Understanding Francis

 

AFTER Pope Benedict XVI relinquished the seat of Peter, I sensed in prayer several times the words: You have entered into dangerous days. It was the sense that the Church is entering into a period of great confusion.

Enter: Pope Francis.

Not unlike Blessed John Paul II’s papacy, our new pope has also overturned the deeply rooted sod of the status quo. He has challenged everyone in the Church in one way or another. Several readers, however, have written me with concern that Pope Francis is departing from the Faith by his unorthodox actions, his blunt remarks, and seemingly contradictory statements. I have been listening for several months now, watching and praying, and feel compelled to respond to these questions regarding our Pope’s candid ways….

 

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Straight Talk

YES, it is coming, but for many Christians it is already here: the Passion of the Church. As the priest raised the Holy Eucharist this morning during Mass here in Nova Scotia where I just arrived to give a men’s retreat, his words took on new meaning: This is My Body which will be given up for you.

We are His Body. United to Him mystically, we too were “given up” that Holy Thursday to share in the sufferings of Our Lord, and thus, to share also in His Resurrection. “Only through suffering can one enter Heaven,” said the priest in his sermon. Indeed, this was Christ’s teaching and thus remains the constant teaching of the Church.

‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. (John 15:20)

Another retired priest is living out this Passion just up the coast line from here in the next province…

 

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