It is a year on from the election of Pope Francis. Barbie Latza Nadeau sets out the pluses and minuses of the year along with the loves and hates engendered by the Franciscan apostleship. It is early days into his reign so unfair to make definitive judgments, whether for praise or condemnation. There do seem to be some solid achievements such as getting George Pell to Rome re finances, and the promise of more to come, especially regarding a widely vexed question of admittance of remarried (but not in the eyes of the church) Catholics to communion.
On reflection, the article points a question back to all of us in church leadership as much as it asks questions of Francis' leadership: what difference do we make to the sphere of ministry we have been appointed to?
On which I had betterget on with my day job!
Okay, so liberals think he is too conservative, and conservatives think he is too liberal. Got it.
Please don't keep talking about bigotry and prejudice amongst fellow Christians here. It conveys an air of condemnation of fellow bloggers and commenters here, which I do not care to promote. Hence moderation:
"Vennari wrote in a recent blog post. “Though this might shock some readers, I must say that I would never allow Pope Francis to teach religion to my children.”
- article above -
I guess the Scribes and Pharisees would have said exactly the same about Jesus. They thought he was too liberal for his own good!
For anyone - especially a leader in the Church - to suggest that God may not necessarily approve of our private prejudices can be a very unsettling thing.
It must almost seem as if our careful toeing the line strategy has not worked entirely in our favour - nor in accordance with our carefully adopted prejudices that the Church had taught us are not only good but immutable.
However, Jesus knew what he was doing when he taught  reminding his hearers that God was most infinitely merciful - towards those who, in turn, were merciful and kind to others.
The New Commandment - of Love over the pre-eminence of The Law - has now become a reality, en Christo.
As Jesus said: "I have come, not to call the righteous, but sinners - to repentance". This is Good News (Gospel) for those of us who acknowledge our sin and long for rehabilitation; but .
Pope Francis is not doing a new thing! Indeed, he is re-asserting the power of God to redeem through the grace of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; who alone, by God's design, is our Lord and Saviour.
As Saint Paul said, after acknowledging his own inability to measure up to God's standards:
But thanks be to God for the victory IN OUR LORD, JESUS CHRIST!
I can heartily recommend Pope Francis first encyclical 'Evangelii Gaudium', as he bring the Good News of the Gospel in today's world.
Francis speaks - like his famous predecessor, Francis of Aasisi - Joy in The Gospel - the Good News of redemption of the world by our Lord, Jesus Christ - a good antidote to those who want to look only to the past.
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