From my friend Mark Brumley, President and CEO of Ignatius Press:
In case you’re wondering just what’s going on with Pope Francis–and reading the New York Times and some other media outlets are bound to have that effect–I suggest you read the interview in America magazine. Francis is the best commentator on Francis:
For me, the “hermeneutical key” of the whole interview is the following statement: “The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you.” The Holy Father discusses this in the context of the Church’s need to be an agent of healing, which of course comes only through the Gospel.
At the heart of what the Holy Father is talking about is Jesus Christ. In our zeal for certain moral causes, even important ones, we should not lose sight of Jesus and God’s merciful love. Pope Francis offers some profound comments on the proper context for Church teaching: the personal encounter with Jesus.
If one knows Jesus, one knows God’s mercy, one can more readily turn to God when one falls short. When people don’t know Jesus or don’t see God as love and mercy, they tend to see certain church teachings as burdensome or as rules, rather than as expressions of God’s love. When they sin, they tend to see the Church as a scold, rather than as pointing to Jesus as the source of forgiveness and mercy.
We’re all challenged to be fully evangelized ourselves and to help evangelize others.
The Holy Father’s interview is long but I think it’s well worth your time.