Friday, March 22, 2013

My take on the Good Popes speech today

My take on the Good Popes speech today

Not that it matters but I have a take on todays speech, not particularly important that it is coming from me, nor do I think I have a new great take on anything but here it goes my comments in [Red Brackets]

As you know, there are various reasons why I chose the name of Francis of Assisi, a familiar figure far beyond the borders of Italy and Europe, even among those who do not profess the Catholic faith. One of the first reasons was Francis’ love for the poor. How many poor people there still are in the world! And what great suffering they have to endure! After the example of Francis of Assisi, the Church in every corner of the globe has always tried to care for and look after those who suffer from want, and I think that in many of your countries you can attest to the generous activity of Christians who dedicate themselves to helping the sick, orphans, the homeless and all the marginalized, thus striving to make society more humane and more just.

But there is another form of poverty! [say it aint so! Sr. Campbell would disagree, afterall the only reason to be Catholic is to give the poor free things and blast Congressman Ryan for proposing that government is not the only solution to poverty.  But never mind shes a glorified social worker, with one of those modern habits [?] But then again the US bishops are also complicit in not being able to see their over compensating of programs on the government dole, but w/e]
It is the spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously [this is exactly what I thought he meant when he talked about the need for a poor church]. It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the "tyranny of relativism"[h/t Ratzinger  :-)  ], which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples [now if he were a little more confrontational he would trace this to protestantism, but maybe one day he will, I will give him the benefit of the doubt here]. And that brings me to a second reason for my name. Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace without truth! [this might be, but it probably is not, a reference to Francis meeting the Sulton to seek peace by his conversion] There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth. 

One of the titles of the Bishop of Rome is Pontiff [this deserves a thumbs up after all he has only lately been referencing his role as Bishop of Rome, that isnt bad in itself] , that is, a builder of bridges with God and between people. [Another reference to Jacobs ladder, slightly veiled of course] My wish is that the dialogue between us should help to build bridges connecting all people, in such a way that everyone can see in the other not an enemy, not a rival, but a brother or sister to be welcomed and embraced! [Love thy Brother as you love yourself] My own origins impel me to work for the building of bridges. As you know, my family is of Italian origin; and so this dialogue between places and cultures a great distance apart matters greatly to me, this dialogue between one end of the world and the other, which today are growing ever closer, more interdependent, more in need of opportunities to meet and to create real spaces of authentic fraternity. [Of course there is inauthentic fraternity where we build the city of God without him (ie: Babal), we are interdependent now indeed but we should work to be connected in the faith in Christ in communion with Peter.  That is the goal, unity the way Christ wished.  But realize that being united doesnt preclude having different nations with different views, for even under the Holy Roman Empire there was unity but distinctiveness, kind of like the Blessed Trinity]

In this work, the role of religion is fundamental. [Being fundamental it is a conerstone, not just an add on] It is not possible to build bridges between people while forgetting God. [AMEN!] But the converse is also true: it is not possible to establish true links with God, while ignoring other people.  [Matthew 25: 31-46] Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam.  At the Mass marking the beginning of my ministry, I greatly appreciated the presence of so many civil and religious leaders from the Islamic world. And it is also important to intensify outreach to non-believers, so that the differences which divide and hurt us may never prevail, but rather the desire to build true links of friendship between all peoples, despite their diversity. [The court of the gentiles?  This is something Benedict would talk about from time to time as well.  Its not about blurring thing but defining how we can work together and build peace in Christ as he said before]

Fighting poverty, both material and spiritual, building peace and constructing bridges [Pontifex]: these, as it were, are the reference points for a journey that I want to invite each of the countries here represented to take up. But it is a difficult journey, if we do not learn to grow in love for this world of ours. Here too, it helps me to think of the name of Francis, who teaches us profound respect for the whole of creation and the protection of our environment, which all too often, instead of using for the good, we exploit greedily, to one another’s detriment. [Watch the Captialists whine, watch the commies take this to mean the Earth over people!]

March 22, 2013

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