Several people have asked me what I think about Pope Francis’s recent interview with America Magazine. It’s a fascinating interview and a wonderful read in which The Pope says things such as this –
“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.
“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.”
First, I am not a Catholic, but I am a Christian, and I think what we have witnessed at The Vatican this year is nothing short of a miracle. Remember it all started when God spoke to Pope Benedict and ‘told‘ him to resign. The new Pope, Pope Francis, brought with him a dramatic shift in style and tone – and now a shift in message. That appears to be exactly what God wants. I think that’s just awesome.
I also think that there is a political lesson in the Pope’s new message, and those of us in politics can learn from Pope Francis. I think his lesson is essentially – Don’t focus on what you are against. Focus your efforts on all that you are doing to help people and make the world a better place.
Please take some time to read the entire interview with Pope Francis here.
***UPDATE*** – Read this story about a new interview the Pope did with an atheist journalist in Italy. This is just more evidence of God’s miracle in bringing this man to this position of influence. Amazing.