Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

4/8/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Francis is a prophetic Pope with a profoundly moving love for the poor. This is the 'love of preference' or 'preferential option' which Catholic Social Doctrine expounds, made visible in the flesh, with a bighearted smile.

Giving the Body and Blood of Jesus to a brother in the Lord through a border fence speaks prophetically of the saving mission of the Church. The Border is a new periphery. The Church is the Body of Christ, called into the whole world to continue His redemptive mission. Those who are joined in Jesus Christ are joined in a solidarity which speaks beyond politics. Sadly, even some in Catholic media circles, did not get the message. One Catholic Aggregation site wrongly insinuated the act was somehow an inappropriate political use of holy communion. I was truly distressed to read such an incorrect "spin". The act was prophetic and pastoral. It was another demonstration of the prophetic church of the New Franciscans.  Get ready, there is much more to come.

Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley O.F.M. Cap.

Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley O.F.M. Cap.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/8/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Border Bishops, solidarity, love of preference, preferential option, Archbishop José H. Gomez, Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley, Pope Francis, Nogales, Arizona, social doctrine, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE,VA (Catholic Online) - In February of 2012, right before the consistory where he would be chosen as the successor of Peter, then Cardinal  Jorge Mario Bergoglio gave an interview to the Vatican Insider. He shared from the heart about his missionary mindset and his love for the poor, in all of their manifestations.  He also sent the signal of what has become what I am calling the New Franciscan papacy.

Below I offer two of the questions and answers. The entire interview is worth reading as Pope Francis begins his second year pastoring the universal church. The interview signaled his conviction concerning the holiness and character of Bishops and his insights into the necessary reform of the curia. Any observer of the first year of this Franciscan Papacy will see that he is implementing what he signaled.

As with all Popes, the choice of the name he took upon assuming the Chair of Peter is significant. With this Pope, it was particularly prophetic. He took the name of the little poor man of Assisi, Francis. The one to whom the Lord appeared and said "Go and Rebuild my Church which you can see is falling down in ruins." 

That humble servant named Francis Bernadone did what the Lord asked him in the thirteenth century. As a result, both the Church and the world were changed. The Church of Francis of Assisi  was not unlike the Church which Pope Francis serves. The world of Francis of Assisi was not unlike the world into which Pope Francis is called to bring the message of the Gospel in its fullness.

The missionary manner and prophetic actions of Francis of Assisi are a key to understanding the missionary manner and prophetic actions of this new Francis for our time. Here are the questions and responses:
 
What do you make of the Pope's decision to call for a year of faith and his insistence on the new evangelization?

Benedict XVI has insisted on the renewal of faith being a priority and presents faith as a gift that must be passed on, a gift to be offered to others and to be shared as a gratuitous act. It is not a possession, but a mission. This priority indicated by the Pope has a commemorative purpose: through the Year of Faith we remember the gift we have received. And there are three pillars to this: the memory of having been chosen, the memory of the promise that was made to us and the alliance that God has forged with us. We are called to renew this alliance, our belonging to the community of God's faithful.

What does evangelization mean in a context such as that of Latin America? 

The context is that which emerged from the fifth conference of Latin American bishops, held in Aparecida, in 2007. It called us to undertake a continental mission; the entire continent is a missionary state. Plans were and continue to be made, but the paradigmatic aspect remains: all ordinary activities of the Church take place in view of the mission. This signifies very strong tensions between centre and periphery, between parish and district. We need to come out of ourselves and head for the periphery.

We need to avoid the spiritual sickness of a Church that is wrapped up in its own world: when a Church becomes like this, it grows sick. It is true that going out onto the street implies the risk of accidents happening, as they would to any ordinary man or woman. But is the Church stays wrapped up in itself, it will age. And if I had to choose between a wounded Church that goes out onto the streets and a sick withdrawn Church, I would definitely choose the first one.

Francis is a prophetic Pope with a profoundly moving love for the poor. This is the "love of preference" or "preferential option" which Catholic Social Doctrine expounds,made visible in the flesh, with a bighearted smile. It is manifested in everything this Pope does. He speaks through words and deeds. That kind of integrated capacity to speak through symbolic acts is characteristic of prophetic people.

That same integrated capacity to speak prophetically is characteristic of one of his closest advisers and collaborators in the New Franciscan Papacy, Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley O.F.M. Cap.  This man is a Franciscan Friar with a big heart for the Lord. When you meet him you are immediately drawn not to him, but to the Lord whom he serves with such simplicity and love. You also want to smile.  

His relationship with Jesus Christ comes through in word and action. He fully understands the Gospel mandate to reach out to what Pope Francis calls the peripheries, with the love of God made visible.  I thank the Lord that, all those years ago now, when I lived in those peripheries, Jesus sent someone to me.

Both Pope Francis and Cardinal Seán are what I call Evangelical Catholics. I used the phrase long before it became "acceptable". Back when I wrote the first book to actually use phrase, Evangelical Catholic was a controversial term. A great evangelical protestant champion for the Lord named Chuck Colson wrote the forward to the book. Chuck and I became fodder for anti-catholic Protestants. Sadly, some of the virulent criticisms still circulate.

To my dismay, when the book was published, it was dismissed, disregarded, or made light of by some in the then emerging Catholic intellectual class. Chapter I was entitled Evangelical Catholic: A Contradiction in Terms?

I began with a simple claim: I am a Christian. I am a Catholic Christian. I am an evangelical Catholic Christian. To many who read all three claims, they are either contradictory or can only stand together in certain limited configurations. Nevertheless, it is my contention and my experience that not only can I be all three, but each is necessary to define my relationship with Jesus Christ and with His Church as well as my role in the Church's ongoing mission to bring all men and women to salvation in Jesus Christ.

All these years later, I still make the same claim. In fact, the depth of its meaning has only expanded through my lived experience and been deepened by my theological studies. Fortunately, I am also joined by millions who make the same claim that they are Evangelical Catholics.

This Cardinal from Boston and Pope from Buenos Aires are men who personally know the Risen Lord Jesus, understand the priestly and Franciscan vocation, and live it out in genuine humility. They are men of prophetic action. And, they are joined by divine design.

I was not  surprised when Pope Francis chose the Cardinal to serve in a significant role in this pontificate. It confirmed my conviction that Francis is a special gift for the Church at this time of reform and that we are living in a new missionary age. He is selecting leaders, after a clear time of discernment, with a specific pastoral plan in mind.

It is in this light that the prophetic leadership and prophetic action of Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley O.F.M. Cap. must be understood. On April 1, 2014, when he led an eight person mission to the US-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona and offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, he was expressing the spirit of this Franciscan papacy. His homily is beautiful and can be read in its entirety here

Giving the Body and Blood of Jesus to a brother in the Lord through a border fence speaks prophetically of the saving mission of the Church. The Border is a new periphery. The Church is the Body of Christ, called into the whole world to continue His redemptive mission. Those who are joined in Jesus Christ are joined in a solidarity which speaks beyond politics.

Sadly, even some in Catholic media circles, did not get the message. One Catholic Aggregation site wrongly insinuated the act was somehow an inappropriate political use of holy communion. I was truly distressed to read such an incorrect "spin". The act was prophetic and pastoral. It was another demonstration of the prophetic church of the New Franciscans.  Get ready, there is much more to come.

Another of my favorite Bishops in the United States is Archbishop José H. Gomez. He addresses Immigration with prophetic insight and compelling clarity. His extraordinary book entitled Immigration and the Next America: Renewing the Soul of Our Nation should be ready by any sincere Christian who wants to approach this issue with a renewed mind and heart.

The Archbishop of Los Angeles calls us to approach one of the hot button issues of the hour with a Catholic mind and a Catholic heart - and to take our place in building a new and true Culture of Life and Civilization of love, by rejecting what Pope Francis has labeled the throwaway culture.  The lens through which we must view all men and women is their human dignity. We are all created in the Image of God.

We are not first liberal, conservative or any other permutation of these political labels. We are not first Democrats or Republicans, or any other political party. We are first Catholic Christians and, as such, we need to approach this issue - and every 'social issue' - with the mind and heart of the Lord as revealed through His Church. 

The book, like the prophetic action of the Cardinal from Boston and his brothers, is not about politics but about a prophetic response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For those who want to consider more of where the Prophetic Church of the New Franciscans is headed, I recommend reading the Aparecida Document.

---


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


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More U.S.

FBI arrests Cliven Bundy leading to protesters' surrender in Oregon occupation Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy was arrested by the FBI moments after stepping off a plane (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy stepped off a plane at the Portland International Airport Wednesday evening and was taken to Multnomah County jail, where his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy were already being held. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Thursday morning the ... continue reading


Beauty and the Priest - Cleric indicted for murder in cold case from 1960 Watch

Image of Irene Garza was 25 at the time of her death. No motive has been established in the death of the beauty queen from McAllen, Texas, but John Feit is the only suspect.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A former priest has been indicted for a 1960 cold case murder of a woman. According to Texas authorities, then 27-year-old priest, John Feit, heard the confession of Irene Garza, then asphyxiated her afterwards. Her body was found in a canal days later. Feit will now ... continue reading


Former Catholic priest arrested in connection with beauty queen's murder - 56 years later Watch

Image of Now a married grandfather, former Catholic priest John Feit is accused in the 1960 murder of 27-year-old Irene Garza in 1960 (CNN).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Many thought, but few actually believed that a small town Catholic priest would be capable of such a savage crime. Fifty-six long years later, former priest John Feit, now a married grandfather living in Arizona has been arrested in connection with the 1960 ... continue reading


Ash Wednesday and Lent. It Works if you Work It Watch

Image of After receiving the ashes, we are exhorted to leave the Church as penitents and pilgrims and continue in a Christian way of life every day

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If we enter into the observance of Lent with our entire person, it can draw us, at its' closure, into a deeper embrace and experience of the power of the Resurrection, beginning right now and stretching into eternity. Our frequent liturgical celebrations present ... continue reading


No Catholic or other Christian Should Support the Candidacy of Bernie Sanders Watch

Image of Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate for the Presidency of the United States of America, denies the fundamental Human Right to Life of children in the womb.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Legalized abortion on demand is an open rejection of the entire ethic of being our brothers (and sisters) keeper. There can be no enduring lasting solidarity upon which to build a secure future in a culture that kills its own children and calls it a right. No ... continue reading


Mardi Gras' several names and traditions: How is it celebrated around the world? Watch

Image of Mardi Gras is famous for its colors, masks, beads, food, floats and more (Pixabay)!

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

People around the world celebrate Fat Tuesday each year with regional traditions - but did you know it is a celebration with roots in Christianity?  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Fat Tuesday" is English for the French "Mardi Gras," and is traditionally ... continue reading


7 Fun facts about Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras celebrations Watch

Image of Mardi Gras first became a holiday in 1582.

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday; it comes directly before Ash Wednesday. "Mardi Gras is a raucous celebratory affair that serves as a final shebang before the 40-day abstinence of Lent," explains The Huffington Post. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amidst all ... continue reading


605,000 undocumented immigrants to receive driver's licenses in California Watch

Image of California driver's licenses do not bestow any federal benefits to the recipient. State sources say the law is intended to make California roadways safer.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thanks to a new California law known as AB60, which took effect on January 2, 2015, the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV has handed out 605,000 driver's licenses to undocumented workers. It is estimated that 1.4 million migrants will receive licenses under ... continue reading


Center for Medical Progress releases another Planned Parenthood video despite injunction Watch

Image of Pro-life CMP stands against abortionists NAF (imgsuccess).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

After ousting illegal actions performed by Planned Parenthood clinics, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), and its founder Daniel Daleiden, have been ordered to cease further distribution of illegally-obtained Planned Parenthood footage. Unfortunately for the ... continue reading


Huff Po Gestapo, beats down Trump, First Amendment with editorial billy club Watch

Image of Huffington Post has found a way to turn the First Amendment into a billy club for their PC police duties.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Liberal mouthpiece, The Huffington Post (not to be confused with an actual news organization) is pandering to liberal readers by posting an addendum at the end of every story about Donald Trump. The addendum labels Trump a "racist" and a "serial liar." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:9-14
9 Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen to me, Yahweh, answer me, for I am poor and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:27-32
27 When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 13th, 2016 Image

St. Catherine de Ricci
February 13: St. Catherine was born in Florence in 1522. Her ... Read More