This letter has been prompted by “Beware of man in Pope’s robes” (The Lima News, Sept. 26, 2015). It is extremely difficult not to describe the letter simply as a “religious rant.” Without addressing everything, I would like to point out the following:
The Pope is controversial; so was Jesus. The pope believes in the power of forgiveness; so did Jesus, including for those who murdered him. Forgiveness of sin does not imply approval of the sinful action. On the contrary, it assumes both that something was wrong and the need for repentance and renewed positive efforts in the future. Without forgiveness for failings, where would we all be?
As for granting statehood to Palestine, Pope Francis is unable to grant statehood to anyone. That being said, I believe it is safe to say that the world community longs for an end to violence and misery in that part of the world. A two-state solution might be one good step in that direction.
Regarding the Pope’s homily for Easter 2013 (available on the Vatican website), it has no praise for Satan; he is not even mentioned. Nowhere is Jesus called “Lucifer’s son.” What Francis does say in his homily, and I quote: “…he (Jesus) is the Son of God, the living God…” and he appears on Easter Morning as “…the everlasting today of God… as victory over sin, evil, death, over everything that crushes life and makes it seem less human.”
Elsewhere, prior to becoming Pope, Francis does speak of Satan as follows: “His fruits are always destruction; division, hate, and slander. I feel him everytime I am tempted to do something that is not what God wants for me” (“On Heaven and Earth,” page 8).
— Al O’Dell