Scoot: Is the power of the Pope in the robes or the man?
I’m Catholic and I’m confused!
Pope Francis told a Catholic woman who is married to a divorced man that she is welcome to take Holy Communion and that her parish priest was wrong to deny her communion.
Jacqui Lisbona wrote a letter to Pope Francis telling him that the priest at her church told her that every day she was “living in sin” and he refused to give her communion. Pope Francis called the woman and told her that she is free to take communion, but that goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church, which says that those who are divorced or married to a divorced person are not welcome to communion unless the original marriage has been annulled. This has been a rule many Catholics worldwide have vehemently disagreed with and has caused many to leave the church.
Does the Pope telling a Catholic woman married to a divorced man that she is welcome to take communion indicate that the Catholic Church is changing church doctrine? The Vatican has issued a statement saying no!
The Vatican statement read in part, “That which has been communicated in relation to this matter, outside the scope of personal relationships, and the consequent media amplification, cannot be confirmed as reliable, and is a source of misunderstanding and confusion.”
The Vatican is trying to say that if Pope Francis has a personal conversation with an individual – whatever is said in that personal conversation has no bearing on the church or Catholic Doctrine. But that leaves only one obvious conclusion – the power of the pope lies in his robes and not in the man.
Again I say – I am a Catholic and I love going to church – but I do not agree with all of the actions and teachings of the church. Many Catholics have been alienated by some of the man-made rules that seem to contradict the spirit of what we have been taught about an understanding and forgiving God.
From the beginning of his reign as Pope, Francis has made controversial statements, including statements about accepting gay priests and that atheists can have a path to Heaven. When the pope, who is the leader of the Catholic Church, tells a Catholic that she is welcome to communion even if she is married to a divorced man and the Vatican quickly responds by distancing church teaching from what the pope says in a personal conversation, it is easy to get the impression that the Catholic Church is more interested in rules than in humanity.
If what Pope Francis says in a personal conversation is not congruent with Catholic teachings and the Vatican dismisses what the Pope said, then the power of the pope lies not in the man – but only in the superficial robes he wears. This mentality further exposes the Catholic Church’s desire to control its flock with an abundance of rules set by the hierarchy of the Church.
It is almost as if the church rules are more important than what is in the best interest of the congregation. The manner in which the Catholic Church has handled the countless cases of sex abuse by priests is another example that protecting the Catholic Church is more important than doing what is right. Moving priests the church knew were sexually molesting young boys to different parishes and working to keep those horrific sins a secret from parishioners and law enforcement served only to protect the Church and not the congregation of humanity.
If Pope Francis told you something in a private conversation – would you accept what the Pope told you – or would you reject what he said and revert to the man-made laws of the church?
The Vatican’s dismissal of Pope Francis telling a Catholic women married to a divorced man that she is welcome to take Holy Communion confirms what so many have come to believe – the Catholic Church is a bureaucratic institution and not a living body made up of human beings.
Photo via PBoGS, Flickr