The Jesuit priest who conducted a lengthy and revealing interview with Pope Francis which ran in Jesuit publications around the world has said that despite reports in the secular press to the contrary, Pope Francis reiteration of the Church’s teaching on moral issues, specifically abortion and same-sex “marriage” remains very clear. Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, made his remarks to Catholic News Agency today in reaction to his interview with Pope Francis. Father Spadaro’s conversation with the Pontiff is the most detailed portrait of the Holy Father yet given.
The portrayal of the interview in much of the secular media reads like some kind of created alternate reality as opposed to reportage of the truth. However, the secular press can’t entirely be blamed for that. The Holy Father is speaking from a Catholic perspective and basing his remarks in a deeply-rooted theology that has as its roots the notion that the Church exists to call sinners to the one who can save them. Since the secular media has no concept of that message, they can’t understand that what Francis is really doing is pleading for pastors to be merciful as Christ is merciful.
“When he talked about these kind of topics, he said (that) what the Church has to spread is the message of the Gospel. This is the first one, the message of salvation. This message can reach anyone, most of all sinners. This is a different vision,” Father Spadaro told CNA, “what the Pope has in mind, in my opinion, was just to explain what the Gospel is. I got so many messages from people from outside the Church who said ‘I am very deeply moved now by the Gospel. I need to read the Gospel.’ This is the big effect, this is what the Pope had in mind.”
“I don’t have to interpret the Pope. The words are there. It’s absolutely clear. He said, 'I am a son of the Church.' This is the attitude of the Church: to be able to stay with people who are bound in soul and body. We have to live in the frontiers. This is what the Pope cares about. It doesn’t matter if you are very far from the Church or if you are not living as the Church says. The important thing is that the Church can reach you where you are, exactly in that place. That is just a starting point. You can grow up in the faith,” Father Spadano said.