Part 1: In new interview, Francis pushes for a church big on mercy, tough on law / National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis has offered his most detailed outline yet for the role of the Catholic church in the modern era, saying in a new book-length interview (published in three parts) the church needs to follow Jesus’ example more closely and seek to ‘enter the darkness’ in which many of today’s people live.

“The pontiff has also responded sharply to church leaders who have criticized his focus on the boundless nature of God’s mercy and who suggest that the focus obscures church teachings.

“Francis compares such criticisms to ‘angry mutterings’ that Jesus also heard ‘from those who are only ever used to having things fit into their preconceived notions and ritual purity instead of letting themselves be surprised by reality, by a greater love or a higher standard.’

“In the new book, titled ‘The Name of God is Mercy and to be released Tuesday (Nov. 12), the pope states: ‘Jesus goes and heals and integrates the marginalized, the ones who are outside the city, the ones outside the encampment. In so doing, he shows us the way.'”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story. Also by Joshua J. McElwee, “Part 2: The Pope’s personal encounters with mercy” and “Part 3: Francis explains ‘who am I to judge?'”

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