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I Am a Son of the Church: A Big Heart Open to God, the Papal Interview Which Confounded the Media Comments

Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be, more simple, profound, radiant. It is from ... Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 24 Comments

  1. Mary Howard
    1 year ago

    It's the first time, in my 61 years, that I have read and heard the words of our pope and have come away from it with confusion and perceived skepticism of the his true intent. Is this pointing out that we must first and always insist opon God's mercy and forgiveness in all sin, even if that sin is not recognized from the pulpit and therefore not amended by the sinner, or is this moral relativism on a secular scale that is so prevenient in our sinful world today? If the Pope sets the tone for the shepherds (priest, bishops) that they are to guide the laity through reconciliation, how can that be achieved if they are not pointing out the sin? How can one come to Christ, being forgiven for their sin, when it is not recognized as SIN? Yes, love the sinner, hate the sin, but do his comments seem not to point out the intrinsic evil of abortion, homosexuality, etc. but are considered "small issues" not worthy of bringing attention to by the believer and demand an accounting? I am confused and it's not a liberal or conservative issue, the teaching of the church is quite clear on these social issues. Seems to me that cafeteria Catholics must be very pleased with our new Pope. There is only one Truth, and if I see changes that are worldly and not of God, I will, as best I can discern, go in the direction of the Holy Spirit and not man.

  2. Jack Gordon
    1 year ago

    One of those who commented on this article here made a very perceptive observation which I want to enlarge on. If the pope is only saying what the Church has always taught and is not intent on bending that teaching in any way, why then did he preface some of his remarks with the assertion that he "is a son of the Church"? Who thought or said he wasn't? In the same vein, how is it assuring to Catholics that a former teacher of the pope asserts that the pontiff is not a Marxist? Imagine if this teacher had said he can affirm that the pope is not a cat burglar or a purse snatcher. Wouldn't that beg the question immediately, why are you even telling us such a thing?

    Pope Francis has a growing credibility problem with Catholics in the US and perhaps elsewhere, one that is totally of his own making. We all remember that his two immediate predecessors did not grab headlines the way Francis seems to. If they all three are teaching substantially the same truths, his apologists really have to explain what is so unusual about him, why he is regularly "misinterpreted", "misquoted", and his words "distorted." I remain decidedly unconvinced by the apologists' explanations to date, including what I read in the article above.

  3. Tony
    1 year ago

    Fascinating interview. The liberal media is wrong to turn Pope Francis' words; however, at the same time, right-wing Catholics are wrong to believe that the Church's ideology goes hand-in-hand with right-wing ideology. Here is a key quote from Pope Francis in this interview: "I have never been a right-winger."

  4. LRT
    1 year ago

    The message Pope Francis is sending in this interview is the message of HOPE that God has for the church;Hope in the conversion of sinners, as Pope Francis says: "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." Our Pope also states in this interview "God is greater than sin". If there are persons in the church who turn into weeds (as in the parable of the weeds and wheat in Matthew 13:24-30), then that is for God to decide, at the Judgement! He also says: "A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation";this magnifies God's message that He gave to Our Blessed Mother at Medjugorje in August of 1984: "The only attitude of the Christian toward the future is hope of salvation. Those who think only of wars, evils, punishment, do not do well. If you think of evil, punishment, wars, you are on the road to meeting them. Your responsibility is to accept Divine peace, live it, and spread it." Pope Francis says that "I see the church as a field hospital after battle"...through prayer, we can pray for the healing of the church, as our suffering becomes sanctified through Jesus' suffering, and as (St. Brigit of Sweden) says: "Jesus is the Heavenly Physician, raised aloft on the cross, to heal our wounds with thine".Our Pope's message is one of healing and hope!

  5. Ross
    1 year ago

    I just can't stand these liberal "Catholics" who think that the faith has changed because Pope Francis said we should not be obsessed with the sinners who enter the Church. The Church is for sinners, but it is the Jesus that asks us to reject sin. When we enter a Church and receive communion with insincere confession or no confession at all, you are not supposed to receive communion. If you do receive communion without true confession you still have not received God's grace and you must still confess your sins.
    If you confess you sins without any intention of stopping the sin, you are still guilty of that sin and you haven't repented, then you will also not receive God's grace because your confession is not valid.
    You must turn away from the sin. It is called repenting. Some of these nuns and liberal minded woman are victims of the filth that has infiltrated the Church. This is the masonic and homosexual lobby that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI spoke about right before he gracefully stepped aside.

  6. Pete Brady
    1 year ago

    I did not hear Pope Francis say that homosexuality is wrong. I was going to add "with the required emphasis" but I have not heard him say "wrong" at all, or affirm what the Catechism says on it.

    And emphasis is needed. The homosexual does not care one bit what the church's "pastoral" stance is. What the homosexual wants to hear is that his/her homosexuality is " okay." That it is not a sin. And despite protests to the contrary that is what they are hearing. They want more than anything to hear that they are "entitled" to their homosexuality. And that is precisely the message they are taking away as a result of the Pope's comments and interview.

    Is "gay rights" in the news because of the Church or the "world?" Answer: the World. It does not like what the Catechism says one bit. And gay rights is not center stage just because of gay activism, it has its support from a great number of modernity who simply want "sex" without restriction, without the slightest twinge of conscience. In short, they don't want to just rewrite the moral law, they want no moral law at all.

    I would have preferred that Pope Francis addressed this issue from the standpoint of the natural law. It is written on the hearts of man --- we DO know we have done something wrong BEFORE we get caught with our hand in the cookie jar! We only stop acknowledging the wrongness of an act when we "harden our hearts" or become a "stiff-necked people."

    The natural law conforms to nature and the nature of our being. It provides the sexual act as the means by which we participate, with God, in His Creation; " Be fruitful and multiply." To look at the sexual act in any other way is opposed to the natural and moral law. That is the proper emphasis and context for responding to "gay" issues (and all other issues connected with the sexual appetite).

    Given that over 95% of the child sex abuse cases that have so recently afflicted the Catholic Church involved post-pubescent males --- which is to say it was "homosexual" predation, would Pope Francis be able to clearly identify it as the "homosexual" scandal that it was or would he feel pastorally constrained based on his interview comments?

    I understand and see that Pope Francis's comments are fitting to the Church's constant refrain of "forgiveness;" that they are perfectly consistent with the words of Jesus: "Love one another as I have loved you --- Love your enemies --- I desire mercy" but in the battle that the everyday Catholic faces against "diversity" and the "world's" desire to eradicate faith and morals from the public square he has done us a disservice. In some respects he has thrown us under the bus, thrown us to the wolves.

    In the context of "gay rights" Pope Francis interview and comments are the wrong message at the wrong time.

  7. mike
    1 year ago

    Thanks, Deacon, for providing the link to the entire article (I wasn't going to buy America magazine to get it). After reading the entire article carefully, I don't think there is anything a faithful Catholic needs to worry about with this Pope. In fact, just as Popes John-Paul II and Benedict XVI managed to teach us tremendous things and help form our minds, so too, this Pope is not a slouch by any means, and has a very solid grasp of what the Church needs. I have MUCH MORE confidence in Francis now than I had before reading this interview. I would go so far as to say that the "orthodoxy"-driven conservatives have given him a bum's cheer, and are in great error for doing so. Francis is speaking very knowledgeably about the present situation, and we should all perk up the ears of our hearts and give a good reflective listen. He is Holy Spirit's gift to the Church, and the world.

  8. michael
    1 year ago

    Right under this article, you have a wonderful statement in support of Archbishop Nienstedt and his indefatigable fight against sodomitical marriage. Your website has been well known for its ongoing battle for the sake of the unborn. And, of course, you have remained strong on the contraceptive mentality which is the very root of the culture of death as seen in abortion and sodomy. But why are you trying to defend these statements of the pope given to liberal, Jesuit - run periodicals? Granted that there are other issues beyond the three life issues, but these are still huge issues today. Humanae Vitae was largely rejected by the liberal membership of the Western Church. Contraception, therefore, is a foundational issue for all the disobedience present today in the Church. We are in the midst of the biggest fight of our lives in trying to stop sodomitical marriage. It is the burning issue of the day which may spell the destruction of the western world as we know it. But this last nail in the coffin of the west goes uncovered by the pope? And how many more millions of unborn will we have to see before Pope Francis sees it as a main issue that must be spoken of? Even Bishop Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, is begging the pope to speak out on behalf of the unborn instead of just kissing babies.
    It is time to face reality...we have a liberal for a pope. He has called traditional Catholics "fools," "ideologues," "pharisees," and even "Pelagians." He condemns them for their "restorationist" views, but refuses to condemn homosexuality publicly. O Lord, how long will we have to deal with this confusion and ambiguity. Virgin Mary and St. Michael...pray for us and help us!

  9. Joseph
    1 year ago

    You can put whatever spin you like on the Pope's 'extraordinary interview', Deacon but one thing is clear. Pope Francis will, in the coming months allow divorced people to take communion, will find ways to circumvent the Church's teaching on contraception, will massively downplay Abortion and will find a way to circumvent the Church's teaching on homosexuality. All in the name of the 'evolution of the faith', as it develops, is more deeply understood, felt and expressed blah, blah. He will also continue to clamp down on the Tridentine mass (this has already started), reversing Pope Benedict's teaching.
    In other words, the Catholic Church is about to undergo radical change of a kind that is blatantly not consistent with the 'hermeneutic of continuity', a change which will, however, be accompanied by an army of apologists artfully seeking to persuade everyday believers that nothing has really changed, only the 'tone', that black is white and white and is black, that the truth is always the truth, even when it is untruth, and that the deposit of faith remains intact, pure and pristine.

  10. Lilian
    1 year ago

    A time is coming Deacon Fournier, that you will no longer be able to defend Pope Francis. According to the pope, "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." At what time is it necessary to talk about abortion and gayness as being wrong, this is not clear to me. I think Pope Francis wants to be known for being merciful, but no one can be more merciful than Our Lord Jesus Christ who gave everything to mankind including accepting death on the Cross. Yet he was blunt on the fact that the road to heaven is narrow, because he knows people will use all kinds of excuses to water down the Gospel He spreached. That watering down in order to be popular is what Pope Francis is about. If he is truly the son of the Church, he does not need to say it. He is already acknowledging deviation from the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Holy Catholic Church. He is about starting something he cannot handle: SCHIsM.

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