Is the Pope a Catholic?


THE Catholic Church is too obsessed with abortion, contraception and gay people, according to Pope Francis.
In his first lengthy interview, the pope faulted the Roman Catholic church for focusing too much on gays, abortion and contraception, saying the church has become “obsessed” with those issues to the detriment of its larger mission to be “home for all,” according to an extensive new interview

The church can share its views on homosexuality, abortion and other issues, but should not “interfere spiritually” with the lives of gays and lesbians, the pope added in the interview, which was published in La Civilta Cattolica, a Rome-based Jesuit journal.

“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,” Francis said in the interview.

“The church has sometimes locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules,’ Francis said. “The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials.”

In the interview, Francis does not come out in support of gay marriage, abortion rights or contraception, saying that church positions on those issues are “clear,” but he added that the “the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives.”

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality,” he said to Jesuit priest Fr. Antonio Spadaro, who conducted the interview for La Civilta Cattolica. “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.”


19 thoughts on “Is the Pope a Catholic?

  1. VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, reflected on his style, influences and priorities as pope in an interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Jesuit journal in Rome, which published the remarks Thursday. Here are some highlights: ___

    _”God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else_God is in this person’s life.”


    _”If one has the answers to all the questions_that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt. You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble.”


    Pope Francis has previously called for greater study of the role of women in the church, although he has ruled out women’s ordination. He went further in this interview, saying women must be involved in top decision-making matters.

    _”The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions. The challenge today is this: to think about the specific place of women also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised.”


    _”I found myself provincial (the Jesuit leader) when I was still very young. I was only 36 years old. That was crazy. … It was my authoritarian way of making decisions that created problems.”


    _ “What I really prefer is adoration in the evening, even when I get distracted and think of other things, or even fall asleep praying. In the evening then, between seven and eight o’clock, I stay in front of the Blessed Sacrament for an hour in adoration. But I pray mentally even when I am waiting at the dentist or at other times of the day.”


    Pope Benedict XVI opened up the Latin Mass for wider use among traditionalists who were opposed to the modern liturgy:

    _ “I think the decision of Pope Benedict 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 (Old Mass), its exploitation.”


    Nuns working in hospitals took care of Francis when he lost most of one lung to an infection in his early 20s.

    _ “I am alive because of one of them. When I went through my lung disease at the hospital, the doctor gave me penicillin and streptomycin in certain doses. The sister who was on duty tripled my doses because she was daringly astute; she knew what to do because she was with ill people all day. The doctor, who really was a good one, lived in his laboratory; the sister lived on the frontier and was in dialogue with it every day.”


    _”`La Strada,’ by Fellini, is the movie that perhaps I loved the most. I identify with this movie, in which there is an implicit reference to St. Francis.”

    _”I have read The Betrothed, by Alessandro Manzoni, three times, and I have it now on my table because I want to read it again. Manzoni gave me so much. When I was a child, my grandmother taught me by heart the beginning of The Betrothed: `That branch of Lake Como that turns off to the south between two unbroken chains of mountains…'”

    _”Among the great painters, I admire Caravaggio; his paintings speak to me. But also Chagall, with his `White Crucifixion.’ Among musicians I love Mozart, of course. The `Et incarnatus est’ from his Mass in C minor is matchless; it lifts you to God!”

    Source: English translation by America magazine


    • Really quite fascinating, Bryan,

      To a dissenting non-atheist like myself, I must say that Pope Francis seems like a breath of fresh air. His references to God being with EVERYONE really sounds a bit like certain of the quotes I gave in my posting of the other day.

      And just speculating, I expect that liberal thinking Catholics and Protestants as well as the non-religious round the world will be whooping at the potential reform to the Church that he seems to be signalling. However, Catholics who have deplored all that Vatican II stood for will be dismayed; and probably just as much as conservatives in the Protestant Fundamentalist and Evangelical camps will be.

      Maybe we are seeing at last the winding down of the legalistic and controlling styles of the old Church. A renewal that is right for the 21st century, I would suggest. And to think it has taken some 1800 years or so since Constantine.


      • As a dissenting non-non-atheist I must say I agree.
        …and might suggest Frank get himself a food-taster. 😉

        This bloke reminds me of (a mature) Don Camillo.


      • Ah Dabbles old son,

        Yes I know Don Camillo very well indeed. In fact I still have a copy of one of the original books that was purchased maybe some 50 years back. Loads of fun and pointed comments about Catholicism back in the earlier days. His interactions with the Communist Mayor of the town are good stuff. It was a famous Italian commedian who starred in a movie at the time, made of the stories. Did you ever see it?

        Yes indeed, a food taster might well be a wise move for the dear man. His most recent promising reformer Pope came to a very sudden and sticky end, didnt he? Who was that? John Paul I – was it? I’ve seen in my long life a lot of Popes come and go. Heaven knows just how many such during my multitude of reincarnations. (I’m sure I must have been a Catholic a few times during them.)

        cheers, Rian
        Gee maybe I could describe myself now (just to confuse everyone) as a Dissenting Non-non-non-atheist? ???? Well maybe no.


      • Well said.
        Yep it was Paul1; I didn’t pay much attention, but tended to disregard the suspicions (too easy)
        …..until I saw Godfather III (!)

        As for Don Camillo: I never saw the movie, also have an original copy of The Don Camillo omnibus that dates back decades. Well and truly one of my favourite ‘people’.

        And the way I originally came across him was a most curious fluke: almost to the point at which some (Monica, say) might suggest some ‘power’ directed me to it.

        God moves in mysterious ways, hey?
        ….even when he’s doing absolutely nothing!


    • There’s only one answer to that question, Kathleen (and I was going to be too polite to post it….)However….

      Q. Is the pope a catholic?
      A. Does a bear poop in the woods.

      ….and, as always, there are those confused people who wonder if the bear is a catholic, and……;)


  2. The old boy twittered in asking if his ‘modern’ actions were a good idea. He’s taken to ringing up victims of crime and personally blessing them, and travelling around the globe suggesting the wealthy seriously consider distributing their wealth. I tweeted back and told him that he was on the money. No reply yet ….


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