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Pope Francis, Please Stop!

Posted on February 6, 2015 at 1:15 PM

Dear Pope Francis, saying whatever pops up in one's mind is very immature. Meeting someone at their level is not okay when the level is very low. Dressing "down" and acting like a buddy is not a good thing either when the liturgy and the office of the Pope suffer from it. We do not need a Pope that acts and talks like the guy next door - even in a mass. We need a sheperd that guides the Church. Someone we can look up to. At the moment the papacy is just going down. People loose respect of the Pope. Yes, you make the headlines in the newspapers, but we simple Catholics are just so sick and tired having to explain and justify all the things you said without thinking about their consequences. You were elected Pope. Please act like one.

Dear Pope Francis,

Posted on February 1, 2015 at 7:50 AM

Dear Pope Francis, I really love it when you hug babies and sick people. I also love the down-to-earth way of living and handling things you seem to have. However, when hugging becomes a substitute for sound teaching and telling the truth in no uncertain terms, when casual wear leads people to disrespect both yourself and the institution of the Pope, when the media focuses on the Pope as some sort of rock star because hugging makes good pictures and ambiguous quotes sound good in the press (even though they seem to mislead many!) and the Church centers only on you as the media hype, then this becomes a problem. Stay the way you are, but keep in mind your role and responsability as a Pope as well. Thanks.

Dear Pope Francis,

Posted on November 1, 2014 at 8:40 AM

with great concern I followed what was going on at the Bishop’s synod. In short: I was both shocked and deceived – by what happened and by what did not happen. By the way it was handled and also by your inactivity which caused even more confusion among the flock than ever before.

I say that because I love you as a father – and with you the Holy Catholic Church.

No doubt you had the best intentions, but as the saying goes: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

First, it does not make sense to publish an interim report during the conference when nothing is finally discussed and decided upon yet. All this does is leave the flock of believers confused and without direction. Many twisted what was in there for their own destruction.

But most of all you failed as a leader and shepherd. You are called to lead and guide the Church like Peter did. That includes to take over and make a stand when things are getting out of control and clarification is needed. You refused to – probably because you felt you need to let the bishops and the believers have their way – whatever it was and wherever it lead. This, however, only displays a complete lack and failure of leadership when it was most needed. Many asked you to take a stand for biblical Catholic teaching. People were looking up to the shepherd when the sheep were running around without direction in complete confusion. You did not.

I am a nobody – and yet, in God’s eyes I am somebody. As such I rebuke you like Paul rebuked Peter.

It is one thing to hug children and handicapped people. Nothing wrong with that. It is a beautiful sign for what Christ’s love is all about. It is also important to leave a luxurious lifestyle and go back to our simple roots – detached from worldly richness.

However, when grace abounds and does not find its equal counterpart in truth, it soon becomes superstition without any substance. You might be a “good person” in some people’s eyes and the media will certainly love you for the great pictures you give them, but a “good person” is not necessarily a Christian. Sometimes we are called to do things which others dislike very much – for their own good.

I had lived a “gay” life myself for many years until the Lord pulled me out of the mud over ten years ago through a Christian organization called “Homosexuals Anonymous” that I meanwhile have the honor to lead. My life changed completely for the better in many different areas and I found new meaning and purpose in following Jesus Christ. As such, I want to point out that again our voice was not heard at the synod and our mere existence seems still not to be acknowledged by the Church. People talk about same-sex attractions without having a clue of what that means for those who experience that way. At worst, they seek advice from people who are embracing a “gay” life.

Again, we are asking you – and the whole Church – to open your doors for us and to do your job as shepherd and Christians. Organizations like Homosexuals Anonymous actually need not exist if the Church and their shepherds did what they are supposed to do.

We offer help and hope that now – after what had happened at the synod – you are finally open to accept it.

May the Lord continue to bless you richly, Holy Father.

Your brother

Robert

 

May Catholics criticize Church authorities?

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Of course they may – and even should! As long as this is done respectfully and with love, there is nothing wrong with it. Quite on the contrary – submissive and passive obedience to authority has nothing to do with a mature faith. Faith and reason have to go hand in hand – and constructive criticism is a fruit of the human reason. God created us as reasonable beings. Faith without reason can become superstition, as well as reason without faith loses its foundation and final goal. Criticism helps all of us grow, so each person in authority will encourage it and see it as a positive sign that the one who criticizes thinks about what authorities say and do – and reflects upon it. We find example of this in the New Testament (look at Peter and Paul for instance). Bottom line: Constructive, respectful and loving criticism is alright as long as it does not lead us to disrespecting Church authorities and Church teaching.

Proselytism?

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 12:30 AM

Dear Pope Francis,

I read these days that you that you spoke against “religious proselytism” which in your view means talking with someone to persuade him. Instead we should respect other’s beliefs and inspire them through witness so we can grow together in communicating.

As a fellow Catholic who loves you like a father I want to respond you publicly.

You might mean well when you are saying this, but this goes so much against everything Christianity stands for I need to reply in love.

I am a cradle Catholic, but I have taken a long way till I came back to the Catholic Church. Among others I spend years with Israelis and in evangelical churches, so I am somewhat familiar with non-Catholic belief systems.

Wikipedia says “proselytism […] is the act of attempting to convert people to another religion or opinion”. How can this be wrong for a Christian?

 

Matthew 28:16-20New International Version (NIV)

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

You seem to have a great love for Evangelicals. So do I. I would even call myself an Evangelical Catholic. Evangelicals, however, pay great importance to evangelizing (or what you might call “proselytizing”). That’s something different, you might object. No, it’s not – not with regard to the Great Commission. We could discuss about the means (and here our personal witness through our words and deeds is very important), but not about the need thereof.

Sadly though most Catholics seem to have given up on the Great Commission or do not even know what that is. The common view is “live and let live” or “it does not matter what somebody believes in, they will all go to heaven”.

No, they won’t. I am not saying that all of those who have never heard of Jesus will go to hell, but from that speaking against attempts to convert people is a whole lot different.

Look to Jesus and His apostles: They gave their lives to convert other people who previously adhered to pagan beliefs – or to Judaism. That is exactly what “proselytizing” is all about. Saint Paul was even chosen for this reason – the disciple of the most important Jewish rabbi in history that became a follower of Jesus to reach out especially to the non-Jews.

I am afraid that what you said will confirm people in the erroneous belief that it does not matter what people believe in and that evangelizing (or however we might call it) is something we don’t do anymore.

Jesus did not talk about the small and the wide gate for no reason. Neither was his warning that nobody will come to the Father unless through Him just something one needs to see in a different light today.

It is not up to us to decide who will go to the Father and who not. However, it IS up to us to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.

Dear Pope Francis, I respect you and I love you – but there is someone I respect and love even more: Jesus. Therefore I call you to clarify your position so people will not be lead astray.

Some might laugh and say who is this guy that he dares to tell the Holy Father what to do?

I am nobody – and I am everybody. Jesus died for me as He died for each one of us. In His eyes we are all at one level – God’s children. As a brother in Christ – with the full responsibility and authority thereof – I call you to follow Jesus’s Great Commandment and teach others how to do that.

 

In brotherly love,

 

Robert Gollwitzer

July 30th, 2014

 

(Sources: http://www.ucatholic.com/blog/10-secrets-for-happiness/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proselytism)

Are Catholics forbidden to criticise the Pope?

Posted on July 30, 2014 at 2:50 PM

No way! The Pope himself encouraged journalists to do so. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with him and saying so publicly if this is done in love and with respect. What Catholics must not do, however, is pick and choose which of the Church teachings they obey and which they can forget about. That would be cafeteria Catholicism.

Open Letter from an Ex-Gay to Pope Francis

Posted on May 29, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Dear Holy Father,

my name is Robert. I am 46 years old and a Catholic (even though it took me a little detour to come back to the Catholic Church). My past is not as bright and shining as that of others I guess: I used to embrace the “gay” life for many years until the Lord set me free about ten years ago with the help of a Christian ministry called Homosexuals Anonymous (www.homosexuals-anonymous.com).

The reason I am writing you today is because I love you like I loved my earthly father who passed away 20 years ago and because I believe you can get things going where others stay silent.

I am so thankful and feel so blessed that the Lord brought me to Homosexuals Anonymous. The people there did what actually the Church should do: They loved me enough to help me out of my gay life and (back) into the Church. I now serve the Jason Ministries (http://jason-online.webs.com), an international Christian ex-gay ministry affiliated with Homosexuals Anonymous.

Having received Christian truth, love and care abundantly, I firmly believe that many others could find help as well through our services and the organizations we are working together with – if the Church only let us. Considering the many factors that contribute to the development of long-term and predominant sexual and emotional attractions towards the same sex, we do not help people with same-sex attractions (wrongly called “homosexuals” at times – there is only one sexuality and that is the God-given one!) by staying passive and silent or even encouraging them to embrace a “gay” life. Yes, ministries like ours are being attacked and usually put into a radical corner. But then again – they nailed the Son of God onto the Cross, so why should they treat His followers any differently?

Holy Father, soon the bishop’s synod on family will start. Please give us a chance to make our voice heard and love others with unwanted same-sex attractions with the same unconditional love Jesus has for us.

From what I get to read in the media, you also reach out to “people like us” and you seem to have a heart for us as well. Maybe you even give us a chance to talk to you in person? I am sure you will hear many voices of “gay”-affirming people – wouldn’t it be good to hear the voice of freedom too?

I really hope and pray you will be able to read this letter and it will touch your heart like God touched mine years ago.

With brotherly love,

Robert

Robert Gollwitzer

Ridlerstr. 21

80339 Munich

Germany

Phone: +49 (0)89 78018960

Email: free32@gmx.de