’t send his disciples out in anger, with His Word in one hand and a hammer in the other. It’s through our hearts that His heart is revealed. So there’s an importance balance that we have to strive to achieve. You are right, there is reason for alarm and anyone who believes that the Caliphate isn’t real is foolish. And there is honor in defending our faith. But there is also hope in resisting the urge to generalize; hope in looking at our brother AS our brother and recognizing the good in him. You ask ‘where are all the Islamics for our Christian brothers and sisters who are being oppressed?’. Here’s one answer to that from former CIA operative Evan McMullin: “American and other Muslims have played a central role in virtually every counterterrorism win we’ve had since 9/11. They are an indispensable asset in this fight. Attacking them as a group makes America weaker, not stronger”.

    Another reason to realign the way we react comes from reports that suggest that conversions of our Muslim brothers and sisters to Christianity are rising expeditiously. Perhaps someone with further knowledge of this than I have can chime in on whether this is indeed a legitimate, proven claim? In the studies I’ve seen, these conversions are credited in large part to an outright rejection of the violent actions of radicalized Islamists. But here’s food for thought and prayer: one of the top five reasons that people who were raised within Islam say were drawn to Christianity and have converted is this: “‘Biblical teachings about the love of God’. In the Quran, God’s love is conditional, but God’s love for ALL people in the Bible was especially eye-opening for Muslims. These converts were moved by the love expressed through the life and teachings of Jesus”. (based on Dudly Woodbury’s [Fulbright scholar of Islam] 2008 study of MBB converts as sited here: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/why-are-millions-of-muslims-becoming-christian.)

    They were moved by the ‘love of Christ’. A love that WE are charged to evangelize. They most certainly were not moved by anger, or generalizations, or indignation. Just something for all of us to think on.

    Liked by 8 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Marvelous reply, Darlene.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Doug says:

      Nice Darlene

      Liked by 1 person

    • Gary says:

      Elements in the Saudi government financed the Twin Towers destruction. They are friends with us until we do not protect their fiefdom. And one has to be angry at the 100 villagers burned alive or the other countless victims of religious genocide being perpetrated by the peace loving Islamics. And the silence of the so called “good” Islamics is deafening. This is not a peace loving “faith” it is an evil
      political machine pretending to be a religion. I am not saying not to pray for their conversion, but short of an astounding miracle they will always be and evil religious/political system bent on the destruction of Catholicism. There was the Catholics who saved many Jewish lives during WW II,
      where are the Islamics saving the Christian lives? Yes there are a few but very few examples of a minuscule effort on their part. The Egyptian President is one of them, but the persecution in Egypt continues. And then there are the Islamics who went to the Mass commemorations for the butchered priest in France. But I am cynical, and I wonder if that was not just for their own self interests, because they must know that the French people are close to deporting all of them. I have been helping out the Iraqi Christian Relief Council in Glenview IL and they are telling me absolutely terrifying stories of what the Christians are going through. http://iraqichristianrelief.org/

      Make no mistake, we are at war with Islam; and with principalities and forces both spiritual and physical. And yes I am perturbed by a pope who sees everything with the same moral equivalency; who refuses to see that Islam is at war with the foundations of Christianity. Those same Islamics would love to plant the ISIS flag on top of St Peter’s in the Vatican and desecrate and blaspheme
      the Holy Catholic Church as they have been doing in the Middle East.

      Yes I have heard of the former Islamics who have converted, and they are death targets for the caliphate, and they are heroes much like the early Christians who had to face death and martyrdom.

      The article you mention gives me hope and if the political situation were not so dire and there
      was time I would like to think that the conversion of the Islamics would occur. Those tiny lights
      of faith, though, will be all any of us will have soon enough.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. janet says:

    It happens…

    “The pope is not an oracle; he is infallible [only] in very rare situations.” Pope Benedict said reinforcing the point when he published his book “Jesus of Nazareth,” actually inviting people to disagree with him.

    “The Vatican has said that a statement by Pope Benedict XVI on the “impossibility”
    of religious dialogue has been misinterpreted, and does “not put in
    doubt the Pope’s inter-religious commitment.”

    “Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said what the Pope meant was
    that inter-faith dialogue “does not mean questioning one’s own faith.
    It deals with the many other aspects that come from one’s personal beliefs,
    cultural and historical, and their consequences.” (timesonline.co.uk)

    In the book, ‘Light of the World,’ Benedict said that although condoms were not “a real or moral solution,” in some cases, they might be used as “a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility.” He cited as an example a male prostitute who might use a condom so as not to spread disease.

    An answer came directly from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the most powerful Vatican office, in what experts said could be a sign of internal Vatican tensions — or a response to criticism.

    “I have never seen a communiqué from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that explains the words of the pope after the fact,” said Paolo Rodari, a Vatican expert at Il Foglio, an Italian daily newspaper. “I think it’s unique. And it demonstrates how many complaints and serious criticism the Vatican has received.”

    “Certain Interpretations of ‘Light of the World,’ ” was a masterpiece of Vatican nuance. It used technical theological language, while Pope Benedict had used a conversational tone in his book.”

    Pope Francis was asked whether he’s concerned that his statements can be exploited by governments and lobby groups, Francis said “every word” is at risk of being taken out of context, and added..”If I make a mistake, with a bit of shame I ask forgiveness and go forward.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Gary says:

    One more thing:
    And the Word became flesh and He dwelt amongst us And He died and rose again. He went to His Father in Heaven and He promised to Come Again and this will be what we hear as He descends from the clouds:


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