Pope Francis Makes Another Mess

from the Associated Press:

Pope Francis offered an olive branch of sorts to the doctrine-minded, conservative wing of the Catholic Church on Friday as he denounced abortions as a symptom of today’s “throw-away culture” and encouraged Catholic doctors to refuse to perform them.

Francis issued a strong anti-abortion message and cited Vatican teaching on the need to defend the unborn during an audience with Catholic gynecologists.

This time he’s made a mess for the Associated Press. Nicole Winfield writing here seems non plussed that the day after his interview in which he told Catholics to stop being obsessed with ‘little rules’ he comes out strongly against abortion. I guess she didn’t get that for Catholics there are “little rules” and “big issues”.

Pope Francis didn’t say Catholics should shut up about abortion. He said that is not the only thing they should talk about. That’s because we’re supposed to be pro life not just anti abortion. We’re supposed to be concerned about the unborn child, but also for the woman in the crisis pregnancy and the conditions that got her there and the economic conditions that may pressure her not to have another child and the societal conditions that brought about those economic conditions and the broken home she may have come from and the abuse she may have suffered and the warped views of life and women that have been promoted and the trafficking of women and the pornography and contraceptive culture that got her into trouble and the man who impregnated her and what he’s like…

It’s not that he doesn’t want to talk about abortion–it’s that he wants to talk about much more than that.

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker
  • mmatthew

    This is what scares me about this new Pope. I know he wants to strike a balance between Doctrine/Dogma and the Evangelical Faith Message and I agree but he has just about everybody confused. Maybe he should write a book!

    • FW Ken

      It’s not a matter of “balance” but wholeness. Faith and works are not opposed. Or even separate things. The love of Jesus calls us to holiness, so the evangelical message and dogma are two sides of the same coin.

    • wlinden

      He will, Matthew, he will.

  • Dale

    Nicole Winfield has a tin ear when it comes to the Catholic Church. There is a long pattern. The AP should consider assigning someone else to cover stories which concern it.

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

    As a professor of mine said, neurosis is a lie that you tell yourself and then forget it was a lie.

    So, the media projects its progressive view on the Pope’s words and then cuts and pastes them to suit this view. Then, the media believes this collage as true. Finally, the media uses its own construction to accuse the Pope of contradicting himself.

    Because, to the media, it, not the Pope, is infallible.

  • voxcantor

    As if Catholics have not been concerned about the woman and child, trafficking, poverty and more.

  • Chesire11

    The Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church forcefully stating a matter of Catholic doctrine is not an “olive branch”…it is being the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Amazing that the secular media doesn’t quite grasp that yet.

  • AnneG

    Yes! It’s not about following the rules. It’s about an integrated understanding of each of our need for God, not about who follows the rules best. And we are called to action in each of these areas, especially to the work of prayer and loving our neighbors. Thanks, Father.

  • CaroG87

    Well said, Father!

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

    I agree with your analysis. I’m getting very frustrated with the Pope. How many times does he make a splash and then back track? Must be a dozen times now in his short papacy. He’s completely undisciplined. He’s playing everything by the seat of his pants and he is making a mess. I’m not so much opposed to his policies but to his style.

  • Athelstane

    Pope Francis didn’t say Catholics should shut up about abortion. He said that is not the only thing they should talk about.

    The concern I have is this: How many Catholics, priests, bishops or lay, have really been guilty of this?

    There’s arguably a few. But even the most committed Catholic people I know in the pro-life movement aren’t “abortion 24/7.” They’re also not merely “anti-abortion,” but pro-life. A sidewalk intervention is only the start of a journey. These people work with these mothers well after the baby is born.

    I can’t help but worry that, in urging the need for more balance in the presentation of these issues, Pope Francis has bought into a liberal narrative that’s largely unfounded. The problem with the Church, especially in the West, especially until very recently, is that most of its leaders have been uncomfortable talking too much about abortion. And I think that’s why a lot of people who have been working in the trenches on these things feel a little betrayed right now by the remarks of the Holy Father, however they were intended.

  • Leonie Caldecott

    I attended that meeting – conference of Matercare International – which was about far more than abortion, and dealt women’s rights and needs all over the world. The address to the Matercare delegates meshed perfectly with the Jesuit interview! The moment during the Papal Audience when the Holy Father became most animated was when he put down his address and turned to the medical professionals in order to urge them with great fervor to be ‘co-mothers’ and ‘co-fathers’ with women in their moments of greatest vulnerability. I am 100% convinced by this Pope.

  • Mack

    Truthfully, I haven’t heard many homilies on abortion in over 35 years of daily Mass going. And contraception? What priest has the courage to talk about that? So all this talk that the Church is overly focused on these issues just seems so far away from our reality. Personally I wish that priests WOULD talk about them a little more.


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