The spiritual good of the People of God depends on the proclamation of the Gospel that was confided by Jesus Christ himself to Saint Peter and the Apostles. The true faithful expect an integral transmission of the eternal truths from their shepherds, even when it contrasts with the world. Others, on the contrary, would prefer that such truths be changed so that they could live with a more tranquil conscience…
In this manner, the fidelity of the Hierarchy to its mission entails proclaiming the word of salvation whether it be ‘convenient or inconvenient,’ and thus facing frequent hostility from those who live isolated from the truth.
The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow. (Interview with Antonio Spadaro, SJ, August 19, 2013)
[Francis]: The Church has already spoken quite clearly on this. It was unnecessary to return to it, just as I didn’t speak about cheating, lying, or other matters on which the Church has a clear teaching! It wasn’t necessary to speak of it, but rather of the positive things that open up the path to young people. Isn’t that right! Besides, young people know perfectly well what the Church’s position is. (Press Conference during the return flight from Brazil after World Youth Day, July 28, 2013)
[Francis]: I have never understood the expression ‘non-negotiable values.’ Values are values, and that is it. I can’t say that, of the fingers of a hand, there is one less useful than the rest — for which I do not understand in what sense there may be negotiable values. (Interview with Corriere della Serra, March 5, 2014)
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