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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Still excommunicating

While many liberals are hopeful based on the pope's recent interview, I see that Francis has defrocked and excommunicated Fr. Greg Reynolds, who spoke up for same-sex marriage and women's ordination. First Things and its readers are thrilled that this seems to show the pope didn't mean what most people thought he meant when he spoke of compassion for LGBT people and a greater role in the church for women :(

Reading Bryan Cones - How big was the bang? Was the pope's interview really "explosive"? - and I agree with what he says about the church getting out from under the absolute sway of one person's [the pope's] opinions ...

[M]y takeaway from the pope's interview is simply: I've thought these things for a long time, and many Catholics I know have as well .... Pope Francis is saying what many Catholics the world over have long been thinking .... I'm sure I join many Catholics in celebrating the fact that the bishop of Rome is a man who is first a pastor. And yet, that could all change tomorrow if the pope, God forbid, should die and be replaced by someone without that sensitivity. In that light, the work I hope Pope Francis will do is to seek a church reform in which the message and emphasis of the Roman Catholic Church does not rest so much on the personality of the bishop of Rome. The actual person in Peter's chair will always matter, and if Pope Francis can begin a reform in which the pope's role is to moderate and lead the people of God in living an adult faith--one that does not rely so much on the judgments of the guy sitting in Peter's chair--that would truly be explosive. Papa Bergoglio has taken some intriguing steps in that direction in a mere six months. Let's hope there is more to come.


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