Pope denounces ‘rigidity’ as he warns of Christian decline By Nicole Winfield in AP-report, Dec.21, 2019
Note: CHANGE, change alone is the only constant in life! Church reform means constant change for every individual in the Church, from ‘pope to prostitute’ as some quack has said. And you — each individual in the church – have to become the CHANGE you want to bring about first. If true and good, others will follow suit.
Didn’t Francis show the way by word and deed from the very beginning of his pontificate by describing himself: “I am a sinner?” Has any other Pope in history or any one of the “Holies and Reverends in the hierarchical ladder” has ever done that? “You are all brothers only!”(Mt.23. 8…) not Rabaies, Fathers, Teachers, Leaders or Reverends with shades in colorful make-up. Habit doen’t monks, but monkies who ape! Unfortunately too many in the hierarchy don’t follow Pope’s example!
Recall what Jesus told Zacheus at treetop: “Come down to become one with the crowd, the Cattle class, the ‘hoi-polloi’, my little ones, with no title, no otherworldly dress, if you want me to sup with you or drink with you!” Drunkards and prostitutes are equally children of God and if there is a heaven, they have an equal right to get there.
What we need today is a new definition of God. If he is our ‘Father’ or ‘Mother’ he would be concerned most with the weakest and most miserable of his/her children. Therefore if for Francis God is MERCY PERSONIFIED, he is hundred percent correct! He is always with the poor practicing his motto: ‘A poor church for the poor’.
The great wonder in this world is “each one of you, each one of us!”. There is no one like any of us in the whole world, with the tragic consequences: No man-made “universal law” is fully applicable to any of us. We all would become square pegs in round holes. I dealt with it at length in my Chicago address, Aug.10th forced up me and therefore with a ‘vengeance’ perhaps!
Catholic hierarchy will never change unless it is forced to. Francis has done it: For those vying for the RED HAT, it will now be for five years only! All offices in the Church should be only for a term. I have been advocating it from New leader times in Chennai. Fracis has been repeating it many times. Now he is going to make it legally binding for the whole clerical, hierarchical class. Cardinal Sodano, 92, had been from John Paul 2nd times.
Something to celebrate
It is something to celebrate for the reform minded, not for the conservatives and traditionalists! We feel sorry for them, but fondly hope they will wake up and see light. God, if there is one, he could be Light, Love and Truth! For Gandiji, it was “Satyagraha”, for Malayalees(Keralites): “Snehamanakila Saramoozhiyil!” (Love is the sum and substance of everything in this world!)For me it is Truth eternal, Love eternal and Light eternal! What is He, She or It for you? Since each one of us are different and alike, let us know your differing views so that I and the rest of us learn from every one of you. But let it be said with a firm promise: “I will love you with a vengeance, even if you happen to be my bitterest enemy!” That is what I understand by “following Jesus”, not the so-called Christians or Churchianity people! james kottoor, editor ccv.
Please read below AP report on Pope on RIGIDITY!
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis warned Saturday that “rigidity” in living out the Christian faith is creating a “minefield” of hatred and misunderstanding in a world where Christianity is increasing irrelevant.
Francis called for Vatican bureaucrats to instead embrace change during his annual Christmas greetings to the cardinals, bishops and priests who work in the Holy See.
Francis’ message appeared aimed at conservative and traditionalist Catholics, including within the Vatican Curia, who have voiced increasing opposition to his progressive-minded papacy. Their criticisms have accelerated over the past year, amid Vatican financial and sex abuse scandals that may have predated Francis’ papacy but are nevertheless coming to light now.
Francis issued a stark reality check to the men in the Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace, acknowledging that Christianity no longer holds the commanding presence and influence in society that it once did.
He cited the late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, a leader of the progressive wing of the Catholic Church, who in his final interview before dying in 2012 lamented that the church found itself “200 years behind” because of its inbred fear of change.
“Today we are no longer the only ones that produce culture, no longer the first nor the most listened to,” Francis told the prelates. “The faith in Europe and in much of the West is no longer an obvious presumption but is often denied, derided, marginalized and ridiculed.”
As a result, he urged the Catholic hierarchy to embrace the necessary pastoral reforms and outlook that will make the church attractive so that it can fulfill its mission to spread the faith.“Here we have to beware of the temptation of assuming a rigid outlook,” Francis said. “Rigidity that is born from fear of change and ends up disseminating stakes and obstacles in the ground of the common good, turning it into a minefield of misunderstanding and hatred.”
He recalled, as he has in the past, that people who take rigid positions are usually using them to mask their own problems, scandals or “imbalances.” “Rigidity and imbalance fuel one another in a vicious circle,” he said. “And these days, the temptation to rigidity has become so apparent.”
Traditionalist Catholics have denounced Francis’ emphasis on mercy and openness to doctrinal wiggle room on issues such as sacraments for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics. They also sharply criticized his recent synod on the Amazon, which called for the ordination of married men as priests, and what they considered pagan worship of an Amazonian statue of a pregnant woman that was featured during the meeting.
Francis has defended his outlook and priorities as a reflection of the Gospel, and the axium that the true tradition of the church is one of a continuous, discerned path of change. “Tradition is not static, it’s dynamic,” he said Saturday.
In a tangible sign of change, Francis issued a new decree Saturday limiting the term of the dean of the College of Cardinals, an influential job that had previously been held for life. Francis accepted the resignation of the current dean, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and decreed that going forward, the future top cardinal would only have a five-year renewable term.
Sodano had been the powerful secretary of state under St. John Paul II, and was blamed in part for the Vatican’s refusal to crack down on pedophile priests, including the notorious Rev. Marcial Maciel. Sodano, 92, continued to wield behind-the-scenes influence in the two papacies that followed, acting most recently as something of a beacon for conservative opposition to Francis.As dean, he delivered his final Christmas greeting to Francis on Saturday.