Pope Francis: Who is to Judge?

Who is to judge?
This article tells of a recent address given by Pope Francis and starts off with a quote by him saying “God is not afraid of new things.” This phrase is heard often among Christian and other religious sects when being accused of not “moving forward with the world” or “being stuck in the past.” The author goes on to radicalize this sentence saying that people should be afraid, they should be afraid of communism and Nazis, the bad things of the world. Which in my opinion entirely misses the point of this portion of the Popes address. Getting back onto point he states that “what matters is not whether a thing is new or old, but whether it is right or wrong, good or evil.” Which seems to be the point of the Popes phrase, saying that it is not change, innovation, or new things that God fears or cares about. God only cares about what is right, which may or may not follow the way of society, but that is irrelevant.
The second portion of this article addresses the Popes statement, on more than one occasion, “who am I to judge?” In which the author gives a resounding answer that he is the pope and he is to judge. For without rules and without judgment we fall into chaos and anarchy. We have seen in history what happens to a society where rules cease to exist, and although judging is hard the Pope must, at least for the Catholic society, stand up to the challenge. If the Pope does not stand up to judge the people who will?, he asks, and answers, nobody. I beg to differ. The Popes standing, or expanding our horizons to religious leaders, is not for the purpose of judging the people or herding the sheep. God is the only one that is to judge us and that judgment will take place after this world has passed away. Religious leaders in most churches are there to help, aid, counsel, and lead the people to a path of righteousness. Even the best religious leaders should not and can not judge who will and will not go to heaven. No imperfect earthly person is capable of determining why a person makes decisions they do, or what inside justification they may have. One can never see all the sides to the story, internal motivators or external. The Pope asks “who am I to judge?” I agree. He does not know the lives of every Catholic follower, or the things that have changed them. He does not decide who goes to Heaven. He only knows the path to get there and can aid others in seeing it.

AJD 200


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