So says Pope Francis. First, this:

Asked about the liturgy, Pope Francis insisted the Mass reformed after the Second Vatican Council is here to stay and “to speak of a ‘reform of the reform’ is an error.”

In authorizing regular use of the older Mass, now referred to as the “extraordinary form,” now-retired Pope Benedict XVI was “magnanimous” toward those attached to the old liturgy, he said. “But it is an exception.”

Pope Francis told Father Spadaro he wonders why some young people, who were not raised with the old Latin Mass, nevertheless prefer it.

“And I ask myself: Why so much rigidity? Dig, dig, this rigidity always hides something, insecurity or even something else. Rigidity is defensive. True love is not rigid.”

And, in an interview with the Eugenio Scalfari, the former editor of La Repubblica and a left-wing atheist, the Pope said:

[Scalfari:] You told me some time ago that the precept, “Love your neighbour as thyself” had to change, given the dark times that we are going through, and become “more than thyself.” So you yearn for a society where equality dominates. This, as you know, is the programme of Marxist socialism and then of communism. Are you therefore thinking of a Marxist type of society?

“It it has been said many times and my response has always been that, if anything, it is the communists who think like Christians. Christ spoke of a society where the poor, the weak and the marginalized have the right to decide. Not demagogues, not Barabbas, but the people, the poor, whether they have faith in a transcendent God or not. It is they who must help to achieve equality and freedom”.

Your Holiness, I have always thought and written that you are a revolutionary and even a prophet. But it seems that now you would like the Popular Movements and especially the poor to enter directly into politics proper.
“Yes, that is correct. Not petty politics – squabbling over power, selfishness, demagogy, money – but higher, creative, politics, the politics of great visions. That which Aristotle wrote about”.

Okay.

Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired Archbishop of Hong Kong, recently had some harsh words for Pope Francis, who is reportedly pushing for a concordat with Beijing, allowing it to have some say-so over picking China’s bishops:

“Pope Francis has no real knowledge of communism,” the cardinal laments. He blames Francis’ experience in Argentina, where military dictators and rich elites did evil while actual or accused communists suffered trying to help the downtrodden. “So the Holy Father knew the persecuted communists, not the communist persecutors. He knew the communists killed by the government, not the communist governments who killed thousands and hundreds of thousands of people.” (In China it was tens of millions.)

“I’m sorry to say that in his goodwill he has done many things which are simply ridiculous,” the cardinal says of the pope. These include his approaches to both China and Cuba, the other communist state he has courted at the apparent expense of human rights. But still he’s the pope, so even if he signs a bad deal Cardinal Zen says he won’t protest once it’s done.

His message to the faithful in that case: You’re never obligated to act against conscience. “You are not bound to join the Patriotic Association. You can pray at home if you lose your churches.” An underground priest who loses his flock can go home and till the soil. “You’re still a priest anyway,” he says. “So wait for better times. But don’t rebel against the pope.”

Interesting times.

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