Pope Francis Makes a Mess

In Brazil Pope Francis encouraged the young people to return to their parishes and dioceses and “make a mess”. What he meant was for them to roll up their sleeves, get involved and start living the radical gospel of Jesus Christ even if it meant turning over a few tables and upsetting preconceived expectations.

They can follow the Pope’s own example. His interview with Jesuit editor Rev. Antonio Spadaro, the editor of La Civilta Cattolica will probably succeed in making a mess for some in the church. Members of the secular press have already managed to squeeze sensational headlines out of the interview. London’s Daily Telegraph headlines “Catholic Church Could Fall Like House of Cards” while CBS online says,  “Church Must Look Past Small Minded Rules” CNN Screams, “Pope Says I Am a Sinner” while the BBC misleads its readers with a first paragraph, “Pope Francis has said the Catholic Church is too focused on preaching about abortion, gay people and contraception.”

I am the official ‘pope watcher’ for the Aleteia website. When a news item of note comes up on the Holy Father it’s my job to dash off an article for Aleteia. The quote above is the start of the article I wrote for them yesterday. Go here for the rest of the article.

  • Gordis85

    Dear Father Longenecker, I am going to read your commentary with great interest. Thank you for taking the time to help the rest of us understand what Papa Francis is trying to tell us and the world.

  • AnneG

    Pope Francis did not say, “make a mess.” He said, “hacer un lío,” which is more like hassle or struggle in this context. I understand what you are saying, Fr L, I just wish the press would quit using Google translate.

    • OneTimothyThreeFifteen

      Phew! lucky the press didn’t get their hands on that translation, otherwise they’d have started making associations with Mein Kampf – and then Hitler – in their usual, inimitable style!

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

    Methinks that, as a Jesuit, the Pope knows a thing or two about missionary work even in the most anti-Christian countries. Therefore, when he says that the priest should go to the streets, he does not exclude countries that need to know what a priest is. Or doors anyone think that people in such countries would discover what a priest is if he’s a recluse in his church?

  • OneTimothyThreeFifteen

    The difference between Pope Francis and pope Voris and his cronies is that Pope Francis is positive about the Gospel, whilst pope Voris posits the Gospel.

    Is there such a thing as ‘Christian Positivism’? If so, many of the Evangelicals and Catholics I know would probably be considered Positivists of this type.

    The Bible states…, the Church states… So slavish adherence to authority – which sees the hierarchy as makers of the law, not servants of it – and draconian implementation is necessary to keep it pure. It is radically existential and empirical, despite sounding pious, because it inherently denies God’s grace providence, it seems to me.

  • mike cliffson

    To second AnneG : “lio” IS more like hassle.
    Any given meaning of lio CAN be more precisely expressed: a “complicacion” (easy one) alboroto (lots of people moving around, frequently riotously and noisily, and so forth, words for “mess ” will vary.But a lio can perfectly organized and dignified.
    But WHAT LIO is is a very useful word for the OPPOSITE to something rather alien to the anglosphere and protestant Northern Europe: often called laziness, but latins can work like beavers, 20/24,7/7,365/365, if inspired or obliged or firedup – rather LIO is the opposite of the idea, or ideal, “dolce far niente ” in Italian of doing NOTHING whatsoever, or even , more subtly sticking to routine, rejecting any new idea outof hand, and then relaxing completely.It is “lio” to take a plane, tho all arrangements work like clockwork. It is a lio (believe you me ) to adjust to a new Parish priest, aka Pastor.

    The Holy father , moreover , said this in Rio, albeit publicly, specifically and separately TO his young pilgrim Argentinian countrymen , from exactly his local version of Hispanic culture and language use. He contrasted it with three things : comidadad/es , reasonably translated, comfort and creature comforts, your comfort zone, etc, clericalismo, remove the o, right? we’re home and dry,,no problem, hey he’s after the ultramontanes n’ traddies.? Er, no, problably not: elsewhere in Rio , and I presume in BA before, his description of clericalismo is postVIInuchurCH .: a clericalized coterie of laypeople running a magic circle at each parish and each mass.Those indespensable people with whom everyone else would happily dispense.The other phenomenon/temptation in the (in the first instance, Argentinian) church to which he opposed “lio” was “instalado”.this was misleadingly if particially acurately translalted as “static.” A literal translation would be better, howsoever unfamiliar: installed: fixed, jobforlife, evrything in place, runs like clockwork, arrived respcted, made it inNY, at home in this world, utterly at home: if not of its essence, a usual concomitant of being “instalado” is being in bed with some political or social movement, or the powers thatbe, or money, the townhall, or the university groupthinkers.
    To defend FR Ray, BTW, who I only know at secondhand , as an example of lio from the language use point of view:
    He could still be a good orthodox holy priest without doing what nobody is asking him to, tho God may! viz and to wit:
    -rebeautifying the parish church . A lot more lio than whitewashing it again .
    -Saying a lot of latin (‘n tridentine?) masses. No mess, more lio.
    -Dorganizing 50% of Brighton’s soup runs.
    - dealing with thoise of Brighton’s poor that nooneelse wilL : lio
    -Blogging.more lio.
    I wonder Fr : are you any stranger to Holy lio?

  • Aubrie_Rose

    wish this Pope had happened years ago… I may have stayed a Catholic.