…and truly, honestly, sincerely wish, indeed, I hope against hope, that some of the following could outweigh the impact of the other daft things he’s been saying lately. But in this vale of tears, scandal wins out more often than not.
However, in order that I may not become (any more) jaded by the Pope’s progressive oracles, I will highlight two recent counsels from him that I really treasure, and will highlight some of the things that “the good Francis” managed to express in his recent interview with Eugenio Scalfari in La Repubblica.
As for the first, I should note their origin: the Defend Pope Francis Facebook page. It’s a good place to find edifying things said and written by the Pope, things which generally steer clear of the sloppy theological statements to which Francis is so easily given. Consider them a more spin-proof zone for Pope Francis in the media. (For many conservatives, maybe it’s also the antacid they need in light of Francis’ frequently, ahem, challenging statements of late.) So, leaving all polemics and “worry” aside, I give you some Francisian counsel that’s worth heeding.
Second, let me cite some of the things I actually read with Christian delight in his ‘encounter’ with Scalfari.
“The Church must feel responsible for both souls and bodies.”
“[T]he purpose of [the Church’s] mission … [is] to identify the material and immaterial needs of the people and try to meet them as we can.”
“The Church is or should go back to being a community of God’s people, and priests, pastors and bishops who have the care of souls, are at the service of the people of God.”
“[W]hen I meet a clericalist, I suddenly become anti-clerical. Clericalism should not have anything to do with Christianity.”
“A religion without mystics is a philosophy.”
“You do not believe in [the soul] but you have one.”
“From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us.”