Headlines from the New York Times for Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Pope Francis Puts Caring for Migrants and Opposing Abortion on Equal Footing
Caring for migrants and the poor is as holy a pursuit as opposing abortion, Pope Francis declared in a major document issued by the Vatican on Monday morning.
Pushing back against conservative critics within the church who argue that the 81-year-old pope’s focus on social issues has led him to lose sight of the true doctrine, Pope Francis again cast himself, and the mission of the Roman Catholic Church, in a more progressive light.
“The other harmful ideological error is found in those who find suspect the social engagement of others, seeing it as superficial, worldly, secular, materialist, communist or populist,” Pope Francis wrote in an apostolic exhortation on the subject of holiness issued Monday morning. “Our defense of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned.”
The pope’s vision of holiness explicitly highlights migrants, whose plight he has sought to elevate to global attention perhaps more than any other issue.
“We often hear it said that, with respect to relativism and the flaws of our present world, the situation of migrants, for example, is a lesser issue,” he said.“Some Catholics consider it a secondary issue compared to the ‘grave’ bioethical questions.”
“That a politician looking for votes might say such a thing is understandable, but not a Christian,” he continued, adding that welcoming the stranger at the door was fundamental to the faith. “This is not a notion invented by some Pope, or a momentary fad.”
As he put it elsewhere in the document, “Seeing and acting with mercy: That is holiness.”
(This article continues in the New York Times on-line.)
Readings from the Gospel of John for Tuesday, April 10, 2018
John 10.37-38 – Jesus said, “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Christians are to be people who imitate Jesus. Pope Francis is asking the church to imitate Jesus and to do the works of love that the Father has prescribed.
The world believes in Jesus, because of his deeds of love. The world will believe the church when we imitate Jesus and do his deeds, too.
Prayers for Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Dear God, we pray that Pope Francis’ words about care for immigrants will be received and followed.