Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pope Francis Mess: 'Mission Accomplished'

I found this article on comments made by Thomas J. Tobin, the Catholic bishop for the Diocese of Providence, R.I., interesting as well as amusing.

From CNSNews:

Thomas J. Tobin, the Catholic bishop for the Diocese of Providence, R.I., commented on the recent Synod of Bishops on the Family held at the Vatican as “being rather Protestant” in having bishops vote on “doctrinal applications,” and added that in terms of Pope Francis’s fondness for a “creating a mess,” you can say, “mission accomplished.”

...Pope Francis has sometimes said he wants to create “a mess” in the Church, meaning he wants to stir things up, and challenge people to do things they may not have considered.

During the World Youth Day in Rio de Janerio in July 2013, Pope Francis said, “What is it that I expect as a consequence of World Youth Day? I want a mess. We knew that in Rio there would be great disorder, but I want trouble in the dioceses! … I want to see the Church get closer to the people. I want to get rid of clericalism, the mundane, this closing ourselves off within ourselves, in our parishes, schools or structures. Because these need to get out!”

Commenting further on the Synod, Bishop Tobin said, “The concept of having a representative body of the Church voting on doctrinal applications and pastoral solutions strikes me as being rather Protestant.” At the close of the Synod, the bishops voted on all 62 paragraphs in the final document, the Relatio Synodi.

The Synod of bishops will meet again in one year to review the document, make more changes, and then Pope Francis will review that material and write a public letter on the family and marriage issues examined.
Some messes are better than others. Obviously, "trouble in the dioceses" is not necessarily constructive.

Challenging Catholics by calling them to be better Christians is a good "mess."

Creating confusion and uncertainty and doubt is not a good "mess." This floundering is not good.

St. Pope John Paul II stirred things up, but with him as the Holy Father I never felt that the teachings of the Church or the Word of God were up for a vote.

Leading from behind is not effective. It's not leading the flock.

Frankly, I'm tired of statements from Pope Francis followed by a lot of backtracking and clarifying from the Vatican.

Too often, I've felt a bit lost at times in terms of where the Catholic Church stands.


Mission accomplished.

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