Guess whose name Pope Francis didn't drop during his congressional speech
In his speech to Congress yesterday, Pope Francis mentioned many people by name. He mentioned President Lincoln; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Pope Benedict XV; Dorothy Day; Thomas Merton; and several other prominent historical figures. He spoke of their great achievements and sacrifices, and how they served to inspire many by their good works.
But strangely enough, the one name Pope Francis failed to mention in his speech was Jesus Christ.
It seems quite shocking that a man who is touted by millions of Catholics as being the “Vicar of Christ” would not have at least given a simple shout-out to the very foundation of the Catholic Church – the one and only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
It seems that Pope Francis decided to ignore the “great commission” Jesus gave to his apostles in the Gospel of Matthew and chose instead to take the opportunity to speak to millions of Americans about political and environmental issues rather than the one thing that actually makes him pope: the saving grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
If Pope Francis is the “traditional successor” of the apostle Peter, then according to Peter’s teachings, he should be more concerned with spreading the gospel and less concerned with worldly issues of politics and the environment.
It is obvious that Saint Peter didn’t have any specific concerns with “every human institution.” By his own words, Peter indicates that Christians should not only “submit” to “every human institution,” but also understand that those institutions exist solely by the “will of God” as agents for the “punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.”
The simple fact of the matter is that the apostle Peter, Jesus, nor any of the other apostles ever gave much attention in their teachings to “human institutions.”
Jesus made it perfectly clear that the main focus of each and every apostle should always be on the great commission that he gave them – to spread the Gospel to all nations and make as many disciples as they could.
By the traditions of the Catholic Church, the pope is assigned apostle status and, as such, is obligated to attend to spiritual matters as a direct command of Jesus Christ.
Sadly, by setting aside his divine directive to spread the gospel, and choosing instead to address political issues, Pope Francis missed a great opportunity to tell the story of the man with the name above all names: Jesus Christ.