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Morality Isn”€™t “€œYou Can, You Can”€™t”€

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Morality Isn”€™t “€œYou Can, You Can”€™t”€

Morality isn”€™t “€œyou can, you can”€™t”€ or “€œyou must, you must not,”€ says Pope Francis in a book-interview with French researcher Dominique Wolton. The Holy Father says that he “€œfears”€ “€œrigidity”€ and he hopes that Pastors won”€™t reduce their preaching to morality “€œunder the belt.”€

On September 1, 2017, Le Figaro Magazine published excerpts of the work “€œPope Francis: Meetings with Dominique Wolton: Politics and Society”€ (Editions de L”€™Observatoire), whose publication is scheduled in France for September 6.

In the course of a dozen private meetings at the Vatican, the Holy Father addressed the question of “€œmorality”€ with the sociologist. One cannot teach morality, he stressed, “€œwith precepts such as “€˜you can”€™t do that, you must do that, you must, you must not, you can, and you can”€™t.”€™”€

Morality is a consequence of an encounter with Jesus Christ, he explained. It”€™s a consequence of the faith for us Catholics. And for others, morality is a consequence of an encounter with an ideal, or with God, or with oneself, but with the best part of oneself. Morality is always a consequence. “€œ

The Reductio of Morality “€œUnder the Belt”€

The Pontiff puts preachers on guard against the “€œgreat danger”€ of a morality that only condemns “€“ I ask your pardon “€“ that “€˜under the belt.”€™”€ However, the other sins, which are the most serious “€“ hatred, envy, pride, vanity, killing of another, taking life … there isn”€™t much talk of these,”€ he notes.

Recalling also the question of Communion to divorced persons who have remarried, the Pope contests the “€œfixed”€ and “€œrigid”€ norms. He gives Pastors this advice: “€œSpeak then with the divorced man, speak with the divorced woman, receive, accompany, integrate, discern!”€

He points the finger at the “€œtemptation of the Church”€ to pronounce herself in terms of “€œthey can”€™t do this”€: “€œBut no, and no, and no! This type of interdiction is what one finds in Jesus”€™ dramas with the Pharisees. The same! The greats of the Church are those that have a vision that goes beyond, those that understand. “€œ

“€œBehind every rigidity, there is an inability to communicate . . . it”€™s a form of fundamentalism. When I come across a rigid person, especially a young one, I say to myself immediately that he”€™s sick . . . I fear rigidity. I prefer a disordered youth, with normal problems, who is enervated . . . because all these contradictions will help him grow.”€


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