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Pope says proselytism (read: evangelism) is “solemn nonsense”

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To the growing concern of orthodox Catholics, Pope Francis continues to shake things up in the world’s largest Christian denomination — this time in an interview with an atheist, no less.

Here are a few excerpts:

Proselytism [another word for evangelism] is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us….

Heads of the Church have often been narcissists, flattered and thrilled by their courtiers. The court is the leprosy of the papacy…

A religion without mystics is a philosophy…

I say that politics is the most important of the civil activities and has its own field of action, which is not that of religion. Political institutions are secular by definition and operate in independent spheres…

Andrew Sullivan, a liberal Catholic, offers THIS TAKE on the pope’s latest bomshells:

It is as if the Catholicism that has been forming and re-forming in my own mind and soul for years suddenly became clearer, calmer, simpler. This Catholicism, like Saint Francis’, is about abandoning power and all the trappings of power; it is about leaving politics alone in an independent sphere, in stark contrast to Christianism which is primarily politics and ultimately about power.

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3 Comments

  1. From my perspective, politics in America became polarized about the time Reagan courted the far right likes of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Ralph Reed, Paul Weyrich, Tim Lehaye, and the others of their ilk into the Republican Party. They became the all powerful base that had to be appeased. Notice, most of these players are from the south. That same south that never stopped fighting the civil war.

    That base has now morphed in the Tea Party faction. Also, let’s not forget Newt Gingrich’s role in this movement as he took polarization to whole new level, when he introduced the concept of shutting down government, when he didn’t get his way. Gingrich is the most responsible of all the players for the loss of civility between the two parties, as he forbid any sort of fraternization with the Democrats.

    These polarizing forces were all from the Evangelical faith is my understanding. It is also my observation that the newer generations within the Evangelicals are rejecting the radical separatists that the original Moral Majority leaders brought to our form of government, but they need time to gather and grow their forces.

    In the mean time, the prior generation is still able to do lots of damage to the political system of our country and believe it is all God’s will as seen through their minds.

    The pope is right. He’s attempting to modernize the Catholic faith. I hope no one harms him. He’s speaking too much truth for some I fear.

  2. Mr. Baseball

    This Pope is such a breath of fresh air. Especially when compared with his two predecessors.

  3. Why is it some people who claim they got their motivation from God/Holy Spirit are hauled off and sent to a mental institution for an evaluation and others, like our last president, who claims God told him to invade Iraq, are praised? Whose claims killed more innocent people?

    Let’s not forget, if we changed the word God to the name Steve, and used the name Steve in ways that people who claim or use the word God as their inspiration or redemption, they’d be considered loony? Why the prejudice against the name Steve, if the intended outcome is the same?

    “For the large majority of Christians, the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost, from Old English gast, “spirit”) is the third divine person of the Holy Trinity: the “Triune God” manifested as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; each person itself being God. The New Testament includes over 90 references to the Holy Spirit.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/17/house-stenographer_n_4119039.html

    PS – the reCAPTCHA letters are very hard to read. It took over 5 times to get this post accepted.

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