Sunday, January 12, 2014

Christian Ideologues

From Fr. Angelo:
In Evangelii Gaudium (84-85), Pope Francis places in opposition to the joy of the Gospel the pessimism of such prophets and says that such defeatism is an “evil spirit” which “is brother to the temptation to separate, before its time, the wheat from the weeds; it is the fruit of an anxious and self-centered lack of trust.”  But in the context of this remark Pope Francis does not mention ideology or “ideological Christians.”

Ideological Temptations

However, there is another address in which Pope Francis speaks about ideology:  his remarks to the leadership of the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean concerning he Church in Latin America (July 28, 2013).  In that address Pope Francis identified a number of “temptations against missionary discipleship,” a major category of which he entitled “ideology”:
This is a temptation which has been present in the Church from the beginning: the attempt to interpret the Gospel apart from the Gospel itself and apart from the Church.
Specific forms of ideology he mentions are the following:  sociological reductionism, psychologizing, the Gnostic solution and the Pelagian solution.  In each case there is a reduction of the Gospel to something less than itself—what Gnerre would call the ignoring of facts: the reduction of the Gospel to social justice, to self-awareness, to “a preoccupation with certain pastoral “quaestiones disputatae,” to “purely disciplinary solutions.”  These temptations are also decidedly anti-ecclesial, that is, they tend toward sectarianism. (Read more.)

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