Thursday, October 9, 2014

POPE FRANCIS AT IT AGAIN?

For some decades now we have been experiencing a decline in religious practice and we have been seeing substantial numbers of the baptized drifting away from church life. This prompts the question: should the Church not change? Must she not adapt her offices and structures to the present day, in order to reach the searching and doubting people of today?

...In the concrete history of the Church, however, a contrary tendency is also manifested, namely that the Church becomes settled in this world, she becomes self-sufficient and adapts herself to the standards of the world. She gives greater weight to organization and institutionalization than to her vocation to openness.

In order to accomplish her true task adequately, the Church must constantly renew the effort to detach herself from the “worldliness” of the world. In this she follows the words of Jesus: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (Jn 17:16). One could almost say that history comes to the aid of the Church here through the various periods of secularization, which have contributed significantly to her purification and inner reform.

Secularizing trends – whether by expropriation of Church goods, or elimination of privileges or the like – have always meant a profound liberation of the Church from forms of worldliness, for in the process she has set aside her worldly wealth and has once again completely embraced her worldly poverty. In this the Church has shared the destiny of the tribe of Levi, which according to the Old Testament account was the only tribe in Israel with no ancestral land of its own, taking as its portion only God himself, his word and his signs. At those moments in history, the Church shared with that tribe the demands of a poverty that was open to the world, in order to be released from her material ties: and in this way her missionary activity regained credibility.

History has shown that, when the Church becomes less worldly, her missionary witness shines more brightly.
...
It is not a question here of finding a new strategy to relaunch the Church. Rather, it is a question of setting aside mere strategy and seeking total transparency, not bracketing or ignoring anything from the truth of our present situation, but living the faith fully here and now in the utterly sober light of day, appropriating it completely, and stripping away from it anything that only seems to belong to faith, but in truth is mere convention or habit.

To put it another way: for people of every era, not just our own, the Christian faith is a scandal. That the eternal God should know us and care about us, that the intangible should at a particular moment have become tangible, that he who is immortal should have suffered and died on the Cross, that we who are mortal should be given the promise of resurrection and eternal life – to believe all this is to posit something truly remarkable.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

These are the words of Pope Benedict XVI and not Pope Francis

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

You win the prize! However the continuity between Benedict and Francis in this theme is striking!

JBS said...

Why is the Holy Father making that obscene gesture? Is Cardinal Kasper standing in front of him?

Anonymous said...

Father, in all seriousness can you explain what is going on.

It is not normal for a pope to cause so much confusion by their words and actions. This isn't an attack on Francis but what is going on? You know that old saying "is the Pope Catholic". That would feel weird saying that today. I am so confused, upset, scared etc. etc. etc. what is going on?

Is Francis crazy, is he a modernist, is he trying to destroy the Faith or is he humble etc etc. Why will he not uphold the teachings of the Church clearly and without compromise. I know, " I am a loyal son of the Church" Luther could say the same thing and it means nothing. Then he allows Cardinal Kasper to say we can't use the word adultry and is silent. What is he doing? Just the fact that the world thinks Catholic Doctrine is mean, evil, outdated and is going to chnge ........ And Francis stays silent. Well doesn't that make him culpable. And please stop with "this was mis translated or South Americans think this way etc. what's going on. Please please give a reasoned explanation without spin, without trying to be Milton Berle, just the truth. What's going on.

Henry said...

Looks more like a sign of peace gesture to me. Perhaps it's Cardinal Burke standing in front of him.

Anonymous said...

Father, maybe next time you could quote (or cherry-pick) from Bl. Pius XII, St. John XXIII, and St. John Paul II (or even Archbishop Lefebrve and Bishop de Castro Mayer) to make a point about “continuity.”

Anonymous said...

I don't think this fits with Pope Francis much at all. Pope Francis is all about accommodation. As his theological mentor, Juan Carlos Scannone, has said, he wants the Church to become poorer so that it can better adapt itself to the ways of the world. Pope Benedict XVI, on the other hand, is talking about a poor, pilgrim Church, open to the world in the way of martyrdom. They have two very different ways of understanding the Cross. Pope Francis's theology of the Cross is much more (although not entirely) like that of the atheist Catholic Gianni Vattimo: the Cross is a symbol of God's self-divestment of divinity so that humankind can bring its projection of divinity back down into itself. Sort of a reversing of the process of alienation that the atheist Feuerbach talked about.

Joe Potillor said...

Another thing about being poor, it does mean being humble and receiving gifts with humility. It does not mean imposing one's personality/taste upon the office.

Oddly, I think it's more expensive for the Pope to use new vestments and vesture versus the old vestments.

As I've said there are moments of continuity between Pope Francis and his predecessors, but on the whole he's not in continuity with his predecessors.

The words of Pope Benedict XVI were being addressed to the German Bishops' something to keep in mind, with all of the problems they are now causing.

Joe Potillor said...

Another thing about being poor, it does mean being humble and receiving gifts with humility. It does not mean imposing one's personality/taste upon the office.

Oddly, I think it's more expensive for the Pope to use new vestments and vesture versus the old vestments.

As I've said there are moments of continuity between Pope Francis and his predecessors, but on the whole he's not in continuity with his predecessors.

The words of Pope Benedict XVI were being addressed to the German Bishops' something to keep in mind, with all of the problems they are now causing.

George said...

Here is a link to the full address



http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2011/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20110925_catholics-freiburg_en.html