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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWho am I to judge?”  Pope Francis “…”Tell me: When God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of his person with love, or reject and condemn this person? We must always consider the person.”

It appears that Pope Francis might just be a little pissed with the minions of the far right conservative ‘christian’ committee.  This remarkable man considers himself a sinner, as are we all.  One might suspect that the extreme ‘christian’ ideologues have managed to forget that they are not without sin.  It’s a shame that everyone is talking about the sensational part of the interview, without reading the real devotion this man has to Christ.  It is pure and quite simple.  There’s nothing fancy, noting frilly, and nothing complicated.  I think he’s probably closer to St. Patrick and his beautiful simple theology than St. Francis.

“…“Finding God in all things is not an ‘empirical eureka.’ When we desire to encounter God, we would like to verify him immediately by an empirical method. But you cannot meet God this way. God is found in the gentle breeze perceived by Elijah. The senses that find God are the ones St. Ignatius called spiritual senses. Ignatius asks us to open our spiritual sensitivity to encounter God beyond a purely empirical approach. A contemplative attitude is necessary: it is the feeling that you are moving along the good path of understanding and affection toward things and situations. Profound peace, spiritual consolation, love of God and love of all things in God—this is the sign that you are on this right path.”…”

American Magazine

American Magazine

THIS will not go over well here in the US.

“...His words will be interpreted as confirmation that he is not going to turn away gays in the priesthood. “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 with love, or reject and condemn this person?’” the pope said. “We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.”…”

He thinks the church is short sighted, concentrating too much on abortion, gay marriage, and contraceptives.

Daily Beast

Daily Beast

 “...U.S. Catholic Bishops have been criticized for focusing almost exclusively on social issues — like advocating against marriage equality and fighting against Obamacare’s birth control benefit — at the expense of the Church’s other teachings on social justice issues.
But the leader of the Catholic Church said that the religion needs to “find a new balance” on the moral teachings that it prioritizes. “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 pope explained.

In the United States, Catholic laypeople tend to disagree with the stance that the Bishops have staked out on social issues. Most Catholics support marriage equality, and a full 82 percent of Catholics think birth control is morally acceptable. And 63 percent of Catholics support a woman’s right to choose and don’t favor overturning Roe v. Wade.

In recent months, Pope Francis has made a name for himself as somewhat of a populist leader. He has indicated he may welcome gay priests, personally called a rape victim to comfort her, condemned austerity policies for harming the poor, invited homeless people to eat with him at the Vatican, and gone out of his way to be welcoming toward atheists, Muslims, and women….”

TPM

TPM

“...He has reminded us that the church is meant to be a loving, caring, compassionate institution. He has shown us that as Christians we are meant to be less eager to judge and condemn and more ready to love and understand. If that mood can be sustained and expanded throughout every corner of the church universal, what an enormous and profound change that would be… This time around, the focus is not so much on change except for that internal change of heart. Pope Francis has rightly put the focus on what it means to be a Christian and how we are meant to treat one another. The focus is on being the kind of person and church all of us know we are meant to be. All Christians, left, right and center, can buy in to such a reform. That should give the work of Pope Francis staying power, no matter who the next pope may be. The result is likely to be that authentic and lasting change will follow as appropriate….”

What is just more than a little bit fun is to do a survey of the sources carrying this story.  NONE are conservative.  Evidently they don’t like the man of God, a man of love and compassion because – well he has love and compassion.  He recognizes that we are all sinners, even far right so-called Christians. One gets the impression that there are some far right, Rick Santorum Catholics who are going to have a very real problem with this man.

“...I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.” The pope continues to reflect and concentrate, as if he did not expect this question, as if he were forced to reflect further. “Yes, perhaps I can say that I am a bit astute, that I can adapt to circumstances, but it is also true that I am a bit naïve. Yes, but the best summary, the one that comes more from the inside and I feel most true is this: I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.” And he repeats: “I ​​am one who is looked upon by the Lord. I always felt my motto, Miserando atque Eligendo [By Having Mercy and by Choosing Him], was very true for me.”

The motto is taken from the Homilies of Bede the Venerable, who writes in his comments on the Gospel story of the calling of Matthew: “Jesus saw a publican, and since he looked at him with feelings of love and chose him, he said to him, ‘Follow me.’” The pope adds: “I think the Latin gerund miserando is impossible to translate in both Italian and Spanish. I like to translate it with another gerund that does not exist: misericordiando [“mercy-ing”]….”

When a Christian recognizes the fact that we are indeed, all sinners, falling short of the Glory of God, the very process of doing this, allows for compassion for others.  To him, the most important thing is that “Jesus Christ has saved you.”

American Magazine

American Magazine

There is going to be a problem here with the far right in this country.  One begins to suspect that there are going to be some ultra conservative Catholic parishes who are going to be joining the ECUSA’s break-away Anglican churches.  I guess the irony here is that the break-away Anglican churches are NOT part of the Anglican Communion and are NOT recognized by it.  The Anglican Communion is though, recognized by the Catholic Church.

Oh, what a tangled web.  Let’s just sit back and enjoy what is coming.  I don’t think it is going to be pretty. I suspect Rick Santorum has his undies in a wad, right about now.

I don’t mind admitting the hook that first fascinated me about this man was the fact that he is a huge opera fan. He loves the arts.  It is also quite obvious the man is a classic ‘romantic’.  I suspect the man’s outward simplicity is hiding a true Renaissance spirit.

“…Among the great painters, I admire Caravaggio; his paintings speak to me. But also Chagall, with his ‘White Crucifixion.’ Among musicians I love Mozart, of course. The ‘Et incarnatus est’ from his Mass in C minor is matchless; it lifts you to God! I love Mozart performed by Clara Haskil. Mozart fulfills me. But I cannot think about his music; I have to listen to it. I like listening to Beethoven, but in a Promethean way, and the most Promethean interpreter for me is Furtwängler. And then Bach’s Passions. The piece by Bach that I love so much is the ‘Erbarme Dich,’ the tears of Peter in the ‘St. Matthew Passion.’ Sublime. Then, at a different level, not intimate in the same way, I love Wagner. I like to listen to him, but not all the time. The performance of Wagner’s ‘Ring’ by Furtwängler at La Scala in Milan in 1950 is for me the best. But also the ‘Parsifal’ by Knappertsbusch in 1962….”

I suggest reading the entire article.  It left me quite satisfied, like I’d read a great sermon.

 

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4 Comments

  • Mm says:

    I have to disagree here. What the Pope said is very Catholic, and so-called “right wingers” (not even sure what that means in the Catholic context) like George Weigl have indeed written about his comments, with approbation. See, e.g., http://www.eppc.org/publications/the-christ-centered-pope/.

    Catholicism has been very *reactive* in the past few decades, allowing its message to be dictated by the never-ending questions about abortion and sexuality coming from the media. It is so much more than that, and that is what he is focusing on. Do not expect him to approve of abortion, gay marriage or homosexual activity, any more than he would approve of adultery, fornication, etc.

  • unknown jane says:

    What M said is true. It should be remembered that he is a Jesuit, and Jesuits are some of the most clever people you will ever meet!
    I think both the right and the left completely misread him — which is probably exactly the way he wants it…but the people who will read/listen to him closely will pick up on his words, which is also what he wants. He is being extremely correct, extremely Catholic in his responses, but people have to put aside their ego and assumptions to pick up on what he is truly saying.
    I got taught by Jesuit priests; they are tricky taskmasters, the best desiring you to come to logical conclusions about faith (and everything else) on your own…they would do great at the Vulcan Science Academy!

  • SJ Reidhead says:

    I started re-reading what he said. Sounds like C. S. Lewis! Coming from an Episcopalian, that’s the ultimate complement.

    SJR

  • unknown jane says:

    Oh, you Piskies! LOL!
    Well, C.S. Lewis and Tolkein were good friends for some time…

    I think that many have dwelled for so long on the notion that the RCC is ” reactionary” (and yes, the media has helped this issue along) that many, even Catholics themselves (who should know better) have taken on this mindset — it isn’t; the RCC by its nature can be quite moderate and balanced, conservative even (in the true sense of “conservative” — they are loathe to change things quickly without thinking about it first — sometimes to the point of apparent inaction!).
    Most of the older forms of Protestantism are not so far from the RCC as many think either.


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