Pages

Sunday, October 11, 2020

A Warning to People of Faith

 Five Muslims, two Roman Catholics and a Jew are on a desert island. They decide to call themselves the “Higher Committee of Human Fraternity” and construct, on that desert island, three great monuments to coexistence.  No longer content with campy bumperstickers, the triad of religious power conspire to create concrete dialogue in the shifting sands of Saadiyat Island.

Referred to singularly as the ‘Abrahamic Family House’, the architect who won the design competition for the monuments, describes it as three religious spaces and a fourth secular visitor pavilion (1).  The fourth space will include a raised podium that will allow the visitors to peer into the religious spaces. (2)

As would be expected, such public display of fraternity is viewed with suspicion and concern.  The spectre of a one world religion looms before fringe groups (3) but the architect is careful to keep the distinctions, even as he merges the values.  ““There has never been a building which houses the three faiths in one form, he said.  Rather than mixing the three up, he wanted to preserve “the unique experience of each of the faiths” while at the same time “connecting them all with one device”.”

Our warning is not for the danger of Chrislam in a yamaka.  Nor is it specifically for Abu Dahbis’ newest zoological attraction.


The Abrahamic Family House Design

Our warning springs from the societal shift brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic, reflected through the lens of a Papal Encyclical.  I believe most people, by this time, are aware of the Chinese government implemented Social Credit System, a ranking system that monitors the behavior of its vast citizenry. (5)   Despite the libertarian alarm, it’s appeal, especially to the socialistic paradigm, is undeniable.  All ready, as a result of the COVID 19 (Plandemic, as some suggest)(6), technological systems to monitor citizenry for health are in work in western countries with histories of individual freedom. (7)  The trajectory is clear.  Individual freedom must be suppressed for the good of all, and with that, religious freedom.   

Pope Francis, the current and first Jesuit Vicar of Christ, (though he downplays the title)(8) released the encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” (9) in October (2020) pulling together the threads of liberty, justice and unity onto the spindle of charity with which he, and his brothers at the Abrahamic Family House, intend to weave the societal fabric of universal communion and common good.

 Charity is the word Francis has fastened on as the pinnacle expression of the generosity and goodwill with which he and his Abrahamic brethren will judge true religious spirit of mankind. 

“This is ultimately the idea behind the word “charity”: those who are loved are “dear” to me; “they are considered of great value”. And “the love whereby someone becomes pleasing (grata) to another is the reason why the latter bestows something on him freely (gratis)”. (9)

He very thickly lays down the application of charity, to the existence of life itself.

“Life exists where there is bonding, communion, fraternity; and life is stronger than death when it is built on true relationships and bonds of fidelity. On the contrary, there is no life when we claim to be self-sufficient and live as islands: in these attitudes, death prevails”(10)

“Without charity, we may perhaps possess only apparent virtues, incapable of sustaining life in common. (11)

As Francis teaches that “that no one is saved alone; we can only be saved together”(12),  holding the people of world in unity is the prima facie task.  To this task, the Governor of the World (13) calls the international governments to implement charity.

”it is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions” (14) I would also note the need for a reform of “the United Nations Organization, and likewise of economic institutions and international finance, so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth”.(15)

Much of the teaching of Fratelli Tutti is focused on the expansive socialistic encouragement to the international establishment of individual charity, as manifest in the aspiration of “a world that provides land, housing and work for all. " (16)  where “each country also belongs to the foreigner, inasmuch as a territory’s goods must not be denied to a needy person coming from elsewhere. ”(17)

Alarming as it is, it is not the abject overthrow of national sovereignty and economic freedom that we are warning of here.  Rather, we must focus on the the constant call for a global uniformity of the equity and value of every human being,  that is expressed through the type of kindness that our baser human nature envisions – a kindness that never offends, and never speaks that which would demean or sadden. (18)

The Christian will rightly look askance at an global  ethical system that is said to flow from our [sinful] human nature (19), and will scarcely be surprised to learn that this ethical system is not rigid, “nor does it lead to the imposition of any one moral system, since fundamental and universally valid moral principles can be embodied in different practical rules”(20) Rather, “each of us can learn something from others,” and we must find ways toinclude those on the peripheries of life”(21), writes Francis.

The outgrowth of the charity of this social ethic is a cultural social covenant that realizes “some things may have to be renounced for the common good. No one can possess the whole truth or satisfy his or her every desire, since that pretension would lead to nullifying others by denying their rights.” (22)  The present commitment of the Roman Catholic church to the ideal that no one can possess the whole truth is evidenced by the three temples in Abu Dhabi, each equal in size and foot print, differing internally.


Interior of the Moslem temple



Interior of the Jewish temple


Interior of the Roman Catholic temple

The compound under development on the desert island is a physical representation of the incorpeal unity that will connect us, as one human family, where we can all see and move in all of the spaces, learning from each other in the common areas that undergird and overlook all.

In outlining the plan in Fratelli Tutti, the Pope says we must start anew.  “We no longer have use for empty diplomacy, dissimulation, double-speak, hidden agendas and good manners that mask reality.”(23)  Instead we must confront “those who would debase our dignity”“True love” for those seen as oppressing “means seeking ways to make him cease his oppression” (24).

Francis makes it very clear that his church will not remain on the sidelines but rather must remain in the “political dimension of life itself, which involves a constant attention to the common good and a concern for integral human development. “ (25)  The church must have a public role that “works for the advancement of humanity and universal fraternity” (26)  “wherever the councils of nations come together to establish the rights and duties of man, we are honoured to be permitted to take our place among them”(27)

As part of the international bodies that will govern mankind in charity, Francis explains the boundaries that will be drawn around faith. “We believers are challenged to return to our sources, in order to concentrate on what is essential: worship of God and love for our neighbor, lest some of our teachings, taken out of context, end up feeding forms of contempt, hatred, xenophobia or negation of others. The truth is that violence has no basis in our fundamental religious convictions, but only in their distortion.”(28)  “Violence”, like so many terms in this encyclical, must be considered in a Francian context, as he writes toward the beginning of the document of “verbal violence that is destructive of others” (29) and elsewhere that violence takes many forms.   

As the committee on the desert island attest, the goals of the encyclical will not be achieved alone, but in cooperation with the other major religions of the world.  Indeed, Francis gladly declares with the Grand Iman Ahmad of al-Azhar Al-Tayyeb (30) “religions must never incite war, hateful attitudes, hostility and extremism,”(31) and that those things only result from deviations of religious teachings.

Those familiar with the history of the Society of Jesus will recall how the society has been expelled over and over again in centuries past, often following intense political interference often resulting in assassinations or attempted assassinations . (32) The expulsions came from Catholic and Protestant nations, and the society was even banned by a Pope, Clement the XIV (33) three years before the Americans signed the Declaration of Independence. 

Today, almost 250 years after America launched its great experiment in freedom, the entire world seems gripped in a neo-Christian ethos of intersectionality and “wokeness” where biblically defined categories of sin and condemnation are regarded as “hate speech” (34) (35) and arguments against social justice are labeled racism and hate.  And today, half of the college of Cardinals (which now elect the Pope) are Jesuit trained (36) and a Jesuit rules from papal throne.  

The encyclical of the leader of one of the triad unifying in the desert, teaches us quite clearly that hateful attitudes, hostility and extremism “result from a political manipulation of religions and from interpretations made by religious groups who, in the course of history, have taken advantage of the power of religious sentiment in the hearts of men and women” (36) 

We know what is being defined by society as hate speech, and hostile attitudes, and now we can see the foundation being built for an overarching religious authority, not a one world religion, but a broad, historically based, multi-lateral authority intermingled with secular power, that is vested in making us cease our oppression, and violence, for the good of all mankind.

1.      1.    https://www.adjaye.com/work/the-abrahamic-family-house/

         2.    https://www.vaticannews.va/en/world/news/2019-09/abrahamic-family-house-document-human-fraternity.html

         3.  https://fsspx.news/en/news-events/news/abu-dhabi-babel-abrahamic-family-house-53956

        https://believersportal.com/one-world-religion-headquarters-to-open-2022/

    4.   https://www.vaticannews.va/en/world/news/2019-09/abrahamic-family-house-document-human-fraternity.html

    5.  https://www.businessinsider.com/china-social-credit-system-punishments-and-rewards-explained-2018-4?op=1

    6.  https://plandemicvideo.com/

    7.  https://www.express.co.uk/travel/articles/1345530/holidays-coronavirus-passport-UK-travel-ban-quarantine-self-isolating

    8.    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-drops-vicar-of-christ-title-in-vatican-yearbook

    9.     http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20201003_enciclica-fratelli-tutti.html  Para. 93

   10. Ibid  para 87

    11. Ibid Para 91

    12. Ibid para 32

    13. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/documentazione/documents/sp_ss_scv/insigne/triregno_en.html

14.   http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20201003_enciclica-fratelli-tutti.html  Para. 172

 15. Ibid para 173

  16. Ibid Para 127

  17.  ibid.   Para. 124

  18.   Ibid. Para 223

  19.   Ibid. Para 214

1.         20.   Ibid. Para 214

        21. Ibid Para 215

        22. Ibid para 221

        23. Ibid para 226

        24. Ibid Para 241

         25. Ibid para 276

          26. Ibid

          27. Ibid para 278

          28 Ibid para 282

          29. Ibid para 44

          30.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Imam_of_al-Azhar

         31.  http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20201003_enciclica-fratelli-tutti.html  Para. 285

        32.   https://spirituallysmart.com/images/hjfghdfg%20copy.png

        33.  https://www.ucanews.com/news/why-were-the-jesuits-suppressed/68845

        34.   https://christianconcern.com/comment/police-remove-preacher-from-speakers-corner/

        35.  https://christiannews.net/2013/02/28/canadian-supreme-court-rules-biblical-speech-opposing-homosexual-behavior-is-a-hate-crime/

        36.  https://www.jesuits.org/about-us/jesuits-worldwide/

        37.    http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20201003_enciclica-fratelli-tutti.html  Para. 285