Intelligent discussion overdue
In his column “The price of papal popularity” , Pat Buchanan offers his personal opinion that Pope Francis is harming the Catholic Church, mocking other leaders of the church and creating confusion. This, because the Holy Father led a synod of bishops in discussion about family issues. What kind of honest discussion would not include divorce and remarriage, gay marriage and all matters pertinent to family life in the 21st century?
To say that God is not afraid of new things and that the church might need to adapt only recognizes that, from the time of Jesus, and with the leadership of Peter, Paul and James, the church has changed with the time, problems and people of every era. The pope is not confusing us; the issues are confusing us. That’s why we need to look at them carefully and not dismiss them nor the people who are facing them.
If there are “explosions” today, they are caused by people deciding on their own what they will do or not do, believe or not believe, without moral guidance. How could a universal church ignore any longer the complexities of our time?
No one would deny that there are moral absolutes. The question is, what moral teachings are absolute? An intelligent discussion of these matters is long overdue. As Buchanan says, if not his holiness, who? And I would add, if not now, when?
As for the harming and mocking, I don’t know too many who believe Pope Francis would do either.
The Rev. Jeffrey J. Noble
The writer is pastor of the Church of Notre Dame in the Diocese of Erie.