WHEN THE POPE SPEAKS
One thing is undeniable about Pope Francis, he has caused Catholics to look again, and carefully think through, their attitudes to Papal statements and actions.
We are not talking about Magisterial statements here, but routine expressions of opinion.
Admittedly there were not so many of these from Popes in recent centuries, and when they came, they were usually only incidental to some major considered formal statement, letter or homily.But the recent , now famous at least, interview given by the Holy Father, has produced a torrent of his "off the cuff" remarks, many of which are very far from Magisterial teaching and entering into the area of statements of fact.Some have come to question a significant part of those "facts" - and those doing the questioning are those normally considered ultramontane - absolutely committed to the Pope in everything.
The point at issue is this part of the Holy Father's comments:
"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.