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Sanctity is central to Church outreach, Pope stresses


CARL BUNDERSON

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
4/25/2013

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ABSTRACTSanctity is central to Church outreach, Pope stresses :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) Editors Service About us Donate Spanish Portuguese Follow us: Loading News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Mandate Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Prayers Sacraments Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns A Life Worth Living Answering the Tough Questions Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Both Oars In Catholic & Single Catholic Men Guest Columnist Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II In Good Company Indispensable Economics Inside the Church during WWII Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Preparing the way for the Roman Missal – 3rd Edition The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Spirit of the New Translation The Way of Beauty With Good Reason Your Moment in the Mass Documents Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Catholic Womanhood CNA Blog Home » News » US Sanctity is central to Church outreach, Pope stresses By Carl Bunderson Pope Francis rides through St. Peter's Square on Palm Sunday, March 24, 2013. Credit: Sabrina Fusco/CNA. Denver, Colo., Apr 25, 2013 / 02:07 am ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- Church leadership and outreach must be rooted in the pursuit of holiness and always attentive to the dignity of each human being, teaches Pope Francis in his newly translated book. “It's impossible to understand anything this Pope is doing without understanding personal conversion, and specifically in the very profound Jesuit tradition of the change of heart,” the book’s translator, Alejandro Bermudez, told CNA April 23. “Only the changing of the heart will create a change in the Church, and a change in the Church is what will create a change in society and culture. For Pope Francis there is no way around that reality – that arises only from a converted heart.” The new book, “On Heaven and Earth,” is a conversation between Pope Francis and Abraham Skorka, a rabbi and scholar from Buenos Aires. It was originally published in Spanish in 2010, when Francis was still Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires. Among the wide variety of topics covered in the book is the centrality of holiness to the Church's mission to evangelize. Pope Francis explained in “On Heaven and Earth” that holiness is essential to leadership in religious organizations, saying it is “a springboard to the transcendent.” “With regards to religion, holiness is unavoidable for a leader,” he said. Discussing various periods of difficulty and corruption in the Church’s history, the future Pontiff observed that “religion bounced back” when figures such as Mother Theresa of Calcutta appeared to “rejuvenate religious fervor.” “In the history of the Catholic Church the true reformers are the saints,” he said. Bermudez, who is also the executive director of Catholic News Agency, said that holiness will be “absolutely central” to Pope Francis' reform of the Roman curia. He also commented on the Roman Pontiff's view that while women hold a key place in the Church, their role is complimentary but not identical to that of men. “Pope Francis has constantly, in several documents and also in the book, explained the importance of the particular role that women have in society, in culture, and in the Church,” Bermudez said. “He strongly believes that this crucial role has nothing to do with trying to accomplish what men are doing, or imitate what they are doing in the Church, because that will be defeating the key concept of women providing something that men cannot.” In the book, Pope Francis explained that women have a special “function in Christianity, reflected in the figure of Mary … the woman has the gift of maternity, of tenderness; if all these riches are not integrated, a religious community not only transforms into a chauvinist society, but also into one that is austere, hard and hardly sacred.” This recognition of each person as bearing dignity in God’s image is also important in engaging non-believers, Pope Francis said, explaining that his approach in dialogue with atheists is not primarily one of direct preaching, but rather one of love and respect. The future Pontiff characterized his attitude toward such conversations by saying that “I do not approach the relationship in order to proselyt.......