Great and far reaching in its implications interview with Francis 1 here. [Added: for a 'quick take' go to these 12 points here].
Many money quotes.
Here are just two:
"“Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent.
The ones who quit sometimes do it for reasons that, if properly understood and assessed, can lead to a return. But that takes audacity and courage.”"
"Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus.
We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.
The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow."
This is a remarkable Pope ... but is he trying to have his doctrinal cake and with pastoral icing and eat it too?
I am in meetings today until late tonight and may not be able to post comments till then.
Saturday morning addition. I like this statement about the church ... "not a small chapel" :)
"This church with which we should be thinking is the home of all, not a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people. We must not reduce the bosom of the universal church to a nest protecting our mediocrity."
In Andrew Brown's take on the interview, Francis 1 (or should that be, looking at the alternative on the "1" key, Francis !) has demolished modern Catholic conservatism in a single interview. Brown points us to consider that in the space of a few months he has walked back Benedict 16's view that civilization peaked about seven hundred years ago and asserted the importance of engaging with the present by thinking about the future rather than with restorationist nostalgia.
I am not convinced that we are not a civilization embracing a culture of death (pace B16) but I concur with Brown/Francis 1 that the future of Christianity does not lie in reconstituting the past glories of the church.
POSTSCRIPT: for those who see in Francis a kind of 21st century liberal Anglican, think again!