Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gentle Jesuit ignores the teleprompter and speaks from the heart

Pope Francis continues to confound his handlers in the papal press office.


His latest divergence from prepared text was perhaps his greatest contribution to the world so far.


About ten days ago, the former Cardinal Bergoglio told an audience at St. Peter's that "the Lord has redeemed all of us with the blood of Christ, even the atheists."


Catholic theologians watching in the wings were stunned.


Stunned because traditionalists have held that non-Christians were stuck with a "Do not pass go" card in the Monopoly game of eternity.


The next line from the same Pope Francis homily must have caused a heart attack.


"We must meet one another, doing good. 'But I don't believe, Father, I am an atheist.'… But do good. We will meet one another there."


Man, I love this Pope.


John Paul II had charisma.


But this Pope has something else very special.


He is filled with love for all people.


Even atheists.


And he believes atheists can enter Christ's kingdom, even if they don't believe in Christ.




By being Christ-like.


This explains why the vice-presidents at Catholicism Incorporated are so disturbed by the new pontiff's willingness to speak his mind.


And his heart.


Rev. Thomas Rosica issued a statement from the Vatican public relations office shortly after Francis's compassionate sermon.


Rosica told CNN that the Pope didn't mean exactly what his words indicated.


Rosica explained that Francis meant  atheists can always embrace the church later in life and then gain admittance into the pearly gates.




The Pope knew what he said and he meant it.


Remember, this is the man who left the Pope-mobile to hug a handicapped child.


The Pope who recently welcomed thousands of bikers to Rome blessing 1500 Harleys (they gave him a leather jacket and a big honkin' Hog).


The Vicar who washed the feet of teenage inmates at a youth prison.


The symbol of holiness who admitted recently that he falls asleep while praying.


Sound familiar?


The Pope's management team worries that his remarks counter their marketing plan.


After all, if you admit nonbelievers can go to heaven, you might end up with more nonbelievers.


But they're missing what's really going on here.


I believe the Pope's stance attracts believers.


The Pope is so transparently filled with love and compassion for mankind that he is a Catholic magnet.


A one-man billboard for a church that is loving and caring like Jesus.


The strong moral positions of the church are more easily digested by those enveloped in the love projected by Francis.


He is brilliant.


And filled with Christian love.


They say the  Holy spirit watches over the conclave and guides the cardinals without them even realizing it.


I believe it.


Just a few months into his pontificate  the Italian Jesuit from South America is causing disillusioned sophisticates to give the church a second look.


So, take a chill pill, theologians.


And let Francis be the Good Shepherd who goes looking for the lost sheep.


Who knows?


You might be one.

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