That this Pope...

San%20Francesco.jpg

Today I’m dedicating this Sunday post to a priest, one of the real ones, that stays with the people.
Just like the Franciscans, who have seen their autonomy since 1969 removed from them by the Pope.
Here is the letter from Alessandro Santoro, priest of the Piagge in Florence.

Make it happen that this Pope

Dear Holy Spirit, I’m turning to you who is the giver of life and of breath of hope for the whole of humanity because you can penetrate inside the rooms of ecclesiastical power to restore that “breath of life” and of deep compassion in the heart of this new Pope and his entourage so that they learn to listen to your voice and don’t continue, once and for all, to allow themselves to be dragged into the tactics and the intrigues of the palace and of power.

Make it happen that this Pope is bare foot, simple and humble, that he becomes a companion of the journey of life for those who struggle and who feel excluded and oppressed, as Jesus did. He chose Galilee, a place of exclusion and marginalisation. But he chose it to give life back to the world.

Make it happen that this Pope has the courage to take on the story of the others, that he abdicates from the absolute Truth that squashes and kills and that he feels the need to meet and be nourished by the Truth of the other. God has no name, he takes on the name of the faces and the stories of the marginalised of this world. No one holds the truth of God and can claim to possess it.

Make it happen that this Pope goes down to the depths of history, that he abandons the palaces of power, that he no longer lives in the Vatican, a place of curial power and that he goes back to being the pastor of all. A man among men, no longer with a triumphalist emphasis.  We don’t need a Pope with strong structures and heavy apparatus, just like the sovereigns and the powerful, but a Pope who sheds all that separates him from people. One who knows how to let go of all that makes him rich so that he can allow himself the only richness possible for the one who is a servant, the richness of humanity.

We are tired of too many jewels, too many sparkly things, too much gold that weighs down his house. The time has come for the Pope to distance himself from this farce without reason so that he learns to live in poverty without ostentation.

Make it happen that this Pope is capable of the Gospel. That he is a witness and prophet of a Gospel that is possible for all, that he knows how to weep with those who weep, laugh with those who laugh and suffer with those who suffer.

Make it happen that he is intransigent only in love and that he continues to shout out loud against all the wars in the world and that he can help us and help the big ones of the world, to consider war, wars and the arms race an absurd madness.

Make it happen that he can make war an unacceptable taboo and that he cancels the absurd hypocrisy of those, even within our Church who  maintain that it is still plausible to have a just war.

Make it happen that this Pope is capable of forgiving, that he is not afraid to recognise the violence and the violences of our religion, that he knows how to breathe into our lives and into our human communities a spirit of tenderness, because for all, whoever they are there can be a piece of bread, a caress, a hug and a true liberation.

Make it happen that this Pope doesn’t fill us u with encyclicals and documents, too many words have inked in our faith, make it happen that he grows in listening to that word of God that is the life of men and women. The only word possible to make our history alive and real is that of the Gospel.

Make this Pope charged with utopia, able to look beyond and to give us the courage to take an extra step further over, a Pope less master and more brother, less grand and more weak, less strong and more gentle less sure and more companion. Jesus dreamed and practised the dream of God, made up of a policy of justice, of an economy of equality and of a God who is fully free; make it so that in his eyes, his hands, his heart, in his stomach, in his feet, this Pope can have this same dream necessary for our weary world to regain life and “that it has it in abundance”.

Make it happen that this Pope has the courage to abandon the signs of power and that he can rediscover and allow himself the power of signs, so that our Church can rid itself of purple and it can once more dress instead in overalls, that it can abandon the comfortable conservatorisms of power and rediscover the full freedom and life of children of God.

Make it happen that this Pope once again gives space and nowness to the revolution of the Council that wanted that joys, hopes, sadnesses and anguishes of men and of the poor could become also the joys, hopes, sadnesses and anguishes of the Vicar of Christ and of the Christian communities. The big openings and the novelty of the Council have been betrayed and bureaucratised, the tension towards the new got lost in the meanderings of the closings, of the prudences and curial meanness.

Make it happen that this Pope can finally give back the space to true collegiality, to a Church people of God, to an incarnate communion, to a conversion without half measures and compromises. Give him the strength and the courage to propose a new Council where the Church can rethink itself with the true and profound contribution of all.

Make it happen that this Pope opens himself up to the idea of liberty and of responsibility, that he renounces a Church that is moralist and sessuophobic, that it can give space with equal dignity to all affective relationships, to that plural love expressed also by homosexuals and trans-sexuals, divorced and separated; and also that through them the love of God, so great and universal will once more find space in our communities, too often accustomed to simply judging and condemning and not welcoming and celebrating life.

Make it happen that this Pope knows how to recognise the indisputable value of women, because without their sensibility, their capacity to “precede us” and to love with tenderness, the Church will always remain sterile and incapable of a future.

To You Holy Spirit, the commitment to take the breath of all the little ones and of the poor of the world and breathe this light breeze of the losers and the winners into the heart of the Prince of the Church so that he can renounce the titles and the flatteries of Power and so that he can make himself worthy of the Gospel of liberty and of peace of our brother Jesus of Nazareth.

In that way we will feel him to be a companion and a friend in this adventure that is life.

Have a good journey….”

Alessandro Santoro.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:00 PM in | Comments (4)
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Dear Don Alessandro santoro

Iloved your letter.Please.get in touch
whith me.Last tim


e i sow you ,you were only 1 year old.
My E-mail is J
uracycano@aol.com

Posted by: Juracy Cano | December 12, 2005 08:08 AM


Those lovely sentiments made me want to mention the nuns that I keep on meeting here in Québec: the women who are replacing priests in the communities here. They know the realities and potential beauties of contemporary life... a very seperate reality to that of the stolidly male hierarchy.

Posted by: leonard jordaan | November 23, 2005 10:14 PM


Can I laugh out loud?

Ratzinger bare foot and humble, come on... are you serious? This would be a _real_ miracle.

And, honestly, I don't think Ratzinger is the only problem. The whole catholic church hierarchy is the problem: its blindness, its arrogance, its prevarication, its interference in the everyday's life of an entire nation, that - I would like to remember to mister Ruini & co. - is composed not only by catholics.

Pay attention: I'm not blaming the fact that the priests, the bishops and the pope give directions to catholic people, it's their job. I'm blaming them, and feeling really disgusted and humiliated as a woman and an italian citizen for this, for they want to enforce everyone to behave as they think it's the right way.

No one is asking them, and the catholics in general, to divorce, not to have children or to abort. We - the others, the atheists, the laymen, even the members of other cults - want to have the freedom to live our lives following _our_ consciences and not theirs, always in respect of the italian laws (and not the laws of some sort of theocratic foreign country).
And the italian laws have to be chosen by italian people and italian employees.

Pardon me if I made some mistake while writing, but I'm really worried about this topic.

Posted by: Monica a.k.a. Nirnaeth | November 22, 2005 01:26 PM


Lovely sentiments.
They will mean nothing to Ratzinger or to the "Holy See."

And when will the Italian Left defend the stato laico from Ratzinger and the rest of the Catholic Taliban?

Posted by: George De Stefano | November 21, 2005 03:50 PM


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