Pope Francis recently made quite the stir after commenting on the ideological purity in religion, particularly with regards to Christianity, claiming that such ideological extremism is dangerous to the entire world. This statement is pretty massive in respect to the current state of Christianity. During a daily Mass in late October, the Pope spoke about economic inequality and anti-gay/anti-abortion opinions which have been at the forefront of American Christianity for the longest time.
According to a report from Radio Vatican, the Pope was quoted as stated the following:
“In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought… For this reason Jesus said to them: ‘You have taken away the key of knowledge.’ The knowledge of Jesus is transformed into an ideological and also moralistic knowledge, because these close the door with many requirements. The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh?”
Pope Francis’ statement is a radical one to say the least; no Pope prior to his reign has ever talked about Christianity in such a light. The beliefs around homosexuality, abortion, and contraception have held strong within the religion for many years now, and have been the cause of much protest and disagreement within North American society. Pope Francis suggests that the war on abortion has gone too far, and that homosexuals should not be hated in the way that is promoted by the extreme ideals of the Christian Right. He also states that this extremism has damaged religion today by abandoning the true teachings of Jesus, turning many away from its following.
The question begs, what could be the reason Pope Francis is suddenly speaking out against the theology in a way that rejects its deepest dogmas? Perhaps the goal of Pope Francis is to transform the rigidity of a religion that has been so established in its views. Maybe the Pope is trying to attract a wider audience by promoting more liberal beliefs after the controversy that has plagued the Vatican the past few years, with allegations of pedophilia within the hierarchy circles and the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI earlier this year. It could be that Pope Francis is the radical leader who is going to make some changes within the archaic traditions of Christianity.
What is clear is that this is a major moment in the history of religion, and the words of Pope Francis could be the spark for a large divide within the religious communities. What do you think of Pope Francis’s words?
^^Pope Francis stating his views on Christianity’s current state ^^