New Sighting of Prodigal's Older Brother

As I noted the other day, Pope Francis doubled down on his "who am I to judge?" question in a recent sermon at the Domus. His sermon, at least what we gleaned from the excerpts, was another example of his so very needed exhortation to the followers of Christ to stop wagging our fingers at people, to love people, to accompany people, and a pastor's recognition that severe judgmentalism is one way to break the bond between pastor and flock and a theologian's recognition that judgment is reserved to God. The sermon was deeply moving. But, it moved me differently from the way it moved Fr. Zuhlsdorf who, in this commentary, picks the pope's words apart in an effort to gut them of their obvious meaning and, in the process, evidences on-going currency of the Master's warning about trying to remove a speck from our brother's eye while a big log is stuck in our own. And, in a meme we have heard elsewhere, Zuhlsdorf begins with this observation about the pope's magisterium:

The Pope used again, on 17 March, the phrase “Who am I to judge?” in an informal, off-the-cuff context: his daily fervorino at his private Mass during which he says nothing that forms a part of his Ordinary Magisterium.

Here is the older brother in the story of the prodigal, unable to comprehend his father's mercy, indignant, self-justified and so, so pompous.

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In This Issue

December 2-15, 2016

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