Daily US Times, Vatican City: Pope Francis warned Saturday that ‘rigidity’ in dwelling out the Christian religion is making a ‘minefield’ of hatred and misunderstanding in a world where Christianity is increasingly irrelevant.
During his annual Christmas greetings to the cardinals, bishops and priests who work in the Holy See, Pope asked the Vatican bureaucrats to embrace change instead.
Francis’ message appeared geared toward conservative and traditionalist Catholics, together with inside the Vatican Curia, who’ve voiced rising opposition to his progressive-minded papacy. Their criticisms have accelerated over the previous 12 months, amid Vatican monetary and intercourse abuse scandals that will have predated Francis’ papacy however are however coming to mild now.
On his speech, Francis acknowledged that Christianity no longer holds the commanding presence and influence in society that it once did. He recalled the memory of late Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini who before his dying commented the church found itself ‘200 years behind’ because of its inbred fear of change.
‘Today, we are no longer the only ones that produce culture, no longer the first nor the most listened to. The faith in Europe and in much of the West is no longer an obvious presumption but is often denied, derided, marginalized and ridiculed’, he added.
That’s why he urged the Catholic hierarchy to embrace the necessary pastoral reforms and outlook that will make the church attractive so that it can fulfil its mission to spread the faith.
Pope said those who take rigid positions are usually using them to cover themselves. ‘Rigidity has become so apparent these days’, Pope added.
In a tangible signal of change, Francis issued a brand new decree Saturday limiting the time period of the dean of the School of Cardinals, an influential job that had beforehand been held for all times. Francis accepted the resignation of the present dean, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and decreed that going ahead, the longer-term prime cardinal would solely have a five-year renewable time period.
Angelo Sodano delivered his final Christmas greeting to Francis on Saturday as Dean.