Catholic World News

Pope decries ‘rigid’ and ‘rationalistic’ theology

April 24, 2017

In his homily at a morning Mass on April 24, Pope Francis said that the Holy Spirit enables believers to “go forward along the parth of the Spirit without compromise, without rigidity.”

The Pope said that some Christians appear to believe that “the Word was not made flesh, it was made law.” He said that Church history is marked by struggles against a “rationalistic mentality,” characterized by “a theology of ‘yes, you can; no, you can’t.’“ This attitude, he said, violates “the liberty of the Spirit, the rebirth of the Spirit that gives liberty.”


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  • Posted by: rickt26170 - Apr. 26, 2017 1:33 AM ET USA

    Pray for the Church.

  • Posted by: feedback - Apr. 25, 2017 9:22 AM ET USA

    The Canon Law provides a safety net built of the Gospel and Sacred Tradition. When individual interpretation of "mercy" becomes confused, or corrupted, or is used as a loophole to justify a conduct opposite to the teachings of Christ, then the Law of the Church offers a proper Catholic point of reference. It would not make any sense for the Pope to attack the Canon Law. "The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple" Ps.19

  • Posted by: claude-ccc2991 - Apr. 25, 2017 4:39 AM ET USA

    This just in from our Lord and God: "He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me" (Jn 14:21). If Pope Francis is aiming for irrational theology, then congratulations, mission accomplished! To be serious, Jesus never criticized the Pharisees for obeying Divine Law. He criticized them for corrupting it into self-serving manmade traditions (e.g., "corban", Mk 7:11), which is precisely what Francis is doing.

  • Posted by: Sulpicius - Apr. 25, 2017 1:45 AM ET USA

    After reading the Vatican Radio article (to which this article refers) I'm more confused than ever. Francis repeatedly praises the "concreteness" of our Faith. In my experience, concrete is a fairly rigid substance. I just don't know what to make of this.

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Apr. 24, 2017 9:25 PM ET USA

    There he goes again with his feel good theology. There are rules we follow based on Christ's teaching. It would seem to be more rational to follow His rules than the Pope's feel good theology whatever the flavor of the day. He needs our prayers to get the blinders off.

  • Posted by: ALC - Apr. 24, 2017 6:43 PM ET USA

    In the immortal words of Ronald Regan, "There you go again." What is it with this Pope using the word rigid when he talks about anyone who sees things a little differently from him or who wants to actually retain Church teachings.

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Apr. 24, 2017 6:41 PM ET USA

    I started to make a snarky remark about this short news item and then I read the longer version. It so confused my humble powers of understanding that I realized it was better to remain silent.