MANILA, Dec. 29, 2014—A concerned Catholic netizen has raised the alarm on the “irresponsible” way some media organizations cast an image of Pope Francis that, while popular, distorts his real views at the expense of his original intent.
Carlos Palad, a member of the Catholic groups Filipinos for Life and the Defensores Fidei Foundation, expressed resentment over how a television network has made the Holy Father seem to be espousing beliefs that directly go against official Church teachings through its papal t-shirt merchandise.
“Regarding the ‘No Religion’ t-shirt – who do they think the Pope is? An atheist? He is the head of the Roman Catholic Church, he has frequently spoken on the existence of Satan, he has insisted – both as cardinal and as Pope – on the importance of the Church,” he told CBCP News in an interview.
According to him, Pope Francis, as then Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, in his book “Open Mind, Faithful Heart,” even declared that “we should feel for the Church the same devotion that we feel for the Virgin Mary”.
“He [also] insisted that to be fruitful and holy we must remain in the Church. This is obviously not a Pope who thinks that religion is not important. This is not a Pope who thinks that being Catholic is not important,” he shared.
Palad also wants to correct the popular but “false” notion Pope Francis’ famous rhetorical question “Who am I to judge?” has brought about, and which has since been quoted and requoted out of context given that the whole sentence reads: “If a gay person seeks God, who am I to judge him?”
“The Pope has condemned the ISIS. The Pope has condemned corruption. The Pope has condemned the Mafia. The Pope has condemned social injustices, as well as abortion. This is a Pope who condemns sin and organizations that promote sin. This is a Pope who judges,” Palad stressed.
“Obviously he does not mean that we should not condemn sin. He is simply repeating the old teaching that we should hate the sin and love the sinner. To illustrate this: we cannot say that someone will certainly go to hell. Only God knows that. But we can say that if someone keeps doing something bad, then he could go to hell,” he added. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)