New Pope, New Vision, Right Direction

Pope Francis shared his vision for the Catholic Church in his recent interview withAntonio Spadaro, published by “America the National Catholic Review.”  The general vision for the Catholic Church that Pope Francis has is for the members of Catholicism to embrace people who have been offended by the religion. Pope Francis does not want to focus on the strict guidelines of Catholicism at first, but he wants to focus on Christ and His saving grace.

Pope Francis encourages the Fathers of the congregation to accept people the same way God accepts them.  Pope Francis does not want the guidelines of Catholicism to be destroyed, but he is concerned about people that need to be saved. These people will not be saved if Catholics keep reminding them of their sinfulness in regard to the Church’s doctrinal rules. Yes, in order to become saved, it requires a certain reflection on our sinful nature, but it is discouraging to be repeatedly referred to as an abomination or subjacent.  The pope envisions the minsters of the Catholic Church as a type of spiritual parent or mentor to the unsaved; they are compassionate and nurturing to the unsaved rather than harsh or caustic. The pope visualizes the bishops as the encouragers of the Church and the sense of calm when times become heated with tension. This is specifically to resolve any harsh feelings the unsaved may have towards God.

Pope Francis also wishes for the Church to become a “home” for the unsaved that is always searching for change. He challenges the Church to reach out to the people who are not at mass. If the congregation tried to connect to the unbelievers, they might find out why the unsaved need a home.  Furthermore, when it comes to the topic of homosexuality, Pope Francis does not want to place judgment, but his intentions are to provide love and human equality. The pope claims when our main concern is for the individual instead of their sins then the Holy Spirit can lead way towards salvation.  Pope Francis plans to try to get the principles of Catholicism and the doctrine to harmonize better. Therefore, the way the “message of Christ” is delivered has to become less complex.  When it comes to the topic of women’s involvement in the Church, the pope wants to look deeper into their role from all angles.  Pope Francis wants people to believe God is present anywhere and everywhere. Ultimately, the pope also wants to look deeper, and from various angles, into the role of women in the Church. Pope Francis plans to harmonize the principles of Catholicism with our everyday life, and thus, the “message of Christ” that is delivered must become less complex.

I think Pope Francis’ vision for Catholicism is headed in the right direction. I really appreciate how intentional he is with his thoughts and actions towards different people. The main point the Pope brought to my attention was loving people no matter what they have done, instead of placing judgment. This especially highlighted how I need to always remember that we are all imperfect and God is the only righteous judge. Another point that stood out to me was branching out to the unsaved who do not attend mass. The Church can be a comfort zone and become routine, and as seen in the past, we want people to come to us rather than us coming to them. Overall, I do agree that Catholicism could change, and Pope Francis has a concrete ideal for just such a change.



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