"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

FrancisSpeak: “The Church has sometimes fallen into a “yes you can, no you can’t theology”

“The Church has sometimes fallen into a “yes you can, no you can’t theology”

The Pope at Santa Marta: so it was forgotten that the Spirit makes us free; “The Word was made flesh, not law”; we must proclaim the Gospel without compromise, rigidity and idealization”


 The "Pope" reaffirms the “no” to a rigid faith. Together with an appeal to reject compromises and idealizations that would diminish the concreteness of the Christian faith and are not compatible with the freedom that the Holy Spirit gives. Then Francis notes with bitterness that at times the Church itself has fallen into a “theology of yes you can and no you cannot.” These were Pope Francis’ words at this morning homily, April 24, 2017, at Casa Santa Marta, the first after the Easter break. Synthesis reported by Vatican Radio.

The cardinal advisors of the C9 also attended the Mass. From today to April 26 they will meet with the Pontiff.

The Bishop of Rome focuses his preaching on Nicodemus’s meeting with Jesus and the witness of Peter and John of the healing of the cripple. Christ explains to Nicodemus, with love and patience that it is necessary “to be born from above, to be born from the Spirit” and thus to move from one mentality to another.
To better understand - the Pope says - we can focus on today’s First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles: Peter and John have healed a crippled man, and the doctors of the Law do not know what to do, how to “hide” everything since “the event was public.” When they were questioned, Peter and John “answered with simplicity”; and when they were ordered not to speak about what happened, Peter responded, “No! We cannot remain silent about what we have seen and heard. And we will continue to do as we have been doing.”

Here it is - Pope Bergoglio said - “ the concreteness of a fact, the concreteness of the faith” in contrast to the position of the doctors of the law who “ wanted to enter into negotiations, to come to a compromise”: Peter and John “have courage, they have frankness, the frankness of the Spirit,” “which means speaking the truth openly, with courage, without compromises.” This is “the point,” “the concreteness of the faith”. In fact, “At times we forget that our faith is concrete: the Word was made flesh; it is not made an idea. And when we recite the Creed, everything we say is concrete: ‘I believe in God the Father, Who made heaven and earth; I believe in Jesus Christ Who was born, Who died…’ These are all concrete things. Our Creed does not say, ‘I have to do this, I have to do that, I have to do something else, or that some things are for these ends.’ No! They are concrete things. [This is] the concreteness of the faith that leads to frankness, to bearing witness even to the point of martyrdom, which is against compromises or the idealization of the faith.”

For those doctors of the law, the Word “ was not made flesh: it was made law: and you must do this up to this point, and no further”; “you must do this, and nothing else”: “And so they were imprisoned in this rationalistic mentality, which did not end with them. Because in the history of the Church – although often the Church Herself has condemned rationalism, illuminism – later it often happened that it fell into a theology of ‘yes, you can, no you can’t; up to this point, thus far.’ And it forgot the strength, the liberty of the Spirit, this rebirth of the Spirit that gives you liberty, the frankness of preaching, the proclamation that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

“Let us ask the Lord,” the Pope said, for “this experience of the Spirit Who comes and goes and bears us onward; of the Spirit Who gives us the anointing of the faith, the anointing of the concreteness of the faith”: “The wind blows where it will and you hear the voice, but you don’t know where it is coming from or where it is going. So it is for anyone who is born of the Spirit: He hears the voice, he follows the voice, he follows the voice of the Spirit without knowing where it will end. Because he has made an option for the concreteness of the faith and the rebirth of the Spirit. May the Lord grant to all of us this paschal Spirit, of going forward along the path of the Spirit without compromises, without rigidity, with the liberty of proclaiming Jesus Christ as He Who has come: in the flesh.”