Open letter to Pope Francis
Dear highly esteemed Pope Francis,
Your pastoral initiatives and their theological justification are currently under vehement attack by a group in the church. With this open letter, we wish to express our gratitude for your courageous and theologically sound papal leadership.
In a short time, you have succeeded in reshaping the pastoral culture of the Roman Catholic Church in accordance with its origin in Jesus. Wounded people and wounded nature go straight to your heart. You see the church as a field hospital on the margins of life. Your concern is every single person loved by God.
When encountering others, compassion and not a legalistic narrow interpretation of law shall have the last word. God and God’s mercy characterize the pastoral culture that you expect from the church. You dream of a ‘church as mother and shepherdess’. We share your dream.
We ask that you would not veer from the path you have taken, and we assure you of our full support and constant prayer.
Together with Tomas Halik (Prague, winner of the Templeton Award, 2014) I [Prof. Paul Zulehner] have launched an initiative in favor of Pope Francis. It is a public letter (www.pro-pope-francis.com) that was released on October 17, with the possibility to sign it, and support the message. As can be seen on the website, we have carefully selected Bishops, Cardinals, theologians and public personalities and invited them to sign this message. For those who wish to subsign, a registration sheet can be asked by contacting email@example.com, or you can directly sign on the webpage: www.pro-pope-francis.com.
European Society for Catholic Theology