Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Johann Christoph Arnold

3/16/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I am very happy at the name Cardinal Bergoglio chose: that of Saint Francis

Much as Saint Francis is venerated today, in his time he was scorned as foolish and impractical. In the same way, those who now hold to traditional Catholic values - that is, the gospel values of faithfulness in marriage and reverence for life - are often scorned as old-fashioned and intolerant.

Johann Christoph Arnold is the Senior Pastor of  the Bruderhof Communities

Johann Christoph Arnold is the Senior Pastor of the Bruderhof Communities

Highlights

By Johann Christoph Arnold

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/16/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Johann Christoph Arnold, Bruderhof Communities, Pope Francis, authentic ecumenism, prophetic witness, Senior Pastor


RIFTON, NY (Catholic Online) - Congratulations to the former Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina, who is now Pope Francis. He deserves our best wishes, but even more than that, our prayers. He will have a difficult task in a world that clamors for change, while God's truth and the gospel never change.

I am very happy at the name Cardinal Bergoglio chose: that of Saint Francis. This name signifies a desire for service and compassion that even President Obama recognized, when he congratulated the new pope as a "champion of the poor."

Yet as important as Cardinal Bergoglio's heart for the downtrodden may be, much more important is his new task of steering the Catholic Church back to the original teachings of Jesus.

In fact, the story of the original Saint Francis, who lived in 12th and 13th century Italy, begins with a vision: as Francis was praying in the dilapidated chapel of San Damiano, he heard a voice saying, "Francis, repair my church, which has fallen into disrepair!"

At first he took this commandment literally, thinking he was to rebuild broken walls and stonework. But he soon came to understand that God was calling him to something much more: to call his fellow believers back to the radical simplicity of the gospel.
 
Much as Saint Francis is venerated today, in his time he was scorned as foolish and impractical. In the same way, those who now hold to traditional Catholic values - that is, the gospel values of faithfulness in marriage and reverence for life - are often scorned as old-fashioned and intolerant.

Pope Francis' predecessor Benedict XVI wrote to me in a personal letter that "such convictions will inevitably arouse hatred, even persecution. The Lord has predicted it. But with him we must continue in trying to overcome evil through good."

These prophetic words may not be comforting, but they should encourage those of us who call ourselves Christian - even if non-Catholic, as I am - to pray for the new pope. He will certainly be in my prayers.

-----
Johann Christoph Arnold is the author of ten books and senior pastor of the Bruderhof communities. . His books have been translated into more than 20 languages. The Bruderhof is an international communal movement of families and singles who seek to put into action Christ's command to love God and neighbour. Arnold and his wife Verena live in Rifton, New York.

---


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 U.S.

Infant Exposure: Newborn Baby Rescued from a Dumpster Reunited with Hero Who Saved Him

Image of Officer Michael Buelna reunited with the baby he had saved from the trash, twenty five year old Robin Barton.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Michael Buelna is a Police Officer in Santa Ana, California. In 1989 he heard a sound coming from a trash bin. When he looked closely, he discovered a newborn baby boy with his umbilical cord still attached. The child was only four hours old. He weighed four ... continue reading


Lifting the Christian flag on Georgian government grounds raises concerns Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After seeking legal recommendations, Cochran, Georgia was advised not to raise the traditional Christian flag outside City Hall. However, the city council decided to determine this through votes that eventually turned in favor of lifting the flag. The flag raising is ... continue reading


California's extreme drought causes rodents to raid homes Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Rodents are being forced to forage into houses and residences for water to survive during the high temperature in California causing an extreme drought. The rats are going through various lengths and pushing themselves into small holes just to get some food and water. ... continue reading


It just might be the largest eruption ever! Fire in the belly - much more magma underneath Yellowstone volcano than thought Watch

Image of The recently discovered magma reservoir alone has a volume 2.5 times that of the Grand Canyon. However, these new expanses do not mean that the two hellish hollows could overflow the Grand Canyon with molten rock.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A research group, using seismic technology to scan Yellowstone National Park's depths has made a literally earth-shaking discovery. Yellowstone's magma reserves are many magnitudes greater than previously thought, making the notion of an eruption far more ... continue reading


Islamic State's seduction, recruitment of Americans under scrutiny Watch

Image of At least 25 Probable American recruits have been detained since January.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. prosecutions of would-be recruits to Islamic State has grown exponentially. ISIS has used both brutality and perceptive propaganda to attract members worldwide, in ways that are far more sophisticated than al-Qaeda and other jihadist adherents. LOS ... continue reading


'Man of peace, tenacity and courage,' Cardinal Francis George dies aged 78 Watch

Image of Polio during childhood had left the prelate with a weakened leg and a pronounced limp throughout his life. With his death, the College of Cardinals has 223 members, of whom 121 are under 80 and thus eligible to vote for a pope.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Retired Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Francis George has died after a decade of battling cancer at the age of 78. The first native Chicagoan to head the archdiocese, he is being remembered as "a man of peace, tenacity and courage" by his successor Archbishop ... continue reading


Genetic rescuing considered for shrinking wolf population on remote Michigan island Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are only three wolves left on Isle Royale, a small island in Michigan Lake's Superior, according to biologists. Researchers said that they do not know what to do or what should be done in order to save the wolves from dying and disrupting the ecology. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Another scandal shakes Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions as IRS reports she took millions from foreign governments Watch

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has taken another hit to her reputation with new information coming out that could compromise her chances at becoming president or even the Democratic nominee. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Recent information has ... continue reading


Controversial 'Killing Jews is Worship' posters soon to be seen plastered around New York City Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After being the center of a legal debate, posters with the statement, "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah" are going to soon be seen plastered on New York City buses and subways due to the victory of American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) against ... continue reading


Where will the next big quake be? It may not be in California Watch

Image of The American midwest is seeing a rise in the number of earthquakes, likely caused by fracking for oil and natural gas.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Central and eastern portions of the U.S. have been suffering from a spate of earthquakes over the last few years, and the U.S. Geological Survey believes that human activity may be responsible for this uptick. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Geological ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 11:1-18
1 The apostles and the brothers in Judaea heard that ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 42:2-3; 43:3, 4
2 I thirst for God, the living God; when shall I go ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:1-10
1 'In all truth I tell you, anyone who does not enter ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 27th, 2015 Image

St. Zita
April 27: St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her ... 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