Skip to main content

How the Church Will Change: Evangelical Catholic Pope Francis Gives Another Interview Comments

I question the emerging "blogo-sterium", a self appointed digital council which has decided they can determine whether the Pope is Catholic enough. I choose instead to learn from this Pope with a big heart. He is not afraid to encounter self professed atheists like Eugenio Scalfari. He does so because of the love of God. He writes no-one off. He engages them all with true ... Continue Reading

21 - 30 of 33 Comments

  1. Michael B. Rizik Jr.
    1 year ago

    May I say that you have put this interview in the best light possible, which is normally my impulse having anything to do with defending my Catholic Faith. However, you forgot to mention what seemed to me was the heart of the the interview, in which the Holy Father said: "Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them."

    He can't possibly mean that. That is the language of relativism. The language that the abortion status-quo, supporters of homosexual marriage and assisted suicide use to justify positions against nature and nature's God. Here, the Pope sounds too much like Justice Anthony Kennedy who wrote in a pro-abortion opinion: "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life…." Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (29 June 1992) (joint opinion coauthored with Justices Souter and O’Connor)

    How do you explain this?

  2. DLL
    1 year ago

    "I think therefore I am"! Chaos as order? Dream on,the devil would have us all believe and think ourselves erroneously into oblivion. It is a great plan! Believe in chaos and the devil has found a definition to describe itself as the entity of human destruction. Rip of the mask of the phantom of the opera of life,there is chaos revealed,the proverbial devil in action! Jesus said we must love one another as he has loved us,what is wrong with that? It take soul to do that! LOVE One Another!!! Love defines each of us,to live without love is chaos! Think Simple! Chaos equals the devil,the devil is defined by the number zero. Any number multiplied by the number zero equals zero. Therefore if any number wants to identify it self by the number zero,it is a zero. Jesus is the number one. Jesus represents soul. Any number multiplied by the number one retains its own value,it is soulful to be identified with the number one because every number has value,every person has value,that is order! Chaos is zero,to believe in zero is to have and to be a zero,a non-entity. The devil himself is a non-entity but defined as a zero! Who wants to ever be defined as a non-entity which means that they never meant any thing to anybody but trouble! To believe in chaos is to be troubled.

  3. jh
    1 year ago

    The Holy Father's questions are instructive. One has to have a sharp mind, an extraordinary Catholic faith education and training, and complete surrender of self to God in order to function like that. As a lay person, I am grateful to see how a Catholic engages in such a conversation.

  4. Paul-Emile Leray
    1 year ago

    Mr. Scalfari states that he believes in Being. Every created being is composed of what some would call being and non-being. Continued creation, to paraphrase a great writer, perpetually upholds the created being otherwise it would fall from being to non-being. And so, logically, while remaining consistent, how can one who claims to believe in Being be an atheist? And on the subject of Descartes, not all truth is in the upper mind. His "I think therefore I am" is flawed and incomplete. It sounds cool, but isn't nearly as far reaching as many seem to believe. There were plenty of philosophers and writers, throughout history, who had more substance than Descartes. Out of nothing, nothing becomes. It was obvious to Aristotle. It is obvious to everyone. If one believes in Being, he is then a theist; not an atheist. Continued creation is what allows Mr. Scalfari to even consider and speak of 'Being'. Another point on the subject matter of thought. Being aware, or thinking, or being conscious, does not change the reality of truth. It simply means we are aware, thinking, or conscious of it. Truth exists, whether we recognize it or not. And only a fool lacking humility would place too much importance on thought, since it is incomplete and never fully all knowing. Which human can possibly claim to know everything, pure absolute all knowing reality? Nobody. Jesus himself didn't know everything about everything, did He? Knowledge is important, but it is knowledge; nothing more, nothing less, simply knowledge. However, it is incomplete otherwise it would be unnecessary to forever be adding to it and researching, learning. Therefore, it is incomplete. Also, just because a human understands or doesn't understand something; that too does not change reality. It simply changes perception. Absolute reality is absolute reality. Truth is truth. Reality and truth stand tall by themselves, regardless of what we mere petty grains of sand level humans think or don't think, regardless of what we small infantile bipeds believe or not. Let us not give ourselves too much importance. Existence existed long before any of us came along and will continue to exist long after we are 6 feet under the dandelions above. God creates whether we approve or not. The earth continues to rotate on a 23.5 or so rotational axis, regardless of our 'thought' vis-a-vis that reality. And at the end of the day, what one person thinks is what one person thinks. This does not mean it speaks for all of humanity.
    An interesting article.
    Paul-Emile Leray

  5. rafaelmarie
    1 year ago

    The teachings of the Catholic Church cannot change, because whatever is loosed on earth is loosed in Heaven, and God, being perfect, cannot change.


  6. Trinbagonian
    1 year ago

    TOM MCGUIRE: Yes I agree.
    STATEMENT 1: lowers my gaze to real issues in my backyard...the hopelessness of the present. Work and Prayer .... Prayer and Work .... Get involved.
    STATEMENT 2/3: many persons are not Catholic because of this. One way it affects Church is the very European look for non-European icons. I know though that eventually the Church will be gently led to deal with each, one by one.
    Also, the statement does not accept renegade Parish behavior. We should strive for humility and love of Church.
    Also, I have been blessed though with excellent priests and religious.
    STATEMENT 4: Love this perspective ... full of hope. I will prefer to be majority, but understand we are called to show/guide/sacrifice. Bible says so too (end of Romans 11)
    STATEMENT 5: Took me a long while but yes, God is God from God. I have been freed, but I still sin. In my sin I am like the atheist. In certain of my virtues I am like the atheist. Indeed, he may be better than me in several ways. Still I am to protect my light and family's light and the light of the Church.
    STATEMENT 6: Yes, we must respect the rights of the other, and even seek the rights of the other. Government must take initiatives if necessary. e.g. schooling the marginalized, public behaviours. A government must engage itself in such. And each individual too e.g. choosing a less paying job because it helps to make the weak stronger.

    I like how Pope Francis pulls the Gospel apart and brings it into my real life. Thanks for the help TOM MCGUIRE.

  7. mike robertson
    1 year ago

    Thanks for this wonderful article and for telling us what the Holy Father said. Perhaps the most fascinating quote for me in this article is Pope Francis saying "You cannot be a conscious Christian without St. Paul." Let us recall this is the same St Paul who said "not to be decieved by foolish arguments. Those who do these things will not inherit the Kingdom of God". "These things" were various mortal sins-including sexual sins like adultery and homosexuality. St Paul also said elsewhere "I warn you as I warned you before. Those who do 'these things' will not inherit the Kingdom of God".

    So while some people inside the Church cheer what they say is a weakening of those "awful rules" (maybe like God's rules, i.e. the Ten Commandments?), when we CAREFULLY read wht the Pope actually said, he can only lead us closer to Jesus.

    Thank you, again, Catholic Online and God bless our Pope!

  8. Tom McGuire
    1 year ago

    Deacon Keith thank you for making the whole interview available. I had only read reports and sections of the interview until I got the full interview. Wow, what a great interview. I have thought and said things like what Francis said. In fact, I have been told not to come back to a certain Catholic Church because I expressed thoughts similar to Francis'.

    Let the dialogue among us begin. Is dialogue possible among Catholics? Here are some quotes from the interview between Francis, Bishop of Rome, and Eugenio Scalfari. Each could begin a dialogue among us.

    Pope Francis told me: "The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don't even look for them any more. They have been crushed by the present. You tell me: can you live crushed under the weight of the present? Without a memory of the past and without the desire to look ahead to the future by building something, a future, a family? Can you go on like this? This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing."

    Do we agree with this sense of priority when we identify the most serious evils that afflict the world today? What do you think about what Francis says here about the future and the family?

    "You know what I think about this? Heads of the Church have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers. The court is the leprosy of the papacy."

    Do we experience narcissism in the leaders of our Church? Do Church leaders act like courtiers?

    "It also happens to me that when I meet a clericalist, I suddenly become anti-clerical. Clericalism should not have anything to do with Christianity. St. Paul, who was the first to speak to the Gentiles, the pagans, to believers in other religions, was the first to teach us that."

    What does clericalism mean? How is it manifest in the Catholic Church of our experience?

    "We [Christians] always have been [a minority] but the issue today is not that. Personally I think that being a minority is actually a strength. We have to be a leavening of life and love and the leavening is infinitely smaller than the mass of fruits, flowers and trees that are born out of it. I believe I have already said that our goal is not to proselytize but to listen to needs, desires and disappointments, despair, hope. We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, spread love. Be poor among the poor. We need to include the excluded and preach peace."

    Do we agree that being a minority is a strength of the Church? Do we agree that our goal as Catholics is not to proselytize?

    "And I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being. Do you think we are very far apart?"

    Do we or do we not believe in a Catholic God? How are we like an atheist? How are we like those we consider our enemy?

    "Certainly. Personally I think so-called unrestrained liberalism only makes the strong stronger and the weak weaker and excludes the most excluded. We need great freedom, no discrimination, no demagoguery and a lot of love. We need rules of conduct and also, if necessary, direct intervention from the state to correct the more intolerable inequalities."

    How do we evaluate our own political views in light of this statement? Do our political decisions make the strong stronger and the weak weaker? What are the rules of conduct that Francis refers to?

  9. Trinbagonian
    1 year ago

    MICHAEL: Permit me to say I don't get the same interpretation as you. If your quotations are correct, I don't see a conflict. And I disagree with those experts (though no expert myself :-).

    To me Pope Gregory in his age seems to be trying to prevent the spread of indifferentism whilst Pope Francis given our present state of affairs is calling for the atheists to pursue good (for the vision is that all things good comes from and leads to a Merciful God). It would be interesting to see from which context St. Augustine's quote is pulled.

    Pope Francis is not saying don't be religious (as sure as Pope Gregory isn't either). He is not promoting "liberty of error" but rather "good". He does not seem to me to support "freedom of conscience" as an end in itself in as much as God did not give "free will" as an end in itself. Their audience and purpose may be different but the overall mission is the same noble one: God's Love / Conversion / Discipleship / Church / Salvation.

    Regarding Deacon Keith, are you implying that he would purposely omit so as to deceive? I hope not. But if you are, again I disagree. I don't think Deacon (judging from his work) will promote deception. I think it would be more likely that 1. scope / some things must be omitted (as sure as you left out ideas in your comment below) and/or 2. relevance / Deacon decided it was irrelevant.

    MICHAEL, was there ever a time when you were out of the Church? If there was, you would remember that fear the first time you returned to face God; and when you did face Him, the overwhelming feeling of goodness/thankfulness. You were home.
    Pope Francis is the Leader of ALL. And he hopes that all persons will face God. And he has faith that once one faces God, we will swoon at His Love. And he will pray in perseverance to let it to be so for he loves.
    MICHAEL, the Church is leading us to Mercy. You seem to know the Scriptures/theology well so you will also know too that we should ALL listen.

  10. michael
    1 year ago

    Deacon Keith...I note that you did not cover a major part of the second infamous interview that had to do with the notion of conscience. I can see why for it was a very troubling section of the interview to say the least. The conscience is not some sort of free agent or legislator but must become informed properly with the truth. St. Paul is very clear in his letter to the Romans that the pagans were condemned for their behaviors for they did not follow the natural law written in their hearts, but practiced a liberty of conscience that led them to the most base behaviors.

    Compare, if you will, the confusing statement of Pope Francis with the strong and clear statement of Pope Gregory XVI:

    Interviewer: Your Holiness you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that's one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope.

    Pope Francis: "And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place."

    Pope Gregory XVI (Mirari Vos): From this infected source of “indifferentism” flows that absurd and erroneous maxim, or rather this delirium, that it is necessary to grant everyone “freedom of conscience.” This most pernicious error has its way prepared by a full and immoderate freedom of opinion that is widely spread for the ruin of religious and civil society. Some repeat with extreme impudence that it brings an advantage for religion. However, St. Augustine asked: “What could be a worse evil for the soul than the liberty of error?”

    You mention the hysteria in the blogosphere, but you fail to mention that Dr. Janet Smith and Germain Grisez, two top moral theologians, have found some serious problems with the pope's statements. In short, this series of interviews is not going over well with many solid and faithful Catholics. You might say get used to the new "new," but ambiguity and confusion are never helpful whether in the past or today.

    As a final note, this age is not to be compared to the pre-Christian era. Introducing pagans and heathens for the first time to the Holy Gospel is not the same as Christians leaving the faith and apostasizing. Our Lord told us that the Gentiles, who were mercifully grafted onto the Vine of the Mystical Body, would eventually apostasize. Catholic Hospitals, Universities, religious congregations, and yes many parishes no longer are Catholic. This is called a falling away from the Faith. This is far different than the first century AD.

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Saint of the Day

March 3 Saint of the Day

St. Katharine Drexel
March 3: Saint Katharine Drexel, Religious (Feast Day-March 3) Born in ... Read More