Viewpoint: Does Pope Francis’ Outreach to Non-Catholics Signal Deeper Reform?

Interfaith relations have always been awkward for the Roman Catholic Church. That may change—if the new Pope’s statements are any indication

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Evandro Inetti / ZUMAPRESS.com

Pope Francis during an audience with a diplomatic corps at the Vatican.

When it came to the Roman Catholic Church’s relations with other religions, the now retired Pope Benedict XVI was a bit like that elderly uncle of yours who means well but always seems to say the wrong thing at the table. There was the speech in 2006 when he seemed, fairly or not, to suggest that coerced conversion was one of Islam’s core tenets. Or his rebooting of the sainthood process for Pius XII—the World War II-era Pontiff widely criticized for his perceived silence during the Holocaust—a campaign that further alienated Jews. Of the messes Benedict left his successor to clean up at the Vatican, these were among the messiest, especially in a globalized age when interfaith dialogue is more essential than ever.

Fortunately, newly elected Pope Francis looks willing to roll up his cassock sleeves and start mopping. At a meeting on Friday, March 22, with foreign diplomats accredited to the Vatican, the 76-year-old Argentine, the first Pontiff ever from the western hemisphere, made it clear that an ecumenical revival is high on his agenda. “It is not possible to establish true links with God while ignoring other people,” he said—adding surprisingly but emphatically, “I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam.”

The Pope’s remarks came a day after his unusual Vatican meet-and-greet with leaders and representatives from an array of different faiths, whom he had made a point of inviting to his installment mass on Tuesday. Among them was Bartholomew I, the first Eastern Orthodox patriarch to attend a Papal investiture since his Christian church split with Rome in 1053, as well as Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, who heard Francis pledge to promote “friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions.”

One shouldn’t underestimate how uncommon that shift in rhetoric and gesture is for the Catholic Church—or how important it potentially is to broader international relations, given the 1.2 billion Catholics the Vatican represents worldwide. Every religion has adherents who think their faith is God’s only true WiFi network. And that impulse can turn intolerantly violent, as the past couple decades have all too often shown us. Certainly no one is accusing the Catholic Church of returning to its Inquisition past. But one of its more troubling tics is an attitude of theological superiority and exclusivity toward other religions, including fellow Christian denominations. And it can be as irksome to people in Miami as it is in Mecca.

Ask the Rev. Albert Cutié, the former Catholic priest who was once a clerical TV star known as “Father Oprah.” Cutié became an Episcopal priest a few years ago after the paparazzi snapped him cuddling on a beach with a woman who is now his wife. But Cutié claims that celibacy wasn’t the only factor. In his 2011 book, Dilemma, he says he began thinking of bolting the Catholic priesthood a decade ago—after his bosses blasted him because a prominent Cuban-American Presbyterian minister, who had been invited to attend a high-profile funeral mass for the Cuban singer Celia Cruz that Cutié was leading, inadvertently received communion, something the church insists non-Catholics may never do. “I had to ask myself,” Cutié writes, “what are you doing in this inflexible…institution?”

Cutié, as well as other Catholics and many Protestants, were astonished at the hierarchy’s fire-and-brimstone reaction to a harmless ecumenical miscue, especially when a genuinely horrific scandal—the priestly sexual abuse crisis—was raging inside the church at the time. But the incident points up, as Cutié notes, how rigid an institution’s self-image vis-à-vis other groups can become after it’s endured for more than two millennia. Even, that is, a half century after the modernizing 1960s church council known as Vatican II, when the Catholic hierarchy was supposed to have dropped its assertion that “error has no rights”—a medieval-style motto that essentially meant all other religions should be outlawed—in favor of more ecumenical outreach.

Few expect Francis—a hardliner on most other church doctrines like opposition to birth control, women priests and gay marriage—to be a historic reformer like Pope John XXIII, who launched Vatican II before he died in 1963. Yet in terms of interfaith efforts, Francis could emulate if not surpass John. As my colleague and Argentina native Andres Oppenheimer reminds us in the Miami Herald this week, Francis was an interfaith pioneer back in Buenos Aires. As an archbishop, he often rubbed elbows with and sometimes prayed with clerics of numerous other religions, even the Evangelical churches that millions of disaffected Latin American Catholics have been turning to in recent decades.

Many conservative Catholics responded as angrily as if he’d, well, given a communion wafer to a Presbyterian. But Francis’ well publicized empathy for the poor had most likely led him and his ministry to a deeper understanding of the fundamentally Christian as well as human precept of walking in other people’s shoes, be they Catholics or Sikhs. And that mindset will be critical in the 21stcentury, when religion is again playing a prominent role in world affairs. How positive a role depends to a large degree on whether believers finally accept the fact that religion isn’t realpolitik. That considering other peaceful and charitable faiths to be as valid as their own isn’t some spiritually milquetoast surrender to relativism—that on the contrary, it’s precisely what a peaceful and charitable faith demands.

At the same time, reform-minded Catholics hope that better interfaith ties will prod their church to broaden its own outlook—to acknowledge that letting doctrine evolve, for example, through humane changes like recognizing divorce doesn’t make Catholicism itself any less valid. That might not happen during Francis’ Papacy. But by reaching his hand out to other faiths, he may well be sowing seeds of reform to be reaped by the next Pope.

62 comments
trlyons76
trlyons76

Thewholetruth, you can call it nonsense all you want and attack all you want but it amazes me someone who calls themselves thewholetruth seems to only be interested in half truths or at the very least  would want to refute what I say, after all your interested in the whole truth right? The fact is Christ gave Peter the keys and our Sacred Scriptures say it's a reference to Is 22:22 (at least to the greatest Greek and Hebrew scholarship because the language is identical ) which refers to the line of Prime Ministers in Israel. Maybe you would like to argue that Jesus saw some shiny keys gave them to Peter and he thought it would be funny to reference a Scripture that really didn't mean anything? Come on. The Catholic Church at Church councils actually determined the New Testament Cannon at the Councils of Carthage and Hippo so if the Church is so far removed from Christ, how can you be sure you shouldn't have say the Gospel of Thomas in your Bible? I've never seen an inspired table of contents have you? That's really the irony, you reject the Catholic Church and it's Councils and only accept the Bible yet that Bible was put together at a Church Council. Before that different Churches had different Bibles. Some missing Revelations or one of the Gospels and others had maybe Pope Clements letter and on and on. In 90-92 A.D. Pope Clement is asserting the Roman Primary. The Corinthians deposed their Bishop and the Pope writes them to tell them that they had no right to do this. The Pope is asserting his authority very far away. Ignatius the 2nd Bishop of Antioch insisted that all the Bishops (because they were appointed by the Apostles) had the authority of binding and loosing but excepted very early was that Peter had a special preeminent authority. Irenaeus in the 100's says; 

Now it is within the power of anyone who cares to find out the truth, to know the tradition of the Apostles, professed throughout the world in every church. We can name those too who were appointed bishops by the Apostles in the churches and their successors down to our own time.... But inasmuch as it would be very tedious in a book like this to rehearse the lines of succession in every church, we will put to confusion all those who, either from waywardness or conceit or blindness or obstinacy combine together against the truth, by pointing to the tradition, derived from the Apostles, of that great and illustrious Church founded and organized at Rome by the two glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, and to the faith declared to mankind and handed down to our own time through its bishops in their succession. For with this Church, because of its more powerful leadership, every church, that is to say, the faithful from everywhere, must needs agree, and in it the tradition that springs from the Apostles has been continuously preserved by men from everywhere....

   I could go on and on but the point is we don't just have the writings of the Apostles and their contemporaries we have the writings of their followers (true these writings aren't inspired like the Bible but from an historical point of view they prove the Catholic Church is the one True Church founded by Christ)and their followers and their followers and on and on and on. We call them the Church Fathers. Surprise they are ALL Catholic! No Christian ever existed that believes as you do till 15 centuries into Christianity. It reminds me of a famous Catholic convert in England John Henry Newman in the 1800's who wrote a book about his conversion  Apologia pro Vita Sua (also in the public domain and can be found online or listen to for free at librivox.org) he coined a very true expression "to be deep in history is to cease to be a protestant." G. K. Chesterton who described his conversion as an explorer who sailed from England to find a new land and when he discovered the new land and planted his flag realized he must have gotten turned around for he planted his flag for England in England. He says in so many words that through common sense he was discovering Christian religious truth then discovered a Church that had already come to those same conclusions, especially by listening to the nonsensical detractors of The Catholic Church. He coined the phrase "To be a good protestant is to have a bad memory." read also his books and you might find you are tired of being outside the Church Christ Established. For some reason Protestants can't seem to beat Catholics on the truth of the Religion so they find they HAVE To make up incredible lies about it, say like saying Catholics were ever banned from reading God's Word. I wonder sometimes if Protestants know they lie about such things or do they just perpetuate the lies others tell. And because you seem to think no real Christian ever kneels to anyone except the Creator and Messiah, your church must be against the Christian institution of marriage....after all it is a Christian custom to get down on one knee to propose marriage. You think you are against the Catholic Church but I challenge you to read or listen to the books I have suggested, plus if you like audiobooks Audible has a series called The Modern Scholar Series and Professor Thomas Madden does a pretty good series on Church History. A bit short and incomplete for me but pretty good. This guy is trusted by everyone because he's so meticulous about backing up his claims, he's on National Public Radio from time to time. Another convert that you might find interesting is Scott Hahn. He was extremely anti Catholic but reluctantly found himself (at first) coming home to Rome. Instead of bashing the Church study your claims to find out if they are in fact true. And if a lively Church growing in membership unlike the Catholic Church you say is your proof then I guess any great movement that people get excited about like say homosexuality marriage or abortion (many christian groups are very passionate about those things) you might find yourself in big trouble during the Great apostasy if it happens in our lifetime. By the way sorry it took so long to respond, I'm married with a full time job. Perhaps if I was single like you who refuses to bow or get down on one knee to anybody but Christ I could have responded sooner. Happy belated Easter.


CMIT
CMIT

I'm Greek Orthodox and am glad to see the Bishop of Rome (as Pope Francis prefers to be titled) reach out to people. Note that he has spent numerous days talking with our Patriarch - not just Muslims. I applaud his openness! It is Monumental that the two churches were together for a Pope's election and installation! Go Holy Spirit!

I marvel at the anti-Catholicism of other Christians in these posts. The Pope is just a man and a sinner. Just like me. Just like you. Just like everyone in your churches. Isn't it wonderful that God still loves us and never gives up on us!!!!!

udom7a
udom7a

For the present Pope to convince me that he is different from those before him in a good way, he must demonstrate his will to obey the commandment to not covet , by renouncing the title of High Priest, which Popes have taken through covetousness and ambition for power through the control of the church .He must end the corrupt grab for religious power by men from Western Europe

thewholetruth
thewholetruth

@udom7a  They are all the same(Popes)..., Th Catholic Church  has removed itself from the teaching of the Messiah a long time again.  Spirit Filled Christian Churches are booming in attendance but the Catholic church is just the opposite  The Catholic Church is not in the Salvation work anymore,  they are a Government and Political Organization 

mariyammohammad123
mariyammohammad123

EVIL RELIGION:

Song of Songs 8:1-3 "If only you were to me like a brother, who was nursed at my mother's breastss! Then, if I found you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me. I would lead you and bring you to my mother's house-- she who has taught me. I would give you spiced wine to drink [i.e., her vaginna's semenn!], the nectar of my pomegranates. His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me."


Numbers 31:17-18


New International Version (NIV)


17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man

mariyammohammad123
mariyammohammad123

P0RN0GRAPIC BIBLE:

Numbers 31:35-40 "[From the captives of war] 32,000 women who had never slept with a man.......of which the tribute for the LORD was 32 [among them were virginn girls]."

Even though GOD Almighty's share of the 32 virginn girls is metaphoric, meaning that He didn't come down and have sex with them, but if any wants to call Prophet Muhammad a pedophile or womanizer for marrying (not forcing into sexx) a young girl and marrying multiple women throughout his life, then he should not only call his Biblical Prophets as such, but also the GOD of Israel Himself!.

Song of Solomon 8:10 "Dear brothers, I'm a walled-in virgin still, but my breastss are full— And when my lover sees me, he knows he'll soon be satisfied."

She is a virginn with full swelling breastss. When her lover meets her, he will be satisfied from those swelling breastss! Obviously, she is referring to licking, suckking and other p0rnographic things that I can't mention here. Believe me this verse is not talking about them worshiping GOD Almighty together when they meet!! It is clearly and indisputably referring to graphic sexx that involves her swelling breastss and other things such as intercoursee.


Let us look at Song of Songs 4:5 "Your two breastss are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies."

Let us look at Song of Songs 1:13 "My lover is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breastss."

Praising the bed that they had sexx on: Let us look at Song of Songs 1:16 "How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant"

Let us look at Song of Songs 1:2-4 "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth-- for your love is more delightful than wine. Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens love you! Take me away with you--let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers. We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love (i.e., semen) more than wine. How right they are to adore you!" I don't think this would be appropriate for a kid under 18 to read. Also, I don't think it is appropriate to have such open sexxuality in a divine book anyway.

His right arm sexually feeling her body: Let us look at Song of Songs 2:6 "His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me."

Let us look at Song of Songs 3:4 "Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go till I had brought him to my mother's house, to the room of the one who conceived me." So in other words, she was not married to him, and when she found him, she took him back to her bed room to have illegal sexx with him? If she were married to him, she wouldn't take him to her "mother's house". She would take him to their house.


Let us look at Song of Songs 3:10 "Its posts he made of silver, its base of gold. Its seat was upholstered with purple, its interior lovingly inlaid by the daughters of Jerusalem." Why does the Bible teach young men to spend all of their time and effort to try to impress all of the girls in their town so they can possibly end in bed with them?

Song of Songs 8:1-3 "If only you were to me like a brother, who was nursed at my mother's breastss! Then, if I found you outside, I would kiss you, and no one would despise me. I would lead you and bring you to my mother's house-- she who has taught me. I would give you spiced wine to drink [i.e., her vaginna's semenn!], the nectar of my pomegranates. His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me."

Numbers 31:17-18 New International Version (NIV) 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man

1- Kill everything that "breathes" from humans and animals!


Deuteronomy 20:16

However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.


It is certainly the Bible's principle and foundation to kill all humans and animals from the enemy's side. If one wouldn't call that terrorism, war crimes and mass-murdering, then what else should they call it??


2- Suckkling infants were executed by the tens of thousands:


1 Samuel 15:2-4

2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 

3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckkling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 

4 And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.



trlyons76
trlyons76 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I don't know who you are SergioMarcino, but I wish I did, I like intelligent people. You have it exactly right. People especially journalist talk about this Bishop or that Pope being Right Wing or a Doctrinal hardliner, it's nonsense. It's like saying that a particular person is a faithful 21st century Doctor but he's a medical hardliner because he refuses to stop treating diabetes with diet exercise and insulin instead of some modern fad snake oil. If he starts giving treatment to his  patients with everything except medical science he's no longer a Doctor, but a quack. If you say you are Catholic and start throwing out Doctrines you are no longer a Catholic. In any other area of the world no one would go for this. Imagine a math teacher who taught 2 + 2 equaled 5, or worse only taught history or vocabulary, guess what that person is no longer a math teacher. So yea icsrvyof if you can't figure it out its still a game but not the game of Football because the rules of a game are precisely what make it the game of Football. God Bless you icsrvyof but why can't you figure that out yourself? By the way Doctrine doesn't evolve it develops. A child develops into an adult, the child can't become a Polar Bear. From Divorce not Being possible to Divorce Being possible is not a development when you move from no Being to some Being. What are they teaching in schools these days? Obviously not Aristotle much less Thomas Aquinas. It seems like 90 percent of the Logical Lunicies people make in statements could be overcome with a study in school of Minor and Major Logic, instead of the newest educational theory. Oh, and thewholetruth, with a name like thewholetruth try to tell the whole truth. Acts 10:25 says "Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him". No Catholic worships the Pope or he's not really a Catholic. Any Pope will tell you he's just a man only he's been given the Prime ministers keys of the New Israel with Christ as the King from the line of David. In the old Israel whenever there was a Davidic King there was a Prime minister that held the Kings authority Matthew 16:19. If you look up that verse in the best Protestant translation (the RSV) it will refer you (because it's almost an exact quote) to Is 22:22 which refers to the Keys of authority given to the Prime Ministers of David's line, and guess what he had the Kings full authority. So it is possible to just bow out of respect for a persons office. thewholetruth are you by chance related to Martin Luther? He was also good at taking Scripture out of context, and thanks to him we went from having one united Christianity under Christ's Prime Minister to 30,000 different varieties. Luther told the Pope to go to hell then was confused and angry that other German towns and Zwingli told him to go to hell after he originated and spread a brand new idea SCRIPTURE ALONE.


publishersplace
publishersplace like.author.displayName 1 Like

@trlyons76 Good stuff, my man. Unfortunately you are sailing far above the heads of most detractors of the Catholic church--and most Catholics too.  Awfully hard talking to a wall and expecting an answer.

To secular types who expect the Pope to change the church's opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, you are totally deluded.  None of the cardinals that might have been elected would have moved in those directions, and neither will Francis.  Bedrock is bedrock.  

Ordination of women as deacons is, however, possible, and to my mind ardently to be hoped for. Plenty of precedent in the early church and even through many centuries of church history. I do believe Francis will explore this.  

John Patrick Grace

Huntington, West Virginia

thewholetruth
thewholetruth

@trlyons76  God..and the Messiah  is all true believers need.... no Pope. This "Political Organization" called the Catholic church has far removed from the Teaching of the Humble Jesus. There is no Spirit in this Church 

Transferring Pedophiles? How can they stand in front of God when Judged? 

The Pope as Prime  Minister...keys of the New Israel? Complete NONSENSE. This Church does not follow the teaching of Jesus and its followers do not pick up a Bible to read for themselves. (Maybe because they were banned from reading God's word)

The Pope is a man... nothing more...You can kiss his million dollar ring if you want and Bow but REAL Christians only knell to the Creator and the Messiah



Trl76
Trl76

@thewholetruth I finally had time to respond to your comments in this post. I couldn't tag you on my tablet so I had to get on my laptop.

icsrvyof
icsrvyof

"At the same time, reform-minded Catholics hope that better interfaith ties will prod their church to broaden its own outlook—to acknowledge that letting doctrine evolve, for example, through humane changes like recognizing divorce doesn’t make Catholicism itself any less valid."

Does picking up a football, and dribbling it upfield like a basketball, make soccer any less "valid" as a game of football?  Perhaps not?

thewholetruth
thewholetruth

The Office of Saint Peter?  Peter stopped people who wanted to bow down to him

But Peter made him get up. "Stand up," he said, "I am only a man myself." Acts 10:26


Why  doesn't the Pope say that? He is just a sinful man nothing more..like all of us in need of forgiveness 

The lies  and sins of this Church has been exposed for all to see. ..Thank God

SergioMarcano
SergioMarcano like.author.displayName 1 Like

Viewpoint? or just propaganda and disinformation? Where is a catholic giving the other viewpoint? 

It's really disturbing to see what journalism has become in recent years, especially when it comes to religion. A religion cannot be analyzed through concepts like "Right-wing", "liberal", "conservative"...

According to the traditions, biggest religions have been created by the will and word of God or a divine entity, that is, people have to follow the doctrine and the rules. Beings against these doctrines will make you against the religion itself, against that truth. It sounds very cynic complaining about the Catholic Church because it doesn't accept abortion or gay marriage when these are sins and offences to God as described along the Bible by prophets and apostles.  So, it's a little bit cynic to talk about a "liberal church", when everyone knows that this will be against what makes Catholic Church a Catholic Church. It's a too ill-intensioned discussion.  This contradiction explains, for example, the implosion of the Anglican Church which has gone Politically Correct, no even with the public, but with the system.

"recognising divorce doesn’t make Catholicism itself any less valid" 

What? This guy have ever read the Bible?

Another thing that disturbs me it's the virtual demand created by the media which say that many Catholics "want" liberalism. The "reform-mindeds". It's funny to see always a journalism giving his or her opinion or even "interviewing" an x person from a remote village saying that it's sad the fact that Vatican hasn't gone pro-choice etc. Really, this is totally out of reality, more than anything when we have seen all the pro-life anti-gay marriage rallies and protest in USA and Europe which show that they are majority, despite the decisions of the American and European parliaments which obviously don't represent the people's will but an unknown agenda.

TimothyMulherin
TimothyMulherin

 Isn't it nice being able to create your "own reality"?


Sadly enough, most Americanized religious nuts,  practice their religion on Sunday's and back to hell Monday through Friday! Access to your soul  or direct wi-fi to God, doesn't come from the Church's Sunday money plate!

Save your money on Sunday's and just start being GOOD PEOPLE!!!

trlyons76
trlyons76 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Wow, what an ignorant person wrote this! I don't even know where to begin! I guess I'll start with Pius XII 1st the forth Prime minister  of Israel Golda Meir called Pius the best friend the Jews ever had because of the many Jews he saved during the war. 2nd when he was secretary of state for Pius XI he wrote the encyclical condemning the Nazis. 3rd his efforts to save Jews during the war so impressed the cheif Rabbi of Rome after the war he converted to the Catholic Church and was Baptized by Pius. So why the bad image for Pius? In the late 60's early 70's an anti-Catholic bigoted protestant wrote a play making up incredible lies about Pius that have stuck! Another thing Benedict was often called the Pope of Christian unity by informed Catholics because of his efforts many very successful. He brought many Anglicans back to Rome and his efforts with the Eastern Orthodox was entirely the reason Bartholomew I was even there you idiot. Many, many more examples I could put Tim Padgett. Sometimes I wish I had more Christian charity towards people who either outright lie or people who seem to be incompetent in regards to journalism when they are journalists! There are so many other errors in this article I won't even bother with, I once again don't get paid to do your job Tim Padgett, even if I seem to do it better. It definitely reminds me why I stop reading Time magazine, what an erroneous rag not fit for tampons! For anyone interested about the true story of Pius XII get a book called 'The Defamation of Pius XII' and it backs up its facts unlike Time, seeing how you can't back up a lie, you can only continue to perpetuate it!

To: (DumbAss) Tim/ From: (SmartAss) Tim

NoOneImportant
NoOneImportant like.author.displayName 1 Like

Two things:

1. "Error has no rights" is a logically sound statement insofar as it refers to error and not to the PEOPLE living in error. One would not want, say, people driving around believing stop signs in fact mean "speed up." Insofar as this is an error, they have no right to this belief, and no one would insist that they should be allowed to continue in this manner regardless of if they truly believed it or not. A gross exaggeration, but it illustrates the point.

However, the FACT OF THE MATTER is that we live in an age too far gone for such hard-line stances. The dignity and rights of people living in "error" need to be respected and upheld just as much as error needs to be gently rebuked. However, let us not be sophists.

2. A "communion wafer" is not the same as a consecrated host. Don't equivocate.

ChrisRizik
ChrisRizik

An odd choice of use of the word "reform." The notion that the Church's position on divorce is clearly wrong and and in need of reform, shows a lack of understanding about it and its theological foundation. It may be that indeed that the Church's position on divorce may evolve over time, but to essentially dismiss the current position as in need of "reform" in order to be "humane" shows a writer viewing this through a very earthly, humanistic prism.

Heteroric
Heteroric like.author.displayName 1 Like

To the Catholic pope, to H with Islam, it is vile. They are driving Christians out of their part of the world. Worry about Christians for a change.

quixoticch
quixoticch

Dear Sir, Christ himself says in the Gospel that if you divorce and marry again you commit adultery. Don´t expect a Pope to change the Gospel.

tgm404
tgm404 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@quixoticch It also says that it would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck, and be thrown into the sea, than to molest a child.

JasonRooney
JasonRooney

@tgm404 @quixoticch Actually, it doesn't say that.  The verse you're referring to (rather than "quoting") does NOT say what you say it does (you're clearly twisting it out of context.)  It doesn't say anything about sexual immorality, or even children for that matter.  I know, I know, I know... it's fun to beat Catholics over the head with references to the Clerical abuse scandal, but at least do so with integrity.  You just sold yours.

tgm404
tgm404

@JasonRooney @tgm404 @quixoticch You probably think the Bible was written in Latin, too. Just keep telling yourself pedophile religion isn't a crime against humanity, you'll be in Hell soon enough.

JarredPhillips
JarredPhillips like.author.displayName 1 Like

Anyone who doesn't believe in holy Zeus of mount Olympus is blind, immoral and doesn't have what my faith gives my life. Any rules that he gives me that others don't follow will result in them being tortured for eternity.....

But I'm here to tell you, Zeus loves you. Just read the Iliad and Odyssey if you need proof of him and his power.

JasonRooney
JasonRooney

@JarredPhillips More anti-intellectual and bigoted rhetoric from the anti-Catholic majority!  SO popular these days!  (Probably not even worth explaining to you how unreasoned your comparisons are... you've clearly never studied formal logic.)   :)

JarredPhillips
JarredPhillips

@JasonRooney I'm sorry if you thought my bigoted rhetoric was aimed specifically at the Catholic Church. It wasn't. I was referring to Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and any other religious group that only seems to mention one of their main "rules" when the other faiths aren't listening. You know, the one about everyone who doesn't believe in their "deity" or "deities" will be tortured forever. My apologies to anyone who actually worships Zeus. I'm not sure if Zeus worshipers believe that other religious followers will be tormented forever for not trusting in Zeus and Zeus alone. If thinking that the upper tier of the Catholic Church management shouldn't be shamed for their past behavior is wrong then I don't want to be right. I'm referencing the molestations and the subsequent cover ups. I suppose the degradation of women and homosexuals could also be a cause of some well deserved shaming. Maybe I'm not doing it right. I'm not a self righteous religious jerk and so publicly stereotyping and shaming large groups of people doesn't come naturally.

rohit57
rohit57 like.author.displayName 1 Like

" There was the speech in 2006 when he seemed, fairly or not, to suggest that coerced conversion was one of Islam’s core tenets."

But isn't this true?  As a matter of practice, Islam does not practice forced conversion these days but it may well be in the Koran and HAS been practiced.   The Pope is not allowed to say something true if liberals don't like it?

For the record, I am glad that the Pope is reaching out to Islam.  I wish he would include Buddhism and Hinduism as well.  

 But Islam (as also Christianity) does have a mixed record in regard to tolerance. 

MaryMoskowitz
MaryMoskowitz like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 8 Like

I am always amazed (well, not really) when people who know very little about the Catholic Church choose to write about it. The members of the Catholic Church, of which I am one, are extremely blessed to have been given Pope Francis, this very holy man, by God which none of us deserve. If you understand Christianity, Pope Francis epitomizes in human form who Jesus Christ is. Popes are not hardliners,  or moderate. They are Catholic. What this means, and what few fail to understand, is that no Pope has the ability to change the teachings of the Church in the area of faith and morals. They never will. And please, don't refer to the Eucharist as a communion wafer. It's not. Catholics believe it is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. If you did not know that then you should have, before writing this piece.

thewholetruth
thewholetruth

@MaryMoskowitz  The Pope is just a sinful man just like all sinners. We have no idea if any Pope is doing right in God's eyes. I suggest you start reading your Bible.

MaryMoskowitz
MaryMoskowitz

@thewholetruth @MaryMoskowitz The Pope is human and a sinner as all humans but he is also the Vicar of Christ and a successor of St. Peter.

thewholetruth
thewholetruth

@MaryMoskowitz @thewholetruth  There is no successor to Peter, Peter was a follower of the Messiah that is it.... There is The Creator God and his son Jesus the Messiah....No Pope needed.  Stop all the titles and idol worship. Peter was just a man..he denied  Jesus 3 times...The Pope is just a man ..,nothing more..Praise God

JasonRooney
JasonRooney like.author.displayName 1 Like

We are all sinners.  It's cliche, but true.  But you're over-reaching by saying we have no idea if "any Pope is doing right in God's eyes."  I suggest you follow your own advice about "reading your Bible" and couple that with developing the practice of more frequent examinations of your conscience!  :)   1 Corinthians 11:28

JasonRooney
JasonRooney

@thewholetruth @JasonRooney You said "We have no idea if any Pope is doing right in God's eyes."  Which is absolute nonsense (I was trying to be polite earlier.)

"All violations of the word of God."  According to YOUR interpretation of Scripture maybe - but you'll never find a passage in the Holy Bible that says what you SAY it says about kissing rings and bowing to people as gestures of respect.  You are talking rubbish and claiming the author of your filth is God.  There's a word for that you know...

And it does no good to repeat the point of the sinfulness of all people - and the need of Christ our Redeemer.  I clearly said "We are all sinners."  Unless you have reason to suspect that I personally believe the Pope is an alien - and therefore not to be included in the category "ALL" - you're being rude.  And I'm not sure if you're being rude on purpose because you don't care, or by accident because you think it drives your point home.

You want to advance the cause for Christ?  You could start by acting with integrity.

thewholetruth
thewholetruth

@JasonRooney  "Kissing his ring" and bowing to him?  NEVER ...All violations of the word of God. Bow only to the Creator...The Pope is just a sinful man like all of us in need of the Messiah. 


timtimemiami
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@MaryMoskowitz 

I am also a Catholic, and I also consider the Eucharist a sacred rite. But I also try to appreciate the compassion the Eucharist symbolizes (or incarnates, if you take transubstantiation literally). That's why I don't melt down if I see a Protestant take Catholic communion. (it is, after all, a Christian sacrament.) And it's why a genuinely compassionate Muslim doesn't flip out if someone inadvertently enters a mosque with his shoes on, or why a genuinely compassionate Jew doesn't blast someone for not donning a yarmulke in a synagogue. There are better ways of addressing these harmless miscues, as I call them in the article, than lashing out in ways that don't really reflect the humane faiths we're supposed to represent. And for the record, Catholic church teachings have changed quite frequently over the past 2,000 years. The Vatican was OK with slavery, for example, until the late 19th century.

MaryMoskowitz
MaryMoskowitz

@timtimemiami @MaryMoskowitz  Tim, the Eucharist is more than a "sacred rite". You are incorrect, however, if you believe that reception of the Eucharist is a "one size fits all" approach. The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church believe the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. Some high church protestants may in some way believe this, but because they are separated from the Catholic Church the Catholic Church does not consider their ministers to have valid holy orders and they, therefore, cannot confect the Eucharist. Secondly, for one to receive the Eucharist in the Catholic Church a person must believe they are receiving the Eucharist as Catholics understand it, and be united with the Church in her beliefs. This is not possible for non Catholics or others from different faiths. You need to understand the significance of reception of Communion. Furthermore, so serious is the reception of the Eucharist that Catholics themselves must not be in a state of serious sin before receiving the Eucharist. The Church is not consumed with lashing out at people but educating and respecting what is truly important and is not be taken lightly. And, for the record, the Catholic Church has not changed anything in 2,000 years pertaining to faith and morals. When was the Vatican ok with slavery? The Church has consistently taught in the dignity of every human being. I would recommend you pick up the Catechism of the Catholic Church to familiarize yourself with what the Catholic Church teaches instead of making comments which only make you sound like you have an axe to grind.

MaryMoskowitz
MaryMoskowitz


@timtimemiami @MaryMoskowitz To be an "authenic" Catholic means you don't pick and choose what you want to accept.ManyCatholics do exactly that.Opinion polls are meaningless. Your opinion or my opinion or the opinion of thousands are irrelevant.Religion is not based upon opinion but what God has revealed and putting it into practice.






timtimemiami
timtimemiami

@MaryMoskowitz @timtimemiami 

Mary: The Eucharist is a sacrament; a sacrament is a sacred rite, so my terminology is just fine, thank you. In any case, I don't take that sacrament lightly; I consider it all the things you consider it. I just don't consider it a basis for scandal, as ChrisRizik points out in this forum, if a fellow Christian happens to take it. The broader point, Mary, is that a person doesn't have to think and believe exactly as you do to be a Catholic, and just about every poll out there shows that a majority of Catholics in this country agree with me on that. And incidentally, I have read the catechism--which is why it was so surprising when I first learned many years ago that the church had largely condoned slavery for centuries until Pope Leo XIII finally condemned it outright in 1888. All the best, Mary. 

JasonRooney
JasonRooney like.author.displayName 1 Like

@timtimemiami @MaryMoskowitz Sir, I humbly be you to learn your faith better.  You seem like a very intelligent person... please, please, please!!!  We need more people with that gift from God (intelligence) to witness to the faith!  You cannot genuinely do that if you do not know or misunderstand it.  And you clearly have some misunderstandings about our precious Catholic faith.  I'll pray for you my brother.

ChrisRizik
ChrisRizik

@timtimemiami @MaryMoskowitz Tim, I get your point, but the challenge comes when someone receives the body and blood of Christ who denies that it is the body and blood of Christ, as is the case with many Protestant denominations. For that reason I understand the Church's position regarding limiting who can receive communion to Catholics and Orthodox -- though I agree with your point that the receipt by a faithful non-Catholic Christian should not be the basis for scandal.

MaryMoskowitz
MaryMoskowitz

@timtimemiami @darrylwilsonjr What God has revealed cannot evolve in any way. Some Protestant Churches have decided to"evolve" and have become "pseudo Christian" churches. Authentic Christianity does not evolve.

JarredPhillips
JarredPhillips

@darrylwilsonjr Wow! A Christian that sounds like Christ! You are a rare breed my friend. Not being religious myself I usually just skip these articles. This new pope has got me kind of excited about religion for the first time in a long time. Looks like he believes in actually helping people while not acting like a spoiled little princeling. He seems to be one of the most open minded popes I've ever heard of. I know he doesn't like gays and condoms, but hey miracles don't happen over night(at least not in the real world). He might actually accomplish a lot of good instead of arguing about about wafers and other nonsense. I've had communion as a child but I was a Presbyterian at the time. I'm sure we did it wrong and so I'll probably burn in hell for eternity( according to some Christians and other religions I was damned before I even stopped believing). I really think Francis may be able to salvage the Catholic Church. Who knows, that might actually turn out to be a good thing.

timtimemiami
timtimemiami

@darrylwilsonjr 

I think Darryl raises quite a few important  points in this forum. Catholicism can't continue to be a walled off theological country club anymore. No religion can. A fifth of the American public today isn't affiliated with any religion, and there's a reason for that. Faith, like anything else in life, has to evolve; if it remains stagnant, people will leave it, or at least leave its institutions. 

darrylwilsonjr
darrylwilsonjr like.author.displayName 1 Like

All are welcome at the table of plenty. As a Catholic myself, I honestly don't think Jesus would mind if someone received Him without the education or spiritual background to acknowledge the mystery of the body and blood of Christ. I'm quite confident he would just be happy that his child joined him at his table. So why is it such a challenge? Challenge for who? I can't understand how these allegedly righteous Catholics have challenges or concerns with someone receiving the body and blood of Christ who in your view is not qualified to do so but yet these same Catholics seem quite content to sit back and permit poverty all around them. Jesus spent a lot of time with the sinners, poor and marginalized. I'm confident he would be very happy to be received by any of his children.

tgm404
tgm404

@MaryMoskowitz The Vatican has lost all moral authority, by protecting pedophile priests, and persecuting their victims, for CENTURIES.

JasonRooney
JasonRooney

@tgm404 @MaryMoskowitz If by the "Vatican" you mean the office of Saint Peter, you're quite wrong.  :)  The Pope is the only person on earth who is preserved from teaching error on morality.  God Himself is the Authority - as He is the Author.  Without Him, there is no standard... "right" and "wrong" do not exist - and your self-righteous posturing about abuse victims is simply wasted words.

rohit57
rohit57

@MaryMoskowitz How is he "given"?  Wasn't he chosen?   

Can I say that God has "chosen" to give me your posting and has also "chosen" to give you my reply?  If God does everything, then we may as well sit on one side and watch the show.

Most of us would say that the Pope was chosen a couple of weeks ago. 

MaryMoskowitz
MaryMoskowitz like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

@rohit57 @MaryMoskowitz 

What occurred in the Conclave were men praying under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God did not pluck Pope Francis from the group of men without human intervention. God either has ordaining or permitting will. What this means is that human beings have free will. All of us do since God does not "manipulate" our lives. Catholics believe that God permits us to choose. In this case, the very human Cardinals elected Pope Francis and God permitted it. 

quixoticch
quixoticch

@rohit57 @MaryMoskowitz It will not be easy to get God´s reasons into our heads! The point is to believe in Christ and live according to his teachings.

rohit57
rohit57 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@MaryMoskowitz @rohit57 Thanks!   I know there is a tension between free will and "everything happens as God wills it."  You are offering a solution which makes sense to you.  I understand that.