God is the Spirit of the world; and each one can interpret Him in his own way

If we analyze the concept of God in different religions we will encounter the most varied and contradictory interpretations. But for Francis, God is not catholic, He is universal, and each one can conceive the idea of God as he wills.

Francis

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(Eugenio Scalfari): Francis does not discuss dogmas and speaks as little as possible about them. At times he contradicts them directly. It has happened at least twice in the conversation we had and which I hope will continue. Once he said, on his own initiative and without me questioning him: “God is not catholic”. And explained: “God is the Spirit of the world. There are many readings on God, as many as the souls who think about Him, to accept him or to refute his existence, each one in his own way. But God is above these readings and so I say that He is not catholic, but universal”. To my next question about these alarming affirmations, Pope Francis clarified: “We, Christians, conceive God as Christ revealed to us in his preaching. But God belongs to everyone and each one reads Him in his own way. Due to which I say that He is not catholic because He is universal”. (Interview with Eugenio Scalfari, December 29, 2013)

Note 1: The authors of this study are aware that the Press Office of the Vatican has denied the interpretations that some media sources have attributed to certain affirmations contained in the interviews of Pope Francis with Eugenio Scalfari. On the other hand, it is noteworthy that some of these sources are still published on the Vatican website (found by clicking on the links of the articles), lending an official air to their content, seemingly with the approval of Pope Francis himself. In the midst of all the turmoil and confusion caused, we always feel that a presentation of the true doctrine be made with clarity, together with such affirmations. We must not forget that the majority of the public read only the titles that the media publishes, and, as we know, the latter frequently manipulate the truth. Consequently, it appears that a mere declaration that the content of these interviews does not correspond with the textual words of Pope Francis, is simply not sufficient. As such, we publish this article with the intention of clarifying and orienting the faithful, who have always been the principle objective of this page, as we had expressed in our letter of presentation. In this way, each one can make a correct judgment, having beforehand attained knowledge of the truth.

Teachings of the Magisterium

Table of Contents

Pius XI
An aberration: to consider God a meaningless label. Our God is a Personal God.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The differences between Christianity and the other religions cannot be minimized

Catechism of the Catholic Church
Christ is the perfect Word – In Him the Father has said everything

Pius XI

  • An aberration: to consider God a meaningless label. Our God is a Personal God.

Beware, Venerable Brethren, of that growing abuse, in speech as in writing, of the name of God as though it were a meaningless label, to be affixed to any creation, more or less arbitrary, of human speculation. Use your influence on the Faithful, that they refuse to yield to this aberration. Our God is the Personal God, supernatural, omnipotent, infinitely perfect, one in the Trinity of Persons, tri-personal in the unity of divine essence, the Creator of all existence. Lord, King and ultimate Consummator of the history of the world, who will not, and cannot, tolerate a rival God by His side.

The peak of the revelation as reached in the Gospel of Christ is final and permanent. It knows no retouches by human hand; it admits no substitutes or arbitrary alternatives such as certain leaders pretend to draw from the so-called myth of race and blood. (Pius XI, Encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge, March 14, 1937)

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

  • The differences between Christianity and the other religions cannot be minimized

For this reason, the distinction between theological faith and belief in the other religions, must be firmly held. If faith is the acceptance in grace of revealed truth, which “makes it possible to penetrate the mystery in a way that allows us to understand it coherently”, then belief, in the other religions, is that sum of experience and thought that constitutes the human treasury of wisdom and religious aspiration, which man in his search for truth has conceived and acted upon in his relationship to God and the Absolute. This distinction is not always borne in mind in current theological reflection. Thus, theological faith (the acceptance of the truth revealed by the One and Triune God) is often identified with belief in other religions, which is religious experience still in search of the absolute truth and still lacking assent to God who reveals himself. This is one of the reasons why the differences between Christianity and the other religions tend to be reduced at times to the point of disappearance. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration Dominus Iesus, August 6, 2000)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

  • Christ is the perfect Word – In Him the Father has said everything

“In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son” (Heb 1:1-2). Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father’s one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one. St. John of the Cross(The Ascent of Mount Carmel 2,22,3-5), among others, commented strikingly on Hebrews 1:1-2: “In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word – and he has no more to say. . . because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behavior but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 65)

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