Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pope Francis Interview

Pope Francis is changing the direction of the Church!  He wants Catholics to stop teaching on gays, contraception and homosexuality!  The Catholic Church is catching up to the times!

These are some of the things I've read in papers and heard some people on the news being interview claiming.  Is this so?


Once again, Pope Francis' words are being twisted around to infer what he did not intend to say.  In an interview that he granted to the Jesuit magazine, "La Civiltà Cattolica."  He says many things that the media interpreted as him being a liberal who is now steering the bark of Peter to the left.

The media claims that Pope Francis said that the Church is obsessed with abortion, contraception and gay people and that she shouldn't interfere with gay people.

Is this so?  Let's see:

This is what he really said:

"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."
"Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person."

Pope Francis is making it clear that the Catholic Church cannot become Sean Hannity, Rachel Maddow or Bill O' Reilly sitting back making commentary on social issues, if you will.  Rather, we must talk about the teachings of the Church in context.  Gay behavior, contraception, abortion and the Church's condemnation of them is presented more clearly if we live our entire faith by witnessing to Christ in the world.

Notice that Pope Francis says, "the teaching of the church.. is clear;" he never mentioned anything about changing them.  Moreover, he says that we cannot talk about these issues all the time.  He never says that we have to stop talking about them.  The Catholic Church cannot be known solely for being a thorn in the world's side.  We must be known as the Bride of Christ, the Church that has the fullness of truth which we present in love.  Like Cupid, the Church must get the world to fall in love with Jesus Christ.

In this interview, Pope Francis is speaking pastorally.  Being pastoral does not mean compromising Church teachings.  It means doing and saying the right things at the right time.  The Pope wants the church to focus on the people and not put their sins or problems before them.  The Church must heal wounds, not throw salt in them, so to speak.

What Pope Francis is saying throughout this interview is that we must be like Christ who was not concerned with the letter of the law because the law was made for man, not vice versa. (Mark 2:27)  Some claim Jesus was a liberal of sorts, but He was not.  Similarly, some today are calling Pope Francis a progressive, again this is wrong.

Jesus and Pope Francis who is a follower of Him are sowing the seeds of love.  Like in Jesus' times, the Pharisees held fast to rigid laws completely disregarding the human person. Unfortunately, the Church has been tempted to do the same by putting rules over the people.  This does not mean that rule are bad, it means that they must be flexible enough to help people spiritually and not push them away from the Church.

Recently, while flipping the channels on a Sunday night I saw "Breaking Amish."  This is supposedly a show about Amish folks who leave their community to live the "English" life or, "worldly life." Because of this, they are 'shunned' or lightly excommunicated from the Amish community.  While shunned, other Amish cannot associate with them nor even acknowledge their existence.  This is what the Pope wants out of the Church.  We cannot "shun" people. That is not Christian.  The Amish of course stem from Calvinism which is known to be rigid and fundamentalist.  Catholicism was founded by Christ Himself.

Moreover, some in the media are claiming that Pope Francis' words are a jab to Benedict XVI and John Paul II, but this is not so. As a matter of fact, this is what Pope Benedict XVI said:

"We should not allow our faith to be drained by too many discussions of multiple, minor details, but rather, should always keep our eyes in the first place on the greatness of Christianity.
I remember, when I used go to Germany in the 1980s and '90s, that I was asked to give interviews and I always knew the questions in advance. They concerned the ordination of women, contraception, abortion and other such constantly recurring problems.
If we let ourselves be drawn into these discussions, the Church is then identified with certain commandments or prohibitions; we give the impression that we are moralists with a few somewhat antiquated convictions, and not even a hint of the true greatness of the faith appears. I therefore consider it essential always to highlight the greatness of our faith - a commitment from which we must not allow such situations to divert us."

--Benedict XVI, Address to Swiss Bishops 2006 

Sound familiar?  This is EXACTLY what Pope Francis said in the interview!

The world is full of wounded people who are wounded by sin and other issues.  The Church must tend to them and not add to their wounds.

For the full text of the interview, go here:



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