In signing the Abu Dhabi Statement, PF dreadfully claimed that God willed the diversity of religions.
This is manifestly contrary to the teaching of the New Testament that God sent the Second Person of the Holy and Undivided Trinity into the world as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Subsequently, there were attempts to justify these those words in the Statement. We have been told about a "Permissive Will of God".
It is true that God gave mankind such a freedom that Man and men can turn aside from the Will of His Creator, and have done so. It is also true that God 'can' ... 'is able to' ... draw good even out of the sinful choices of fallen Man. Of the Fall itself, the Latin Church dares to cry out "O felix Culpa".
So, in this sense, it would indeed be logical to say that God "willed" the Diversity of Religions. Just as, manifestly, he "willed" the Holocaust. In that he did not prevent it, he permitted it. Similarly, every other monstrous act of Murder and of Evil which Man has ever perpetrated against his fellow Man; every act of blasphemous defiance against our Maker; must, by PF's logic, have been "within the Permissive Will of God." God "wills", in PF's sense, the violent abuse of children. God "wills" the ravaging of the Rain Forests. God "wills" Capital Punishment. PF's God "wills" a thermo-nuclear catastrophe.
Whatever PF may have said subsequently, I find it hard to believe that, in the Abu Dhabi Statement, he really intended to bracket Islam among the sins I have just listed (and cf the list in Veritatis Splendor paragraph 80, and Gaudium et Spes 27).
Furthermore, if PF really does consider that the Holocaust et cetera are "God's will", why does he not make this clear rather more often? If the despoliation of the Amazon and the robbing of its indigenous peoples and Capital Punishment are "God's will", why doesn't PF say so openly and honestly?
I do not believe that it is either helpful or, indeed, humanly honest to use language in PF's sort of way. He listened to the Syncretist plaudits as he announced "God wills the diversity of religions", and then, in effect, he explained in private "I only meant that God doesn't actually send thunderbolts to stop it".
This is what most ordinary people would call slippery. Englishmen a century or two ago would have called it Jesuitical. Is it the sort of dodgy use of language people have in mind when they tell us that PF is 'Peronist'?
I believe PF on that occasion made, not for the first time, a very grave mistake, and that he led the Faithful Sheep astray. His voice was that of an allotrios.
Now PF is going to visit a largely Islamic country. He may, again, be gravely tempted by the Enemy to make further remarks which express (or are crafted to look as if they express) Syncretism rather than of the Truth which is in Christ.
The Abu Dhabi statement, thank God, was not made in an ecclesial or pontifical context. We can .... and should ... disown it and, indeed, roundly condemn it as being the well-intentioned error of a very foolish man. That Statement was no more the Words of Peter than the adulteries of Alexander VI were Acts of Peter.
I do not know if I dare to beg and entreat the Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, that PF may proclaim in Iraq the Grace of the One Redeemer.
But if, at least, he gets himself back to Rome without having again surrendered his tongue to the Evil One, I shall say a Mass of Thanksgiving.
Otherwise, of Reparation.