part of the confusion has to be that the Vatican doesn’t do PR well at all.
I remember, when I used go to Germany in the 1980s and 90s, that I was asked to give interviews and I always knew the questions in advance. They concerned the ordination of women, contraception, abortion and other such constantly recurring problems. If we let ourselves be drawn into these discussions, the Church is then identified with certain commandments or prohibitions; we give the impression that we are moralists with a few somewhat antiquated convictions, and not even a hint of the true greatness of the faith appears. I therefore consider it essential always to highlight the greatness of our faith a commitment from which we must not allow such situations to divert us. Address of his Holiness Benedict XVI Thursday, 9 November 2006
I have come to the conclusion that the Holy Father is ambiguous in speech.
I have essentially ceased to pay any attention to him. He's no Benedict, that's for sure.
Ask the Australian priest he just excommunicated how Francis is doing.
If this keeps up, Rome will join the Southern Baptist Convention in a few years.... :-)
Or in this case maybe what the writer hears is an indistinct sound and is unable to hear the bugle. Bingo! The devil resides in mental engagement in such a way that the heart can not be heard. This is the demon that has overtaken many of the faithful.
What the pope is saying is build (or rebuild) a stable foundation to the house first before redoing the kitchen cabinets or buying new windows that may be broken. Once the foundation is righted many other problems (sins) either resolve themselves or can be more easily addressed.
It is when the mind and pride has locked itself into a rut that it can't be open to hear the heart and thus the soul.
The Pope ain’t playing baseball!
I think Pope Francis is excellent. I thought Pope Benedict was excellent. I thought Pope John Paul II was outrageously extremely excellent. (From what I’ve read of Pope John Paul I, he was a great guy.) I’d probably have liked Pope Paul just fine, but I was a 9-year-old Protestant at the time, give me a break.
Well, I'll say the Pope hasn't fully completed his swing yet, so the jury is still out (to mix and match metaphors).
I will cautiously say that while Christians should of course always emphasize God's love, they should also make sure they do not ignore the greatest evils facing their time, or bury their heads in the sand.
For example, Christians faced with Hitler and the Nazis, or Stalin and the Communists, would have been wrong to have kept quiet about those monstrous evils during those times, and only talk about the love of Jesus. Strongly opposing those evils actually demonstrated the love of Jesus.
The same rule applies to the greatest evils of today, such as the hideous, monstrous act of baby killing. And if we really love and care about homosexuals, we will proclaim loudly and clearly that the Bible calls homosexual behavior "an abomination", and St. Paul plainly says that homosexuals will not make it into the kingdom of God (with the implication being that that is true, barring repentence and God's forgiveness, of course). (See Leviticus 18:22, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10)