Thursday, September 19, 2013

Understanding the New Pope

There is a huge new interview with the new Pope that will no doubt make waves in the news because it is incredibly theological in nature. The media is notorious for not understanding theological themes, and so loves to take all sorts of snippets completely out of context to prove their pre-conceived assumptions about the new Pope.  

Case in point, I have already seen some tweets and preliminary hand wringing over one offhand comment he makes about "not being a right winger." I can only imagine how that is going to be misinterpreted because right wing in South America (See Pinochet in Chile for an example) is a whole different bird than what it means in the States or in Europe and also has a whole different meaning in church-speak, liturgical, theological, and otherwise. Just be prepared and read what he actually says n context, not what media elites misquote or misunderstand. 

I think the nugget of this interview is crucial to understanding what Pope Francis is all about though is the following: 

"'I see clearly,' the pope continues, 'that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds.... And you have to start from the ground up."

Food for thought. 

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