Pope, Criticizing Narrow Focus, Calls for Church as ‘Home for All’

Sep 20, 2013

Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis sent shock waves through the Roman Catholic church on Thursday with the publication of his remarks that the church had grown “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he had chosen not to talk about those issues despite recriminations from critics.


His surprising comments came in a lengthy interview in which he criticized the church for putting dogma before love, and for prioritizing moral doctrines over serving the poor and marginalized. He articulated his vision of an inclusive church, a “home for all” — which is a striking contrast with his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, the doctrinal defender who envisioned a smaller, purer church.

Francis told the interviewer, a fellow Jesuit: “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.

“We have to find a new balance,” the pope continued, “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.”

Written By: Laurie Goodstein
continue to source article at nytimes.com

0 comments on “Pope, Criticizing Narrow Focus, Calls for Church as ‘Home for All’

  • I think Catholics are so jittery about the Great Pedophile Cover-up of recent memory that any banal action by this successor to Emperor Palpatine is met with a groveling ecstasy of sorts. Overcompensating is the word I’m thinking of. Look! He’s carrying his own briefcase! Look! He paid his hotel bill! Look! His shoes aren’t red!

    That is symbolism over substance. Will his pastoring style effect some sort of positive change for the world? I hope so, yes. Of course I hope so! However, I await the evidence that this pope differs doctrinally from his predecessor. There is no reason to think so. I therefore reserve the right to keep on my guard about this faith.

    As an aside, when I was a practicing Catholic it was seen as a strength to admit the RCC did not revolve around a cult of one person (a typical slap to protestant pastors like Billy Graham) but rather around the “Person” of Jesus Christ. As such, it didn’t matter, so the apologetics went, who occupied the Chair of Peter, the point was the Chair not the occupant. The adulation for this pope (which can’t not be interpreted as a slight to Benedict) is more proof for me that Catholicism is just politics as usual. Of course it’s about the occupant. Or maybe I should say, “it’s the occupant stupid.” Ah the Catholic Church, it’s becoming so, so ordinary.

    Keep calm and carry on…


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  • 3
    Reckless Monkey says:

    Set aside you dogma then. Not talking about it equates to pretending he doesn’t hold these views. When he publicly states he does not I’ll start to think he’s progressive, until then he just has better PR skills than his predecessor.

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  • Lately I’ve read about many people, even several atheists, who are praising this man like nothing else. They say he is the best Pope ever.

    But I think it’s time to call him out on his theological nonsense. He can’t be allowed to just turn the ship 180 degrees on major issues without asking him how he came to these conclusions. What methodology did he use to decide that the last popes and hundreds of years of Catholic theology were wrong and he is right? How does he explain the parts in the Bible that others use to condemn abortion, gay marriage, and contraception? Are they now accepting these things fully or are they just staying quiet about them for image reasons? Just to name a few questions.

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  • 6
    Alan4discussion says:

    “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

    Shut the cameras off, find some distractions and hope people won’t notice the stupid dogmas which are losing the RCC members in the educated world.

    “We have to find a new balance,” the pope continued, “otherwise even the moral edifice of the church

    That would be the oxymoroic “moral”, as in anti-population management to reduce poverty. Anti-healt promotion etc. Oh! and “helping the poor” by taking money from them to pay compensation to victims abused by priests!

    is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”

    Ah! The fragrance of thousand-year-old crap!

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  • 7
    JoxerTheMighty says:

    I really hope that all this talk from this Pope, so far, are just preliminary efforts to “pave” the way towards some REAL action that could rectify the damage this organization has done. Like denouncing, loud and clear, the nonsense about contraception and instruct the members of his church, especially in places like Africa, to listen to doctors and use protection such as condoms, because it will save their lives. I really hope that’s what he intends to do eventually. If he does, I’m sorry, Pope or no Pope, I’ll nominate the guy for a Nobel Peace Prize. Until then though, I’ll have my doubts on whether he really intends to fix shit, or just shower with perfume a rotting corpse(hm, I got this metaphor from the gospel, didn’t I?) 😛

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  • 9
    JPatrick says:

    While the tone is a start, I find this to simply be a response to how unpopular Christian opinion on homosexuality has become. I have no idea what he ever means by “spiritually interfere.” Personally, I would prefer if you didn’t “really interfere.” Does this now mean homosexuals are allowed to be baptized and receive communion in your church? If not I would consider that spiritual interference.

    Furthermore a comment such as “who am I to judge” is a total bunch of nonsense. That is all we have as human beings is judging right from wrong through civil discourse with specific goals. That statement would lead me to understand that the offical doctorine of the Catholic Church is now to stay out of others business, when it comes to abortion as well, since:

    Who Are They To Judge

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  • The Catholic church stinks to high heaven. You can’t turn an outhouse into a church. It is time disband the church and start over.

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  • As with the past ‘humanisation’ of the Church of England so the Catholic Church waters down its dogma in a (doomed?) effort to remain relevant in the modern world. Does this trend directly reflect the gradual adoption of rational thinking and humanism in the general populace? Admittedly, very gradual indeed. But a continuing trend (hopefully).

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  • 14
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.

    Yes folks, it’s time for a word from our proud sponsors.

    Gospel™ The official Bathroom Freshener of the Vatican. Perfect for covering the stink of all those nasty scandals. Works miracles!! Garanteed to restore your fragrance of holiness. In fact, it will make you smell so fresh and pure that people will completely forget that you:

    • were responsible for the Spanish Inquisition
    • condoned slavery by turning a blind eye on the slave trade
    • made a shady deal with a fascist regime to help establish your own sovereign nation
    • had a pope that celebrated Adolf Hitler’s birthday and had him as an honored guest to the Vatican
    • helped Nazi war criminals escape to South America
    • laundered money for the Cosa Nostra
    • covered up countless cases of child abuse by the clergy

    And much much more!!!

    So remember! Cleanliness is next to saintliness. So be sure to protect the moral edifice of the church by making sure every restroom in the Vatican palace has its own can of Gospel™.

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  • 15
    Vorlund says:

    Can’t possibly predict for sure how this will pan out but I hope I’m around when it does.
    They may eventually go the same way as the Anglicans with half of them defecting because the church is no longer bigoted enough but something is nagging me. I suspect before it gets to that state this Poop will be reigned in. There could be fewer things more delightful to the imagination than the Vatican holding a private chair throwing session.

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