Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mass Chat: Listen to the Pope.

"Ours is not an age of change, but a change of age."

Don't listen to the interpreters, the scoffers, the critics.  Don't be distracted by the theatrics of 'the road trip'.  Read what Pope Francis said to the Bishops - you will understand what he says - because he speaks simply. 
Dear brothers, the results of our pastoral work do not depend on a wealth of resources, but on the creativity of love. To be sure, perseverance, effort, hard work, planning and organization all have their place, but first and foremost we need to realize that the Church’s power does not reside in herself; it is hidden in the deep waters of God, into which she is called to cast her nets.
Another lesson which the Church must constantly recall is that she cannot leave simplicity behind; otherwise she forgets how to speak the language of Mystery. Not only does she herself remain outside the door of the mystery, but she proves incapable of approaching those who look to the Church for something which they themselves cannot provide, namely, God himself. At times we lose people because they don’t understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people. Without the grammar of simplicity, the Church loses the very conditions which make it possible “to fish” for God in the deep waters of his Mystery. 
Today, we need a Church capable of walking at people’s side, of doing more than simply listening to them; a Church which accompanies them on their journey; a Church able to make sense of the “night” contained in the flight of so many of our brothers and sisters from Jerusalem; a Church which realizes that the reasons why people leave also contain
reasons why they can eventually return. But we need to know how to interpret, with courage, the larger picture.
... it is important to devise and ensure a suitable formation, one which will provide persons able to step into the night without being overcome by the darkness and losing their bearings; able to listen to people’s dreams without being seduced and to share their disappointments without losing hope and becoming bitter; able to sympathize with the brokenness of others without losing their own strength and identity. What is needed is a solid human, cultural, effective, spiritual and doctrinal formation.  - Read the entire document here.
There is so much contained in the Holy Father's address which I think explains much of what he has said 'off the cuff' since becoming Pope.

There is nothing to be afraid of with this Pope.

"The two disciples have left Jerusalem. They are leaving behind the “nakedness” of God. They are scandalized by the failure of the Messiah in whom they had hoped and who now appeared utterly vanquished, humiliated, even after the third day (vv. 17-21). Here we have to face the difficult mystery of those people who leave the Church, who, under the illusion of alternative ideas, now think that the Church – their Jerusalem – can no longer offer them anything meaningful and important. So they set off on the road alone, with their disappointment."


  1. I don't think it's something to be afraid of, but the manner in which the Pope seems to be accustomed to speaking ("off the cuff," as some have labeled it) or, to my mind, without sufficient distinctions, can lead to confusion.

    Of course, the media will run with anything, as they are:

    Is that the Pope's fault? The journalists'?

    I have been thinking some of what you said before about how we get every utterance from the Pope and if that's a good thing or not. And it's made me think too about the role of the Pope, any Pope - how much we ought to listen to him, as you call for here. It seems to raise questions about the limits of his charism and office, questions that I think are valid and not just coming from one seeking to be a Papal minimalist.

    1. Well, he certainly shares a lot more than other popes.


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