On Re-reading the Papal Interview

Ok, I’ll be honest, I came away from the first reading of the pope’s interview on Thursday with some mixed emotions. I was a bit worried that he was promoting the kind of “mercy” in the church which is no more than being a nice guy and letting people off the hook. Certainly that is what the secular press took from the interview: “Oh great, the Pope is all about acceptance and tolerance just like the rest of us….”

On the second reading I took more time to soak up the context. When Pope Francis is talking about “accompanying people” on their journey and “paying attention to the person” he is advocating a deep compassion for the person which neither excuses their sin nor treats it harshly or coldly as just “breaking the rules.” So he says,

The confessor, for example, is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither of them really takes responsibility for the person. The rigorist washes his hands so that he leaves it to the commandment. The loose minister washes his hands by simply saying, ‘This is not a sin’ or something like that. In pastoral ministry we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds.”

I was also a bit worried about the “don’t be obsessed with gay marriage, abortion and contraception” line. First of all he doesn’t say that. Here’s the passage:

We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible… 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.

In other words–simple denunciations of poor moral choices don’t connect. People only hear them as stern and arbitrary denunciations from some old guy. For Catholic moral values to be communicated they must be communicated in a whole context with concern for the whole person and every aspect of the complex individual, social, moral and spiritual situation.

He goes on to explain that there are different levels of importance to the doctrinal and moral teachings of the church. The most important is the gospel of Jesus Christ which needs to be proclaimed to a needy world.

“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. 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.

There’s that words “obsessed” it’s the only time it is used in the interview. The Pope is saying it is no good simply throwing out there a grab bag of moral principles and stated doctrinal beliefs and saying “Here. do this and believe that and that is the Catholic faith.” This is exactly what Christian catechesis and life has too often been (not just Catholic). Instead the Pope calls us to live lives radiant with the love of Christ, to proclaim the gospel simply and profoundly and exhibit that love to a needy world.

I like “freshness and fragrance of the gospel” and the proposal of the gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant.”

Mark Shea comments on these same issues here and can’t resist a dig at conservative Catholics who miss the point just as much as the NY Times did.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • vox borealis

    Ok, I’ll be honest, I came away from the first reading of the pope’s interview on Thursday with some mixed emotions.

    Don’t let fellow Patheos blogger Mark Shea read this…you might be included among the bedwetting, reactionary, wussies.

    Seriously, I am heartened that your first reaction was ambiguous. So was mine, and it still is. There are some wonderful bits in that interview, but also some real head scratchers, and I firmly hold that one does not need to be a “rad-trad” or sedevacantist or reactionary to be troubled by some of the formulations in what was an interesting, revealing, but also confounding and somewhat rambling interview.

    • Catholic Psych Doc

      I’m scratching my head, too, about some of it. I guess, I just wish that the media’s “virtual Pope Francis” would disappear. I think though that until our Jesuit Pope comes out with some rad-trad of his own, we are in for more and more head-scratching.

    • Chesire11

      The head scratching is a GOOD thing.

      There’s not much point to reading an interview that only repeats what we already thought. Faith does not call us to constancy, but to conversion, diving ever deeper into grace. The Pope challenges our conceits, and moves us to deeper understanding. Faith demands that we reach beyond ourselves, and that journey, that conversion will inevitably involve a lot of epiphanies, and a lot of head scratching as well.

      The LAST thing the Church needs is to be comforted with familiar pablum.

      • vox borealis

        That’s a rather simple way to look at it. Head scratching is good if it challenges us to deeper introspection. If head scratching means confusion—scandal—it’s not necessarily good, no?

    • Gail Finke

      It was an Italian style interview. They like ‘em long, philosophical, and (to our taste) “rambling.”

  • Virtual Comboxer

    Fr Z forewarned of a “virtual Francis” being perpetuated by the media, like the “virtual council” of Vatican II. After my second reading of the interview, I noticed that, contra Charlie Rose’s question to Card. Dolan on CBS or several MSM articles I’ve read, Francis says absolutely nothing about “social justice issues” or serving the poor. Clearly this is a major part of his program, but his interview was focused on spiritual work, not corporal. It seems like whenever Francis speaks of proclaiming the Gospel or “healing spiritual wounds”, the MSM is going to read (and report!) “nuns on the bus” and “Occupy the Vatican”.

  • Phoenix_Lion

    For some reason, the last several months, this message of “love first” keeps coming out at me. They come to me when I read from scripture or what I happen to be listening to or watching something and of course during prayer. I will say I think it is one of the hardest things to do. It is much easier to run around preaching than loving. I have been good at preaching to sinners but been pretty bad at giving myself up for them.

    • Gordis85

      Amen! I remember praying for a brother who is a drug user and the Lord clearly said to me, “treat him with love.” I was dumbfounded since though the Lord told me gently this truth, I cannot yet do so but I am trying as it is the hardest thing to do. It is a complete dying to myself who thinks I should hit him over the head every time I see him so I understand where Papa Francis is coming from in his call to love and treat others with mercy.

    • jenny

      …applys to me too…..

  • Thinkling

    I look at the hand wringing this way. The Holy Father wants to refocus on the Prodigal Sons, and some of us feel like the Older Brother.

    Perhaps not without good reason. But may we all keep in mind how that story turned out just fine.

    • vox borealis

      That’s a good analogy, but let’s take it further. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the title character comes home repentant, prepared to live in his father’s house as a servant. Only when the prodigal son returns and is visible from afar does the father run out and shower him with mercy.

      In the Holy Father’s interview, he talks about the many difficult pastoral situations that arise in our modern world. He even poses a realistic (I assume) hypothetical scenario: “I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?”

      But the Holy Father does not provide the answer to this question. Now in this scenario, the woman is repentant for her abortion. Good. But is she repentant for her divorce and remarriage? For committing adultery, as the Church sees it? Should the confessor point this out? Should he encourage the woman at least to reconsider her present situation? And if she is not repentant, is she really analogous to the prodigal? Is she willing to live as a servant her father’s house?

      My point is that yes, we are called to love our neighbors, we are called to welcome back our separated brothers and sisters; yes we should not be harsh or judgmental but should be merciful and welcoming. But that all depends on the *repentance* of the separated.

      Many, it seems, do not want to repent. In fact, they seem to reject the notion that they have sinned, and may even reject the notion of sin entirely. How do we love them (i.e, how should we show that love)? How should mercy be shown in these cases, properly? In these cases, the prodigal son analogy fails to hold up.

      • Chesire11

        His Holiness does provide the answer to this question..

        “The confessor, for example, is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither of them really takes responsibility for the person. The rigorist washes his hands so that he leaves it to the commandment. The loose minister washes his hands by simply saying, ‘This is not a sin’ or something like that. In pastoral ministry we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds.”

        He describes the Scylla and Charibdis that must be avoided. Mercy consist not in denying the significance of the sin, but in moving the person from sin toward grace.

        The interview needs to be read as a whole, not as a series of loosely connected quotes. Catholicism is misunderstood by the world as a series of disjointed, incoherent rules an d prohibitions. What our Holy Father presents in the interview is an organic, well integrated, and nuanced explication of Catholicism as a coherent expression of life in Christ.

        • vox borealis

          I read the whole interview multiple times. And to be honest, that’s not much of an answer whatsoever. I mean, he picks two extreme positions, both arguable straw men, and then says the confessor must go somewhere in the middle.


          Moreover, this does not address the other side of my question, what to do with the seeming vast number of people who effectively reject the notion of sin and therefore are simply not repentant in any meaningful way.

        • OneTimothyThreeFifteen

          Excellent point.
          What you’ve said is precisely why I do not engage in apologetics with Protestants in the format used in most ‘Catholic’ books on the subject which are the ‘Catholic’ equivalent of proof-texting. The faith, as you say, is not a collection of disjointed bible verses or paragraphs from magisterial documents.

          As Evangelicalism is desperate to see itself relevant to secular culture, I believe these ‘Catholic’ apologetical methods are simply an attempt to show Catholicism it ‘relevant’ to Evangelicals. It is a very dangerous bait-and-switch game to play.

          To engage non-Catholics in this manner is to allow them not only to set the agenda, but also, I believe it simply fosters an extremely worrying habit which encourages Catholics to think like Protestants (secularists): that the Faith is a series of disjointed…

          It is more important that they learn Catholicism is a completely different mindset and world-view, rather than simply a difference in content where they ‘swap’ Protestant ideas for Catholic ones. The truth of Catholicism is not to be found in its coherence (despite this fact!), but in its being the fulness of the revelation of God.

          Sadly, what I find most disturbing about Traditionalism is the presence of the same, erroneous, ‘Protestant’ mindset in the way they think about their, ‘here I stand, I can do no other’, position. It’s a sort of mongrel: Catholic content justified in a Protestant manner.

      • AnneG

        Vox, Pope Francis recognizes, and Fr L reiterates that they have to be concerned with pastoral relationships. I think the lay faithful can be helpful here. I know people with these kinds of situations, some I know very well. Part of the call to love our neighbors is to listen to them, provide a good example, develop relationships and pray for them. When these subjects come up and they always do, we can tell the truth in love. Then, they’ll listen to us when we send them to the priest, but first we have to have a friendship.

        • Gordis85

          Amen! With love, all is possible. God’s mercy is truth and with such a gift any and all and me, can be converted, reformed, and made new.

      • naturgesetz

        I think we need to realize that repentance isn’t always instantaneous and complete. It is a work of God’s grace. We need to be patient with God as he slowly, slowly does his work (just as God is patient with us). We also need to realize that, apart from pastors and spiritual directors, it’s none of our damn business whether someone is or is not repentant.

      • jenny

        “..Now in this scenario, the woman is repentant for her abortion. Good. But is she repentant for her divorce and remarriage?..”
        What about a scenario like this: the husband aborted HIS child in the womb of the woman- so, why the woman should repent for HIS abortion? just because the father killed his unborn child in the womb of the woman?
        And why should the woman be repentant for her divorce ? Or should she keep staying with a killer?
        Let us think about the men who “disappear” after procreating their children in the womb of the mother…. isn’t this killing by starvation?
        Why do we think that is ONLY the woman responsible to keep the unborn child alive?

    • Gordis85

      I came away with the very same thoughts…some of us are the Prodigal sons/daughters…others, the Elder Brother. I posted these thoughts on another blog today.

      Fr. Longenecker…thank you so much for your words and for taking the time to re-read and to share your thoughts with the rest of us. ^^

    • Adam Rasmussen

      Well said!

  • chezami

    Atta boy! You got it!

  • Christopher Range

    To me the Pope was just speaking common sense. People won’t understand the message if it is only communicated as a “disjointed multitude of doctrines” without context. It is important to show that the Church is comprised of people practicing a coherent religion. Ours is not a faith defined by a few juicy topics of present political interest. I didn’t see any squishy equivocating in the statements of the Pope. It is a basic Christian principle to live and lead through love and discipline. This is just Christianity 101. I don’t get why such a plain message is so controversial.

    • Chesire11

      EXACTLY, Francis was saying that Catholicism is not a mere aggregation of arbitrary rules and prohibitions, it is a coherent expression of what it is to live in Christ. How can the world see that, if we choose to focus on the letter of the laws, and never mention the spirit that moves the law.

      • vox borealis

        But who does this, really? It’s a caricature of the Church and nothing more.

        • aw

          As a catechist, I have a very influential parishioner trying to force us to skip teaching the Creed to our confirmation students in order to devote sessions to emotional videos about abortion including dead fetuses. That’s who does this. We have kids who don’t understand what the words of the Creed means, kids who are to be confirmed, yet we have parishioners with power and influence who feel that anti-abortion videos are a far more important transmission of the faith than the very foundation of what the church believes about God, the Trinity and salvation. It is not a caricature.

  • Will

    I see balance in the Pope’s message.

  • Chesire11

    The key takeaway for me from regarding the relationship between the Church and sinners was this…

    “We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, STARTING FROM THEIR SITUATION. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy.”

    He isn’t saying that acting on same sex attraction is alright, that it isn’t sinful, or important. He is saying that we cannot simply stand at the door of the church insisting on sanctity as a precondition to admission. We are not supposed to be gatekeepers, we are supposed to go out and meet the sinners WHERE THEY ARE, bringing the healing message of the Gospels. We are supposed to be paramedics (to tap into His Holiness’ medical metaphor) searching out those who can’t make it to the hospital under their own power.

    He also makes clear that mercy is not permission to remain in sin. No, we do not
    abide with them with mercy, we ACCOMPANY them with mercy; with mercy, we move them from a condition of sin toward a restoration of grace. Authentic mercy is not a salve, it does not confirm us in sin, it is an invitation to freedom, “the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better.”

    This interview is truly remarkable, bearing within it a richness that warrants multiple readings. I don’t even mind the mischaracterizations in the popular media as much as I did initially. Those misrepresentations ironically stimulated people who would never have read an encyclical to move beyond the excepts quoted in the MSM, and actually read the interview for themselves. Everyone I know who has, including non-Catholics, non-Christians, and even atheists, have come away with the same impression, namely that there is a LOT to digest in this text.

    It appears that, all the wailing and gnashing of teeth among some of our more
    fastidious brethren aside, His Holiness has hit something of a grand slam.

    • jaybird1951

      I am impressed that your non Catholic and atheist friends and acquaintances have read the entire interview. Did you ask them to read it first and then discuss? It would be great if untold numbers did that. I have the feeling that Pope Francis in his early months is attempting to get the world’s attention. If so, he is definitely succeeding. Many believe at first what the MSM headlines are saying but hopefully, over time they will be interested enough to delve further into the Good News.

      • Chesire11

        They did it entirely unprompted, and all came away expressing fascination with what Francis was saying, and it was prompting them to look at the Church in somewhat of a new light.

      • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

        I saw people coming to my office and sending me emails about this interview, from radical socialists to apathetic Protestants. They were interested to know more about the Pope and what he really said. In all cases after brief explanations about the papacy, I recommended to the to read the interview themselves, not the editorials, and some of them actually read it. They came out impressed about the Pope, about Catholicism and how lousy the media is. I’ve never seen the words of a Pope be read so widely among those in my personal circles. It seems to me that the humble Francis is walking his talk, bing humble enough to leave room for discernment with God and not occupy it with human certitude.

    • Veritas


      Surely it must start to cause concern that in too many interviews the pope has said things that the secular, anti Catholic press have taken much comfort in.
      It is true that on closer examination it may be possible to understand the Pope’s comments in a way that is totally consistent with Church teaching.
      However, in an age that is becoming increasingly not just neutral about Christianity but actively hostile to it, it worries me that our leader is giving very mixed messages.

      • Heather

        But the message isn’t mixed at all, if you actually read it. The media hears what it wants to hear and says what it thinks will get it the most views. If, as some say the Pope should be doing, all you give them are tightly controlled completely unambiguous sound bites… well one of two things will happen. They will find a way to twist it anyway, or they will stop reporting it entirely. And neither is a good thing.

        Right now, lapsed Catholics, non-Catholics, and even non-Christians are interested in what the Pope has to say. That is huge!

        Yes, plenty of people won’t read past the headlines or past their own prejudices. But plenty more might find in these high-profile statements opportunities to look deeper. And they might otherwise have been unreached, confident in their assumptions of what they thought the Church was all about.

      • Gordis85

        I suppose the Pharisees thought the same thing about our Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing new under the sun in that regard.

  • oregon catholic

    I’m still scratching my head over how a message of mercy is going to play to a culture that denies the sins. They don’t want or need mercy because they have done nothing to warrant it. They may think they’ve been pounded over the head with messages about sin which they have rejected, but I doubt the Pope is going to get to any of them via the back door approach either. Why would they have any curiosity about forgiveness to get them in the pew, let alone get them to stay there and listen to the moral teaching later.

    • Gail Finke

      That’s a good point. Often, though, people DO feel that they have sinned. They ignore the feeling, but they know it. They do’nt know what to do with that, in a culture that tells them there is no sin. Just look at how many movies and television shows are about evil — evil forces, evil acts, evil impulses, all of them threatening to overwhelm people just trying to get on with their lives. I think this is how many people feel: that there are evils to fear but little or no good to appeal to, and no way to avoid doing or being the victim of evil, so what can you do when you’re caught up in it? If you start to suspect that you have sinned, and then you look at your life and see that you have sinned over time, maybe a lot, it can be overwhelming. To proclaim that there IS sin but there is also forgiveness is a radical thing.

  • FW Ken

    The pope fought the good fight against same-sex marriage in Argentina and lost. Maybe he’s smart enough (bring a Jesuit and all) to think it might be good to try something different.

    • Mack

      As Mother Teresa said, we can’t always be successful but we must always be faithful. No matter how many times we lose, we have to keep on working for the good.

    • jenny

      …diplomacy, love…..bring more people to know God than condemnation….a condemned person, just leave the church, does not repent….
      ….times have changed……

  • pedroerik

    Sorry, Father, your post Poking the Pope reflects better what the Pope said.

    I do not agree with you now. I read three times (I do not need to read anymore) the passage “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay
    marriage and the use of contraceptive methods…”

    This is a terrible passage and the word context made that worse.

    Sorry, it is very important not to appease popes when they made mistakes. They must know when they are wrong, they are the most important leader in the world.

  • pedroerik

    I would like to add one more thing to show that you were correct in Poking the Pope and now you are wrong:

    During WYD Brazil was discussing a law facilitating abortion. Everyone knew that. CNBB (Brazilian USCCB) asked Dilma (Brazilian president) to veto two major articles of the law. Pope should know that.

    Pope Francis did not say a word for a week in several opportunities. After four days he left, Dilma approved the law without vetos.

    You need popes to talk to difficult problems and attack the worst sins.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Everyone seems to be blaming the media. One can blame the media if this were the first or second time, but now how many times has Pope Francis had to clarify himself? Every other week? There’s an issue with his style here. I don’t recall Pope Benedict XVI having to clarify himelf very often. What Pope Francis said in the interview is mostly spot on. But there are those ocasional lines that discombobulates everyone, Catholic, non-Catholic, and the media. He can’t keep going on like this.

    • Matthew Shadle

      When has Pope Francis had to clarify himself? It seems to me that it is other people who feel like they have to clarify for him, but that is not the same thing.

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        He just did with abortion.

      • steve5656546346

        You are correct: Pope Francis does not clarify–he doesn’t even appear to care when he leaves the wrong impression.

    • Headstand

      “I don’t recall Pope Benedict XVI having to clarify himself very often.”
      I clearly remember, on the internet during Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate, all the discussion that the Church was not in control of it’s message and the changes that were made in the Vatican Press Office by hiring some former Fox News guy in an attempt to help clean it up.
      It’s now clear to me that it’s not so much that the Church isn’t in control of it’s message. The problem more clearly stems from the media which no longer sticks to journalistic principles of objectively reporting only facts and reality but insists on virtual spin and advocation of certain pop culture or pop art positions and opinions contrary to that of what the Church actually proclaims and teaches.

  • Dan C

    What would be an example of disjointed values unmoored by the Person of Christ insistently imposed?

    Think of “family values.”

  • OneTimothyThreeFifteen

    To me, it seems too many perfectly valid, but more ‘cuddly’, terms have been hijacked by progressives over the years. As a result, I think there’s a knee jerk reaction to many things the Holy Father has been saying owing to the progressive baggage associated with those terms rather than what he’s actually saying. However, when re-read without these negative connotations, one realises it’s perfectly in line with the constant teaching of the Faith.

  • Stu

    The question is, “How many people are going to read the interview a second time?” How many are going to read it once for that matter?

    Of course the Pope is Catholic. And as anyone who has been in the trenches of apologetics knows, whenever you hear some ludicrous charge made about the Faith, it’s either completely untrue or the person making the charge has added a lot to it. Same here with the initial reports by the media. They were so ludicrous, they were bound to be wrong. And they were.

    But still, the reality is most people are not going to read the interview. They are going to take the media soundbites and the accolades to the Holy Father from abortion proponents and homosexual activists and come to a conclusion that runs counter to what the Holy Father was trying to express. And for those who think that his just provide an opportunity for discussion with such folks, that’s true but it’s also has the potential of being a misconception that keeps coming and coming and you never really dispel.

    I know the Holy Father wants to be more pastoral in his approach and I can see the positives in it and what he is trying to accomplish. But I’m not sure he is the guy to do it. He is no longer “Father Bergoglio” who can take the time to really pastor individuals and invest in them with a long and deep dialogue. He doesn’t get the change to explain his remarks to them. He get’s one chance in the current high-tempo media for better of for worse. But that does not mean he can’t push his vision and lead the Church towards being the “field hospital.” But instead, perhaps he should focus on the strategic level and instead “pastor” to his priests in the field so that they understand what he wants and then let them carry it out, one-on-one, person-to-person.

  • Mack

    I love Pope Francis and I think he is a saint. What he says in the interview really isn’t all that new and he’s certainly not overturning any Catholic teaching. What does concern me, though, is that some of his statements are very open to misinterpretation. True, the media will always distort things, but he doesn’t have to make it so easy for them. I don’t know, but I wonder if he may be a little naive about how the media works here.I mean that with respect, but even Popes have their blind spots. All this makes me appreciate much more than I ever did how blessed we are with Benedict’s fine way of putting things.

  • davend

    “The most important is the gospel of Jesus Christ which needs to be proclaimed to a needy world. There’s that words ‘obsessed’ it’s the only time it is used in the
    interview. The Pope is saying it is no good simply throwing out there a
    grab bag of moral principles and stated doctrinal beliefs and saying
    ‘Here. do this and believe that and that is the Catholic faith.’”

    If a student turned this in, I would fail the paper.

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    I wonder if my sharing the Pope’s Latin culture made it easy to me to get his meaning right off the bat. Lack of discipline and abhorring planning are traits typical of ours, including in speech, often using imagery to convey a message. I see the beginning of a long friendship between us.

  • steve5656546346

    There is no happy face to be put on this interview: his words will be thrown back in our faces for years.

    The problem simply is not our priests and bishops stressing sexual issues in a condemning way: it is that for decades there has been too little said at all.

  • vito

    The frustration in conservative Catholic press with the Pope’s words is predictable and understandable. It’s like a tenth time since his election that they are screaming: “no no, that’s NOT what he meant”.

    Yet, we realise that hardly ever anyone talks about homosexuality or abortion from the pulpit and I have never met a priest who would have anything to say against contraception. These topics are pretty much avoided by the clergy, at least outside the conservative circles in the US. So the fact that the Pope still thinks the Church is obsessed with those issues really says a lot. I think his message has been understood correctly.

    • aw

      Maybe not in your parish. In my parish, I am currently having conflict with someone who thinks our confirmation students should skip learning the meaning of the Creeds in favor of a series of anti-abortion videos. The same week that the Pope warns us that that is not the only issue in communicating the teachings of the church. And this person is likely to win as she has influence that I do not.

  • Gail Finke

    That is my conclusion as well.

  • Christopher

    I cannot help but examine my own reaction to what has been said under Pope Francis. I have found myself reacting with trepidation and sought reassurance in the blogosphere. Then I took a deep breath and thought about what the Jews around Jesus must have been feeling and thinking. I don’t recall the gospels telling a story about Jesus becoming hung up in whether or not someone was committing a particular sin. He simply said go and sin no more. He also welcomed all seeking His Kingdom. Again, the take away is that I was reacting like a scribe or pharisee…but what about…but, but. but…and Jesus blew all those pre-conceptions away. It is about the forest, which is made of the trees, but I cannot focus on the trees I wish and ignore the totality of the forest.

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    Belated, but only today did I think about checking out what the Pope said in Italian (v. http://bit.ly/18wEt4M).

    So, what did the Pope really say? He said: “La Chiesa a volte si è fatta rinchiudere in piccole cose, in piccoli precetti.” How did America translate it? They said: “The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules.” But I’d translate it as: “The Church sometimes has closed on itself in small things, in small precepts.”

    An Italian saying says: “traddutore, traditore”, or “translator, traitor.” Could America be betraying the Pope’s words in their translation, in spite of the Jesuit special vow of fidelity to the Pope? America magazine is known for its dissenting agenda, so its translations should be taken with a pound of salt.