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Author Topic: A Big Heart Open to God: The exclusive interview with Pope Francis  (Read 1529 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 19, 2013, 11:59:27 AM »

I see clearly,” the pope continues, “that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds.... And you have to start from the ground up.
....
We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.
....
I say this also thinking about the preaching and content of our preaching. A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation. Then you have to do catechesis. Then you can draw even a moral consequence. But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives. Today sometimes it seems that the opposite order is prevailing. The homily is the touchstone to measure the pastor’s proximity and ability to meet his people, because those who preach must recognize the heart of their community and must be able to see where the desire for God is lively and ardent. The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.”
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2013, 12:24:20 PM »

Fascinating article and interview. Thanks for the link.
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2013, 01:19:29 PM »

Officially not a fan of this pope.

The reason Catholics focus so much on abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, is that these sins are the fruit of a distorted and degraded view of the human person, one that denies that the human being, including all human faculities, has an end and purpose in God himself.

I really miss Pope Benedict.
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2013, 01:32:41 PM »

Officially not a fan of this pope.

The reason Catholics focus so much on abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, is that these sins are the fruit of a distorted and degraded view of the human person, one that denies that the human being, including all human faculities, has an end and purpose in God himself.

I really miss Pope Benedict.

He does seem very eager for ideological reconciliation with all.
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2013, 01:38:11 PM »

What Pope Francis said...The pope responds, “We must walk together: the people, the bishops and the pope. Synodality should be lived at various levels. Maybe it is time to change the methods of the Synod of Bishops, because it seems to me that the current method is not dynamic. This will also have ecumenical value, especially with our Orthodox brethren. From them we can learn more about the meaning of episcopal collegiality and the tradition of synodality. The joint effort of reflection, looking at how the church was governed in the early centuries, before the breakup between East and West, will bear fruit in due time. In ecumenical relations it is important not only to know each other better, but also to recognize what the Spirit has sown in the other as a gift for us. I want to continue the discussion that was begun in 2007 by the joint [Catholic–Orthodox] commission on how to exercise the Petrine primacy, which led to the signing of the Ravenna Document. We must continue on this path.” (http://www.americamagazine.org/pope-interview)  I'm glad he's using us as an example.
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2013, 01:44:02 PM »

The reason Catholics focus so much on abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, is that these sins are the fruit of a distorted and degraded view of the human person, one that denies that the human being, including all human faculities, has an end and purpose in God himself.

I might agree with this, except that, in my experience with RC's (radio, TV, in person at local parishes, etc. over the last fifteen years or so), the RC focus on those particular issues is just that: a focus.  They may state, as you did, that these sins are the fruit of a deficient view of the person, but they don't connect the dots, nor do they really expand from there into other issues.  The abortion/contraception/homosexuality folks oppose themselves to other, more "liberal" factions in their own Church who prefer to focus on immigration/pastoral response to the divorced and remarried/worker's rights/etc., when I think this Pope and those who think like him want precisely to show how all of these concerns have ramifications beyond the social and political agendas they are connected with.  A holistic view of the human person will take into account, for example, both abortion and a living wage, but certain RC "schools" seem quite happy to hierarchically arrange these "sins" in order of seriousness according to a particular model, and then focus all their efforts on completely eradicating the top two, even if zero progress is made on the others.  That does nothing to advance a healthy, Christian view of humanity and society, but it goes a long way in dogmatising politics.    
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2013, 01:53:44 PM »

The reason Catholics focus so much on abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, is that these sins are the fruit of a distorted and degraded view of the human person, one that denies that the human being, including all human faculities, has an end and purpose in God himself.

I might agree with this, except that, in my experience with RC's (radio, TV, in person at local parishes, etc. over the last fifteen years or so), the RC focus on those particular issues is just that: a focus.  They may state, as you did, that these sins are the fruit of a deficient view of the person, but they don't connect the dots, nor do they really expand from there into other issues.  The abortion/contraception/homosexuality folks oppose themselves to other, more "liberal" factions in their own Church who prefer to focus on immigration/pastoral response to the divorced and remarried/worker's rights/etc., when I think this Pope and those who think like him want precisely to show how all of these concerns have ramifications beyond the social and political agendas they are connected with.  A holistic view of the human person will take into account, for example, both abortion and a living wage, but certain RC "schools" seem quite happy to hierarchically arrange these "sins" in order of seriousness according to a particular model, and then focus all their efforts on completely eradicating the top two, even if zero progress is made on the others.  That does nothing to advance a healthy, Christian view of humanity and society, but it goes a long way in dogmatising politics.    
I'm sorry, but killing a baby is much more serious a sin than disagreeing on what constitutes a fair wage. People of good will can disagree on the latter, but not on the former.
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2013, 01:54:40 PM »

^ That being said, the U.S. Conference of Catholics Bishops strongly endorses a just living wage, medical care for all, and preferential treatment for the poor.
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2013, 02:12:11 PM »

I'm sorry, but killing a baby is much more serious a sin than disagreeing on what constitutes a fair wage. People of good will can disagree on the latter, but not on the former.

I don't disagree.  But the problem is that many of these problems are thoroughly intertwined.  The "Nuns on the Bus" types want to focus on some issues, but get a lot of criticism from "pro-lifers" for not speaking out as much about abortion.  But the "pro-lifers" do just what you did: assert the horrid nature of abortion as a trump card, pay lip service to other issues, and ignore them because they're not as important.  Maybe in your own life and work you don't do this, but there are plenty that do.  

The fact is that outlawing and eliminating abortion or mandating a living wage is not, on its own, going to do anything except ensure that women carry babies to term or that people have an adequate amount of money.  There's still a whole host of other issues on multiple levels that need to be tackled if Roman Catholicism is going to present a comprehensive message regarding the human person and God's design for him.  Insisting that there's more to the RC moral theological tradition than "abortion = bad", "no condoms = good sex", etc. doesn't make Pope Francis a deficient Pope.  Actually, it makes him a good Pope because he's capable of thinking of the whole person, and that's what a pastor does.  

I like and miss Pope Benedict too, but I don't think he was more "pro-life" than Pope Francis.  My sense, and I could be wrong, is that he emphasised it less in his pontificate than Pope John Paul II, and it's unfair to compare an eight year pontificate to Francis' six month pontificate, even if all three are solidly pro-life.  But I think Pope Benedict gets a pass because he was very conservative on other issues (e.g., liturgy).          
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2013, 02:28:32 PM »

Anyone that attended Roman Catholic secondary school in the USA in the 1990's would know about liberation theology and that whole come as you are polyester vestment, creepy togetherness many roads to heaven garbage they taught, or probably still teach. 
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2013, 03:14:57 PM »

The reason Catholics focus so much on abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, is that these sins are the fruit of a distorted and degraded view of the human person, one that denies that the human being, including all human faculities, has an end and purpose in God himself.

I might agree with this, except that, in my experience with RC's (radio, TV, in person at local parishes, etc. over the last fifteen years or so), the RC focus on those particular issues is just that: a focus.  They may state, as you did, that these sins are the fruit of a deficient view of the person, but they don't connect the dots, nor do they really expand from there into other issues.  The abortion/contraception/homosexuality folks oppose themselves to other, more "liberal" factions in their own Church who prefer to focus on immigration/pastoral response to the divorced and remarried/worker's rights/etc., when I think this Pope and those who think like him want precisely to show how all of these concerns have ramifications beyond the social and political agendas they are connected with.  A holistic view of the human person will take into account, for example, both abortion and a living wage, but certain RC "schools" seem quite happy to hierarchically arrange these "sins" in order of seriousness according to a particular model, and then focus all their efforts on completely eradicating the top two, even if zero progress is made on the others.  That does nothing to advance a healthy, Christian view of humanity and society, but it goes a long way in dogmatising politics.    

Mor, you're sounding like you read the late Cardinal Bernadin' s  "seamless garment" speech back in the day. 
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2013, 03:34:35 PM »

The reason Catholics focus so much on abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, is that these sins are the fruit of a distorted and degraded view of the human person, one that denies that the human being, including all human faculities, has an end and purpose in God himself.

I might agree with this, except that, in my experience with RC's (radio, TV, in person at local parishes, etc. over the last fifteen years or so), the RC focus on those particular issues is just that: a focus.  They may state, as you did, that these sins are the fruit of a deficient view of the person, but they don't connect the dots, nor do they really expand from there into other issues.  The abortion/contraception/homosexuality folks oppose themselves to other, more "liberal" factions in their own Church who prefer to focus on immigration/pastoral response to the divorced and remarried/worker's rights/etc., when I think this Pope and those who think like him want precisely to show how all of these concerns have ramifications beyond the social and political agendas they are connected with.  A holistic view of the human person will take into account, for example, both abortion and a living wage, but certain RC "schools" seem quite happy to hierarchically arrange these "sins" in order of seriousness according to a particular model, and then focus all their efforts on completely eradicating the top two, even if zero progress is made on the others.  That does nothing to advance a healthy, Christian view of humanity and society, but it goes a long way in dogmatising politics.    

Mor, you're sounding like you read the late Cardinal Bernadin' s  "seamless garment" speech back in the day. 
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2013, 04:28:28 PM »

Ah, the dangers of the ideologization of the evil vetus ordo. Yeah, you gotta watch out for that, because it could really damage your spiritual life going to a reverent liturgy without circus music.
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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2013, 04:30:28 PM »

I really miss Pope Benedict.
I agree. Pope Benedict loved Christ's liturgy, and it really showed in his gentle demeanor. God bless him.
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2013, 04:35:56 PM »

The reason Catholics focus so much on abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, is that these sins are the fruit of a distorted and degraded view of the human person, one that denies that the human being, including all human faculities, has an end and purpose in God himself.

I might agree with this, except that, in my experience with RC's (radio, TV, in person at local parishes, etc. over the last fifteen years or so), the RC focus on those particular issues is just that: a focus.  They may state, as you did, that these sins are the fruit of a deficient view of the person, but they don't connect the dots, nor do they really expand from there into other issues.  The abortion/contraception/homosexuality folks oppose themselves to other, more "liberal" factions in their own Church who prefer to focus on immigration/pastoral response to the divorced and remarried/worker's rights/etc., when I think this Pope and those who think like him want precisely to show how all of these concerns have ramifications beyond the social and political agendas they are connected with.  A holistic view of the human person will take into account, for example, both abortion and a living wage, but certain RC "schools" seem quite happy to hierarchically arrange these "sins" in order of seriousness according to a particular model, and then focus all their efforts on completely eradicating the top two, even if zero progress is made on the others.  That does nothing to advance a healthy, Christian view of humanity and society, but it goes a long way in dogmatising politics.    
I'm sorry, but killing a baby is much more serious a sin than disagreeing on what constitutes a fair wage. People of good will can disagree on the latter, but not on the former.
Abortion is the murder of the innocent before they can even earn a just wage. The right to life of every innocent human being is the foundation of all other rights.
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2013, 04:52:51 PM »

Mor, you're sounding like you read the late Cardinal Bernadin' s  "seamless garment" speech back in the day. 

Actually, I've never read it.  So if I came to similar conclusions without having been "taught" by him, am I also evil?  Ought my name not be spoken?  Tongue
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2013, 04:59:15 PM »

Pope Francis' solution to the schism between East and West: "We must walk united with our differences: there is no other way to become one. This is the way of Jesus."
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2013, 05:07:53 PM »

Abortion is the murder of the innocent before they can even earn a just wage. The right to life of every innocent human being is the foundation of all other rights.

I agree.  I just don't think many of the pro-lifers care to ask why it is that women even consider, let alone have, such a procedure.  It's not always and everywhere because some immoral woman couldn't control herself and "Now look!"  Many (most?) pro-lifers don't seem to care, they just want to stop the murder.  But the murder isn't going to stop by force of law: people do illegal stuff all the time if they feel it is in their interest somehow.  The person, the society, the culture needs to be converted for any significant progress to be made.  

By all means, end abortion, I just think a lot of the RC pro-life strategy involves an emphasis on "stopping murder" and political action/party politics.  There's little thought devoted to the wider context, and when someone does this, it is usually greeted with nothing more than an "Amen, brutha" and/or consternation that not enough was said to denounce child-murder using approved buzzwords or phrases such as "protection of all human life from conception to natural death" which demonstrate one's loyalty to the cause.  
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« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2013, 05:14:03 PM »

Abortion is the murder of the innocent before they can even earn a just wage. The right to life of every innocent human being is the foundation of all other rights.

I agree.  I just don't think many of the pro-lifers care to ask why it is that women even consider, let alone have, such a procedure.  It's not always and everywhere because some immoral woman couldn't control herself and "Now look!"  Many (most?) pro-lifers don't seem to care, they just want to stop the murder.  But the murder isn't going to stop by force of law: people do illegal stuff all the time if they feel it is in their interest somehow.  The person, the society, the culture needs to be converted for any significant progress to be made.  

By all means, end abortion, I just think a lot of the RC pro-life strategy involves an emphasis on "stopping murder" and political action/party politics.  There's little thought devoted to the wider context, and when someone does this, it is usually greeted with nothing more than an "Amen, brutha" and/or consternation that not enough was said to denounce child-murder using approved buzzwords or phrases such as "protection of all human life from conception to natural death" which demonstrate one's loyalty to the cause.  
I think you should call things what they are, and abortion is the murder of an innocent human being. Should the Roman Catholic Church approach the matter in a different way? Sure, it should excommunicate all those who are for murder. It is not a hard thing to do, and by excommunicating those who no longer are really Catholic you open up the possibility - through real evangelization - of converting some of them. But if you let them think they are already Catholic - in spite of their dissent on a major moral issue - you actually endanger their souls.
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« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2013, 05:32:43 PM »

Ah, the dangers of the ideologization of the evil vetus ordo. Yeah, you gotta watch out for that, because it could really damage your spiritual life going to a reverent liturgy without circus music.

Yes, you do.  The ideologization of any Ordo is dangerous as shown Old Believers, SSPX, SSPV, SSPJ, Pidhirtsi Fathers nd others who have schismed over liturgical issues.
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« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2013, 05:36:52 PM »

Ah, the dangers of the ideologization of the evil vetus ordo. Yeah, you gotta watch out for that, because it could really damage your spiritual life going to a reverent liturgy without circus music.

Yes, you do.  The ideologization of any Ordo is dangerous as shown Old Believers, SSPX, SSPV, SSPJ, Pidhirtsi Fathers nd others who have schismed over liturgical issues.
But the Pope didn't say anything about the corruptions - which are easy enough to find - of the Novus Ordo. No, he just attacked the common bogey man within modernist circles of the Roman Catholic Church. Good Lord it is easier for me to find a bizarre clown liturgy in the diocese of Oakland than to find a celebration of the "vetus ordo."
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« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2013, 05:50:36 PM »

I have never seen a Clown Mass in person, only in photos and video.  I feel like I'm missing out.

The worst Novus Ordo I ever attended involved a spinning Advent wreath suspended from the ceiling like a disco ball and chalices filled with consecrated wine that smelled like cheap whiskey.  Oh, and posters throughout the church building encouraging parishioners to "Pray for the Ordination of Women".  Ah, to live within the jurisdiction of the Most Rev. Howard Hubbard again!   
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« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2013, 06:03:49 PM »

My least favorite N.O. experience was back when I was living in Oregon. They had a three-piece jazz band in lieu of a choir, and played "God Bless America" at some point. People clapped like it was a concert. The same church also had a harp and guitar duo playing along to hymns during the mass one time. Hmm. My only consolation was that my father of confession told me in private that he didn't like such things and would prefer to have a traditional choir, but was somewhat hamstrung by the senior priest who he worked under, who felt that such things were good for attracting/keeping youth. Undecided I've heard of much worse coming out of N.O. churches, though, so I guess I was lucky. No spinning wreaths.
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« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2013, 06:14:15 PM »

I have never seen a Clown Mass in person, only in photos and video.  I feel like I'm missing out.
Christ the King parish, which about a 15 minute drive from my house, has them periodically. They actually have a "clown ministry." Along with some other strange things. Sadly it is also the parish that supplies lay ministers for the hospital in my area, and after the horrible experience surrounding my mother's reception of viaticum I had to write a letter to the parish letting them know that they had done a poor job in vetting the individuals who work in their hospital ministry.

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« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2013, 06:18:45 PM »

Sadly it is also the parish that supplies lay ministers for the hospital in my area, and after the horrible experience surrounding my mother's reception of viaticum I had to write a letter to the parish letting them know that they had done a poor job in vetting the individuals who work in their hospital ministry.

I'm sorry to hear that...what a terrible time to not be on point pastorally.  I'm sure there must be priests and lay ministers who go the extra mile in their hospital work, but my limited exposure left me feeling like they were simply sacrament-dispensing machines with little or no concern for the patients.   

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« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2013, 06:28:03 PM »

Sadly it is also the parish that supplies lay ministers for the hospital in my area, and after the horrible experience surrounding my mother's reception of viaticum I had to write a letter to the parish letting them know that they had done a poor job in vetting the individuals who work in their hospital ministry.
I'm sorry to hear that...what a terrible time to not be on point pastorally.  I'm sure there must be priests and lay ministers who go the extra mile in their hospital work, but my limited exposure left me feeling like they were simply sacrament-dispensing machines with little or no concern for the patients. 
Yes, well I am sure that there are good people in the hospital ministry at that parish, but I have not met any of them. On the day my mother - a recent convert to Byzantine Catholicism - died, she asked me to arrange her final reception of holy communion, and sadly I was unable to get the Byzantine Catholic priest to come and give her viaticum because his parish is quite a distance from the hospital, and so I had to ask that the Roman Catholic hospital ministry to have someone bring my mother holy communion. Shortly after my request for a visit a woman arrived carrying a small pyx, but before she gave my mother communion she put my mother and my whole family through a horrendous experience. I will begin by saying that the woman arrived inappropriately dressed for someone charged with carrying the sacred body of Jesus Christ, and by this I mean she was basically wearing a see through shirt (thankfully she was also wearing a black lace bra). After coming into the room, she proceeded to spout anti-patriarchal comments about how evil the Church is for not ordaining women, and how the Church's hierarchy oppresses women and has brought about the deaths of uncounted women through its ban on abortion. After several minutes of this non-sense, my mother, who - because she had advanced emphysema - had difficulty speaking, went out of her way to begin asking me in a low breathy voice to tell the woman to "just leave!" I refused to do that, because I knew this would be my mother's last chance to receive holy communion prior to her death, and so I finally interrupted the woman in order to remind her that she had been asked to come into the room in order to distribute holy communion. She was visibly upset by the fact that I interrupted her diatribe against Pope Benedict and the hierarchy in general, but then proceeded to ask who wanted communion (n.b., only my mother and I received that morning), she then proceeded to give communion to me without a word of prayer or any sign that what we were doing was a sacred act. Moreover, even after I told her that my mother could not consume an entire host, she still tried - no doubt because she did not listen to a word I was saying, that is, unless I raised my voice in an aggressive manner - to give my mother a complete host, but I was able to prevent her from doing so and in the end had to take communion twice. Now as I already indicated, the woman did all of this without a word of prayer or any indication that what we were doing was a pious act of love and devotion to Christ. Worst of all, once she had given us holy communion she resumed her attack on the Church, at which point I again interrupted her, and told her, "THANK YOU . . . I am so grateful that you brought the precious body of our Savior to my mother in her last hours."  At that point the woman asked, "Do you want me to leave?"  And I said, "Yes, thank you so much for your help." Now taking into account what happened to my mother on that morning, you would think that the parish would be interested to know about my family's experience, but when I contacted them and told them what occurred, I was made to feel as if I had somehow done something wrong. My mother's finally reception of holy communion was made into something that was visibly uncomfortable for her, and no one can change that or give my mother another chance to receive the Lord's body in a more devout manner. She is dead, and that final sacred moment was turned into something it should not have been, and I will have to live with that fact for the rest of my life. I suppose it would have been better for me to simply ignore the scandal that this woman caused to my family, but in good conscience I could not.
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« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2013, 06:48:52 PM »

No, you can and should report such malpractice to the bishop if the pastor is not interested.  That's outrageous.  If that's the pastoral approach of women who want to be ordained, it's better to leave priesthood to the boys.  Why spread the nonsense?   
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« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2013, 07:00:35 PM »

Abortion is the murder of the innocent before they can even earn a just wage. The right to life of every innocent human being is the foundation of all other rights.

I agree.  I just don't think many of the pro-lifers care to ask why it is that women even consider, let alone have, such a procedure.  It's not always and everywhere because some immoral woman couldn't control herself and "Now look!"  Many (most?) pro-lifers don't seem to care, they just want to stop the murder.  But the murder isn't going to stop by force of law: people do illegal stuff all the time if they feel it is in their interest somehow.  The person, the society, the culture needs to be converted for any significant progress to be made. 

By all means, end abortion, I just think a lot of the RC pro-life strategy involves an emphasis on "stopping murder" and political action/party politics.  There's little thought devoted to the wider context, and when someone does this, it is usually greeted with nothing more than an "Amen, brutha" and/or consternation that not enough was said to denounce child-murder using approved buzzwords or phrases such as "protection of all human life from conception to natural death" which demonstrate one's loyalty to the cause.   
I think you should call things what they are, and abortion is the murder of an innocent human being. Should the Roman Catholic Church approach the matter in a different way? Sure, it should excommunicate all those who are for murder. It is not a hard thing to do, and by excommunicating those who no longer are really Catholic you open up the possibility - through real evangelization - of converting some of them. But if you let them think they are already Catholic - in spite of their dissent on a major moral issue - you actually endanger their souls.

Devout christian won't chose abortion, and indifferent, "cultural" ones won't care about excommunication. They will think "oh snap, I don't have money, no one will help me, pregnancy is expensive and there is this nice underground clinic right after the corner...".
In Poland priests are all over abortion, there were billboards depicting fetus, etc. Did it help? No, tons of money which could be invested in a mothers shelter thrown into mud, Poland still has (underground, officially abortion is practically illegal) one of the highest rates of abortions + deaths of women in abortion complications in Europe.

I agree with the Pope, talking about abortion is like treating only symptoms, not causes, and focusing on a symptoms makes situation only worse with time. Church should focus on positive message, on actual GOOD news, because understanding that women would think twice.
Pro-life rallies, anti-abortion campaigns, etc are only boosting people's ego instead of helping, woman will just get irritated and angry. I don't understand how excommunication would actually help those about-to-be-aborted kids, other then punishing woman, which is hardly any help.

The biggest success is always with those centers who provide real help and real alternative instead of condemnations and threats. Look at Genesis Center in Pittsburgh for example, their system of "baby bucks" (which you earn for partaking in free classes), you can later pay with them for items, clothes, food, etc. Not to mention the woman who got help from center are volunteering after their life is stable, going to abortion clinics, talking with people there and making a change. Catholics do have centers helping in similar way but money goes to outspoken anti-abortionists instead of silent helpers, unfortunately.
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« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2013, 07:11:39 PM »

I agree with the Pope, talking about abortion is like treating only symptoms, not causes, and focusing on a symptoms makes situation only worse with time.
And I don't agree with the pope. So, our agreeing or disagreeing with the pope does not change the fact that moral teaching is a part of the Apostolic Kerygma. Look at the ancient Didache text if you want to see what the first century Church preached. The early Church preached against abortion as a part of its preaching about Christ.
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« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2013, 11:15:10 PM »

And I don't agree with the pope. So, our agreeing or disagreeing with the pope does not change the fact that moral teaching is a part of the Apostolic Kerygma. Look at the ancient Didache text if you want to see what the first century Church preached. The early Church preached against abortion as a part of its preaching about Christ.

And the early Church took its commitment to Christ and to others seriously:

Quote
Acts 2 (RSV)

43 And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Acts 4 (RSV)

32 Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need.

The Didache can call a spade a spade not only because it is a spade, but because it represented the teaching of a community willing not only to zealously proclaim the gospel but also stand in solidarity with people in dire straits: a community which resembled what we read in Acts and the rest of the NT, even with its warts.  Can we say that we have at least matched their holiness of life and love for God and others?  Do these and similar passages describe us at all? 

Maybe a parish here and there fits this description, but Christianity has had two millennia to act as a leaven in society and influence the course of world history and cultural development, and while we've gotten bigger, we are not necessarily better.  How useful is it to call a spade a spade when it comes to abortion while at the same time not upholding the other necessary aspects of the gospel which give our proclamation its authenticity?  Will those considering abortion have the consolation of knowing that if they choose life, Christians will be there to help, to serve, to love?  That if they commit such a grave sin, Christians will not turn them away but will be there all the more to help, to serve, to love, and to encourage reconciliation and peace with God?

By all means, let's do all we can to stop and eliminate abortion, but as long as Christians feel this is enough, abortion will continue, because the Christians aren't Christian.  Really, most of us are LARPing and don't want to own up to it. 
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« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2013, 11:21:35 PM »

St. Paul also called a spade a spade in 1 Cor. 6 (and various other sections of his epistles). But I fail to see how minimizing - as Pope Francis wants to do - moral issues will bring any more people to Christ. That is, unless he is not only for minimizing those issues by also changing moral doctrine. But he says he is not for doing that.
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« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2013, 11:27:36 PM »

The Didache can call a spade a spade not only because it is a spade, but because it represented the teaching of a community willing not only to zealously proclaim the gospel but also stand in solidarity with people in dire straits: a community which resembled what we read in Acts and the rest of the NT, even with its warts.  Can we say that we have at least matched their holiness of life and love for God and others?  Do these and similar passages describe us at all? 
Well I do not see how we are going to match their holiness by refraining from confronting the hedonism of the Western world. Standing with those in need of the good news warts and all does not mean - or at least it should not mean - that we do not talk about repentance. After all, what was the first thing that Christ said in the Gospel of Mark? "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel." Moral reformation (metanoia) is inherent to the Gospel message. There is no life in sin, only death.
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« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2013, 11:36:37 PM »

St. Paul also called a spade a spade in 1 Cor. 6 (and various other sections of his epistles). But I fail to see how minimizing - as Pope Francis wants to do - moral issues will bring any more people to Christ. That is, unless he is not only for minimizing those issues by also changing moral doctrine. But he says he is not for doing that.

But I'm not convinced he wants to minimise moral issues, I think this is what the mainstream media and Catholics, all with their respective axes to grind, believe and want others to believe he is doing. 

I think he wants to broaden the focus from what have largely become political issues that serve as a litmus test for whether or not one is "faithful"...and they have become such precisely because of such a narrow focus on "sins" without asking other fundamental questions about persons and their context. 
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« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2013, 11:40:13 PM »

St. Paul also called a spade a spade in 1 Cor. 6 (and various other sections of his epistles). But I fail to see how minimizing - as Pope Francis wants to do - moral issues will bring any more people to Christ. That is, unless he is not only for minimizing those issues by also changing moral doctrine. But he says he is not for doing that.

But I'm not convinced he wants to minimise moral issues, I think this is what the mainstream media and Catholics, all with their respective axes to grind, believe and want others to believe he is doing. 

I think he wants to broaden the focus from what have largely become political issues that serve as a litmus test for whether or not one is "faithful"...and they have become such precisely because of such a narrow focus on "sins" without asking other fundamental questions about persons and their context. 
I haven't read the NYT article or any of the others (beyond their titles). My view of the pope's position is based on the interview itself. Personally I think he wants to minimize those things.
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« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2013, 11:48:46 PM »

I can see it now:

Neo-Catholic: "Hello Father, I wanted to let you know how happy I am to be attending Church again. I mean I still support abortion and euthanasia, and I think that the Church should bless same sex couples, because it is wrong to discriminate against them by not letting them marry. I am just so happy that the Church accepts me as I am, because I am just not ready at this point to give up my hedonistic lifestyle."

Neo-Catholic priest: "Do not worry my child, God loves you and He will not judge you for the things you do. Just have faith. In fact, let us not even worry about that right now. After all, the Church is a big tent."

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« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2013, 11:53:03 PM »

Well I do not see how we are going to match their holiness by refraining from confronting the hedonism of the Western world. Standing with those in need of the good news warts and all does not mean - or at least it should not mean - that we do not talk about repentance. After all, what was the first thing that Christ said in the Gospel of Mark? "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel." Moral reformation (metanoia) is inherent to the Gospel message. There is no life in sin, only death.

No one is arguing against confronting the hedonism of the Western world or preaching repentance.  But there's more involved in this than simply praying the Rosary outside the local Planned Parenthood.

Honestly, how does the world perceive Roman Catholics these days?  They sort of believe in Jesus, they definitely believe in the Pope, they are against sex (and anything that feels good or is fun), they abhor birth control and abortion, and they're only interested in protecting children from clerical sexual abuse because they got outed in the press.  Oh, they believe a lot of outdated stuff and they have a lot of money, but they don't give it to the poor.  I'm sure there are a few other elements to this "Creed", but that's basically it.  Do actual Catholics see themselves any differently?  Their "Creed" may have more content thrown in, but let's be serious, the RCC is in free fall in many parts of the world.  There are a lot of reasons for this, but part of the reason is that the "faithful" Catholics have often substituted political action and the advancement of social issues for the proclamation of the gospel and repentance.  We're all guilty of this and/or of similar sins, but you are bigger, get more press, and it is more pronounced among you.  

When the world sees someone authentically living out the faith, they respect him, his example of faithful living resonates with them, holiness intrigues and attracts them.  But for every one person like that, there are thousands of jerks, and they are enough to negate the message.  Simply proclaiming the truth and insisting on its truthfulness because it is the truth works in a philosophical way, but it isn't enough to convert hearts, not today anyway.  I think much of contemporary Roman Catholicism is quite comfortable proclaiming philosophy, but finds the gospel remarkably annoying.  Actually, many of us feel the same way. 
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« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2013, 11:55:13 PM »

I haven't read the NYT article or any of the others (beyond their titles). My view of the pope's position is based on the interview itself. Personally I think he wants to minimize those things.

I'm still working my way through the interview, so I'll let you know more if I remember to check back in here, but so far I don't get that impression.   
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« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2013, 11:55:18 PM »

Well I do not see how we are going to match their holiness by refraining from confronting the hedonism of the Western world. Standing with those in need of the good news warts and all does not mean - or at least it should not mean - that we do not talk about repentance. After all, what was the first thing that Christ said in the Gospel of Mark? "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel." Moral reformation (metanoia) is inherent to the Gospel message. There is no life in sin, only death.
No one is arguing against confronting the hedonism of the Western world or preaching repentance.  But there's more involved in this than simply praying the Rosary outside the local Planned Parenthood.
Again, I think we read Pope Francis' interview differently. I admit that I find his comments unsettling, unsettling enough that I have begun to think that I may need to re-evaluate my spiritual life and journey.
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« Reply #38 on: September 19, 2013, 11:55:49 PM »

I haven't read the NYT article or any of the others (beyond their titles). My view of the pope's position is based on the interview itself. Personally I think he wants to minimize those things.

I'm still working my way through the interview, so I'll let you know more if I remember to check back in here, but so far I don't get that impression.   
I have read it twice.
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« Reply #39 on: September 19, 2013, 11:57:44 PM »

Perhaps I read the interview and give it a different interpretation than you because for 18 years I was a Roman Catholic, and so I dealt with a lot of parish priests who spoke the same way. Men who really did not seem to be all that Catholic, and one of them even gave homilies in which he said adultery was not always wrong. Perhaps all of that history colors my reading of Pope Francis' comments in the interview.
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« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2013, 12:05:59 AM »

I've never been RC, but from what I've witnessed from the outside, I'm not surprised.  But having the Orthodox faith hasn't prevented our own clergy from saying and doing bizarre things.  The grass is greener because it is alive, it is rooted in the source of life, but there's still a lot of crap, and it's not all fertiliser. 
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« Reply #41 on: September 20, 2013, 12:27:55 AM »

I've never been RC, but from what I've witnessed from the outside, I'm not surprised.  But having the Orthodox faith hasn't prevented our own clergy from saying and doing bizarre things.  The grass is greener because it is alive, it is rooted in the source of life, but there's still a lot of crap, and it's not all fertiliser. 
Yes, but a lot of people in the Catholic Church are sprinkling sugar over manure, and then telling you to take a bite because it will taste sweet.
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« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2013, 05:24:33 AM »

Let's start pedaling the same ol' crap.

Abortion? Check.

Contraception? Check.

Homosexuality? Check.

Let's talk about something more interesting.

I swear this forum is an asperger's syndrome.
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“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

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« Reply #43 on: September 20, 2013, 05:37:06 AM »

I just finished reading the interview with Pope Francis. Honestly, it was a bit exhausting. I felt like I was on a roller coast ride. There were some remarkably profound statements throughout, and yet there were comments that caused me great concern. It seems that Pope Francis is calculating his language so that he can be all things to all people. And as the spiritual head of the Roman Catholic Church, I guess that's part of his duty. However, the lack of clarity on certain salient issues is neither gracious nor charitable in my humble opinion. The following comments are a case in point:

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

This is an example of the ambiguity that is unfortunately conveyed throughout the interview. Those who are steeped in Catholic doctrine know what the teaching of the Church is on these issues, and they will find solace in the Pope’s words, “the teaching of the Church is clear.” But the problem is that many people are not steeped in Catholic teaching, and they may therefore seek to derive license for abortion, gay marriage, and contraception from the Pope’s statement, “it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

Nothing Pope Francis says here is untrue or unorthodox, but his failure to delineate Church teaching on these issues is problematic in my opinion. Some will argue that he has clearly articulated Church teaching on these matters at other times and in other places. I don’t doubt that. But legalized abortion is the greatest moral and human rights issue of our time, and Pope Francis should be unequivocal in his denunciation of this intolerant, inhumane, and unjust practice. To imply that he can talk about abortion too much bothers me.

I applaud his intellect and his cultivated aesthetic appetites (there is hope for anyone who loves the writing of Dostoevsky and the films of Fellini.) I applaud his humility and his desire to remain close to the people. I agree with so much of what he said, and many of his words moved me deeply. For example, nothing could be more beautifully Orthodox than these words:

“The risk in seeking and finding God in all things, then, is the willingness to explain too much, to say with human certainty and arrogance: ‘God is here.’ We will find only a god that fits our measure. The correct attitude is that of St. Augustine: seek God to find him, and find God to keep searching for God forever.”

But the issues of poverty, tolerance, justice, and compassion will never be adequately addressed until we address the inhumanity and evil of abortion. The Catholic Church suffers today from its historical complicity with and apathy towards the evils of slavery and pedophilia. So if Pope Francis wants the Church to be truly relevant for this day and age, if he wants the Church to truly be a compassionate Mother for all human beings, then he should be unhesitant in identifying the unborn as the “poorest of the poor” and the very “least of these.” In every address he gives and in every interview he offers, he should articulate Christ’s redemptive love for all those who are damaged and destroyed by the evil of abortion. Until humanity is liberated from the holocaust of legal abortion, nobody will be truly free. As long as the violence of abortion is tolerated by society, then any talk of peace and tolerance rings hollow.

OK, that’s my arrogant critique of Pope Francis’s words in this interview. Some may wonder why I care, since I am an Orthodox Christian. Well, I care because I recognize that the Pope has profound moral, spiritual, and political influence in the world. I also care because I retain hope that one day the Catholic and Orthodox Churches will reunite as One Faith. Therefore I pray for Pope Francis and wish him well. He certainly carries a monumental burden. And his last words in the interview disclose a spiritual consciousness that we should certainly all strive to embrace:

   “But above all, I know that the Lord remembers me. I can forget about him, but I know that He never, ever forgets me.”

“Lord have mercy.”


(Yeah, I know, "Johnny One Note" and all of that. But I won't apologize.  Wink )



Selam

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"Beauty is truth, and Orthodoxy is beautiful." +GMK+
Daedelus1138
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« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2013, 12:37:37 PM »

By all means, end abortion, I just think a lot of the RC pro-life strategy involves an emphasis on "stopping murder" and political action/party politics.  There's little thought devoted to the wider context, and when someone does this, it is usually greeted with nothing more than an "Amen, brutha" and/or consternation that not enough was said to denounce child-murder using approved buzzwords or phrases such as "protection of all human life from conception to natural death" which demonstrate one's loyalty to the cause.  

  People are going to procure abortions whether it is legal or not.   This has been true throughout history.  Conservative catholics want to be able to wash their hands of the issue by saying "I voted for a politician that said he was against abortion"... as if that fulfills the duty to be "pro-life" in a meaningful sense, and it's just nonsense.  Superficial piety like this won't withstand scrutiny in this day and age.

 
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