Mary, Mother of the Word Incarnate

Mary, Mother of the Word Incarnate
Pray for us, oh Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What is Pope Francis doing?

Yesterday, Zenit published three really good articles. Two, by Father Frank Pavone and Archbiship Chaput, explicitly address Pope Francis's Big Interview while the first is an address the Pope himself gave on church unity. 

Pope Francis believes in the unity of the church. He asks, "Do I live this unity? Or don't I care because I'm closed in in my small group or in myself? Am I one of those who "privatize" the Church for my own group, my own nation, my own friends?" 

We all can fall into the trap of "privatizing" the church, making it a church of our own image. Whether our priorities are "traditional" liturgy, guitar masses, pro-life work, women's rights, gay rights, feeding the poor...whatever it is, there is a danger in making your work the work of "your" church. I'm reminded of the saying that there are ditches on both sides of the road. We always must remember that the road, that is, the way, is Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life. 

The church, as the body of Christy, is bigger than us, bigger than our goals and agendas. It is the Sacrament of Salvation through which Christ has established his field hospital (in the words of Pope Francis, which is such a terrific image).

On the Unity of the Church
VATICAN CITY, September 25, 2013 ( - Here is the translation of Pope Francis' address during his weekly General Audience today held in St. Peter's Square.
* * *
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In the "Creed" we say "I believe in One …  Church," that is, we profess that the Church is one and this Church is, in herself, unity. However, if we look at the Catholic Church in the world we discover that she has almost 3,000 dioceses scattered in all the Continents: so many languages, so many cultures! Yet the thousands of Catholic communities form a unity. How can this be?
We find a synthetic answer in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states: the Catholic Church spread around the world "has only one faith, only one sacramental life, only one apostolic succession, one common hope, the same charity" (n. 161). Unity in faith, in hope, in charity, unity in the Sacraments, in the Ministry: they are as pillars that support and hold together the one great edifice of the Church. Wherever we go, even in the smallest parish, in the most isolated corner of this earth, there is the one Church; we are at home, we are in the family, we are among brothers and sisters. And this is a great gift of God! The Church is one for all. There isn't a Church for Europeans, one for Africans, one for Americans, one for Asians, one for those who live in Oceania, but it's the same one everywhere.  Read the rest there...
Pope Francis and 'The Interview'
"we need to open our hearts all of us and let God lead us where he needs us to go through the words of the Holy Father"
By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput
PHILADELPHIA, September 25, 2013 ( - 
Some people grasped at the interview like a lifeline – or a vindication.  One person praised the Holy Father for stressing that the "Church must focus on compassion and mercy, not on enforcing small-minded rules."  She added that "we're at last free from the chains of hatred that have ruled the Catholic Church for so many years and led to my unease in bringing my own children into that Church."
More common though were emails from catechists, parents and everyday Catholics who felt confused by media headlines suggesting that the Church had somehow changed her teaching on a variety of moral issues.
I heard from a mother of four children – one adopted, another disabled from birth — who'd spent years counseling pregnant girls and opening prolife clinics.  She wanted to know why the Pope seemed to dismiss her sacrifices.  Read the rest on Zenit's site.

Priest for Life Director: I Am Not Alarmed by the Pope's Interview
Says Francis' Comments Strengthen, Not Weaken, Church's Abortion Stance
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 25, 2013 ( - Here is a reflection written by Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.

From the beginning of his pontificate, I have been encouraged by the approach of Pope Francis to pro-life issues. For him, it is all about integrating the Church's teaching and practice of faith and morals, and it all centers on connecting with the human person as we connect with Christ. His desire to wash the feet of prisoners and walk among the poor is precisely the spirit that connects him and all of us with our poorest and weakest neighbors, the unborn. The Pope's emphasis on "context" and "balance" is precisely what prevents us from saying that his focus on the poor and marginalized means less focus on the unborn. This is precisely the kind of disconnected thinking the Pope opposes.  Read more there...

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