Pope Francis: Time to clear the smoke of Satan

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Philippine Star

Birthday greetings to my only son, Capt. Jesus Valeriano “JV” Rosello Avila on the occasion of his 25th birthday today. Call it a milestone for JV because this week, he passed his last examination for his private pilot’s license in CAAP. Indeed, more often than not, it is our sons who fulfill a father’s boyhood dreams. When I was just out of college, I wanted to join the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to be pilot…but my late father stopped me from applying at the Mactan Airbase because he wanted me to be in the family business. I know the rudiments of flying, which my good friend, Capt. Joy Roa three years ago proved when he let me take-off and land his Cessna Skyhawk. God indeed works in wondrous ways… because JV is making flying his lifelong career.

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Last Thursday, I woke up to the big breaking news that finally, just after a two-day Conclave, the cry “Habemus Papam” rang throughout all the satellite TV networks of the world. Strange as it seems that the Vatican for all these centuries despite its embracing advance technology still relied on smoke signals (Just like the Native American Indians) to tell the whole world the joyous news of the election of the Supreme Pontiff, who is Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina who took the name Pope Francis I.

On Tuesday night, CNN came up with a report from Las Vegas that the bookies had bets on which Cardinal would be Pope. It makes me wonder if anyone placed a bet on our first Latin American Pope? Indeed, the election of Pope Francis I was greeted with awe and amazement by a joyous Catholic world because it is clearly the work of the Holy Spirit…who guided the sequestered Cardinals to choose this humble man from Argentina, the first Pope outside Europe, where Catholicism thrives in its culture and tradition.

I’m sure that many Filipinos were disappointed that our own Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle wasn’t chosen as Pope. Come on guys, let’s not kid ourselves. Cardinal Tagle is a neophyte Cardinal…barely three months on the job. Surely you did not expect him to become a Pope? No I didn’t write anything to support this because we cannot have a “sashimi” or a raw Pope, especially in these times when the Catholic Church needs reform.

Here in the Philippines, the Catholic Church too needs to reform for many in the clergy openly defy the teachings of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Using their blogs in the Internet, they sow confusion amongst Catholics. Notable amongst them is Fr. Joel Tabora a Jesuit in Davao and in Cebu, there’s a Fr. Ramon D. Echica who clearly supported the RH Bill. On June 29, 1972 Pope Paul VI said, “I have the sensation that from some fissure the smoke of Satan has also entered into the Temple of God.” I could smell the sulphur of that satanic smoke when the majority of professors from the Ateneo University supported the RH Bill.

But in fairness, not all Jesuits are unfaithful to the Mother Church. We have Fr. Romeo Intengan who supported the Pro-Life movement and this includes our beloved Fr. Ernesto Javier who used to run the Sacred Heart School for many decades in Cebu. But the time to rid the Vatican of Satan’s smoke is here and we can see the works of the Holy Spirit in the election of Pope Francis I for he is a Jesuit.

Raymond Arroyo of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) said, “Pope Francis tried to reform the Jesuits in Argentina. He made a lot of enemies and was exiled North of the country. Pope John Paul II rescued him and made him Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He clashed with the Argentinian President over same sex marriage and contraceptives. Now he is expected to reform the Jesuit Order.”

Here’s a few fact about Pope Francis I that we Catholics should know. He is the first ever Jesuit to become Pope, which is why this is a great blessing to the Jesuit community. He took the name of Francis of Assisi, a Franciscan who devoted his life to the service of the poor, including the animals, as they are God’s creation. In the past, there was a “clash” between the Jesuits and the Franciscans. So it must be some kind of Divine intervention that this 1st Jesuit Pope took on the name of Francis. But this name can also be to honor St. Francis Xavier, the co-founder of the Society of Jesus who worked missions in Asia. Surely now, the Jesuits must obey Pope Francis I.

Pope Francis is a humble man, known for his doctrinal conservatism and a staunch defender of the church’s Moral Theology. He is critical of Liberation Theology, which quite recently Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago spoke highly of; but we wrote a column chastising her for selling this passé idea. Above all, he is against same sex marriage, divorce and contraception, an issue still raging in this country. So with elections just months away, we ask all Filipino Catholics to support Team Buhay and deny the election of those candidates who supported the RH Bill in honor of our new Pope Francis I.

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For e-mail responses to this article, write to [email protected] or [email protected]. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.




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