In many ways, Pope Francis has ushered in refreshing change to the papacy. He has criticized the Catholic church’s elevation of doctrine above dogma and has shunned the palatial trappings that have historically accompanied his position.
Many believers, however, have already expressed their disappointment that Francis seems to shy away from the social issues that have contributed heavily to a global cultural decline. In a recent interview, he gave those detractors additional ammunition, saying that the church would be better off by ignoring politically correct sins such as homosexuality and abortion.
While he correctly stated that a major mission of the church should be to “heal wounds,” doing so at the expense of a sinner’s soul is abhorrent.
Defending statements he made earlier this year, Francis claimed that the Bible supports his refusal to judge homosexual priests who are actively leading congregations. Furthermore, he explained his view that the legalized murder of unborn children does not warrant any comment by the church.
The pope has been conspicuously quiet on the issue of abortion; and, this most recent interview offers an explanation.
Apparently favoring the watered-down form of Christianity embraced by many modern churches, Francis said that Catholicism should not be “a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people. We must not reduce the bosom of the universal Church to a nest protecting our mediocrity.”
While his rhetoric sounds good on the surface, dismissing sinful lifestyles to create a welcoming environment is not in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Certainly, individuals living in any type of sin should be invited with open arms. Merely attending, however, is just the first step. Francis’ reluctance to decry certain sins tacitly gives sinners permission to continue their life unaltered.
He concedes that sin exists, saying the “teaching of the Church … is clear,” though he attests “it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”
As the immoral left continues to berate and demonize the Christian faith for its adherence to biblical principles, more and more churches are relenting and offering feel-good messages instead of sometimes harsh truths. Jesus served as our role model here on earth, though, and his loving message to sinners was, “Go and sin no more.”
Photo credit: Catholic Church (England and Wales) (Creative Commons)