Pope Francis’s New Interview

Pope Francis has a new interview out in America Magazine, and it is absolutely fascinating. I’m in the middle of it right now. While reading, I was hit by a bit of a revelation.

I think I understand a little bit more why Pope Francis hasn’t become the Pope “we” wanted, the traditionalist Pope who is going to condemn abortion and gay marriage from the mountaintops and bring back the Latin Mass to full prominence. It is simple: We look at things from an American, really European, perspective. But Pope Francis is not an American, or even a European, and the Church doesn’t exist in that vacuum. The Church is worldwide.

I think the point he’s making is that even abortion is secondary to conversion, to bringing hearts back to God. And he’s right, though a lot of conservatives don’t want to hear it. When you read some of his quotes you get the impression that he wants to expand the Church to be a worldwide Church, one that doesn’t just exist in Europe and America, and one that concerns itself with all people. It’s difficult to look out of our bubble, though.

And finally, the Holy Father comes off as quite the intellectual in the interview. If anybody thought that Pope Francis was “simple” in mind as well as in habit this interview would do well to disabuse them of that notion. The Holy Father puts a lot of thought into what he does and says, and he knows his theology and his history. It’s fascinating stuff, highly recommended.

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2 Responses to Pope Francis’s New Interview

  1. Crude says:

    I actually wouldn’t want the sort of Pope you’re talking about, save for the latin mass aspect. (Partly moot for me, I’m Byzantine.) I think this has been a great pope so far. He hasn’t been yelling angrily – he’s been calmly explaining, and being sufficiently laid back. The result is the actual Catholic teaching on these matters is starting to get more airtime.

    • I wrote a post about this earlier, but the traditionalist Catholic response to Pope Francis has been really disturbing.

      The media is definitely misinterpreting Pope Francis a lot, though, and I still say they’ll turn on him eventually (in a perverse way I’m kind of looking forward to it).

      What I do NOT like is all of the griping that the Pope needs to be “more clear” when he speaks. If you read the interview, you realize that Pope Francis is absolutely listening to all of his critics, and he thinks a LOT about what he is going to say before he says it.

      I think, in a way, it’s actually refreshing to have a Pope put a higher emphasis on conversion than abortion and gay marriage or even the latin mass. It’s a bit of a slap in the face sort of wake up call for me, even – I had made, in my mind, abortion not only the most political issue but the most important religious issue as well. But as perverse as it might seem, it is not the most important issue. Bringing hearts to Christ is – and opposition to abortion will follow.

      After reading this I feel even more confident that Pope Francis will steer the Church in the right direction.

      (Also, pretty cool that you’re a Byzantine Catholic. Always wanted to go to one of their Divine Liturgies.)

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