FOTM readers know that I, a Catholic, am no fan of Pope Francis, formerly known as Jorge Bergoglio.
I am especially critical of his call for a supra-national global authority to combat the alleged man-made
global warming climate change, and his advocacy of wealth redistribution by individual governments and on a global level by the same climate-change “global authority”. Both are a recipé for political tyranny and a violation of God’s gift to us of free will. See:
- Pope Francis endorses redistribution of wealth by the State
- Pope Francis calls for a new global authority to combat ‘climate change’
- Pope Francis calls again for wealth redistribution, while U.S. archbishops live in palatial homes
- UK Telegraph: Pope Francis is delusional about climate change
Notwithstanding my misgivings about Pope Francis, I loath lies and deception even more.
You may have received an email claiming that Pope Francis said the Koran and the Bible are the same. The source of that is an article, “Pope Francis to Followers: ‘Koran and Holy Bible Are The Same’,” on the website washingtonpost.com.co.
The article begins with this:
On Monday the Bishop Of Rome addressed Catholic followers regarding the dire importance of exhibiting religious tolerance. During his hour-long speech, a smiling Pope Francis was quoted telling the Vatican’s guests that the Koran, and the spiritual teachings contained therein, are just as valid as the Holy Bible.
“Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Jehovah, Allah. These are all names employed to describe an entity that is distinctly the same across the world. For centuries, blood has been needlessly shed because of the desire to segregate our faiths. This, however, should be the very concept which unites us as people, as nations, and as a world bound by faith. Together, we can bring about an unprecedented age of peace, all we need to achieve such a state is respect each others beliefs, for we are all children of God regardless of the name we choose to address him by. We can accomplish miraculous things in the world by merging our faiths, and the time for such a movement is now. No longer shall we slaughter our neighbors over differences in reference to their God.”
The pontiff drew harsh criticisms in December after photos of the 78-year-old Catholic leader was released depicting Pope Francis kissing a Koran. The Muslim Holy Book was given to Francis during a meeting with Muslim leaders after a lengthy Muslim prayer held at the Vatican.
Like many, I too thought washingtonpost.com.co is the website of The Washington Post newspaper. But I increasingly became perplexed because:
- The article is undated and has no author.
- The article contains an obvious gross mistake — that “St. John Paul II has courted several controversies since being elected as Pope Benedicto XVI’s replacement in 2013.” It was Bergoglio who succeeded Pope Benedict XVI; the latter had succeeded Pope (and now Saint) John Paul II.
- Still thinking the website was The Washington Post, I attempted to leave a comment, but saw that one must first “log in.” But the site provides no way for a reader to log in.
- The website also provides no way for a reader to contact them.
Then I clicked “Home” and was brought to a page with the latest news, including such headlines as:
- Cecil The Lion ‘Truther’ Denies Lion’s Existence, ‘Seeks Hide’
- Sarah Palin’s EKG, Doctor: ‘Doesn’t Look Good’
- Republican Lawmakers Want Food Stamp Recipients Tested for Shellfish
That was when I realized washingtonpost.com.co is a fake news site, like The Onion and its imitators — lesser-known but equally fraudulent and downright evil websites, such as World News Daily Report and Washington Weekly News.
Here is the entirety of what Pope Francis actually said on March 20 2013, when he received several dozen representatives of the various Christian Churches and of the Jewish and Muslim faiths, who had attended the pope’s inauguration. From Vatican Radio:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
First of all, heartfelt thanks for what my Brother Andrew told us. Thank you so much! Thank you so much!
It is a source of particular joy to meet you today, delegates of the Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches and Ecclesial Communities of the West. Thank you for wanting to take part in the celebration that marked the beginning of my ministry as Bishop of Rome and Successor of Peter.
Yesterday morning, during the Mass, through you , I recognized the communities you represent. In this manifestation of faith, I had the feeling of taking part in an even more urgent fashion the prayer for the unity of all believers in Christ, and together to see somehow prefigured the full realization of full unity which depends on God’s plan and on our own loyal collaboration.
I begin my Apostolic Ministry in this year during which my venerable Predecessor, Benedict XVI, with true inspiration, proclaimed the Year of Faith for the Catholic Church. With this initiative, that I wish to continue and which I hope will be an inspiration for every one’s journey of faith, he wished to mark the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, thus proposing a sort of pilgrimage towards what for every Christian represents the essential: the personal and transforming relationship with Jesus Christ, Son of God, who died and rose for our salvation. This effort to proclaim this eternal treasure of faith to the people of our time, lies at the heart of the Council’s message.
Together with you I cannot forget how much the council has meaning for the ecumenical journey. I like to remember the words that Blessed John XXIII, of whom we will soon mark 50 years since his death, when he gave his memorable inauguration speech: “The Catholic Church therefore considers it her duty to work actively so that there may be fulfilled the great mystery of that unity, which Christ Jesus invoked with fervent prayer from His heavenly Father on the eve of His sacrifice. She rejoices in peace, knowing well that she is intimately associated with that prayer “.
Yes, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all be intimately united to our Saviour’s prayer at the Last Supper, to his invocation: ut unum sint. We call merciful Father to be able to fully live the faith that we have received as a gift on the day of our Baptism, and to be able to it free, joyful and courageous testimony. The more we are faithful to his will, in thoughts, in words and in deeds, the more we will truly and substantially walk towards unity.
For my part, I wish to assure, in the wake of my predecessors, the firm wish to continue on the path of ecumenical dialogue, and I thank you, the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, for the help it continues to offer in my name, for this noble cause. I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, to bring my cordial greetings to the Churches and Christian communities who are represented here. And I ask you for a special prayer for me so that I can be a pastor according to the heart of Christ.
And now I turn to you, distinguished representatives of the Jewish people, to whom we are bound by a very special spiritual bond, from the moment that, as the Second Vatican Council said, “thus the Church of Christ acknowledges that according to God’s saving design, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets”.(Decree Nostra Aetate, 4). I thank you for your presence and trust that with the help of the Almighty, we can continue that fruitful fraternal dialogue that the Council wished for. And that it is actually achieved, bringing many fruits, especially during the last decades .
I greet and thank cordially all of you, dear friends belonging to other religious traditions; firstly the Muslims, who worship the one living and merciful God, and call upon Him in prayer. I really appreciate your presence, and in it I see a tangible sign of the wish to grow in recipricol trust and in cooperation for the common good of humanity.
The Catholic Church is aware of the importance of the promotion of friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions – this I wish to repeat this: the promotion of friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions – this is attested evident also in the valuable work undertaken by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The Church is equally aware of the responsibility that each of us bring towards our world, abd to the whole of creation, that we must love and protect. And we can do a lot for the good of the less fortunate, for those who are weak and suffering, to promote justice, to promote reconciliation, to build peace.. But above all, we must keep alive in our world the thirst for the absolute, and must not allow the vision of the human person with a single dimension to prevail, according to which man is reduced to what he produces and to what he consumes: this is one most dangerous threats of our times.
We know how much violence has been provoked in recent history by the attempt to eliminate God and the divine from the horizon of humanity, and we feel the need to witness in our societies the original openness to transcendence that is inherent in the human heart. In this we feel the closeness also of those men and women who, while not belonging to any religious tradition, feel, however the need to search for the truth, the goodness and the beauty of God, and who are our precious allies in efforts to defend the dignity of man, in the building of a peaceful coexistence between peoples and in the careful protection of creation.
Dear friends, thank you for your presence. To all, I offer my cordial and fraternal greetings.
I read the above speech three times. No where did Pope Francis mention the Koran. No where did he equate the Bible with the Koran. No where did he say Jesus and Allah are the same deity. Nor did Pope Francis kiss the Koran.
Note: Francis did meet Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Pentecost Sunday, June 8, 2014. As explained by Fr. Dwight Longnecker, the three men prayed in chronological order in the Vatican Gardens, not in a Catholic Church: first a Jewish rabbi, then the Christians, then a Muslim imam led a service. This was not a large, public, global interfaith act of worship. After the prayers, the three leaders planted an olive tree for peace.
In other words, everything that the fake news site washingtonpost.com.co said is untrue.
And yet, because people think the site is that of The Washington Post, they not only swallowed the fake story, some are using that as evidence that Pope Francis is the Anti-Christ who will forge a one world religion from the union of Christianity with Islam. See here.
I wrote a letter to The Washington Post, asking the paper why they aren’t doing anything about the fake washingpost.com.co that is trafficking on — and despoiling — the reputation of the real Washington Post. If you want to send a letter as well, click here.
Update (Sept. 24, 2015):
None of the above means that there aren’t real reasons to be concerned and perturbed about Pope Francis’ papacy. Please see:
- The Illegitimate Pope: Election of Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis was contaminated by lobbying in violation of papal laws
- The Rotten Fruits of Pope Francis: church schism, conservative rebellion, and approval of Iran nuke deal
- Radical homosexual priest appointed to Vatican says gay sex can express Jesus’ ‘self-gift‘