Rome Newsroom, Mar 12, 2023 / 11:00 am (CNA).
Pope Francis asked for prayers as he spoke about the future of the Church and his pontificate so far in an interview published in the early hours of Sunday.
Speaking to the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano, Francis declined to evaluate his pontificate so far, saying the Lord will judge his life one day based on whether he practiced the Corporal Works of Mercy as taught by Jesus.
“The Church is not a business, or an NGO, and the pope is not an administrator who has been commissioned to balance the numbers at the end of the year,” he said, according to an English transcript published on Il Fatto Quotidiano March 12.
The interview, one in a slew of recent papal interviews to be published, marks the March 13 anniversary of Pope Francis’ election to the papacy.
“Being the pope is not an easy job. Nobody has studied before doing this,” the pope said, recalling how St. Peter also “fell” when he denied Christ.
“But, after the resurrection, Jesus chose [Peter] again,” Pope Francis explained. “That is the mercy of the Lord towards us. Also towards the pope. ‘Servus inutilis sum.’ I’m a useless servant, as wrote Saint Paul VI in his ‘Thoughts on Death.’”
According to the pope, it’s not easy to pay attention to God’s will and put it into practice: “It’s necessary to attune yourself with the Lord, not with the world.”
The latest papal interview centered on Pope Francis’ hopes for the future of the Church, the world, and his own life.
He said the “governing program” of his pontificate was to implement the requests of the College of Cardinals’ general congregation, the meetings that took place ahead of the conclave that elected him.
He also said that back in 2013, he reflected often on a quote from the homily of the first Mass of Pope Benedict XVI.
On April 24, 2005, Benedict said: “In this moment it’s not necessary for me to present a governing program. … My true governing program is that which doesn’t follow my own will, to not pursue my own ideas, but to listen, alongside all of the Church, to the words and the will of the Lord and let myself be guided by him, so that he himself guides the Church in this hour of our history.”
Francis also credited Benedict XVI with tackling the abuse crisis in the Church with courage.
Asked about his wish for the world, Pope Francis responded: “peace.”
He also criticized what he called a “globalization of indifference” in the face of tragedies like war: “The turning a blind eye and saying, ‘Why should I care? It doesn’t interest me! It’s not my problem!’”
Francis said one of his dreams for the future of the Church is a Church which ventures out into the world and is among the people.
He also addressed the topic of clericalism.
“I dream of a Church without clericalism,” he said, quoting Cardinal Henri de Lubac.
Lubac wrote that for a priest, clericalism “would be infinitely more disastrous than any simple moral worldliness,” the pope said.
“Clericalism is the worst thing that can happen to the Church, worse still than the periods in which the pope was corrupt,” he added. “A priest, a bishop or a cardinal who becomes ill through clericalism does a lot of damage to the Church. It’s a contagious disease. Even worse are the clericalized lay people: they are a nuisance in the Church. Lay people should be lay people.”
Pope Francis said one issue that has made him suffer a lot during his pontificate is corruption.
“I’m not speaking about only financial corruption, inside and outside of the Vatican, I’m talking about corruption of the heart. Corruption is a scandal,” he said.
His hope for his own future, he said, is that the Lord will be merciful with him.
Addressing readers of the newspaper, he asked for prayers from those who pray and “good vibes” from those who do not. “The pope loves you and is praying for you.”
“Even if bad things happen, even if you have had a bad experience with someone from the Church, don’t let it condition you. The Lord is always waiting for you with open arms. I hope you succeed in experiencing it within your lives like I have within mine many times. The Lord has always been beside me, above all in the darkest moments.”
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How could the job be easy when the faithful have expectations of devoted continuation and godly interpretation, yet the opposite appears to be the order of the day?
Prayers for Papa.
WARNING to all faithful Catholic readers of CWR:
Alas, Protestant Brian Young is at it again in his ongoing efforts to undermine the Catholic faith of the Catholics who read CWR. Please keep in mind that he is not a part of the Catholic faithful, and so his pretending to speak for the Catholic faithful in our expectations of the Pope is both despicably presumptuous as well as being erroneous.
And of course in mentioning “godly interpretation,” Mr. Young is focusing once again only on Scripture interpretation as the sole rule of faith rejected by Catholic teaching that rightly insists on Tradition, the Magisterium, and Scripture as the “trinitarian” rule of faith.
Moreover, the phrase “godly interpretation” reflects the wrongheaded way many Protestants wrongly characterize how Catholics see the Pope as being godly and capable of godly actions, which is pure balderdash. This is how many Protestants botch the notion of Papal Infallibility, the revealed doctrine that Mr. Young has recommended elsewhere in this journal that faithful Catholics abandon.
Lastly, there is no such thing as “godly interpretation” of the Scriptures. The Catholic Church has been blessed with many superb theologians/bible scholars over the years that have been graced with some Divine inspiration to provide some special insights adopted by the Church, but no human being has godly powers to provide any “godly interpretation.”
So good Catholics of CWR, be sure to keep in mind that Brian Young’s criticisms of any aspect of Catholicism comes from an erroneous Protestant perspective. He is not a faithful comrade in this regard as he dishonestly pretends to be, and so his comments should be completely rejected.
Hear ye, hear ye: Francis believes he will be judged on whether he practiced the Corporal Works of Mercy! May God bless his little heart.
He also says: “Nobody has studied before doing this [being elected Pope]. I think he paints with a very broad brush. I’m calling Michelangelo.
Seems many of his critics know how to wield the same brush.
A needed laugh reading, “Even worse are clericalized lay people”. Although he’s right, if clericalism is officious, coldly formal religiosity that lacks heart.
Francis on corruption speaks here as simply corruption of the heart, whereas speaking to Fr Roger Landry [U.S. bishops’ National Eucharistic Preacher] corruption means refusal to recognize one’s sinfulness. That has deeper, truer meaning.
What Francis has brought to the Church is an all embracing mercy, the opposite of standoffish clericalism. An attractive approach, not that the Church hasn’t emphasized reaching out to the disenfranchised, Benedict and especially John Paul have, although in lesser capacity. Because what distinguishes Francis is radical inclusion. Accepting you as you are. Apparently, he believes that lowering doctrinal barriers is the only way to draw the LGBT persons, D&R married in an effort to redeem.
Today’s Gospel the Woman at the Well is a premier example of this vision. That is, if what His Holiness does matches what Christ does. Christ doesn’t hesitate to point out the woman’s sins, but doing that somewhat indirectly and gently regarding her five previous relationships, as well as the present cohabitation.
When he remained in Shechem with the Apostles he taught the doctrine we know as necessary for salvation.
In Fr Landry’s essay [see NCReg] Francis says recognition of one’s sinfulness suffices for salvation, stating he’s “saved”. That of course is Lutheran. This is the broken link in his otherwise attractive theology. Neglect of the requirement for repentance.
Only problem is that the papacy is not a “job.”
Nowhere in Scripture did Christ refer to his ministry as a “job.”
The ministry of Christ is a ministry of charity i.e. its purpose is the salvation of souls – a return to God’s original intent at Creation which is a deified life. If you truly love someone, you want the best for them. The Papal ministry is also a ministry of charity i.e. the salvation of souls. When Francis gives sin and error a pass, he has forfeited his participation in this ministry of charity.
Every organization has its own share of Pharisees and Levites. In all charity and humility, one needs to pray for the conversion of fellow mortals who show inclinations for clericalism.
Indeed, that is why we pray for this pope, for his conversion to Catholicism, for his repentance from Peronist, totalitarian abuse of the faithful, for an end to his promotion of every vile immorality and perversion.
Point one finger foreward and three point back at you. One quarterback on Sunday is worth three on Monday.
What happens when the Sunday quarterback isn’t meeting expectations? Is the coach to remain mute? Do the fans not voice disapproval?
When the alarm bells go off what should the faithful do?
Only the Catholic faithful have obligations regarding the Pope and the Papacy that do not apply to members of other “faith communities” like the myriad Protestant communities.
Brian Young is not part of the Catholic faithful, so his deceptive comments regarding the “faithful” wherein he wrongly includes himself and offers advice even in the form of a rhetorical-type question to Catholics must be rejected.
In many respects, Mr. Young is very much like the busy-body neighbor who wrongly asserts himself into another family’s personal matters and pretends to also be a part of that family based on the “we are all brothers and sisters” mantra in order to destroy some of that family’s valuable traditions.
Moreover, Protestant Brian Young does not believe the Papacy as established by Jesus Christ is legitimate, so his ongoing Protestant criticisms of the Pope whom he disparagingly refers to as Papa (not a term of endearment for anyone outside the Catholic faith who mock the entire notion of the Catholic understanding of the Papacy) must also be rejected no matter how innocent lamb-like this wolf makes any of his comments appear.