Friday, September 25, 2015

An invitation for non-Catholics who love Pope Francis

Craig Ruttle/AP

As we all see joyful images like this on the news and social media, I am so heartened to see the outpouring of affection for our Holy Father from so many non-Catholics around the nation!

The Lord works to draw all people to Himself, and whatever stirring of hope or happiness there is in the non-Catholic heart at seeing our wonderful Papa is there for a reason. I would like to offer this invitation to those who are drawn to Pope Francis: Find out what animates this holy man of God.

Go to your library or bookstore and pick up a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Open it and read the faith that drives not only Pope Francis, but which was the fire within of all the saints throughout the past two millennia. You can also go online and read the Catechism here.

I think you will find that there is a cohesiveness, a continuity, an integrity there that is compelling, and if nothing else, you will have educated yourself on a major world religion.

The Catechism is broken into four main parts:

The Profession of Faith (what we believe)

The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (how we celebrate what we believe)

Life in Christ (how we live what we believe, i.e., morality)

Christian Prayer (how we pray)

If you can't read it all, read the first section, and find out what we Catholics believe and why. Each chapter ends with a handy "in brief" summary of the points covered, and the Catechism contains copious footnotes with references to Scripture, the Church Fathers, the documents of the Church, and the writings of the saints.

Catholics who would like to understand their own faith better will also benefit from a reading of the Catechism, which Pope St. John Paul II called "a sure norm for teaching the faith".

Now, back to watching the coverage!


  1. Hi Leila. I just saw this on CNN and wondered what you thought. I don't know if Ann Coulter is in general someone you agree with on things.

  2. Another question: I've seen a quote attributed to Pope Francis on several Facebook posts and I wonder if it's genuine:

    "IT is not necessary to believe in God to be a good person. IN a way, the traditional notion of God is outdated. One can be spiritual but not religious. IT is not necessary to go to Church and give money. For many, nature can be a church. Some of the best people in history did not belive in God, while some of the worst deeds were done in his name."


  3. Hi Johanne!

    First, I am not an Ann Coulter fan (I used to be) and I am so disgusted with her anti-Catholic ranting that I cannot bring myself to read it.

    Second, that Facebook meme you cite is a complete fabrication. Pope Francis never said it. It's amazing that it's making the rounds, because it's so obviously false. Imagine a pope saying that we don't need to believe in God, to go to church, to give money to the Church, to just pray in the forest, that our notions of God are outdated, and that some of the worst people in the world were religious! And yet, one of the people who posted this "quote" in recent months is the "journalist" Maria Shriver. She posted the fallacious meme and called it "inspiring!", even after she was told numerous times (by myself and many others) that it was a lie, completely fabricated. Many people even linked her to Snopes to confirm that. She, being a trusted journalist of the left (sorry, there's my sarcasm again), kept the fake quote up on her site. Yes, I said she kept it up, knowing it was a completely fabricated quote. A national journalist.

    Please feel free to correct anyone on Facebook who posted this ridiculous meme, and use the Snopes link so they don't think you are just a closet Catholic sympathizer. ;)

  4. I couldn't imagine the Pope said those things. Just checking! Thanks.

  5. The Youcat is great and easy to read too!

  6. I too am disgusted with Ann Coulter's Twitter feed and many talking heads these days... what they don't realize is that they are alienating a huge base of faithful Catholics who hold the same values (or similar values) on many issues. My husband and I are very traditional and conservative. Admittedly, I've had my struggles with this pope early on. But I think anyone who really listens and reads what he has said and done can only be challenged in a good way. He isn't playing favorites.. he challenges all of us to be better, to look beyond our more narrow interests or small corner of the world. I am loving watching him connect with those who aren't Catholic... that is a great pope.

  7. Sarah, agreed!!

    Wendywith8, I have heard great things about Youcat, too! I was a bit disappointed with the section on masturbation, though, especially as it was directed to teens. I can't figure out why they went so wonky on that subject. :(

  8. I don't think many people are going to find a rule book anywhere as appealing as a flesh and blood human being.
    Pope Francis seems to be a wonderful human being but it wouldn't be wise to abide by everything he advocates. He wants Europeans to take in all these Muslim migrants. These people have like a bazillion kids and don't assimilate into non-Islamic societies. What Pope Francis advocates would result in cultural suicide for Europe.

  9. Night Cruller, remember that the Pope speaks on humanitarian principles, based on Christ's words: We welcome the stranger and feed the hungry and house the homeless, etc. This is not a "policy issue" (that is the legitimate authority of the state), but it's a principle which helps in forming public policy.

    The current destruction of Europe will not be (and has not been) brought about by anything other than a complete rejection of its Christian roots, by the way. Europe long ago rejected its Christian roots and embraced a type of suicide. For one example: If Christians in Europe had children, heck, if they got married before they had children (the few that they do have), would the population of immigrants have been so large? Immigrants have been brought in as workers up until now, correct? And if the Muslims have children, is that a crime? Perhaps Christians should also have children, and follow their own faith and patrimony. That would go well towards saving Europe. But now it's post-Christian and what can we do?

  10. How does Japan function as a society without bringing in boatloads of immigrants? They have reasonable size families. It is just dumb policies by some European governments. Are these migrants really looking for work? I saw an interview with some of them in Denmark. They said they weren't happy in Denmark and wanted to go to Sweden because migrants were given bigger "salaries" in Sweden. It should be a crime to have so many children if the natural resources of your country can't support them. Now we have irresponsible people wanting people from responsible countries to support them.

  11. First, Japan is dying as a nation. They don't have children. It's a demographical fact.

    Second, you are upset with Pope Francis for "advocating" for taking in the suffering, the poor and the refugee, but you yourself are okay with criminalizing childbirth and big families? "It should be a crime to have so many children if the natural resources of your country can't support them."

    The right to have a family is a fundamental human right and cannot be infringed by any government authority. What is happening in China is an atrocity. Have you seen what they do there to women and couples who have over the allotted number of children? Do you know about the bureaucrats who keep track of women's menstrual cycles?

    Tell me you were joking, please.

  12. OK, I shouldn't have used the word "crime", but it is still irresponsible.


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