If the Independent, London’s daily newspaper, is correct Pope Francis may inspire a new version of the Bible: The Bible According to Jiminy Cricket and Pinocchio.
If you’ve forgotten the story line of this mesmerizing fairytale for children, it focuses on a craftsman named Geppetto, the puppet he made and named Pinocchio, and his desire that his creation would be a real boy.
When the Blue Fairy hears the wish of Geppetto, she works her magic and in a mystical moment, she infuses the wooden puppet with the gift of life. To help him know right from wrong, the Blue Fairy appoints Jiminy Cricket as his conscience: “I dub you Pinocchio’s conscience, lord high keeper of the knowledge of right and wrong, counselor in moments of high temptation, and guide along the straight and narrow path. Arise, Sir Jiminy Cricket.”
In an interview referenced by the Independent, Pope Francis is reported to have said: “Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.” While I have no way of asking the Pope to clarify his statement, it sounds like he’s been dazzled by Disney and wished upon one too many stars.
Are we to believe that as long as a pedophile does not disobey his conscience he is not sinning. What about a sociopath and his conscience? With apologies to Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy, when the conscience goes stag a person is left in rags and unconscious of his spiritual failings.
I know it may sound a little old school and politically incorrect, but Jesus didn’t say, “Let your conscience be your guide.” He said, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:3).”