What St. Francis did in defying his father and renouncing their wealth to help the poor after praying in the humble little church of St. Damian outside the walls of Assisi and feeling the eyes of the Christ on the crucifix gazing at him and hearing His voice saying three times, “Francis, go and repair My house, which you see is falling down,” Pope Francis, the first pontiff to adopt the name of the saint when he was elected in march, is symbolically ‘repairing’ the Catholic Church in modern times by calling its leaders and their followers to rid themselves of worldly endeavors.
During the Pope’s pilgrimage to the saint’s Italian hometown of Assisi and speaking in the hall where the medieval saint is said to have taken off his robes in a gesture of humility, Francis said the Church should also “divest” itself and return to spiritual basics.
“The Church, all of us should divest ourselves of worldliness,” a visibly emotional pope said, adding: “Worldliness is a murderer because it kills souls, kills people, kills the Church.”
“Without divesting ourselves, we would become pastry shop Christians, like beautiful cakes and sweet things but not real Christians,” he said.
If this statement won’t puncture the bloated egos of the officials of the country’s Catholic hierarchy, who are used to being treated like VIPs, I don’t know what will.
As radical as St. Francis might have been, Pope Francis has began reaching out to the most marginalized among the church’s 1.2 billion followers, reforming the broken Vatican bureaucracy, and allowing the faithful to shake things up in their dioceses – even at the annoyance of their bishops – if that’s what it takes to better spread God’s word.
I am sure officials of the CBCP may find disconcerting the way Pope Francis is shaking up the Catholic Church, but I think he simply wants to end the life of opulence and superiority that the bishops are used to and feel in their own diocese and wants to revert back to the ways of St. Francis and the other apostles during their time, which is the way Christ wanted it to be.
Thus, Pope Francis has set up the following goals for the Catholic Church:
– A Church that is poor and for the poor.
– A Church that welcomes and doesn’t judge.
– A feminine Church (Francis has called for a greater role for women in the governance of the church, while ruling out female ordination. He says the church itself is female, that Jesus Christ was married to the church and that Mary is more important than all the apostles.)
– A Church that is ‘messy’ and goes out of the sacristy.
– A Church that works for peace and cares for the environment.
– A reformed Church.
(For more interesting reading on this subject, please open this link: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/opinion/2013/10/05/mercado-who-line-307064 – Quierosaber)