Second Surprise Interview with Pope Francis: A 'Theological Wreck'?
Just two weeks after Pope Francis surprised the world with an extensive and candid interview with Jesuit publications worldwide, a second surprise interview has started making the rounds and stirred up much debate. For example, Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore calls it a theological wreck.
As in the first interview, Francis talked about issues such as church reform and personal matters. But the new interview, this time with atheist editor Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica, also includes new topics such as the Vatican bureaucracy, careerist priests, the moment of his election, and his favorite saints.
Among the pope's most interesting comments:
On the greatest challenges for the church: "The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don't even look for them anymore."
On converting others: "Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us…. [O]ur goal is not to proselytize but to listen to needs, desires and disappointments, despair, hope."
Francis's interviews (helpfully analyzed by RNS's David Gibson) have described the Catholic Church as a field hospital, to bring fallen-away Catholics back into the fold. But not everyone agrees this is what the Church needs. For example, Rod Dreher explained why he's not going back to the Catholic Church. In short: He thinks it preaches cheap grace, which he thinks undermines the Cross.
Francis and Scalfari agreed to meet again, and the pope added: "We will also discuss the role of women in the Church. Remember that the Church is feminine."
CT previously noted what you should know about the pope's first interview.