Tuesday, June 11, 2013

"I'll share two worries of mine...": Unverified, unscripted comments from Pope Francis

A yet to be verified post from the a Chilean website has reports of comments made by Francis during his private meeting with the Religious Confederation of Latin America and the Caribbean (CLAR). See Rocco Palmo's article at Whispers in the Loggia for more details, but the thing that really stuck out for me was the Holy Father's reported concerns for the Church.

"I'll share two worries of mine. One is a pelagian current that's in the church at this time. There are certain restorationist groups. I know them as I took to receiving them in Buenos Aires. And you feel like you've gone back 60 years! Before the Council... you feel like it's 1940 again... One anecdote, only to illustrate this – not to make you laugh – I took it with respect, but it bothered me; when they [the cardinals] elected me, I received a letter from one of these groups, and they told me; 'Holiness, we offer you this spiritual treasure: 3,525 rosaries.' Why they didn't say 'we're praying for you,' let's wonder... but this [thing] of taking account [of prayers]... and these groups return to practices and disciplines I lived – not you, none of you are old – to things that were lived in that moment, but not now, they aren't today.... 
The second [worry] is over a gnostic current. These pantheisms... they're both currents of elites, but this one is of a more formed elite. I knew of one superior general who encouraged the sisters of her congregation to not prayer in the morning, but to give themselves a spiritual bath in the cosmos, such things.... These bother me because they lack the Incarnation! And the Son of God who became our flesh, the Word made flesh, and in Latin America we have this flesh being shot from the rooftops! What happens to the poor, in their sorrows, that is our flesh.

The Gospel is not the ancien regime, nor is it this pantheism. If you look to the outskirts; the indigent... the drug addicts! The trade [trafficking] of persons... That's the Gospel. The poor are the Gospel....
Of course, the Pope's reported comments have already caused a stir among ultra-traditionalists. I am sure that ultra-progressives will jump into the fray as well. Both sides will parse the remarks as bad news.

I, however, parse them as good news. I think that these comments, if they are authentic, indicate that Pope Francis is very much in tune with the issues facing the Church and the competing forces that threaten to derail her from her apostolic mission.

Stay tuned.

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