Monday, September 23, 2013

Quote of the Day

When the cardinals gathered last March to elect a successor to Benedict XVI, many Catholics were praying for a reformer who would tilt the church toward the progressive side of the spectrum. The cardinals, and many other bishops, were mainly concerned with getting a pope who would get the Roman Curia off their backs and maybe even listen to their concerns once in a while.

Both prayers may have been answered, but the most significant development may be Francis’ vow to have a “real, not ceremonial consultation” in which he hears all points of view and where everyone can speak freely.

Francis wants to consult with the bishops, but it doesn’t stop there: He wants the bishops to consult with their people, to “support the movements of God among their people with patience.” The point is that the institutional church needs to account for the beliefs of the “people of God.”

He expressed that most provocatively in highlighting that all Catholics — rather than the pope alone — “are infallible in matters of belief.”

Francis’ appreciation of consultation comes from reflecting on his past mistakes, when he vaulted to a senior leadership position in the Jesuits at the age of 36 and alienated many with his “authoritarian way of making decisions.” The church, too, has been guilty of that fault, he says, and he wants to change that.

– David Gibson
"Five Things We Learned About Pope Francis
from His Blockbuster Interview

Religion News Service
September 20, 2013

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