09.19.2013 04:06 PM

I like this Pope

He’s a Jesuit, natch.  I was taught by Jesuits.

A quote to the gladden the heart of any modern Catholic:

“Pope Francis is warning that the Catholic Church’s moral edifice might “fall like a house of cards” if it doesn’t balance its divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make the church a merciful, more welcoming place for all.

Six months into his papacy, Francis set out his vision for the church and his priorities as Pope in a remarkably candid and lengthy interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit magazine. It was published simultaneously Thursday in other Jesuit journals, including America magazine in the U.S.

In the 12,000-word article, Francis expands on his ground-breaking comments over the summer about gays and acknowledges some of his own faults. He sheds light on his favourite composers, artists, authors and films (Mozart, Caravaggio, Dostoevsky and Fellini’s La Strada) and says he prays even while at the dentist’s office.

But his vision of what the church should be stands out, primarily because it contrasts so sharply with many of the priorities of his immediate predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI. They were both intellectuals for whom doctrine was paramount, an orientation that guided the selection of generations of bishops and cardinals around the globe.

Francis said the dogmatic and the moral teachings of the church were not all equivalent.

“The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently,” Francis said. “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.”


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    Lynn says:

    I have been an atheist my entire life and I am very impressed with this Pope too. He appears to understand the challenges and issues of the church in a way past popes have not. I am hopeful for your church, and for all Catholics who have been looking for some positive developments in the church. I think he is a fine man and is leading the church through some real minefields with thoughtfulness and grace.

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    Sean says:

    Read this just before Warren posted it. As usual, I was pleasantly surprised by PF. I’m agnostic and a secular Liberal, yet there is never an article that goes by about PF that doesn’t grab my attention. He is easily the most interesting and politically apt Pope most of us have ever seen. He could have been a hell of a litigation lawyer or diplomat. This whole article is well worth reading.

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    Luke says:

    I like this Pope too, although I’m not a Catholic or otherwise religious. He seems to embody the things I like to associate with a good priest or equivalent: compassion, reason, wisdom, etc.

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    Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    I love the “worldliness” of this Pope.

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    Joe O'Neill says:

    Why would you link to CBC reports of what the pope said when you can link to his actual words?

    Be not afraid to read the words of Francis I sans media filter:


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    His Dudeness says:

    This is nice and all that this pope is trying to join the 19th century, but I grew up catholic. I was told that what they were saying is the “truth”. Well the “”truth” just changed for the sake of surviving. So truths change? Cool.

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      Jeff says:

      Hi His Dudeness. I am not a Roman Catholic, though I am a Christian and a reader of theology for fun. (We exist!) I have “no dog in this fight”. But there is nothing that this Pope has said which changes the doctrines of the Church. No, “truth” has not changed. Rather, this is more of a back-to-basics statement. His earlier quasi-universalistic statement was just Rahner (though ineloquently stated). In theology, philosophy, and any of the humanities, interpretation is always in play. Academics will vehemently disagree with what a text really means, and the two will both have great arguments. So, no, the “truth” has not changed here.

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    Jason says:

    I pray at the dentists office too. 🙂

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    Bluegreenblogger says:

    I am amazed at how readily this Pope is softening the image of the Church. It only took a Pope to say it, that the Cathlic faith is about so much more than the controversial dogma at odds with liberalism. About time methinks.

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    Bradley Simpson says:

    The Pope must preach and promote the word of God as in the Bible scriptures. He is the direct link to God for all Roman Catholics. He follows in the linkage from Pope Peter I and cannot diverge from the written word. Why is he promoting secular views amongst devout RCs? Why is he contradicting the Bible?

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      Fraternite says:

      The Pope hasn’t changed and won’t change anything other than emphasis and tone, Bradley.

      For example, homosexuality is still sinful — it’s just Catholics now have an example of someone who can believe this without managing to think it justifies being a jerk to homosexuals.

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    Elizabeth says:

    I like this Pope. I wasn’t raised Catholic, (no religion) but I come from a long line of Irish Catholics, some of whom had the Bell Shrine for St. Patrick made in Inishowen. I was never too happy with the Catholic church at all, while at the same time feeling that we need the Catholic church in the world to maintain sanity, if they’d just get real. I think he’s captured the interest of young people, which is a feat.

    This Pope will make a difference, I hope he stays there for at least 40 years. This is just the beginning of his work.

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