The Emmaus Pope…

“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.”

— Pope Francis, 30 September 2013

Pope Francis is the Emmaus Pope.

He is not interested in “true doctrine” or “moral rigor.”

He is interested in meeting people on the road, listening to their woes and confusion, opening the Scriptures to them, illuminating Christ in the Scriptures, breaking bread with them, and seeing Christ therein.

Like this:


emmaus road jesus

Apropos the “burning heart” criterion, I’d be genuinely curious to see how easily it might be to fit Bergolglio’s statements since his election as Pope Francis into plain Mormon discourse. I’m not conversant enough in either his papal statements as a whole or Mormon discourse to assess that, but my hunch is that there’s a lot of overlap. Aren’t Mormons pro-life and pro-family, and don’t they also emphasize the crucifixion and glorification of Christ?

Like this?

LDS hearts burn bread Jesus

This post is not, by the way, a crass attack on the Pope, just a sudden insight I had about things the Pope has said lately. 


About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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13 Responses to The Emmaus Pope…

  1. Believe it or not, I completely agree on this one. You put his vision very well here, and it’s kind of what I’ve been trying to get at. As important as abortion is, ultimately souls are more important. Bringing people to God is more important. It’s hard to make this comment with mass genocide going on but in a spiritual sense this is true. Pope Francis seems to be trying to move away from a focus on doctrine in general and instead towards a “human” connection with people – as you say his plan is to walk with them until eventually you realize that it’s really Jesus you’ve been walking with all along.

  2. Agreed, I just think he’s being too smarmy and casuistic about it all. (THAT is what I mean when I say I see “Pope Guido” in him, not mockery.) Get on with it, Francis. Anything less is disingenous. I pray, and pray.

  3. Crude says:

    Yeah, I second Malcolm. I think you got what this Pope is trying to do – and I think it may well be very effective.

    I think he is interested in true doctrine and moral rigor. But I think he tempers that with humanity. It’s a little like imagining a pro-lifer talk to a woman who had an abortion at 15 because she was raped. It requires a very different approach than it does when dealing with some NARAL person.

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  11. Branch says:

    This morning at Mass I heard the quintessential homily for precisely what you write about here, from a Pope Francis admirer, naturally (the priest made reference to the “field hospital” which the Church now is). It was all about our journeys, sharing our story, how the faith is there when the hurdles of life get too high (whatever gets you through the night?), and more in the same vein. Perhaps most troubling was that, explicitly according to the priest, that is ALL the faith is for–that is its very meaning and purpose. It was such full-blown “Emmaus” is really the Gospel within the Gospel immanentism that it was almost impossible for me to get angry. It was just too much, and so overt, that I was more amazed than annoyed. It was a marvel.

  12. Tony Jokin says:

    So what about the abortion provider who will continue to provide abortion? What about the grave harm done through continuing in sin while we talk about “other stuff”?

    Only thing I see here is a person who accepts 100% doctrine BUT thinks that God’s mercy/love enables him to disregard or not be too concerned of immorality. Rather, he thinks he can tolerate these things as he spends time talking with the opposition.

    I think that approach is a failure and a grave harm to humanity. Why? Because through his silence, he promotes evil (there is no way around it. To stay silent is to condone an act). Second, because in the time he spends talking other things (With no real guarantee of success), actual harm is done to society and the persons involved that will prevent them from embracing Catholicism in the first place.

  13. Yes, I cringed as I realized the reading today dealt with the Emmaus episode. A year on, I thought, and we’re still dealing with emotive impressionism from the Supreme Pontiff. The highlight of the homily was me quietly illuminating the passage, and other Gospel parallels to my wife, a convert by marriage (to me!). The priest’s theme was the youthful joy that Easter is supposed to give us. Which is true, in the proper context, but I couldn’t help but think he had some Francis juice running through his veins. Indeed, when my wife and I went to partake of the Host, we knelt, as we always do, and he actually paused, looking at her (and then me, when it was my turn) with benign condescension and puzzlement. Praise God, my wife picked up on it, and said after Mass, “I think that priest probably really like Pope Francis.” 😉

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