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The Church and Politics
Diane M. Houdek
Source: Bringing Home the Word
Published: Sunday, August 25, 2013

Francis lived in a singularly Catholic culture, one that we can hardly imagine, living as we do in a country where a diversity of religious beliefs is part of our American heritage. In the time that Francis lived, the 12th and 13th centuries, the Protestant Reformation was hundreds of years in the future. Nevertheless, there were frequent disputes over questions of doctrine and ever-present problems of heresy. The papacy itself would be endangered by claims and counterclaims to the papal throne. The Church of his day was far more involved in political struggles than anything we hear in today’s news.

Francis, from the time of his conversion, threaded a path through these troublesome issues by searching the Gospels and the prayer and liturgy of the Church for a deeper, more way to live what he had always believed. He took seriously the gospel command to choose poverty and service over power and prestige, to love one’s enemies, to place love of God before any earthly desires.

Following Francis in these turbulent times can give us solid ground on which to stand, rooted in the word of the Lord.

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