Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Pope Francis, off the record and true to himself
This report from Rorate Caeli is certainly surprising. It seems to me that we have never had such access to a Pope's mind so early in a pontificate. As time went along, it became clear to many what Pope John Paul 11 thought about many things, and there is no no need to doubt, for example, that he believed that Our Lady was appearing at Medjugorje. Nor is there any reason to doubt his disgust at the abuse of children. There is evidence of mistakes but his personal disgust was made clear. Whilst many others were discussing the problems in psychological and juridical terms, he labeled sexual abuse "sin". We know something of Pope Benedict's mind because of his writings, speeches and recorded conversations before he became Pope, but we have never had such openness, so quickly, from a Pope, and this conversation (the gist of which is not denied by the Vatican) reveals a man who is truly humble, charitable and honest who feels himself called by God to speak the truth no matter what. He encourages others to do the same. This challenges all of us, but especially priests who are concerned about the mistakes and wrongs they see in the running of their dioceses. How far can we go? The Pope asks us to be courageous and to go as far as possible. I wonder how many of us will have the courage to do this. It needs to be done.