First off, let me say that I am grateful for the amount of media coverage that Pope Francis’ remarks have received. It is important that his message of love and compassion within the Catholic Church be communicated to everyone. It is equally important to draw attention to the fact that the media has focused so much on just a small part of the Holy Father’s remarks. This is to be expected though, seeing as the focus was on the most controversial topics in our culture today.
Catholics everywhere are proud of Pope Francis’ in-depth remarks on the future of the Church. It challenges us to recognize our role as Christians in a broken world. The Holy Father is not condemning values of the Church, but instead embracing them. He embraces the need for a culture that respects life and the sacred union of marriage. Our faith calls us to recognize the dignity of every human person whether saint or sinner and he challenges those who feel as though they can’t find a home in the Church to come forward and fully accept God into their lives. It is necessary that the Catholic Church open its doors to the most vulnerable among us in society and only through opening these doors can the Church then preach its message of love and salvation.
Pope Francis has been a tremendous asset to the Church and has made an effort to reach out to any and every one as well as preach the Gospel in a different way. He is a true example of a person who lives out his faith in their words and actions.
We live in deeply divided and partisan times and I do not envy the Holy Father’s task of trying to unify people from all faiths or even no faith all over the world, but he is certainly up for the job. He has managed to bring attention to the traditional values that Catholics hold dear while opening the doors for conversation and education. Through encouraging a deeper conversation into our values, the Holy Father realizes that we can bring many people into the Church. While many are inclined to misinterpret his words and reduce them to a quick sound bite, his endless desire to bring more people closer to God is truly remarkable and in fact working. If we are willing to recognize that we live in a broken society and that we ourselves are a broken and fractured people, then we will fully understand the meaning behind the Holy Father’s words and the call for love and compassion in the Church.