In the Church there is no such thing as a “do-it-yourself” attitude there is no such thing as a free agent”. How often did Pope Benedict describe the Church as an ecclesial “we”! Sometimes we hear people say: “I believe in God, I believe in Jesus, but I’m not interested in the Church…” Some believe they can have a personal, direct and immediate relationship with Jesus Christ, outside communion with the Church and without the Church’s mediation. This will not do. These are dangerous and harmful temptations. They are absurd dichotomies as Paul VI used to say. It is true that walking together takes effort and may sometimes be tough: there may be brothers and sisters who cause us problems or scandal… But the Lord has entrusted his message of salvation to humans, to all of us, to witnesses; and it is through our brothers and sisters with their gifts and their faults that he approaches us and reveals himself to us. This is what it means to belong to the Church.” Essentially, you cannot love God without loving your brothers and sisters; you cannot love God outside the Church; you cannot be in communion with God without being in communion with the Church and we cannot be good Christians if not together with all those who seek to follow the Lord Jesus, as one people, as one body.
Sounds like something one of those former popes, the mean ones would have said, can this be our Francis?
Extra, Extra, Breaking News (broken record?)! The pope is Catholic.
Now before you have the vapors, and clutch your beads, remember this -- the "Church" is God's people on earth.
Got that? God's people.
Salieri in Amadeus and Iago in Otello aside, who among us, of any or even no religion, sets himself outside of "God's people"?
It would be a remarkable, spiritually suicidal course to follow.
Who says the good God exists and I don't wish to be on His team?
Even an atheist and theophobe does not, because one does not choose to step outside of what one does not perceive to exist.