Probably the most notable statement in Pope’s speech held on August 12, was related to our addiction to work. “We know that millions of men and women, even children, are slaves to work, putting the human work into the economic grind”. We live in an extremely greedy and shallow society, which values material earnings over moral virtues, slowly succumbed by the everyday struggle for survival.
Pope Francis has held his Weekly General Audience last week and has spoken of a new phase in a series of reflections of the family. He has touched three specific dimensions of family life: work, prayer and celebration.
He stated that first of all, celebration is utterly important, as we can all see it in the biblical passages of creation. God himself has chosen to rest from his work on the seventh day of creation.
Francis is at the same time an active environmentalist ever since he has become the leader of the world’s Catholics. He diversifies his discourse with statements related to the systematic exploitation of the poor and the wasteful use of nature’s resources, he promotes the values of family life, stating that there’s more to our existence than mere work and incessant endeavors to become materialistically rich and he promotes tolerant behaviors over catholic divorcees.
Although those who remarry after a previous divorce are denied Communion or other sacraments because they are essentially thought to be living in sin and committing adultery, the Pope declares that those cases of individuals are welcomed in the Holy House of God, just as other people are.
During Pope’s discourse, moments of celebration and rest were the main focus. He underlined the importance of rejecting a profit-centered mentality, encouraging families to live life at a more human and warm pace.
At the same time, divorced Catholics who remarry, as well as their children surely deserve a much better treatment from the church. Pastors are advised to stop treating these examples of couples as they were being excommunicated.
Opinions on the matter are contradictory, as there must be envisioned a new manner to translate compassion into a real world policy. Cardinals and others officials in the church are already facing a split while one fragment has argued for creating a process by which such Catholics can formally repent on their action so they can be allowed again to receive Communion. This is far from tolerant behavior, as such people could rather be guided to a healthier way of life, from a spiritual point of view. Repent and punishment embitter the heart and make us more vulnerable, intolerant and repressed.
As Pope Francis tries to raise awareness on family values, the world goes on living at a fast pace, counting their money and spending long hours in their cubicles, thinking of new ways to make profits. The catholic perspective over humankind could be a general approach to life rather than a religious aspect that holds on to a certain doctrine. No matter if it comes from Catholics, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists or agnostics, the fact that we must cherish our lives more and chase money less, is a valuable and progressive perspective over the world.
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