Pope Francis on the risk of a 'babysitter' church

Pope Francis on the risk of a 'babysitter' church

   Pope Francis at Mass with Vatican bank employees

When Pope Francis said Mass this morning for Vatican bank employees, some might have expected a homily on financial ethics.

Instead, he delivered a brief and insightful reflection on the strength of baptism. Essentially, the pope argued that unless lay Catholics are willing to courageously live and proclaim their faith, the church risks turning into a “babysitter” for sleeping children.

Pope Francis was speaking to the mostly lay employees of the Vatican bank in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where his morning Masses have become daily teaching moments.

He referred to the day’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles on the evangelizing efforts of the earliest Christians, who traveled from place to place proclaiming the Gospel.

“They were a simple faithful, baptized just a year or so before – but they had the courage to go and proclaim,” he said.

“I think of us, the baptized: do we really have this strength – and I wonder – do we really believe in this? Is baptism enough? Is it sufficient for evangelization? Or do we rather ‘hope’ that the priest should speak, that the bishop might speak ... and what of us? Then, the grace of baptism is somewhat closed, and we are locked in our thoughts, in our concerns. Or sometimes think: ‘No, we are Christians, I was baptized, I made Confirmation, First Communion ... I have my identity card all right. And now, go to sleep quietly, you are a Christian.’ But where is this power of the Spirit that carries us forward?”

The pope said Christians today need to “be faithful to the Spirit, to proclaim Jesus with our lives, through our witness and our words.”

“When we do this, the church becomes a mother church that produces children…. But when we do not, the church is not the mother, but the babysitter, that takes care of the baby – to put the baby to sleep. It is a church dormant. Let us reflect on our baptism, on the responsibility of our baptism.”

This was a favorite theme of Pope Francis when he was an archbishop in Buenos Aires, and I think we can expect to hear more on the topic in coming weeks and months.

In a revealing interview in 2011 with the news agency AICA, then-Cardinal Bergoglio was asked about the Catholic laity in Argentina, and he answered with these words:

“We priests tend to clericalize the laity.We do not realize it, but it is as if we infect them with our own disease.And the laity — not all, but many — ask us on their knees to clericalize them, because it is more comfortable to be an altar server than the protagonist of a lay path. We cannot fall into that trap —it is a sinful complicity.”

37 comments (Add your own)

1. Dan wrote:
Everyday another scold about the sinful complicity of altar servers or those who pray on their knees. Yet, the shtick is accepted by most. Just how is a hollowed out Church going to evangelize society? And why, if this were worth pursuing, were all Catholic statistics in Beunos Ares down dramatically when Bergoglio was archbishop. And why if that happened in that vain city would one think that it would be any different when used on the Universal Church?

Wed, April 17, 2013 @ 4:05 PM

2. wrote:
Dan -- First, you need to actually & carefully read the article. There is no mention of the the "sinful complicity of altar servers." Secondly, "all Catholic statistics in Buenos Aires" were not "down dramatically" when Bergoglio was archbishop. Actually, when you look at the real statistics, the Catholic stats, relative to the total population, remained constant. There was an increase in the number of diocesan priests, deacons, and parishes during this time as well.

Wed, April 17, 2013 @ 4:41 PM

3. Kathleen Fenton wrote:
Beautiful! We need to hear more of this - faithful lay Catholics need to realize that we are not "religious-lite" - that we have a specific and important vocation in our Church!

Wed, April 17, 2013 @ 5:44 PM

4. Matt wrote:
Dan, he isn't scolding altar servers or praying on your knees. The Pope is saying that that participating in the work of the altar is not central to our vocation as laypeople. In fact, he wasn't criticizing praying on your knees at all; we just shouldn't be begging--on our knees--clericalization from priests!

Wed, April 17, 2013 @ 6:24 PM

5. Marcy Meldahl wrote:
I didn't understand that last paragraph . . .

Wed, April 17, 2013 @ 7:42 PM

6. Jim McCrea wrote:
Is the "specific and important vocation in the Church" code wording for don't worry about the stuff that we clerics do, just do the other things?

I most certainly hope not! Until and unless the voices of the laity are taken seriously when it comes to the revitalization and reform of the STRUCTURE of what has become so counter-productive and off-putting during the past 2 papacies, throwing them their "specific" pablum will simply hasten the exit out the back doors.

Wed, April 17, 2013 @ 8:01 PM

7. Kristopher wrote:
I think Dan has a point. The Pope's words are profound, but what exactly does it mean for a lay person who does not understand his vocation? How will he know what to do?

Wed, April 17, 2013 @ 11:12 PM

8. Athanasius wrote:
@Jim McCrea:

Jim - speak for yourself! 'Counter-productive and off-puttng during the past 2 papacies?! What utter nonsense! You mean those 2 papacies when myself and, literally, MILLIONS of young people were educated, energized and actually catechized continually, and joined by these 2 great Popes at World Youth Days to pray with us, and be with us? Are those the 'counter-productive and off-putting papacies' you're referring to?

We have just lived through two of the greatest papacies in the history of the Church, and could not have dared hope for two consecutive Popes of their vast intellectual stature and holiness. May the Almight reward them both!

Let us pray that Pope Francis will indeed move forward in continuity with his predecessors. The laity and clergy have their own tasks and duties and vocations. If you want to be entrusted with clerical duties, Jim, there's something you can do about that - the Church is crying out for vocations to the Priesthood. It's this 'hopping on two twigs', as the great Elijah said, that is the scourge of our lives, and this, in continuity with Scripture and Tradition and his predecessors that Pope Francis is pointing out. Either take your lay responsibilities seriously, or pursue ordination to the clerical/religious state, but you can't be both anymore than you can be married and single simultaneously.

I'm happy to say that Pope Francis is, of course, saying precisely what you 'fear'. It's called 'Catholicism'.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 3:10 AM

9. John wrote:
"...because it is more comfortable to be an altar server than the protagonist of a lay path".

OK, I don't understand this statement much at all. Maybe we have a cultural dis-connect? An altar server to me, basically, is one who has not been ordained (as a priest or deacon). So I'd say that being a lay person and being an altar server..are fundamentally compatible. Yet this statement seems to imply a distinct difference between an altar server and a layman. And a distinction that renders them NOT compatible.

Could he be referring to an "altar server" rather as one who offers service on behalf of the people AT the altar? In other words, an ordained priest?
That's the only way I can understand this notion.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 4:36 AM

10. George H. wrote:
I understand His Holiness to be saying that it's easy to be an altar server, exxtraordinary minister of the Eucharist, Lector, Cantor, chorister (as am I - in fact I have been most of these) instead of proclaiming the Gospel in the workplace, our favorite bar/restaurant/social club, family friends and society in general. I think he's challenging me to not see the more or less "internal" ministries if you will, as sufficient. I might do all those things, but, I still fall short of my vocation as a layperson if I do not then, "go in peace to love and serve the Lord" outside the confines of my parish building - outside the relatively safe environs of the comfortable community, even while being a real evangelizing force even there, where so much complacency and dissent still prevails. My true vocation is less proclaiming the Word in the Church and far more to proclaim and live it everywhere else.

I also believe he says it far better than I ever could.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 4:56 AM

11. Margueite wrote:
What the Pope is trying to say is that there is an element in the Church today that wants to blur the distinct roles/vocations of Catholics. Feminist nuns want to be priests. Priests want to be late-show talk hosts on the altar and the laity are now prepping the offerings of bread and wine. There is an abuse and the Pope wants to point out that we each serve the Lord by our own particular vocation we are called to and not by trying to be priest, altar server, nun or comic.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 6:25 AM

12. jOSEPH wrote:
Try to do what St. Francis said: "Preach the Gospel constantly,If necdessary use words" f

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 7:43 AM

13. beej wrote:
He keeps giving the same sermon using different words for different groups. The message is to go out and proclaim the gospel. In the mass of the Charism he said that the priests should have the "smell of their sheep" on them.

And to the laity he's saying that it's more comfortable to attend to the altar than to be in the streets proclaiming the gospel. and so we are begging the priests, "Give me a job in here with you."

What it boils down to, is, how do you see the church. Do you see the church as a big brick building? or do you see it as the people of God? If you see it as a building then you tend to want to spend your time in the building, if you see it as people then you tend to want to spend your time amongst the people.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 7:52 AM

14. Anna wrote:
I think today's homily feels like a continuation of yesterday's- a kind of path for the faithful- http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/04/18/pope:_our_small_daily_encounters_with_christ/en1-684118

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 8:04 AM

15. Julie Dumois wrote:
OK I'm super confused about the post and I'm certain it must be own ignorance. This is my question/concern Is the clergy aware of the tireless work the laity is undertaking especially on social media? I'm sorry but I'm not going door-to-door, that's not why I became a convert from Prot, if that's the suggestion. Secondly, altar servers are where many vocations are born, and hardly a comfortable position. I agree the clergy has clericalized the laity there are tons of Eucharistic ministers in my parish, how about we start by eliminating most if not all of them.
So what if Communion takes a little longer, a step such as that would go a long way in clearly defining roles. By the way, someone should inform the Vatican of how many of us are out here being insulted, isolated, disowned by non-Catholic family and friends for promoting and defending our faith we are anything but comfortable. I love our Holy Father, however perhaps something was lost in translation, but this could easily be misinterpreted....just sayin.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 8:37 AM

16. Ryan Meeks wrote:
We can worry all our lives about the sins of others, but we ourselves are white-washed walls if we do not participate in the work of the Gospel. The useless finger pointing must cease, we must use our fingers for the work of God; the same fingers can bind up or tear wounds- where do we stand?

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 8:48 AM

17. Behold The Lamb Catholic Resource Ministry wrote:
May God bless the Holy Father, who is beseeching us to get out of the boat and embrace Jesus. We, as a Church, must embrace our Essential Mission - EVANGELIZATION - and begin/enhance a personal relationship, soul by soul, with Jesus Christ. It's why we're here- to advance the Kingdom of God here on Earth.

Receiving the Sacraments is, indeed, critical. But if we do little or nothing with them, what is the point of having a certificate? To fulfill a "checklist?" Too often, our children disappear from our churches after receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, as if they had "graduated" from years of doctrinal training/Religious Education. They then return years later for the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony- maybe. Catechizing before or without Evangelizing makes little sense and provides no Fruit of the Spirit..

It is spiritually imperative that we alter this mindset that exists in pockets of our faith and, in place, advocate that Confirmation is taking a vow to follow Christ and spread the Good News. It's not an end to "training." It's a beginning of service to Christ- to carry our Cross and count it pure joy! Amen!


Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 8:57 AM

18. Chris Stephenson wrote:
If the Pope wants the laity to evangelise in the same way that the Apostles and Disciples evangelised the Church he would need to take the Church back to basics, removing all the clutter of unnecessary rules and regulations that create barriers between the laity and the Universal Church. Only seeing God as innocent Children can we really believe.

How can we love one another if we do not like ourselves, even with Gods infinite forgiveness and mercy we feel guilty for not keeping up to the mark, knowing our way of living does not match up with the rules of the Church.

If we follow the commandments this should be the route to God. For example if we make young people feel alienated from the Church, just because they have a physical relationship with someone they love, before they are married, the Church should not judge them. If this carries on we will keep on loosing generations of young Christians. Let us not alienate the youth from the Church, tell them to love God and the whole world with all their hearts.

The Church should not judge them if this love leads them into physical relationships. The Church should not be concerned with making minute rules on physical relationships and should concentrate on core routes of Jesus's teachings.

If this was the way of the Church you would see the Churches refill. Jesus sends us to give the good news not to make rulings on every aspect of our lives.

If the laity are asked to take over the Church it will flourish but will most likely change and not all the Clergy will like it!

I pray that these words are taken in the correct way,hopefully as a constructive way forward for our universal church.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 9:13 AM

19. Tony wrote:
It seems to me that many of the laity in the church are looking for Francis to step in and change the path of the Church. Make sweeping changes to what has been definitively declared truth by his predecessors who were lead by the Holy Spirit. Anything that has been defined by Thee Church and is doctrine/dogma the current Pope cannot change. For instance, I believe, that there are those in the Church who want women priests, or that same sex marriages be declared good, or that homosexual acts be declared natural and good, or that contraception and abortions be sanctioned as ok with God. There are those Catholic laity who want the Church to be remade into their image and what they think is good and well according to THEIR feelings on certain subjects, such as the ones above, rather than submitting, there is a word that no one likes, to the truth of the teachings of the Church, lead by the Holy Spirit. Disciplines of the Church can be changed, such as Priests being married or not eating meat on Fridays, but not doctrines or dogmas! The Church has been lead through out its existence by the Holy Spirit THROUGH its hierarchy, the Pope and Bishops in union with the Pope, not through its laity. We lay people are not THEE Church, we are part of THEE Church, an essential part, but not the ruling part. The Church as Christ set it to be is a kingdom on earth, a hierarchy, it is not a democracy, we do not get to vote on the rulings of the Church or on what its teaches as being truth, no more than we can change the truth and wording of the Bible, the word of God. Nor do we get to have our own individual interpretations of what the word says, for when we do, and it disagrees with the interpretation of the Church, you can bank on it that we are wrong! Faith comes by hearing and hearing from the word of God and from HIS Church...... which is "the pillar and bulwark of all truth" according to his word!

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 9:38 AM

20. Richard Aleman wrote:

I always find it funny how some laymen argue that the Catholic Church has a structural problem and the solution is to take laity seriously, given them equal authority, etc. The laity have given us no path to enlightenment. In fact, the laity cannot decide if they are Catholics or political propagandists so indoctrinated by the mythologies invented by political demagogues (throughout the political spectrum) that I barely trust them to usher at Mass, let alone suppress and oppose the authority Christ gave to St. Peter. And that is an authority our Lord gave to St. Peter, not to "Marvin the laymen".

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 9:58 AM

21. Kelly wrote:
It is fairly obvious what he is saying to the laity. The same thing he is saying to the priests.. Get out there and live your faith! I think that the main thing about the laity being clericalized is that it allows people to feel complacent in their religion... That they're good Catholics because they attend Mass and are involved in their parish. This is an easy form of Catholicism. It is much harder to act as a strong witness in our daily lives. A lot of Francis' mini sermons have been about things that we all are guilty of gossiping and talking poorly about one another, complaining, being stubborn and prideful. It strikes me that it is very based on St Therese's Little Way.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 11:13 AM

22. Antoine wrote:
Do you know where I can find an English or even French translation of the link (interview in 2011 with the news agency AICA - in Spanish) given at the end of the article?


Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 11:33 AM

23. beej wrote:
funny how we all read exactly the same words and attribute vastly different meanings to them based on our own agenda, wants and desires.

I think that, with Francis, you have to read many of his sermons or writings to understand what he means.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

24. Mark11:24 wrote:
If we follow scripture what we ask for will be given to us including wisdom to understand....Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.

If we believe that the Word of God is the Truth, alive and active in our lives then we should also believe that all we need to do is ask the Holy Spirit to grant us the Wisdom from God to understand what Pope Francis means in his writings and sermons. He speaks very humbly and through the Spirit and includes himself in all that he says. I am thankful that he speaks the truth to bring all of us sinners back to reality; to keep us focused on our responsibility as Catholics to spread Jesus' love to others in our lives.

JAMES 5:19-20
19 My brothers, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, 20 he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Matt 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Wisdom 6:11-21
Desire therefore my words; long for them and you will be instructed.
12 Resplendent and unfading is Wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. 13 She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her; 14 one who watches for her at dawn will not be disappointed, for she will be found sitting at the gate. 15 For setting your heart on her is the perfection of prudence, and whoever keeps vigil for her is quickly free from care; 16 Because she makes her rounds, seeking those worthy of her, and graciously appears to them on the way, and goes to meet them with full attention. 17 For the first step toward Wisdom is an earnest desire for discipline; 18 then, care for discipline is love of her; love means the keeping of her laws; To observe her laws is the basis for incorruptibility; 19 and incorruptibility makes one close to God; 20 thus the desire for Wisdom leads to a kingdom. 21 If, then, you find pleasure in throne and scepter, you princes of peoples, honor Wisdom, that you may reign as kings forever.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 1:39 PM

25. Gloria Sullivan wrote:
Chris you said so much that I don't think any Catholic, that has been brainwashed for their entire lives and the lives of their parents and those before them, can ever understand what you have said. It is the truth! You must leave the rules and reg's of the(rc)...church and use the brains that God has given you to really see the trees and not this forrest of complications that Jesus Christ never put into action, nor did HE EVER WISH IT TO BE PUT INTO ACTION...but... none the less; it is what it is and it is NOT what God wants for HIS people.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 2:00 PM

26. Kirk wrote:
Francis is really emphasizing Ignatius' appeal to all of us (as one would expect of a Jesuit). What you hear at Mass, proclaim in the streets. At my (Jesuit) parish, we have a wonderful statue of Ignatius in our chapel essentially emphasizing the same thing.

It is not easy to do in a secular society. It is, indeed, much easier to be a 'good' Catholic by attending Mass and being involved in parish activities. Francis is urging all of us to go beyond that. He's challenging us in ways that may make us initially uncomfortable.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 2:29 PM

27. Mike C. wrote:
Clericalize? I didn’t get it either, so silly me, I looked it up. According to the dictionary clericalism means “a policy of maintaining or increasing the power of a religious hierarchy.” Simply put (some) altar servers want the priests and bishops to be the sole providers of Catholic teaching even though the laity has been taught what should be handed on, for years. If we think we have not been taught, then it is our obligation to learn Catholic teaching so we can pass it on. This is not an indictment of those who serve the Church, only of us who think that our service stops when we leave the Sanctuary. What service can we do when we leave church? One of the biggest problems facing the Church and the world today, is oddly enough one of the most basic: A Crisis of Fatherhood.
Fathers need to lead, protect, provide for, and educate their families (and congregations for that matter). But what we have today are a hodgepodge of men who don't know how to be a good fathers because they were never taught how. Worse than that, we were encouraged to be bad fathers by Big Business that promotes slavery to pleasure, by Big Government who is more than willing to step in as a 'permissive father' to provide for those trying to avoid taking responsibility, (as long as we will vote for those in power, while taxing those who are being responsible), and unfortunately by many of the priests and bishops in the Catholic Church, who have abdicated their role to lead, protect, provide for, and teach their congregations the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE.
Many if not most of the problems we face could be solved or at least mitigated by Catholic men learning and fulfilling their duties as fathers. Lay fathers can benefit from a course like Steve Wood's 'Christian Fatherhood' (www.dads.org), taught by fathers to fathers (and future fathers). Understanding fatherhood from this lay/religious standpoint can also help to teach religious fathers to embrace more fully their true role as Christ's representative on earth, to be a husband to The Church, to keep Her Holy and Spotless, and to be true fathers to their congregations. For all fathers this may entail, for example, protecting their 'children' by removing them from errant education like 'sexuality education or awareness' that would bind them, and teaching them instead the truly freeing concepts found in 'chastity education'.
If you endeavor to be the best example of an authentic Christian Father (or an authentic Christian mother, or child for that matter), your example WILL be preaching (without words) as St. Francis said.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 2:31 PM

28. Amy wrote:
George H,
You restate the important points extremely well. We need to think and act as disciples all of our time.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 2:43 PM

29. Tom Perna wrote:
Pope Francis is calling us to live our faith in the world! It's the same message he is telling the clergy to do as well. His message has been clear in the early days of his papacy - we need to preach the Gospel. That is the primary duty of the Church (see Acts 6, specifically verse 2). The entire Church needs to do this, however, we each have our own vocations. As the laity, we are called to go out to the places where the clergy cannot go, such as our places of work. Vatican II proclaims this pretty clearly.

I know it's easy to complain...Trust me!, but complaining does nothing to build up the Mystical Body of Christ. Pope Francis just in the past week said that complaining distances us from Christ. He said, "complaining and griping, about others and about things in one’s own life, is harmful “because it dashes hope. Don’t get into this game of a life of complaints."

Do you want to know the role of the laity in the Church?" I would suggest reading these documents - 1. Vatican II Document - The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church - Lumen Gentium, Chapter 4 is on the The Laity (the entire document is great!) 2. Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity - Apostolicam Actuositatem, and 3. Blessed John Paul II's Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation - Christifideles Laici.

Doctrinally, Pope Francis is not going to change the teachings of the Church to fit the modern world. It's just not going to happen. We must learn obedience and follow the Church, which Christ gave us and founded upon St. Peter (Matthew 16). We must submit our will with the will of God, not Him submitting to us.

In the Peace of Christ.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 2:51 PM

30. Bill Gaudry wrote:
I know exactly what Holy Father means, and I'm excited that a Pope has finally found a way to say it. He is, essentially, encouraging the Laity to be Apostles --- and not "just clerical flower pots" sitting all pretty, in the Sanctuaries of the world, sashaying around in their albs, dalmatics, and chasubles. Not that there is anything "wrong" about the clerical state and it's multi facetted dynamics; nothing at all wrong. But the Faithful Laity has a "vocation" that has been forgotten and, worse, often ignored. That has to stop. It can, we can, because GOD CAN!

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 3:03 PM

31. Jim McCrea wrote:

Since when is having a voice and place at the table with it comes to the financial, structural and non-pastoral aspects of this church "clerical?" Since when is being treated as equal partners in the mission and ministries of this church "clerical?" Since when is treating women as co-equals in this church "clerical?"

BTW, 1 Peter 2:9 is addressed to ALL believers, not just the ordained. Or is that a bit too "clerical" for your taste?

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 4:23 PM

32. Bill Gaudry wrote:
One of the greatest things about Jesus' Church is that it's many members, men and women, lettered and pedestrian, have charisms to offer, and lots of them! I just buried a good Catholic friend that would have made a jack-lousy priest, but he was a talented physician/specialist, a holy husband, and a holy Dad! Charisms that God gave him; charisms he used to glorify God! "... God saw that it was good ..." Of course it was. He made it! I think this part of what Our Holy Father is discussing. Unless I'm wrong.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 5:22 PM

33. Chris Stephenson wrote:
Tony, I am not asking Pope Francis to change anything that is core to our religion.
I am asking the Catholic Church to take a step back from getting involved in making decrees about physical relationships. Being a Scot and being surrounded by the clergy all my life, I have come to realise that there is a conflict between what the clergy suggest we do in in practice and what the laity / clergy do in practice, these two things are miles apart.
You sound like the Sanhedrin defending the state of the church by saying this is Gods spiritual guidance that has lead us here and that our own Saviours ideas should be persecuted because he suggested a change.
Open your ears and accept that you can love God and mankind and still be gay or in a relationship before being married.
The Catholic Religion must be central to our lives not a way of life that is out of kilter with what we actually feel or believe.
I have no feeling of sorrow or hate towards gays or young couples out of wedlock. I do want to see both groups happy to join in with our communion without the dark despair of being unworthy.
My point is that we should not be judging at this level, we and the Church should be looking above this physical level and looking at the love that we show towards God and mankind.
This is the first time I have put my thoughts on paper so please forgive my lack of elegance in writing these words. I speak from an honest heart that wishes no ill to the Catholic / Universal Church. I attend Mass every Sunday and I will try to obey all of the Catholic Churches teachings, but I stumbled onto this page and felt a word from the laity should be spoken. Lets get on and live as catholics and never need to raise this topic again.
We can pull back from being Judges of the moral High Ground and just live the way Christ would want us to live.
I am limited by my lack of ability to express the complexity of the subject. Most of the comments in this Blog have very much more intellectual words than I will ever be able to convey. Think of me as a simple old fashioned farmer or a fisherman who can not understand deep routed littérateur, it is simple laity like me that Pope Francis wants to get out there and preach the good news. I would love to do it but you must be able to see my, oh so obvious, lack of knowledge that prevents me from proceeding. I pray every day for more wisdom but I do not feel any wiser. I must let the clergy lead and I pray they are wise.

God Bless


Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 5:47 PM

34. Rae Marie wrote:
Getting Catholics to stand up and proclaim their faith starts with proper catechesis and proper liturgy. Do these two things and I guarantee you the Church will see unprecedented revival.

Thu, April 18, 2013 @ 8:10 PM

35. jerome wrote:

Fri, April 19, 2013 @ 10:38 AM

36. James wrote:
The Bishop of Rome certainly moved this Anglican's heart. All Christian laity need to remember the Great Commission to preach the Gospel to all the earth. We, therefore, are under an obligation to know the Faith, then to spread it.

Tue, April 23, 2013 @ 12:31 PM

37. Ron wrote:
I was raised Roman Catholic. Went to Mass, served at Mass; even thought of becoming a priest. followed all of the rules as best I could. Was an altar boy who wanted to please. With all of the teaching and practicing, I did not know Jesus. I wanted to know Jesus. why did He not allow me to know Him? Then with all of the emptiness of church going and the lack of love from the church, I rebeled. Had nothing to replace it. After 14 years of wandering, not believing and thinking that I could do it on my own everything fell apart. But, Jesus had mercy on me. because the church (not the Roman Catholic church) was bold and asked the Lord to save me He had mercy on me and drew me to Himself by His grace. I studied the Bible to find out "who is He anyway?". Jesus revealed Himself to me. I confessed and asked for forgiveness and for His spirit to live inside of me and when I experienced the darkness be sucked out of me a wonderful joy filled me up. I couldn't put His word down. He saved me and then started renewing my mind with His truth of the gospel and His Kingdom. Life has changed. My marriage was restored with the power and help of the Holy Spirit. I understand now that the church is the body of all believers around the world, Roman Catholic and otherwise. We need to rcognize that and live our lives accordingly. No human being on earth saved me. Jesus, who is Lord did, I told my testimony to a Catholic priest who was at my parish when I was an altar boy and He could only marvel at what the Lord had done. But, when he found out that I was no longer a practicing Catholic, he was at first shocked but then caught himself knowing what I shared was evidence of the power of Jesus to build his body on earth. He urged me to come back to the Catholic church, but I politely declined and thanked him for his concern. We parted friends. May The Lord bless all those who seek Him with the gift of grace.

Tue, April 23, 2013 @ 9:32 PM

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