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Friday, October 18, 2013

"Ideology Frightens" - Pope Francis on Faith and Ideology


Pope Francis' daily mass homilies continue to be windows that provide key glimpses of the pope's mindset as he guides the church.  To get synopses of his daily homilies, go to the Vatican's main news site, News.va, where there is a specific site devoted specifically to these homilies here.

Yesterday's homily was a whopper.  As became abundantly evident in his interview published by America, Pope Francis has little patience with a Catholicism that places 'rules' above the human person and above love.  Francis insists that the person must always be seen and accompanied in love.  This, for Francis, is the starting point before anything else.  The Pope hammered home this point again yesterday with a homily on faith and ideology.  I find his words compelling, but I know that there are undoubtedly others who do not for reasons that I do not want to discount.  I'm posting a video of the homily, as well as the homily itself, for the sake of dialogue and understanding.  So...feel free to give your take below.  Both the video and the text are from Rome Reports.

The faith passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology. And ideology does not beckon [people]. In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements.
The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens. Ideology chases away the people. It creates distances between people and it distances the Church from the people. But it is a serious illness, this ideology in Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh? Already the Apostle John, in his first Letter, spoke of this. Christians who lose the faith and prefer the ideologies. His attitude is: be rigid, moralistic, ethical, but without kindness. This can be the question, no? But why is it that a Christian can become like this? Just one thing: this Christian does not pray. And if there is no prayer, you always close the door.
When a Christian does not pray, this happens. And his witness is an arrogant witness...These do not pray, abandoning the faith and transforming it into moralistic, casuistic ideology, without Jesus. And when a prophet or a good Christian reproaches them, they the same that they did with Jesus: ‘When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him’ – they are ideologically hostile – ‘and to interrogate him about many things,’ – they are insidious – ‘for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.’ They are not transparent. Ah, poor things, they are people dishonored by their pride. We ask the Lord for Grace, first: never to stop praying to never lose the faith; to remain humble, and so not to become closed, which closes the way to the Lord.
Image from BBC News

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