Pope Francis Criticizes “Ideological” Christianity


emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Fr...
emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Français : emblème pontifical Italiano: emblema del Papato Português: Emblema papal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Pope Francis Criticizes “Ideological” Christianity

 

Originally the title was going to have a question mark after it but I reread the middle paragraph below and I just didn’t see any doubt as to the meaning of his remarks. I have had serious doubts about Catholicism after the scandals, the coverups and  what I felt was a lack of sincerity in pushing for Catholic Social Justice. But I am reluctantly, cautiously, and slowly being impressed by this man.

 

I’m willing to take a second look. A Catholic church that took it duties of helping the poor and the powerless – that would be something.

 

James Pilant

 

Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/10/17/pope_francis_at_mass_calls_for_greater_openness_/in2-738150

of the Vatican Radio website

 

Pope Francis referred back to this passage from Thursday’s Gospel in his homily,

moving from Jesus’ warning. He warned: “When we are on the street and find

ourselves in front of a closed Church,” he said, “we feel that something is

strange.” Sometimes, he said, “they give us reasons” as to why they are closed:

They give “excuses, justifications, but the fact remains that the Church is

closed and the people who pass by cannot enter.” And, even worse, the Lord

cannot be close to the people. Today, the Pope said, Jesus speaks to us about

the “image of the [lock]”; it is “the image of those Christians who have the key

in their hand, but take it away, without opening the door.” Worse still, “they

keep the door closed” and “don’t allow anyone to enter.” In so doing, they

themselves do not enter. The “lack of Christian witness does this,” he said, and

“when this Christian is a priest, a bishop or a Pope it is worse.” But, the Pope

asks, how does it happen that a “Christian falls into this attitude” of keeping

the key to the Church in his pocket, with the door closed?

“The faith

passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology. And ideology does

not beckon [people]. In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his

love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And

when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he

is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought…

For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’

The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic

knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements.”

The Pope

continued, Jesus told us: “You burden the shoulders of people [with] many

things; only one is necessary.” This, therefore, is the “spiritual, mental”

thought process of one who wants to keep the key in his pocket and the door

closed: “The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away

the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the

people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an

illness, but it is not new, eh? Already the Apostle John, in his first Letter,

spoke of this. Christians who lose the faith and prefer the ideologies. His

attitude is: be rigid, moralistic, ethical, but without kindness. This can be

the question, no? But why is it that a Christian can become like this? Just one

thing: this Christian does not pray. And if there is no prayer, you always close

the door.”

 

 

From around the web.

 

From the web site,

 

http://cnsatwyd.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/pope-tells-latin-american-bishops-to-shun-ideology-empower-laity/

 

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

 

RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) — Reducing the faith to a worldly ideology,

prizing administrative efficiency over missionary zeal, and exalting the

role of clergy to the detriment of the laity are some of the major

“temptations” undermining evangelization in Latin America, Pope Francis

told church leaders from the region.

 

“The decision for missionary discipleship will encounter temptation,”

the pope said July 28 at a meeting with the coordinating committee of

the Latin American bishops’ conference, CELAM. “It is important to know

where the evil spirit is afoot in order to aid our discernment.”

 

 

Thomas Friedman Gets Entitlements Wrong


English: In the United States, Social Security...
English: In the United States, Social Security benefits for married workers with stay-at-home spouses. According to author Joseph Fried, this graphic uses information from: C. Eugene Steuerle and Adam Carasso, “The USA Today Lifetime Social Security and Medicare Benefits Calculator,” (Urban Institute, October 1, 2004), from: http://www.urban.org/publications/900746.html. Note: The calculator does not include the value or cost of the Social Security disability program. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Thomas Friedman Gets Entitlements Wrong

 

Sorry Kids, Thomas Friedman Is Not Very Good at Economics

 

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/sorry-kids-thomas-friedman-is-not-very-good-at-economics

 

Many young people may have been mislead by Thomas Friedman’s column, titled “Sorry Kids: We Ate It All,” which implied that our children might somehow suffer because we are paying so much to seniors for Social Security and Medicare. The reality of course is that if our children and grandchildren do not enjoy much higher standards of living than do current workers and retirees then it will be because the rich have rigged the deck so that they can accrue most of the gains from economic growth.

 

This is easy to show. For example, if we look at the Social Security trustees report we see that average annual wages are projected to grow at more than a 1.3 percent annual rate between now and 2050. As a result, the average before tax wage will be more than 60 percent higher in 2060 than it is today. If our children and grandchildren get to share equally in these gains then they will be far richer than we are today.

 

It’s true that we will have a higher ratio of retirees to workers in 2050, just as we have a higher ratio of retirees to workers than we did in 1970. Just as the increase in the ratio of retirees to workers over the last 4 decades did not prevent an increase in average living standards over this period, there is no reason to think it will prevent an increase in average living standards over the next four decades.

 

I heartily agree with Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. The generational theft storyline has been running around for a while and it is both wrong and unconvincing. Let’s take me for instance, I have my form in the mail from the Social Security Administration telling me what to expect. If I wait all the way until I’m 70, I will receive, $1,440 a month. I’m a little curious? When did that become a princely sum? Is this the kind of money that will enable me to go the sand and surf of Hawaii or does it more look like I’m going to have trouble paying for a place to live and basic groceries. I’m leaning toward the latter conclusion. Even in Arkansas, 1,440 dollars a month is not going to pay for a mansion. I might add that I have been paying in on that all of my working life, so it’s not free as far as I am concerned.

 

Well, what about Medicare? Well, it’s obvious to me although not to Friedman, that medical patents are being abused, that not allowing prescription drugs to either be bargained for by the federal government or purchased overseas is creating dramatically high medical costs and there are a bundles of other good choices we have to reduce out medical costs instead of telling seniors, “It’s just too bad, you got old while Thomas Friedman was considered an expert.”

 

Where do these people get the gall to tell the great middle class to go without pensions and health care when they have expressed no willingness to fix the nation’s problems? Why do we have a system where capital gains is taxed at less than wages? Why do we have no financial transaction tax to discourage the speculation which has wrought havoc all over this nation and the world?

 

 

 

James Pilant

 

From around the web.

 

From the web site, Okieprogressive.

 

http://okieblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/social-security-and-medicare/

 

Social Security and Medicare are programs that are needed relevant and necessary!

 

The economy is slowing repairing itself but we still have those on the right who want to deep-six any social safety net that would protect our seniors, the poor and disadvantaged, the sick, the halt and the lame. These are very people whom even Jesus Christ said should always be protected and aided. People like Tom Coburn don’t agree with Jesus on that, even though Coburn professes to be a follower of that Jewish Rabbi from Nazareth he had publicly stated that Social Security and Medicare are programs that we really don’t need to continue. Tom must have read a different Bible from all the ones I have read.

 

But, that is the current mantra for a lot of neo-cons and they are influencing a lot of neo-newbies who are coming and have come into the workforce over the past decade. These are people most of whom have never known any toil or strife in their lives because of safety nets like Social Security and Medicare were there for their parents and grandparents. They are the very ones buying to the neo-cons who claim most of the people who are poor don’t try hard enough or don’t or are lazy and shiftless and don’t really want to work. It’s a completely asinine idea, but they are buying hook line and sinker. When you have never known what is to be hungry or out of work I guess it is difficult to understand that, that is something that doesn’t necessarily mean you caused it.

 

 

Philip Yancey on what american churches have become. (via Dover Beach)


Exactly.

James Pilant

Philip Yancey on what american churches have become. “In view of Jesus’ clear example, how is it that the church has now become a community of respectability, where the down-and-out no longer feel welcome? The middle-class church many of us know today bears little resemblance to the diverse group of social rejects described in the Gospels and the book of Acts.”   – Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew … Read More

via Dover Beach

The Difference Between Moral Hazard and God’s Grace (via Ethical Houston)


Moral Hazard is one of the more important concepts of our current economic situation. This is an intelligent, insightful article with a clear explanation of the phenomenon. I am a big believer in Christianity’s view of business ethics and here is a good one by a fine author. If you are an economics or business student, you will find useful material here.

James Pilant

The Difference Between Moral Hazard and God’s Grace   If corporations are considered to have most of the same rights as humans should they also be entitled to Grace? Last summer the Supreme Court decided that corporations had the right to make unlimited contributions to political candidates.  For a number of years labor unions have also been able to make contributions to political campaigns.  This ruling is just another incident where the law has held that corporations have many of the same rights … Read More

via Ethical Houston