National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Francis' one-liners keep Vatican on guard

 |  The Francis Chronicles

We have not had a pope in our lifetimes who speaks as off-the-cuff as Francis does. His openness is a most refreshing change for many, though requires his attempted handlers inside the Vatican to occasionally clarify his remarks. 

Here are a few of his recent one-liners from The Associated Press.

  • Francis urged the church to "strip" itself of its worldy attachment to wealth during his Oct. 4 trip to Assisi and urged Catholics to instead focus on the basics of Christ's teachings. "You might say, 'Can't we have a more human Christianity, without the cross, without Jesus, without stripping ourselves?' " he asked rhetorically. "In this way we'd become pastry-shop Christians, like a pretty cake and nice sweet things. Pretty, but not true Christians."
  • Francis was asked June 7 why he chose to live in the Vatican hotel rather than the fancier Apostolic Palace, where his predecessors lived. "If I was living alone, isolated, it wouldn't be good for me," he told students of Jesuit schools. "A professor asked me the same question, 'Why don't you go and live there (in the papal apartments)?' And I replied: 'Listen to me professor, it is for psychiatric reasons.' "
  • The pope has urged nuns and sisters to be like joyful mothers to the church, caring for its flock, and not act like they're "old maids." "It makes me sad when I find sisters who aren't joyful," he said during his Oct. 4 visit to a cloistered convent in Assisi. "They might smile, but with just a smile they could be flight attendants!"

Given Francis' sense of humor and willingness to ignore prepared speeches, Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi said he wants Catholics to know the difference between a pontifical joke and an encyclical, a clever quip in a homily and infallible teaching.

envelope-gray-background.jpgLike what you're reading? Sign up for NCR email alerts.

"There are different genres of expression, some are magisterial and official, others are more pastoral," Lombardi told The Associated Press. "They have a different doctrinal value."

Editor’s note: We can send you a biweekly email alert with content from The Francis Chronicles. Follow the directions on our email alert signup page.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

August 1-14, 2014

08-01-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.