Monday, August 1, 2016

The Fruit Salad Pontificate

Pope Francis and Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb

In the midst of a wave of horrific Islamic terrorist assaults featuring axe attacks, machete attacks, knife attacks, shootings and bombings at airports and subway stations, suicide vest bombings, car bombings, a mass killing at a nightclub, a mass killing at a concert hall where people were tortured and bodies were mutilated on a floor slick with blood, raids on schools, museums, hotels and restaurants where non-Muslim were often separated out and hacked to death, mammoth car bombs that murdered hundreds, automatic weapons fired into crowds, the use of a nineteen-ton cargo truck to mow down holiday revelers including many children and infants and most recently, the invasion of a church during Mass, where the priest had his throat slit at the altar while a parishioner was forced to film it, the leader of the Catholic Church said this:      
If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence. And no, not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent. It is like a fruit salad; there’s everything.
When the history of this time is written, assuming of course that civilization prevails, I believe the Pope's bizarrely off-key "fruit salad" metaphor may come to symbolize the intellectual decadence of the post-Christian West (or at least it's as good a candidate as any). And if you think about it, as disturbing as it may be for Catholics, it's almost appropriate from the point of view of history that the words were uttered by a decadent post-Christian Pope.

For that's what Bergoglio clearly is, isn't he? He is decadent in the sense that as war builds against the civilization that the Church largely built, he - the leader of that Church - stands above it and removed from it, issuing effete comments - "fruit salad" - while his people are stabbed, hacked, beheaded, shot, crushed or blown to bits.

He is post-Christian in the sense that he wants to be known not as the champion of Christ and Christians but as a leader of religions or of the forces of good or of humanity or whatever other general category he wants to hype in a homily, interview or slickly produced video. Here he emphasizes that there is nothing about Christians or Catholics that makes them particularly special:
I don’t like to speak of Islamic violence, because every day, when I browse the newspapers, I see violence, here in Italy - this one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law - and these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics! 
Later in his remarks, he spoke of his relationship with a Muslim Imam, saying, "I know how they think." Many are aware that that same Muslim Imam thinks that his religion mandates the execution of those who convert to Christianity. I used to believe the Pope was unaware of this. Now I'm not so sure. In the three plus years of his pontificate, I do not believe the Pope has ever positively spoken of conversion - in the sense of officially converting to Christianity from another religion. For Bergoglio, Christianity is almost an ethnic category, valuable and useful in its way certainly - to move its members towards the good - but no better than the other categories, Islam among them, that people may have been born into.

Someone wishing to convert to Christianity - well that has the whiff of fundamentalism about it, which from the post-Christian point of view, is one of the only true evils. Execution is obviously extreme. But islam is a different religion - a fruit salad like all the others. Who are we to judge? Just yesterday, a baptized Catholic murdered his girlfriend.

Juan Mario Bergoglio wants ever so much to be remembered as the Pope of Mercy. I absolutely guarantee that in the end he will not be, though we may all be dead before this can be conclusively verified by history. The following is a more likely label:  

The Fruit Salad Pontificate.


  1. You picked up on the same theme I did, thank you for writing about it more than I did!

  2. Fruit salad? More like, fruitcake!

  3. Depressing. The only time in my life I didn't love the pope.