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Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Pope Instills Fear on the Most Joyful Day for Christianity

For far too long it seems, we have trusted the systems that run our lives. Undoubtedly born out of sincerity, fairness and prosperity, these systems are difficult to distrust because they are so heavily ingrained in our lives. However, if these systems themselves have no accountability, the opportunity for collusion always exists.

What more is there to trust than current behavior? If the things that are supposed to help us aren’t, whose job is it to hold these things accountable, if not us?

I just can’t take this nonsense anymore. Today, April 16, 2017, the associated press released an article about the Pope’s Easter address. Here is a link to the article:

“On Christianity’s most joyful day,” as Frances D’Emilio writes, these are his words about the Pope’s address. “He encouraged people to hold fast in their “fearful hearts” to faith, acknowledging that many people wonder where God is amid so much evil and suffering in the world.” Earlier he writes, “Pope Francis reflected on the litany of suffering in the world, including wars, oppressive regimes, human trafficking, corruption, famine and domestic violence.” Later he writes, “Francis prayed that God would sustain those working to comfort and help the civilian population in Syria, “prey to a war that continues to sow horror and death.”

So according to the Pope, holding on to fear and praying is the answer to our problems. Why is the message not about shedding fear and breaching the boundaries of hate and violence?

2Timothy 1:7 (KJV) “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;

but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

We do not have “fearful hearts,” we have courageous hearts, and “holding fast to fear” does not inspire power, love, or a sound mind. Why is taking action not an option before praying to a God that has already blessed us with everything we need? How are we supposed to get rid of war, hate and violence, without changing our actions? Why is the message not about empowering the people to create the peace in the world we are all after?

“Separately, in a letter he sent to the bishop of Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, whose name he chose for his papacy, the pope decried the “scandalous reality of a world still marked by the divide between the endless number of indigent” and the “tiny portion of those who possess the majority of riches and presume to decide the fates of humanity.” Umm, I’m sorry but aren’t you, Mr. Pope, in fact one of these “tiny portions of people that possess the majority of riches and presume to decide the fates of humanity,” as you advise people to “hold onto fear?” Why Mr. Pope, are you committed to instilling fear in your people, instead of teaching about understanding, compassion, love, and courage?

I pray for the people to look inside their hearts, filled with power, love, and peace, as 2Timothy proclaims. I pray that the people have the strength to stand up and understand that war, hate, and violence is not up to God to change. It is up to us to make new decisions.

Upon concluding the article, it states, “he said having faith on Easter gives sense in the middle of “so many calamities: the sense of looking beyond, the sense of saying, look, there isn’t a wall, there’s a horizon, there’s life, there’s joy.” Amazing. He finally says something somewhat inspired, however the message is completely incongruent.

How can one find joy, when holding on to fear?

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