Wisdom during a time of absurdity
There are many important events happening in the world this week:
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani made his case to the United States by writing a letter to the Washington Post that included his stance on a number of issues including Iran’s nuclear program.
On Capitol Hill, House Republicans will vote today to pass legislation that defunds Obamacare without shutting down the government, though one of their main proponents in the Senate, Ted Cruz, has already conceded that the bill will probably fail. Along with our own senator David Vitter, Cruz vows to do “everything and anything” to defund the health-care legislation, including a possible filibuster of the legislation.
With this no-compromise attitude, Americans can be sure of one thing: not much is going to get done anytime soon.
Gun laws are another issue that could be discussed, Syria, the Farm Bill and subsidized food program, but I again will return to the man whom I wrote about in last week’s column because at the moment, he seems to be the only calm, strong, and logical voice on the world stage. He is initiating change in his people with a gentle yet strong approach, which I believe will make a profound change in the world.
Pope Francis I again made headlines this week by sitting down for an extensive interview with a Catholic (specifically Jesuit) magazine.
The interview touched upon many topics including defining his perspectives on homosexuality, abortion, church hierarchy, and the needs of the world church, but the purpose of the interview as a whole was to give Roman Catholics a better introduction of their new leader.
The engagement actually started with the interviewer asking Francis, who is Jorge Bergolio (Francis’s name before his election)? Of which he replied after some time of silence: “I am a sinner.”
In speaking about the general position and health of the church today, this is a short summary of what Francis had to say,
“I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds…
“The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules… We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently…
“We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.”
In a world that seems to be obsessed with absurdity, Christians and Non-Christians alike may find wisdom in this interview. The full text can be viewed at www.americamagazine.org.
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