Pope Francis speaks on the Good Shepherd

Before I begin this, a reminder to any of my new readers that most of the commentators on this blog are not members of the Ordinariate and  do not represent necessarily the views of people in the Ordinariate, though I am grateful to Norm for his diligence in responding to some who post here from his knowledge of canon law and the documents of the Second Vatican Council.

Today Pope Francis spoke on various religious voices or types and distinguished them from the voice of the Good Shepherd.  

“And this is why the people followed Jesus, because He was the Good Shepherd. He wasn’t a moralistic, quibbling Pharisee, or a Sadducee who made political deals with the powerful, or a guerrilla who sought the political liberation of his people, or a contemplative in a monastery. He was a pastor! A pastor who spoke the language of His people, Who understood, Who spoke the truth, the things of God: He never trafficked in the things of God! But He spoke in such a way that the people loved the things of God. That’s why they followed Him.”

Jesus, the Pope said, “was never far from the people, was never far from His Father.” Jesus “was so joined to the Father, He was one with the Father!” and so was “so very close to the people.” He “had this authority, and this is why the people followed Him.” Contemplating Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the Pope said, it would be good for us to think about who we like to follow:

“Whom do I like to follow? Those who talk to me about abstract things or quibbling morals? Those who talk about the people of God but have no faith and negotiate with political, economic powers? Those who always want to do strange things, destructive things, so-called wars of liberation, but which in the end are not the paths of the Lord? Or a faraway contemplative? Whom do I like to follow?”

Lest traditionalists think the Pope has it in for them by calling them Pharisees, he’s going after ideologues on the progressive side as well.   Great homily.



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1 Response to Pope Francis speaks on the Good Shepherd

  1. Tim S. says:

    I can see Rorate Caeli’s headlines now:


    I personally don’t think he hates contemplatives, he just thinks they’re wrong. He’s a Jesuit, after all; they’re more active and scoff at the notion of the likes of Saint Anthony the Great and Saint Benedict. Jesuits, Dominicans, and Franciscans have had feuds that would scandalize us in the 21st century.

    Still, I find disturbing his apparent attack on the contemplative life, as if devoting one’s life to prayer for one’s whole life is somehow inferior and defective- not compared to Christ, because we’re always short of his glory, but compared to a certain Christology that is bereft of mysticism, and reeks socialism. I suspect Pope Francis detests the whole of Mount Athos and shudder at the notion that the health of Christendom is measured by the strength of its monasticism, as is the opinion in the Christian East.

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