Just One More (the Real Pope Francis Bandwagon Parade)

little thought regarding the media swoon over Papa Francesco, which occurred last week. (And will last, one wonders, how long?)

Anyway: We confessors do have something of a special point-of-view on things, when it comes to this being “a time of mercy,” as, indeed it is. The Pope and all of us unworthy priests share this point-of-view.

Pope Francis mate.jpgSt. Alphonsus Ligouri put it like this (more or less, I think) in his exhortation to priests, “Be a lion in the pulpit and a lamb in the confessional.”

A contrite soul seeks the mercy of God because he/she has become aware of having committed a sin. The more clearly a preacher separates right from wrong, the more likely it is that someone listening to the sermon will actually wind up experiencing mercy. Because mercy follows contrition, i.e. sorrow for having sinned.

In other words, there is no mercy in preaching that does not clearly delineate right and wrong. The clear delineation of right and wrong helps people make good confessions. It helps us arrive at the place where the lion we heard roaring from the pulpit meets us privately, and turns out to be a gentle lamb, absolving our sins and praising God for His infinite love and the fresh start He gives us all when we confess.

Did anybody (and I literally mean anybody on earth) read the part of the Pope’s interview where he identified the center of the whole drama? The confessional. He approached the business of the Church freeing Herself from ‘small, narrow rules’ from the point-of-view of the confessor, in a confessional, during a confession.

Not to be mean-spirited or small or whatever:

The real Pope Francis bandwagon parade will form at the confessional, my friends. That’s the place to go to get on it.

One thought on “Just One More (the Real Pope Francis Bandwagon Parade)

  1. Father Mark,

    Time will tell the tale on the bandwagon. We already know that the adulation of the press will soon turn to disparagement. After all, they have to set you up on a pedestal in order to knock you down.

    The question yet to be answered is whether the Pope continues his reflections in the interview by instituting them into actions. “You cannot bring home the frontier, but you have to live on the border and be audacious.”: the phrase would certainly imply action.

    With any luck, his words will soon be effectuated in a Roman Catholic Church which continues to extend the love of Jesus Christ to the sinner, while hating the sin. It’s not an easy balancing act, especially with the World looking over your shoulder. When that time comes the Press will resound with accusations of duplicity, but it will only be their misapprehension, a product of their having believed what they wanted to believe.

    We will know when the test is passed, because those who have publically insisted on their “right” to conduct themselves in opposition to the teachings of the Church, while professing to be Roman Catholic, will not longer be in Communion with the Church.

    In God we trust.



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