By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/13/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Pope Francis has made a startling statement, but it's not surprising when viewed in the proper context. Pope Francis has said that people do not need to go to Mass, but it doesn't mean what people assume.
Does the media really listen to the Pope? Or do they just wait for what they want to hear?
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Here we go again, or so many Catholics are beginning to feel that way every time Pope Francis makes a bold statement in the glare of the media spotlight. The media, fond of soundbytes and eager to co-opt Pope Francis into their secular agenda is always quick to cherry-pick his words and twist them into meaning something that wasn't intended.
Pray for Pope Francis and your own intentions.
Now, the buzz is that Pope Francis says Catholics don't have to attend Mass. But let's read what he really said, in context.
Pope Francis said the following during his general audience today:
"Sometimes someone asks: 'Why bother going to church, the people who always go to Mass are sinners like the others'. If you do not feel in need of God's mercy, if you do not feel you are a sinner, then it's better not go to Mass, because we go to Mass because we are sinners and we want to receive the forgiveness of Jesus, to participate in His redemption, His forgiveness.
"That 'I confess' we say at the beginning is not a 'pro forma', is a true act of penance, 'I am a sinner and I confess'. We have to go to Mass humbly, as sinners, and the Lord reconciles us."
He continued, "We celebrate the Eucharist not because we are worthy, but because we recognize our need for God's mercy, incarnate in Jesus Christ. I wish to reflect on how we live the Eucharist in our daily lives. the Eucharist affects the way we see others. So too the Eucharist brings us together with others - young and old, poor and affluent, neighbors and visitors. The Eucharist calls us to see all of them as our brothers and sisters."
Plainly stated, what Pope Francis is really saying is that the people who do not need to attend Mass are those who are perfect and who have no need of Christ's mercy. Since that disqualifies every soul on the planet, the conclusion is, YES YOU NEED TO GO TO MASS.
Verbim sapienti: anyone who interprets these words otherwise either misunderstands, or is lying.
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