Saint Bede the Venerable…

…judges Francis’ attitude towards public sinners, changing Vatican protocol

  • Loathing his dishonest gains the publican receives the blessing of his Lord’s company

See here, the camel disencumbered of his hunch passes through the eye of a needle, that is, the rich man and the publican abandoning his love of riches, and loathing his dishonest gains, receives the blessing of his Lord’s company. It follows, and he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. (Saint Bede the Venerable quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea on Lk 19:1-10)

…judges Francis’ idea on the Church’s moral teaching

  • The Lord reproves those who wrongly interpreted the Sabbath rest: the law commands to abstain from servile works, i.e. from evil, on the Sabbath.

But the Lord anticipating the false charge which they were preparing against Him, reproves those who by wrongly interpreting the law thought that they must rest on the Sabbath-day even from good works; whereas the law commands us to abstain from servile works, i.e. from evil, on the Sabbath. Hence it follows, ‘Then said Jesus to them, I ask you, Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath?’ (Saint Bede quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea in Lk 6:6–11)

…judges Francis’ idea on Jesus asking forgiveness from his parents

  • Jesus does not blame his parents for seeking Him as their son, but compels them to raise the eyes of their mind

He blames them not that they seek Him as their son, but compels them to raise the eyes of their mind to what was rather due to Him whose eternal Son He was. Hence it follows, Knew you not? (Saint Bede the Venerable quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea on Lk 2:42–50)

…judges Francis’ idea on Grace

  • Saint Matthew followed Our Lord moved by the interior impulse of grace

There is no reason for surprise that the tax collector abandoned earthly wealth as soon as the Lord commanded him. Nor should one be amazed that neglecting his wealth, he joined a band of men whose leader had, on Matthew’s assessment, no riches at all. Our Lord summoned Matthew by speaking to him in words. By an invisible, interior impulse flooding his mind with the light of grace, he instructed him to walk in his footsteps. In this way Matthew could understand that Christ, who was summoning him away from earthly possessions, had incorruptible treasures of heaven in his gift. (Saint Bede the Venerable. Homily 21 (CCL122, 149-151) – Second reading for the feast of St. Matthew, September 21)

…judges Francis’ idea on God’s love for sinners

  • Blasphemy is only pardoned to those who have gone through sufficient repentance for their sins

All sins and blasphemies are not indeed remitted to all men, but to those who have gone through a repentance in this life sufficient for their sins. (Saint Bede the Venerable quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea on Mk 3:23-30)

…judges Francis’ idea that Koran is a book of peace

  • The perturbations on this earth show that the foundations of peace are constructed over sand

True peace, the only peace of souls in this world consists in being full of the love of God and encouraged by the hope of heaven, to the point of considering a small thing the success or losses of this world. […] They are mistaken who imagine that they may find peace in the enjoyment of the goods of this world and its riches. The frequent perturbations on this earth, and the end of this world should convince man that he has constructed his foundations of peace over sand. (Saint Bede the Venerable. Homilies, Book II. Homily 11, on the vigil of Pentecost: ML 94, 196-197)

  • The Saracens occupy a great part of Africa, Asia and of Europe, with hatred and opposition to all

“The Lord’s messenger said to her: ‘You are now pregnant and shall bear a son; you shall name him Ishmael, For the Lord has heard you, God has answered you. He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him; In opposition to all his kin shall he encamp’” (Gen 16: 11-12). This means that his descendents would live in the wilderness, that is, the roaming Saracens, and without fixed settlements, uniting themselves with all of the warring peoples in the dessert, they are combated by all, and this since the beginning. Now, great is their hand against all, and the hands of all against them, for they impose their dominion throughout Africa, occupying even a great part of Asia and of Europe, holding hatred and opposition to all. (Saint Bede the Venerable. Hexameron in principium Genesis, Commentary on Genesis, Book IV: PL 91, 159)

  • Gaul was laid waste by the Saracens with cruel bloodshed

In the year of our Lord 729, two comets appeared about the sun, to the great terror of the beholders. One of them went before the sun in the morning at his rising, the other followed him when he set in the evening, as it were presaging dire disaster to both east and west; or without doubt one was the forerunner of the day, and the other of the night, to signify that mortals were threatened with calamities at both times. They carried their flaming brands towards the north, as it were ready to kindle a conflagration. They appeared in January, and continued nearly a fortnight. At which time a grievous blight fell upon Gaul, in that it was laid waste by the Saracens with cruel bloodshed; but not long after in that country they received the due reward of their Unbelief. (Saint Bede the Venerable. Ecclesiastical History of England, Book 5, Ch. 23)

…judges Francis’ idea on human suffering

  • Mary had full certainty of the Resurrection

A sword is named the affection of the passion and death of the Lord, that pierced the soul of Mary: because not without a bitter sorrow could she contemplate him crucified and dying, even though she did not in any way doubt that he would resurrect from his death as God. Nevertheless, she terribly grieved the death of the one whom she had begotten of her flesh. (Saint Bede. Homily XV, In Purificatione Beatæ Mariæ. PL 94: 81-82)

  • Jesus cast out the merchants from the Temple signifying those who are externally among the good, and work hypocritically – their life and doctrine are reprobate

With a scourge then made of small cords, He cast them out of the temple; for from the part and lot of the saints are cast out all, who, thrown externally among the Saints, do good works hypocritically, or bad openly. The sheep and the oxen too He cast out, to show that the life and the doctrine of such were alike reprobate. And He overthrew the change heaps of the money-changers and their tables, as a sign that, at the final condemnation of the wicked, He will take away the form even of those things which they loved. The sale of doves He ordered to be removed out of the temple, because the grace of the Spirit, being freely received, should be freely given. (Saint Bede the Venerable quoted by Saint Thomas Aquinas. Catena Aurea in Jn 2:13-17)

…judges Francis’ idea on material charity

  • Alms are not only given in satisfying hunger

For not he alone gives alms who gives food to the hungry and things of that kind, but he also who gives pardon to the sinner, and prays for him, and reproves him, visiting him with some correcting punishment. (Saint Bede the Venerable. Cited in the Catena Aurea on the Gospel of Saint Luke, Lectio 11 – Lk 11:37-41)