Pope Francis is a media darling, taken seriously in an unbelievably high number of theological and political circles, and the guy can’t stop talking about the devil, sin, grace, and…well…Jesus.
For too often, however, Church leaders and theologians feel like we must translate our perspective into a foreign language to be heard in the public sphere. It is time to stop doing this and regain our theological confidence.
I’ve given reasons for taking this approach before, but if you read this week’s piece written by Matthew J. Dowd, chief political strategist for ABC News, you may find several more. After referencing the Latin Mass of his youth as being the critical voice inside his head after the election (“mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”), he explained:
I should have followed St. John of the Cross and held a place of the unknowing: where truth doesn’t come as much through the head, as from the heart and the love we show others. And thus as I said my biggest blunder was in how I treated people of differing opinions.
And once you pick yourself up off the floor from hearing John of the Cross mentioned in this context, you’ll be blown away by Dowd’s deep sense of his own sin:
And so I as a human being and sinner myself must move through that journey. I have expressed regret and responsibility in the immediate aftermath of the election, but do so again here as clearly and directly as I can. I don’t blame this on bad polling, or bad data, or misinformation. I own this and I am accountable. Just me, and I regret how I acted towards others along the way.
Read the whole thing. And then follow his lead in bringing theology into public discourse. Especially in this moment, it is so badly needed.