Skip to content

September 19, 2013

Pope Francis… I like this man more and more every day

During an interview with the Pope this August by Antonio Spadaro, S.J., editor in chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, Francis stated the following:

“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.”
“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.”

Earlier he made this statement:

“How are we treating the people of God? I dream of a church that is a mother and shepherdess. The church’s ministers must be merciful, take responsibility for the people and accompany them like the good Samaritan, who washes, cleans and raises up his neighbour. This is pure Gospel. God is greater than sin. The structural and organisational reforms are secondary­ – that is, they come afterward. The first reform must be the attitude. The ministers of the Gospel must be people who can warm the hearts of the people, who walk through the dark night with them, who know how to dialogue and to descend themselves into their people’s night, into the darkness, but without getting lost. The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials. The bishops, particularly, must be able to support the movements of God among their people with patience, so that no one is left behind. But they must also be able to accompany the flock that has a flair for finding new paths.”

This will be taken out of context by both liberal Catholics and conservative Catholics alike, but he’s saying something that I have said before. The Catholic church as a whole has been so focused on what happens in the privacy of a marriage, and other issues relating to sexuality, that it has become a parody of the very values that it is trying to defend. Even in the context of abortion, which is a truly terrible thing, there are situations where the moral right, is less than clear and sometimes can be counterintuitive.

He’s right, there needs to be balance, and not all the dogmatic teachings are equal, and some like the immaculate conception, and infallibility should really not even be dogmatic in the first place.

To be clear, the Pope is not softening the position of the church on contraception or abortion, but he is saying that the focus has been out of balance, and that I agree with. Especially contraception, which at times has taken on an almost medieval tone in how it’s discussed, with some catholics breathlessly grabbing onto any position that has the appearance of supporting their views on contraception.

I still don’t agree with some Catholic doctrines, but I like Francis enough that for a time I was wondering if being Catholic again was something I should consider!

And that my friends says volumes about how much I respect this man.

You can read the whole interview HERE, it’s worth a read.



Read more from Church, Faith

Share your thoughts, post a comment.


Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments