Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pope Francis: "I am a sinner." | America Magazine

NOTE: The internet is, understandably, abuzz today with the Interview that Pope Francis granted exclusively to 16 Jesuit publications around the world - including America Magazine here in the U.S.  This interview continues this remarkable papacy and the Holy Father once again is challenging the Church to be, well, to be  Christians.  The folks over at America have asked that the interview not be reproduced in its entirety elsewhere without permission.  You can - and should - read the whole thing here: A Big Heart Open to God.  I can offer a few excerpts from the article though that have hit me as the most provocative and inspiring.  Thank God for Pope Francis!!

Who is Jorge Mario Bergolio?

“I ​​do not know what might be the most fitting description.... I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.

On the Church

"We should not even think, therefore, that ‘thinking with the church’ means only thinking with the hierarchy of the church. This church with which we should be thinking is the home of all, not a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people. We must not reduce the bosom of the universal church to a nest protecting our mediocrity."

Clarifying his July remarks on homosexuality - was he talking about all gays and lesbians?

In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. 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. A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality.  I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person, or reject and condemn this person?' We must always consider the person."

On his silence on issues regarding abortion, contraception, homosexuality

“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."

On women in the Church

"Women are asking deep questions that must be addressed. The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role. The woman is essential for the church. Mary, a woman, is more important than the bishops. I say this because we must not confuse the function with the dignity. We must therefore investigate further the role of women in the church. We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman. The challenge today is this: to think about the specific place of women also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised for various areas of the church.”

On prayer

“I pray the breviary every morning. I like to pray with the psalms. Then, later, I celebrate Mass. I pray the Rosary. What I really prefer is adoration in the evening, even when I get distracted and think of other things, or even fall asleep praying. In the evening then, between seven and eight o’clock, I stay in front of the Blessed Sacrament for an hour in adoration. But I pray mentally even when I am waiting at the dentist or at other times of the day."

1 comment:

  1. I am a former Evangelical having become a non-denominational Christian and I really love Pope Francis!

    That said while it is certain I sin I have huge problems with this notion of being a born sinner having been cursed by God with a sinful nature.
    I think it is a blasphemous Augustinian teaching which has been polluting Western Christianity ever since the fifth century. I find the Eastern Orthodox interpretation of the fall philosophically much more acceptable.

    I would be very glad to learn yout thoughts on that!


    Friendly greetings from continental Europe.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

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