Hello good soul! What an exciting thread! I just wanted to check in with you after all the commentary to see if you had a chance to read that Pope's interview in its entirety? (Reposted: americamagazine.org
I think it is the best approach to formulating a contextualized opinion on his position. That said, truly you and several others here are right: the media, the public, Hollywood, lukewarm Catholics and many others will make facile self-serving interpretations of the Holy Father's words. But this has always been the case. This also happened to Jesus (here including: John 2:20, John 6:60, Mt 16:21-23 and any number of times He was willfully misinterpreted or misunderstood...in saecula saeculorum...)
As has been rightly pointed out elsewhere on this thread, we need to, as much as possible, stay away from phrasing as: "I think what the Pope meant..." only to the extent that we are then engaging the straw man argument set up by the secular liberal media. The Pope's actual comments are very well documented, if less inclined to be appreciated by those unwilling to better understand his, and by extension of his authority as Vicar of Christ, the Church's position.
All over the HOLY Father's words (and here purposefully emphasizing his holiness) is the call to the conversion of all of God's people. We are a history of rising and falling...of running towards and away from Christ....but God broke into our history...interrupted that pattern and we are a people saved.
I think someone else already beautifully stated that we are a people in relationship...always in relationship.
From the Pope's interview:
"No one is saved alone, as an isolated individual, but God attracts us looking at the complex web of relationships that take place in the human community. God enters into this dynamic, this participation in the web of human relationships"
Yet the most important relationship is the individuals with Christ. Here Francis says explicitly, "...if a homosexual person [or any sinner, my emphasis] is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge...Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person [my emphasis]."
We can get into conversations about correcting a brother or sister who is in serious sin, which diverges into a back and forth about judgment and charity, etc. After all that is said and done, ultimately each person must engage Christ. It is Christ who saves and Christ who is at work in the priest, the nun, and (hopefully) the lay person with access to the internet and few minutes to burn at work...
The Pope goes on to describe his hopes for the proclamation of the gospel that "...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."
Yes! True! Because, ultimately Patrick, the good news is and always will be: a savior has been born to us (Lk 2:11) and the government will rest on His shoulders (Is 9:6) and He is made known in the breaking of the bread (Lk 24:35). In fellowship, in relationship, in breaking through the barrier of our own personal distaste for another's sin and breaking bread with them. Truly seeing Christ in them...loving their wounds and helping them heal.
We all do our part, in prayer, in preaching, in volunteering, in teaching and even in starting provocative threads that get us talking and engaging in our faith.
But after the heat of debate tempers, and before the flames go out, let us take the Dominican approach and share the fruits of our contemplation. What a beautiful work: to bring a soul to Christ. This
is Christ, this
was the purpose of the incarnation. This
is the "apostolic" part of the "one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church."