Pope Francis, “They Think I Said WHAT!”

I wrote an article for CatholicLane called Front Row With Francis: The Nature of the Church .
It was fascinating that Pope Francis opened his teaching by rejecting a narrow view that the Church is “restricted to the clergy or the Vatican ” . He pointed out that we are “all the Church, all family, all of the Mother.” I was pleasantly surprised that his definition of Church included “a much broader reality, which opens to the whole of humanity ….She was founded by Jesus but is a people with a long history behind it and a preparation that began much before Christ himself.”
Yet some commentators were furious, “What would a man who denies the Trinity by affirming we worship the same God as Islam, know about the nature of the Church?
I answered as follows:
The focus of the Pope’s remarks centre on the fact that it is God who forms Church. GOD initiates and we respond in obedience and humility. IT IS PROFOUND, TRUE AND IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.

To another upset commentator, I said:

I find that it is best to discern what is in the Lord with an open heart, and not with an eye that looks for mistakes. It is interesting to note that Jesus constantly upset the religious experts of his day by seeming to break the letter of the law when in fact, as Love incarnate, He was the fulfilment of the law.

Jesus constantly appeared to contradict Himself for those who judged His words only by their surface meaning. Many of Christ’s words seem difficult to reconcile if they are not read spiritually.

When I think that I am right and denounce another, I am in great danger of spiritual pride. Yes we need to discern opinions and positions of those in authority but in the case of the pope, I would suggest that judgement is best left to God who can see the heart of the man and does not jump to conclusions or judge surface meanings taken out of context. Even if a scholar is right on a technicality, by denouncing the pope, is he harming the Body of Christ? Would it  not be better to quietly pray, leaving it in the hands of God or write a respectful discussion about the subject?


5 thoughts on “Pope Francis, “They Think I Said WHAT!”

  1. Thank you for this article Melanie. Vatican II was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Collegiality pertains to the very essence of Christianity. It is not an optional extra. Pope Francis is implementing what should have been implemented 50 years ago. Thank you for your inspired article.


    1. there is a conversation on cathoicstand on my article about Pope Francis’s talk on the chruch.. I mentioned your comment and there is a quwstion I cannot answer In the wider sense, congregating under any religious banner could be considered church. Jesus doesn’t need to be the focus.
      That seems to be the wider, inclusive interpretation of the Pope.
      In a narrower definition, Jesus is there as the focus and “where Peter is, there is the Church”.
      This should be our Pope’s focus as well.
      I don’t quite know what MJJ refers to that “should have been implemented 50 yrs ago”.


  2. Spiritual pride is such a problem in our time. I have seen it in myself, when I see other churches or individuals that are off base. In my heart I want to condemn them. It is only by God’s grace that we can repent and be free from such garbage.
    Compassion for others, even for those that are wrong, is one of the many things I love about the Catholic Church. This truly amazes me and blesses me.
    I see Pope Francis as a man of compassion, attempting to build bridges. I still say that he will bring many to the faith as a result. He is what our world needs right now. I will never forget the image of him washing the prisoner’s feet.


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