Skip to comments.Pope Francis seen as humble man who can unite, rebuild Church
Posted on 03/15/2013 3:30:38 PM PDT by NYer
.- American Catholic scholars and commentators praised Pope Francis as a spiritual leader for our times, with the ability to unify and renew the Catholic Church.
“As a man who can both preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ boldly and confidently, yet exhibit humility, he looks like he’s got the design for the time and situation that we’re in,” said Catholic intellectual Robert P. George, who is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University.
On March 13, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires was elected as Pope, taking the name Francis. He is both the first Jesuit Pope and the first Latin American Pope.
George told CNA that the election of Cardinal Bergoglio as Pope is “not completely surprising.”
The new Pope is one of the “leading Latin-American Cardinals,” a strong candidate in the 2005 conclave and “highly respected in the Church,” he explained.
The professor also commented that the new Pope is “a man of simplicity and humility,” taking public transportation while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires and living in a modest apartment where he cooked for himself.
George noted the new Pope’s adamant teachings on caring for the poor and observed that the Pontiff is “a strong critic of homosexual conduct and same-sex marriage,” while maintaining what he described as a humble and charitable approach.
The professor recounted the story of the Holy Father as an archbishop visiting an AIDS hospice on Holy Thursday in order “to wash and kiss the feet of twelve AIDS patients.” These actions, he said, symbolize “that the Church does not condemn the person, but affirms and loves,” even as it rejects sin.
George also commented on the Pope’s outreach to Eastern Churches, a trait that he said few people have noticed. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis served as Ordinary of Eastern-rite Catholics in Argentina, who lacked their own ordinary.
“Relations with those Churches, especially in the Middle East, is very important, especially in a time when Christianity is beginning to disappear from the Middle East because of political problems,” George stressed.
He added that it is “very important for the Church to have a continuing Christian presence in the Holy Land” and for the new Pope to understand the problems faced by Eastern-rite Churches and how to support Christians in that region.
“This is a pope that you cannot put in a box,” said Maureen Ferguson, senior policy advisor for the Catholic Association. “This is a Jesuit who is now named Francis who is also associated with Communion and Liberation. I certainly cannot put him in any ideological box.”
“Through his example and through his teachings, he is going to lead the Church so beautifully in the New Evangelization,” she remarked.
Ferguson also discussed the “global perspective” the Pope brings by merging his Argentine roots with a familiarity of Europe and the global focus of the Jesuit order.
In addition, the Pope defies clear categories and “will do a good job of uniting the Church,” she said, pointing to the new Pontiff’s diverse background, humble life and staunch orthodoxy, as well as his scholarly work and familiarity with the Curia.
Pope Francis shows us that there is not a “divide between liberal Catholic issues and conservative Catholic issues,” Ferguson stressed. Rather, he teaches us that there should be a “unity of the whole - that we defend the voiceless whether that’s the poor immigrant or the unborn.”
“The fact that the conclave came to consensus so quickly when there was thought to be no front-runner,” she continued, “indicates that he will really unite the Church.”
Echoing these sentiments was Kim Daniels, director of Catholic Voices USA, a group of lay faithful seeking to defend Catholic teaching in public life.
Daniels told CNA that Pope Francis’ election “shows that the Catholic Church doesn't fit into familiar left/right categories.”
She added that “Cardinal Bergoglio brings so much to the papacy,” as a man “of great personal holiness and humility who leads a life of simplicity.”
“At the same time he's an intellectual, a pastor, and something of an outsider at the Vatican,” she explained.
“Most of all his choice demonstrates that the Church serves the voiceless and the vulnerable wherever we find them: he's deeply committed to the unborn as well as for the poor.”
The faithful can be sure that Pope Francis will strive to follow St. Francis of Assisi in responding to God’s call to “rebuild my Church,” Daniels said.
Even from his initial address to the faithful from the balcony of St. Peter’s, she said, “we know that he seeks to unite Catholics and to evangelize the world, especially in cultures that have grown indifferent to the faith.”
Matthew 18:17, Matthew 16:18. You are probably thinking of the word "bible" which does not appear in scripture.
This is precisely what I was getting at. The RCC has no idea what the Book actually says. Check Acts 19:32 (the Ephesus riot) wherein Luke reports that the "ekklasia" was in confusion. That is the word which you claim is the basis for the RCC (which I suspect is actually a mob like Ephesus). But, the Roman organization has morphed "ekklasia" into "Church" (from Kirk), and thus fashioned ecclesiastic, ecclesiology, etc. Check your own references and lexicons to see if this is not so.
I repeat, there is no such word as "Church" in the Scriptures, but the term "popular assembly" or "congregation" has been twisted by Rome to justify its self-appointed, self-aggrandizing, monster of an organization. And, should you notice I Cor. 11:16 wherein the "ekklasia" has become plural, "ekklasiai", "assemblies" all over the world...not one "ekklasia", you will find that these gatherings were independent congregations of believers each given the tasks of understanding the Gospel and teaching it to those who would listen.
This history flies in the face of Rome's monolithic giant, central headquarters, singularly pronounced doctrines from hell.
Most appreciative of your interpretation, not only of scripture but also of Catholic Church doctrine. I look forward to you posting an example of one of the church's doctrines from hell. And, when you do, please post a link to your resource material. Thank you.
"The Synod furthermore declares, that, in adults, the beginning of the said Justification is to be derived from the prevenient grace of God, through Jesus Christ, that is to say, from his vocation, whereby, without any merits existing on their parts, they are called; that so they who by sins were alienated from God, may be disposed through his quickening and assisting grace, to convert themselves to their own justification, by freely assenting to and cooperating with that said grace: in such sort that, while God touches the heart of man by the illumination of the Holy Ghost, neither is man himself utterly inactive while he receives that inspiration, forasmuch as he is also able to reject it."
Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, Sixth Session, Chap. 5 in CC, vol. 2, 92.
Rom. 9:16 "So then, it does not depend on the man who wills (chooses) or the man who runs (acts), but on God who has mercy."
Paul, the writer; God, the Author.
I hope you don't mind moving in a little different direction. FWIW, I don't see much point in talking with RC's about this passage they are so caught up in church membership as a means to salvation there's not much point.
In looking at this passage I believe the key to understanding it is the wording "gates of hell". Gates don't move other than on a hinge, so it's a huge leap to think that "gates" are attacking Christians gathered together to worship and fellowship. A better understanding of a "gate" is how it's used to keep in something or keep out something. So in this passage where Jesus has declared that believing He is "the Christ, the Son of the living God" is the foundation of His church" and then adds the comment about "gates" He must be referencing something that is holding in believers.
Following this line of thought it occurs to me that what Jesus is really talking about are those believers in Abraham's bosom (see Luke 16:25). Prior to the crucifixion the debt for our sins was not paid. Where did these believers go and what contained them? I believe these believers were being contained in Abraham's bosom by the "gates of hell" and after the crucifixion these same gates could not contain those held in Abraham's bosom. I believe this understanding is more consistent with Scripture than the idea that some "gates" are attacking an institution.
SO I’M SEVENTY YEARS OLD AND MADE A SPELLING ERROR...AND ITS SO NICE OF YOU TO INSULT. MAY YOU CONTINUE TO LIVE YOUR PERFECT LIFE...and I'll live my humble one..
Exactly...I've been saying that for years because that's what the bible says...
Jesus has the keys to the gates of Hell and the gates are wide open...For the time being...
The Catholic religion doesn't have a clue what the verse says or means...They use this Abraham's Bosom as their unGodly purgatory and and the average Catholic doesn't even know the gates are wide open...They (their purgatory) couldn't keep a Christian in even if the Christian is a blind paraplegic...
There is no cleansing period or place...You better have it right when you take your last breath on this earth...
Daniels told CNA that Pope Francis election shows that the Catholic Church doesn't fit into familiar left/right categories.
Nice that somebody finally admits it publicly...
Gates also are opened and closed with a key. The second strand in the braided rope of Petrine authority is the image of steward. The steward in a royal household appears throughout the Old Testament record. The patriarch Joseph works with a steward in the palace in Egypt. King Saul has a steward, as does the prince Mephibosheth, but the most important image of steward in the Old Testament for understanding Matthew 16 is in Isaiah 22.
There the prophet foretells the fall of one royal steward and the succession of another. Shebna is being replaced by Eliakim, and the prophet says to the rejected Shebna, "I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open" (Is 22:21-22).
The true holder of the keys to the kingdom is the king himself, and in the Book of Revelation we see that the risen and glorified Christ holds the power of the keysthe power to bind and loose. John has a vision of Christ who says, "I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades" (Rv 1:18).
So the king holds the keys of the kingdom, but he delegates his power to the steward, and the keys of the kingdom are the symbol of this delegated authority. The keys not only opened all the doors, but they provided access to the store houses and financial resources of the king. In addition, the keys of the kingdom were worn on a sash that was a ceremonial badge of office. The passage from Isaiah and the customs all reveal that the role of the royal steward was an office given by the king, and that it was a successive officethe keys being handed to the next steward as a sign of the continuing delegated authority of the king himself (See "A Successive Ministry," above).
Isaiah 22 provides the Old Testament context that Jesus disciples would have understood completely as he quoted this particular passage in Matthew 16. When Jesus said to Peter, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven," his disciples would recognize the passage from Isaiah. They would understand that not only was Jesus calling himself the King of his kingdom, but that he was appointing Peter as his royal steward. That John in Revelation sees the ascended and glorified Christ holding the eternal keys only confirms the intention of Jesus to delegate that power to Peterthe foundation stone of his Church.
Catholic scholars are not alone in interpreting Matthew 16:17-19 as a direct quotation of Isaiah 22. Stephen Ray, in Upon This Rock, cites numerous Protestant biblical scholars who support this understanding and affirm that Jesus is delegating his authority over life and death, heaven and hell, to the founder of his Church on earth.
Not at all.
"I believe these believers were being contained in Abraham's bosom by the "gates of hell" and after the crucifixion these same gates could not contain those held in Abraham's bosom. I believe this understanding is more consistent with Scripture than the idea that some "gates" are attacking an institution."
This approach seems to respect the "timeline" effect of the Scriptural story. That is, you are noticing the unfolding plot as it reveals a little at a time. The captives had not yet been "freed". If readers would take this approach with the rest of the four Gospels, they would be shocked to find Jesus is not teaching "Christianity", but the Law. "You have heard that the ancients were told,'Thou shalt not commit murder'...But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court...enough to go into the hell of fire." Hmmm.
This section is the context of the so-called "Lord's prayer" which many folks recite as if it is appropriate for Gentile believers. They fail to read the ending..."For if you do not forgive men, then your Father will NOT forgive your transgressions." Is this the Gospel? Perhaps in Rome.
I'm with you Brother!
I believe we can find these answers in Scripture with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I think too many just believe whatever their church tells them instead of thinking for themselves.
I can't imagine how awesome it must have been for those believers to see Jesus declare victory and take them home.
.They use this Abraham's Bosom as their unGodly purgatory and and the average Catholic doesn't even know the gates are wide open..
Unfortunately most of them think works are a part of their justification. From my studies it seems clear to me Abraham's bosom is gone with the crucifixion.
We often try and impose what occurs during the Church Age (after Pentecost) on earlier periods. When Jesus Christ was carrying out His ministry He only went to the Jews (with a few exceptions). He preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and it was only after Pentecost that the Gospel of Grace was taught and extended to the Gentiles. Yet there is a large school of thought within Christianity that thinks there is no difference in either period.
If the latter were true where were the pre-Crucifixion believers? If their sins had already been paid for why would we need a Crucifixion in the first place.
Eph. 4:9 Now that He Ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
When Jesus was crucified he told the thief that believed, "today you will be in paradise". He did not say you will be with me and my Father in Heaven. We see the same confusion when Matt. 16:18 and "the gates of Hell" are misinterpreted to benefit a large institution.
I concur. Notice even Matt. 15:24, "But He answered and said, 'I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'" Yet, He had mercy on the Gentile woman & her daughter. But, you are correct, we had not yet been grafted into share Messiah.
I might offer this small adjustment to your remark about Pentecost. It seems the Gentiles inclusion actually occurred at the shedding of His blood. Eph. 2:11ff, "...remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commenwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But NOW in Christ Jesus you who FORMERLY were far off have been brought near by the BLOOD of Christ." It was during the 40 days following His resurrection that the 11 were told to take His message all over the world. It became very obvious at Pentecost with Peter's remarks.
Nevertheless, the "timeline" effect you pointed out with the "gates" & "Abraham's bosom" is a very important concept and ought to affect our hermeneutic all through the Scriptures. The result would be a Gospel that is significantly clearer and absent the muddled message of "Grace plus just a little Law" we now hear from many quarters. No more "Golden Rule", no more "Beatitudes for Living Right", no more "take your sacrifice to the priest" blended with the real message of grace.
It is no wonder Rome cannot deliver a true message with their attempts to amalgamate the four Gospels into "Christian Living". Many of the "protesters" cannot recognize what you have identified.
Amazing what a little Bible study can do for you if it's done outside the "white noise" of a vested institutional interest.
Excellent point. I'm going to borrow that quote, if it is alright with you.
Nice story...And certainly a nice piece of history...But it had absolutely zilch to do with church prophecy or the Apostles...
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