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This room is for discussion related to learning about the faith (Catechetics), defense of the Faith (Apologetics), the Liturgy and canon law, motivated by a desire to grow closer to Christ or to bring someone else closer.

Saint Augustine of Hippo is considered on of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time and the Doctor of the Church.
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Sep 20 new
(quote) Patrick-341178 said: In a new interview, he said in referring to gay marriage and abortion, "It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The churchs pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently."

What do you think about this? Yes, I agree that the Pope or any church leader shouldn't only talk about moral issues but to atleast imply these issues aren't that important, is somewhat troubling for me. It is nice to talk about loving one another and helping the poor, but who is really going to disagree with that? Abortion and gay marriage have absolutely destroyed western culture and for the Pope to seemingly downgrade their importance is not only troubling but a bit of a head scratcher.

Patrick, I think that to which the Pope was referring was a need for a renewal of the Spirit of the Church - the unique Eros-Agape (desirous-giving) love of our Father God.

I taught a catechism class a few years ago where we learned about the 10 Commandments. I asked the class "What does it mean when God says: THOU SHALT NOT KILL?". One little guy raised his had and said "Don't shoot people in the face!" (points for creativity?.... boggled) The response that followed was this:

"Well, erm, yes, shooting people in the face or anywhere else is generally a bad thing.....but what do you think the OPPOSITE of that law would be? Maybe, "Thou shalt breathe heaven-given life into the world around you"?

The 10 Commandments were not a solely literal laundry list of what we had to do to please God. It was about the spirit behind the laws. That's why Christ became so angry about the Pharisees' reactions to His works and decisions in the Gospel of St. Matthew (Matthew 23:1-12). In our own way, we have become the Pharasaical contingent of Holy Mother Church. Think about it - we judge and condemn people for their decisions when it comes to homosexuality, but how many of us have actually befriended a person who is gay? How many of us have sat down and talked with a gay person about why they believe what they believe? We're happy to hold up signs of children murdered by abortion to scare young women from the clinics, but how many times have we tried to reach out to these women? How many times have we offered to adopt or help care for those women's unborn children by paying for medical bills? How many times have we offered to babysit for a young, unwed mother or a victim of sexual assault? Conversion is built upon relationship. Conversion is built on that Eros-Agape love for the Christ within all of us. Christ is not simply a "one-and-done" exercise. Christ is RELATIONAL. We cannot be apostles without being sent out into the world, just as Jesus sent His 12. We cannot sit on our self-made-mountains of importance and expect to be able to love someone from afar. Even the Christ operates on a basal level WITHIN us through the Holy Spirit. Heck, if Jesus is willing to travel to proverbial ground zero of sin to take care of and love His people, what makes us think we won't have to do that?!?

I think that's to what the Pope was calling us - not to IGNORE or "DOWNGRADE" these issues, but rather to change our hearts, and make sure that the SPIRIT, rather than the LETTER of the law is what drives us ---> to make sure that Christ Jesus is what drives us, not being right.
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Sep 20 new
(quote) Patrick-341178 said: The Pope is far greater man than me but when you state publicly that the church needs to demphasize the importance of moral issues in church doctrine, how am I not supposed to be concerned? I understand he isn't changing doctrine and am not implying that he wants to or will. But, as a catholic, I don't see any reason why speaking out against the contraceptive mentality, abortion and gay marriage should NOT be at forefront of catholic teaching. They have and continue to destroy western civilization. Thus, Putin in Russia, has attempted to turn Russia away from the west and he sees the negative impacts of modern social policy. The moral teachings need to be MORE emphasized, not LESS. Saying can't we all just get along is not what Catholicism should be about.
"Saying can't we all just get along is not what Catholicism should be about"

I seriously doubt that the Pope is asking us to hold hands with everyone and sing "Kumbaya" when it comes to dogmatic and doctrinal differences. I think that what the holy father was saying is that the SPIRIT of the Church needs to be refreshed. We need a greater balance. In the effort to share the Gospel in terms of doing, we have forgotten to share the Gospel in terms of thinking. True, relational evangelization has died as our effort to strong-arm people into believing the Gospel has increased.

Truly, Patrick, I understand from where you are coming: children are being murdered, people are exposing themselves to condemnation through the ideas being presented as "okay" by a liberal Hollywood and media. We are DEFINITELY called to be warriors against injustice and soldiers to protect Christ's creation which has been put in peril. But I would ask you this - especially when it comes to the homosexual community - are not gay people created by God as well? Are they not our brethren through His holy creation? Are they not also created in God's holy image? Because of that, we are called to truly love them ("Love the sin, hate the sinner" Cardinal Joseph Bernadin). Now, this is not to say that we love what they do, but we should love them enough to want to save them from sinful choices and bring them closer to Christ Jesus.

But then, that begs the question - HOW are we evangelizing? To evangelize effectively, we must evangelize RELATIONALLY. This means really loving people - getting off our proverbial high horses, loosening our halos, and remembering how much Jesus loves us despite our sin. This will allow us to open our hearts to someone who we see thumbing his/her nose at God. By loving radically - by devleoping relationship with someone - we till the soil. If you were a farmer, would you throw your precious, high-cost seed onto soil that had not first been tilled and fertilized? Of course not! You would do everything in your power to make sure that the soil had first been prepared so it would be most likely to receive the seed, have the seed take root, and then have the seeds grow and flourish. THEN, if you were a farmer, would you just leave the farm to go to the weeds? Would you not water the new crop? NO! You'd stay with your crops, water it, weed it, and protect it from crows and other animals who might try to destroy the new plants. Of course, as a farmer, it's important to make sure that the land is good for growing things - you can't farm in the middle of the Everglades. Similarly, some people just DON'T GIVE A CRAP about Jesus (which makes me sad). Those people are the ones for which we must pray the most fervently, because any evangelization attempts will probably solely serve to drive them deeper into condemnation.

*whew*

I think the most important thing to remember here, Patrick, is that there is a lot of Sin in the world - meaning, there are many places where Jesus has been pushed out and pushed aside. We must combat that absence by filling in the holes with His true love and perfect, Divine Mercy for those who ask for it. We must be soldiers and warriors for Christ, true. But we are called first to be carpenters - to repair that which is broken here on Earth by Earthly means, and repair that which is broken in the Heavenly realm (broken hearts) by Heavenly means (with the true, relational love of Christ Jesus).
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Sep 20 new
(quote) Patrick-341178 said: That isn't what I said. What I said is what the Pope said is that moral issues should not be the main focus of the church. If you agree with that, fine. I don't.
It is not what the Pope said or meant.
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Sep 20 new
(quote) Jean-450782 said: I think most of the participants of this thread are in violate agreement. I think the media and liberal catholics will continue to look for indications that the church under this new pope will change dogma. this isn't going to happen. I think those of use who are not liberal catholics will continue to miss the clarity we were used to under Benedict and JPII. Pope Francis comes from a different culture, speaks a different language, translations can be difficult...or so it seems for my mind.
After reading the entire interview, I believe he wants the church and we are the church, to be more in relationships with people so that through these loving relationships, the truths of the church can be heard rather than being blocked. I don't believe he is advocating anything other than what the church has put forth, but rather wants all of us to reach out to each other and work to reflect the light and life of Jesus to the world.
You are spot on, Jean.

Unfortunately, people hear or see (when they read) what they want to hear or see.

Hence, self styled Traditionalists will see Francis saying we have to change the teachings. Progressives will see him saying the same thing. Meanwhile those who take time to read his words and think of them in context will see that all he is saying is we need to adopt a different approach, less onfrontational, to bring people to the truth of the faith which remain unchanged.

Bring them to Christ first, then they will see that these modern (which really are not new) evils are wrong.
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Sep 20 new
I understand the Pope isn't changing doctrine. I have said that 5 times so far so any implication is not true. Of course, the media is going to try to start controversy - that is what they love to do. Whether it is among protestants, catholics and their favorite target - republicans. Nevertheless, public figures are responsible for any comments they make and need to realize that. Obviously, we are looking a this from an american perspective so how the Pope's recent comments are playing in europe and south america, I really don't know so I'm not going to speculate. The reality is there was no ambiguity under Pope John Paul and Benedict of the importance of stressing moral doctrine. Moral teaching were at the forefront. A lot of people didn't like that - well too bad. The church isn't about stating what may be popular. Pope Francis is much more of a populist, which is good in some ways. Pope Bendict was weak in reaching out to the masses. But, Pope John Paul, before his health began to decline, was very good at balancing populism while still stressing the importance of church moral doctrine. In Pope Francis papacy, he has spoken very little about moral issues and the silence became increasingly deafening. Now, in this recent article, he make it clear that moral issues are not going to be his focus. I don't see where the confusion is or how this media spin.

So, again, if that is an approach you like in contrast to the Pope's predecessors, ok. As far as me, it concerns me.
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Sep 20 new
I find no fault with the idea that we/The Church not get mired in the popular distractions of gross society. These issues have been addressed - period. It is typical of this day to have these same issues along with over-hyped "terrorism" fears, being used by politics and the media to distract us from other important events and considerations - of even the inclination to dive deeper in and determine what is really going on.

It seems that this country in particular is slowly being transformed into a HIVE with the common 'interface' being "smart phones", and indoctrinated to think only about what is center-stage in the media. I consider this distinctly UnChristian. We are valuable and unique - each and every one; The Holy Trinity walks with each one of us, wholly and in-severably each moment of every day.. Individualism built this country, along with a sense of common respect and a commitment to Faith. These things are being attacked daily, and diversion is an important component of any good attack.

I am so turned off when I go to Mass and hear yet another sermon that just participates in the hype de jour.

Overly focusing on these "popular" social issues becomes a kind of Idolatry. There are other things going on - just look into the food industry for instance... My own doctor is largely baffled by my excellent health - doctors don't know nutrition! They are trained to treat Symptoms... usually with the drug de jour and it's host of side-effects (ready made for subsequent treatment... with more drugs ad nauseum)

i don't think Pope Francis is intending to de-emphasize anything - rather suggesting that we not loose sight of many other important things... especially what WE do and are directly affected by in our daily lives.
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Sep 20 new
i wonder just ponadering this question? because of alot of the Priests bad behavior with doing acts against our faith? There is another case here just recently presented at my Mass two weeks ago we have another Priest that out of Pensacola Diocese that has committed the same acts that were done aginst little Boys in Louisville, Kentucky. how can the Pope make a Morale statement in Public until we continue the Prayer insistently in our churches for these immoral acts to stop? that would be our Pope giving a speech in Publications around the World would destroy our religion Worse for being a Hypocrite? we need to ask for and pray Strength in our Priests from the Acts of Satan? In or Churches around the World did anyone get the Prayers for the Priests in Our Masses over the last couple of Weeks?
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Sep 20 new
(quote) Rachel-731570 said: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/publiccatholic/2013/09/pope-francis-gives-an-interview-new-york-times-re-writes-it/

This really clears up everything.
Thank you for posting this on here this is very important I was just baptized in 2012 and had my Catholic Studies at a Private Catholic College in 1999-2003 and this is the book given to us at RCIA. God Bless You! A very good article from our Pope we cannot force darkness in a negative tone it blocks the positive bright love from Our Lord's heart.
Amazing the comments listed below huh? Not wanting to see the positive love coming from his heart. I had a long time Gay friend whom very close for years and my other Catholic guy friend used to torcher him with jokes in a good way in hopes that he would straighten his life out he had problems with drugs and also with his confused heart grew up in a bad home. When these gays are brought up in trouble home or whehter be it not a Christian teaching Satan tries to find a way in to destroy? Just sayn? To each their until they return to the Lord? Just Pray!

Thanks Rachel many blessings to you Hugs
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Sep 20 new
(quote) Patrick-341178 said: I understand the Pope isn't changing doctrine. I have said that 5 times so far so any implication is not true. Of course, the media is going to try to start controversy - that is what they love to do. Whether it is among protestants, catholics and their favorite target - republicans. Nevertheless, public figures are responsible for any comments they make and need to realize that. Obviously, we are looking a this from an american perspective so how the Pope's recent comments are playing in europe and south america, I really don't know so I'm not going to speculate. The reality is there was no ambiguity under Pope John Paul and Benedict of the importance of stressing moral doctrine. Moral teaching were at the forefront. A lot of people didn't like that - well too bad. The church isn't about stating what may be popular. Pope Francis is much more of a populist, which is good in some ways. Pope Bendict was weak in reaching out to the masses. But, Pope John Paul, before his health began to decline, was very good at balancing populism while still stressing the importance of church moral doctrine. In Pope Francis papacy, he has spoken very little about moral issues and the silence became increasingly deafening. Now, in this recent article, he make it clear that moral issues are not going to be his focus. I don't see where the confusion is or how this media spin.

So, again, if that is an approach you like in contrast to the Pope's predecessors, ok. As far as me, it concerns me.
I did not say that you claimed he was changing doctrine.I did say he was emphasizing the approach to use in winning souls.

And there is no ambiguity it what Pope Frances said.

He has spoken little?

Let's see, he just completed 6 months in office and has already issued an important encyclical, begun by Benedict for sure, but completed by him. He has strengthened Cannon Law on sexual sins especially abuse by the clergy. He has started the process of reforming the curia. He wrote a letter to the Bishops of his own country exhorting them to strongly oppose its government in its initiatives to promote abortion and the gay agenda.

That is not an exhaustive list, but represents a fairly strong start and a large measure of major accomplishments in such a short time.

And you find fault that he, in this article, is exhorting the clergy (and us in turn) to get back to the basics of the message of Christ and the Gospels to win people over and accomplish the aims of the year of faith. Amazing!!
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Sep 20 new
Best to do what you know is right, and give the man time. Six months isn't much time to do anything really. The fact this statement or that stamens makes me queasy, well consider that until maybe 80 years ago or so we wouldn't know much about what a pope said or wrote til it was preached to the public by a bishop or priest.

Calm down some. You know what's right. The rest will take care if itself.
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