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Some extracts from Pope Francis’ 11,000 word interview September 23, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disconcerting, episcopate, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, secularism, the return.

11,000 words is about 22 pages. That’s a pretty lengthy interview. I post some excerpts culled from various sources. I am not trying to achieve a “balanced’ reportage here, because I don’t see a need to rhetorically pat the Pope on the head for being orthodox.  That’s like my calling General Motors and congratulating them every morning my truck starts.  In brief, it is expected.

I received an e-mail from a concerned friend off-line, asking if the media were twisting the Pope’s words.  I will provide the words below without any commentary.  Note that the Pope himself approved the Italian wording of the interview.  One may try to argue that the English translation has faults, but I haven’t seen any great concern over that, yet.  The quotes:

“If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists­—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life.” [Ummm…..that last bit…….I’m biting my tongue, because it is so imprecise and progressive-friendly]

“Thinking with the church, therefore, is my way of being a part of this people. And all the faithful, considered as a whole, are infallible in matters of belief, and the people display this infallibilitas in credendo, this infallibility in believing, through a supernatural sense of the faith of all the people walking together. This is what I understand today as the ‘thinking with the church’ of which St. Ignatius speaks.” [I lied, I will comment, just to explain.  The Pope is referring to the sensus fidelium, the sense of faith of the faithful.  Get that – the faithful, as in truly, well-formed faithful. This does not include Nancy Pelosi, Leonardo Boff, or any other number of heretics.  As the Pope Emeritus said, the sensus fidelium is not a public opinion poll, it is required that this sense of faith be formed according to the Magisterium of the Church.  You cannot validly, morally form your faith in opposition to the belief and practice of the Faith.]

“Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation. Yes, there are hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, but one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today—which was typical of Vatican II—is absolutely irreversible.”

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. 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?’” [I lied again, but here we are, back to false dichotomy.]

“The young Catholic churches, as they grow, develop a synthesis of faith, culture and life, and so it is a synthesis different from the one developed by the ancient churches”

“The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently,” Francis said. “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.”

“The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules,” he lamented. “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.”

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible,” he said. “The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”

“When does a formulation of thought cease to be valid? When it loses sight of the human or even when it is afraid of the human or deluded about itself … The thinking of the church must recover genius and better understand how human beings understand themselves today, in order to develop and deepen the church’s teaching.” [it is difficult not seeing in this the conception that doctrine or even Dogma ceases to be valid with the passage of time.]

So, those are just some quotes.  For some analyses of the Pope’s long interview, the first in-depth look at his thoughts since he became Pope, you can check out this post by Bishop Rene Gracida on Louis Verrecchio’s 10 point examination of Francis (that one is really a must read.  But I warn you, it is highly disquieting).  Or you can read Fr. Peter Carota’s thoughts here.  Or more regarding what Bishop Robert Vasa had to say, here.  And here is Patrick Archbold trying, like me, to contain exasperation, retain a philosophical outlook, and hope for the best here.

So, decide for yourself. We may see some walking back from this interview on specific issues like abortion, but overall, I think the direction this Pope feels comfortable with is very clear, and it is very different from the previous two pontificates.  I think a lot of people are going to owe Rorate Caeli an apology before too long.



1. tantamergo - September 23, 2013

As I have already said, you subscribed, I have no way to unsubscribe you, you have to do that yourself. There is an unsubscribe button/link on the right side of the blog.

2. Woody - September 23, 2013

I will listen intently. He does not speak like the two popes before him in that he talks a lot! What does that mean? I don’t know but actions speak louder than words. I read where he excommunicated a priest in Australia recently who was pro homosexuality and in favor of women priests. One day he says we shouldn’t concentrate on small issues like abortion and the next he tells Catholic doctors to not partake in abortions. He seems to be all over the place. In any case, I will continue to listen, try to understand and am thankful for all the sites I can go to read what others think Pope Francis was saying. He sure makes for interesting days, God Bless him!

3. Don - September 24, 2013

Not totally clear who excommunicated this priest. The Vatican or the Archbishop. If the Vatican, there are more well known heads that need to roll.


4. rubyroad2013 - September 24, 2013

I am a new reader and agree. And thank you for those links.

5. Marguerite - September 24, 2013

A friend and I were just having a discussion yesterday regarding the comments on abortion. She found them offensive in that she has put her life on the line many times protesting outside abortion clinics. She’s been cursed at and villified by passers-by. So to hear that other things are more important than the life of the unborn and the contraceptive mentality prevalent today makes her sad for the Church.

6. Marguerite - September 24, 2013

Please read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, numbers 88-90.

In part, #88: “The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes truths contained in divine Revelation or having a necessary connection with them, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith.”

#89: “There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are the lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure.”

#90: “in Catholic doctrine there exists an order or ‘hierarchy’ of

Too bad we can’t hear this from Pope Francis.

7. Frank - September 24, 2013

Pope Francis is, unfortunately, a Jesuit. St. Ignatius of Loyola pray for us.

8. Raul De La Garza III (@raul_delagarza) - September 24, 2013

Scott P. Richert gets ‘naked’ and attempts to read Francis through Benedict (with the aid of Richard J. Neuhaus) and misses the mark, methinks.


Lord, help us.

9. TG - September 24, 2013

Thanks for the links. Father Carota is so right about sin. One word I have not heard much Pope Francis is the word “repentance”. Correct me if I’m wrong.

tantamergo - September 24, 2013

No, he’s mentioned it. He’s perhaps not used that word, but he’s talked of the need for sincere conversion, which is much the same thing. In fact, there is a lot of greatness in that same interview, but it is mixed in with statements that are certainly novel to hear from a pope.

10. Voris on the “new tone” | A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - September 26, 2013

[…] guidance in the interview, but I have to caveat the caveat by saying, the controversial statements were NOT taken out of context and pretty much stand on their own), but which should have been easily foreseeable, if the Pope and Jesuits had not taken many […]

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