Saturday, March 14, 2015

“Pope Francis” on “being pope”: “Hard to get good pizza”

Pope Francis: “Cannot get out for pizza”
Pope Francis: “Cannot get out for pizza”
“In any event, I find a way” 
“Pope Francis” gave another interview, this one on “being pope”.

In the interview, he seems tired and washed up, not closing the door on a potential retirement. In fact, he says, “I have the feeling that my Pontificate will be brief: 4 or 5 years; I do not know, even 2 or 3. Two have already passed. It is a somewhat vague sensation.”

I am reminded of this blog post: “Killing Time with Good Pope Francis”: “After all the fudging and bluster of papal history, they don’t really know what is ‘essential to the mission’ of the papacy.”

In any event, on to the interview:

Q. “Do you like being Pope?”

A. “I do not mind!”

Q. “What do you like or do not like about being the Pope? Or do you like everything?”

A. “The only thing I would like is to go out one day, without being recognized, and go to a pizzeria for a pizza. That would be nice. No, I say this as an example. In Buenos Aires I was a rover. I moved between parishes and certainly this habit has changed... it has been hard work to change. But you get used to it. You find a way to get around: on the phone, or in other ways ...”

Q. [The journalist asks the Pope about the fact that he has often said his would be a short pontificate and often refers to the possibility of dying of old age ...]

A. “I have the feeling that my Pontificate will be brief: 4 or 5 years; I do not know, even 2 or 3. Two have already passed. It is a somewhat vague sensation. Maybe it’s like the psychology of the gambler who convinces himself he will lose so he won’t be disappointed and if he wins, is happy. I do not know. But I feel that the Lord has placed me here for a short time, and nothing more ... But it is a feeling. I always leave the possibility (to programs) open”.

Q. “You also told us that will follow the example of Pope Benedict ... This changes a bit ‘the idea of the papacy, because we used that the pope was an institution created by the Holy Spirit and to the death’”.

A. “There were some cardinals who prior to the conclave, in the general congregations, probed the very interesting, very rich theological problem. I think that what Pope Benedict did has been to open a door. 60 years ago there were no emeritus bishops. And now we have 1400. They came to the idea that a man after 75, or close to that age, cannot carry the weight of a particular church.

“In general I think what Benedict so courageously did was to open the door to the Popes emeritus. Benedict should not be considered an exception, but an institution. Maybe he will be the only one for a long time, maybe he will not be the only one. But an institutional door has been opened. Today the Pope Emeritus is no longer a rarity since a door for him to exist as a figure has been opened”.

Q. “Can you imagine a situation where a Pope retires at 80 as is the case with bishops?”

A. “I can. However, I do not really like the idea of an age limit. Because I believe that the Papacy is a kind of last instance. It is a special grace. For some theologians the Papacy is a sacrament.”

On the topic of Roman Catholics fleeing “the Church” in favor of evangelicalism:

The Pope also speaks of “disasterous” homilies as another reason for the flight of Catholics.

“I do not know if they are the majority - but they do not reach the heart. They are lessons in theology and are abstract or long and this is why I devoted so much space to them in Evangelii Gaudium.

“Typically evangelicals are close to the people, they aim for the heart and prepare their homilies really well. I think we have to have a conversion in this. The Protestant concept of the homily is much stronger than the Catholic. It’s almost a sacrament”.

In conclusion, the Pope says that the flight of Catholics is caused by distance, clericalism, boring homilies as opposed to closeness, work, integration, the burning word of God. And it is a phenomenon that affects not only the Church but also the evangelical communities.


  1. Romanism is a rudderless vessel with a blind and deaf captain at the helm, full of passengers and crew that have no idea their ship long ago ran aground and is being broken up by the surf.

    1. Hi CR, I generally agree with your characterization, although it seems as if most Roman Catholics, especially, don't share it:

      And I have a number of questions about this -- namely, "why?", and "from our perspective as Protestants, what's the best thing that we can do to counter this?

    2. The best thing to do is to seek both in prayer and action for the utter dismantling and destruction of the Roman system, I think.

      It's arguably the greatest spiritual deception Satan has ever devised, a false church masquerading as the one true church.

  2. John do you agree with Francis's conclusion on the homily?

    1. Which particular conclusion, Vincent? That Roman Catholic homilies in Latin America are "disastrous"? I couldn't say, I've never heard one. But it seems to me that the whole Roman Catholic system is a disaster.

      That they are the reasons why Roman Catholics there are "fleeing"? It may be one part of it? Perhaps -- if people do have faith, and "faith comes from hearing" -- they are hearing the voice of Christ elsewhere.

      That these "homilies" "do not reach the heart"? Of course they don't -- the human person was not created for Roman Catholicism. The Roman Catholic system is not something that will benefit a human person -- it generally obstructs Christ with its "to-do" list; it does not show the true Christ.

      The human person was made for Christ -- not for the Roman Catholic system. And yet Rome, doctrinally, wants to impose itself upon all of its members, at the expense of the direct mediation of Christ.

  3. But the Roman Catholic system has to mediate grace to nature. It has no choice but to doctrinally impose itself on its members, it needs to mediate grace to them for salvation. What do you mean by "to do" list? By system you mean the sacramental treadmill right?

    1. Vincent, it is the Roman Catholic system which declares that only the Roman Catholic system mediates grace to nature. So when you say "It has no choice but to doctrinally impose itself on its members", yes, that is a (quite wrong) decision it infallibly made, and cannot renege upon.

      The Roman view of "nature and grace" is a self-contained (and Roman-generated) view of it, but there is quite another (biblical) way of looking at "creation and grace", and that is what much of the blog posts regarding Bavinck and Allison were about over the last several months.

      By "to-do" list, yes, I mean "the sacramental treadmill", in portion, but it encompasses everything from sit-stand-kneel at certain times, "bless yourself" at certain times, genuflect at certain times, all of the "precepts of the Church" (confession once a year, communion during "Easter season", "give up something" for Lent, how to address priests vs bishops vs cardinals, etc. Roman Catholicism is a huge list of "things to do".

      Some of these intersect at some points, but they illustrate what I mean:

    2. Vincent: See also this link:

  4. I know though the pain on not finding good pizza, though not because I'm going to possibly be recognized. Whenever I leave the NY / NJ area, I have to deal with the fact that the rest of the USA has a hard time making pizza and bagels.

    1. I'm kind of "bagel-agnostic", but aside from Pizza Hut's pan pizza, I really like the big, flat, hand-tossed, crispy-crust kind of pizza that (out here) they call "New York" style pizza. It's hard to find out here, but it is available from time to time and place to place.