TEXAS FAITH: Pope Francis criticizes narrow focus on abortion, gay rights and conception
Pope Francis offered some provocative thoughts last week. Speaking about the hot-button issues of abortion, gay rights and conception, he told a Jesuit interviewer: “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.”
He went on in the interview to say that his church had grown obsessed with those topics.
I have to admit, the church universal seems way too caught up in debates over abortion, gay marriage and conception. So, I happen to agree with his view.
And what do you make of this statement that also came from the Pope:
“The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent.”
Applying that line to your own religious tradition, how are believers supposed to know which teachings are more important than others?
In my tradition, the Presbyterian Church USA, we have creeds, but we don’t necessarily have a Presbyterian’s guide to the top 10 beliefs, or some such list of priorities.
This could get arbitrary, couldn’t it?
AMY MARTIN, Director Emeritus of Earth Rhythms and Writer/editor Moonlady News Newsletter
Perhaps the issue is the nature of belief itself. The most singular overriding characteristic of the rising “spiritual not religious” movement is what pollsters term a “comfort with ambiguity.” They are the “Church of the I Don’t Know.” They perceive in many religions a profound arrogance, especially those that insist on exclusivity.
I hear in the words of Pope Francis a deep humility and understanding of human fallibility, especially when it comes to the mind of God. I am reminded of the words of the Dalai Lama. His Tibetan Buddhist religion has many specific beliefs and conceptions. That is how, he says, they make sense of existence. But his way of approaching the divine, is different from his beliefs: “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”