Statement on the Pope Francis’ Recent Interview

Today I released a statement to the press regarding the Holy Father’s recent interview in La Civiltà Cattolica and America magazine. I would like to share it with you.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2013 

In his interview in La Civiltà Cattolica, and America magazine, our Holy Father confirms what has been apparent during these first six months of his papacy: that he is a man who profoundly believes in the mercy of a loving God, and who wants to bring that message of mercy to the entire world, including those who feel that they have been wounded by the Church.  As a priest and bishop, I particularly welcome his reminder that the clergy are primarily to serve as shepherds, to be with our people, to walk with them, to be pastors, not bureaucrats!   It is becoming more evident every day that we are blessed with a Pope who is a good shepherd after the heart of Christ.


8 Responses to “Statement on the Pope Francis’ Recent Interview”

  1. Kay Dewitt says:

    A big AMEN!

  2. Tom says:

    I agree with the statement Cardinal Dolan made about Pope Francis’ interview that our Holy Father does believe in God’s mercy and for clergy to become more like shepherds, not government bureaucrats. The interview is beautifully written and as readers, we, are able to learn more about Pope Francis as a person, why he became a Jesuit, and more about his personal history, as well as, his outlook on certain issues.

    Pope Francis does make a very valid point by writing, “let us try also to be a church that finds new roads, that is able to step outside itself and go to those who do not attend Mass, to those who have quit or are indifferent. The ones who quit sometimes do it for reasons that, if properly understood and assessed, can lead to a return. But that takes audacity and courage.” Also, Pope Francis, states “here are Christians who live in situations that are irregular for the church or in complex situations that represent open wounds. I mention the divorced and remarried, same-sex couples and other difficult situations. What kind of pastoral work can we do in these cases? What kinds of tools can we use?” Pope Francis, is correct that the Church should try to bring back the Catholics have left the church either because they are divorced, re-married, a priest abused them, etc. by somehow using our Catholic tools to bring them back. Bringing back some divorced and re-married couples might be easier as maybe some were divorced or re-married because of domestic abuse, use of violence, etc. However, how does the Catholic Church bring back same-sex couples back to the church? Pope Francis does not answer this question.

    Also, Pope Francis states, ” The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?” In this situation, as Pope Francis, states the woman should most likely be pardoned as she deeply regrets her decision.

    However, Pope Francis, states “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.” As the BBC and CBS News reported, “Last week, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, wrote in his diocesan newspaper that he was “disappointed” Francis hadn’t addressed abortion since his papacy began six months ago, according to AP.” As the BBC, states “His remarks could generate dismay among clergy in the United States who have already expressed disappointment that Francis has not pressed Church teaching on abortion, contraception and homosexuality.”

    In one point of view I could see where Pope Francis is coming from as Cardinal Dolan, said on This Week with George Stephanopoulos during the Easter Season, that the Catholic Church is not “anti-gay.” However, the media was on this interview the entire day and provided it with much coverage and made it seem like the church is moving more to the liberal side and breaking tradition with Pope John Paul II and Benedict VXI on homosexuality, gay marriage, and abortion.

  3. Angela Vitulli says:

    Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s
    Statement on: Pope Francis Interview La Cilvilta and America Magazine

    Respectfuly concerned about the what Pope Francis was saying in this interview?
    By interpretation it is recounted that he is-
    Saying something very different to all people.

    Angela Vitulli

  4. rbjp says:

    I agree with the Cardinal 100% when he stated:

    “As a priest and bishop, I particularly welcome his reminder that the clergy are primarily to serve as shepherds, to be with our people, to walk with them, to be pastors, not bureaucrats!”

    You could also add “not partisan politicians” to the last phrase,

  5. Dottie Day says:

    As a hard-wired Catholic and no finger-wagger, I am left wondering just what we are supposed to do/say/tolerate/accept in order for the disaffected to come home. In the end, isn’t it the prodigal in each of us that judges himself a loser and decides to return home to the father.

  6. linda daily says:

    Cardinal Dolan,

    It is good to know that even a Cardinal can experience conversion. The Holy Spirit has gifted you with a new and powerful understanding of the priestly vocation. I hope and pray to see it reflected in your pastoral leadership in the future. God’s blessings.

  7. Joe says:

    A pope that is loved by the world is most certainly doing something very wrong. The fact that his words have to be run through a spin machine to make them sound orthodox is a problem.

  8. J Carr says:

    Those of you in the media who consider yourselves modern, wise, and educated, cannot see what is plainly evident to those of us that may not be as sophisticated. When the Pope said the Church is obsessed with homosexuality, he was referring to us. We, the “media”, reflective of modern society, is the church he was talking about. Our easily impressionable and egoistic minds instead saw this as some kind of victory over the RC Church. It was as if finally, the archaic RC Church was seeing things our way and we are bringing her to her old bony knees. Try to think about this again. This Pope is a Jesuit. Jesuits are known for being fearless. He is not afraid to strike back at hostile intellectuals with so much love, they leave his presence confused. This Pope called the media which is reflective of modern society, the obsessed church out of mercy and sympathy. The way a father looks at his son that may be going down the wrong path. I am with you my son. i will lay down my life for you if it eases your pain. Am I wrong about this? Think about it. Ask yourselves. Who is really painfully obsessed with homosexuality and sex in general? Sometimes our egos get in the way of clear thought. Jesus communicated complex lessons in parables. My dear brothers, we have been corrected by our Shepard and like lambs in a flock, we are still so wondering and trying to figure out what just happened.