A Guided Meditation

1b66c4f33289d343a73a914c3452ce7cI wrote this for one of our youth ministry gatherings.
If you can have someone else lead you through this, stop now and do that.
Otherwise, take your time through this exercise and don’t read ahead.


Our spiritual and mental abilities are gifts from God.  This includes our memory, intellect, and emotions, just to name a few of them.  During this exercise, we will utilize the gift of our imagination.

Take some time to quiet yourself, making room for the Spirit.

If distractions arise, ask the Lord to hold on to it for you so you can let it go.

Focus on your breathing or your heartbeat to help you do that.  Something automatic and repetitive.

If you are reading this to yourself, close your eyes during the pauses to keep your focus.

Imagine your are standing on the cobblestones of a courtyeard outside a big European style cathedral on a warm sunny day.  The cathedral is tall, made of stained glass and stone. In front of you are two massive double doors.

 

You walk toward the doors.  As you do, a man with dark, tanned skin approaches you.  He introduces himself as Paul.  “Follow me, I want to show you something.”

 

As you get close to the doors he stops, looks up and says, “This building gives me such hope.  Long ago, God was seen as so distant, but through Christ we have churches like this everywhere as a reminder of just how close God has come to us.” Turning toward you, “So close, even, that people laid hands upon Him and killed Him.  It truly is remarkable.  Anyway, what I want to show you is inside.”

 

He pushes the massive door open with great ease.  The church is huge and open.

 

Multi-colored lights stream through the windows, a baptismal font serenely trickles, you hear quiet chanting from up near the tabernacle.

 

“I love walking in here.  Can you feel it?  Can you hear it?  It is peaceful.  This peace points to Christ.
He is our peace.
He brings peace to creation and humanity.

He has carved out a space where we can all gather.  Where everything that we are can encounter all that is good, beautiful, and true.”

 

He leads you further into the cathedral, under the tall vaulted ceilings and warmed by the lights from the stained glass windows.

 

He directs your attention to the stained glass windows. They are the tallest you’ve ever seen.

 

“Look, do you see that window?

 

Glassblowers made rock, sand, and broken glass into these good and beautiful works of art that proclaim the truth of God’s love for us.  So to God blows His breath into us.  He holds every one of us in hands, each of us a colored piece of glass, with our own brokenness.  Yet, he bring us together in a good way, to make a beautiful work of art, proclaiming His truth.

 

Each shard belongs.

 

Each piece essential to completing the image.

 

All the glass, whether it is a blade of grass, Jesus’ toe, filler in the sky, or Christ’s heart is illuminated by one and the same sun.  So to, we are all made radiant by the same Spirit.

 

No longer are we discarded shards, but we properly belong to the whole.

 

Beautiful in our own right as we capture the rays of the sun, purposeful as we are built into the walls of the Church, and so good as we tell the story of Christ with our lives.

 

I once reminded the Christians of Ephesus, that: ‘You are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ himself as the capstone.  Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord.’

 

This window reminds us of that.

 

Like us, it only finds its true purpose when it is for Christ.  Christ is working in us, to make us a church of people not of walls.  Wherever you go, He wants you to bring the Spirit of God with you.  Like a piece of glass that can bring the rays of the sun with it.

 

You belong here.

 

You are meant to stand alongside disciples like Francis, Mary Magdalene, Maximillian, Theresa, Oscar, Thomas, even Peter and me.

 

You are a piece of colored glass.

 

Will you allow the Father to bring you into His image?

 

Will you let the Son wash you clean and hold you in place?

 

Will you let the Spirit fill you and shine through you?

 

Will you be like a piece of glass in this window?” He says as he slowly backs away leaving you looking at your window.

 

 

Reflection:


What did your stained glass window look like?

I invite you to talk to someone or journal about what it looked it like.  As well as:

  • Does that have a connection to your relationship with Christ?
  • How does that image speak to you?
  • Are there ways that you resist being part of that image?
  • What do you find encouraging about this metaphor?
  • In what ways do you struggle with it?

Feel free to offer comments below and share this or use it if you found it helpful.

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Claim 2: The “Roman” Catholic Church is not the Church

A Note: It is one thing to engage with and argue against the evidence and claims of the Catholic Church.  That is a respectable position that opens the door for dialogue.  It is another thing entirely to label them unprovable without argumentation, especially as an easy historical case could be made that the burden of proof rest upon the one in protest.

1. Apostolic Succession

Challies quickly inserts his presumptions into his argumentation without offering any evidence. He begins with assumptions, argues with them, and concludes with them. At least he partially understands succession, “Rome claims to trace her lineage in an unbroken line that extends all the way back to the apostle Peter…” He continues, “I do not recognize such lineage and, therefore, do not recognize such authority. Her claims are unprovable and represent a distortion of the Bible’s claims about Christ’s church.” What Mr. Challies, the sola authority, is really saying is, “I disagree with her, therefore she isn’t the church,” exercising a disabled cognitive ascension in differentiating between a subjective and an objective truth. The logic looks akin to, “Since I can’t be convinced of Her claims they are obviously unprovable. If they were provable, I would have to admit I am wrong and She is right.  So, She is not the Church.  She actually is so much not the Church that She is a false Church, though, I can’t actually identify the true Church. Why? Because R.C. Sproul said so.”

He claims it to be “unprovable” without evidence. So let us provide him with some evidence. “If it is archaeological evidence he wants, he can turn to John Evangelist Walsh’s The Bones of St. Peter, which recounts in detail the excavations under the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica. If he wants literary or historical proof, he can turn to a reference work such as Jurgen’s The Faith of the Early Fathers, which quotes sixteen passages from early Christian writers attesting to Peter’s being in Rome and dying there. In fact, we have more sources citing Peter’s presence in Rome than we have affirming Caesar’s crossing the Rubicon”. [18] And if it is proof of succession he desires, the names are listed in any encyclopedia. The second pope “was Linus, as a few moments’ research would have shown”. Challies “made no effort to look at even plainly secular sources (forget Catholic sources) in developing his critique”. [19]

Jurgen’s The Faith of the Early Fathers, even goes on to quote the Church Fathers in saying, “Peter established his See at Rome and made the Bishop of Rome his successor in the primacy” [20].

The authoritative role that Peter is given is evident when he receives the keys of the kingdom, after being promised by the Faithful God that the Church would be built upon him.  This is the fulfillment of the prophecies in Isaiah 22:20-23; “On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah I will clothe him with your robe, gird him with your sash, confer on him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. I will place the key* (Key: symbol of authority; cf. Mt 16:19; Rev 3:7) of the House of David on his shoulder; what he opens, no one will shut, what he shuts, no one will open. I will fix him as a peg in a firm place, a seat of honor for his ancestral house.”

These said servants, typologically point (foreshadow, as in “Adam is a type of Christ”) to Peter as steward of the kingdom. The servant is not the King Himself, but his Vicar.

Near the end of the second century, Irenaeus mentioned that Matthew wrote his Gospel, “while Peter and Paul were evangelizing in Rome and laying the foundation of the Church”.  He said the two departed from Rome, perhaps to attend the Council of Jerusalem, and he noted that Linus was named as Peter’s successor – that is, the second Pope – and that next in line were Anacletus (also known as Cletus) and then Clement of Rome. [21]

…Peter was first in authority among the Apostles. When they were named, Peter almost always headed the list (Mt. 10:1-4; Mk 3:16-19; Lk 6:14-16; Acts 1:13); sometimes it was only ‘Peter and his companions’ (Lk 9:32). Peter was the one who generally spoke for the apostles (Mt 18:21; Mk 8:29; Lk 12:41; Jn 6:69), and he figured in many of the most dramatic scenes (Mt 14:28-32; 17:24; Mk 10:28). On Pentecost it was he who first preached to the crowds (Acts 2:14-40), and he worked the first healing (Acts 3:6-7). And to Peter came the revelation that Gentiles were to be baptized (Acts 10:46-48). [22]

And sometime after Simon’s new name is given (name changing is certainly not a meaningless gesture in Jewish culture), is he not promised, “Whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19). “Here Peter was singled out for the authority that provides for the forgiveness of sins and the making of disciplinary rules”. [23] For where do we go when someone needs disciplined on account of licentiousness? Are they privately summoned before the Bible (which, by historical fact, was not in existence yet), or are they to be summoned before the authority of the Church (Mt 18:15-17)? It is not the Bible that is “the pillar and bulwark of the truth,” but the Church (1 Tim 3:15). Jesus did not institute or promise a book – but a Church.

A quick resource, Peter the Rock, by a former Southern Baptist, who found his way Home to Jesus’ Church.  For a thorough examination of the Papacy, see Stephen Ray’s book, Upon this Rock (I’ll buy it for you, amlewis937@gmail.com).

Jesus came to establish One Church, One Body, and One Bride, not 30,000+ denominations; He is not a polygamist. To remove the institution of the visible organic Body from the Head, for an invisible body (bodies aren’t invisible) or “Churchless Christianity,” is to participate in the beheading of Jesus. This is not so in the Catholic Church. We are not a people of a book, like the Muslims. We are a people of a Person.  A Person whose body is the Church and whose word is repeated through the ages by that Church in the Holy Writ and Sacred Tradition. The Bible did not slide down a rainbow; it was authoritatively canonized nearly 400 years after Jesus established the Church and gifted to us by the Church councils who themselves received it as custodians, not masters. Which leads us to ask, who was the authority during this time? Sola scriptura, by mere logic, reason, and historical data, holds no weight.

Challies reasons as if, The Lord poured out His Spirit, which will lead us into all truth, at Pentecost, then, He waited 1500 years to bless His “underground Church” with the supreme mediators Luther and Calvin.

Challies maintains he adheres to Protestantism because of R.C. Sproul; I converted to the R.C. Church because of Jesus’ faithful calling, promises, and New Covenant. Challies Christianity is traced to R.C. Sproul, mine, for two millennia back to the Patristic Fathers, The Apostles, and Jesus.

The article does eventually get around to quoting someone (without citation), yet, the subjectivism in no way supports his claim. The quote by, Leonardo De Chirico, places salvation emphasis on “personal relationship with Jesus (nowhere in the Scriptures or Tradition) and reading the Bible (excluding the illiterate and the first 400 years of Christians). This man accepts the New Testament written, compiled, closed, and given to him by the authority of the Church, yet, ironically uses his subjective interpretation of the Bible to reject the Church; how does he not view this as a contradiction of objective truth? The quote further demonstrates Evangelicalism’ inability to define what in fact is an objective Christian.

Next Post:
Claim: Catholic Worship is Idolatrous (Part 1)


18. Keating, pg 91-92.
19. Ibid.
20. Ibid.
21. Ibid, pg. 203.
22. Ibid, pg. 205.
23. Ibid, pg. 207.

Response to “Why I am not Roman Catholic”: Intro

Co-Authored by Adam Lewis and Spencer Hargadon

For about a week Adam Lewis and I will be putting out our response to this article: “Why I Am Not Roman Catholic”.  We will be snail mailing this to the author as well as it is the most efficeint way to reach him.

Intro:

Challies’ article quickly falls into typical errors and accusations commonly found within some forms of Protestantism.  Among them is the temptation to define his beliefs by articulating what he is against (Protests), rather than a profession of a universal (Catholic) creed and tradition.  These are his own words, “In this series I am exploring some of the things I do not believe as a means to explaining what I do believe” (Challies, “Why I Am Not Roman Catholic”). The response that follows is not an attack on Challies’ character (ad hominem) or a questioning of his devotion to the Lord.  In actuality, it presumes that he and his subscribers are of such character and devotion that they would not desire to bear false witness.

Let’s begin with the title. The title “Roman Catholic” is widely used in both the secular and religious world.  It is a title that can be used with no intention at all or, unfortunately, is used as a pejorative.  A kind of religious bigotry that largely comes from Protestantism’s Eurocentric worldview. Challies’ frequent use of “Rome” as interchangeable with the Catholic Church is reminiscent of the latter.  While the earthly Pastor of the Catholic Church is the Bishop of Rome, it is misleading to name all Catholics “Roman”. In the West, we are predominantly of the Latin (Roman) rite, however, there are over 25 rites (stylistic differences in worship, different ways of approaching Church disciplines, and diversity in theology, but unity in Doctrine), including Greek, Byzantine, Maronite, Coptic, and Syromalabar to name a few [1]. We are, after all, God’s universal Church…

The article is riddled with errors, however not all will be addressed since not all claims seem thoughtful enough to merit a response. For example, when Challies refers to “church history,” apparently it’s all the way back to the glorious ancient days of John Calvin and his murderous theocracy at Geneva. He also throws in (lacking a single footnote or example) the “long saga” of Protestantism’s fight against the Church. Hopefully, he does not intend to side with Albigensianism [2], which had such poor gnostic theology on the body that suicide was encouraged. This is the point, these appear to be scarecrow tactics as Challies creates a plethora of broad sweeping false dichotomies without precise definitions or clarity of his own personal theology. Thus, it is unreasonable to respond to all the false accusations, and quite difficult. Not because the fullness of Truth is on his side but because he never actually makes a solid or precise claim for himself, other than, “I was raised that way”. With an attempt at precision, we defend reasonableness, research, objective truth, and Our Lord’s Church, by confronting the major false accusations.  We hope to do so with, “gentleness and reverence, keeping [our] conscience[s] clear” (1 Peter 3:16).

As this work is co-authored we both contributed to one another’s efforts, but Mr. Hargadon was directly responsible for Claim 1 and the Appendix, and Mr. Lewis took on Claims 2 & 3.  Any personal ‘I’ statements found in those sections is indicative of that person.

Next Post:
Claim 1: Catholicism Denies the Gospel (Part 1)


1. https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/catholic_rites_and_churches.htm
2. Keating, Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The Attack on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians”, pg 45.

Temptations of a Heady Christian – Evil Stepmother

This was the scene today.  Bess and I were in the kitchen talking about something inane, like how we are going to spend our weekend?  (its all a formality, we are going to spend it tired, chasing children, and lamenting how quickly it is passing… such is parenthood).  Anyway, mid-conversation crying starts from the other room.  My sister-in-law Mercy says, “He bonked his head on the table,” and Ignatius comes trotting into the kitchen holding the back of his head crying.  I, the closer of the two parents, crouch down and open my arms.  Iggy, cuts hard to the left, jukes my attempts at comforting father and gets swept up in Bess’ motherly embrace.  Immediately, she is all, “It’s okay honey.  You are all right sweetheart.  I’m here snookums, sugar lips, etc, etc.”  Ok, maybe not the last one, but the whole scene got me thinking (note to self: the tendency to have theological musings as your child is in pain might be why he chooses mom).

tremaineSee, I think one of the temptations that heady Christian’s face is that we are bad at expressing the emotive motherly church that ‘loves on’ her children.  We’re really good at talking about love and defending that love sometimes need to be firm (which it does!).  However, as a heady Christian, I frequently skip the step my wife offered my son so well.
It is easy to be more like the evil stepmother than the loving mother.  Let me offer examples of one vs the other:

A child bonks his head playing under the table.
Comes to the evil-stepmother crying:  “Well I’ve always told you not to do that.  Guess you learned your lesson. I was only telling you no because I loved you.”
Comes to loving mother crying: After comforting the crying child by loving on him, she says, “Honey, I’m sorry you bonked your head, but this is why you aren’t supposed to play under there.”

Am I crazy in thinking this is analogous to the ways we, as the Church, can approach those hurt by their own sin?  Certainly there is the mother who doesn’t discipline or correct and we need to avoid that extreme, but that is hardly the heady Christian’s temptation.  No, we are more likely to fall into the trap of correcting before comforting and relying on our statement of love to suffice instead of consciously expressing love.  We are tempted to take a detached, “What did you think would happen?” attitude, instead of accepting that sometimes we don’t think, or at last not rationally.

The Church is a mother, and like any parent she needs to be able to correct and guide her children, but she also needs to know that sometimes they need to get through their tears before they’ll open their ears.

 

QotD – Mama Ecclesia – 05.20.2016

Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: “We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation.” Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith. …  As a mother who teaches her children to speak and so to understand and communicate, the Church our Mother teaches us the language of faith in order to introduce us to the understanding and the life of faith. (CCC 169-171)

This is the Church: a mother who has at heart the good of her children.  And since we are the Church, we are called to live this same spiritual, maternal attitude towards our brothers and sisters, by welcoming, forgiving and inspiring trust and hope. (Pope Francis, March 9, 2014)

He’ll do the Rest

Saturday in the Octave of Easter

Scripture Readings

The movement in today’s gospel is fascinating.  Through this movement Mark captures important truths about salvation history, discipleship, and evangelization in this one short passage.

First, the circles of people in this passage are ever widening.  The Risen Christ is initially only known, according to Mark, to Mary of Magdala.  Then he becomes present to the two on the road, followed by the apostles, and finally the whole world.  This progression, which reflects the ever-expanding covenant of God, beautifully captures what we need as disciples.

So what do we need?
We need the personal encounter and prayer life of Mary Magdala, one that goes to Him at first light.
We also can’t survive without close, vulnerable, brother and sisterhood on this journey.  Like the two disciples mentioned, we walk the road together and there needs to be a close person who can hold us accountable.
However, we are also meant for something larger than just a pair of us.  We need the larger more diverse community, just as the Apostles needed one another.
Finally, we need the world to share the Gospel with.
A disciple needs: a prayer life; to be nurtured in a small intimate setting; to be a part of something bigger; and finally a mission.  This mission is always somehow evangelistic: through word, deed or example.

This sense of mission is seen in the way that each person goes from their encounter with the Lord to telling another about Him.  Notably, those who know a lot Jesus, the disciples, are not excluded from being witnessed to.  None of us outgrow the basic proclamation of the Gospel!  We should take heart when we pay attention to the initial results these first evangelists saw.  They weren’t believed right away.  The mission is not to force another into belief, nor is it a promise to always see our successes.  Instead, it is a challenge and a command to share authentically and let God do the rest.  Some seeds are planted deep in the earth and take forever to surface.  That’s ok, even the apostles didn’t believe at first.  Then the Risen Lord encountered them, confirming all the others had told them.  We must be honest, authentic, and obedient to our call.  He’ll handle the rest.

– Spencer Hargadon

Things that got ‘Trumped’ in Papa Frank’s Interview

He said bishops that move pedophile priests should resign:

OK, I’m going to start with the second. First, a bishop who moves a priest to another parish when a case of pedophilia is discovered is a reckless (inconsciente) man and the best thing he can do is to present his resignation. Is that clear?

He called for applause for Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI):

I allow myself to honor the man who fought in moments when he had no strength to impose himself, until he managed to impose himself. Ratzinger. Cardinal Ratzinger deserves applause. (applause) Yes, applause for him. He had all of the documentation. He’s a man who as the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had everything in his hands. He conducted all the investigations, and went on, went on, went on, until he couldn’t go any further in the execution. But, if you remember, 10 days before the death of St. John Paul II, in that Via Crucis of Holy Friday, he said to the whole Church that it needed to clean up the dirt of the Church. And in the Pro-Eligendo Pontefice Mass, despite knowing that he was a candidate, he wasn’t stupid, he didn’t care to “make-up” his answer, he said exactly the same thing. He was the brave one who helped so many open this door. So, I want to remember him because sometimes we forget about this hidden works that were the foundations for “taking the lid off the pot.”

He likened pedophilia committed by a priest to cannibalism:

And, the final thing I would like to say that it’s a monstrosity, because a priest is consecrated to lead a child to God, and he eats him in a diabolical sacrifice. He destroys him.

He said he would give Trump the benefit of the doubt:

We must see if he[Trump] said things in that way and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.

He respects the privacy of a closed door discussion:

Patriarch Kirill. I would prefer – because if I say one thing, I have to say another and another and another. I would prefer that what we spoke about, us, alone, will remain only what we said in public. This is a fact. And if I say this, then I’ll have to say another and another…no! The things I said in public, the things he said in public. This is what can be said about the private conversation. To say it, it wouldn’t be private. But, I tell you, I walked out of it happy, and he did too.

(I otherwise don’t understand the significance of his comments regarding Patriarch Kirill, Ukraine, and Sviatoslav Schevchuk.)

He identified his opinion with the mind of the Church:

And what I think [on the subject of adoption by civil unions and therefore on the rights of children and of sons and daughters in general] is what the Church thinks and has said so often – because this is not the first country [Italy] to have this experience, there are so many – I think what the Church has always said about this.

He spoke strongly against abortion:

Abortion is not the lesser of two evils. It is a crime. It is to throw someone out in order to save another. That’s what the Mafia does. It is a crime, an absolute evil. On the ‘lesser evil,’ avoiding pregnancy, we are speaking in terms of the conflict between the fifth and sixth commandment. Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape.

Don’t confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion. Abortion is not a theological problem, it is a human problem, it is a medical problem. You kill one person to save another, in the best case scenario. Or to live comfortably, no?  It’s against the Hippocratic oaths doctors must take. It is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil in the beginning, no, it’s a human evil. Then obviously, as with every human evil, each killing is condemned.

Discriminated between abortions and avoiding pregnancy:

On the ‘lesser evil,’ avoiding pregnancy, we are speaking in terms of the conflict between the fifth and sixth commandment. Paul VI, a great man, in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape. … On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one, or in the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear. I would also urge doctors to do their utmost to find vaccines against these two mosquitoes that carry this disease. This needs to be worked on.

(What’s all this about? Contraceptives? Really?)

He has called for the Church to value Marriage Formation more:

As another is the preparation for marriage. Imagine, to become a priest there are eight years of study and preparation, and then if after a while you can’t do it, you can ask for a dispensation, you leave, and everything is OK. On the other hand, to make a sacrament (marriage), which is for your whole life, three to four conferences…Preparation for marriage is very important. It’s very, very important because I believe it is something that in the Church, in common pastoral ministry, at least in my country, in South America, the Church has not valued much.

Challenged the idea that Communion was some kind of reward:

This is the last thing. Integrating in the Church doesn’t mean receiving communion. I know married Catholics in a second union who go to church, who go to church once or twice a year and say I want communion, as if joining in Communion were an award. It’s a work towards integration, all doors are open, but we cannot say, ‘from here on they can have communion.’ This would be an injury also to marriage, to the couple, because it wouldn’t allow them to proceed on this path of integration. And those two were happy. They used a very beautiful expression: we don’t receive Eucharistic communion, but we receive communion when we visit hospitals and in this and this and this. Their integration is that. If there is something more, the Lord will tell them, but it’s a path, a road.

Taught about the importance of healthy friendships between men and women (even celibate men):

I already knew about this friendship between St. John Paul II and this philosopher when I was in Buenos Aires. It was known. Also her books are known. John Paul II was a restless man. Then, I would also say that a man who does not know how to have a relationship of friendship with a woman – I’m not talking about misogynists, who are sick – well, he’s a man who is missing something.

And in my own experience, including when I ask for advice, I would ask a collaborator, a friend, I also like to hear the opinion of a woman because they have such wealth. They look at things in a different way. I like to say that women are those who form life in their wombs – and this is a comparison I make – they have this charism of giving you things you can build with. A friendship with a woman is not a sin. (It’s) a friendship. A romantic relationship with a woman who is not your wife, that is a sin. Understand?

But the Pope is a man. The Pope needs the input of women, too. And the Pope, too, has a heart that can have a healthy, holy friendship with a woman. There are saint-friends – Francis and Clare, Teresa and John of the Cross – don’t be frightened. But women are still not considered so well; we have not understood the good that a woman do for the life of a priest and of the church in the sense of counsel, help of a healthy friendship.

He spoke about well-formed consciences and cited the Catechism in regard to voting for ” laws about unions among people of the same sex.”

[E]very Catholic parliamentarian must vote according their well-formed conscience. I would say just this. I believe it is sufficient because – I say well-formed because it is not the conscience of ‘what seems to me.’ I remember when matrimony for persons of the same sex was voted on in Buenos Aires and the votes were tied. And at the end, one said to advise the other: ‘But is it clear to you? No, me neither, but we’re going to lose like this. But if we don’t go there won’t be a quorum.’ The other said: ‘If we have a quorum we will give the vote to Kirchner.’ And, the other said: ‘I prefer to give it to Kirchner and not Bergoglio.’ And they went ahead. This is not a well formed conscience.

On people of the same sex, I repeat what I said on the trip to Rio di Janeiro. It’s in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

He invited journalists to study Our Lady of Guadalupe:

And I invite you to seriously study the facts of Guadalupe. The Madonna is there. I cannot find another explanation. And it would be nice if you as journalists – there are some books that explain the painting what it is like, the significance, and that is how you can understand better this great and beautiful people.

He loves his mama:

This I asked a lot for, but then, the things a child tells his mother are a bit of a secret.

(Quoting extensively from Catholic News Agency’s Full text of Pope Francis’ in-flight interview from Mexico to Rome)