So says ex-senator and GOP presidential candidate and devout Catholic, Rick Santorm.
To be fair, he was responding to the recent comments Pope Francis made about contraception and declaring that faithful Catholics need not procreate “like rabbits.” But, in reading the article I get the sense that there is more to Mr. Santorum’s discomfort than these most recent remarks by the Pope.
Sometimes the Pope is difficult to listen to.
Like when he challenges the opulent lifestyle of church leadership.
And, like when he said, “Who am I to judge.” when asked about homosexuality.
And, like when he said there is no Catholic God.
And, like when he would like a church that is poor and for the poor.
It is always easy (too easy) to hope and to expect religious leaders of any persuasion to tell you what you want to hear and to reinforce those ideas and stereotypes with which we are already comfortable. While that may be easy, that is not the witness of the Christian gospel which, time and again, stands counter to cultural norms and expectations.
Jesus reminds us that the forgotten are to be included in the community.
And, the hungry are to be given a place at the table.
And the stranger is to be welcomed.
And, if we take Jesus seriously it turns some part of our world upside down.
(Or, as a friend of mine would remind me, right side up!)
I am glad Francis reminds us of this.
Sometimes it is very difficult to listen to the Pope.
But while Rick Santorum shakes his head in uncertainty,
I say Thank God.