Therefore, here are some guidelines to avoid misunderstanding Pope Francis. First of all, don’t believe the headlines. Headlines are designed to grab your attention, not to communicate the story accurately. Don’t believe the website headlines. Don’t believe the blog headlines. Don’t believe the Facebook headlines. Don’t believe the newspaper headlines.
Secondly, try to get your news about the Catholic church from reliable Catholic news sources like Aleteia, Catholic News Service and ZENIT. These online sources may not be as exciting as sensational blogs, salacious Facebook stories or tabloid gossip, but they will use reporters who understand Pope Francis and the mission of the Catholic Church.
Thirdly, make a real attempt to get to know Pope Francis as he really is—not as the media presents him. There are plenty of good biographies on Francis and plenty of good books with his speeches, homilies and writings. Try to understand his cultural, religious and political background. Take time to understand how the turmoil of events in Argentina during his lifetime have formed his spirituality, his teaching and his pastoral role in the church. Most of all, get to know him as the shepherd of souls, the compassionate pastor and the loving Holy Father. Remember who he is and who God has called him to be.
Finally, remember to really pray for Pope Francis. As you do you will come to understand him in the deepest and truest way. The Holy Spirit will show you how to understand Pope Francis and why he has been chosen at this time to lead Christ’s Church on earth.
Read Fr Longenecker’s blog, browse his books and be in touch at dwightlongenecker.com
Why Do So Many Misunderstand Pope Francis?
AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca
Fr Dwight Longenecker - published on 05/20/15
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