The training of pastors

Pope Francis made some very pointed remarks about the need to train new priests.

Some of his comments are so needed in our training of pastors in protestant circles as well:

“Formation (of future priests) is a work of art, not a police action. We must form their hearts. Otherwise we are creating little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the people of God. This really gives me goose bumps,” he said.

We need to understand the formation of the pastor and not just give out formulas and hope to train future CEOs.

He mentioned being among the poor and quit looking for the next advancement. Hang out with the margins of society.

Help us heed some wise words, Lord.


More “harmful” words from the “Marxist” pope

Pope Francis’s communication, “The Joy of the Gospel,” has been panned by all God-fearing true capitalists. (And we should all be true capitalists, thus making us God fearing.) A few lines out of a 50,000 word document has enraged economic purists all over the Western world.

As for the other 49,000 or so words…  we might want to pay attention to a few of the things he said. There are certainly things to debate and disagree on, but there is so much in this exhortation that is truly… well… Christian.

Go figure.

“The study of the sacred Scriptures must be a door opened to every believer.” Scandalous. How dare the Pope talk to us about reading the Word.

“Evangelization demands familiarity with God’s word…” How silly. Evangelization is familiarization with good stories.

I can easily see why so many evangelicals… you know, God-fearing capitalists (because those two MUST go together… in them Scriptures there somewhere I’m sure…) are so upset with this Pope. Study the Word. Know the Word so you can tell people about Jesus. Just so much Marxist baloney!


The Irony of This Pope

The more I read about Pope Francis, the more I deeply admire him. He just visited the home of his name sake: Francis of Assisi.

What I find so challenging is here is a man who heads the biggest “institutional” church in the world, but lives with such prophetic joy. He challenges the religiosity of his own structure, which ends up angering Catholics and evangelicals alike.

His calls for true Christ-like attitudes grate against our current cultural comforts:

“The Church, all of us should divest ourselves of worldliness. Worldliness is a murderer because it kills souls, kills people, kills the Church.”

“Without divesting ourselves, we would become pastry-shop Christians, like beautiful cakes and sweet things but not real Christians,” he said.

I am refreshed and challenged by his example.