Pope Francis, “They Think I Said WHAT!”

 
I wrote an article for CatholicLane called Front Row With Francis: The Nature of the Church .
 
It was fascinating that Pope Francis opened his teaching by rejecting a narrow view that the Church is “restricted to the clergy or the Vatican ” . He pointed out that we are “all the Church, all family, all of the Mother.” I was pleasantly surprised that his definition of Church included “a much broader reality, which opens to the whole of humanity ….She was founded by Jesus but is a people with a long history behind it and a preparation that began much before Christ himself.”.
 
Yet some commentators were furious, “What would a man who denies the Trinity by affirming we worship the same God as Islam, know about the nature of the Church?.I answered as follows:The focus of the Pope’s remarks centre on the fact that it is God who forms Church. GOD initiates and we respond in obedience and humility. IT IS PROFOUND, TRUE AND IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.

To another upset commentator, I said:

I find that it is best to discern what is in the Lord with an open heart, and not with an eye that looks for mistakes. It is interesting to note that Jesus constantly upset the religious experts of his day by seeming to break the letter of the law when in fact, as Love incarnate, He was the fulfilment of the law.

Jesus constantly appeared to contradict Himself for those who judged His words only by their surface meaning. Many of Christ’s words seem difficult to reconcile if they are not read spiritually.

When I think that I am right and denounce another, I am in great danger of spiritual pride. Yes we need to discern opinions and positions of those in authority but in the case of the pope, I would suggest that judgement is best left to God who can see the heart of the man and does not jump to conclusions or judge surface meanings taken out of context. Even if a scholar is right on a technicality, by denouncing the pope, is he harming the Body of Christ? Would it  not be better to quietly pray, leaving it in the hands of God or write a respectful discussion about the subject?

 

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