Cast the first stone

This reading is in support of the St Thomas mission to support the Year of Faith and the Emeritus Pontiff’s call for mission.

Frederic R. Coudert, who at the time was the Ambassador to China from the UK, wrote to a friend and concluded his letter with a rather banal remark, "that we were living in an interesting age." In his return mail he wrote: "Many years ago, I learned from one of our diplomats in China that one of the principal Chinese curses heaped upon an enemy is, 'May you live in an interesting age.'" "Surely", he said, "no age has been more fraught with insecurity than our own present time."

The year was 1936. I wonder what he would say today?

For those of you who follow Czech Politics, we feel we have seen it all, right up until the next scandal, then it somehow manages to go one step beyond what we thought possible.

A very similar event has been occurring with our new Pontiff, His holiness Pope Francis. It seems that whatever he mutters, even in private has a way of becoming the new direction of the church, or a new definition of what being Christian means.

Two of the recent quotes in particular highlight the absurd world of press coverage and sensationalizing that we seem find ourselves in.

On Vatican radio Pope Francis was leading a discussion on the virtues of salvation. He stated that Christ died and was raised for everyone. As Father William loves to quote “He is risen! Praise be to God”. Is it a surprise to anyone that when God made us in his image and sent his only begotten son as a sacrifice for the world, that he meant all of us in the world?

He was then asked if this applied to Atheist. He explained that in addition to faith and belief, we all had to prove our faith through deeds, actions and live our lives as Christ’s example. We were obligated to be humane, to treat others as we would like to be treated, to do what we can for our fellow man, to help those who need help and make the world a better place for our children. These things are given to us in various bible verses; they are divine. Christ spoke similar words and teachings several times in scripture.

Are these principles exclusive to the Catholic Church? Christianity? Should we turn our backs on those who are practicing his teachings in their own ways? There are arguably millions of people in the world today that have not seen a Church, not alone a Catholic Church; they haven’t read a bible or heard the teachings of Jesus Christ. Did the commentator expect our Holy Father or Jesus himself to deny Heaven to those who have not had the opportunities and blessings that we have had.

We strain to get up on the Sunday morning in order to receive the blessing of coming to such a beautiful church, receive wise teachings from a fantastic priest, and to worship in the rights that have developed over 2000 years of our church.

A week or so later, speaking in Spanish and in a private meeting, Francis said: "in the Curia, there are truly some saints, but there is also a current of corruption." "There is talk of a gay lobby and it's true it exists. We will have to see what we can do," Francis added.

Who among us did not think that there were homosexuals in the church? There are studies that have been conducted over the last 60 or 70 years and if we believe them, they will tell us that somewhere between 5 – 15% of our population is homosexual. It is only natural that this or possibly more may be attracted to the priesthood.

So what is the question? That our Holy Father was honest and brave enough to recognize reality?

For myself, I am much more worried about his comments about the “Current of corruption”. Will he be the one to reform us? They say that the first step of revision is recognizing a problem exists.

As for who will and will not get into heaven or if the gay lobby in the church is or is not keeping their vows of chastity, I will choose to leave judgment to the one who told us he will return to judge us.

When Christ told the hostile crowd “ Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”; I believe he set an example that is worthy of following. God’s house; our house of worship is for all of us; believer and non-believer. It is a house for those who are sinners, which the last time I counted only left one person out of humanity in the past 2000 years.

We most certainly do live in interesting times…

God Bless