After reading this story, I really got a boot out of St. Paul this week - begging people to overlook his foolishness.
He's feeling henpecked.
I imagined him faithfully preaching and teaching the Gospel, offending people as it always does, but going through a period of unguarded thoughts, words and actions - and early Christians having just about enough of him.
Frustrated with their impatience, he reminds them that the truth is in him and he's gone out of his way not to ask them for food, sheleter and the things he needs. He reminds them of the great love that he has for them.
What is a little foolishness amoungst people who love each other.
But when you start saying things that would make our children think that uniting with the local priest and bishop who is demoralizing his community is more important than doing what it takes to get him to stop, we're moving from foolishness to dangerous for our children's salvation.
You don't keep dangerous men who have been ordained in their positions and then tell the faithful unifying with them is more important than finding a priest who will unify them to the truths that teach them the difference between the truth and lies, right and wrong, what is angelic and what is demonic.
I take that back.
You can, but given where we are in history, it just isn't going to fly with those of us who somehow managed to survive it and are trying to keep the people they love from being sucked into the vortex of false shepherds.
I'm not convinced that's what Pope Francis was saying, but when you're the Pope, syntax and context matters and you've got to choose your words very carefully to disarm the enemy who is standing by just waiting for us to say and do something stupid so he can run with the ball to feed the nitwits.
When it comes to privately sharing a prayer with a Jew or a Christian in the midst of something you are working on or towards, knock yourself out. I've done it in the past and will continue to do it.
Catholics are literally the custodians of the Divinity of Christ's Body and Blood. We don't do anything that would give anyone the impression that we are among a shmorgasboard of religions that are equal.
A responsible person wouldn't pray with a neopagan whose god is the dirt and water, a witch or a political faction who call their ethnic cleansing of Christians a 'religion'. Any more than we would hold a public prayer service with Hitler a few miles away from the concentration camp where he was burning Jews in the oven.
Participate in a civic gathering where we all stop quietly to pray for our country's safety but invitations to interfaith prayer services in a place of worship should be declined. Especially by a Pope.
I was still trying to process the above when I read this witness that obedience is for the birds, even in the most sacred of moments.
Here, you guys hold this and I'll whistle Dixie.
Give us a break.
If you want unity, you need to be a witness you're not going to tell our chilren that following the instructions of Joan Chittister or Bryan Hehir should be more important to them than truth.
Kick it up a couple of notches there Paul.