The excommunication of an Australian priest known for being outspoken on his support of same-sex marriage and ordaining women for priesthood is keeping the discussion about where Pope Francis stands on moral and social issues at the forefront.
Earlier this year, Greg Reynolds was defrocked and excommunicated for his views via a direct order from the Vatican, according to the Australian publication The Age. Reportedly the first excommunicate in Melbourne, Reynolds had already resigned as a parish priest in 2011 and had founded a progressive Catholic group known as Inclusive Catholics.
Negotiations are still in the process regarding benefits for Reynolds in light of his 32 years of service to the Roman Catholic Church as a priest, according to The Age. more >>
Cardinal Timothy Dolan is certainly right when he says that Pope Francis "wants to shake us [Catholics] up." But is he doing more harm than good?
Among his most quoted recent statements are:
"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." more >>
Pope Francis has condemned the "idolatry of big businesses" and the global economy for high levels of unemployment, but offered hope to people struggling to find jobs during a recent trip to one of Italy's poorest regions.
"It's easy to say 'don't lose hope,''' the leader of the Roman Catholic Church told close to 20,000 employed and unemployed workers in Sardinia's capital in Cagliari, Vatican Radio reported. "But to all of you who have work, and to those who don't, let me tell you: Don't let yourselves be robbed of hope.''
Mainstream media has misinterpreted Pope Francis' recent remarks on abortion and homosexual behavior to mean the Catholic Church is changing its stance on the issues, say experts on Roman Catholicism.
In response to a recently published in-depth interview the Jesuit Pontiff gave, several new organizations may have missed the main points of his remarks, Michael J. Sheeran, S.J., president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, told The Christian Post.
"Some mass media articles make it sound as if Pope Francis is saying abortion, homosexual behavior, etc. are okay. When they make that sort of claim, they really miss Francis' point," said Sheeran. "Before anything else, the Church, and every Christian, must take as their model the loving, forgiving, Jesus. We must preach the love of Christ in season and out. That's the Good News." more >>
Pope Francis stated in his most in-depth interview thus far on the Roman Catholic Church, published Thursday, that he affirms the social views of the Church, including on homosexuality and abortion, but believes that other issues should also gain focus.
Francis told interviewer, the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civilta Cattolica, that he did not believe the Church should only focus and speak on hot-button issues. "We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible," said the Pontiff in the recently published interview.
"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." more >>
Pope Francis has been in the spotlight this week after replying to an agnostic's questions, addressing whether God could forgive a non-believer.
The response was sparked by a question from a prominent Italian agnostic, and has led some media outlets to report that the pope was suggesting non-believers could be forgiven – even to the extent of salvation – without coming to faith.
The letter, written as a response to editorials from July and August by Eugenio Scalfari, an agnostic and the founder of the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica, addressed a question he posed about God forgiving people who do not believe in him or seek any type of faith. more >>