Is This Where Some Pope Francis Fans Exit The Bus?

Is This Where Some Pope Francis Fans Exit The Bus? November 18, 2013

See, he gave a little homily today, like he usually does. The first reading was from good ole 1 Maccabees, which is a book that I didn’t even know existed for the longest time. Lots of important history in 1 and 2 Maccabees. Did I mention how Judas Maccabeus reminds me of Lee Van Cleef?

You want me to eat what?

Maybe it’s just his eyes. Anyway, Papa Francesco said some things.

The Pope emphasized that something similar or the very same thing is true in the 21st century:  “The worldly spirit exists even today, even today it takes us with this desire to be progressive and have one single thought. If someone was found to have the Book of the Covenant and if someone obeyed the law, the king condemned them to death: and this we have read in the newspapers in recent months. These people have negotiated the fidelity to the Lord and this people, moved by the spirit of the world, negotiated their own identity, negotiated belonging to a people, a people that God loves so much that God desires to be like Him.”

Francis referred to the 20th century novel, “Master of the World” that focuses on “the spirit of worldliness that leads to apostasy”. Today it is thought that “we have to be like everyone else, we have to be more normal, like everyone else, with this adolescent progressivism.” And then “what follows is history”: “the death sentences, human sacrifices.”

“But you think that today there are no human sacrifices?” the Pope asked. “There are many, many.  And there are laws that protect them.”

“But what consoles us faced with the progress of this worldly spirit, the prince of this world, the path of infidelity, is that the Lord is always here, that he can not deny Himself, the Faithful One: He is always waiting for us, He loves us so much and He forgives us when we repent for a few steps, for some small steps in this spirit of worldliness, we go to him, the faithful God.”

Read more.

The book reference? I think the translator means Lord of the World, written by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson. I’ve been meaning to read it, as it’s on the YIMCatholic Bookshelf (along with 1100+ other books).  I’m going to get right on it after I finish The Brothers Karamazov (which could take weeks and weeks).

Oh, and I’m staying on the bus with il Papa. I’ve got a lot to learn from him on the art of loving my neighbor as myself. He’s a pretty good example in that department.


Fr. Robert Barron on Benson’s Lord of the World.


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  • I think he’s doing a brilliant job so far. He’s very quotable – by fans and opponents alike!

  • CB

    I never doubted that this pope was Catholic. I hope that some of those who boarded the bus thinking otherwise will remain to pray and become faithful servants like the Holy Father. We know about how God writes straight with crooked lines.

  • I couldn’t recommend “The Lord of the World” more. It’s an interesting novel published in 1906 about a then futuristic 21st century by Robert Benson, the son of an Anglican bishop who converted to Catholicism.

    The story depicts a technological century where thoroughfares, telecommunications and air travel are common, though with a Victorian flavor, for the highways are paved with rubber, people have telegraphs at home and fly in airships.

    But it also has other almost prophetic descriptions of the society of the 21st century, where euthanasia is the morally acceptable way to assist victims of accidents and is widely provided by a state healthcare system. Countries are mere entities in larger blocks of countries, like “West”, “East” and “Americas”. Religion is barely tolerated and the only surviving religions are Catholicism in the West and in the Americas and Islam in the East; all other religions deflated and Mason secularism is the official religion.

    In this dystopian society, war is a constant threat, but a charismatic senator appears in the Americas and goes around the world bringing enlightenment and hope as man had never found, even in the Christian religion.

    There is world peace at last and all the peoples are united and the new leader is loved by all, amazed at his speeches, though no one recalls what he had said, except that he was thrilling.

    But a vermin is identified for elimination: the Christians in the independent enclave of Rome…

    Somehow England inspired authors to predict an authoritarian and tyrannical future, even a generation before George Orwell’s “1984”, like this novel. Sadly, I couldn’t help the feeling of familiarity with this dystopian, fictional century. Yet, it was a good read and the end was quite original.

    It’s freely available as an ebook at

  • Lorraine Curtin

    “Lord of the World” by Robert Benson is offered for free at in the Kindle edition. You don’t need a Kindle, just download the free Kindle app to read it. His other books are also free in that format.

  • ColleenMA

    Can’t say how excited I am that the Pope referenced a Victorian era dystopian novel. Now I’m wondering what other unexpected books may have graced his bookshelf over the years!

  • I have put off reading The Brothers Karamazov for years and years, but the title has been coming up a lot in my reading of late. Maybe that’s a sign I need to finally get around to it. At any rate, I am astonished by people who accept this idea that Francis is going to fulfill all progressive fantasies. I haven’t heard or read him to say a single thing that can’t be found in the Catechism or John Paul II or Benedict XVI. But progressivism **is** “the spirit of worldliness that leads to apostasy” and I’m glad that the Holy Father specifically called it out in his remarks.

    • This evening I begin the much talked about section (Book V, Chapter 5), “The Grand Inquisitor.” Here we go!