Pope Francis: Don’t proselytize, instead heal the sick and seek the lost!!
Pope Francis has used an interview with Argentina’s prestigious La Nacion newspaper to attack the Roman Catholic Church’s ‘clericalism’ and to defend himself against charges that he is failing to provide the Church with clear leadership.
Asked about the numbers of Latin American Catholics leaving
Asked about the numbers of Latin American Catholics leaving the Church, the Argentian Pope referred to the attractions of Protestant ‘prosperity preaching’, which he said had “inspired many religious propositions which people feel attracted to”. However, striking a note which has become familiar since his election, he spoke of the need for clergy to reconnect with ordinary Catholics, saying: “I wonder about ourselves, what is it that we ourselves do, what is within the Church that makes the faithful unhappy? It’s that people don´t feel we are close enough, it’s clericalism. Today, to be close means to reach out to Catholics, to seek people out and be close to them, to sympathize with their problems, with their reality.”
Asked whether the Church should do more to stop people leaving, he criticized ‘managerial’ approaches to the problem, saying: “I don’t like to use terms connected with proselytism because that´s not the truth. I like to use the image of the field hospital: some people are very much injured and are waiting for us to heal their wounds, they are injured for a thousand reasons. We must reach out to them and heal their wounds.”
He objected similarly to the word ‘strategy’, saying: “I’d much rather speak about the Lord´s pastoral call, otherwise it sounds like an NGO. It’s the Lord’s call, what the Church is asking from us today, not as a strategy, because the Church isn’t into proselytism.”
Traditional Catholics have criticized Pope Francis for speaking too generally about reforming the Church and failing to identify a clear theological programme, with one senior cardinal describing the Church under his leadership as “like a ship without a rudder”. Challenged on this, the Pope said: “Those expressions strike me as odd. I am not aware of anybody using them. The media quote them. However, until I can ask the people involved “Have you said this?” I will have brotherly doubts.”
Read entire article at Christian Today
‘We owe God a deep regret of gratitude for the purely gratuitous gift of the true faith with which he has favored us. How many are the infidels, heretics and schismatic who do not enjoy comparable happiness? The earth is full of them and they are all lost!’
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Doctor of the Church
Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (1/2) – No salvation outside the Church
Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (2/2) – No salvation outside the Church