Pope Francis: “The average person must remain secular”

Pope Francis has firmly rejected the “clericalization” of secular Catholics. “The clergy is the worst thing that can happen to the Church, worse than in the days of corrupt popes,” he told the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano on Sunday. Francis spoke of a “highly contagious disease” that harms the Church when it affects priests, bishops or cardinals. The Pope said, “Even worse are the acquired laymen. They are an epidemic in the Church. The layman must remain a layperson.”

“I dream of a church without a seminary,” said Francis, referring to the French theologian Henri de Lupac (1896-1991), who also influenced Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI. According to Francis, de Lupac warned the clergy with the concept of “spiritual secularization”. This is “infinitely more disastrous than any moral secularization”.

We are angels with only one wing.

Francis reaffirmed his desire for a popular church. He said: “The church must go out, it must be among the people.” “We are angels with one wing,” the Pope added. In order to fly, you have to cooperate with others.

Francis defended his reform policy against accusations single-handedly. What he has done in his tenure so far is nothing but the fulfillment of the Cardinal’s demands on the occasion of the 2013 conclave. He spoke of a “conciliar action” in which he also listened to the general Catholic public.

Regarding internal tensions, Francis said that the Church “is not an orchestra in which everyone plays the same role.” Difficulties have not prevented him from sleeping in the past ten years. The Pope said, “Sometimes I read completely made-up accounts. Often things are much simpler than they appear from the outside.” Monday marks the tenth anniversary of the Argentine papal election. (gho / KNA)


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