Friday, January 2, 2015

WHEREIN POPE FRANCIS SEEMS TO REACT TO ITALIAN JOURNALIST, VICTTORIO MESSORI'S STINGING CRITIQUE OF HIS PAPACY

Pope Francis at Christmas Day's Urbi et Orbi blessing wearing the ornate papal stole for the first time since His Holiness was presented to the world on the loggia of St. Peter's the night of his election, this time the day after Victtorio Messori's negative editorial of Pope Francis:
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Over at Crux, John Allen has a good piece on Pope Francis New Year's Eve and Day homilies. You can read the full text here.

The following is an excerpt:

Without the Church, Francis said, “our relationship with Christ would be at the mercy of our imagination, our interpretation, [and] our moods.

At one point, Francis added the word “hierarchical” to modify “Church” in his text, making it clear he meant the visible, institutional Church.

“To separate Jesus from the Church would introduce an ‘absurd dichotomy’,” Francis said, quoting Pope Paul VI, adding the rest of the citation: It is not possible “to love Christ but without the Church, to listen to Christ but not the Church, to belong to Christ but outside the Church.”
“No manifestation of Christ, even the most mystical, can ever be detached from the flesh and blood of the Church, from the historical concreteness of the Body of Christ,” the pope said, reprising a theme that was also a central concern of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

“Without the Church, Jesus Christ ends up as an idea, a moral teaching, a feeling,” Francis said, calling Christ and the Church “inseparable.”

Both devotion to Mary and the centrality of the Church are hallmarks of Catholic tradition that set it apart from other Christian denominations, and have sometimes been bones of contention in Catholicism’s relationships with other branches of Christianity.
Although outreach to other Christian churches has been a hallmark of Francis’ papacy — including a trip in July to visit a Pentecostal church in Caserta, Italy, led by a friend of the pope’s from Argentina — his remarks Thursday suggest he doesn’t want that engagement to come at the expense of traditional pillars of Catholic identity.

My Comment: It seems to me that Pope Francis is very much aware of the stinging article written by the well-known Italian editorialist Vittorio Messori of Corriere della Sera who wrote the following on December 24th:

The Argentine Pope who is aware, through direct experience, of the drama of Latin America that is on its way to becoming an ex-Catholic continent, with the exodus in mass of its people to Pentecostal Protestantism? Or the Pope who flies to The Argentine Pope who is aware, through direct experience, of the drama of Latin America that is on its way to becoming an ex-Catholic continent, with the exodus in mass of its people to Pentecostal Protestantism? Or the Pope who flies to embrace and wish good success to a dear friend, a pastor actually in one of the communities that are emptying out Catholic communities and doing so exactly with that proselytism that he condemned among his own flock? and wish good success to a dear friend, a pastor actually in one of the communities that are emptying out Catholic communities and doing so exactly with that proselytism that he condemned among his own flock?


And so, certain pastoral choices made by the “Bishop of Rome”, as he prefers to call himself, persuade me; but others seem to leave me perplexed, they seem to me to be opportunistic, even seeming to be of a brand of populism that generates an interest that is as vast as it is superficial and ephemeral.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

*Crickets chirping.*

Anonymous said...

I think I can smell the mothballs on that stole. Don't y'all LOVE it?