Friday, September 20, 2013

Pope Francis' Interview

If you've seen news stories about the Pope's interview yesterday, please go to the source and read what he actually said. Some news stories about it are giving a totally misleading spin. For example, in our local paper, the writer put "small-minded rules" in the same sentence with abortion, contraception, and same-sex unions, as if the pope said these things don't matter. Far from it! He said nothing of the sort. Here is the quote about the "small-minded rules," followed by how the church's ministers need to strike the right balance -- in dealing with people -- between a harsh rigorism and a lax attitude. I didn't see any news stories quoting his words that ministers are wrong to simply dismiss real sins as if they don't matter:

“The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all. The confessor, for example, is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither of them really takes responsibility for the person. The rigorist washes his hands so that he leaves it to the commandment. The loose minister washes his hands by simply saying, ‘This is not a sin’ or something like that. In pastoral ministry we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds."

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