Monday, August 05, 2013

10 Quotes That Prove The Pope Is A Liberal

by Pat Archbold Monday, August 05, 2013

The press has been telling us that Pope Francis, in word and deed, is no less than the total renunciation of Pope Benedict's papacy.

Just this weekend, there has been a flurry of articles praising the Pope for his statements on women and homosexuality and a host of other hot button issues and contrasting him with his doctrinaire and unpastoral predecessor.

Pope Francis' papacy is changing everything about the Church and his comments are a direct affront to traditional Catholics everywhere. The Washington Post put it this way.

    "Something unexpected and extraordinary is happening in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis is rescuing the faith from those who hunker down in gilded cathedrals and wield doctrine like a sword. The edifice of fortress Catholicism – in which progressive Catholics, gay Catholics, Catholic women and others who love the church but often feel marginalized by the hierarchy – is starting to crumble."
Now, as much as many of us traditional minded churchgoers have tried to spin it as in continuity with Pope Benedict, I think it is time we face facts. The press is right. The Pope is a liberal and I have the quotes to prove it!

1.       The Pope is soft on Islam.
"It is true that the Muslim world is not totally mistaken when it reproaches the West of Christian tradition of moral decadence and the manipulation of human life."

2.       Encourages Homosexuality.
"It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the church's pastors wherever it occurs."

3.       He is focused on the poor:
a.       "Many people today lack hope. They are perplexed by the questions that present themselves ever more urgently in a confusing world, and they are often uncertain which way to turn for answers. They see poverty and injustice and they long to find solutions. "

b.       "Yet if we refuse to share what we have with the hungry and the poor, we make of our possessions a false god. How many voices in our materialist society tell us that happiness is to be found by acquiring as many possessions and luxuries as we can! But this is to make possessions into a false god. Instead of bringing life, they bring death."

4.       He is overtly humble and does not embrace his office:
a.       "The authority of the pope is not unlimited;"

b.       "The cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the Lord's vineyard. The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers."

5.       He makes a point of extolling women and the Church.
“It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity. Through Mary, and the other holy women, the feminine element stands at the heart of the Christian religion.”

6.       On those neo-pelagians that think they can earn their way to heaven through piety instead of charity:
“If in my life I fail completely to heed others, solely out of a desire to be 'devout' and to perform my 'religious duties', then my relationship with God will also grow arid. It becomes merely 'proper', but loveless.”

7.       He cares about the environment:
“Listen to the voice of the earth...”

8.       He even hates Capitalism:
"the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated capitalism"

So, it is time we face the facts. It is clear that he is a radical departure from previous Popes, in particular his predecessor.

In fairness, I must note that there might be one small problem with my analysis. So small I hesitate to even bring it up. Every quote above is from Pope Benedict. Every one.

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Saturday, August 03, 2013

The Frankness of Francis



Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Pope Francis waves from the Popemobile on his way to attend the Via Crucis on Copacabana Beach during World Youth Day celebrations July 26 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
– Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Pope Francis’ World Youth Day messages were overshadowed by his comments on respecting those who are homosexual and reiterating the Church’s No to women’s ordination from the press conference he gave to reporters on the plane from Rio de Janeiro to Rome. And Catholic bishops and commentators went into high gear correcting the secular media’s misinterpretations of Francis’ words.

But the presser wasn’t a departure from the theme of the 28th World Youth Day (“Go, and make disciples of all the nations”), nor from Pope Francis’ message the week of July 22-28. It was his message lived out.

“We cannot keep shut up in parishes, in our communities, when so many people are waiting for the Gospel,” he told clergy and religious at a Mass on July 27.

To the more than 3 million pilgrims gathered for the closing Mass July 28, he issued a challenge: “Where does Jesus send us? There are no borders, no limits; he sends us to everyone. ... Do not be afraid to go out and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those farthest away, most indifferent.”

Reflective of that, the Pope visited a hospital and a slum community, and he met with prisoners.

When Pope Benedict XVI retired from the papacy in February of this year, he recognized the necessity of “both strength of mind and body” to govern the Church and spread the Gospel in a world “shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith.” The 85-year-old Pope admitted that his strength had diminished and that he could no longer fulfill his Petrine ministry. Benedict entrusted the care of the Church to Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to Mary, Mother of the Church, and to the conclave that would elect his successor. And the electors delivered Pope Francis.

Now, just over four months after Pope Francis’ election, the world received a deeper glimpse of the man the cardinals, guided by the Holy Spirit, chose to lead the universal Church.
At WYD Rio, the 76-year-old Pope showed his energy, his relevance and his vision of the Church. To the youth, Francis spoke in a language they understand — direct, simple and related to the realities they experience: “Let Christ be your strength; don’t get drunk on other things,” he told them during the papal reception.

“Stir things up,” he told Argentinian youth, exhorting them to challenge clericalism and complacency.  To the throng at the closing Mass, the Holy Father showed his confidence in young people. “The best evangelizers are other young people,” he said.

While, at times, the large international event resembles a huge but wholesome rock concert, World Youth Day is essentially an encounter — with the Successor of Peter and the Church, through the gathering of bishops, priests and religious and the celebration of the sacraments.
Further, it’s an encounter with other young people, who are galvanized by a meeting with so many others who share their faith.

Ultimately, it’s an encounter with Jesus Christ, who calls everyone to be transformed by his love and mercy.
The youth responded enthusiastically. They recognize in Francis a pope of the people who is down-to-earth and simple.

For the youth, the Pope who met them on the streets of Rio isn’t a rock star, but a man who drinks matte and shares deeply in the emotion of people. Many had tears in their eyes when the Pope spoke, and the crowd’s well-timed cheers showed they were tuned into his words.

His actions had equal impact. When a 9-year-old boy jumped a barrier and ran up to the popemobile, Francis stopped to give the boy a hug. The crying youth whispered in the Holy Father’s ear, “I want to be a priest of Christ,” and then Francis shed his own tears and encouraged the boy in his vocation. The moment showed Francis’ warmth and emotional depth. During a meeting with Brazil’s leaders, a girl with Down syndrome presented the Pope with a gift. She smiled as she handed him a simple card, and he touched her face tenderly and beamed his own genuine smile.

During his trip, in two separate gatherings, Pope Francis met with Brazilian bishops and the Latin American and Caribbean bishops (CELAM). According to the Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, these two talks were the longest and most significant addresses so far in Francis’ pontificate. 

In these occasions, the Pope outlined a vision of the Church’s mission that focused on “an encounter with the Master and an encounter with men and women who await the message.”
He emphasized the humble ways that God acts to restore brokenness. “God always enters in poverty, littleness,” he said. And, later, he said that “God’s way is through enticement, allure. … Mission is born precisely from this Divine allure, by this amazement born of encounter.”
He regretted that, often in the Church, “we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people.”

In a sort of examination of conscience, he asked: “Are we still a Church capable of warming hearts? ... Is the Church still able to move slowly: to take time to listen, to have the patience to mend and reassemble? ... Or is the Church herself caught up in a frantic pursuit of efficiency?”

He emphasized formation, collegiality and solidarity as ways to face challenges within the Church. He spoke of the permanence of the missionary call and the task of the Church to “go against the tide” in society.

To the Argentinian youth, the Pope expressed the hope that World Youth Day would “stir things up.”

Pope Francis himself has caused a stir. The presser on the plane ride home was no accident or mistake. Nor was the cardinals’ choice of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.
Francis’ frankness is proving to be a gift to the Church.

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