Human Fraternity

| Articolo in Italiano |

In today’s world we hear a lot of beautiful things. We see a lot of efforts done to promote what many calls “The Brotherhood Among Men”. For the promoters of this concept, it is important that we understand each other, to accept each other, to learn from our differences for us to live a peaceful and happy life in this world. Sounds good and captivating. But for us Catholic Christians is this enough? Is this really the will of God for us?

For me the clear answer is NO! Unless these efforts are conceived with God as our Father and Jesus Christ as the head of this “brotherhood” being the first born over all creation (cf. Colossians 1:15) and obedience to his teachings are acknowledged and defended, with the help of the Holy Spirit, these initiatives put man as the center of its efforts and not God. They are putting MAN first before God and asserting as if this world is the only world we have, that what is important is the life we are living here, forgetting the eternal life for which we were created. After all, how can we be brothers and sisters if we do not accept and believe the same Father? And how can that One Father reveal that Jesus Christ is His Only Begotten Son to some, and to others Muhammad is his greatest prophet?

On the 4th of February 2019, Pope Francis signed the Document on Human Fraternity with the grand imam of of al-Azhar in Abu Dhabi (UAE) with the words: “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. “ (Document on Fraternity). This raised a question: How can God will the existence of diverse religions, with different professions of faith, each proclaiming what they teach is true yet in direct contradiction of the other. If God is One, the Truth about Him is one! There is no way there can be multiple truths, one plus one is two. There is no way it can be otherwise even if you firmly believe that one plus one is five! The truth remains the same. And we know that we can only know the Truth because God himself revealed them to us especially in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The only way we can explain the plurality of religions is because of the permissive will of God. This only means that nothing happens in the world without God permitting it, but that doesn’t mean that he willed it. It can be similar to it is my will that my son becomes a doctor but if he wants to be otherwise, “I permit my son to be want he wants to be (giving him freedom)”. God is so great that he willed to create man with free will. Giving us free will he is expecting to make the right choice. If we choose the opposite, we know that we will have to face the consequence of that choice. If I set upon you a choice between two rooms, one with a festive meal prepared and the other with poisonous snakes; if you choose to enter the room with poisonous snakes because you are free to choose that, you cannot blame me if you are bitten by the snakes. You will suffer because of the wrong choice you made.

If really God willed the existence of many religions, different professions of faith, then it should not matter whether I am Christian or not, a Catholic or Protestant, to believe and not to believe if Jesus is the Son of God or not! What then is the meaning of Jesus saying: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

There is a great danger in trying to put too much effort for promoting “human fraternity”, without first knowing our common Father and His Will for humanity. Doing the opposite will only end in a false respect for “our brother”, keeping him in error and far from the Truth that God revealed. It is indeed true that “some are more easily deceived by the outward appearance of good when there is question of fostering unity among all Christians.” (Encyclical MORTALIUM ANIMOS, Pope Pius IX, no. 3)

The same Encyclical Mortalium Animos: “Admonished, therefore, by the consciousness of Our Apostolic office that We should not permit the flock of the Lord to be cheated by dangerous fallacies, We invoke, Venerable Brethren, your zeal in avoiding this evil; for We are confident that by the writings and words of each one of you the people will more easily get to know and understand those principles and arguments which We are about to set forth, and from which Catholics will learn how they are to think and act when there is question of those undertakings which have for their end the union in one body, whatsoever be the manner, of all who call themselves Christians.” (Mortalium Animos, no. 5)

”So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it.” (Mortalium Animos, no. 10)

It is really confusing if Holy Mother Church teaches these things from a Papal Encyclical, today many people inside the Church, even those in the hierarchy just seem to ignore them.

Let us not be led astray. “The Catholic Church is alone in keeping the true worship. This is the fount of truth, this the house of Faith, this the temple of God: if any man enters not here, or if any man go forth from it, he is a stranger to the hope of life and salvation. Let none delude himself with obstinate wrangling. For life and salvation are here concerned, which will be lost and entirely destroyed, unless their interests are carefully and assiduously kept in mind.” (Mortalium Animos, no. 11)

It is really sad to see that we compromise truth just to get to feel and be part of this “global fraternity”. To sacrifice our faith in order not to hurt “my brother” even if in doing so, we directly forget what God our Father taught thru Scripture and Tradition. We must bear in mind what the beloved Apostle said: “He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” (II John 1:10-11)

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary. It commemorates the day the “Holy League” defeats the invading Ottoman empire in the Battle of Lepanto in the year 1571. Pope St. Pius V attributed this victory through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Even in this present time we are called to pray and be vigilant to protect the faith of Holy Mother Church against her enemies.

Bernard Perez
7 October 2022