We should not think that 'thinking with the church' means only thinking with the hierarchy of the church. . . . [The] church with which we should be thinking is the home of all, not 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. . . . If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else—God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life. Although the life of a person is a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.
– Pope Francis
Quoted in "A Big Heart Open to God: The Exclusive Interview with Pope Francis
by Antonio Spadaro, S.J.
America, September 30, 2013
by Antonio Spadaro, S.J.
America, September 30, 2013
Related Off-site Links:
Pope Francis' Bombshell Interview with America: A Church That is "the Home of All, Not a Small Chapel" – 10 Initial Reflection Points – William D. Lindsey (Bilgrimage, September 19, 2013).
Pope Rejects Church of 'Small-Minded Rules' in Interview – John L. Allen Jr (National Catholic Reporter, September 19, 2013).
Listening to the Pope – James Martin, SJ (America, September 19, 2013).
Top Five Justice Quotes from the New Interview with Pope Francis – Mike Jordan Laskey (Millennial, September 19, 2013).
This Extraordinary Pope, Ctd – Andrew Sullivan (The Dish, September 19, 2013).
Pope Francis Distances Himself Further from the Right in New Interview – Peter Montgomery (Religion Dispatches, September 19, 2013).
Pope Francis Comes Out of the Closet: "I Have Never Been a Right-Winger" – Michelangelo Signorile (The Huffington Post, September 19, 2013).
Pope to Right-Wingers: I'm Not One of You – Catholics United (September 19, 2013).
Pope Francis is a Liberal – William Saletan (Slate, September 19, 2013).
Pope Francis: Catholic Church Must Focus Beyond "Small-Minded Rules" – CBS News (September 19, 2013).
Church Must Find Balance, Pope Says, Or Fall Like Cards – Krishnadev Calamur (NPR, September 19, 2013).
Pope Bluntly Faults Church’s Focus on Gays and Abortion – Laurie Goodstein (New York Times, September 19, 2013).
Pope Francis: Church Too "Obsessed" with Gays – The Huffington Post (September 19, 2013).
Pope Francis: Church Can't "Interfere" with Gays – Eric Marrapodi and Daniel Burke (CNN, September 19, 2013).
Pope Francis' Welcome Signals a New Dawn of Hope for LGBT People and Allies – Francis DeBernardo (Bondings 2.0, September 19, 2013).
Pope Francis Presses "Reset Button" on Decades of Hateful and Hurtful Anti-LGBT Vitriol – Charlie Joughin (Human Rights Campaign, September 19, 2013).
Faith Leaders Respond to Pope Francis' Comments on LGBT People – National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (September 19, 2013).
A New Era at the Vatican? – Meredith Clark (MSNBC, September 19, 2013).
Five Things We Learned About Pope Francis from His Blockbuster Interview – David Gibson (Religion News Service, September 20, 2013).
Pope Francis on Why and How the Church Must Change – Terence Weldon (Queering the Church, September 20, 2013).
A Pope for the Catholic Middle – John Allen Jr (National Catholic Reporter, September 20, 2013).
The Pope's Remarkable Interview – Michael Sean Winters (National Catholic Reporter, September 20, 2013).
The End of the Catholic Church's Pelvic Zone Orthodoxy – Daniel C. Maguire (Religion Dispatches, September 20, 2013).
In Madison, Catholics, Bishop Respond to Pope's Remarks About Gays – Jennifer Hoff (Channel 3000, September 20, 2013).
Pope Blasts Abortion After Decrying Focus on Rules – Nicole Winfield (Associated Press via Yahoo! News, September 20, 2013).
Fr. James Martin on the Pope’s Interview: "We Knew We Had Spiritual Dynamite" – Time (September 20, 2013).
William D. Lindsey's Theological Reflection on Pope Francis' Jesuit Interview: "God Is Encountered Walking, Along the Path" – Bilgrimage (September 20, 2013).
Pope Francis Says More Nice Words About LGBTs, Changes Nothing – John Becker (Huffington Post, September 20, 2013).
With His Remarks on Sexual Morality, a Surprise Pope Keeps on Surprising – Jim Yardley and Elisabetta Povoledo (New York Times, September 20, 2013).
Thank God – Pope Francis Tells Catholics They Need an Attitude Adjustment – James Salt (Fox News, September 20, 2013).
Pope Seeks Historic Easing of Rigid Catholic Doctrine – Jean-Louis De La Vaissiere (AFP via Yahoo! News, September 20, 2013).
Minnesota Catholics Weigh In on Pope's Criticism of Church's Emphasis on Abortion, Gays – Rose French (Star Tribune, September 20, 2013).
What The Church Needs More Than a "Good Pope" – Mary E. Hunt (Religion Dispatches, September 20, 2013).
Pope's Blunt Remarks Pose Challenge for Bishops – Rachel Zoll (Associated Press via Yahoo! News, September 21, 2013).
The Pope's Radical Whisper – Frank Bruni (New York Times via The Progressive Catholic Voice, September 22, 2013).
Can the Pope Help End the Culture Wars? – Robert Christian (Washington Post, September 23, 2013).
Twin Cities Parishioners — Those Who See Big Change, Some Who Don't — Respond to Pope – Beth Hawkins (MinnPost, September 23, 2013).
What the Pope Really Said – Phyllis Zagano (National Catholic Reporter, September 25, 2013).
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
What It Means to Be Catholic
The Catholic Challenge
The Treasure and the Dross
Rosemary Haughton and the "True Catholic Enterprise"
A Return to the Spirit
Roger Haight on the Church We Need
Time for a Church for Grown-Ups
Mary Hunt: "Catholicism is a Very Complex Reality"
Why I Take Hope in Pope Francis' Statement on Gay Priests
Getting It Right
In the Garden of Spirituality – Ron Rolheiser
Hildegard of Bingen's All-Embracing God
Reflections on Babel and the “Borders Within”
Pan’s Labyrinth: Critiquing the Cult of Unquestioning Obedience
Image: Pope Francis embraces a drug addict during his visit to the St. Francis Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 24, 2013. (Photo: Luca Zennaro/AFP/Getty Images)