Friday, September 27, 2013

Thoughts on Pope Francis' Big Interview

"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." - Pope Francis, Sept 30, interview in America Magazine with Antonio Spadaro SJ (Link)

Many of us have wondered where this church is that is so insistent only on these issues. We'd like to go there. Seriously, how many priests, parishes, how many statements of the USCCB or any other bishop’s conference, can be accused of this with a straight face? Yes, a few no doubt, but to color the entire Church by that? It strains credulity. So, what is Pope Francis telling us?

Perhaps the answer lies in not linking this paragraph to the one above, but rather, reading "we" in a different light than we are wont to.

Given this pope's persona of "humility" it is unlikely that he has used the term in the royal sense, as have so many popes in the past. No, we naturally jump to a reading where "we" becomes associated with the body of Christ, the Church. Passing beyond the "We believe" in the previous translation of the Credo to the current "I believe" for the collective voice of The Church, I propose that the context of "we" in this paragraph is the Holy Father and the members of the Media.

Where else, but the main stream media, can you look to find a shrill and insistent voice speaking endlessly about abortion, gay marriage, and contraception? This is the (un)holy trinity of the secular culture, and their evangelists, the members of the media, are mercilessly ramming it down our throats.

So when the Holy Father complains that this subject needs to be spoken of in context, what does the media immediately do, but quote (and misquote) him out of context!

So perhaps this strains your credulity as a way of reading this in the context of the interview. Yet, as successor of Peter, I think it not unreasonable to read his comments in this light.

Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish." He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. (John 11:49-52 )

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