Today, more people than ever discount the role of religion in the right order of human society. Pope Francis would suggest that religion can be contaminated by selfishness and non-religious aims. We see that when politics and religion mix, as they often do in the US.
274. From our faith experience and from the wisdom accumulated over centuries, but also from lessons learned from our many weaknesses and failures, we, the believers of the different religions, know that our witness to God benefits our societies. The effort to seek God with a sincere heart, provided it is never sullied by ideological or self-serving aims, helps us recognize one another as travelling companions, truly brothers and sisters.
From an address seven years ago:
We are convinced that “when, in the name of an ideology, there is an attempt to remove God from a society, that society ends up adoring idols, and very soon men and women lose their way, their dignity is trampled and their rights violated. You know well how much suffering is caused by the denial of freedom of conscience and of religious freedom, and how that wound leaves a humanity which is impoverished, because it lacks hope and ideals to guide it”. [Address to the Leaders of Other Religions and Other Christian Denominations, Tirana, Albania (21 September 2014): Insegnamenti II, 2 (2014), 277]
The Holy Father is not wrong about the abandonment of religion. But a serious problem is when non-Christian ideology masquerades as being of Christ. Things like the gun-toting Jesus, the prosperity Gospel, and even superstitious practices that use the trappings of faith, but are little better than reliance on chance or miracles or such.
All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana