Popes say the darndest things! in a lengthy and refreshingly blunt interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit magazine, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church must shake off an obsession with teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality and instead focus on the greater need to make The Church a merciful, more welcoming place for all.
His comments were welcomed by liberal Catholics; but they are likely to be viewed with concern by conservatives who have already expressed concern over Francis's failure to address publicly the issues stressed by his predecessor, Benedict. Source: Chicago Tribune.
As a Catholic, I'm very proud of this statement issued by the Pope. The more I learn about this Pope -- who replaced Pope Benedict only six months ago -- the more I believe this Pope genuinely believes what he's selling: the future existence of the Church relies on inclusion, not exclusion. Either that or he is a way better actor than anyone gave him credit for when he took over the shop.
That being said, this interview -- which is being treated more like a revelation -- isn't exactly what some people seem to think or hope it means. For one thing, there are no doctrinal changes. No change on the teachings re homosexual conduct, abortion, women's ordination, or birth control. Rather, it seems this Francis guy just wants everyone to pick their battles more diligently and focus on what really matters:
So just like it isn't he job of brain surgeons to put out forest fires, the Pope seems to be saying that it isn't the job of the church to punish sinners or marginalize anyone. That's up to God.
"So we'll keep being misogynistic homophobes; we'll just be quieter about it." Call me when they start ordaining women and stop meddling in politics and advocating against human rights for women and homosexuals. This was a commenter named Joseph Finn on Change of Subject.
Lighten up, Francis.
Its priests should be more welcoming and not cold, dogmatic bureaucrats. The confessional, he said, "is not a torture chamber but the place in which the Lord's mercy motivates us to do better." Source: Chicago Tribune.
The Bible's got plenty to say about greed, adultery, caring for the poor, loving others (even your enemies). Somewhere between all the translating from Aramaic to Greek to Latin to dozens of other languages, one of Jesus important messages has been lost: Stop being D-bags to one another!
Sounds to me like that's the message Pope Francis is trying to send.
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