Stop reducing Pope Francis to a “nice guy”

There is a lot of news floating around about Pope Francis, so I wrangled some of the articles I thought were topical and important, posted them here, and summarized them for you all, because I love you all.

1. Pope criticizes church emphasis on abortion, gays

So essentially Pope Francis reminded everyone that the purpose of the Universal Church is to love as Jesus loved, and to lead all souls to Him so we can all be with Him in Heaven. He followed that up with the fact that throwing doctrine at people and condemning actions leaves little room for love.

Which is all true.

He isn’t saying the doctrine is wrong, that it needs to be changed, that it is no longer relevant, or that it isn’t important. We need to love like Jesus. How did Jesus love? He called everyone, he embraced everyone, he taught everyone, he told everyone to repent, he told everyone to follow Him (which includes His Church and His doctrine) in order to receive Eternal life.

All of Pope Francis’ quotes are taken from this awesome interview that is real long but so, so, so important:

2. A Big Heart Open to God

This is real good. I’m not going to summarize it because I want you to read it.

3. Is the world making an idol of Pope Francis

Short answer: yes. He restates Church doctrine and the news spins it in their favor. You should also read that article because it is so good and really breaks down how we turn people into idols.

Overall here are my thoughts; perhaps it’s good for us to take a step back and re-evaluate if we are living as Christ is calling us to live. When Pope Francis essentially summarized the Catechism about the Church’s stance on homosexuality and the media freaked out and said, “Pope says don’t judge”, maybe we need to look deeper and ask ourselves if we are really living that out.

Because, yes, Pope Francis says “Don’t judge” just like Jesus said, “Is there none to condemn you? Neither do I.” But they both finish it up with, “Sin no more”.

So in case the world thinks the Pope is a mellow, free-wheeling, doctrine-changer, who follows a relativistic approach to life, please read this portion of the interview (#2 from above):

I ask Pope Francis point-blank: “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” He stares at me in silence. I ask him if I may ask him this question. He nods and replies: “I ​​do not know what might be the most fitting description…. I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”

Pope Francis is not a “nice guy”, just like Jesus wasn’t/isn’t a “nice guy”. We shouldn’t strive to just be nice in this world. We need to love boldly and completely like Jesus taught (and the Pope continues to teach) so that we can love and serve in this life and be with Jesus forever in the next.

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