Pope Francis has again spoken out on controversial ies in the Catholic Church. In an interview, he announced greater say for women and opposed moral condemnation of homosexuals.
Pope Francis has called for greater say for women in the Catholic Church. "The spaces of an incisive female presence in the Church must become wider," he said in an interview published Thursday.
He said the Catholic Church today faces the challenge of reflecting on the "specific place of women". This is true "especially where authority is exercised in the various areas of the Church," Francis said in the interview, which was published on the website of the German Jesuit magazine "Stimmen der Zeit" (Voices of Time).
The pope indicated that a greater role for women does not automatically mean access to ordained ministry. One should not disregard the fact that women have a different personality structure than men. Literally, he warned against a "masculinity in skirts". Mary, the Mother of God, for example, is admittedly more important than individual bishops, Francis explained. But he said one should not confuse function and official dignities. The pope again called for a "thorough theology of women" to further clarify the function of women within the Catholic Church.
Homosexuality: no interference in personal life
In the same interview, Francis opposed moral condemnation of homosexuals in the Catholic Church. During his time as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he received letters from homosexuals who felt condemned by the Church, said the Holy Father. "But that's not what the Church wants," Francis said. He said there should be no "spiritual interference in personal life".
Religion does have the right to "express its own convictions in the service of mankind"; however, God has made people "free" in creation, Francis said in the interview. At the same time, the pope reaffirmed his fidelity to the moral teaching of the Catholic Church: its views are sufficiently well known, "and I am a son of the Church," he said. There is "no need to talk about it endlessly". Francis warned against a one-sided fixation on moral questions: "We cannot only deal with the question of abortion, with homosexual marriages, with contraceptive methods."The Catholic Church must once again focus on the essentials, which is the proclamation of the faith.
This must be brought into a "new balance" with the statements on moral questions. Otherwise, "the moral edifice of the Church would also collapse like a house of cards.". However, when talking about these ies, the context must always be taken into consideration.
Francis pointed out that his statement on homosexuality during the flight back from World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in late July merely reaffirmed what was in the catechism. At the time, Francis had caused a stir by saying that he could not condemn a homosexual person who was of good will and seeking God.
He was once asked if he approved of homosexuality, Francis further reported in the interview. Thereupon he had asked his counterpart whether God looks at a homosexual person with love or condemns or rejects him. The focus should always be on the person.
Reauthorization of the early Mass was "wise"
The re-admission of the so-called Old Mass by its predecessor Benedict XVI. judged Francis to be "wise". At the same time warned against an "ideologization" and "instrumentalization" of the Tridentine rite. This would be "very dangerous," Francis said. Liturgical reform that followed the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) had been a "service to the people". At the same time, he stressed that the reforms initiated by this council were "absolutely irreversible".
Benedict XVI's reauthorization of the ancient rite. in 2007 was linked to the help of "some people" who had a "particular sensitivity" to the proper application of this papal decree, Francis said without elaboration.
The Tridentine Mass is the name given to the Ateinic-language service in the ancient rite as prescribed for the Catholic Church worldwide after the Council of Trent (1545-1563).
These missals were gradually replaced only after the Second Vatican Council by a renewed liturgy, usually celebrated in the local language. Latin, however, remained allowed.
The traditionalists around the French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (1905-1991) opposed this liturgical reform. They considered the introduction of the vernacular and the greater involvement of the congregation in the celebration of Mass to be mistaken. To accommodate them, in 1984, Pope John Paul II allowed. (1978-2005) to use the old, Tridentine Mass after the last pre-conciliar
Missal from 1962 under strict conditions. Nevertheless, Lefebvre and his closest followers contended with the Vatican. In 2007 Benedict XVI allowed. (2005-2013) that in the future services may again be celebrated more often in the church language Latin according to the Tridentine rite of 1962.
Vatican authorities are not "censors"
Further, Francis argued for a stronger position for bishops' conferences vis-à-vis the Vatican. It was "impressive" to see the accusations of alleged lack of orthodoxy coming into Rome, the pope said. Curia authorities, however, should not be "censorship bodies". Such cases would be "better investigated on the spot" by the respective bishops' conferences.
The Vatican could limit itself to providing assistance in this regard. Vatican bodies are "institutions of service" and "not autonomous," Francis stressed. They would have to act as mediators and help the local churches or the bishops' conferences.