-by Rev. Jeff Gannon
I am fascinated by Pope Francis. Many of you have heard me speak of how God is using this man to bring solidary to those who follow Jesus, regardless of their denominational affiliation or the lack thereof.
Recently, Pope Francis did something that has not been done before in the history of Christianity. He convened an informal gathering of Christian pastors – Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Anabaptist (Mennonite, Brethren, etc.). On purpose, it was an event by design to not be “media noticed.” Pope Francis did not want the media attention to take away from the hard work of dialogue and compromise.
As a result of this gathering, we have seven teachings which reflect the Via Christi – the way of Christ.
- Life and dignity of the human person
- A human being is always sacred and inviolable.
- Call to family, community and participation
- Give up the way of arms and go out to meet the other in dialogue, pardon, and reconciliation.
- Rights and responsibilities
- Today, we must say ‘thou shall not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.
- Option for the poor and vulnerable
- Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and the promotion of the poor.
- The dignity of work and the rights of workers
- Work is fundamental to the dignity of a human being.
- We all have a responsibility to act so that the world be a community of brothers and sisters who respect each other, who accept their diversity, and who take care of one another.
- Care for God’s creation
- We are losing the attitude of wonder, contemplation, listening to creation. The implications of living in a horizontal manner are that we have moved away from God.
I close by quoting Pope Francis, “Social teaching is a common ground where people of various faiths can come together to promote the common good.”
The Spirit of the living God is at work to produce a new Pentecost – a coming together of various tongues with the ability to understand and appreciate each other!