“Who Am I to Judge?” Pope Francis Story In The New Yorker Is A Must Read

Last evening, yet again, we talked with someone who has not had a very positive attitude towards the Catholic Church for a very long time.  “When was the last time you felt this good about a Pope?’ I was asked.  Not being Catholic I still knew what she meant.  Pope Francis is the first pope in my lifetime who seems to understand the message of Jesus, and that is something that many seem to be recognizing around the world.

TIME magazine is not the only publication that has an incredible story about Pope Francis, as The New Yorker scores with a major piece that deserves attention.

Recently, Francis has sounded anything but medieval. He seemed to reverse long-set Catholic attitudes, if not actual doctrines, when he told Spadaro, “I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life.” In an early-morning homily in the Vatican hostel where he lives, he anticipated traditionalists’ objections, saying, “Not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!” For Francis, the Church’s purpose is not to bring God to the world but simply to emphasize God’s presence—already there.

Francis violated a set code of Catholic ethical and philosophical discourse when, in an open letter to the prominent Italian journalist and atheist Eugenio Scalfari, in September, he wrote, “I would not speak about ‘absolute’ truths, even for believers. . . . Truth is a relationship. As such, each one of us receives the truth and expresses it from within, that is to say, according to one’s own circumstances, culture, and situation in life.” When Spadaro asked Francis about “the great changes in society, as well as the way human beings are reinterpreting themselves,” Francis got up to retrieve his well-thumbed breviary. He read from a fifth-century saint’s writings on the laws governing progress: “Even the dogma of the Christian religion must proceed from these laws. It progresses, solidifying with years, growing over time.” Then Francis commented, “So we grow in the understanding of the truth. . . . There are ecclesiastical rules and precepts that were once effective, but now they have lost value or meaning. The view of the Church’s teaching as a monolith to defend without nuance or different understandings is wrong.”

Saturday Song: Bill Monroe “Christmas Time’s A’Coming”