Francis’s Holy Week Procession


For perhaps too long, I tried to defend Pope Francis’s papacy. This Holy Week, he has shown himself to be morally depraved.

The procession featured, at one of the stations, a Ukrainian and a Russian woman carrying a candle together, and Francis then intoned the sentiment, “adversaries to shake hands so they can taste mutual forgiveness, to disarm the hand raised by a brother against a brother, so that concord can spring from where there is now hate.”

The problem is that, in the current war in Ukraine, Russia is unambiguously the aggressor, Ukraine the victim, and Russia has not ceased their attack. Indeed, they are about to launch an offensive. Calling for reconciliation now is denying there is anything wrong with Russia’s action; the blame is on the Ukrainians, at least equally, for not accepting it and laying down their arms. It is like demanding a rape victim smile and embrace her assailant in the middle of a rape.

The worst of Francis’s crime is the attempt to assert that this position is virtuous, indeed, more virtuous than the Ukrainians are in their suffering. This is the sin of hypocrisy. This is not just making no distinction between right and wrong, but demanding that wrong be seen as right, for the sake of one’s own ego. This is the unforgivable sin, the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. 

Sadly, Francis is worse than just a heretic.

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