Pope Francis accuses Christians concerned with ‘obeying all the commandments’ of being ‘confined souls.’
From watching the video It seems that there maybe some debate about what is actually being implied but sadly that is the issue and one that continually is delivered in the Pope’s speeches….ambiguity is the theme. It’s very unusual that we would hear a teaching about grace,hope, and patience that would call into question the Ten Commandments. Adding in a characterization of those following the Ten Commandments as being faint hearted or cowardly has many theological consequences. None of these will help the faith but many do saddle up to the culture.
What do I mean? Encouraging a faith that relies on grace, patience, and hope is only useful in light of and when trying to live by a rule greater than ourselves…trying to live by the Ten Commandments. Without them what is the purpose of grace? We devolve into doing something by our own strength to reach what we can always do. Humanism is the result.
Secondly, are we to conclude that the Word of God and the Ten Commandment stand in our way of reaching God’s purposes for our life? Is God divided? Is he an Old Testament demiurge? Is a dualism being incorrectly injected? An either/or verses both/and between our teachings and our actions, between the law and the spirit of the law, or as we have seen over the last year between justice and mercy?
Thirdly, is this an attack on the Ten Commandments in resistance to and demonizing of those who call out the Commandments when resisting his “new horizon” reforms? If so, what does this do to our understanding of mortal sin? Is there no longer sin? Are we only sinful or emotionally weak when we wait for Moses to bring us God’s law, when we choose to live by Christ’s words of life instead of walking away, or when we hold to the teachings and traditions that have been passed down to us rather than being drawn away by false prophets? How did a person in the early Church know what church to attend? The true local church was the one descended from and passed along the words of the apostles. This was the stamp of authentication.
All in all, this homily makes you wonder if we should follow the Commandments. In a relativistic and subjective culture this only calls into question all the Commandments.