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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason



Pope Francis’s 10-Step Program to Happiness

without God

Pope Francis's 10 Step Program to Happiness without God

How happy your people must be! How happy your officials,
who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!
(2 Chronicles 9.7)


The year following his election, ABC News enumerated the “10 Steps to Being Happy, According to Pope Francis”.

This is significant in two ways: first, it provides us — at last — with the erstwhile cryptic formula for being happy that had eluded all the philosophers and all the oracles from classical antiquity to the present. We are speaking here of man’s ultimate ambition! His happiness! This is no small achievement.

 The second way, however, in which it is significant is that this formula —  articulated  by no less than a Roman Catholic Pontiff, as the means to attain happiness itself … neither mentions nor invokes:

• God
• Scripture
• Heaven
• Faith
• Hope
• Charity
• Love
• Religion
• The Old Testament
• The New Testament
• Anything that Jesus Christ did, said, taught, or commanded.

The Formula for Happiness — according to Francis:

1. “Live and let live.”

2. “Be giving of yourself to others.”

3. “Proceed calmly” in life.

4. Have “a healthy sense of leisure.”

5. “Sundays should be holidays.
                Spend Sundays with family and friends.

6. “Create dignified jobs for young people.”

7. “Respect and take care of nature.”

8. “Stop being negative.”

9. “Respect others’ beliefs.”

10. “Work for peace.”

No, this is not “fake news”

You are not experiencing cognitive dissonance.

For the head of the Roman Catholic Church of over 1 billion souls, the fulfillment of these 10 “steps” constitutes happiness. Contrary to what the Church has taught from its inception over 2000 years ago, for Francis, apparently, God is not man’s happiness. In fact, He is not even alluded to.

John Lennon: "and no religion, too"  “And no religion, too”

Does it sound familiar? “Why, now that you mention it!” It is an enervated reiteration of the lyrics of the Beatles’ John Lennon’s song “Imagine”. You can find the lyrics here . It is, arguably, the anthem of post-Christian man
. “Imagine”!

Different — by a Quantum Leap

 Quite different, yes? … I mean, from anything that you may have once learned (or heard rumor of) from that “outdated” Baltimore Catechism that put things in clear and unambiguous perspective, distinctly Catholic, Scriptural, Patristic, and relevant. Here, let us help you. Below are three questions concerning happiness, its nature and the means of its attainment that vastly differ from what Francis would have us believe to the contrary.

  • Question 3. Why did God make us?

Answer: God made us to show forth His goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in Heaven.

  • Question 4. What must we do to gain the happiness of heaven?

Answer: To gain the happiness of Heaven we must know, love, and serve God in this world.

  • Question 6. Why did God make you?

Answer: God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven.

If you wonder to whom you should defer, we would suggest that tens of thousands of Saints stand as testimony — so often indited in the blood of martyrdom — that happiness is to be found in God alone — to the tedious meanderings of one man in the Church who appears to find happiness elsewhere than God — when he ought not, nor encourage others to.

Do we maintain that Pope Francis does not hold that authentic happiness is to be found in God alone? Ten years after this scandalous statement, it increasingly appears to be the case. Each successive year we have found Francis promoting, not so much the authentic Catholic Faith (which is his job description), as what increasingly appears to be an an ideology, one rooted in contemporary secular “values” that derive from and are promoted by a society hostile to God — values not simply distinct from the Gospels that the Church has consistently proclaimed and defended for over two millennia, but more alarming still, opposed to them, especially in the way of sexual ethics and what can only be construed as pan-ecumenism.

Francis, of course, has made many (very many) absurd and heterodox statements since then — and perhaps that is why we find such utterances so consistently troubling. More and more he appears to be what one close military officer describes as “a loose canon.”

He does not appear to be on a trajectory vectored at arriving at the Gospels anymore so now than he was ten years ago. And given his Petrine office, this continues to be deeply troubling indeed. 


Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal

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Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name. (Apocalypse 3.8)


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