For over a thousand years, those who disagreed with Catholicism were labeled heretics.
That vision just changed today in the Pope's homily at Santa Clara. In his homily, Pope Francis warned against an excessive rigidity, saying those within the church who tell us “it’s this or nothing” are heretics and not Catholics. So there is now a new heretic, his name is "Intolerant."
In his homily the pope reflected on the harm caused by churchmen who do the opposite of what they preach and urged them to free themselves from a rigid idealism that prevents reconciliation.
Pope Francis urged his listeners to recall how Jesus’s request for generosity and holiness is all about going forward and always looking out beyond ourselves. This, he explained, frees us from the rigidity of the laws and from an idealism that harms us. Jesus knows only too well our nature, said the pope, and asks us to seek reconciliation whenever we have quarrelled with somebody. He also teaches us a healthy realism, saying there are so many times “we can’t be perfect but carry out at least what you can do and settle your disagreements.”
“This (is the) healthy realism of the Catholic Church: the church never teaches us ‘this or that.’ That is not Catholic. The church says to us: ‘this and that.’ ‘Strive for perfectionism: reconcile with your brother. Do not insult him. Love him. And if there is a problem, at the very least settle your differences so that war doesn’t break out.’ This [is] the healthy realism of Catholicism. It is not Catholic [to say] ‘this or nothing:’ This is not Catholic, this is heretical. Jesus always knows how to accompany us, he gives us the ideal, he accompanies us towards the ideal, He frees us from the chains of the laws' rigidity and tells us: ‘But do that up to the point that you are capable.’ And he understands us very well. He is our Lord and this is what he teaches us.”
“And allow me to use this word that seems a bit strange: it’s the tiny sanctity of negotiations. ‘So, I can’t do everything but I want to do everything, therefore I reach an agreement with you, at least we don’t trade insults, we don’t wage a war and we can all live in peace.’ Jesus is a great person! He frees us from all our miseries and also from that idealism which is not Catholic. Let us implore our Lord to teach us, first to escape from all rigidity but also to go out beyond ourselves, so we can adore and praise God who teaches us to be reconciled amongst ourselves and who also teaches us to reach an agreement up to the point that we are able to do so.”
This last paragraph represents a radical departure from Catholic traditions and dogmas. Rigidity is out. Compromise is in. For the last two years, Pope Francis has exposed his social progressiveness to the world, capturing the attention of almost every nation, and certainly the attention of every progressive individual. He appears to be unifying much of the world through liberal social agendas, like Global Warming, Social Justice, and Wealth Redistribution.
Stay tuned, mates. Catholicism is now tolerant and ready to compromise. For a while, anyway.