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Interview with Pope Francis offers much for reflection Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

To learn about Pope Francis’ extraordinary interview with the Jesuit magazine America, nobody needs to rely on reports from media outlets, secular or Catholic. The full interview can be found easily at America’s web site, and it rewards close reading by anyone interested in the pope’s view of the Church, and where he might lead it.

There is much to reflect on in the interview. Particularly striking are the pope’s harsh words for those who bring a spirit of pride and certainty to their faith and to their dealings with fellow Catholics:

“If one has the answers to all the questions — that is the proof that God is not with him — it means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself . . . You must leave room for the Lord, not for our certainties; we must be humble.”

Later: “If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing . . . 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.”

Powerful words. They remind me of Jesus’ sharp rebuke to Saint Peter: “Get behind me, Satan.” Let us take them to heart.

Stephen Wright, Madison