Pope Francis

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Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

Biography

Wrote his dissertation on Roman Guardini, a great liturgist.

Motto

Miserando Atque Eligendo
“Lowly But Chosen”
"Pitied and Chosen"
"With Mercy Chosen"
It's about Jesus: "By showing mercy and by choosing." These are active, not passive, participles (?). We don't have a simple way of saying this in English participles. "By mercying and choosing" is not elegant.
"Symbols Adjusted on Papal Coat of Arms."
The motto is the Latin phrase “Miserando atque eligendo,” which means “having mercy, he called him.” The phrase refers to a line in St Bede’s homily: “Because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him.”
St. Bede’s homily looks at Mt 9:9-13 in which Jesus saw the tax collector, Matthew, sitting at a customs post and said to him, “Follow me.” St. Bede explained in his homily, “Jesus saw Matthew, not merely in the usual sense, but more significantly with his merciful understanding of men.”
“He saw the tax collector and, because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him, he said to him: ‘Follow me.’ This following meant imitating the pattern of his life, not just walking after him. St. John tells us: ‘Whoever says he abides in Christ ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.’”
St Bede continued: “This conversion of one tax collector gave many men, those from his own profession and other sinners, an example of repentance and pardon. Notice also the happy and true anticipation of his future status as apostle and teacher of the nations. No sooner was he converted than Matthew drew after him a whole crowd of sinners along the same road to salvation.”

Coat of Arms

Papal-coat-of-arms-440x582.jpg
"Symbols Adjusted on Papal Coat of Arms."
The five-pointed star has been replaced with an eight-pointed star, while the spikenard flower has now been made to look more like a flower rather than a bunch of grapes, as it did in its original form. The Vatican published the new coat of arms on its website on March 27.
Italian Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, an expert on heraldry said that changing the star was “better” because the five-pointed star often carries with it “military significance,” while the eight-pointed star “has always symbolised Mary” in Catholic Church tradition.
The new papal blazon contains the same symbols that Pope Francis had on his episcopal coat of arms. The dark blue shield is divided into three sections, each with its own symbol. On the top is the official seal of the Society of Jesus, representing Jesus and the religious order in which the Pope was ordained as a priest in 1969. The symbol shows a blazing yellow sun with inside the red letters, IHS, the sign for the name of Jesus. A red cross rises up from the letter H and three black nails rest below.
The bottom part of the shield depicts a gold star and a gold spikenard flower, which represent respectively Mary and St Joseph, demonstrating the Pope’s “particular devotion to the Holy Virgin and St. Joseph,” the Vatican said.
The shield is surrounded by the papal insignia, a miter and the keys of St. Peter. The miter was something Pope Benedict XVI established in 2005, putting an end to the beehive-shaped three-tiered tiara that, for centuries, had appeared at the top of each Pope’s coat of arms.
The silver miter has three gold stripes to mirror order, jurisdiction and magisterium, and a vertical gold band connects the three stripes in the middle to indicate their unity in the same person. The two crossed keys have been part of papal emblems for centuries and symbolise the powers Christ gave to the apostle Peter and his successors.
The papal emblem uses a gold key to represent the power in heaven and a silver key to indicate the spiritual authority of the papacy on earth. The red cord that unites the two keys alludes to the bond between the two powers.
One detail Pope Francis changed in the papal insignia is removing the pallium from the elements surrounding the shield. The pallium, the woolen stole symbolising a bishop’s authority, was added to Pope Benedict’s coat of arms in 2005.

Sayings of Papa Francisco

Many priests unworthy of belief
When he was asked in a 2010 book-length interview, El Jesuita, about the common saying in Argentina, “I believe in God, but I don’t believe in priests,” he replied, “Many of us priests do not deserve to have them believe in us.”
The joy of evangelizing
Thinking of the next Pope: a man who, through the contemplation of Jesus Christ and the adoration of Jesus Christ, may help the Church to go out from itself toward the existential peripheries, that may help it to be the fecund mother who lives “by the sweet and comforting joy of evangelizing.[1]

Father General's Letter

24 March 2013
On our part it would be arrogant to pretend that the Pope should confirm all our opinions as though we as Jesuits were in no need of conversion, correction and spiritual renewal.
Without any kind of triumphalism, let us make explicit with renewed vigor and zeal the closeness of the Society to our brother Francis.

Letter to an Atheist

"Full text of Pope's letter to atheist Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari ."
First of all, you ask if the God of the Christians forgives those who do not believe and do not seek faith. Given that--and this is fundamental--God's mercy has no limits if he who asks for mercy does so in contrition and with a sincere heart, the issue for those who do not believe in God is in obeying their own conscience. In fact, listening and obeying it, means deciding about what is perceived to be good or to be evil. The goodness or the wickedness of our behavior depends on this decision.

Jesuit interview

Rebecca from Rome: Mercy on your brother Antonio Spadaro… it's actually a good interview I think but the MEDIA only want to highlight the hot topics. Of course, it sells. But get people to read the whole thing!
Field hospital
“I see clearly,” the pope continues, “that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds.... And you have to start from the ground up.
“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. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all. The confessor, for example, is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither of them really takes responsibility for the person. The rigorist washes his hands so that he leaves it to the commandment. The loose minister washes his hands by simply saying, ‘This is not a sin’ or something like that. In pastoral ministry we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds.”
“How are we treating the people of God? I dream of a church that is a mother and shepherdess. The church’s ministers must be merciful, take responsibility for the people and accompany them like the good Samaritan, who washes, cleans and raises up his neighbor. This is pure Gospel. God is greater than sin. The structural and organizational reforms are secondary—that is, they come afterward. The first reform must be the attitude. The ministers of the Gospel must be people who can warm the hearts of the people, who walk through the dark night with them, who know how to dialogue and to descend themselves into their people’s night, into the darkness, but without getting lost.
Judge not
“We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner,” the pope says, “preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound. In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”
“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.” ...
“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.
“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.”
“The proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives." ... The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.”
Ecumenism
“We must walk united with our differences: there is no other way to become one. This is the way of Jesus.”
Women in the Church
“The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role. The woman is essential for the church. Mary, a woman, is more important than the bishops. I say this because we must not confuse the function with the dignity. We must therefore investigate further the role of women in the church. We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman. Only by making this step will it be possible to better reflect on their function within the church. The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions. The challenge today is this: to think about the specific place of women also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised for various areas of the church.”
God in the World
“What I said in Rio referred to the time in which we seek God,” he answers. “In fact, there is a temptation to seek God in the past or in a possible future. God is certainly in the past because we can see the footprints. And God is also in the future as a promise. But the ‘concrete’ God, so to speak, is today. For this reason, complaining never helps us find God. The complaints of today about how ‘barbaric’ the world is—these complaints sometimes end up giving birth within the church to desires to establish order in the sense of pure conservation, as a defense. No: God is to be encountered in the world of today.
“God manifests himself in historical revelation, in history. Time initiates processes, and space crystallizes them. God is in history, in the processes.” ...
“Because God is first; God is always first and makes the first move. God is a bit like the almond flower of your Sicily, Antonio, which always blooms first. We read it in the Prophets. God is encountered walking, along the path. At this juncture, someone might say that this is relativism. Is it relativism? Yes, if it is misunderstood as a kind of indistinct pantheism. It is not relativism if it is understood in the biblical sense, that God is always a surprise, so you never know where and how you will find him. You are not setting the time and place of the encounter with him. You must, therefore, discern the encounter. Discernment is essential.”
“If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists-—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else—God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.”
Memory in prayer
“Memory has a fundamental role for the heart of a Jesuit: memory of grace, the memory mentioned in Deuteronomy, the memory of God’s works that are the basis of the covenant between God and the people. It is this memory that makes me his son and that makes me a father, too.”


References

  1. "The Bergoglio Moment."

Links