The pope states the obvious, but will it make a lasting difference?
Pope Francis has made yet another enemy today with his new statement on faith and ideology. During Wednesday’s mass, the Pope took serious issue with Christians who turn their religion into an ideology. He explained that Christianity becomes ideology when there is a lack of prayer. The Pope said that the “Christian ideology” is a sickness within the Church. He claims ideology makes people “hostile and arrogant,” frightens followers, and scares people away from the Church.
Undoubtedly, such words will anger many conservative Americans who are already feeling shunned by the Pope’s statements last month on contraception and abortion. Many fundamental Christians in America equate Christianity to their political ideology.
Political candidates often form their platforms based on their faith’s perspective on social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and sex. Look no further than the race for governor in Virginia, where two Republican candidates are running faith-based campaigns. Yet for many wayward Catholics, the Pope’s words may be an invitation back to a Church slowly becoming once again recognizable.
At this point it is hard to know whether Pope Francis’s emphasis on a personal relationship with faith will create long-lasting change. His fresh perspective may become nothing more than a brief moment in the religion’s long, static history.