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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pope's Ten Tips for Happiness Leave God Out

Did anyone find this as bizarre as I did?

Pope Francis Issues Top Ten Tips for Happiness

Yes, it's from another interview...this one in the Argentine weekly Viva.  (Translated by Catholic News Service)

From the article (slightly edited):

1. “Live and let live....Move forward and let others do the same.” 
2. “Be giving of yourself to others....if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.” 
3. “Proceed calmly” (in life).

4. A healthy sense of leisure. The Pope said “consumerism has brought us anxiety”, and told parents to set aside time to play with their children and turn of the TV when they sit down to eat. 
5. Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have Sundays off because “Sunday is for family.”  
6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people. “We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs” and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said.

7. Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation “is one of the biggest challenges we have,” he said. “I think a question that we're not asking ourselves is: 'Isn't humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?'” 
8. Stop being negative. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, 'I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,'” the Pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.” 
9. Don't proselytise; respect others' beliefs. “We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyses: 'I am talking with you in order to persuade you,' No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytising,” the Pope said. 
10. Work for peace. “We are living in a time of many wars,” he said, and “the call for peace must be shouted."
Where is God in this list? Isn't Sunday for God first? Where is Christ Jesus? Is condemning evil or scandal a "negative thing" that must be let go? Are we no longer an evangelical Church sent forth to "make disciples of all nations. Baptize them 'in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit?'" Has the divine commission been abrogated? No wonder so many Catholics today are confused.

Reading this list made me shake my head. It sounds like something you'd find in the Self Help aisle at the bookstore or an interview with a psychologist or something Rodney King said, "Can't we all just get along?"

And I can't help wondering what St. Paul would say about not trying to persuade people to embrace Christ. Weren't all of Paul's apostolic journeys directed toward conversion? Aren't we an evangelical Church? Didn't St. Francis of Assisi go to the Sultan to preach conversion?

All I can say is it's no wonder Pope Francis is so popular among the dissenters. He sounds so much like them.


Mary's Child Mariann said...

I am, most of the time, informed, inspired, and grateful for your blog. But, I would have to disagree with your having written this one. (I was blasted for doing this on another, so I realize I am opening myself up for the same blasting here...I wish they wouldn't, though.)

I went to the link you provided. It did not provide a link to the actual interview. Instead information it had "extracted" originated in a CNS selection of possibly the actual article that resulted, perhaps, from a translation of an interview with Pope Francis.

So, first, to title your blog post "Pope's Ten Tips for Happiness Leave God Out" doesn't necessarily follow because:
(1) What question was the Pope asked? What if the interviewer said, "We know what you would say to Catholics, but what 10 tips would you give to the world in obtaining happiness?" So, we lack data here in order for your title to hold water, I would think.
(2) Also, we have many quotes, from you, from The Independent, CNS, but we certainly don't have the fullness of the Pope's quotes which may dilute and even alter his meaning.

Second, I see many who are quick to criticize Pope Francis. I was one who was until I was called on it. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ, and, as faithful Catholics, we pray and recognize that we are not to haphazardly be critical. Our first and foremost concern regarding our Pope is to pray that He remains powerfully faithful to the Truth, the Dogma of the One True Faith. Let us strengthen others in the Faith -- we must not diminish another's Catholic Faith nor those seeking to enter the Church by unnecessary criticisms of the Holy Father.

Anonymous said...

Good Housekeeping couldn't have said it better. (sarc!)

phil dunton said...

I think we know.his agenda, after all he's a modern day Jesuit. The only positive I can think of regarding Francis is that he's old.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Well, I certainly won't blast you and you raise some legitimate points. I'll see if I can find the full interview. My daughter also called to disagree with my posting and I always listen to her attentively because she is sensible and wise. She thought posts like this encourage distrust and lead to discouragement. We bantered back and forth. I agreed with some of her points and disagreed with others, but urged her to comment. She said she didn't want to argue on the blog, but I said it might give nasty posters an example of how one can argue in the Socratic sense without having to attack each other. If you find a link to the full interview I'd appreciate you posting it here.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Below are two links - one to a more complete text of the interview in Spanish. I could not get it to translate. I read a little Spanish, but not well enough to understand everything. I'll have a fluent friend go over it. The second link is to a National Catholic Register article on the interview.

There's also a video of a portion of the interview but I found it on a site I don't link to because they are insulting to the pope. So I understand what you are saying, Mariann. Some of the criticism is over the top. I'm not sure I agree this post was. Everything I've seen seems to confirm the relative accuracy of the reporting (including Vatican radio's reporting), but I will certainly reflect on your (and my daughter's) comments.

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

Mary Ann, here's my post from two months ago
The source I cited was Zenit.

Mary's Child Mariann said...

Thank you both (Mary Ann K. and Restore D.C.) That source does give a fuller picture, I believe, of Pope Francis' interview. It really is funny that 2 of the 3 blogs I read (Thinking Catholic or vice versa being the 3rd) blogged about this interview yet 2 months apart. I guess I'd just like to reiterate that you both do a marvelous work. I encourage you both to continue the battle for the One True Faith, for Christ's bride, The Church. I also encourage you to use an extraordinary amount of caution before blogging on our Pope (particularly since he does not speak our language). Continue to pray for him, and open your heart to however God may want to move you. As for the U.S. Cardinals, Bishops, or dissenting Priests/religious, KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT! You both have my prayers for your success (meaning, a cleansed Church).

Thanks for all you do, and may God bless you and all of your loved ones!

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thank you for the prayers, Mariann, and I will take what you say to heart. The Synod has been a real source of concern especially the direct and implied criticism of those who defend orthodoxy as "legalistic" and "rigid." We all need to pray hard for the Church and her leaders. It is hard to believe that some of the hierarchy believe ALWAYS and EVERY TIME that the answer is to further water down the teachings of the Church. I'm afraid a result of the Synod will be a year of expecting the teaching on admitting the divorced and invalidly remarried to Communion with the same result as Humanae Vitae -- orthodoxy upheld and Catholics ignoring it.