US bishops try to calm anxiety over pope

BALTIMORE (AP) — America’s Catholic bishops came together Monday to project an image of unity, after a Vatican meeting on the family unleashed an uproar over the direction of the church.
Last month’s gathering in Rome on more compassionately ministering to families featured open debate — alarming many traditional Catholics, who argued it would undermine public understanding of church teaching. Pope Francis encouraged a free exchange of ideas at the assembly, or synod, in contrast to previous years, when such events were tightly scripted.

Greetings…Seems to me that the Holy Father was using inductive reasoning to begin solving some of the Church’s problems with pastoral evangelization. I for one find his approach refreshing and needed in a Church that was deadlocked in implementation of Vatican II accords! Sending love and light…:thumbsup:

I think people are still atwitter about the need for a synod to discuss matters of the family. The meeting was preceded by a direction from the pope to take surveys in their dioceses, to get in close touch with the problems of families.

A priest I know who was booted out for sexual abuse told me that he thought the Church has to do something about the problem of homosexuality.

I notice that CAF has deleted an entire thread on the controversy

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I was attempting to gauge the feeling of American Catholics towards this because the article is generalised. Is it widespread or localised? I don’t hear much angst in my area of the world about the Pope’s actions on this particular issue.

You are using a biased secular news story slanted to portray a scenario that is not realistic. The uproar is in the media who love stirring the pot of controversy. All Catholics who are faithful to the teachings of the Church know that there is no controversy here.:slight_smile:

Too true. The Priests in the diocese I live in seem to be linking arms in guard around Pope Francis. He seems like the young David confronting a Goliath of bullies trying to shut him down. The prayers of the faithful always include a prayer for fidelity to Pope Francis these days.

I am one U.S. Catholic who feels absolutely no anxiety over Pope Francis. I have not told my bishop about this, I think he has more important things to do. Perhaps the only people voicing concerns to their bishops are those Catholics who are anxious. I can only speak for my myself and my small circle of family and friends, but I do not see widespread anxiety over our Holy Father.

:thumbsup: That’s right.

I am one U.S. Catholic who feels absolutely no anxiety over Pope Francis.

I agree. Those who raise the alarm sirens manage to proliferate the media with red flags and make it seem like a catastrophe. Can’t we see where their faith… isn’t?

I know lots of people that are deeply afraid and anxious, and I am certianly one of them.

This has been far and away the most difficult spiritual experience of my life, the heaviest cross, however you want to put it.

These are the experiences in life that build faith. It’s easy to accept what makes sense to you and love those you like. Progress in faith is made in trusting when it doesn’t make sense and loving your ‘enemies’.

It’s certainly not a statistical analysis or anything, but as one example of the anxiety, check out the poll in this forum on communion for re-marrieds.

The question is “would you accept communion for the remarried”, and the entire time it’s been up, the numbers have hovered at about 50% yes, 50% no. Regardless of where you personally fall on this issue, that means that about 50% of the Catholics voting on this poll could potentially be faced with a situation that they are unable to accept.

Anxiety and fear are running very high right now in the Church, and I don’t think that’s very debatable.

Polls like that are loaded and misleading. First, I didn’t vote on it because as a lifelong Catholic, I’ve always accepted the teachings of the Church whether I like them or not. But second and most important is that there is no suggestion that there will be a general change of the rule on divorce/remarrieds and communion. It was stipulated numerous times that what is being addressed is a very narrow category of situations that seem to be requiring deeper ‘surgery’ for healing. There is a weeping wound that could be signalling some aspect that the current annulment process isn’t equipped to address regarding the status of a first marriage.

The Church, animated by the Holy Spirit, guided by holy and educated ordained men and led by an obviously transparent and humble Ignatian light like Pope Francis… is looking to do the work of Christ among us for the salvation of souls.

Polls and statistics especially dodgy ones… should be given a very wide berth where faith matters.

After last week’s elections, I can see why the bishops feel the anxiety in the air.

I don’t understand why anyone is worried
about Pope Francis’ orthodoxy. He has a more pastoral style than Benedict and John Paul II, but he has made it clear that he doesn’t envision doctrinal changes. I see a change in style, but none in substance. A collegial conference with the bishops in the Synod on the family gives the Pope a chance to hear from the Church outside of the echo chamber of the Vatican. Surely not a bad thing.

Well, what can I say except that I disagree.

I know the poll is not statistically reliable, it’s anecdotal, I just bring it up as an example.

Catholics may soon be faced with a situation in the Church that cannot be accepted in good conscience, and that is very frightening.

On the positive side, there have been a few recent comments from Cardinals and such that have been somewhat encouraging, so we’ll see.

Each of us will have to follow our consciences regardless as we alone, including the Pope, will be standing before God at our Immediate Judgement. At least the Pope has shown, by example, the importance of confession in that regard.

It is good that the US bishops want to show solidarity and a unified front, but it remains a fact that the global episcopate is split on the issue of communion for the divorced and remarried. The voting at the Synod demonstrated this, as well as very public discussions between various cardinals / bishops. No, the bishops are not divided on fundamental questions of doctrine…but on this very important issue of pastoral practice, there is controversy within the Church. I don’t think it helps anyone to downplay this fact.

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