September 20, 2013
By Al Kresta
Because I am on the road today, I wanted to post my continuing reflections on the Pope Francis interview. These are subject to revision but represent my punchiest thinking at the moment. On Monday I expect to have absorbed the interview more fully and will likely have more to say.
1 1. Read the interview and note the distortion. The only ones obsessed with sex and abortion are the NYT and Washington Post, etc.
2 2. We can understand the Pope’s remarks as his way of internalizing the criticisms of our opponents and mirroring them back to us. Why? So we are more diligent in making sure that our concerns about the moral consequences of the gospel are not perceived as above the gospel.
3 3. However, opposition to abortion and homosexual marriage are not on a par with opposition to Pharisaical regulations. They aren’t arbitrary impositions of standards that can change tomorrow. They speak to violations of human nature, the human nature that Christ came to redeem.
4 4. These are not small things and those who have given their lives to combating these evils, often clearly in the spirit of Christ, are now feeling thrown under the bus, delegitimated, befuddled and ticked off while the champions of abortion and homosexual marriage are rejoicing in a new spirit in the Catholic Church. This is unfair to all involved. Unfair to the prolife activists because their chief coach seems to be dissing their work and unfair to the champions of these evils for false consolation.
5 5. Who the h*** is in charge at the Vatican Press Office? Where are American bishops? Who is going to correct these distortions? Why doesn’t Cardinal Dolan stand up and bellow, “If the Pope is saying what the New York Times is reporting, then the Pope is wrong.” This would precipitate a media crisis and force a closer look at the subtleties and nuances of Pope Francis’ remarks. The press may then be forced to report more accurately the subtleties and nuances of the Pope’s remarks.
6 6. I’ve always said that unless you are God, the burden of accurate communication rests with the communicator not the audience. I wish the Holy Father would shoulder this responsibility. But maybe that is what he is expecting us to do as lay apostles.
7 7. I’ve been reading the comboxes and seeing Catholics who claim to be homosexuals exulting in the Pope’s remarks and looking forward to a change in Church teaching. These poor souls are bound to be crushed. They are wickedly undercatechized and now are being caught in what they will see as a bait and switch game. They need our compassion and support not our accommodation to their sin.
8 8. This is a great time to be Catholic in America. Ignore the petty voices who are trying to drive a wedge between Francis and Benedict. In the interview, he makes it clear that there is no space between them. Use every opportunity to ask people to consider the Jesus of the New Testament. Remember even most of those attending religious services have not had an adult encounter with love of God in Christ. Mercy is an unknown quality to them. This is a time to make God’s unlimited mercy available and a time to make Christ visible.
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