Bishop Schneider published on RemnantNewspaper.com (October 13) a lengthy analysis of Francis’ encyclical Fratelli Tutti (FT).
He regrets that Francis reduces Saint Francis in FT to a man who “sought to embrace everyone”, who went to the Sultan to show “his openness of heart, which knew no bounds and transcended differences of religion” (FT 3) while the Saint in reality went there to preach the Gospel.
For Schneider, Francis’ “narrow, merely earthly and impoverished temporal perspective” is revealed in FT 8: “Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travellers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all”.
Schneider corrects Francis' presentation of the Christians as “travelling companions” (274) along with adherents of false religions which are forbidden by God, “It is not the Church’s mission to build up a ‘new humanity’ on the naturalistic level (127), or ‘to work for the advancement of humanity and of universal fraternity’ (276), or to build up a ‘new world’ for temporal justice and peace (278).”
He sees a relationship between FT and Freemasonry whose core is a “universal and merely naturalistic fraternity based on the bonds of blood and nature.” He also stresses that FT uses in a subtitle Liberty, equality and fraternity the “central ideological motto of Freemasonry.”
Schneider sums up the encyclical's content and intellectual horizon with “our citizenship is on earth,” while Saint Paul wrote that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil 3,20).
FT leaves Schneider with the impression that, at the price of a universal aspiration to fraternity for world peace, the proclamation of the only Saviour was sacrificed.
Schneider: "Today the Church of Rome finds herself in a similar situation of spiritual collapse, due to the spiritual torpor of a majority of the Shepherds of the Church, the excessive absorption of the Pope himself in temporal affairs, and his efforts to bring about the rebirth of a universal aspiration to a this-worldly and naturalistic fraternity"