Catholics for Renewal

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Pope Francis

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This page comprises or includes a number of well publicised reports, quotes and statements attributed to Pope Francis. Most of the statements give cause for great hope for the future of the Church. Catholics for Renewal advocates to ensure that these inspiring insights are reflected in positive action reforming Church practice and governance.

 
# Recent

Pope Francis’ Address at Commemorative Ceremony for the 50th Anniversary of the Synod of Bishops,   October 17 2015 linked Here .                                                                                                                                                      

 

Speaking in a meeting with members of the clergy of Naples on 21 March 2015, Pope Francis said "Who gossips is a terrorist that throws a bomb and destroys," he exclaimed loudly. "Gossip destroys. Speak of differences face-to-face."  Some earlier quotes follow:

 

1. Pope Francis calls for big changes in Roman Catholic Church
By Daniel Burke, CNN, 26 November 2013
Pope Francis on Tuesday called for major changes in the Roman Catholic Church -- from the top down -- saying he knows it will be a messy business but he expects his flock to dive in feet-first.

"I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," the Pope said Tuesday in a major new address.

"I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center and then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures."

The Pope's address, called an "apostolic exhortation," is basically a pep talk from the throne of St. Peter. Officially known in Latin as "Evangelii Gaudium," (The Joy of the Gospel) the 85-page document is the first official papal document written entirely by Francis (more).

 

2. Pope Francis: without prophecy, only clericalism                                                                                          from From News.va 16 December 2013 (source)

(Vatican Radio) A church without prophets falls into the trap of clericalism. These were the words of Pope Francis during his homily at Mass on Monday morning in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta.

Commenting on the day’s readings, Pope Francis said a prophet is someone who listens to the words of God, who reads the spirit of the times, and who knows how to move forward towards the future. True prophets, the Pope said, hold within themselves three different moments: past, present, and future. They keep the promise of God alive, they see the suffering of their people, and they bring us the strength to look ahead.

God looks after his people, the Pope continued, by giving them prophets in the hardest times, in the midst of their worst suffering. But when there is no spirit of prophecy amongst the people of God, we fall into the trap of clericalism.

In the Gospel, for example, the priests ask Jesus: “With what authority do you do these things? We are the masters of the Temple!” They didn’t understand the prophecy, Pope Francis said, they had forgotten the promise. They didn’t know how to read the spirit of the times, they didn’t listen to the words of God, they had only their authority.

When there is no prophecy amongst the people of God, the emptiness that is created gets filled by clericalism. All memory of the past and hope for the future are reduced only to the present: no past promise, no future hope. But when clericalism reigns supreme, Pope Francis said, the words of God are sorely missed, and true believers weep because they cannot find the Lord.

As we prepare for the birth of the Lord, Pope Francis concluded, let us pray: “Lord, let us not lack prophets amongst your people!” All those who are baptised are prophets: let us not forget God’s promise, let us not tire of moving forward. 

 

3. Francis: "Jesus did not have to come to teach us good manners"
Consistory, Feb. 22, 2014

Dear brother Cardinals. A Cardinal – I say this especially to you – enters the Church of Rome, my brothers, not a royal court. May all of us avoid, and help others to avoid, habits and ways of acting typical of a court: intrigue, gossip, cliques, favouritism and partiality. May our language be that of the Gospel: “yes when we mean yes; no when we mean no”; may our attitudes be those of the Beatitudes, and our way be that of holiness. Let pray once more: “Merciful Father, by your help, may we be ever attentive to the voice of the Spirit”.

 

4. Pope Francis’ plan for reform: Convert the church
Extract from David Gibson, Religion News Service, National Catholic Reporter, 10 March 2014

.....Church leaders and Vatican insiders say the 77-year-old Francis is really focused on a more ambitious (and perhaps more difficult) goal: overhauling and upending the institutional culture of Catholicism. Francis, they say, is bent on converting the church, as it were, so that the faith is positioned to flourish in the future no matter who follows him to the throne of St. Peter (more).

 

- and some other quotes:

  •  “The defining aspect of this change of epoch is that things are no longer in their place. Our previous ways of explaining the world and relationships, good and bad, no longer appears to work. The way in which we locate ourselves in history has changed. Things we thought would never happen, or that we never thought we would see, we are experiencing now, and we dare not even imagine the future. That which appeared normal to us – family, the Church, society and the world – will probably no longer seem that way. We cannot simply wait for what we are experiencing to pass, under the illusion that things will return to being how they were before.” (Pope Francis Speaking at a meeting with diocesan clergy in the Basilica of St John Lateran, the cathedral of Rome, 16 September 2013)
  • "This is precisely the reason for the dissatisfaction of some, who end up sad -- sad priests -- in some sense becoming collectors of antiques or novelties, instead of being shepherds living with 'the odor of the sheep.' This I ask you: Be shepherds, with the 'odor of the sheep,' make it real, as shepherds among your flock, fishers of men." (Chrism Mass, March 28, 2013).
  • "Ask yourselves this question: How often is Jesus inside and knocking at the door to be let out, to come out? And we do not let him out because of our own need for security, because so often we are locked into ephemeral structures that serve solely to make us slaves and not free children of God." (Pentecost vigil, May 18, 2013).
  • "Men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the 'culture of waste.' If a computer breaks it is a tragedy, but poverty, the needs and dramas of so many people end up being considered normal. ... When the stock market drops 10 points in some cities, it constitutes a tragedy. Someone who dies is not news, but lowering income by 10 points is a tragedy! In this way people are thrown aside as if they were trash." (General audience, June 5, 2013).
  • "Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey. To those who suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything; rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence, a history of goodness which touches every story of suffering and opens up a ray of light." ("Lumen Fidei," June 29, 2013).
  • "If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him? ... The problem is not having this tendency, no, we must be brothers and sisters to one another. The problem is in making a lobby of this tendency: a lobby of misers, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of masons, so many lobbies." (News conference during flight from Brazil to Rome, July 28, 2013).
  • "An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral." ("Evangelii Gaudium," Nov. 24, 2013).
  • "The perfect family doesn't exist, nor is there a perfect husband or a perfect wife, and let's not talk about the perfect mother-in-law! t's just us sinners." A healthy family life requires frequent use of three phrases: "May I? Thank you, and I'm sorry" and "never, never, never end the day without making peace." (Meeting with engaged couples, Feb. 14, 2014).
  • “As pastors, bishops and priests, are we conscious and convinced of the mission of the lay faithful and do we give them the freedom to continue discerning, in a way benefitting their growth as disciples, the mission which the Lord has entrusted to them?  Do we support them and accompany them, overcoming the temptation to manipulate or infantilize them? Are we constantly open to letting ourselves be challenged in our efforts to advance the good of the Church and her mission in the world?” (Pope Francis in his address to the episcopal leadership in Latin America (CELAM), July 2013).
  • "Women must have a greater presence in the decision-making areas of the church". (interview granted to two newspapers, Corriere della Sera in Italy and La Nacion in Argentina, March 2014 http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303369904579420532931785604)
  • Before God and his people I express my sorrow for the sins and grave crimes of clerical sexual abuse committed against you. And I humbly ask forgiveness. I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves. This led to even greater suffering on the part of those who were abused and it endangered other minors who were at risk. (Pope's Homily at Mass with Sexual Abuse Victims, 7 July 2014                                                                                 http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-homily-at-mass-with-sexual-abuse-victims

 

Five things we learned about Pope Francis
Summary of America magazine reports by The Diocese if Springfield-Cape Girardeau, The Roman Catholic Church of Southern Missouri. U.S. (here)

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