Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

1/20/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We need an evangelical renewal in the Catholic Church. Our Pope is leading us along the way.

Reports concerning this blunt homily are beginning to circulate through media sources around the world. It was a strong message to Catholic clergy who have lost their first love, by losing their intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. There have been other times in the history of the Church when the clergy have been corrupted by sin. God seems to begin His Spring cleaning in His own house. Perhaps, as the Apostle Peter wrote to the Church of the first millennium during another great missionary age: " the time has come for judgment to begin with the House of God." (1 Peter 4:17)

Reports concerning this blunt homily are beginning to circulate through media sources around the world. It was a strong message to Catholic clergy who have lost their first love, by losing their intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

Reports concerning this blunt homily are beginning to circulate through media sources around the world. It was a strong message to Catholic clergy who have lost their first love, by losing their intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/20/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Clergy abuse, sex abuse, Catholic reform, clergy reform, renewal, evangelical renewal, Pope Francis, Deacon Keith Fournier


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis is a Parish Priest kind of Pope. His heart is pastoral and it is reflected in his daily homilies. He speaks from the heart and out of prayer over the daily readings. The daily homilies are not primarily doctrinal. However, they are directive and reflective.

He is also a prophetic figure in Christian history. Like his namesake, the little poor man of Assisi named Francis, he is unafraid to address the roots of sin and expose them. He cuts to the chase when such cutting is necessary. That is precisely what he did on Thursday morning, January 16, 2014, during his homily at daily Mass at the Chapel of St. Martha.

Like a good parish priest, Father Francis used the readings from the Holy Mass for his homily. He broke them open as food for the faithful. The Catechism, citing the wonderful Vatican II document on the Word of God (Dei Verbum) reminds us, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord's Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God's Word and Christ's Body. (CCC#103)

Francis gives us a regular example of letting the scriptures come alive and feeding upon them as bread. In fact, his daily homilies are not only inspiring, they can be of assistance to anyone ordained to preach.

The first reading was taken from the Old Testament Book of Samuel (1 Sam.4:1-11) which tells the story of the people of Israel going down to utter defeat by the Philistines even though, in their arrogance, they thought they were doing some of the right things. It was because they had fallen away from their first love, their relationship with the Lord. Their leaders had become corrupted as a result of sin, which is separation from God.

The Holy Father used the biblical account to get to the heart of the sexual abuse crisis the Church is suffering through. Its root cause is sin. Its remedy requires conversion. Vatican Radio gave a summary of the homily entitled Pope Francis: scandals happen when there is no true relationship with God.

*****
Scandals in the Church happen because there is no living relationship with God and His Word. Thus, corrupt priests, instead of giving the Bread of Life, give a poisoned meal to the holy people of God: that's what Pope Francis affirmed in his homily Thursday morning during the Mass celebrated in the Santa Marta guesthouse.

Commenting on the day's reading and responsorial Psalm which recount the crushing defeat of the Israelites by the Philistines, the Pope notes that the people of God at that time had forsaken the Lord. It was said that the Word of God was "uncommon" at that time . The old priest Eli was "lukewarm" and his sons "corrupt; they frightened the people and beat them with sticks." In their battle against the Philistines, the Israelites brought with them the Ark of the Covenant, but as something "magical," "something external." And they are defeated: the Ark is taken from them by their enemies. There is no true faith in God, in His real presence in life:

"This passage of Scripture," the Pope says, "makes us think about what sort of relationship we have with God, with the Word of God: is it a formal relationship? Is it a distant relationship? The Word of God enters into our hearts, changes our hearts. Does it have this power or not? Is it a formal relationship? But the heart is closed to that Word!

It leads us to think of the so many defeats of the Church, so many defeats of God's people simply because they do not hear the Lord, do not seek the Lord, do not allow themselves to be sought by the Lord! And then after a tragedy, the prayer, this one: ' But, Lord , what happened ? You have made us the scorn of our neighbors. The scorn and derision of those around us. You have made us the laughing stock (it: favola) among nations! All the nations shake their heads about us. '"
And of the scandals in the Church, Pope Francis said:

"But are we ashamed? So many scandals that I do not want to mention individually, but all of us know...We know where they are! Scandals, some who charged a lot of money.... The shame of the Church! But are we all ashamed of those scandals, of those failings of priests, bishops, laity?

Where was the Word of God in those scandals; where was the Word of God in those men and in those women? They did not have a relationship with God! They had a position in the Church, a position of power, even of comfort. But the Word of God, no! 'But, I wear a medal,' 'I carry the Cross ' ... Yes, just as those bore the Ark! Without the living relationship with God and the Word of God! I am reminded of the words of Jesus about those for whom scandals come ... And here the scandal hit: bringing decay (it: decadenza) to the people of God, including (it: fino alla) the weakness and corruption of the priests."

Francis concluded his homily, turning his thoughts to the people of God, saying:

"Poor people! We do not give the Bread of Life to eat; we do give - in those cases - the bread of Truth! And many times, we even offer a poisoned meal! 'Awaken! Why do you sleep, Lord?' Let this be our prayer! 'Awaken! Do not reject us forever! Why do you hide Your face? Why do You forget our affliction and oppression?' We ask the Lord that we never forget the Word of God, which is alive, so that it enters into our hearts and never to forget the holy people faithful to God who ask us to nourish and strengthen them. "

*****
Reports concerning this blunt homily are beginning to circulate through media sources around the world. It was a strong message to Catholic clergy who have lost their first love, by losing their intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. There have been other times in the history of the Church when the clergy have been corrupted by sin. God seems to begin His Spring cleaning in His own house. Perhaps, as the Apostle Peter wrote to the Church of the first millennium during another great missionary age: " the time has come for judgment to begin with the House of God." (1 Peter 4:17)

After all, every man, woman and child ever created is called to live in the Church. She is to become the home of the whole human race. We need to make the Church a place of safety where all men, women and children can truly find redemption and discover the fullness of their destiny in Jesus Christ. The Church must be purified so that she can more effectively rise to the challenge of this new missionary age of which Francis speaks so passionately. 

That means that her clergy (Bishops,Priests and Deacons) must be holy as the Lord is holy. They must be men of intimate communion with the Lord; the kind of intimate communion which can only come about through an encounter with the Risen Lord through prayer. Yesterday's prayer will not sustain any of us today. Continuing in an intimate and dynamic relationship of encounter with the Lord requires continual conversion and a lifestyle of communion with Him. 

We need to pray for Pope Francis as he leads the Church through this time of purification, reform and renewal. We need to pray for all of the clergy of the Church. All of us, no matter what our state in life or vocation, need to respond to the universal call to holiness by cultivating lives of daily prayer and communion with the Lord. Filled with the Holy Spirit, we can immerse ourselves in the Word of the Lord. Francis approaches the Word of God out of prayer and communion. He shows us the way to do the same.
 
In the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum (The Word of God) we also find these words, (I)n the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven meets His children with great love and speaks with them; and the force and power in the word of God is so great that it stands as the support and energy of the Church, the strength of faith for her sons, the food of the soul, the pure and everlasting source of spiritual life. (Paragraph 21)

Prayer and communion with the Lord are the key to reading and hearing the Bible in a way in which it comes alive and transforms us. The Living Word, Jesus, speaks to us through the written word. The written word puts us in touch with the Living Word. Prayer is the connection.

We need an evangelical renewal in the Catholic Church. Our Pope is leading us along the way.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Europe

The new 'Iron Curtain': Hungary plans massive border fence to keep migrants out Watch

Image of Border fence between United States and Mexico.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Critics are not happy with the Hungarian government's plan to construct a 13-foot high border fence to narrow down the influx of illegal migrants coming to their country. The planned border is being compared to the historically terrifying Auschwitz and Iron Curtain ... continue reading


Horrific terrorist attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait unleashed simultaneously Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Three different terrorist attacks occurred in three different areas, leaving a bloody line of death across three continents. The recent and horrific attacks reawaken the fear that ISIS' influence knows no boundaries. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The attacks took ... continue reading


Mystery surrounds disappearance of American woman on ancient Catholic pilgrimage in Spain Watch

Image of Denise Thiem mysteriously disappears during her Catholic Pilgrimage in Spain.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Denise Thiem, an American woman who quit her job to go around the world, disappeared while in a Catholic Pilgrimage in Astorga, Spain and has been missing for more than three months  Thiem's family is continuously searching for answers from the Spanish authorities ... continue reading


Riots and protests prompt the banning of the Uber taxi service in France Watch

Image of The taxi protests in Paris have shined yet another unflattering spotlight on the world's most popular tourist destination. Politicians on both sides of the spectrum condemned the violence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Denied their livelihood by the cyber-taxi service Uber, which pairs up paying passengers with unlicensed drivers, cab drivers overturned cars and blocked roads in Paris. The Uber service is already illegal in France, and the French government reiterated this ... continue reading


ZOMBIE PARANOIA: Gravesites suggest that fear of reanimated dead stretches back to ancient Greece Watch

Image of The head and feet of one skeleton were covered with a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Modern man enjoys movies and TV shows involving the recently reanimated dead - "zombies," but in antiquity, the fear of the deceased suddenly coming back to life to wreak havoc with the living was at one time a real one. Skeletons have been unearthed and found ... continue reading


Ukraine's fragile ceasefire nearing collapse as rebels pound government positions Watch

Image of Fighters in Russian military uniforms and equipped with Russian military gear, though lacking insignias, have been spotted in Ukraine since early last year, part of a destabilizing effort to overthrow the Kiev government.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The abundance of evidence that Russia is covertly and overtly assisting Ukrainian rebels in their fight against Kiev continues to grow, and now the commander of U.S. forces in Europe said that there is "clear and irrefutable evidence" that Russia is actively ... continue reading


Panicked Greeks withdraw $1 billion from banks in a single day Watch

Image of Expressing a mood of panic, and a resignation that no further help from Europe is forthcoming, Greeks withdrew over $1.1 billion dollars from their bank accounts last week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Expressing a mood of panic, and a resignation that no further help from Europe is forthcoming, Greeks withdrew over $1.1 billion dollars from their bank accounts last week. This pushes the beleaguered European nation closer towards a default. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Doctors found euthanizing patients without knowledge -- or consent in Belgium Watch

Image of Belgium became the first nation in the world in 2014 to eliminate age limits for euthanasia, allowing terminally-ill children to end their lives.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the "forward-thinking" European nation of Belgium, it has been discovered that many doctors there - pun intended. - have been "jumping the gun." Raphael Cohen-Almagor, a professor of philosophy and ethics at the United Kingdom's Hull University, has ... continue reading


Pope Francis' environmental encyclical will be published this Thursday Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis' long awaited environmental encyclical, entitled Laudato Si, on the care of our common home will be published this Thursday. The encyclical tackles issues such as climate change. It is expected to be met with controversy. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Pope's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic faces child sexual abuse charges Watch

Image of Jozef Wesolowski served as nuncio to Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The Vatican said it was investigating Wesolowski in August of 2013 and removing him from his post.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Jozef Wesolowski will be tried at the Vatican on child sexual abuse charges beginning next month, the Vatican says. The 66-year-old Wesoloswki is the highest-ranking former Vatican official to be arrested for ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 19:15-29
15 When dawn broke the angels urged Lot on, 'To your ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 26:2-3, 9-10, 11-12
2 Probe me, Yahweh, examine me, Test my heart and my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:23-27
23 Then he got into the boat followed by his ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 30th, 2015 Image

First Martyrs of the See of Rome
June 30: The holy men and women are also called the Protomartyrs of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter