Commentary: Pope Gets to the Essence of the New Evangelization

SAN FRANCISCO, October 20, 2013 (National Catholic Register) --If we limited ourselves to reading headlines in the mainstream media about Pope Francis’ interview published in America, one could have formed the impression that he was directing the faithful to stop promoting the truth about marriage in the public square.

The following headlines represented well the media’s immediate response to and characterization of the Pope’s interview:

"Pope Francis Tells Church to Stop ‘Obsessing’ Over Gay Marriage (Mediaite).

"Pope Bluntly Faults Church’s Focus on Gays" (The New York Times).

"Pope Francis: Church Can’t ‘Interfere’ With Gays" (CNN).

"Pope Francis: The Church Needs to Mellow Out on ... Gay Issues" (San Francisco Chronicle).

If we take time to read the full interview, however, we will find there is no truth to this. On the contrary, the Holy Father is teaching us how to evangelize, and his message is particularly important for those committed to the evangelization of culture for marriage and family.

Pope Francis is cautioning people against falling into the trap of moralism: that is, the temptation to reduce Christianity to simply an ethical system where faith — divorced from the message of salvation and the encounter with Christ — is understood as mere obedience to law.

Pope Francis’ teachings on the essence of Christianity are strikingly similar to those of Pope Benedict XVI.

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