Settimo Cielodi Sandro Magister 19 set 19
Everyone To the School of the Antichrist. But One Cardinal Rebels
While the controversy rages on in view of the synod on the Amazon, which in reality has its epicenter in the Church of Germany, the latest invention of Pope Francis has gone by almost unnoticed.
It is entitled “Reinventing the Global Educational Alliance,” and it is open to “all public figures” who “are engaged on the worldwide level” in the field of education, to whatever religion they may belong. The announcement was made on September 12, and the summit is scheduled for May 14 2020 at the Vatican.
It comes as no surprise that a pope like Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who belongs to the Society of Jesus – for centuries a great instructor of the ruling classes – should take such an interest in the schooling and formation of the new generations. But what is striking is the complete absence from his educational project of any sort of Christian distinction.
In the video message with which Francis launches the initiative there is not the slightest trace of God, nor of Jesus, nor of the Church. The dominant formula is “new humanism,” with its trappings of “shared home,” “universal solidarity,” “fraternity,” “convergence,” “welcome”…
And the religions? These too bunched together and neutralized in an indistinct “dialogue.” In order to “gain back the ground lost to discrimination,” the pope refers to the document “on human brotherhood” that he signed on February 4 2019 with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, a document in which even “the pluralism and the diversity of religions” are “willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings.”
The novelty of this initiative of Francis consists precisely in the fact that it is the first time a pope has claimed as his own and put himself at the helm of such a radically secularized global educational pact. Because in reality a “new humanism” without Christ is not an original, but a constant in the thought of the West of the last two centuries.
From the Grand Inquisitor of Fyodor Dostoevsky, to the Gospel according to Leo Tolstoy, to the Antichrist of Vladimir Solovyov, to the “new humanism,” no less, of Edgar Morin – the French philosopher whom Francis received in private audience last June 27 following a conference in Rome precisely on the “convergences” of his thought with the vision of the current pope – there are many forms under which the unique and incomparable person of Christ is dissolved, replaced with a generic love for humanity.
“Within this project,” Luisella Scrosati commented in La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana of September 16, “God too is accommodated nicely, as long as he takes his seat among the guests of this new united humanity and does not claim to be the Bridegroom who calls to the wedding, and even decides to keep out those who do not have the wedding garment.”
In 2005 there was a great theologian and cardinal, named Giacomo Biffi (1928-2015), who powerfully brought attention back to the “great crisis that struck Christianity in the last decades of the nineteen hundreds,” hollowing out its substance in the name of a universal fraternity.
Biffi, in a chapter of one of his books, took up the account of the Antichrist written in 1900 by the Russian theologian and philosopher Solovyov, and applied it to the Church of today.
Here are some of its dazzling passages. As relevant as ever.
THE DAYS ARE COMING, AND ARE ALREADY HERE…
by Giacomo Biffi
The Antichrist, says Solovyov, […] believed in goodness, and even in God. […] He gave “the greatest possible demonstrations of moderation, disinterest, and active beneficence.” […] The book that had gained for him universal fame and consensus bore the title: “The Open Road to Universal Peace and Prosperity.” […]
It is true that some men of faith wondered why the name of Christ did not appear even once, but others replied: “If the contents of the book are permeated with the true Christian spirit, with active love and universal benevolence, what more do you want?” […]
Where Solovyov’s presentation shows itself to be particularly original and surprising – and merits greater reflection – is in the attribution to the Antichrist of the qualities of pacifist, environmentalist, ecumenist. […]
In this description of the Antichrist, Solovyov […] alludes above all to the “new Christianity” that Leo Tolstoy was successfully promoting during those years. […]
In his “Gospel,” Tolstoy reduces all of Christianity to five rules of conduct which he derives from the Sermon on the Mount:
1. Not only must you not kill, but you must not even become angry with your brother.
2. You must not give in to sensuality, not even to the desire for your own wife.
3. You must never bind yourself by swearing an oath.
4. You must not resist evil, but you must apply the principle of non-violence to the utmost and in every case.
5. Love, help, and serve your enemy.
According to Tolstoy, although these precepts come from Christ, they in no way require the actual existence of the Son of the living God to be valid. […]
Of course, Solovyov does not specifically identify the great novelist with the figure of the Antichrist. But he intuited with extraordinary clairvoyance that Tolstoy’s creed would become during the 20th century the vehicle of the substantial nullification of the gospel message, under the formal exaltation of an ethics and a love for humanity presented as Christian “values.” […]
The days will come, Solovyov tells us – and are already here, we say – in which the salvific meaning of Christianity, which can be received only in a difficult, courageous, concrete, and rational act of faith, will be dissolved into a series of “values” easily sold on the world markets.
The greatest of the Russian philosophers warns us that we must guard against this danger. Even if a Tolstoian Christianity were to make us infinitely more acceptable in the living room, at social and political gatherings, and on television, we cannot and must not renounce the Christianity of Jesus Christ, the Christianity that has at its center the scandal of the cross and the astonishing reality of the Lord’s resurrection.
Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Son of God, the only savior of mankind, cannot be transformed into a series of worthwhile projects and good inspirations, which are part and parcel of the dominant worldly mentality. Jesus Christ is a “rock,” as he said of himself. And one either builds upon this “rock” (by entrusting oneself) or lunges against it (through opposition): “He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but when it falls on any one, it will crush him” (Mt. 21:44). […]
So Solovyov’s teaching was simultaneously prophetic and largely ignored. But we want to repropose it in the hope that Christianity will finally catch on to it and pay it a bit of attention.
- 19 settembre 2019