Some while ago an assemblage of the Great and the Good – including Justin Welby – produced a ‘A Pope Francis Lexicon’, outlining the meaning behind the Holy Father’s customary vocabulary. The following is intended as a modest sequel to an invaluable book.
Accompaniment: In the modern world dogma and precept no longer hold. Accompaniment has replaced pedagogy. The priest must abandon the old certainties and strike out on the daring path of accompaniment, not knowing where it will – or should – lead.
In forward-looking parishes Accompaniment will replace Confession. For where there is no notion of sin, there is no need of reconciliation. The journey is all; a journey on which the Pastor (to use an outmoded term) as well as the parishioner, will discover new truth which will surprise and delight.
For God is a God of surprises
Inclusion: Ours is too often a world of closed doors. Jesus does not want that. Tragically clubs seem to exist to exclude potential members.
The Catholic Church must not be like that: no rules, no commitments, no belittling requirements. All must be welcome, especially LGBT+, and welcome on their own terms. Let neither sin nor belief divide! What begins with radical ecumenism and progresses to generous syncretism ends with a jolly free-for-all.
The only exclusion from this happy inclusion will be of those deplorables who suppose that Truth is binary
Youth: The young are the Church’s future.
For too long the mindset of Christians has been retrospective; they have looked back to golden ages of the past. But we now live in a world of Youth, where everything is focused on the future. In young people the as-yet-unseen is reaching out towards us. It is alive with new ideas, fresh perceptions, revolutionary value systems.
The posture of the Church in the past was one of Teaching – she saw herself as dispensing the wisdom of the ages for the benefit of the present age. The posture of the Church must now be one of listening, listening to those with a vision unencumbered by experience. The past is a tedious catalogue of scripture, tradition and reason. Youth brings us freedom, experimentation and the individual conscience.
The wind of the Spirit is blowing through our Youth.