Saturday, September 21, 2013

I AM A SINNER! GET THEE TO CONFESSION: ONE CANNOT UNDERSTAND POPE FRANCIS APART FROM THE USE OF THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND A PROPER CONFESSOR!

I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.I ask Pope Francis point-blank: “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” He stares at me in silence. I ask him if I may ask him this question. He nods and replies: “I ​​do not know what might be the most fitting description.... I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”

the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle.“I see clearly,” the pope continues, “that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds.... And you have to start from the ground up.

“The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all. The confessor, for example, is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither of them really takes responsibility for the person. The rigorist washes his hands so that he leaves it to the commandment. The loose minister washes his hands by simply saying, ‘This is not a sin’ or something like that. In pastoral ministry we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds.


“How are we treating the people of God? I dream of a church that is a mother and shepherdess. The church’s ministers must be merciful, take responsibility for the people and accompany them like the 
good Samaritan, who washes, cleans and raises up his neighbor. This is pure Gospel. God is greater 
than sin. The structural and organizational reforms are secondary—that is, they come afterward. The first reform must be the attitude. 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.

A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with 
another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. 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 to say the right thing.

“This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs 

heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.


A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. 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 to say the right thing.

“This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.


M

8 comments:

rcg said...

I completely agree with the Pope on his points about Abortion, homosexuality, etc. These are actually distractions from the real course of salvation. That is also the point about atheists getting into heaven. I'm no expert on atheistic cosmology, but that seems a little out of sequence at best, or irrelevant in the end. We are arguing McLuhanesque form and ground questions or about Plato's shadows. The Evil One has us chasing tails rather than cutting to the heart of things and allowing The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to work with each person who is willing to seek and accept His grace.

Now I am NOT certain of where we allow that hand off to occur, so I am very concerned when HF allows outlets like the NYT to twist his words into a sermon about their beliefs. I suppose the real power is when he leads the fallen to read his words and contemplate them. They cannot long distort them, and none can agree on a single wrong interpretation, so it is a form of evangelisation of Hell.

I will admit to longing for a public crushing of these people, but I suppose that is my own topic for my next confession.

George said...


No one should take from what the Holy father has said that he is encouraging or
accepting of sinful behavior. The Vicar of Christ can never err in matters of Faith
and morals. If that were not true, then what would be the worth of our Faith? For myself
I know that if an angel appeared to me and told me that it would be Ok for me to engage
in the same sinful behavior that is prevalent today, I would turn away because I know such an
angel did not come from God. Yet I know in doing this it would be with the assistance of the grace of God and not just because of my own effort.

What the Holy Father is saying is that condemnation and words of confrontation will not
change people's behavior. Convincing arguments will not in and of themselves convert.

These things have their place but as St Paul says in Corinthians:
If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

What good does it do if one is confrontational with a person who is a homosexual or a woman who has had an abortion? Especially so if they are confirmed in their sin.

Words, without the power of the Holy Spirit behind, them will gain nothing. Words without
prayer and fasting behind them will gain nothing.


In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus says

"Those who are well have no need of a physician, but the sick do.
Go and learn the meaning of the words: I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

We are all sinners of different degree. One encounters at various times, say at work, persons
such as homosexuals who are not as God desires them to be. I have always treated such people in a respectful manner although I have to say have been around those who have ridiculed these people
and I did not reprimand them for doing this. Sad to say, in going back in my life I remember there
were times I even laughed at their jokes( even if only half-heartedly), and I am sorry for this.

We must keep in mind that we are all called to conversion and repentance.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Pope Francis is a liberal and there can be no mistaking what he said. Popes can err, it us only when they pronounce ex cathedra that they cannot err. We have had questionable Popes before and I and others are questioning this one.

Jan

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Pope Francis is a liberal and there can be no mistaking what he said on this occasion and on other occasions. It is the Church's duty to guide and Pope Francis is confusing rather than teaching. Popes can err, it is only when they pronounce ex cathedra that they cannot err. We have had questionable Popes before and I and others are questioning this one.

Jan

Gene said...

So, where do we go in a few years when the Church begins recognizing gay marriage, gay Priests, women deacons (as a step toward women priests), and when married Priests begin filling Churches...with all the problems that entails? SSPX? Or, perhaps there will be yet another split and conservatives will go one way and modernists another...Popes like Francis, with his careless language (or deliberately provocative language) only serve to speed up this process. I fear it is coming...I hope I am wrong.

Anonymous 2 said...

Will someone please tell me what Pope Francis has said to deserve the label “liberal”?

To those who are ultra-conservative, everyone else is a “liberal.” As I have said before, these labels are relative to where you stand on the “left-right” continuum. And as far as I can tell, Pope Francis is exactly what he says he is, a “son of the Church” who stands with the teaching of the Church as explicated in the CCC. Can anyone show us that this is not the case?

And as further evidence I offer again this article by someone who is definitely a “liberal.” Those of you who think Pope Francis is a liberal, please read this and then tell me you still think he is a liberal.

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/20/best_pope_ever_still_pretty_awful/singleton/

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear”.

Of course we all tend to hear what we want to hear, myself included.



Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. I forgot to add: Pope Francis is not "liberal" or "conservative." He is Catholic, thank God.

Gene said...

I don't think liberal/conservative apply here. It is a matter of his emphasis and apparent priorities. He could be the most devout and doctrinal "conservative" in the world yet, if he is not interested in Liturgy and reforms that would strengthen orthodoxy, his conservativism is of little consequence. Likewise, a progressivist Pope who happens to appreciate Liturgy and the aesthetics of older forms of worship (an unlikely occurrence, but possible) may inadvertently contribute to Liturgical reform and a more traditional Catholic identity.
It is Pope Francis' apparent indifference to Liturgy and theology that concern me, whatever his proper words regarding doctrine and dogma.