Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"More Catholic than the Pope" by Tom Reese

"The truth is all Catholics are cafeteria Catholics. Conservative Catholics were quite willing to ignore John Paul’s and Benedict’s strong statements on justice and peace, and progressive Catholics are happy to ignore Francis’ opposition to women priests.
Bridget Mary's Comment: We cannot ignore Pope Francis' opposition to women priests. We must connect his advocacy for a world that includes everyone with a church that includes everyone including women priests. Justice is constitutive to the Gospel! 
Disagreeing with the pope was not welcomed during the papacies of John Paul and Benedict. Bishops, priests, theologians, and Catholic publications were expected to unreservedly cheer any statement that came out of Rome. Priests were silenced, seminary professors were removed, and magazine editors were fired if they strayed from the party line. The open debate that occurred during the Second Vatican Council was closed down. Candidates for the episcopacy were chosen based on loyalty to Rome rather than on intelligence or pastoral abilities.
The atmosphere has changed under Pope Francis. Bishops are being chosen because of their pastoral abilities and identification with the poor. Theologians are free to speak and write what they please. Catholic publications are not subject to censorship. And cardinals and theologians are publicly criticizing the pope, something that would never have been allowed in earlier papacies."
Bridget Mary's Comment: I appreciate Pope Francis' endorsement of primacy of conscience and affirmation of freedom of  thought for theologians.

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