Here is the part of Pope Francis’ speech I thought most powerful:
“I can happily say that – with a spirit of collegiality and of synodality – we have truly lived the experience of “Synod,” a path of solidarity, a “journey together.”
And it has been “a journey” – and like every journey there were moments of running fast, as if wanting to conquer time and reach the goal as soon as possible; other moments of fatigue, as if wanting to say “enough”; other moments of enthusiasm and ardour. There were moments of profound consolation listening to the testimony of true pastors, who wisely carry in their hearts the joys and the tears of their faithful people. Moments of consolation and grace and comfort hearing the testimonies of the families who have participated in the Synod and have shared with us the beauty and the joy of their married life. A journey where the stronger feel compelled to help the less strong, where the more experienced are led to serve others, even through confrontations. And since it is a journey of human beings, with the consolations there were also moments of desolation, of tensions and temptations, of which a few possibilities could be mentioned:
– One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals.
– The temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness [it. buonismo], that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals.”
– The temptation to transform stones into bread to break the long, heavy, and painful fast (cf. Lk 4:1-4); and also to transform the bread into a stone and cast it against the sinners, the weak, and the sick (cf Jn 8:7), that is, to transform it into unbearable burdens (Lk 11:46).
– The temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfil the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God.
– The temptation to neglect the “depositum fidei” [the deposit of faith], not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it]; or, on the other hand, the temptation to neglect reality, making use of meticulous language and a language of smoothing to say so many things and to say nothing! They call them “byzantinisms,” I think, these things…
Here is the full speech:
Vatican Radio’s provisional translation of Pope Francis’ address to the Synod Fathers:
Dear Eminences, Beatitudes, Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters,
With a heart full of appreciation and gratitude I want to thank, along with you, the Lord who has accompanied and guided us in the past days, with the light of the Holy Spirit.
From the heart I thank Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod, Bishop Fabio Fab
“After Pope Francis referenced the Big Bang and biological evolution this past Monday, a flurry of media reports appeared, contrasting Francis’ views with those of his predecessors and the Catholic tradition.
Pope Francis made a significant rhetorical break with Catholic tradition Monday by declaring that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real,” gushed MSNBC. And elsewhere, MSNBC reported that “conservatives in the United States” who have been unhappy with Pope Francis “today have one more reason to be upset.”
Yet the real story here is that Francis was just reiterating the Catholic understanding of evolution first articulated by Pope Pius XII in 1950.
Had the journalists dug a little deeper, they would have discovered that the “father of the Big Bang theory,” Georges Lemaître, was a Belgian cosmologist and a Catholic priest. He was also a former president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the very group Francis was addressing Monday.
The Catholic Catechism itself states that the “question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man.” It also notes that these discoveries “invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers.”
But it seems that these journalists really just wanted to drive a wedge between Francis and his immediate predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, holding the former up as a free-wheeling liberal and tarring the second as a stodgy conservative.
The Independent newspaper in Ireland wrote that Francis’ comments put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
Elsewhere, NBC News reported that Francis’ remarks on Monday “appeared to be a theological break from his predecessor Benedict XVI, a strong exponent of creationism.”
Yet anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Benedict’s views on evolution would understand this claim to be patently false. As a cardinal, Ratzinger had studied theories of evolution for years, and had developed his own nuanced understanding of Darwinian evolution, on which he commented in several of his books.
Moreover, in 2006, Benedict said that it is “absurd” to suppose that evolution and creation are mutually exclusive, citing the “many scientific proofs in favor of evolution,” which “enriches our knowledge of life and being as such.” Benedict did hold, however, that “evolution does not answer every query, especially the great philosophical question: where does everything come from?” This was exactly the point Francis was making on Monday.
This leaves us with the puzzle of how so many semi-skilled journalists get these fundamental questions wrong. Are they willfully malicious or simply incompetent?
Either way, would such ineptitude be tolerated if they were writing about anything other than the Catholic Church?
The theories of evolution and the big bang are not inconsistent with the biblical creation story, according to the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
God is not “a magician with a magic wand” says Pope Francis while speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences Tuesday.
“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said. “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.
The Pontiff continued:
“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it. Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” continued here
Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has called on President Obama to “name, apologize for, and repudiate” the anonymous official quoted in an Atlantic Magazine article describing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “chickenshit,” The Algemeiner reports.
In a telephone call with The Algemeiner from his Los Angeles office, an incensed Rabbi Hier declared: “It is rather ironic that a senior American official is prepared to curse his friends, yet when it comes to the mortal enemies of the United States — as the Iranians discovered during the recent nuclear negotiation — praise is heaped on them.”
Jeffrey Goldberg’s piece in The Atlantic extensively quoted an anonymous “senior Obama administration official” who showered Netanyahu with invective, saying, “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit.”
Goldberg then observed: “Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and ‘Aspergery.’ (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.)”
Nearly half of the Palestinians arrested by Jerusalem Police over the past few months are minors. Some of them are as young as nine.
These children are being sent to throw stones and firebombs, and launch fireworks at policemen and IDF soldiers, as well as at Israeli civilians and vehicles, including buses and the light rail in Jerusalem.
The exploitation of children in the fight against Israel has attracted little attention from the international community and media. Human rights groups and United Nations institutions have chosen to turn a blind eye to these human rights abuses.
Instead of condemning those who exploit the children and dispatch them to confront policemen and soldiers, these groups and institutions are busy denouncing Israel for targeting minors.
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