Gary Nelson: Francis is, at heart, a Catholic Christian

December 14, 2013 

Regarding “What is the real face of Pope Francis? Right would dislike Jesus, too” (Issues & Ideas, Dec. 8): As a convert to Catholicism, I learned that the church does not accept simple binary classifications of truth such as: either liberalism or conservatism, either capitalism or communism. In the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, it rightly criticizes the excesses of both. Its stance is best characterized as accepting all that is true within any human scheme, and rejecting that which does not promote or correspond to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

If one were to attempt to put Pope Francis into a category, it would best be defined as “Catholic Christian.”

The church has taught for many centuries that there is only one foundation of truth, and that truth is a person. But what that person said and taught requires some study and understanding. A simple course in Catholic social doctrine would look something like this: Each and every human being is made in the image and likeness of God. This gives every human a dignity that calls for them to be loved, and never to be used as an object by another person. The family, not the individual, is the basic building block of a healthy society. And what flows from this is life.

GARY NELSON

Modesto

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