Thursday, December 25, 2014

Pope Francis's Xmas message to the Curia: Not exactly "loving" in a Hollyweird sense ...

From a Facebook entry:

John Brown An astounding "greeting." "Tough love" at its most acute. I was however struck by how personal it got: "The illness of the funereal face: or rather, that of the gruff and the grim, those who believe that in order to be serious it is necessary to paint their faces with melancholy and severity." Clearly this non-European Pope is not spiritually (or humanly) inspired by the Rome-based bureaucracy, and he is not shy is saying so publicly. And Francis is of course a Jesuit, and we know how rocky Jesuit-Vatican relations can be. Moreover, St. Francis, who was never ordained, himself was not just about loving little birds (as we all know): he could be tough on the clergy: "Woe to that religious, who does not retain in his heart (Lk 2:19.51) the good things, which the Lord displays to himself, and does not display them to others in deed, but for the sake of reward desires to display them rather in words to men." P.S. The images of the members of the Curia were certainly not flattering to them -- they looked like the aged relics of the Central Committee during the Brezhnev era or (at the risk of stretching things) like the figures (granted, non-clerical) in a Bruegel painting.

(Slightly edited from the original Facebook entry)

Full disclosure: As an undergraduate, I wrote a paper on "Saint Francis and the Body."

Francis image from

Was Francis wearing a hoodie before his time?

image from

No comments: