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A disdain for Tradition . . .

Focus on morality can obscure Gospel – Catholic Sentinel – Portland, OR.

Pope Francis gave an interview for the U.S. Jesuit magazine ‘America.’

EXCERPTS:

Pope Francis spoke with characteristic frankness about the perils of overemphasizing Catholic teaching on sexual and medical ethics.

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods,” the pope said in the interview, noting that he had been “reprimanded” for failing to speak often about those topics. “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent,” the pope added. “The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.

The pope reaffirmed one of his major themes: the need for mercy rather than judgment when approaching sin.

A PROTESTANT?

“The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you,” the pope said.

“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,” Pope Francis said. “In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies.”

PEOPLE OF GOD

Pope Francis said that the pope and bishops share authority with the laity.

Pope Francis, whose simple way of celebrating Mass has attracted criticism from traditionalist Catholics, also took up the controversial subject of liturgy.

Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 decision to lift most restrictions on celebrating the Tridentine Mass was “was prudent and motivated by the desire to help people who have this sensitivity,” Pope Francis said. “What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the (old Mass), it’s exploitation.”

The pope also said that the liturgical reform that followed in the wake of the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council is “absolutely irreversible.”

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