Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Pope Francis: the features of the new humanism, in Jesus Christ

Pope Francis' address to the Italian Ecclesial Congress in Florence today does, I think, deserve careful attention and study. It is not a superficial text. I have yet to read it fully, but have been challenged by what I have been able to read so far.

As another blogger has commented... if some do not like the things that Pope Francis is saying in an address like this, perhaps they need to listen more closely and attentively to what he is actually saying rather than being seduced by what editors and journalists of Catholic news sources (and blogs) are extrapolating and projecting on to the Pope's allocutions.

There are extensive extracts in English translation at the site of the Vatican Information Service.

The full Italian text is at the Vatican website.

At my first reading, I chuckled to read the following passage:
La Chiesa italiana ha grandi santi il cui esempio possono aiutarla a vivere la fede con umiltà, disinteresse e letizia, da Francesco d’Assisi a Filippo Neri. Ma pensiamo anche alla semplicità di personaggi inventati come don Camillo che fa coppia con Peppone. Mi colpisce come nelle storie di Guareschi la preghiera di un buon parroco si unisca alla evidente vicinanza con la gente. Di sé don Camillo diceva: «Sono un povero prete di campagna che conosce i suoi parrocchiani uno per uno, li ama, che ne sa i dolori e le gioie, che soffre e sa ridere con loro».
The Italian Church has great saints whose example can help it live the faith with humility, generosity and joy, from St. Francis of Assisi to St. Philip Neri. But let us also think of the simplicity of  invented characters like Don Camillo who is paired with Peppone. I am struck by how, in the stories of Guareschi, the prayer of a good parish priest unites with evident closeness to the people. Don Camillo could say of himself: "I am a poor country priest who knows his parishioners one by one, loves them, who knows their sorrows and joys, who suffers and laughs with them".
For those who don't know the stories of Don Camillo, the Wikipedia page provides a good introduction.

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