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We do not pray to a remote ‘cosmic god’, says Pope at morning Mass

By on Thursday, 20 June 2013

Pope Francis celebrates a Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae (CNS)

Pope Francis celebrates a Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae (CNS)

Christians do not pray to a remote “cosmic god” but to the God who is our Father, Pope Francis said at Mass this morning.

Commenting on today’s Gospel reading, in which Jesus teaches his disciples to pray the Our Father, the Pope said: “To whom do I pray? To the Almighty God? He is too far off. Ah, I can’t hear Him. Neither did Jesus. To whom do I pray? To a cosmic god? That’s quite normal these days, is it not?… praying to the cosmic god, right? This polytheistic model that comes from a rather light culture.

“You must pray to the Father! It is a strong word, ‘Father’. You must pray to Him who generated you, who gave you life. Not to everyone: everyone is too anonymous. To you. To me. To the person who accompanies you on your journey: He knows all about your life. Everything: what is good and what is not so good. He knows everything. If we do not start the prayer with this word, not just with our lips but with our hearts, we cannot pray in a Christian language.”

According to Vatican Radio, he added: “We have a Father. Very close to us, eh! Who embraces us… All these worries, concerns that we have, let’s leave them to the Father, He knows what we need. But, Father, what? My father? No: our Father! Because I am not an only child, none of us are, and if I cannot be a brother, I can hardly become a child of the Father, because He is a Father to all. Mine, sure, but also of others, of my brothers. And if I am not at peace with my brothers, I cannot say ‘Father’ to Him.”

He reminded the congregation in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, that Jesus taught that unless we forgive others God the Father will not forgive us.

“No, you cannot pray with enemies in your heart, with brothers and enemies in your heart, you cannot pray,” he said. “This is difficult, yes, it is difficult, not easy. ‘Father, I cannot say Father, I cannot.’ It’s true, I understand. ‘I cannot say ‘our’, because he did this to me and this…’ I cannot! ‘They must go to hell, right? I will have nothing to do with them.’ It’s true, it is not easy. But Jesus has promised us the Holy Spirit: it is He who teaches us, from within, from the heart, how to say ‘Father’ and how to say ‘our’. Today we ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to say ‘Father’ and to be able to say ‘our’, and thus make peace with all our enemies.”

  • An onlooker

    I think this is a truly wonderful mseeage.

  • Benedict Carter

    Onlooker, it’s a first maybe but for the most part I agree with you.

    I would add that his words are also a shot over the bows of Protestant “distant God” theology and Teilhardism, though he may not have meant it this way.

    For Catholics, God is close, walks among us, the Saints, Our Lady, the angels, particularly our Guardians Angels also. None of them are distant.

  • catholic observer

    The man looks unmistakenly like the twin brother of Alan Greenspan. The resemblance is uncanny. If yoy don’t believe go to They still have on their website the picture of the cardinals who could be Pope. The argentine made their list, so they got it right. Look at his photograph there as cardinal with mitre and red vestments and broad rimmed glasses. I nearly fell of my chair when I saw the resemblance to Mr. Greenspan of all people.

  • xyz

    There is a lovely reflection by the late fr Henri Nouwen, a deep spiritualist, which i think would complete what Pope Francis says about God our father. In a way I think it could help those who have difficulty identifying with a “father”; associating it with their own personal experience. In a recent reflection of 12 June, Fr Nouwen said:

    “the spirit reveals to us not only that God is “Abba, Father” but also that we belong to God as his beloved children. The spirit thus restores in us the relationship from which all other relationships derive their meaning.

    Abba is a very intimate word. The best trasnslation for it is “Daddy”. The word Abba expresses trust, safety , confidence, belonging, and most of all intimacy. It does not have the connotation of authority, power, and control, that the word Father often evokes. On the contrary, Abba implies an embracing and nurturing love. This love includes and infinitely transcends all the love that comes to us from our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, spouses, and lovers. It is the gift of the spirit.”

  • Meditatio Divina

    Perhaps Liberal Protestants who follow the theology of the Tubingen University have a distant “god” – You should carefully examine some of the writings of the Reformers to make in all earnest a true statement. Victorian theologians did teach that God was very near. Teilhardism is hardly related to reformed theology. Perhaps an approach to Protestant history without too much hatred and prejudice will help to understand the Protestant view for them God is SO NEAR that Saints and Angels are not necessary. Does not the Bible teach that the believer is the temple of the Living God? Check Paul’s Epistles. Kindly I am not attacking you, but labelling Protestants as having a distant God without having a clear knowledge of their theology or of their devotional life it is not right. It will justify their accusation that we worship idols if we assume this kind of prejudiced and uninformed attitude.

  • Julian Lord

    Fair enough, except that you’re suggesting some kind of unicity in “Protestant theology” that it does not actually possess.

  • bdlaacmm

    Wow! I must have prayed the Our Father a million times so far in my life, and never once did I ever even think for a moment about the significance of the word “our”. Pope Francis has a wonderful way of getting straight to the heart of a matter and making it instantly understandable.

    I wish him many years of health. We need to hear more things like this!

  • Benedict Carter

    “Teilhardism is hardly related to reformed theology.”

    I didn’t say it was. Both protestantism and Teilhardism are located on the Field of Error. I don’t see what else is important about either of them, frankly.

  • lucio apollyon

    If you dismiss Protestantism so easily, then our Ecumenical efforts are of little value, if we refuse to even know what they believe. If we take this approach let us ditch Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism, after all if Protestants are not important, why call them separated brethren? Just reactivate the old fashion term “heretics”?

  • lucio apollyon

    It seems that you have completely missed the point of meditatiodivina, it refers to Liberal Theology distant God. Reformed, Conservative, and Evangelical Protestants have a complete emphasis on a personal relationship with God the Father through Christ the Son. Do we possess theological unicity ourselves? Let us be fair: Modernists, Charismatics, Conservative, Liberation theology, Ultra-traditionalists. Yes they may say that they believe the same Creed, but what about the application. I kinow people in the Charismatic Renewal who don’t believe in Purgatory.

  • Benedict Carter

    What are you on about, poster with the devil name? The Church has known what they believe for 460 years!!!

    The word “heretic” has never stopped being used, except by those who are no longer Catholics.

    Ditch the Vatican II policy of ecumenism? Of course! Along with Vatican II.

    Get thee hence.

  • Benedict Carter

    “I know people in the Charismatic Renewal who don’t believe in Purgatory.”

    Then they are not Catholics. To reject any dogma of the Faith is to leave the Church.

    I am not sure that any post coming from an individual whose second name is “the destroyer”, one of the names of the devil (Apocalypse 9:11 via Late Latin from Greek, from apollunai, to destroy totally) is worth reading or indeed should be read at all.

  • Benedict Carter

    Which “spirit”?

  • Julian Lord

    Abba is a very intimate word. The best trasnslation for it is “Daddy”

    erm … “Papa”, actually. “Dad” OK, but “daddy” is a mistranslation.

  • paulpriest

    A God who holds us in being from nothingness? Distant?

    Do me a favour!

    From the way he’s spoken recently His Holiness seems to be au fait with the theology of Emile Mersch [I could be wrong but it certainly looks like it - and he was a Jesuit]

    Where creation is like a created godlet [almost as if God's made Himself a little toy friend?] and humanity is a sort of arianised ‘robot christ’ [a whole entity of interconnected empaths inseparable from each other - not individual or becoming more unique the more one achieves perfection in God's image - rather one increasing in affinity and conformity to the whole - kind of like obverted buddhism ]

    This robot has gone rusty and short-circuited through the fall

    but becomes ‘real’ like pinocchio via the ‘blue fairy magic’ of Christ’s blood and the ‘aspiration of the Father & Son’s Spirit’ [which to be honest always sounded a bit pseudo-pneumatomach]

    It’s all lovely stuff filled with wondrous insight and devotion and theological genius bursts out every other sentence..but it’s open to misinterpretation every step of the way..almost a hair’s breadth away from combining The Blessed Trinity with God putting a created version in some stoic pantheist set-up – it’s kind of like an orthodox bridge which when extrapolated leads to the wackiness of Rahner & Chardin and all the chaos that followed

    It’s not exactly a heterodox position but a very selctive perspective

    which can be quite dangerous in a world where Hegelianism runs rampant and the average Catholic mentality has to wend their way between the scylla of maniacal libertarianism and the charybdis of collectivism and a moral compass which can be led astray by these pernicious poles….

    I am my brother’s keeper but my brother is my brother – not me – and yes we are all adopted children of the same Father – and held in being by the same Spirit – all temples of the Risen Christ – and I know I’ve said it elsewhere but this superficial ‘being enemies=always bad’ paradigm is also dangerous when misconstrued.

  • Jon Brownridge

    “Then they are not Catholics. To reject any dogma of the Faith is to leave the Church.”

    If that were the case, we could probably count Catholics on the fingers of one hand. It’s ludicrous to expect “all or nothing” from thinking people. Healthy discussion, disagreement, and redefining of our beliefs as we acquire new knowledge are all essential to faith development. Traditional beliefs such as the Assumption of Mary, for example, are clearly not meant to be physically factual. If Mary left the earth at the speed of light, she still has a long way to go, given that it would take her about 100,000 years just to get out of this galaxy.

  • Julian Lord

    Looking at a summary of Mersch’s theology ( ), it would seem to be of an essentially neo-Platonic variety, philosophically, a kind of modern reprisal of various trends of pre-Thomist thought — and necessarily then, being of an implicitly anti-Thomist nature.

    But there is also some influence from Protestant theology (in its obsession with the mechanisms of salvation, as if these were described accurately by Scripture, whereas in fact they are a Mystery of the Faith), and (more worryingly IMO) from the Islamic theologians, which is where this notion of the creation of mankind as the perfection of material form made multiplex inside material reality comes from.

    His doctrines of Original Sin appear to be utterly Protestant, and again, influenced by Islam. “Mersch sees that the dogma of original sin must be situated between a deeper
    understanding of the natural unity of the human race and the supernatural unity we have in
    ” — this is to basically and fundamentally agree with the dualism of the Islamic theologians (nature/supernature = accident/form = matter/spirit), and is more than to simply hint that sin and evil are of a material origin, rather than originating in the souls of mankind. He refrains from directly expressing the heretical belief that we are born free from sin, but he DOES characterise sin as being an Action that is performed, rather than being of the very state of our human existence. It appears as a hodge-podge of Islam, Protestantism, and pre-Thomist Western philosophy. It STRONGLY contradicts the idea that each individual soul is an individual creation by God of that individual. As such, there seems to be an implicit objective heresy in this theology.

    To state my objection to his theology of Sin in as simple a manner as possible, we are all of us created to be workers in the Lord’s Vineyard — and as such, and as in the Thomist and post-Thomist theology, God has given it to us to be as “co-creators” of the Kingdom of Heaven, but as we are also “co-creators” of each new generation of mankind, the existence of our willfulness and our intrinsic desire for disobedience, each new generation is “co-created” with this exact same willfulness and disobedience, which in turn destroy the perfection of our work in the Vineyard. The Sin therefore is both Original, and FULLY of our own doing, as we “co-create” each new generation of mankind in an intrinsically flawed and sinful manner — and in the exact same flawed manner as Adam and Eve “co-created” Cain and Abel, et cetera.

    (BTW what you see as being a “Buddhist” influence is in fact an intrinsic element of Christian theology and philosophy, insofar as Christianity has always been informed by some elements of the Buddhist theology, and in particular by the notion of the individually divine nature of every soul — which had influenced not only a particular trend in pre-Christian Jewish theology, but also the Classical Greek philosophers, from both of which the specifically Christian thinkers have learned)

    All creation, tradition says, is a work common to the three divine persons, rather than to any particular one of them. But the same tradition also asserts that we become the sons of God through the Son. And Mersch feels that the tension between these two ideas has not been harnessed adequately to produce new theological insights. His own approach is to look at the humanity of Jesus and our incorporation into that humanity. The Incarnation can be viewed in two complementary ways. The principle of this work is the three persons in common, but the term of it is that one of the divine persons becomes man. It is only the Word, and not the Father or the Holy Spirit, who becomes incarnated. The human nature that is taken up by Jesus is transformed by becoming the humanity of the second person of the Trinity. It has a new entity of union, as Mersch puts it, a filial perfection. The deepest center of this humanity is the Son, and through the Son, the Trinity.”

    Objectively heretical. The Son, although He is NOT a part of “creation”, insofar as he is the Son, is engendered by the Father.

    And it is absurd to imagine that the Creation can possibly be of a different structure than the Trinity. There is a Creator, and there is a Created. The structural nature of the Creation is of the exact same structure as the engendering of the Son by the Father, and as the proceeding of the Spirit from and in the Trinity.

    Creator, Creation, and Created are in a fundamentally Trinitarian relationship with each other, as provided by their very Nature as the Action of God. The “work” of Creation is NOT therefore “common to the three divine persons, rather than to any particular one of them”, but in fact each Person of the Trinity has each its own unique place in the Action of the Creation.

    The heresy is that Mersch is directly contradicting the very fundamental nature of the Trinity, as provided infallibly in our Dogma. Each Person of the Trinity is by Nature different to each other Person. Mersch’s theology is teaching that this difference did not exist in the Action of Creation. Wrong. And it leads Mersch to make the following heretical statement : “But we are one with Jesus, so we, too, are sons, not by nature, but by adoption” — his denial that Creation is an intrinsically Trinitarian Action leads directly to a false teaching clearly denying that the Creation of EACH human soul is of the very nature of the Creation itself. He is positing God as being fundamentally external to His Creation, which is to deny that God is immanent, as well as transcendental.

    His theology of the Incarnation, is therefore, unsurprisingly from such a basis, very greatly flawed ; therefore, his theology of each of our individual incarnations is opposite to the truth.

    He is positing each individual soul as being of an intrinsically material origin, and that only humanity itself is of a divine creation directly. NO !!! This is the OPPOSITE of a Catholic understanding. We are incarnated souls, born of the Spirit — NOT some kind of transcendence of our material nature, “adopted” by God. We have not been “adopted”, and our souls are the children of His Spirit.

    MORE proof that his Trinitarian theology is utterly flawed :

    The Son not only receives all from the Father, but together with the Father, breathes forth the Holy Spirit

    NO — ONLY the Father “breathes forth” the Holy Spirit ; the Spirit proceeds from the Son in a very different way, in that the Son sends forth the Spirit from the Father.

    The following is not only uncatholic ; it’s unchristian :

    The supernatural is “of a different order,” a “divinization.” (57)
    It does not change us into something else, but causes us to be ourselves in a deeper and higher way. But what can be more interior to us than the very being that God has given us? “When God has communicated Himself to a thing by the being that is interior to the thing, He can still communicate Himself by the being that is interior to Himself.”

    Mersch has only to recall the main lines of his synthesis to express how this comes about. The supernatural is our elevation in the humanity of Jesus, and all that implies. If, as a work ad extra, it can be seen as an accident residing in us, as a work ad intra, it is a “new type of being” that brings us into the Trinitarian life, the very interior of being, itself. In contrast to the act of creation by which we exist, this supernatural life comes about through a “causality of union” which gives rise to the entity of union we met before. The idea of contingent being must be complemented with an ontology of this new kind of supernatural being.

    He is CLEARLY positing that the supernatural is some kind of movement of the human soul, which is UTTERLY preposterous. The very ESSENCE of the soul IS supernatural !!!

    To treat the supernatural as an “accident” of the soul is a position that has been proposed by various heretics over the centuries, including the Gnostics and the Arianists. Not only does this FALSE idea seek to establish some kind of essential qualitative superiority of some Faithful (as if only they had a properly supernatural nature), but it ALSO panders to an extremely materialist and dualist conception of the relationship between the Kingdom, our souls, and physical reality that is quite obnoxious to the teachings of orthodox Catholicism.


    More positively, Mersch’s work on the proper relationship of the intellect both with the Revelation and with the mystical spirituality of the Church is excellent. His understanding of how the intellect is to position itself not only towards this Revelation and its teachings, but also (implicitly) towards our other sources of more worldly knowledge is pretty much spot on.

    It’s a great shame that his conclusions are not of the same very high quality as his theological methodology.

  • Julian Lord

    Traditional beliefs such as the Assumption of Mary, for example, are clearly not meant to be physically factual

    This is an extremely bizarre statement, and it is incoherent with Catholicism.

    If Mary left the earth at the speed of light” indeed !!!!


  • Jon Brownridge

    What does “The Assumption of Mary” mean to you, as a thinking person?

  • paulpriest

    You went further down routes about which I was screaming at the computer yesterday….[incidentally I did say obverted buddhism]

    ..and yes you’ve said many things I didn’t want to say given the circumstances in which I was using them – but do you see the glimmers in the papal reasonings? And how when all the seeming superfluous inconsistencies or incongruous allusions [which occur in normal spontaneous conversation]

    …might really not be just that but reflections based on a system like Mersch’s? Or one wrought through generations of chinese-whisper interactions where Merschism affected the perspective?

    The seemingly superficial analogies which turn out to be expressions of a system which is saying a damned sight more than ostensible off-the-cuff generalisations for simplicity’s sake?

    That what’s been presumed to be merely dissociate localised preachings on a subject are actually part of this system – they’re coherent intellectual offshoots of underlying principles?

    It explains the ‘DNA-altering ‘going viral’ evangelisation’ principle

    The ‘loving your enemy’ being turned into non-conformity/adversity/anti-subsumation being pitying the enemies – and not the actual enemiesand that for which they stand!

    Looiking back over the past month of herald posts and you can see a Merschistic hint in everything – like the lingering of the smell of TCP? From things as diverse as opportunistic clerics to a family saying the rosary together to a quite shallow materialistic interpretation of the dangers of the deadly sins – it would even explain the papal ‘don’t boast of lengthy service’ which bemused me so much as an indictment against something which didn’t practically exist when so much else did – or the condemnation of ‘insult and ridicule’ not for being wrong in itself but for being ‘unacceptable to afforded dignity” – and that’s wrong…

    It’s like fundamental moral theology has become superfluous – it’s like taking a kantian ethic without the deontology – combining it with virtue ethics without the virtues and appreciating the expediency of utilitarianism without even considering the utility…and tearing down Rawls’s veil of ignorance because if we changed anything it would alter the present ‘perfect reality’ where we’re all working at our optimum in cirumstances which will all resolve ourselves once we accept and conform to them….

    Do you see the dangers in this?

    For oecumenism?

    For reform?

    For Evangelisation?

    For fighting secularism & relativism?

    In regards to social justice & moral disorder?

    For the whole Pro-Life movement?
    For the whole of Bioethics and the sanctity of Life?
    Even in Liturgy and sacramentology?

    Where it becomes ‘converting hearts and minds’ through some assimilating dialogue of compromise and exception and negotiation and convincing by appeals to some dialectical homogeneity?
    Where it isn’t realisation, repentance, metanoia, conversion
    It’s coercion, seduction, amelioration, snake-oil hard sell for their own good?

    Becoming Catholic not because it’s true or real but because it’s a better place to be and makes me a better person?

    Where rather than the drowning of baptism we offer someone to swim with us? Not die so you might truly live but “come on in the water’s lovely and everybody”s doing it”

    if your right hand or eye offend thee well here’s a mitten and an eyepatch?

    where instead of opposing pelagianism and donatism you can form a dialectic of both?!!

    Do you see the consequences for the very nature of grace in this set up? It turns into some nightmarish ontological multi-caste system?

    and sin is not discovered and excised/exorcised like a clinical psychologist would a psychosis

    it’s instead immobilised and the patient is encouraged to be lobotomised or forced to undergo psychotherapy or drugged into conformity or aversion treatment to stop them being able to sin…

    not the wrongness of the wrong but the wrongness of being wrong about the wrong

    It would even explain the opposition to Liberation Theology
    it fits too welll to be coincidence or happenstance…
    I need to ignore this for a while and go make daisy chains or kick the cat or kill a few space zombies on an xbox…and pray.

  • paulpriest

    The wages of sin are death
    ergo Our Lady assumed into Heaven

  • Chris

    I like this Pope! What an insightful man God gave us to help us see the clear path of thinking we have to take in life’s situations.

  • Jon Brownridge

    But what does that mean in the light of today’s knowledge about the universe. There may well be some religious significance, as you suggest, and a metaphorical application of the concepts involved may have practical implications for bettering our lives. But one thing is for sure – the assumption of Mary was not a historical event.

  • Julian Lord

    That she was taken by God into His Kingdom.

    Given that I am neither a Mormon nor a Scientologist, I do not believe this to be located on the planet Tharg.

  • Julian Lord

    But one thing is for sure – the assumption of Mary was not a historical event


  • Julian Lord

    Becoming Catholic not because it’s true or real but because it’s a better place to be and makes me a better person?

    This is the one — but if you listen to the hard theology underlying Pope Francis’ “off-the-cuff” homilies at Santa Marta, it’s precisely what he’s attacking himself, when he repeatedly scorns the idea of the Church as just another NGO.

    You’re absolutely right about the emasculation of moral theology.

    But Pope Francis is FAR tougher and more orthodox than most people realise — even though the Society of Jesus itself has been deeply affected by the craven anti-theology that we’re talking about.

  • paulpriest

    This what we’re going to have to learn…what parts aren’t affected [and thus made his pro-active/reactive orthodoxy more ardent]
    what parts have introduced a stage-setting
    what parts have contaminated?
    Ah well…I thought I was having enough problems with ‘Glory of the Lord’…
    Migraine city…

  • Julian Lord

    Ah well…I thought I was having enough problems with ‘Glory of the Lord’…
    Migraine city…

    Indeed, Paul.

    The most worrying aspect of this whole “New Theology” claptrap is that it’s been ongoing for *such* a long time now, that even many calling themselves traditionalists have accepted some of these doctrines of anti-theology as being “traditional” and “orthodox”, whereas in fact they are nothing of the kind.

    These disastrous intellectual attacks against the supernatural nature of ANY honest Christian Faith pander directly to Man’s most sinful nature, and seek to entice him into believing that only some sort of intellectual adherence to these or whichever “special” teachings that are unavailable to the intellectually disenfranchised can provide salvation — whereas the reality is that salvation occurs in the midst of a child-like Faith living inside an open heart that is constantly turned towards the Infinite Beauty of God Himself.

  • lucio apollyon

    So Benedict I get accused of being Satan just because my true name is Lucio Apollyon ( I am of Brazilian origin), I suppose you would like to have an Inquisition trial and probably have me to do an auto-da-fe. You say that these Roman Catholic Charismatics who do not believe in Purgatory are not Roman Catholics and yet what happens yearly at their Charismatic Conference in August at Walsingham (10.000 people attending) seems to be approved by the Church. Fr Cantalamessa (Chaplain to the Pope) is a regular speaker. I wonder. You say also that the Church has known Protestant theology for 460 years? What about a website where it is stated that Protestant BIbles do not have the book of James…any donkey going to a public library and looking at any Protestant Bible will find the Epistles of James. I must confess that priests have misrepresented to me what Protestants believe, although myself no one…did they really know what they believe.?

  • Hermit Crab

    “….in the light…” ?

    Shouldn’t that read “in the darkness of today’s knowledge…”

  • Hermit Crab

    With reference to your nearby posting about “These disastrous intellectual attacks against the supernatural nature of ANY honest Christian Faith”:

    Very, very, very well said!

  • paulpriest

    I need to spend a few days with the Introduction to the Devout life & some obscure Gilson otherwise I might hunt down Fr Robert Barron and punch his lights out…

  • Julian Lord

    I must admit that I have some difficulty understanding the opprobrium that is occasionally aimed at Fr. Barron — he may not be the most doctrinally conservative apologist that our Church has ever produced, but it’s rather a long way from there to attributing any Nouvelle Théologie claptrap to his positions, because even though he had the core of his theological instruction from the Institut Catholique in Paris, his theology is nevertheless focussed squarely on the Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas Aquinas, not on any Parisian theologians of the 1970s …

    Quite apart from which, by the time he started his studies in Paris, at about the same time as I was there at the Sorbonne IIRC, ALL of the more conservative institutions of higher education there had already completely rejected the Marxist ideologies of the Parisian 1950s to 1970s as being an intellectual voie sans issue, and were in the process of providing a far more traditionally-based education to the upcoming generation of students.

  • paulpriest

    I repeat you can’t evangelise without the apologetic – you cannot preach the crucifixion without Christ crucified…
    There’s more in a page of Frank Sheed than the whole of “Catholicism”/Word on Fire

    …and name-dropping is NOT Catechesis.

  • paulpriest

    know your enemy

  • Julian Lord

    True enough — but Fr. Barron’s pastoral duty, as conferred on him by his Ordinary as it was in turn conferred on that Ordinary by Pope John Paul II, apart from Fr. Barron’s current duties as the rector of a seminary, is “to evangelise the culture”.

    That is to say, to provide pastoral teachings and a sensitively directed apologetic and rhetoric that is geared towards those that culturally reject or simply ignore Christ, His Passion, and His Resurrection in the first place.

    The charge that has been laid upon him is a cultural one, counter-cultural if you will, and it therefore needs to be engaged in the modernity of the culture, and to engage with its superficiality at a necessarily very basic level.

    This sort of apologetic is not in the nature of the theological instruction per se of the Faithful (though he certainly avoids providing any actually false understandings), it is of the nature of a last line of defense against the encroachment of cultural de-christianisation !!!

  • Mike Wyatt

    so true. what a about a Billion times a Trillion Zillion and once Francis illumenates it resonates……………This Pope has a gift