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Friday, September 20, 2013

My Issues with Pope Francis

Is Pope Francis a wishy-washy spineless pope?  Perhaps a pawn, to be used by the liberals inside and outside the Church?  Does he see what others see happening in our Church?  Does it bother him?  

I have a very dear Catholic friend who is freaking out because I am “having issues” with Pope Francis.  It’s not that I don’t WANT to like him and think highly of him, I do.  I really, really do.  But… it’s just not happening for me.  

I tried to give it time after the whole “Holy Week Debacle”[Muslim women foot washing etc]… he was ‘new’, he was a “different kind of pope”… he “needed time”… Well he still hasn’t grown on me, instead I have more issues now with him than I did months ago!  That is not to say, I've tossed in the towel, I haven't. I will continue to pray for him, my Church and myself to come to some sort of peace with "my issues with Pope Francis".

My most recent "issues" (like oh so many other Catholics out there) are from his interview. *sigh*

Here are my thoughts on what the Pope said in his recent American Magazine interview.  Please share your views as well in the comments or in email to me (see sidebar).

Pope Francis says: “Vatican II was a re-reading of the Gospel in light of contemporary culture,” says the pope. “Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation. Yes, there are hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, but one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today—which was typical of Vatican II—is absolutely irreversible. Then there are particular issues, like the liturgy according to the Vetus Ordo. I think the decision of Pope Benedict [his decision of July 7, 2007, to allow a wider use of the Tridentine Mass] was prudent and motivated by the desire to help people who have this sensitivity. What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.”

Me: The “enormous fruits” from Vatican II are less than 30% of Catholics actually believe the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. We had nearly 60,000 priests in the United States in 1965 and now we can’t even reach 40,000.  Only 12% of todays Catholics attend Mass for Holy Days of Obligation when they don’t fall on a Sunday. And 57% of Catholics miss Mass because they do not believe it’s a sin to do so.  I don’t know what “fruits” you are looking at Papa, but the fruits I see are sadly too often ROTTEN.

The Bible:  Matthew 7 15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will know them by their fruits.”

Pope Francis says:  “How are we treating the people of God? I dream of a church that is a mother and shepherdess. The church’s ministers must be merciful, take responsibility for the people and accompany them like the Good Samaritan, who washes, cleans and raises up his neighbor. This is pure Gospel.”

Me:  I think you are wrong Papa, that is PART of the Gospel, but not “pure” Gospel. A good parent CORRECTS his/her wayward children, lest they have an obnoxious brat to spawn on society. And you failed to mention some or ALL the Bible parts about repenting, sinning no more and the fact that you will go to Hell if you don’t repent.  Jesus was big on preaching warnings about HELL and the dangers of sin.  Now that Papa is PURE Gospel.  

The Bible: Matthew 5 “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.[l] 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.”

Pope Francis says: “The ministers of the Gospel must be people who can warm the hearts of the people, who walk through the dark night with them, who know how to dialogue and to descend themselves into their people’s night, into the darkness, but without getting lost. The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials. The bishops, particularly, must be able to support the movements of God among their people with patience, so that no one is left behind. But they must also be able to accompany the flock that has a flair for finding new paths.

Me:a flair for finding new paths”, oh yes, like “Catholics for Choice” and “Catholic Reform Church” where their “new paths” hoping to lead to women priests, gay marriages, abortions, sinless masturbation, free birth control for all and nuns on the bus.  Oh yes, Papa, we’ve seen the “new paths” and they scare the Hell out of many still practicing Catholics. [By “practicing” I mean the Catholics who still believe ALL the Church teaches.]  We need CLEAR and SPELLED OUT leadership teaching the Faith so there is no (or at the very least) LESS confusion IN our Church.

The Bible: 2 Peter 2 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. They will even deny the Master who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Even so, many will follow their licentious ways, and because of these teachers the way of truth will be maligned. And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced against them long ago, has not been idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

Pope Francis says: “Instead of being just a church that welcomes and receives by keeping the doors open, let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent. The ones who quit sometimes do it for reasons that, if properly understood and assessed, can lead to a return. But that takes audacity and courage.”

Me: Forgive me Papa, but just HOW do you purpose to do that when parishes are closing, and we can’t even find priests to reside at the parishes still open?  Do you have any idea what the Church in the United States looks like?  My own priest runs around like a chicken with his head cut off between two parishes in two different towns.  The poor man is nearly out of breath as he RACES from one parish to another then back again to make all the masses he has to do by himself! You want him to go bagging door to door begging Catholics who rejected the teachings of the Church to come back?  Just when should he pencil that into his schedule Papa?  Sorry, but I think you have a FANTASY view of what the Church is today.  Not all of us live in Catholic dominate cultures. 

Pope Francis is asked: I mention to Pope Francis that there are Christians who live in situations that are irregular for the church or in complex situations that represent open wounds. I mention the divorced and remarried, same-sex couples and other difficult situations. What kind of pastoral work can we do in these cases? What kinds of tools can we use?
Pope Francis responds: “We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner,” the pope says, “preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound. In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. 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.”
Me: Yes Papa, actually you ARE to judge those inside the Church- read 1 Cor. 5 and pay close attention to verses 12 & 13. If you don't judge their actions and words you can't correct error- that's been a huge problem since Vatican II.  Which Gospel Papa?  The warm fuzzies or the part about sin and repenting? In my catechism it clearly says homosexuals are “disordered” and “called to chastity”. Period.  What does yours say?

The Bible: Romans 1 “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.26 For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. 29 They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them. 

The Catechism: #2357 - Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” 

#2358 – “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”

Pope Francis continues: “A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.”

Me: The problem with that statement Papa is you assume ALL clergy are listening to the Holy Spirit. Look around… you can’t possibly fail to see the morally bankrupt clergy still heading parishes and dioceses around the world- no one is that blind.

Francis continues: “This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?”
Me:  Preach the REAL PURE Gospel, not the warm fuzzies for itching ears [2 Tim.4].  Do you think the Nancy Pelosi’s and Joe Biden’s in the Church “sincerely regret” supporting and promoting abortion and gay marriage?  THOSE are the people who need you to STAND UP, POINT YOUR FINGER IN THEIR FACES AND TELL THEM THEY ARE IN MORTAL SIN AND IF THEY DON’T STOP THEY WILL GO TO HELL.  How about preaching THAT pure Gospel Papa?  It’s the one they need to hear.  It’s the ONLY one that will bring them salvation.
The Bible:  Matthew 5 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.
Luke 12 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
Matthew 13 40 “Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, 42 and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!”

Pope Francis continues: “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”
Me:  You must be the “Pollyanna” Michael Voris was speaking of to even suggest such a thing.  Since WHEN is it “not necessary” to preach what sin is and the destruction it brings to the soul? What's more important than saving souls? To say I am ‘disappointed’ with your statement Pope Francis does not begin to convene my feelings right now.

Pope Francis says: “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style 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. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.”

Me after I pick myself up off the floor:  “not all equivalent”?  The “essentials”? How about CRUCIAL TO SALVATION? We saw what the Reformation did when the Reformers decided some of Catholic teaching was “not all equivalent”… do you really think that was helpful to Christianity Papa? The “essentials” Papa, are 1) teaching who Jesus was, 2) teaching what sin is and the need for repentance, 3) teaching the Sacraments and 4) that salvation comes through Christ’s Holy Catholic Church because Christ created Her for the SOLE purpose!  The Great Commission [Matthew 28:19-20]! Those are the “essentials” to salvation if you want to get down to the very basics.  What “new balance” does the Church suddenly need now, that Jesus Christ didn’t give to Her two thousand years ago?   You got some new ideas Papa for this "new balance"?

The Bible: Matthew 28 18 “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [note the ‘teaching them to OBEY EVERYTHING I commanded you”- not just the warm fuzzy parts]

Pope Francis continues: “I say this also thinking about the preaching and content of our preaching. A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation. Then you have to do catechesis. Then you can draw even a moral consequence. But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives. Today sometimes it seems that the opposite order is prevailing. The homily is the touchstone to measure the pastor’s proximity and ability to meet his people, because those who preach must recognize the heart of their community and must be able to see where the desire for God is lively and ardent. The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.”

Me: It must be me, but I don’t understand YOUR version of “the message of Jesus Christ”, Papa and I am trying, honest I am.  Oh I get the “be charitable” and “be humble” parts… but what about all the rest? The "love of God" is this: Jesus DIED FOR OUR SINS. That's the "love of God"- notice how "love" and "sin" are together? Jesus mostly preached about sin, repenting and going to Hell if you didn’t.  He SHOWED mercy and love in his actions, but he SPOKE the words the people needed to hear whether they liked it or not.  

You Pope Francis (and all our clergy) would do well to mimic our Perfect Example in Christ Jesus.  Let your actions be charitable and loving, let you words strike the depths of mankind’s hearts with the FULL Gospel Message- not the warm fuzzies for the salvation of souls, which IS your commission from Jesus Christ.  Stick with the mission you were given.

The Bible: 2 Timothy 4 “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.”

Anyone else out there feel as I do?

Have any suggestions on how to “get over it” and love my Pope in spite of the “issues” I have with him?

All opinions are my own…

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner



  1. Julie I share all your concerns, I sometimes feel he is ambiguous and makes statements that are easily misconstrued almost mischievously. For someone who says he loves the rosary the Vatican videos of him attending the rosary do not show devotion. I would like to see him lead the rosary
    god Bless you Bridget New Zealand

  2. May God bless you too Bridget!
    While watching my local news this morning the news crew went out to the streets and asked the local Catholics what they thought of Pope Francis from his interview... almost all of them dubbed him "The Progressive Pope" and hoped to see a more liberal leaning Church now that a "progressive" was leading the Church.

  3. "Have any suggestions on how to “get over it” and love my Pope in spite of the “issues” I have with him?"

    I don't think you should get over it, and I don't doubt that you already love him and pray for him and the Church. So far as his actions are concerned, that's probably the best you can do.

  4. Couldn't agree more. Fantastic analysis. Can't believe that Francis would use the pejorative term "right winger" to condemn orthodox Catholics.

  5. [By “practicing” I mean the Catholics who still believe ALL the Church teaches.]

    So, my question to you is, do you accept all the Church teaches? As you can see below, she teaches that the fact alone of heresy (not in need of declaration) is sufficient to lose office. One simply cannot believe all the Church teaches and still call Francis a pope!

    "...if ever at any time it shall appear that any Bishop, even if he be acting as ... even the Roman Pontiff, prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy: (i) the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless; ... (vi) those thus promoted or elevated shall be deprived automatically, and without need for any further declaration, of all dignity, position, honour, title, authority, office and power." -Pope Paul IV, Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio

    “A Pope who is a manifest heretic automatically ceases to be a Pope and head, just as he ceases automatically to be a Christian and a member of the Church. Wherefore, he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the teaching of all the ancient Fathers who teach that manifest heretics immediately lose all jurisdiction.” -St. Robert Bellarmine

    “If ever a Pope, as a private person, should fall into heresy, he should at once fall from the Pontificate. If, however, God were to permit a pope to become a notorious and contumacious heretic, he would by such fact cease to be pope, and the apostolic chair would be vacant.” -St. Alphonsus Liguori

    “In the case in which the Pope would become a heretic, he would find himself, by that very fact alone and without any other sentence, separated from the Church. A head separated from a body cannot, as long as it remains separated, be head of the same body from which it was cut off.” -St. Antoninus

    “The Pope should not flatter himself about his power nor should he rashly glory in his honor and high estate, because the less he is judged by man, the more he is judged by God. Still the less can the Roman Pontiff glory because he can be judged by men, or rather, can be shown to be already judged, if for example he should wither away into heresy; because he who does not believe is already judged, In such a case it should be said of him: ‘If salt should lose its savor, it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trampled under foot by men.’” -Pope Innocent III

  6. Julie, What a well thought out solidly written post..
    I do feel as you do ...only it's hard to face it.
    As I commented elsewhere, I've been home to the church for seven years and have never(and I mean never) heard one sermon on abortion, contraception or homosexuality. I'm so discouraged by the confusion that seems to follow Pope Francis' interviews and remarks. Have we lost sight of the cross and the horror that our sins cost our Savior? I'd be embarrassed for any of the great martyrs of the church who spilled their blood as a witness to that faith, to look down on us and see that perhaps we've become more concerned with man's approval rather than enduring sound doctrine.

    I don't think we're supposed to get over it...I think we might have to get used to it, and be willing at whatever cost, to in charity, speak the full gospel message.

    Blessings +

  7. Thank you for publishing your thoughts. It has helped me to think about how to live going forward. I hope I can articulate that at some point. I know that I will need God's grace. I believe that I will need an interior spiritual life that retains faith, hope, and charity in measures that I have not experienced up to now.

  8. Anyone else out there feel as I do?

    Girl, you know I do.

  9. Thank you very much for your post, Julie. In the last months, I have been trying hard to be as generous as possible in how I construe Pope Francis's words. But I have to say this interview has greatly disturbed me. My initial response to the headlines was that, as in other cases, the media must have cherrypicked what the Pope said, but after reading the piece, I actually think they got it right. To quote Han Solo, I have a bad feeling about this. I am not an alarmist, but I am alarmed. These are strange times.

  10. Thank you everyone for all your comments.

    I invite you to PLEASE read PART TWO of this post...

    Thank you all and God bless!!

    Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

  11. PAPER

    All the world's
    A beach
    And all the men and women
    Merely players…

    For volley-ball
    Flash mob call
    Swaying hands
    In the stands

    Picnic up
    Party down
    Plastic people -
    Molded town -

    Well choreographed
    This plastic mold,
    Hollow containers
    Are humbly bold

    And to choreographer
    Their eyes look up
    But where is Jesus...

  12. Wonder if Pope Francis finds it inconvenient to preach the cross, not too much of that unpopular subject do I read in his thousands of quoted comments. Moreover, the third word of his mantra, "dialogue, discernment, FRONTIER," comes from Star Trek episodes, not from the Church established by Jesus Christ that conserves and teaches 2000 year old truths.

  13. Wonder if Pope Francis finds it inconvenient to preach the cross, not too much of that unpopular subject do I read in his thousands of quoted comments. Moreover, the third word of his mantra, "dialogue, discernment, FRONTIER," comes from Star Trek episodes, not from the Church established by Jesus Christ that conserves and teaches 2000 year old truths.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. This man is more like Jesus Christ than Peter himself. Remember Jesus had to scold Peter more than once. Finally a man of God reigns over the Vatican. God be praised.

  16. I'm not a Catholic, but I must admit that I absolutely love this Pope. I was raised with the teachings of Jesus, about love for your fellow man, caring for the poor, the elderly, caring about the animals and environment, all those things and I FINALLY see a Pope who does the same. I have felt the previous Popes were all about right wing doctrine, embracing hatred and divisiveness while turning a blind eye and cold shoulder to the rampant abuse of children within their own papal ranks. I would hope that even far right Catholics would see that love and compassion should win the day....if nothing else, ask yourself "What would Jesus do?" and that will give you a good road to follow :) Have a nice day :)

  17. I would urge you to go on the record. Pope Francis is doing so as did Jesus who was not met with open arms by everyone. I may not agree with him or you but if I say nothing then I feel wishy washy. I firmly believe the Pope would be respectful to your view. I am confident the Holy Spirit will guide everyone on this.

  18. Such absolute hate in this post. You quote passages of hate hate hate and yet none of love? Love thy neighbor, love is patient love is kind, blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy. Where are these passages in your message?

    But alas, you pick and choose your passages wisely. Deuteronomy commands us to not wear garments of different sorts and that homosexuality is a choice. Let's forget the first one, but the second one is more conveniently supportive of your hate though so better not leave that one out.

    Do you know why you are in the vast minority Julie? Do you know why pope Francis has only a 4% disapproval rating? Because today's youth are growing up in a time of love of fellow man, of acceptance and of celebration of the compassion of mankind. I believe in a God that loves a creation that he made in his image, in many different shapes and forms. That treats his or her peers with love and kindness.

    Your hate is slowly dying away and we can hope that soon such ignorance will be gone from the earth. Love is too powerful, your hate cannot last. How can you not see that?

  19. One thing I do not see in your opinion is humility and trust in the Holy Spirit. Even though many of us disagreed with the way the Church was run under John Paul II and Benedict XVI, we knew the Holy Spirit was moving the Church in a certain direction for a reason. And frankly, I doubt your study of theology is as encompassing as the Pope - it would be akin to a freshman physics student taking issue with Einstein.

  20. To JohnJQ: I believe many men of God have "reigns over the Vatican". Not liking Pope Francis style or personal messages doesn't mean I don't think is a man of God. Clearly you didn't read PART 2 of this post. I suggest you run off and read it now because you learned nothing reading PART 1.

    To Wildlifelover: Clearly you know nothing of all the previous popes who were full of love for others.

    To Troy: I am on the record, I voice my views hear all the time for the record.

    Mike: Sorry you find bible quotes and catechism quotes and Catholic views "full of hate". Perhaps your bible and catechism say something different than mine? Care to share?

    To Unknown: Who says I don't trust the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit will keep ALL popes from changing Catholic doctrine. That means there will NEVER EVER be a woman priest or gay marriage or support for abortion or birth control etc. The Holy Spirit will see to that, I have no worries about that at all. Nope, none.

    God bless all for sharing their views!

    Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

  21. Julie,

    It is the province of small minds to seek shelter in the "laws" of the old testament. Surely Christ spoke for the downcast, the poor, the oppressed the non-Jew, those in prison, the prostitutes, in all cases the "other" (look up what 'Samaritan" really means in context). Good bless this Pope! Shame on condemnation!

  22. Avoid becoming a Pharisee, trying to "keep the Law" at all costs:

    Scripture: Mark 2:23-28

    23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" 25 And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, when Abi'athar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?" 27 And he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath; 28 so the Son of man is lord even of the Sabbath."

  23. It is time people realised that the rest of the Catholic World is not made up of Right Wing Americans and they do not get to dictate to the world, even The Vatican (Burke demoted!). Pope Francis is from Argentina, he is clearly not that impressed with America. We don't care about whether Pelosi or Biden takes Holy Communion. In most countries Pro-Life candidates are rare and often allied with far-right politics, that are unelectable. He cares about the homeless and the hungry..He cares about the disruption to family life that the economic situation has caused and the riots in Rome. He is brave enough to stand up to the people running The Vatican Bank and change the church with a new kind of Cardinal, rewarded for the things they have done for the people. Not because of who they know...What good is it too preach the gospel of Christ, too someone who is sleeping on the streets? You reach them by showing them love and compassion, by feeding them, accepting them. They need someone that will listen to them, not talk at them. The best Jesuits I know, listen and talk very little. Then maybe their soul will listen and be changed because they have seen Christ in action, through us. There life may already seem like a living hell, they may already know about sin and hell, but somehow feel away.People are not scared by the mention of hell anymore. I see too many Right Wing American Catholics sneer at Social Justice..So out of touch with the rest of us..We all have to deal with Immigration issues, most of us.Politics is not just about the US and Obama..Italy has Immigration Issues too Contraception as part of our health service, paid for through taxes and nobody bats an eyelid. Nobody in Rome would declined very good medical care, even though it also provides birth control. Right Wing Americans stopped government over it. I know of very few Catholics that don't use Contraception. People can not afford to have lots of children, they can barely afford two due to the World Wide Economic situation.Including Catholics who find that both parents have to work because the jobs are in expensive cities. This Pope is exactly as I hoped he would be. He is a Jesuit and he acts like one. He goes out and talks to the homeless. He acts like a man who has lived, he has seen real life, he understands the real problems in this world. And long may he keep holding all our leaders to account, for allowing greed to rule.

  24. Dear Julie,
    I am sure you are well-intentioned and want only the best for the Church. It is challenging to sort through all the spin in our media and we are naive to think we are immune from the messages in our culture. So, in all due respect, I wish to challenge some of your comments.
    1. You say the Pope isn't doing it for you. Should not our concern be for the Church?
    2. Your addressing the pope as "Papa" comes across as condescending rather than endearing, a little more like the publican than the humble tax collector.
    3. The maladies of our world since Vatican II can not be blamed on Vatican II. Have you read the documents? They are beautiful and referenced many times in the Cathechism! Correlation does not imply causation. Our culture has been more affected by the widespread use of contraceptives, which incidentally occurred at the time of Vatican II. I see this as having much greater impact on belief in the Real Presence. Have you ever wondered why those Catholics who do not believe in the Eucharist are about the same number as those who disagree with The Church's teaching against contraception? (about 75%)
    4. The laity has a tremendous responsibility to be alert to heresy and error. I applaud you for this. But unless our Holy Father is speaking heresy, I think our efforts go best into praying for him and building up the unity of believers. The enemy has nothing against do-gooders; he lies in wait to subtly pervert good intentions. We can not know all that the pope knows or what is in his heart or the great burden he carries for all the Catholics in the world. Whether he does it for us or not, he is a prayerful, humble man who is fallible. But take heart, the teaching office of the Church is protected from error! Let us continue to seek the Holy Spirit who acted so powerfully in the conclave to continue to guide our Holy Father and the Church!
    Anne Nicklaus

  25. From Perth Western Australia. Great work Julie...keep it up


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Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

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