I feel compelled to submit a humble response to the report on the gathering of opponents to the Pope’s exhortation, “Amoris”, (among other things), on 7th April. It seemed a rather extraordinary public display of peevishness.
True, some must have felt ignored, perhaps slighted, by the absence of recognition or public response of their “filial feelings”.
Regardless of the course events take, I feel:
The “anxiety” of detractors seems impervious to the Pope’s genuine intent, and his reading of an emerging spirituality in the new millennium.
They seem entrapped by their own cultural reading into the Lord’s message, even the true meaning of Evangelisation.
Learning and strict adherence to “tradition” has created “neo-Pharisees”. This is not a “bookish” Pope; but a loving pastor of the Lord’s flock, interpreting The Word’s unchanging truths, for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Pope Francis’ is not intransigent or lacking in compassion for the suffering people of Christ. I do not believe that the Pope is avoiding interaction on important issues, just avoiding confrontation. He thrives on descent – without it he says the Church would be dead. Jesuit teaching and the long experience through Argentina’s political milieu have strengthened his reliance on discernment – something his detractors in their zeal seem to ignore. I find it hard to believe that their direction comes from the Holy Spirit when they scrutinise the Pope’s style of gentle persuasion and reform. Missing in their pronouncements is any awareness of the Pope’s sensitivity to diversity in a culture-captured generation that clings to old structures in an emerging consciousness.
Far from being heretical, his comments and insights, challenge our awareness; our beliefs and responses to prayers and the sacraments. In practice, he demonstrates what Cardinals Burke and the late Caffara refer to as “the essential service of the Pope to safeguard and promote the deposit of faith, true doctrine and sound discipline consistent with the truths believed.” We do, however, question the idea of teachings being anyone’s preserve. We would rather like to see dogma lived through a loving pastor (servant), who also encourages and exhorts towards the essentials of love for God and His creation. As St Paul might say “Learning without Love is an empty gong!”
In support of their arguments they quote Blessed Paul VI. But, in considering “Humanae Vitae”, the leaders neglect “Evangelii Nuntiandi”.The exhortation underscored the Church’s mission in the Twentieth Century, and had a profound influence on Pope Francis. In each step the Holy Father takes, I see reprints of what was writ in 1975. Humbly, I submit to the angry fathers that they meditate upon “Evangelii Nuntiandi”, before they cause irreparable harm.