Pope Francis Talks about Ideologues, Schismatics, Xenophobia, Witness, Ecology, and Children in Latest Press Conference

Here are some highlights from the pope’s in-flight press conference:

Africa is full of life….The people who raised their children in the air, as if to say, “this is my treasure, this is my victory, my pride”. Children are the treasure of the poor. But they are the treasure of a homeland, of a country….

Xenophobia is a disease. It is a disease that is “justifiable”, for example, to maintain the purity of the race – just to mention a form of xenophobia from the last century. And very often, xenophobia rides the waves of political populism. I said last week, or the one before, that sometimes in some places I hear speeches being given that sound similar to those made by Hitler in ’34. It’s as if they wanted to return to the past in Europe….

We must fight against this: both the xenophobia of one country towards another, and internal xenophobia, which in the case of some places in Africa and along with tribalism, leads to tragedies such as that of Rwanda….

We need to go forward strengthening the international institutions: the United Nations, that they might take in hand once again their role; that the European Union might become stronger, not in the sense of domination, but in the sense of justice, of fraternity, of unity for all….

Proclamation comes before testifying. First live like a Christian and if they ask you, speak. Testifying is the first step and the protagonist of evangelization is not the missionary but the Holy Spirit who leads Christians and missionaries to bear witness. Then questions will come or won’t come, but what counts is the witness of life….

When is communication at the service of destruction? When it defends inhuman projects. Let’s think of the propaganda of the dictators of the last century. They were dictators who knew how to communicate well, but they instigated war, division and destruction…..

We need to defend ecology, biodiversity, that is our life; to defend the oxygen, that is our life…..

I am not afraid of schisms, I pray that there will be none, because what is at stake is people’s spiritual health…..

The schismatics always have one thing in common: they separate themselves from the people, from the faith of the people of God….. A schism is always an elitist separation stemming from an ideology detached from doctrine….

The social things that I say are the same things that John Paul II said, the same things! I copy him. But they say: the Pope is a communist… Ideologies enter into doctrine and when doctrine slips into ideology that’s where there’s the possibility of a schism….

The pastors must lead their flock between grace and sin, because this is evangelical morality. Instead, a morality based on such a pelagian ideology leads you to rigidity, and today we have many schools of rigidity within the Church, which are not schisms, but pseudo-schismatic Christian developments that will end badly. When you see rigid Christians, bishops, priests, there are problems behind that, not Gospel holiness.


Pope Francis Meets with ‘Living Saint’ Fr. Pedro Opeka, Given Ecstatic Welcome in Madagascar

Embed from Getty Images
via Reuters:

Pope Francis on Sunday celebrated a former student of his who is now sometimes called Madagascar’s “living saint” for having changed the lives of thousands of poor people who once lived in garbage dumps.

Thousands of former slum dwellers, many of them children, gave the pope an ecstatic welcome, leaving him seemingly overwhelmed by the experience, who only hours earlier defended the poor in the homily of a huge open-air Mass..

Francis taught Father Pedro Opeka theology at the Colegio Máximo de San Miguel in Buenos Aires in 1968 while Francis was completing his own studies for the priesthood.

Over the last 30 years, an organization founded by Opeka, whose parents emigrated to Argentina from Slovenia, has built homes for 25,000 people, 100 schools, six clinics and two football stadiums across the island nation. Next year, he plans to build a college for paramedics.


Archbishop Etienne Won’t Live in Mansion: ‘The House Doesn’t Represent Who I Am’

via CNS:

Seattle Archbishop Paul D. Etienne said he will not live in the 9,000-square-foot mansion that many of his predecessors called home.

In a letter sent to archdiocesan priests and deacons Sept. 3 — his first day as leader of the Archdiocese of Seattle — the archbishop wrote: “While the Connolly House has been home to the archbishops since 1920, it will not be home for me.”

“I prefer to live a more simplified life,” he explained, adding that he was “exploring options on church properties” and hoped to find an alternative soon….

“The house doesn’t represent who I am,” Etienne said in an interview with Northwest Catholic, news magazine and website for the Archdiocese of Seattle. “I think the days of bishops living in a manner that’s a lot nicer than the majority of their people live, those days are gone, and they should be.”

“I am a pastor, not a prince,” he added, “and I want to live in a manner that’s more reflective of how my people live.”

Etienne said the “model and message of Pope Francis” influenced him….

“Bishops face a challenge today of reclaiming our credibility,” he added.

Etienne said his decision not to live in the mansion reflects who he is, how he thinks a bishop is called to live and his concern for the environment.

“One guy doesn’t need that large of an ecological footprint,” he said.


Pope Francis on Right-Wing Ideologues’ Attacks: ‘It’s an Honor that Americans are Attacking Me’

via Crux:

Pope Francis today said he is “honored” by the fact that a group of conservative, right-leaning Catholics from the United States attack him.

The pope was speaking aboard a papal flight to Mozambique, the first stop of a three-nation swing through Africa, when he was presented a new book on conservative opposition to the papacy written by a French reporter on the flight.

“For me, it’s an honor that Americans are attacking me,” Francis told La Croix‘s Nicolas Seneze, author of How America Wanted to Change the Pope.


The Open, Sophomoric Dissent of Alt-Catholics’ Favorite Cardinal

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via Mike Lewis:

Recent remarks by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, captured on audio, prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Burke explicitly rejects the revised teaching on the death penalty in Catechism #2267 and urges catechists not to accept or teach the change that Pope Francis has mandated….

Perhaps Burke hasn’t spoken explicitly against Pope Francis’s character or passed judgement on the state of his soul. However, he has explicitly rejected magisterial teachings on faith and morals that Francis has promulgated, has openly mocked them (and has done so in front of an audience), and has referred to them as Francis’s “personal opinion.”…

In his Q&A session the next day, Burke went far beyond these common talking points against the revised teaching. He explicitly rejects its Magisterial nature, the pope’s authority on faith and morals, and decries the possibility of any future changes to the Catechism (never mind that John Paul did just that in 1997). He also strategically avoids any mention of paragraphs 2 and 3 of the 1997 teaching, those that demonstrate clearly that JP2 planted the seeds for Francis’s development.[1]

Here are some examples of what he said (key passages are in bold, I used italics when he’s quoting something, anything in [brackets] was added by me):…

    •  He goes on to say, “Is the change now official teaching? No.
    • “The Pope doesn’t change the teaching of the Church by his personal opinion.”
    • Critiquing the new teaching, he says, “‘Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority following a fair trial was long considered’The word should be ‘always’ considered.
    • Consequently, the Church teaches in the light of the gospel, that the death penalty is inadmissible.” This is simply not any language; this doesn’t have any doctrinal import to it. What does it mean to say something isn’t admissible? That is a relative term, either say it’s intrinsically evil, or it’s good. — “Because it is an attack on the inviolability indignity of the person.” — And it’s not. And what’s the citation? What’s the doctrinal citation? A speech of the pope on October 11 2017. [Audience laughter.] My point is this, with all due respect, and I’m not trying to be disrespectful in any way: This is an opinion of Pope Francis as a man.


Pope Francis’ Prayer Intentions for September 2019: Protecting the Oceans


Oceans contain the bulk of our planet’s water supply, and also most of the immense variety of living creatures, many of which are threatened for various reasons.

Creation is a project of love given by God to humanity. Our solidarity with the ‘common home’ is born from our faith.

Let us pray this month that politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.