Although I am not Catholic, I have long admired the Catholic Church’s steadfast opposition to Abortion in the face of great opposition, long before Evangelicals picked up the mantle.
Now, that Science and technology are actually affirming the Catholic position with 3D ultrasound and fetal monitoring, it would seem that the new pontiff is calling this heroic stand “small-minded rules”.
If this is true and not a media ruse, it is VERY disturbing.
Pope Francis is, of course, entitled to his opinion, but there is a large group of people who consider his statements to be infallible. What can they do when the statements conflict with centuries of Catholic teaching?
Not to mention their own conscience in the matter.
The pope teaches infallibly regarding faith and morals when he invokes his charism of infalibility. This has only happened a handful of times, at most, in the past 150 years.
He’s NOT saying that abortion is okay. He’s saying that we don’t start with the negatives first when we’re trying to convert people.
The Church is our Mother, something that people have forgotten since Vatican II, when the Church suddenly became a politicized bureaucracy. Our Mother calls to us and brings us back to Her, and through her to Her Son, Jesus, and we don’t have to be perfect to hear the call and respond. And we can even fall and come back once we’re there.
This doesn’t diminish the teachings of the Church on abortion, homosexuality, or anything else: it simply says that our first duty is to call to people, just as Our Lord did.
You hit the nail on the head.
I recognize that the Roman Catholic church is a massive organization, and based on the “ecclesiolae in ecclesia” principle, many smaller groups which in Protestantism would be separate denominations are vying with each other for influence. It is quite possible that the liberal Jesuits have manipulated the Pope into saying things which are in themselves defensible, but which could be interpreted as “sending a message” for much worse beliefs, and will in fact open a door for such beliefs.
Time will tell.
The problem with a monarchical episcopate is that a well-meaning but weak person in the top post can say unwise things which malevolent people in lower positions then use to their own evil ends.