Pope Francis fires a warning shot at church’s ‘top-down’ bureaucracy

Print More
A shirt is thrown into the popemobile as Pope Francis arrives for an encounter with youth in Cagliari, Sardinia, Sept. 22. Photo by Paul Haring/courtesy Catholic News Service

A shirt is thrown into the popemobile as Pope Francis arrives for an encounter with youth in Cagliari, Sardinia, Sept. 22. Photo by Paul Haring/courtesy Catholic News Service

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

(RNS) Pope Francis made clear that a chief evil in the church was the “narcissism” of its leaders, even calling the papal court a "leprosy of the papacy."

  • Pingback: There’s a New Pope in Town « The Marin Progressive()

  • gilhcan

    Great for Francis! Finally, a pope who’s real and not just an institutional front figure. A pope who can think and speak for himself, not just recite other popes’ catechisms. Now let’s see the Catholic Church respect that right for everyone else, both those within the church, and those outside. Let’s see the Catholic Church become what the Episcopal Church of the United States used to call itself years ago, as a member of the Anglican Communion, “The Largest Church in Christendom.” That can happen if the church returns to Vatican II and remains faithful to it.

  • Mike Stamper

    “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good . . . Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.” This is the theological equivalent of “if it feels good, do it”. Needless to say, Nazis, Fascists, Communists, dictators, and criminals of every stripe have their own visions of good and evil. These visions have led them to commit the most heinous crimes. The last thing humanity needs are more self-serving definitions of good and evil. I thought the Church was supposed to supply moral guidance. That requires moral certainty, a quality evidently in short supply now.

  • Thank you, David, for that perceptive analysis.

    But doesn’t the basic question remain. Is Francis’ main objective to save Cardinals from government investigators? A secret meeting after a six month buildupwith some of the “usual suspect” Cardinals seems like a bad way to begin.

    For further analysis, please see my new discussion at ChristianCatholicism.com entitled, “Is Council of Cardinals Real Reform Or Just More Stalling?”. The link is http://wp.me/P2YEZ3-PT

  • Leo

    He doesn’t seem to be too concerned about the evil perpetrated on the Christians and other religious minorities of the Middle East. When he gets the child abuse scandal fully under control, also, then, I will believe he recognizes evil. He is just too exaggerated of a figure for me at this time.

  • Lindsey S

    Mike–I couldn’t agree more. That’s exactly what I thought when I read that statement. Good and evil are subjective.

  • Pingback: Captain America’s turban * A Jewish Pope? * Shutdown Theology: Wednesday’s Religion News Roundup | The Christian Devotion Corner()

  • Pingback: Pope Francis fires a warning shot at church's '...()

  • As a Secular Humanist, I applaud much of what Pope Francis has to say. I wish him the best of luck in his attempts to clean up the Vatican deadlock and decay, and improve the lives of the Catholic people. The “moral certainty” that is referred to led to centuries of censorship, persecution, physical abuse and murder by the “Mother Church”. It continues. I hope that the wealth accumulated by the Vatican somehow can be, at least partially, redistributed to help do away with the abject poverty of many non-Vatican- situated Catholics everywhere. I have not visited huge numbers of Catholic cathedrals. However beautiful, they disgust me. The gold and silver embellished churches in Mexico are a terrible contrast with the lives of the impoverished Mexican indigenous peoples on whom Catholicism was forced.

  • The Pope says “there is no Catholic God.” Just God. It’s a giant step in the right direction towards interfaith harmony! The weakest link in discussions about God, science, and interfaith harmony stems from narrow dogma. Full disclosure: I am a researcher and author on this subject. Regards, Sanjay C Patel

  • Jack S. Pratt

    If the church is not meant to proselytize and make disciples (Christians) among all the nations, what is the church for then? Even Jesus Himself said to go out into the world and make disciples of all men and women. If the church starts focusing on helping the poor only, then that makes the church just another NGO among many other non-Christian NGOs.

    We lose our saltiness, become worthless.

  • Pingback: Pope Francis’ off-script Christmas nod to atheists is part of a pattern | Toledo Faith & Values()

  • the pope said there is no catholic god…contradicts my upbringing as a catholic because along with the God we learned about dismisses the new testament which is accepted by all catholicts and rejected by most all other religions meaning the cruxicifiction….the resurection…the sacraments…..and strive to be in the state of grace to enter heaven…..many catholics are very puzzled by this pope and think his liberal agenda will hurt them.

  • Pingback: Is Pope Francis undergoing treatment with New Age alternative therapies? « EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church()