Pope Francis

Discussion in 'General discussion' started by David, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. David

    David Well-Known Member

    For quite some time (two or three years I think) I have participated in another forum that discussed contemporary prophetic messages and general Catholic Church news. I originally joined that forum to respond to criticisms of Vassula. Unlike other forums, I was allowed to do that! The forum included other supposed messages from heaven although many were not authentic but it was valuable to be able to respond to errors made by posters.

    Unfortunately, as time has gone on, many posters started criticising Pope Francis but I remained on the forum to be able to respond to these criticisms. However, the owner of the forum joined the critics and a few days ago he removed one of the defenders of the Pope from his forum. That member had been very successful in being able to respond well to almost any criticism of Francis that was made on the forum.

    So, for me, that was the sign to stop participating in that forum. Now this TLIG forum has very few viewers (currently!) but I thought that it might be a good idea to post some of the homilies and news from Pope Francis that I had been posting on the other forum. Here is the first of what I hope will be many similar posts.

    Pope Francis: homily for Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
    Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, 1 January 2017

    Ultima modifica il 01/01/2017 alle ore 11:47

    “Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart! (Lk 2:19). In these words, Luke describes the attitude with which Mary took in all that they had experienced in those days. Far from trying to understand or master the situation, Mary is the woman who can treasure, that is to say, protect and guard in her heart, the passage of God in the life of his people. Deep within, she had learned to listen to the heartbeat of her Son, and that in turn taught her, throughout her life, to discover God’s heartbeat in history. She learned how to be a mother, and in that learning process she gave Jesus the beautiful experience of knowing what it is to be a Son. In Mary, the eternal Word not only became flesh, but also learned to recognize the maternal tenderness of God. With Mary, the God-Child learned to listen to the yearnings, the troubles, the joys and the hopes of the people of the promise. With Mary, he discovered himself a Son of God’s faithful people.

    In the Gospels, Mary appears as a woman of few words, with no great speeches or deeds, but with an attentive gaze capable of guarding the life and mission of her Son, and for this reason, of everything that he loves. She was able to watch over the beginnings of the first Christian community, and in this way she learned to be the mother of a multitude. She drew near to the most diverse situations in order to sow hope. She accompanied the crosses borne in the silence of her children’s hearts. How many devotions, shrines and chapels in the most far-off places, how many pictures in our homes, remind us of this great truth. Mary gave us a mother’s warmth, the warmth that shelters us amid troubles, the maternal warmth that keeps anything or anyone from extinguishing in the heart of the Church the revolution of tenderness inaugurated by her Son. Where there is a mother, there is tenderness. By her motherhood, Mary shows us that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong. She teaches us that we do not have to mistreat others in order to feel important (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 288). God’s holy people has always acknowledged and hailed her as the Holy Mother of God.

    To celebrate Mary as Mother of God and our mother at the beginning of the new year means recalling a certainty that will accompany our days: we are a people with a Mother; we are not orphans.

    Mothers are the strongest antidote to our individualistic and egotistic tendencies, to our lack of openness and our indifference. A society without mothers would not only be a cold society, but a society that has lost its heart, lost the “feel of home”. A society without mothers would be a merciless society, one that has room only for calculation and speculation. Because mothers, even at the worst times, are capable of testifying to tenderness, unconditional self-sacrifice and the strength of hope. I have learned much from those mothers whose children are in prison, or lying in hospital beds, or in bondage to drugs, yet, come cold or heat, rain or draught, never stop fighting for what is best for them. Or those mothers who in refugee camps, or even the midst of war, unfailingly embrace and support their children’s sufferings. Mothers who literally give their lives so that none of their children will perish. Where there is a mother, there is unity, there is belonging, belonging as children.

    To begin the year by recalling God’s goodness in the maternal face of Mary, in the maternal face of the Church, in the faces of our own mothers, protects us from the corrosive disease of being “spiritual orphans”. It is the sense of being orphaned that the soul experiences when it feels motherless and lacking the tenderness of God, when the sense of belonging to a family, a people, a land, to our God, grows dim. This sense of being orphaned lodges in a narcissistic heart capable of looking only to itself and its own interests. It grows when what we forget that life is a gift we have received – and owe to others – a gift we are called to share in this common home.

    It was such a self-centred orphanhood that led Cain to ask: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:9). It was as if to say: he doesn’t belong to me; I do not recognize him. This attitude of spiritual orphanhood is a cancer that silently eats away at and debases the soul. We become all the more debased, inasmuch as nobody belongs to us and we belong to no one. I debase the earth because it does not belong to me; I debase others because they do not belong to me; I debase God because I do not belong to him, and in the end we debase our very selves, since we forget who we are and the divine “family name” we bear. The loss of the ties that bind us, so typical of our fragmented and divided culture, increases this sense of orphanhood and, as a result, of great emptiness and loneliness. The lack of physical (and not virtual) contact is cauterizing our hearts (cf. Laudato Si’, 49) and making us lose the capacity for tenderness and wonder, for pity and compassion. Spiritual orphanhood makes us forget what it means to be children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, friends and believers. It makes us forget the importance of playing, of singing, of a smile, of rest, of gratitude.

    Celebrating the feast of the Holy Mother of God makes us smile once more as we realize that we are a people, that we belong, that only within a community, within a family, can we as persons find the “climate”, the “warmth” that enables us to grow in humanity, and not merely as objects meant to “consume and be consumed”. To celebrate the feast of the Holy Mother of God reminds us that we are not interchangeable items of merchandise or information processors. We are children, we are family, we are God’s People.

    Celebrating the Holy Mother of God leads us to create and care for common places that can give us a sense of belonging, of being rooted, of feeling at home in our cities, in communities that unite and support us (cf. Laudato Si’, 151).

    Jesus, at the moment of his ultimate self-sacrifice, on the cross, sought to keep nothing for himself, and in handing over his life, he also handed over to us his Mother. He told Mary: Here is your son; here are your children. We too want to receive her into our homes, our families, our communities and nations. We want to meet her maternal gaze. The gaze that frees us from being orphans; the gaze that reminds us that we are brothers and sisters, that I belong to you, that you belong to me, that we are of the same flesh. The gaze that teaches us that we have to learn how to care for life in the same way and with the same tenderness that she did: by sowing hope, by sowing a sense of belonging and of fraternity.

    Celebrating the Holy Mother of God reminds us that we have a Mother. We are not orphans. We have a Mother. Together let us all confess this truth. I invite you to acclaim it three times, standing [all stand], like the faithful of Ephesus: Holy Mother of God, Holy Mother of God, Holy Mother of God.

  2. karnala

    karnala Well-Known Member

    Its saddening to read about all the negative comments towards Our Pope lately .... and give thanks to God for your forum, and supportive posts about him.
  3. andree

    andree Well-Known Member

    I saw your post David about dropping out of that forum. I admire you for participating there for so long and defending TLIG and our Pope.

    Pope Francis seems to be like Jesus, a sign of contradiction for many and it seems like through him, the Lord is doing some serious sifting. I don't know who it is who said that the humble will have no issue hearing the words of their Holy Father, Pope Francis, including any reproaches which should be taken honestly to heart and meditated upon silently. Just like Our Lady did so well.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  4. David

    David Well-Known Member

    I think that this thread should not avoid the controversy surrounding the Holy Father's encyclical, Amoris Laetitia. This is mainly because there is just so much criticism of Pope Francis surrounding the matter on the internet.
    Here is a shortened version of an article questioning the 'dubia' which sought to question the encyclical:

    “Dear cardinals...”
    A lay meditation on the five questions posted to Pope Francis

    Pubblicato il 19/12/2016

    What can I, a lay member of the faithful – sinful and ignorant – think when I see four important Cardinals of the Church question the Pope about his ordinary magisterium? At risk, in a loud voice, how can I address them to meditation? Would it be enough to write “Dear cardinals” so they can stop for a while and read these lines?

    The letter written by cardinals Burke, Caffara, Brandmüller, and Meisner- written to Francis containing five “doubts” regarding Amoris Laetitia- is certainly cordial. I am actually sorry that it became public so soon. It seems like an act of pressure. Also, some of the declarations around it have clothed it with a threatening tone. Cardinal Burke has affirmed that if Francis does not respond to their questions, they will be ready to exercise “a formal act of correction” on Peter’s successor.

    I ask myself, with all respect, dear Cardinals: Have you noticed that your act of questioning – now made public – strengthens, directly and indirectly, all those who for years have distrusted Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and the Second Vatican Council? Have you noticed how some sectors associated with fantastic conspiracy theories, to ideological conservatism - so alien to the gospel- and to “moralism”, - often denounced by Pope Ratzinger-, today celebrate your position? Possibly, you are not conscious about any of this. You possibly minimize it. You possibly simply desire to dissipate any “doubts”, and you approach the Pope with the intention to learn and not really to question his Magisterium.

    From my point of view, dear Cardinals, the teaching of the Pope in Amoris Laetitia is true, creative faithfulness and organic development that makes explicit the deposit of faith, underlining that every truth, in order to shine with all its attractiveness, needs to be affirmed with mercy and goodness.

    Pope Francis’ silence regarding your questions can be explained in two ways. First, that these questions are already addressed in Amoris Laetitia; as well as in his homilies, messages, and catechesis, through which Francis exercises his munus docendi day by day.

    You ask if it has now become possible to grant absolution in the sacrament of penance and thus to admit to Holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person “more uxorio”. I believe that in some occasions it will be possible and in others it will not. It would all depend upon whether there is an authentic mortal sin or if there are some factors that make a human action be a sin but not of that kind. “Discernment must help to find possible ways of responding to God and growing in the midst of limits.”

    On the second place, you ask if Pope John Paul II’s teaching regarding the existence of absolute moral norms – valid without exception – prohibit some intrinsically evil actions as still valid. Dear cardinals, the answer is “yes”; it is still valid. There are some actions that, in themselves, are always gravely illicit by reason of their object. But as John Paul II reminds us: “If acts are intrinsically evil, a good intention or particular circumstances can diminish their evil”.

    The third question asks: After Amoris Laetitia (n. 301) is it still possible to affirm that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery (cf. Mt 19:3-9), finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin? The answer to this requires us to make some distinctions. A situation of grave habitual sin refers to an obstinate conduct objectively contrary to the norms taught by the Gospel, so it does not refer to the imputability but rather to the nature of an action. Mortal sin is the action that involves grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. For this reason, for an action that is objectively evil to be a mortal sin it is required that certain subjective conditions make it imputable. The prohibition to access Holy Communion in a situation of grave sin relies on the possibility of disturbing the community’s order, of generating scandal, or similar situations. In other words, it is a disciplinary norm – not a doctrinal one – that the Pope can modify. On the contrary, the impossibility of accessing Holy Communion in mortal sin is part of our doctrine and not a mere disciplinary norm. Considering this, it is not possible to affirm that every person in a situation of grave sin is also, by definition, in a situation of mortal sin. It is enough to think about people who live in situations that involve sexual slavery, and in which, evidently, there is a situation of grave sin (prostitution) without implying – due to the slavery involved in the action – that what they do is imputable to the same degree that when they are considered to be done with full knowledge and deliberate consent. It seems that the Cardinals get close to this when they recognize that a person who lives in an objective situation of sin “ it is not certain that they are subjectively imputable for their habitual transgressions”.

    The fourth question asked to the Pope is: After the affirmations of Amoris Laetitia (n. 302) on “circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility,” does one still need to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul, according to which “circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”? Yes. The circumstances or intention modify, only accidentally, the moral quality of the action. And both are relevant in order to determine the imputability of an action. For this reason, Pope Francis is right when he affirms: “For this reason, a negative judgement about an objective situation does not imply a judgment about the imputability or culpability of the person involved”.

    The fifth question inquires if one ought to regard as valid the teaching of St. John Paul II that excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object. Yes. Amoris Laetitia does not endorse exceptions to the absolute moral norms. What exists are attenuating factors that, in some cases, may cause a committed sin not to be imputable on a subject with the necessary characteristics to consider it as an action that should be identified as a mortal sin.

    The whole question is certainly not resolved with what I have written above. I am aware that my answers are very brief.

    I would like to finish proposing a second possible reason that may explain the Pope’s silence. In Misericordia et misera, Francis speaks in several occasions about “silence.” Explaining the encounter of Jesus with the adulterous woman, he points that “to those who wished to judge and condemn her to death, Jesus replies with a lengthy silence. His purpose was to let God’s voice be heard in the consciences not only of the woman, but also in those of her accusers, who drop their stones and one by one leave the scene.” Can this be the reason for the Pope’s silence? Can he be waiting for the men that vowed fidelity to him may possibly reconsider their position and return to the pedagogical way to which we have pointed at the beginning? May God will, that with dialogue and good intentions, with common prayer and sincere embrace, we may all journey with Peter’s successor and with the bishops in communion with him. By doing this we may give a live testimony showing that, besides some differences in sensitivity to specific topics, communion is always possible when we existentially discover the primacy of the merciful love of God, who loves us all and always forgives us.

  5. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Cardinal Müller: “There will be no correction of the Pope”
    In an interview with Italian news channel Tgcom24, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said: “It is not possible at this time, the faith is not in any danger. I didn’t like the fact that the dubia were published”
    ThePrefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller.

    Pubblicato il 09/01/2017

    The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, has spoken out once again on the issue of the “dubia” put forward by four cardinals with regard to the “Amoris Laetitia”. Cardinal Müller stated that “a correction of the Pope is not possible at this time because the faith is not in any danger”. In an interview with Fabio Marchese Ragona, Vatican correspondent of Italian news channel Tgcom24, which took place during the television show “Stanze Vaticane” the cardinal expressed his disapproval of the publication of the “dubia”.

    Readers will recall that just over a month after they presented the five “dubia” – a series of questions about the interpretation offered by the “Amoris Laetitia” regarding the administration of the sacraments to remarried divorcees, questions which were presented in accordance with technical procedures for requesting clarification to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the four cardinals who signed the document, Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Leo Burke, Carlo Caffarra and Joachim Meisner, decided to make them public. The “dubia” were published just days before the October Consistory. In the weeks that followed, Cardinal Burke spoke of a possible and imminent “formal correction” of the Pope if there was no response from the latter. In an interview with Vatican Insider, Cardinal Brandmüller clarified that said correction would in the first instance be made “in camera caritatis”, meaning it would not be made public.

    Now, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith seems to be casting aside the possibility of a “correction”. “Everyone, especially the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church,” Müller told Tgcom24, “has the right to write a letter to the Pope. I was surprised, however, that this was made public, almost forcing the Pope to give a “yes” or “no” answer. I don’t like that. Even a possible fraternal correction of the Pope seems very remote, it is not possible at this time, the faith is not in any danger as St. Thomas put it.”

    The Prefect of the former Holy Office went on to add: “A correction is very far-off and I say it is harmful for the Church to discuss these things publicly. “Amoris Laetitia” is very clear in terms of its doctrine and we can interpret all of Jesus’ doctrine on marriage, the entire Church doctrine over 2000 years of history”. Pope Francis, the cardinal concluded, “is calling for discernment of the situation in which these people in irregular situations find themselves, in other words a situation that is not in accordance with the Church’s doctrine on marriage and he is asking for us to help the people find a way to reintegrate themselves into the Church abiding by the conditions of the sacraments, the Christian message on marriage. But I see no antithesis here: on the one hand we have a clear doctrine on marriage, on the other we have the Church’s duty to assist these people who are in difficulty.”

  6. karnala

    karnala Well-Known Member

    This would explain why there's so much more being written against our beloved Pope Francis .... thanks for these postings, as it'll help us to defend our Pope.
  7. karnala

    karnala Well-Known Member

    Valletta, Malta, Jan 13, 2017 / 11:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As debate over Amoris laetitia continues to gain steam, the Maltese bishops have come out with a new set of pastoral guidelines allowing divorced-and-remarried persons in certain cases, after “honest discernment”, to receive Communion.

    The introduction to the guidelines opens by saying that “like the star which led the Magi toward their encounter with Jesus,” Amoris laetitia also “enlightens our families in their journey toward Jesus as his disciples.”

    This message also includes couples and families in “complex situations,” such as those who are separated or divorced and have entered into new unions.

    While these people might have “lost their first marriage,” many have not lost hope in Christ, and “earnestly desire to live in harmony with God and the Church, so much so that they are asking us what they can do in order to be able to celebrate the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.”

    Like the Magi “these persons – at times after a strenuous and difficult journey – are able to meet Christ who offers them a future even when it is impossible for them to follow the same route as before,” the bishops said.

    Through a process of “accompaniment and honest discernment,” God is able to open new paths to these people, “even if their previous journey may have been one of darkness, marked with past mistakes or sad experiences of betrayal and abandonment.”

    Signed by Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo, the guidelines were read aloud at Masses in both dioceses Sunday and consist of 14 bullet points priests are to use when accompanying couples in irregular situations.....

  8. David

    David Well-Known Member

    The item below is a confirmation of the above report from CNA. But it contains the added information that the Maltese bishops guidelines have been published by the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. This is, I believe, a significant endorsement.

    Amoris Laetitia: L'Osservatore Romano publishes guidelines offered by Maltese bishops
    The Vatican newspaper has published the instructions for use written by Maltese bishops Scicluna and Grech with regard to the Pope's post-synodal exhortation. The guidelines open up to the possibility of the divorced and remarried being able to receive the sacraments

    Pubblicato il 14/01/2017

    "Akin to the Magi, who took a different route back home after meeting Jesus, (these persons – at times after a strenuous and difficult journey – are able to meet Christ who offers them a future even when it is impossible for them to follow the same route as before." This is what is written in a portion of one of the opening paragraphs of a document published on 14 January, carrying the signatures of two Maltese bishops, Charles Scicluna (Archbishop of Malta, former Promoter of Justice of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) and Mario Grech (Gozo). The text presents a set of concrete pastoral instructions for priests on how to apply the post-synodal apostolic exhortation "Amoris Laetitia", especially chapter 8 on wounded families, guidance and discernment of situations on a case-by-case basis. Significantly, the text prepared by the two bishops was published by L'Osservatore Romano.

    First and foremost, the two bishops recall that "our pastoral ministry towards persons who live in complex family situations, is the same ministry of the Church who is Mother and Teacher. As priests, we have the duty to enlighten consciences by proclaiming Christ and the full ideal of the Gospel. At the same time, in the footsteps of Christ himself, we have the duty to exercise the “art of accompaniment” and to become a source of trust, hope, and inclusion for those who request to see Jesus (see Jn 12, 21), especially for those persons who are most vulnerable."

    "When we meet or come to know of persons who find themselves in so called “irregular” situations," the document reads, " we need to commit ourselves to enter in dialogue with them and to come to know them in a spirit of authentic charity. If, subsequently, they show a genuine desire or accept to engage in a serious process of personal discernment about their situation, we should accompany them willingly on this journey, with true respect, care and attention. They “should be made to feel part of the Church. ‘They are not excommunicated’ and they should not be treated as such, since they remain part of the ecclesial community’”. "Throughout this process, our role is not simply that of granting permission for these people to receive the sacraments, or to offer “easy recipes”,or to substitute their conscience. Our role is patiently to help them to form and enlighten their own conscience, in order that they themselves may be able to make an honest decision before God and act according to the greatest good possible."

    After calling for pastoral care for couples who cohabit or have married civilly but who have not experienced the failure of amrriage, Scicluna and Grech's document deals with the issue of people who have entered a new union, who have divorced and remarried. They reiterate the need to verify the validity of the failed canonical marriage and sugest that the next step should be to request a declaration of nullity. "Throughout this discernment," the document reads, "an adequate distinction should be made between one situation and another". The text then refers back to a long paragraph from the "Amoris Laetitia": “One thing is a second union consolidated over time, with new children, proven fidelity, generous selfgiving, Christian commitment, a consciousness of its irregularity and of the great difficulty of going back without feeling in conscience that one would fall into new sins. The Church acknowledges situations ‘where, for serious reasons, such as the children’s upbringing, a man and woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate.’ There are also the cases of those who made every effort to save their first marriage and were unjustly abandoned, or of ‘those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably broken marriage had never been valid.’ Another thing is a new union arising from a recent divorce, with all the suffering and confusion which this entails for children and entire families, or the case of someone who has consistently failed in his obligations to the family. It must remain clear that this is not the ideal which the Gospel proposes for marriage and the family.”

    The suggestion is then to guide people through an examination of conscience, through moments of reflection and repentance, in which they should ask themselves how they behaved towards their children, whether they tried to reconcile themselves with their spouse and what the situation of the abandoned partner is. Throughout the discernment process, we need to weigh the moral responsibility in particular situations, with due consideration to the conditioning restraints and attenuating circumstances." "As a result of these conditioning restraints and attenuating circumstances, the Pope teaches that “it can no longer simply be said that all those in any ‘irregular situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace”.

    The document goes on to say that “it is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end” . This discernment acquires significant importance since, as the Pope teaches, in some cases this help can include the help of the sacraments “By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and of growth, and discourage paths of sanctification which give glory to God”. This calls for more prudent instruction in the law of gradualness, in order to discern, the presence, the grace and the working of God in all situations, and help people approach closer to God, even when not “not in a position to understand, appreciate, or fully carry out the objective demands of the law”.

    "Throughout the discernment process," the Maltese bishops say, "we should also examine the possibility of conjugal continence. Despite the fact that this ideal is not at all easy, there may be couples who, with the help of grace, practice this virtue without putting at risk other aspects of their life together. On the other hand, there are complex situations where the choice of living “as brothers and sisters” becomes humanly impossible and give rise to greater harm." If, as a result of the process of discernment, undertaken with “humility, discretion and love for the Church and her teaching, in a sincere search for God’s will and a desire to make a more perfect response to it”, a separated or divorced person who is living in a new relationship manages, with an informed and enlightened conscience, to acknowledge and believe that he or she are at peace with God, he or she cannot be precluded from participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist."

    At the same time, the document warns against a mechanical approach reiterating what is said in the "Amoris Laetitia". The bishops' guidelines read: "On the other hand, “if someone flaunts an objective sin as if it were part of the Christian ideal, or wants to impose something other than what the Church teaches, he or she can in no way presume to teach or preach to others”. It is our duty to preach anew “the proclamation of the Gospel message and its call to conversion”. Moreover, there could also be ways in which the person participates in the life of the community, such as in the social field, in prayer meetings, or as suggested by his or her personal initiative, together with our discernment."

    "Together with the Pope," the bishops say in their conclusion, " we do understand those who would prefer a “more rigorous pastoral care”, but together with him, we believe that “Jesus wants a Church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness, a Mother who, while clearly expressing her objective teaching, ‘always does what good she can, even if in the process, her shoes get soiled by the mud of the street’.”
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
  9. David

    David Well-Known Member

    [​IMG]Pope Francis - Quotes

    “The media only writes about the sinners and the scandals, he said, but that's normal, because 'a tree that falls makes more noise than a forest that grows.”
    Pope Francis

    “I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.”
    Pope Francis

    “No one can grow if he does not accept his smallness.”
    Pope Francis

    “God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.”
    Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel

    “It is not 'progressive' to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.”
    Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel

    “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”
    Pope Francis

    “The question of truth is really a question of memory, deep memory, for it deals with something prior to ourselves and can succeed in uniting us in a way that transcends our petty and limited individual consciousness. It is a question about the origin of all that is, in whose light we can glimpse the goal and thus the meaning of our common path.”
    Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei: Enciclica sulla Fede

    “Living together is an art. It's a patient art, it's a beautiful art, it's fascinating.”
    Pope Francis

    “This is the struggle of every person: be free or be a slave.”
    Pope Francis

    “Situations can change; people can change. Be the first to seek to bring good. Do not grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it with good.”
    Pope Francis, The Church of Mercy

    “Idolatry, then, is always polytheism, an aimless passing from one lord to another. Idolatry does not offer a journey but rather a plethora of paths leading nowhere and forming a vast labyrinth.”
    Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei: Enciclica sulla Fede

    “Once man has lost the fundamental orientation which unifies his existence, he breaks down into the multiplicity of his desires; in refusing to await the time of promise, his life-story disintegrates into a myriad of unconnected instants.”
    Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei: Enciclica sulla Fede

    “Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs, or anything else—God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.”
    Pope Francis, A Big Heart Open to God: A Conversation with Pope Francis

    “Where there is truth, there is also light, but don't confuse light with the flash.”
    Pope Francis

    “And here the first word that I wish to say to you: joy! Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement! Ours is not a joy born of having many possessions, but of having encountered a Person: Jesus, in our midst.”
    Pope Francis, The Church of Mercy

    “To be faithful, to be creative, we need to be able to change. To change! And why must I change? So that I can adapt to the situations in which I must proclaim the Gospel. To stay close to God, we need to know how to set out; we must not be afraid to set out.”
    Pope Francis, The Church of Mercy
  10. karnala

    karnala Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the quotes - there is so much negativity and indifference about our Holy Father .... I had an online debate the other day with a person saying she was Roman Catholic but also saying she was a Sede vacantist at the same time :confused:
  11. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Another wonderful homily today from Pope Francis:

    Pope: Christian life is a daily struggle against temptation and Satan


    Pubblicato il 19/01/2017

    In order to fight evil, against the Devil and the temptations he places before us to destroy good, we need to let ourselves be attracted by Jesus, who came to eradicate Satan’s bad influence on the hearts of humans. This is what Christian life is about, Pope Francis underlined at this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House.

    In today’s homily, the Pope reflected on the Gospel passage of the day, which describes the scene of the crowd enthusiastically following Christ. Francis asked himself: “Why were the crowds attracted?” from all over. There were “sick people who wanted to be healed” but also people who liked “to listen to Jesus because he didn’t talk like their doctor but he spoke with authority” and “this touched people’s hearts”. These are people who would go to the Son of God “spontaneously”, “they were not taken on buses as we see on so many occasions when demonstrations are organised and many have to go and “check” attendance so as not to lose their job”.

    These people “went,” the Pope stressed, “because they felt something”. There were so many that Jesus was forced to ask for a boat and go further out onto the water, away from the shore.

    The Pope emphasised: “Was this crowd going to Jesus? Yes! Was it in need? Yes! Some were curious but these were the ascetics, the minority… But it was the Father who attracted the crowd, it was the Father attracting the crowd towards Jesus. Jesus was unable to remain indifferent, like a stationary teacher who said his words and then washed his hands of it. No! This crowd touched Jesus’ heart”. In fact, the Gospel “says: ‘Jesus had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.’ And through the Holy Spirit, the Father attracted people to Jesus.

    The Bishop of Rome clarified: it is not “apologetic arguments” that move people, “it is the Father who must pull you towards Jesus”.

    Francis considered it “interesting” that this passage of Mark’s Gospel that “speaks about Jesus, about the crowd, about enthusiasm” and God’s love, should end with the impure spirits that upon seeing him cry out: ‘You are the Son of God!’” This, the Pope explained, is the truth, this is the reality that each of us feels when Jesus gets close. The impure spirits seek to prevent this, they wage war against us. “But, Father, I am very Catholic; I always go to mass… But never ever have I felt this temptation. Thank God, no!” “Pray, because you are on the wrong path!” A Christian life without temptation, Francis insisted, is not Christian: it is ideological, gnostic but it is not Christian” When “the Father attracts people to Jesus, there is someone else pulling you in the other direction and creates a conflict within you! This is why Paul refers to Christian life as a struggle: an everyday struggle. A struggle!”

    This fight is fought in order “to win, to destroy Satan’s empire, the empire of evil”. This is why “Jesus came, to destroy Satan! To destroy the influence he has in our hearts”. The Father “attracts people to Jesus,” he highlighted, while the evil spirit “seeks to destroy, always!”

    Christian life “is a struggle in which you either let yourself be attracted by Jesus through the Father or you can say: ‘I want peace and calm’; but if you want to move forth “you need to fight! Feel the heart fighting so that Jesus wins”.

    Francis invited faithful to think about “how our heart is: do I feel this struggle inside my heart? Between comfort or serving others, having a bit of fun or praying and worshiping the Father, between one or the other, do I feel the struggle? Do I feel the desire to do good or is something stopping me, turning me into an ascetic? Do I believe my life moves Jesus’ heart?” If I do not, “I need to pray and pray until I believe it, that I may be granted this grace. Each one of us should look into his or her heart and see what the situation is like in there.”

    Finally, the Pope prayed: "May the Lord give us the grace to know how to discern what is going on in our hearts and to choose the right path upon which the Father draws us to Jesus.”

  12. David

    David Well-Known Member

    “The danger is that in times of crisis we look for a saviour”
    On Donald Trump, Pope Francis says: “I don’t like to aniticipate events. Let us see what he does, we can’t be prophets of disasters”
    Vatican City 22 ENE 2017
    Pope Francis during the interview with EL PAÍS on Friday. L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO

    On Friday, just when Donald Trump was being sworn in to office in Washington, Pope Francis was giving a long interview to EL PAÍS at the Vatican, during which he was calling for prudence in the face of the alarm bells that were ringing due to the new US president.

    During an hour and 15 minutes, in a simple room in the Casa de Santa Marta, where he lives, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was born in Buenos Aires 80 years ago and is on his way to completing his fourth year as Pontiff, explained that “in the Church there are saints and sinners, decent men and corrupt men,” but that what most worries him is “a Church that has been anesthetized by mundanity,” one that is far from the problems of the people.

    The hallmark of the Church is its proximity, being close siblings. We all are the Church

    Francis showed himself to be up to speed not just with what is happening within the Vatican, but also in the southern border of Spain or in the tough neighborhoods of Rome. He says that he would love to travel to China – “as soon as they invite me” – and that, although he sometimes “slips up,” his only revolution is the Evangelical one.

    The drama of the refugee crisis has affected him greatly - “that man cried and cried on my shoulder, with the life-jacket in his hand, because he hadn't managed to rescue a four-year-old girl” – as much as the visits he has made to women who were sold into slavery by prostitution mafias in Italy. He still does not know whether he will die as pope or will opt for the open road of Benedicto XVI. He admits that sometimes he has felt used by his Argentinean countrymen, and he calls on Spaniards to do something that looks easy but is not: “Talk to one another.”

    Question. Your Holiness, after nearly four years in the Vatican, what is left of that street priest that came from Buenos Aires to Rome with the return ticket in his pocket?

    Answer. He is still a street priest. Because, as soon as I can go out on the streets to greet people at the general audiences, or when I am traveling... my character has not changed. I'm not saying that is deliberate: it has been a natural thing. It is not true that you have to change here. To change is unnatural. To change at 76 is putting on makeup. Perhaps I cannot do everything I want, but my street soul is alive, and you can see it.

    the rest of the interview can be read at: http://elpais.com/elpais/2017/01/21/inenglish/1485026427_223988.html
  13. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Here is another great little morning homily from the Santa Marta home of Francis:

    Francis: “Without the woman, there is no harmony in the world”


    Pubblicato il 09/02/2017
    She makes the world beautiful. On planet Earth, “without the woman, there is no harmony.” Says Pope Francis, in his homily of today’s morning Mass (9 February 2017) at Casa Santa Marta, a reflection on womankind since the Creation.

    The Pontiff retraces the steps of Genesis: God creates all sorts of animals, but man cannot find in them a company, he is alone; therefore the Lord took a rib from him and created the woman, identified by the man as the flesh of his flesh. However “before seeing her, he had dreamed of her: to understand a woman you must dream of her,” says Pope Bergoglio.

    Then the Pope noted: “Many times, when we talk about women,” we describe them as functional: “Women are born to do this.” However, women convey a type of wealth that men do not have: harmony in Creation. Because “without the woman, there is no harmony. We usually say: “but this is a society with a strong masculine attitude, isn’t it? The woman is missing. “Yes, because the woman has to wash the dishes and so on...”. No, no, no: the woman is to bring harmony. Without the woman, there is no harmony. “They aren’t equal, nor superior to the other: no. It is just that men do not bring harmony: women do. She is the one who brings harmony, who teaches us to cherish, to love tenderly, and that makes the world beautiful. “

    As reported by Vatican Radio, three are the aspects addressed by the Bishop of Rome: men’s loneliness, dream and, third, t he fate of both that is, to be “one flesh.” Francis then gives a concrete example, when during an audience, as he greeted people, he asked a couple celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary: “Who has had more patience between the two? “ ’. They looked at me, and then looked into each other’s eyes – I will never forget those eyes - and told me with one voice: “We are in love.” After 60 years, this means one flesh. This is what the women brings: the ability to fall in love. Harmony in the world. “

    The Pope noted that “so many times, we hear:” No, in this society, in this institution, women are necessary for doing these things ... “. No, no, no, no: functionality is not the purpose of the woman. It is true that the woman must do things, which she does - as we all do - . Women’s purpose is to make harmony, and without women, there is no harmony in the world.” Then Francis denounced: “Exploiting people is a crime against humanity: it is true. But taking advantage of a woman is much more: it is destroying the harmony that God wanted to give to the world. It destroys. “Taking advantage of a woman, not only is a “crime,” but it “destroys harmony.”

    This is “ God’s great gift: He gave us the woman. And in the Gospel, we heard of what a woman is capable of, right? She is courageous, isn’t she? She has gone ahead with courage. But she is more, much more: the woman is harmony, she is poetry, she is beauty. “Without her the world would not be so beautiful, it would not be harmonious.” The Pope concludes: “I like to think - but this is a personal thing - that God created the woman so we could all have a mother.”
  14. David

    David Well-Known Member

    On divorce/remarriage, Pope says keep justice and mercy together

    Pope Francis celebrates a Mass at Santa Marta residence at the Vatican

    Crux Staff
    February 24, 2017

    Pope Francis on Friday said that in thinking about divorce and remarriage, the key issue at the heart of debates over 'Amoris Laetitia,' the important thing is to abandon a legalistic obsession with what's permitted and what isn't, and instead strive to integrate divine justice with divine mercy.

    Reflecting on divorce and remarriage on Friday, perhaps the key issue in debates over his document on the family Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis said the key is to hold justice and mercy together, not becoming obsessed with the fine points of legal interpretation.

    The pontiff’s remarks came during his morning homily in the chapel at the Domus Santa Marta, the Vatican residence where he lives, and were prompted by the day’s Gospel passage in which Jesus responds to legal scholars asking him about the rules for divorce.

    The pope said Jesus “doesn’t respond as to whether it’s licit or not; he doesn’t enter into casuistic logic,” using a term from moral theology referring to the application of broad principles to concrete cases.

    Francis, however, appeared to be using the term “casuistry” not in that sense, but rather as a synonym for a legalistic approach to interpreting God’s will.

    “They thought about the faith only in terms of ‘you can’ or ‘you can’t, up to what point you can’t and at what point you can’t’,” Francis said, referring to the legal scholars.

    “Jesus always speaks the truth,” Francis said, “and explains things as they were created.”

    For that reason, Francis said, Jesus said bluntly to his disciples: “Whoever repudiates his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if the wife repudiates her husband and marries another commits adultery.”

    Jesus spoke, he said, “without casuistry, and without permissions.”

    Francis then asked, if it’s true that Jesus defined adultery as a grave sin, how is it possible that Jesus also spoke with an adulterer and said to her at one point, “I don’t condemn you, go and sin no more?”

    “The path of Jesus, and we see this clearly, is a journey from casuistry to truth and mercy,” Francis said.

    “Jesus sets aside casuistry,” Francis said. “To those who want to test him, those who thinks in terms of the logic of ‘can or can’t,’ he describes them - not here, but in other passages of the Gospel - as ‘hypocrites.’”

    According to Pope Francis, it’s not careful legal reasoning but the integration of mercy and justice that marks the path of Christ.

    “When temptation touches the heart, this path of exiting from casuistry to truth and mercy isn’t easy, it needs the grace of God so we can go forward in that direction,” Francis said.

    “A casuistic mentality would ask, ‘What’s more important to God, justice or mercy?’ That’s a sick way of thinking,” Francis said. “There aren’t two things, only one. For God, justice is mercy and mercy is justice.”

    “The Lord helps us understand this path, which isn’t easy, but it will make us happy, and will make lots of people happy,” he said.

  15. David

    David Well-Known Member

    The papal obsession with getting close and concrete
    The Pope's "El Pais" interview was about many things yet mainly about one: the need for the Church to be close to people, and concrete. Francis is convinced that the greatest threat to the contemporary age is gnosticism, which shows itself in the Church as fundamentalism and legalism.

    Pope Francis’s weekend interview with the Spanish daily El País - available in English on its website - was one of his longest and most substantial yet, that covered a great number of themes. But there is one that runs through it, almost obsessively.

    It is not, for him, a new idea. Francis has insisted many times before, both as pope and archbishop, that the Church must be close to people and their reality and not take refuge in ideologies, bureaucratic structures, and worldliness.

    But he kept returning to the point so insistently throughout the interview, and with such an apocalyptic tone, it is safe to conclude he perceives a battle being played out at the heart of the Church.

    For example:
    • Asked about the hierarchy being ‘asleep,’ he said what he most feared in the Church’s pastoral agents (whether lay or religious, priests or bishops) was those who have “been anaesthetized by worldliness.” The first Christians were permanently on the move, and in contact with people, whereas “the anaesthetized have no contact with people. They are defended from reality.” The anaesthesia in this case, he explains, is “spiritual worldliness,” which turns pastors into clerks and produces clericalism.
    • Asked about his greatest concern for the Church, Francis answers: “that it never cease to be close … A Church that is not close is not the Church … What identifies the Church is its closeness.” Closeness, he says, means “seeing in the neighbor the flesh of Christ.”
    • “Either Christianity is concrete, or it’s not Christianity,” he says after talking about waiting and seeing what happens with Trump. The first heresy, he goes on, was gnosticism, which represented “an airspray religiosity, of the non-concrete. From what is concrete,” he adds, “we will draw the consequences,” warning: “We are really losing the sense of the concrete.”
    • Asked about the parable of the Prodigal Son Francis identifies the resentment of the elder brother as akin to “those who take up a posture that defends them from contact,” and who “are going to be uncomfortable with any change, with whatever the Gospel proposes.”
    • Referring to the risk of people disappearing into “ideological caves,” Francis said people are always more comfortable with an ideological system “because it is abstract.” In the “restaurant of life you are always offered the dishes of ideology,” he says, adding that these are “shelters that prevent you from connecting with reality.”
    • On communication, Francis notes that when it loses “what is fleshy, what is human” it becomes “liquid” and “dangerous.” Digital communication, for all its possibilities, is risky if it does not make way for “the human, the normal, what can be touched.” The non-negotiable part of communication is what is concrete, he says, adding: “We are not angels, but people of the concrete.”
    • Finally, when asked about his occasional tongue-lashing of Vatican bureaucrats or priests and religious, Francis replies: “What I most insist on is neighborliness, on closeness.” Noting how there are always groups that are “a bit more fundamentalist,” he says they are “good people who prefer to live their religion that way” but “I preach what the Lord asks me to preach.”
    In the pope’s mind the greatest sickness and temptation facing the Church is a desire to flee from concrete human realities into the static comfort of ideology and structures that keep people distant. These temptations produce clericalism, fundamentalism, a numbing distance from reality and a tendency to be scandalized by the Gospel.

    The path of holiness or resistance to these temptations is to remain in the concrete, the real, the fleshy, the human.

    None of these ideas is exactly new; he has been expressing similar themes since at least the early 1990s. But the continued insistence on them is remarkable. It is as if, in Francis’s daily reading of the signs of the times, he sees a cosmic struggle between the Christ of the incarnation and the rise of a new contemporary gnosticism: “We are losing a sense of the concrete.”

    It is the temptation of our technological, technocratic age, capable like no other of creating self-contained capsules of self-referentiality. The new euphemisms for errors - “post-truth,” “alternative facts” - show how little objective reality there is left for many people.

    The gnostic illusion of the wealthy west is that technology has made it possible to construct almost anything without reference to external realities: who, when, or even if, people should be born and die; what our gender should be; what our lives mean.

    In western politics, gnosticism is bipartisan: it is as visible in the nice-sounding abstractions of the liberal technocrats as in the reality-defying assertions of the nascent populists.

    Francis has long perceived in this rise of gnosticism a feature of our age - it underpins his critique of the technocratic paradigm in his eco-encyclical, Laudato Sí. But he sees it also, closer to home, right in the heart of the Church, among those who recoil from flesh-and-blood reality, preferring to remain in the realm of ideas, principles, theories and laws.

    It is an attitude that starts not from the complex nitty-gritty of real people’s lives, but the seductively neat principles of abstraction.

    Catholic gnosticism, Francis suggests, is found in clericalism, legalism and fundamentalism. It is especially strong among the keepers of knowledge, the doctors of the law, who are more inclined to trust in the power of the world - concepts, doctrines, norms - than in the fleshly poverty of Christ made visible in those who suffer.

    When the Catholic gnostics speak, it is hard to glimpse the carnal reality of God - Jesus Christ, visible in the vulnerable and suffering - because He has been buried in layers of gnōsis or special knowledge. Truth is not a person, an experience, a concrete act of mercy, but something remote and nebulous, that can only be grasped through expertise, or enlightenment.

    It is hard not to avoid thinking of the furious reactions to Amoris Laetitia, and the insistence on uniformity, inflexible doctrine and the immutable objective universality of the law.

    The exhortation’s insistence that individual, complex cases - concrete human realities - might be opportunities for God’s grace to be discerned and recognized is constantly dismissed, angrily, as mere subjectivism, special pleading by sinners who wish to avoid what is asked of them.

    There was no question about Amoris Laetitia in the El País interview, and no reference to the four cardinals’ dubia. But maybe Francis was commenting on them all the time.

  16. David

    David Well-Known Member

    I think the following post from Robert Moynihan, editor of 'Inside the Vatican', captures very well what is happening to the Holy Father and the Church at the moment:

    “Not flesh and blood”: What is the true narrative of the pontificate of Pope Francis?
    By Robert Moynihan

    What is Pope Francis doing?
    And why is he doing it?

    The striking characteristic of this pontificate, now about to complete its 4th year, has been the praise it has received from “the world.”
    The world’s media have never ceased to praise Francis from the moment of his election.

    At the same time, many in the more “traditional” Catholic media have increasingly become critical of Pope Francis.

    The mainstream global media have praised Francis for “breaking with (hidebound, rigorist) Church tradition.”
    They have said that this “break” consists of his emphasis on “mercy” (for sinners) and “charity” (for the poor, and for the planet itself) over against the more traditional focus on “repentance” (from sin, with a purpose of amendment) and on seeking to become “holy” (to live in a state of profound mystical communion with God, a state of communion which once was spoken of as a “state of grace,” implying a state of communion as well with the entire created world).

    And the traditional Catholics have blamed Pope Francis for precisely this same alleged shift in emphasis.

    So both the secular media and the traditional Catholic media have agreed on “the narrative” of a Pope breaking dramatically with tradition.
    Yet this accepted narrative misses something important.

    First, it misses the fact that there always was in the Catholic tradition a profound emphasis on God’s mercy, and on the need to be charitable, to perform works of mercy, to “let one’s light shine before men” and not simply accept the evils and injustices of the world.
    The fruit of this? The universities, hospitals, hospices, schools, clinics of Christian culture, up to and including the houses of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

    So it is clear that this was in the tradition all along.
    And that, in emphasizing this aspect of the tradition, Francis is not breaking with the broad tradition, but stressing an aspect of that tradition.
    Second, it misses the fact that Francis has always characterized himself as a “son of the Church,” not a stranger, a “rupturer.”
    And he has always maintained — in keeping with Church tradition and doctrine — that the Church is something different from other human institutions, something much more than “another NGO” (non-governmental organization).

    Moreover, it seems clear that Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who still lives in the Vatican Gardens, and who is aware of much that Francis has said and done, has never indicated publicly in any way that Francis has gone “off the reservation,” has gone “too far,” something Benedict in theory could do if the situation were one of dramatic rupture with traditional Church doctrine.

    So there is something inadequate about this dominant, widely accepted narrative.

    And this dominant, widely accepted narrative has led us, today, to the verge of schism, to the verge of the breaking of the public unity of the Church — which is one of the signs of the true Church recited in the Creed (“one, holy, catholic and apostolic”).

    A very cleverly woven web, indeed, a web woven as if by an enemy of the Church… indeed, as if woven by a sort of “superhuman” intelligence, by a “power” or “principality” not of flesh and blood….

  17. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Pope Francis: ‘I do not see Cardinal Burke as an enemy’
    Pope Francis salutes as he leaves the St. John Lateran Basilica after meeting parishioners in Rome, Thursday, March 2, 2017. (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini.)

    In a new interview with a German newspaper, Pope Francis denies seeing conservative American Cardinal Raymond Burke as an "enemy," but does take a gentle swipe at "fundamentalist Catholics," saying their self-assurance reminds him of St. Peter just before he denied knowing Jesus.

    ROME - Despite widespread perceptions of animosity between Pope Francis and American Cardinal Raymond Burke, seen as the leader of the pope’s conservative opposition, the pontiff has declared in a new interview that “I do not see Cardinal Burke as an enemy.”

    Francis also denied that the recent decision to send him to Guam to lead a canonical trial of an archbishop accused of sexually abusing minors was any kind of exile.

    “Cardinal Burke was [in Guam] because of some terrible incidents there. For that I’m very grateful to him, he’s an excellent lawyer, but I believe the assignment is almost completed,” the pope said.

    Speaking about the Order of Malta, which made headlines recently over the firing and re-hiring of its grand chancellor and the role of Burke, chaplain of the knighthood, Francis says that there were problems the American prelate wasn’t able to cope with, but that “he continues to be the patron of the order of Malta.”

    Pope Francis did, however, issue a gentle critique of what he described as “fundamentalist Catholics,” a group with which Burke is sometimes associated.

    Asked about how the faithful can help each other through “crises of faith,” the pontiff said that crises are essential for growth, both in life and in faith. He referred to a passage from the Gospels in which Peter denied Christ three times, after asserting he would never do so.

    “When Jesus feels that certainty of Peter, it makes me think of so many fundamentalist Catholics,” Francis said.

    Peter, Francis said, “denied Jesus, had a massive crisis, and was made pope!”

    The pope’s comments came in a new wide-ranging interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit, published on Thursday.

    One of the many issues Francis was asked about was a recently set-up commission to study the historic role of female deacons in the Church, where the pontiff seemed to downplay expectations for rapid breakthroughs.

    “I was asked, why don’t we form a study commission to figure out what these women did and whether they were consecrated or not. I answered, yes, why not?” he said, referring to an audience he had last year with the superiors of female religious orders last year.

    “It’s about exploring the subject, not opening a door … Time will tell what the commission finds. They’re supposed to come together again in March for the third time, and I’m going to inquire about where things stand,” Francis told journalist Giovanni di Lorenzo.

    The issue of papal trips was also touched upon during the interview, and Francis revealed that a trip to Egypt is in the works for 2017. He also said that, despite recent talks, a trip to South Sudan and the two Congoes (Republic of the Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo) this year has been almost ruled out. Another trip that he won’t be able to make, is Russia, “because I would have to go to Ukraine too.”

    He did, however, confirm that he’s going to India and Bangladesh, which has been in the works for a while, but with no date having been announced yet, and Fatima, in Portugal, mid-May.

    Another trip that is being planned for 2017 is Colombia, which has been a possibility almost since the beginning of the pontificate, even more so after the government signed a peace deal with the country’s largest guerrilla, the FARC, to put an end to the longest civil armed conflict in recent history.

    Asked if the attacks he receives, particularly those coming “from the Vatican” hurt him personally, Francis responded no.

    “From the moment that I was elected pope, I never lost my sense of peace,” he said. “I understand that some might not like my way of acting, I even justify it: there are so many ways of thinking; it’s even licit, human and even a richness.”

    On the recent posters that accused him of not being merciful and the spoof version of the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the pope said that even though he found no richness in the latter, he did in the posters.

    “The Romanesco [Italian dialect] in those posters was beautiful!” Francis said, adding that they had been written by a cultured person.

    “Someone from here?” the journalist asked, meaning the Vatican, where the interview took place.

    “No: a cultured person!” Francis said, laughing.

    Later on, he revealed that every day he prays St. Thomas More’s prayer, asking for a sense of humor. “The Lord hasn’t taken my peace, and gives me enough sense of humor,” he said.

    As he’s done before, the pope acknowledged that he’s a sinner, and that there have been moments in which he’s been mad at Jesus or said that he didn’t understand why something was happening, including things of the pope’s own making, caused by “my own sin: I am a sinner, and I get mad … now I’ve gotten used to it.”

    Francis also says that he doesn’t feel like “an exceptional man,” and that the expectations put upon him, “that exaggerate,” don’t do him justice.

    “I am not a poor guy, no, but I’m a man who does what he can, but common. That’s how I feel. And when someone says to me: ‘No, you, you are…’ this doesn’t do me any good,” he said.

    Asked if he didn’t fear disappointing those in the Roman curia with these words, who have the need of an impeccable father, Francis says that there’s no such thing, because there’s only one, God.

    “Every father is a sinner- thanks be to God- because this even encourages us to go forth and give life, in this epoch of orphanhood, where there’s a need for paternity,” he said.

    “I am a sinner and I am fallible, and we must not forget that the idealization of a person is always also a subliminal type of aggression,” he said.

  18. Radhe

    Radhe Well-Known Member

    Regarding criticising the Pope. I recall an incident where Padre Pio was hearing confessions
    and a young man who had spoken ill of the Pope, approached he was refused absolution.
    "You will never come back here again! "Padre said, tapping the confession chair.
    (the Padre had an uncanny knack of reading souls telling them their sins before they even confessed them!)
    The man met Padre Pio some months later in the corridor of the monastery.
    "Oh you came back" said Padre Pio.
    It was a simple incident but the young man learned the gravity of criticising the Pope.
    Padre Pio would not tolerate criticism of the Church the Pope or anyone even if it was "justified"

    Sobering thought TLIG contains a warning about refraining from carping criticism...
  19. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Is Pope Francis really facing a coup? Or just ‘fake news’?

    David Gibson March 11, 2017

    Pope Francis laughs during his visit to the All Saints' Anglican Church in Rome, Italy, on Feb. 26, 2017.

    Francis himself recognizes that there is resistance...the longer Francis goes on, the more cardinals and bishops he can appoint, which will likely increase the number of those who think as he does and decrease the size of the opposition still further.

    As Pope Francis marks the fourth anniversary of his revolutionary papacy, the pontiff apparently finds himself besieged on all sides by crises of his own making: an open “civil war” in the Catholic Church and fears of schism, mounting opposition from the faithful and a Roman Curia so furious with his reforms that some cardinals are plotting a coup to topple him.

    And those are just some of the more noteworthy threats to the church and his authority, at least in the view of various right-wing Catholic websites and pundits who have been criticizing Francis almost since the day he was elected four years ago on Monday (March 13).

    Now, as the anniversary approaches, their claims have grown increasingly insistent and eye-popping, often migrating into mainstream media accounts as well.

    Yet if you talk to senior churchmen in the U.S. and elsewhere, as well as advisers to the pope, Vatican officials and veteran church observers, these reports are also dismissed as increasingly outlandish and often driven by an anti-Francis agenda that is so hyperbolic that it is obscuring the genuine reservations that some might have about the direction Francis is taking the Catholic Church.

    “I certainly don’t see plots. I don’t see all this seething behind the cassocks of prelates all over Rome,” said Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, one of Francis’s main U.S. advisers. Wuerl is frequently in Rome for meetings and has wide contacts among the global hierarchy, and he said he sees wide support for what Francis is doing, often more so in other countries.

    “I think there are a small number” of opponents, Wuerl said, “and they are the ones you see quoted over and over and over again - the same quotes, the same words, in the same publications.

    “It really is a concern of a few people in a few locations that is amplified by the megaphone of the media that support them.”

    Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, who was personally picked by Francis to head the Archdiocese of Chicago and sit on key Vatican committees, has also characterized the pontiff’s foes as a splinter group. “They are not as much large as loud,” Cupich recently told Italian Vatican-watcher Andrea Tornielli.

    ‘A lot of this is pure or impure speculation’
    Several curial officials, who requested anonymity in order to speak freely, readily admitted they see what they described as “concern” among some in the Vatican, and perhaps more than the usual amount of bureaucratic resistance to the structural overhaul Francis is pursuing.

    But as for serious, organized opposition, as one senior Vatican official put it, “I think it’s just wishful thinking by some people, to be honest.”

    Even some Catholic conservatives are growing impatient with the narrative of unprecedented crisis that is swirling around.

    “A lot of this is pure or impure speculation,” said Robert Royal, head of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington and a regular visitor to the Vatican. Royal cautioned that “there is a lot of turbulence in Rome these days.”

    But, he said, “some Catholic conservatives assume there is a coordinated network of liberals waiting to take over the church. I don’t, but I think (Francis) has given an awful lot of fuel to critics who want to see some bad things.”

    Indeed, the claims are hard to ignore. Traditionalist websites and canon lawyers are openly debating whether the pope is a heretic - and what can be done if he is - while others wonder whether Francis is leading the church into schism, or if such a split has already happened.

    Many of these conservative opponents have rallied around American Cardinal Raymond Burke, an outspoken critic of the pope who was a senior Vatican official until Francis moved him into a largely ceremonial role at the Rome-based charitable Order of Malta - where he recently was involved in another uproar over the ousting of a top leader there.

    The pope wound up intervening in the situation, providing another opportunity for Burke’s allies to denounce Francis as an “authoritarian” who is mercilessly crushing his foes.

    Some group or individual even plastered anti-Francis posters last month around Rome - a city where such manifestations are part of the daily discourse - leading some Francis critics to proclaim it proof that opposition to the pope was “spilling onto the street.”

    In fact, Francis seems as popular as ever (he just made the cover of the Italian edition of Rolling Stone magazine) and in the U.S. polls show his approval rating among Catholics actually increased to near 90 percent.

    That hasn’t stopped conservative Catholic media from regularly declaring that the church “is now in a full-blown civil war” or calling the church “drifting and directionless” and the pope akin to a “pathological” father, as Phil Lawler, editor of the Massachusetts-based Catholic World News site, has done.

    “But has there ever before been a Roman Pontiff who showed such disdain for what the Church has always taught and believed and practiced?” Lawler wrote in a widely shared post titled “This Disastrous Papacy.”

    Then this month The Times of London ran a story citing a right-wing Italian commentator’s claims that several cardinals in the Vatican who once supported Francis have turned on him and are leading a campaign to persuade him to resign so they can install the pope’s No. 2, Secretary of State Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The article was echoed by other outlets.

    “That was a crazy piece,” said one Vatican official, a view echoed by numerous other churchmen in Rome and the U.S.

    So, what’s really going on in Rome, and the rest of the Catholic Church?

    Part of the explanation is that Francis has welcomed open debate in the church - certainly one of the biggest changes he has made in his four years.

    That “has allowed deep-seated tensions within the church to surface,” Father Russell Pollitt, a South African Jesuit, recently wrote. “Tensions have always existed - even though some would never dare to admit this. The difference is that under Francis’s leadership these tensions have not been pushed under the proverbial carpet.”

    The complaints of the conservative critics, however, are also magnified by the fact that so much of the conservative opposition comes from the U.S. and Great Britain, and from a core group of Italian traditionalists. That means their critiques are amplified by a media industry dominated by, and geared toward, the English-speaking West. Catholics and churchmen in the rest of the world often scratch their heads at the debates that inflame the faithful in North America.

    “This has all the qualities of what you would call an ‘in-house’ story,” Wuerl said. “But that house is located primarily in the United States and it has some participants in Rome. I think those are the only two places I heard any of this. Everyone else seems to be moving along with the church at this very exciting time.”

  20. David

    David Well-Known Member

    Words From Pope Francis, on the Fourth Anniversary of His Election

    Published on March 13, 2017

    Jorge Bergoglio, then the archbishop of Buenos Aires, became pope four years ago today. He has been a very vocal bishop, which pleases his admirers and upsets his detractors, but keeps everyone talking.

    Here’s a tiny selection from his teaching ministry as archbishop and as pope. The selections focus on evangelization (as Catholics call what their Protestant brothers call evangelism). The sources with links appear at the end. If you want more, here’s a long list of quotes from Francis compiled by the American Catholic bishops. You can follow him on Twitter.

    Being a Christian
    I never tire of repeating those words of Benedict XVI which which take us to the very heart of the Gospel: “Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”

    Thanks solely to this encounter … we are liberated from our narrowness and self-absorption. We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of our being. Here we find the source and inspiration of all our efforts at evangelization. For if we have received the love which restores meaning to our lives, how can we fail to share that love with others?

    The Ten Commandments
    The Decalogue is not a set of negative commands, but concrete directions for emerging from the desert of the selfish and self-enclosed ego in order to enter into dialogue with God, to be embraced by his mercy and then to bring that mercy to others. … The Decalogue appears as the path of gratitude, the response of love,

    Sharing the Good News
    A very wise priest once told me that we were facing a situation that is the complete opposite of the Parable of the Lost Sheep. The shepherd had ninety-nine sheep in his flock and went out to search for the one that was lost; we have on in the flock and ninety-nine that we are not searching for. I sincerely believe that in this day and age, the most basic thing for the Church is not to reduce or limit the requirements or make this or that easier, but to go out and seek people, to know people by name.

    The Faithful Church
    The Church is faithful to her Master to the extent that she is a Church which “goes forth,” a Church which is less concerned about herself, her structures and successes, and more about her ability to go out and meet God’s children wherever they are, to feel compassion for their hurt and pain. God … hears the cry of his people and he intervenes to set them free (Ex 3:7). The Church … is meant to be a Church which evangelizes, goes out to encounter humanity, proclaims the liberating word of the Gospel, heals people’s spiritual and physical wounds with the grace of God, and offers relief to the poor and the suffering.

    “Religion à la carte”
    It’s browsing the display rack in the religious supermarket. It’s religion as a consumer good, which I believe is very much linked to some kind of vague theism as part of the New Age movement, a mixture of personal satisfaction, relaxation, and “well-being.” …

    All this indicates a lack of a personal connection with God, of an authentic religious experience. This is what I believe is at the heart of “religion à la carte.” I believe you have to reclaim the religious event as a movement toward an encounter with Jesus Christ.

    Being a Parent
    One of the questions I always ask young parents during confession is whether or not they spend time playing with their children.

    The Scriptures
    The Word of God: this has the strength to defeat Satan. For this reason, it is important to be familiar with the Bible: read it often, meditate on it, assimilate it. …

    Someone has asked: what would happen were we to treat the Bible as we treat our mobile phone. Were we to always carry it with us, or at least a small, pocket-sized Gospel, what would happen? Were we to turn back when we forget it: you forget your mobile phone — “Oh! I don’t have it, I’m going back to look for it.” Were we to open it several times a day, were we to read God’s messages contained in the Bible as we read telephone messages, what would happen? …

    Indeed, if we had God’s Word always in our heart, no temptation could separate us from God, and no obstacle could divert us from the path of good. We would know how to defeat the daily temptations of the evil that is within us and outside us. We would be more capable of living a life renewed according to the Spirit, welcoming and loving our brothers and sisters, especially the weakest and neediest, and also our enemies.

    Faith and Death
    Nor does the light of faith make us forget the sufferings of this world. How many men and women of faith have found mediators of light in those who suffer! So it was with Saint Francis of Assisi and the leper, or with Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her poor. … In drawing near to the suffering, they were certainly not able to eliminate all their pain or to explain every evil. Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey.

    To those who suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything. Rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence, a history of goodness which touches every story of suffering and opens up a ray of light. In Christ, God himself wishes to share this path with us and to offer us his gaze so that we might see the light within it.

    SOURCES: 1)4) The Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. (He’s quoting Benedict’s encyclical Deus Caritas Est.) 2) The encyclical Lumen Christi. 3) Pope Francis. 4) Message for the 2015 World Day of Prayer for Vocations. 5) Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words, edited by Francesa Ambrogetti and Sergio Rubin. 6) Same. 7) His Sunday Angelus address, March 5, 2017. 8) Lumen Christi.

  21. David

    David Well-Known Member

    I just had to post this beautiful little video:

    Rebecca1993 likes this.
  22. Rebecca1993

    Rebecca1993 Member

    Beautiful !

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