Pope Francis thinks it is a bad thing when Christianity becomes an ideology. PopeWatch believes that throughout History people with ideologies have attempted to use Christianity. However, Christianity as an ideology is a new one as far as PopeWatch is concerned. Father Z is also puzzled:
Here is something that the Pope said:
It is, he said, “the image of those Christians who have the key in their hand, but take it away, without opening the door,” and who “keep the door closed.”
Asking those present how a Christian is able to fall into this attitude, the Pope reflected that “The faith passes, so to speak, through a distiller and becomes ideology. And ideology does not beckon (people).”
Noting that it is a “lack of Christian witness does this,” he stressed that “when this Christian is a priest, a bishop or a Pope it is worse.”
“When a Christian becomes a disciple of ideology,” urged the Pope, “he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought,” and “the knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge.”
“Ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people,” he stressed, stating that it is because of this that many are distanced from the Church.
“It is a serious illness, this Christian ideology. It is an illness, but it is not new,” he said, recalling how the Apostle John alludes to this mentality in his first letter.
Pope Francis then emphasized that the attitude of those who lose their faith in preference of personal ideologies is “rigid, moralistic, ethical, but without kindness.”
“But why is it that a Christian can become like this? Just one thing: this Christian does not pray. And if there is no prayer, you always close the door.”
“The key that opens the door to the faith,” the Pope noted, “is prayer,” and “when a Christian does not pray, this happens. And his witness is an arrogant witness.”
The Christian who does not pray, urged the Pope, is “arrogant, is proud, is sure of himself. He is not humble. He seeks his own advancement…when a Christian prays, he is not far from the faith; he speaks with Jesus.”
When we pray, the Pope reflected, Jesus tells us to “go into your room and pray to the Father in secret, heart to heart,” because “It is one thing to pray, and another thing to say prayers.”
Those who do not pray abandon the faith, stressed the Pope, and allow it to become a “moralistic, casuistic ideology, without Jesus.”
The Holy Father’s passion is clear and strong, isn’t it? It is a little stirring to read this. I’ll bet it is even more so to hear it in person. But …
The Pope’s language about ideology is so vague that I can’t for the life of me make out who or what he is talking about. It could be that he has a first name and a last name in mind, but I have no idea who she might be.
Does anyone know what he is talking about? Really?
Go back and read over the report again and ask yourself if you truly understand what he is talking about.
Does the spanish for “ideology”, which may be behind his thought, have some nuance of meaning that is different from English or Italian?
What did the Pope really say in this short, non-magisterial fervorino?
PopeWatch shares Father Z’s obvious desire that Pope Francis could be a good deal plainer when he wishes to say that something is bad. Then perhaps we would have less of the Hermeneutic of Rorschachity by which Catholics are left to argue about just what in the world the Pope was driving at.