The Pope corrects in La Stampa the misunderstandings caused by Evangelii gaudium

Source: FSSPX News

In an interview with the December 15 issue of the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa, Pope Francis tried to correct the  misinterpretations of his recent Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium.  In response to American neo-conservatives who have seen in this document the theories of the socialistic Hungarian economist Karl Polanyi (1886-1964), the Pope retorted that in rejecting the liberal theory of “trickle-down economics”, which claims that an increase of wealth trickles down to those who are poorer, he did not become a Marxist as a result.  According to Francis, who is anxious to clarify that he did not speak as an expert in economics, the Exhortation contains “nothing that is not already part of the social doctrine of the Church.” But one may legitimately wonder how effective the social doctrine of the Church is, now that it is cut off from the doctrine of the social reign of Jesus Christ, in the name of religious liberty and interreligious dialogue. (Editor’s note)

Concerning remarried divorcees, the Pope likewise tried to dispel a misunderstanding.  “I spoke about baptism and communion as spiritual food that helps one to go forward; it is to be considered a remedy, not a prize. Some immediately thought about sacraments for the divorced and remarried, but...  I simply wanted to point out a principle…  The exclusion of divorced people who contract a second marriage from communion is not a sanction… we will discuss marriage as a whole at the Consistory meetings in February.  The issue will also be addressed at the Extraordinary Synod in October 2014 and again at the Ordinary Synod the following year.  Many elements will be examined in more detail and clarified during these sessions.”

About the idea of women cardinals, Francis declared: “I do not know where that joke came from....  Women in the Church should be appreciated but not ‘clericalized’.”

As Bishop Fellay declared in the interview that he recently granted to DICI (see DICI no. 286 dated December 6, 2013): “I think that one of the most unfortunate things about these statements [by the Pope] is that they have spoiled his credibility; they have taken away much of the credibility of the Supreme Pontiff, so that when he has to speak about important things, now or in the future, those statements will be put at the same level as the others.  People will say:  ‘He is trying to please everyone:  one move to the left, one move to the right.’  I hope I am wrong, but you do get the impression that this will be one of the traits of this pontificate.  The higher a position of authority one is raised to, the more careful one must be about what one says, and this is especially true about the words of the pope.  I think that he talks too much.  Consequently, his words become muddled, vulgar, perhaps in the deeper sense of the word.”

The Italian academic Pietro L. DiGiorgi, quoted by Sandro Magister on chiesa.espressonline on October 19, 2013, sheds additional light: “Pope Francis seems to doubt that the culture of the Logos [Word] in which Christianity matured can still be the privileged and universal form in which it can be imparted to the world.

“Taking into consideration his origin, that of a Latin American who for years experienced a widespread rejection of this Christianity coming from Western Europe, which supposedly too often introduced the trends of secularization, Francis seems to ally himself with a form of deculturation of Christianity which privileges the spontaneous power of the Gospel message set free from the cage of historically determined cultural forms.  Christian truth, he wrote in his letter to Eugenio Scalfari published in La Repubblica on September 11, is ‘the love of God for us in Jesus Christ and therefore a relationship which is given to us only as a journey and a life’.…  Obviously the preferred form of the Gospel proclamation for Pope Francis is not the encyclical or the lesson, but rather the homily, the letter, the interview.

“That is the place where his discourse flows anew each time as if it was the first time, marked by hope in the grace of God Who is still manifesting Himself, and does not allow himself to be trapped in the traditional doctrinal forms of a Christianity which often seems to him to take the form of an ‘intellectual game’, a ‘sterile moral casuistry’, an ‘ideology’.”

The downside of this anti-intellectualism is the necessity, which we have observed for nine  months now, of clarifying and correcting in later interviews the misunderstandings caused by the earlier statements.

(Sources : Radio Vatican/La Croix/chiesa.espressonline – DICI no.287 dated December 20, 2013)

You can also read :
Evangelii Gaudium – Dolor Fidelium  [Joy of the Gospel – Grief for the Faithful]
The Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium