America magazine. I believe the original interview was done in another publication.
I don't know how they got one when His Holiness called me the other day to say he'd do an interview with me before their one.
What do you make of the 'exclusive' or is that 'inclusive' Pope Francis interview?
There are elements to it that I find unsettling for different reasons. I do like his emphasis on the Sacrament of Confession - surely something some of our Bishops need to promote actively.
One thing that I sense about the pontificate of Pope Francis is that we are seeing a re-defining of the papacy. There is something about his pontificate which is unlike anything I've seen before. What is a Pope for? I had always thought that the Pope is the Successor of St Peter who guards the Deposit of Faith with his life. I had always thought that in his doing so, we find communion with him.
These are strange times. Times in which the Deposit of Faith is under severe attack. Why leave it to others to defend it vigorously? Do not his comments make those who defend the Church's teaching more readily and openly look like cruel dogmatists? Aspects of this interview will be music to the ears of those who seek to overturn the Church's teachings. Other parts will not. Parts will feel like a smack in the teeth to those who defend the Magisterium day in, day out, in their work for the Church and to pro-lifers this will be a bombshell of significant proportions. Plenty of people will be happy to take advantage of the vagueness or open-endedness of some of Pope Francis's answers.
These kind of groups are happy to call themselves Christian without adherence to the Church's doctrines - without loyalty to the Magisterium. How seriously do Quest and ACTA take the Sacrament of Confession? Once doctrine is watered down or perceived to be watered down, would that not take souls away from the Sacrament of Penance in which we find mercy and grace?
Also, I always suspected that the Pope was a sinner (like myself and the rest of the human race). What I don't get from Pope Francis's interview is a sense of divinisation - that Jesus desires to make us into Saints.
There seems to be something surprisingly horizontal about his theology. I am still digesting His Holiness's interview. I find myself having to go back and back again asking, 'Did he really just say that?'
I'd be interested in your thoughts. I'm stunned. Or is that petrified?
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