Sunday 29th November 2020

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Saving Souls, Not Whales Should Be Pope Francis’ Focus

September 17, 2019 Frontpage No Comments

By REY FLORES

Various media outlets noted an encounter Pope Francis had with reporters on the papal plane as he made his way to visit several African nations. Nicolas Seneze handed him a copy of his recently published book, How America Wants to Change the Pope.
When asked about the book, the Pope responded that it’s “an honor if the Americans attack me.” Americans? Yes, we’re Americans, but in my belief, I consider myself a Catholic before anything else. Why does Pope Francis say things like this? Talk about being thin-skinned and divisive.
I’m fairly confident that if you’re reading The Wanderer, you probably are praying your daily rosary as well. You know that part toward the end where we pray for the Pope’s intentions? Well, this month of September 2019, Pope Francis wants us to pray for Charlie the Tuna and all of his pals under the sea. Cue in Sebastian the crab singing Under da Sea from Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
I don’t mean to make light of it, but given all of the other evils and conflicts going on in the world, Pope Francis instead wants us to pray to literally “save the whales.” What about saving souls?
This morning I got a call from my son John Paul who lives in Omaha with his mom and the rest of our kids. He wanted to wish me a good day before heading off to school. What a joy! Anyway, we talked about this column which I was writing as we spoke.
At fourteen years of age, even he gets it. We discussed the many other concerns going on in the world that Pope Francis could be asking us to pray about. Things like the increasing suicide rates among military servicemen. Then there’s the increase of Catholic divorce, abortion, addictions, the Christian persecution in a few flashpoints across the globe, child sex-trafficking, and more.
My son and I could have gone on all day listing things that we thought were a lot more concerning than the oceans. To Francis’ credit, he did ask us to pray against human trafficking back in February.
I get it. We are to care for all of God’s creation including the environment. Certain industrial entities have been responsible for polluting the waterways by dumping toxic sludge into them. Then there’s the smog that chokes so many people in mega-cities like Beijing, Los Angeles, and Mexico City.
These are definitely things we should be concerned about, but leave that job to the environmental hippies at Greenpeace. The Church has bigger fish to fry, pun intended, than wringing our hands over the ocean.
Come Lent: Will Pope Francis ban all Catholic parishes from hosting their weekly “fish fry” Friday night dinners? We must save the poor little fishes from the evil deep fryers of the world!
The Holy Roman Catholic Church should be focused on the spiritual toxicities and “immoral smog” that are polluting our souls and the souls of our families and friends.
I can’t even imagine how many more sinful things and countless immoralities are killing us all, not just our bodies here on Earth, but more important the social toxicities with eternal consequences. Sorry, not sorry. I’d rather focus on the things that will keep us safe from every evil and save us from eternal damnation.
I don’t mean to be disrespectful by picking on the Pope so much, but we need a shepherd who is more concerned about getting us all to Heaven than saving the darned whales.
If you visit the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) website, you’ll see the current year’s list of the Pope’s monthly intentions. For the most part, there’s little wrong with any of Pope Francis’ intentions, but they seem vague and arbitrary when we need a laser-like focus on how we should be attacking societal ills with our powerful prayers.
There’s no time for milquetoast, feel-good intentions. We are in a major spiritual battle for our souls, as we always have been. And we will continue to fight until Judgment Day. That Judgment Day, be it each one of our own individual judgment days, or the big one when Christ returns to judge us all at once.
Like the old church edifices were once built with tall steeples to help us focus up to Heaven, today’s architectural monstrosities are more horizontal, so that our focus is on earthly things instead of God. This is no accident. Is our current Pope more like one of those modern parish churches that look more like a gymnasium than a palace for the King of Kings?
When I pray my rosary and we get to that part toward the end that I mentioned earlier, I no longer pray for the Pope’s intentions as much as I pray for him and that the Holy Ghost guide him in wisdom, and to grow in love for our souls.
Pray that Pope Francis will get his act together so that we can get back on track and focus on the real concerns of the Church.
If these environmental fanatics are worried about “global warming,” wait until they get to a much hotter place — for eternity.

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(Rey Flores writes opinion and book and movie reviews for The Wanderer. Contact Rey at reyfloresusa@gmail.com.)

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