Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/16/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Movements are attempting to claim Pope Francis for their own and are not listening to his messages.

If the media is to be believed, Pope Francis has shaken the Catholic Church to its foundation with all the force of an earthquake. Tuned to much of the media, some Catholics are speaking up, voicing critical opinions and concerns about Pope Francis. We suggest people listen more carefully to his words and not the media spin.

Pope Francis took questions on his flight returning from World Youth Day in Brazil. His comments were so misconstrued by the media they even overshadowed the event in Rio.

Pope Francis took questions on his flight returning from World Youth Day in Brazil. His comments were so misconstrued by the media they even overshadowed the event in Rio.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/16/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope Francis, media, wrong, message, liberal, conservative, Jesus, orthodox


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - When Jesus began his public ministry, he shook the Jewish world to its core. He reminded God's people that how we treat one another is more important than any label we wear. Now, Pope Francis is doing more of the same, reminding people that how we treat the least members of our society is more important than what we label ourselves, even if that label happens to be "gay" or "atheist."

Some Catholics, described as "conservative" in a recent Washington Post story have taken exception to Pope Francis's recent interviews, comments and admonishments and, according to the report, "are openly questioning the pope."

One of the interesting comments in the WP article came from Robert Royal, the president of Faith and Reason in Washington D.C., "When NARAL [abortion advocates] sends you a thank-you note, it's clear something got miscommunicated."

However, the Holy Father has been quite clear in his communication, if we read his words and understand their context. The problem is how much the media filters his message because they are so eager to co-opt the Pope and somehow re-cast him in their own image. Media outlets have proclaimed that "Atheists go to heaven" and that homosexual behavior is allegedly now acceptable to the Church.   

These are both errors. No statement by Pope Francis has ever affirmed such a sweeping claim about all atheists. Nor has any statement ever affirmed the moral disorder of homosexual acts. The Pope is, after all, Catholic. He does not and cannot change the teaching of the Catholic Church, to the scriptures and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Furthermore, some of the people who pass on these falsehoods reveal their lack of understanding of both what the Church teaches and how she is governed. 

The same criticism applies to those who would criticize Pope Francis for merely echoing the message of Jesus Christ to love the poor, and, yes, even to love your enemies!

So where is the bombshell 180 reversal in Church doctrine? It doesn't exist. It is made up.

Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI worked hard to help Catholics understand Church doctrine with greater clarity than ever before. They emphasized Catholic identity and what it means to be a Catholic Christian. As a new era of moral relativism accelerated out of the 1960's and gained converts during the past few decades, Church leaders have been compelled to speak clearly and firmly about Church doctrine. Among those messages were explicit teachings that reaffirmed that homosexual behavior is sinful. In addition, that the fullness of truth is found within the Catholic Church. And that procured abortion, contraception, and sterilization are great moral evils.

These are clear messages and to the soft ears of a morally relativistic society, they sound harsh and unyielding. Yet, this is not the law of a few old men in Rome. This is the Law of God, revealed in in Natural Moral Law and capable of being known through reason because it is etched onto the heart of every being. This Natural Moral Law is further elevated and built upon by God's revelation of His loving plan in creation and the re-creation which comes through redemption in Jesus Christ. That Revelation is found in the Sacred Scripture and the unbroken Tradition of the Church. The words are clear, but our eyes and ears are obstructed. Jesus Christ often dealt with the same issue.

Catholics have finally become acclimated to these profoundly important moral teachings. Informed, orthodox (not conservative!) Catholics understand these teachings with clarity. Pope Francis is among that number and he speaks clearly about these issues. However, he now emphasizes the need to share the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. He calls us all to go out to the margins! He keeps company with prisoners, the poor and even atheists. Sound familiar? Jesus kept company with harlots, tax collectors, and gentiles. Pope Francis is simply doing the same thing and calling Christians to follow.

Likewise, he is on-point with his message and timely. The tone of his delivery is unique to his personality, but the content of the message is entirely consistent with Church doctrine. What has changed is our media interpretation of the message.

Some Catholics have run afoul, succumbing to the same snare that has entrapped many who are not Catholic. They listen to the media hype and wrongly conclude that Pope Francis is somehow changing Church doctrine.

What must be understood is that the pope cannot change Church doctrine. Doctrine comes not from the pope, but from the Holy Spirit who continues to reveal the fullness of Truth as given to us by a loving God. Under certain specific conditions, the Holy Father, in communion with the bishops of the Church, can speak infallibly to issues concerning faith and morality. Let's be clear, the Pope cannot change what God has established, even if he were the most "liberal" soul on Earth.

Which brings us to a second point. The media tends to refer to Catholics as "conservative" and "liberal." These are politicized labels. This is a reflection of how pervasive the misunderstanding has become, for Catholics are neither. Catholics are orthodox, meaning they fully embrace the teaching of the magisterium (teaching office) of the Church or they are not fully Catholic. One may claim the label all they want, but one's standing with God is based on faith expressed in lived behavior which flows from it, which is judged by God alone and God cannot be fooled.

Political labels should not be applied to God, or to His Church. Jesus was not a Republican. Nor was He a liberal hippie as popular memes circulating on the internet attempt to claim.

Christ and the Pope are not individuals to be claimed by various political apparatus to promote their own agendas. The Holy Father does not belong to the atheist movement or to homosexual equivalency movement, nor to the conservatives or any other group with an agenda. The media may insist otherwise, but what else can we expect from institutions corrupted by decades of moral relativism and decay?

It's time for the world to get it right about Pope Francis. It's the height of disrespect to see sensationalist headlines claiming the pope for one thing or another.

If Pope Francis is about anything, he is about you -- you as a human person with a soul and an eternal destiny. If that sounds "liberal" to you, we suggest you look up John 3:16 again.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


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


Comments


More Living Faith

6 types of men Christian women should dismiss for marriage Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Women, and men, should be wary of whom they shall live with for the rest of their lives. Marriage is not a temporary commitment, it lasts for a lifetime no matter how you will put it --- two people still shared the same vows to cherish one another through a sacred ... continue reading


Pope Franics to host major conference on climate change Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis will host a major summit on April 28 entitled "Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The conference will feature famous American economist, ... continue reading


Can Catholics Practice Yoga and Transcendental Meditation?

Image of

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

Among many Christians who are honestly seeking to deepen their prayer life, there is a genuine concern about erroneous forms of prayer. People should be careful to accept practices which diverge from the faith they have received, whether through the family or in a ... continue reading


Is there a war between feminism and the Catholic Church? American nuns' 'radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith' Watch

Image of The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ended an investigation into radical feminist ideals held by the U.S.'s largest nun group, warning the organization to fall in line with Catholic orthodox stances.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The year-long inquiry into American nuns by the Holy See's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has concluded, and will not take any action against the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the body that governs around 80 percent of nuns in the ... continue reading


Passionate pastor attempts to fix the missing spiritual link in churches across the U.S. Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Percy McCray suggests that leaders of faith should undergo in-depth training programs to better deal with cancer-stricken patients and their hurting families. According to McCray, as it stands now, most churches across the United States lack the proper ... continue reading


Dialogue: an essential ingredient for peaceful relationships Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

According to the New York Times, during a White House luncheon in 1954 Winston Churchill said, "To jaw-jaw [talk-talk] always is better than to war-war." While clearly not a pacifist, the United Kingdom's World War II prime minister had seen upfront the absolute horror ... continue reading


Pope Francis risks international outrage by using term 'genocide' to describe Armenia massacre Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Risking international opinion and possibly stirring up anger throughout Turkey, Pope Francis used the word "genocide" to refer to the mass killings of Armenians a century ago under the Ottoman Empire. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "In the past century, our ... continue reading


Pope Francis: Children 'can never be considered a mistake' Watch

Image of

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Pope Francis said Wednesday that children are never a mistake, and called adults out for building faulty systems that leave children exploited and abandoned, rather than treated as the blessings they are. (CNA/EWTN News) - "Brothers and sisters, think about this ... continue reading


Easter around the world: 10 amazing photos that caputre Easter celebrations

Image of Easter vigil

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians all over the world observed the Lenten Season and ended with the celebration of Easter Sunday, the symbolism of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Across the globe, believers from different countries celebrated in various ways. With the use of social media, ... continue reading


5 wonderful ways to remind yourself Jesus is always with you Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All our troubles and hardships may sway us from the idea that Jesus is always with us, no matter what we're doing or what we're currently going through. If anything, our hardships should bring us closer to Him. We sway from Him because for most of us, Jesus is just a ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
13 It is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9
2 Children of men, how long will you be heavy of ... Read More

Reading 2, First John 2:1-5
1 My children, I am writing this to prevent you from ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 19th, 2015 Image

St. Alphege
April 19: Archbishop and "the First Martyr of Canterbury." He was born in ... 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