“Let me tell you what I hope will be the outcome of World Youth Day: I hope there will be noise. Here there will be noise, I’m quite sure. Here in Rio there will be plenty of noise, no doubt about that. But I want you to make yourselves heard in your dioceses, I want the noise to go out, I want the Church to go out onto the streets, I want us to resist everything worldly, [which is to say,] everything static, everything comfortable, everything to do with clericalism, everything that might make us closed in on ourselves. The parishes, the schools, the institutions are made for going out … if they don’t, they become an NGO, and the Church cannot be an NGO. May the bishops and priests forgive me if some of you create a bit of confusion afterwards. That’s my advice. Thanks for whatever you can do.”
— Papa Francesco, MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE FROM ARGENTINA, ADDRESS OF HOLY FATHER FRANCIS (Thursday, 25 July 2013)
“The ministers of the Gospel must be people who can warm the hearts of the people, who walk through the dark night with them, who know how to dialogue and to descend themselves into their people’s night, into the darkness, but without getting lost. The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials. The bishops, particularly, must be able to support the movements of God among their people with patience, so that no one is left behind. But they must also be able to accompany the flock that has a flair for finding new paths. Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass. …
“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 [or bishop] to say the right thing.
“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. [Who ever said it was?] … 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.”
— Papa Francesco, INTERVIEW WITH POPE FRANCIS by Fr Antonio Spadaro, 19 August 2013
“Everyone has his own idea of Good and Evil and he has to choose to follow the Good and to fight Evil as he understands it. This would be enough to improve the world.”
— Papa Francesco, interview with Eugenio Scalfari, 9 October 2013
Could you elaborate, please?
If a Christian “becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith.” This was the theme of Pope Francis’ homily during his Thursday morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. During his homily, the Pope warned Christians against behaving as though the “key is in [their] pocket, and the door closed.” He reiterated that without prayer, one abandons the faith and descends into ideology and moralism. “Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge!” (Luke 11: 52) … He warned: “When we are on the street and find ourselves in front of a closed Church,” he said, “we feel that something is strange.” Sometimes, he said, “they give us reasons” as to why they are closed: They give “excuses, justifications, but the fact remains that the Church is closed and the people who pass by cannot enter.” And, even worse, the Lord cannot be close to the people. Today, the Pope said, Jesus speaks to us about the “image of the [lock]”; it is “the image of those Christians who have the key in their hand, but take it away, without opening the door.” Worse still, “they keep the door closed” and “don’t allow anyone to enter.” In so doing, they themselves do not enter. The “lack of Christian witness does this,” he said, and “when this Christian is a priest, a bishop or a Pope it is worse.” But, the Pope asks, how does it happen that a “Christian falls into this attitude” of keeping the key to the Church in his pocket, with the door closed?
“The faith passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology. And ideology does not beckon [people]. In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. … And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith.… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements.” The Pope continued, Jesus told us: “You burden the shoulders of people [with] many things; only one is necessary.” This, therefore, is the “spiritual, mental” thought process of one who wants to keep the key in his pocket and the door closed:
“The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. … But why is it that a Christian can become like this? Just one thing: this Christian does not pray. And if there is no prayer, you always close the door.” … “When a Christian does not pray, this happens. And his witness is an arrogant witness.” …
“These do not pray, abandoning the faith and transforming it into moralistic, casuistic ideology, without Jesus. And when a prophet or a good Christian reproaches them, they the same that they did with Jesus: ‘When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him’ – they are ideologically hostile – ‘and to interrogate him about many things,’ – they are insidious – ‘for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.’ They are not transparent. Ah, poor things, they are people dishonoured by their pride. We ask the Lord for Grace, first: never to stop praying to never lose the faith; to remain humble, and so not to become closed, which closes the way to the Lord.”
Oh, I see! I get it!
Meanwhile, back in the trenches, “Bishop bans gay marriage supporters from Cathedral” (by Lauren Leone-Cross, The State Journal-Register, Posted Oct 22, 2013 @ 07:14 PM):
A plan for gay-rights supporters to recite the rosary inside the city’s largest Catholic church was a no-go Tuesday following a warning from the head of the Springfield Catholic Diocese [viz. Bishop John Thomas Paprocki] that those wearing a rainbow sash would not be permitted in. …
Rick Garcia, a longtime gay activist and political director for Civil Rights Agenda, entered the church before the scheduled 5:15 p.m. Mass without incident — but was not wearing a rainbow-colored sash, he said.
He called Paprocki’s statement blasphemous, and a stark contrast to Pope Francis’ recent comments calling for the need to make the Catholic Church a more merciful, welcoming place.
“We’re not committing blasphemy. The bishop’s committing blasphemy,” Garcia said.
Well, I’m glad we cleared that mess up. Forward!