In a recent interview with Rome’s La Civilta Cattolica, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church must not be “obsessed” by issues such as abortion, homosexuality and contraception. However, I have not seen any evidence of such an obsession (“The pope’s blurred red lines,” Commentary, Sept. 27).
I can’t recall the last time I heard a church sermon denouncing such controversial moral issues. In fact, at the local level of church life, dogma has been a wasteland since Vatican II. One of the results has been the pedophile scandal. Hence, I am puzzled by Pope Francis‘ desire to de-emphasize dogma in favor of striking a “new balance” that completely favors compassion and mercy over orthodox teaching and justice.
The pope’s recent off-the-cuff comments (which are rapidly and unfortunately becoming his trademark) will likely mislead many people and further lead to the dissemination of moral relativism. The church must remain vocal in promoting the truth on the most pressing issues of the day. Indeed, there has been a failure of catechesis of both children and young people that has been going on for 50 years. This has been a result of the overwhelming fear among priests to talk about topics that are deemed politically incorrect.
In contrast, the Bible exhorts the church: “Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2).