27Jul “Kick up a fuss!” — Pope Francis in Rio

On Thursday, Pope Francis spoke to young people from Argentina at the Cathedral of San Sebastian at Río de Janeiro. No doubt there was plenty of noise. He did not encourage them to be quiet! Instead he said:

“Let me tell you what I hope will be the outcome of World Youth Day: I  hope there will be noise.  Here there will be noise, I’m quite sure.  Here in  Rio there will be plenty of noise, no doubt about that.  But I want you to make  yourselves heard in your dioceses, I want the noise to go out, I want the Church  to go out onto the streets, I want us to resist everything worldly, everything  static, everything comfortable, everything to do with clericalism, everything  that might make us closed in on ourselves.  The parishes, the schools, the  institutions are made for going out … if they don’t, they become an NGO, and  the Church cannot be an NGO.  May the bishops and priests forgive me if some of  you create a bit of confusion afterwards.  That’s my advice.  Thanks for  whatever you can do.”

Well, that is what the English translation gives (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/speeches/2013/july/documents/papa-francesco_20130725_gmg-argentini-rio_en.html). Read the whole speech. It’s also in Spanish, Portuguese, German, French and Italian translations.
There’s video on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwF6eTYbz18. The speech starts at about 10 mins 30 secs into the video. If you have Spanish, you can get the original flavour.

But he spoke in Spanish (he was speaking to his people from Argentina). Probably playing on “Río”, he used the word “lío” five times in that paragraph, where it is translated “noise” three times; then “make yourselves heard”; the “confusion”. He said “Espero lío. Que acá adentro va a haber lío, va a haber. Que acá  en Río va a haber lío, va a haber. Pero quiero lío en las diócesis … Que me perdonen los  Obispos y los curas, si algunos después le arman lío a ustedes, pero.. Es el  consejo.” It seems to me he was both playing on words and stirring them up! Perhaps someone who has Spanish can comment, but it seems to me that he is not just telling them to make noise, but that he wants them to really kick up a fuss! The English translation makes it sound weaker. Look at his apology to bishops and priests: he does not retract at all. He is encouraging the young lay people not just to kick up a fuss in civil society where values are unjust, but he asks them to be the same in the Church, where the Church tends to be closed in on itself. He wants them to disturb the peace of any settled ways in the Church which mean that the gospel is not being lived. He didn’t say “if some of  you create a bit of confusion” in Spanish; he said, “if some create a fuss for you. That’s my advice.”

He went on to say: “Please do not water down (licuen: liquefy) your faith in Jesus Christ.  We licuen fruit – orange, apple, or banana juice, but please do not drink a liquefied form of faith.  Faith is whole and entire, not something that you liquefy.  It is faith in Jesus.  It is faith in the Son of God made man, who loved me and who died for me.  So then: Make yourselves heard (Hagan lío); take care of the two ends of the population: the elderly and the young; do not allow yourselves to be excluded and do not allow the elderly to be excluded.”

He said it to “LOS JÓVENES ARGENTINOS”, the youth of Argentina, but if it’s true for them, it’s true for every member of the Church. The giant which is the full membership of the Church is being shaken awake.

Now, where in Ireland is that giant? “May the bishops and priests forgive me if some of  you create  lío, a noise, a fuss, afterwards.  That’s my advice.  Thanks for  whatever you can do.” Don’t be shy. Don’t let anyone deter you. The world needs you. The Church needs you. Ireland needs you. Make yourselves heard!

Can we get him here to give not a parish mission, but a mission to the whole Church in Ireland?

Pádraig McCarthy


22 Responses

  1. Darlene Starrs

    I really thank you Padraig for this submission as Pope Francis’s words are stirring. I am left with a few questions….When he speaks about going ahead and kicking up a fuss and kicking up a fuss in church, would that include endorsement for the ACP?, for the ACI?, for We Are Church?, for Catholics of Renewal?, and finally, for Helmut Schuller? Would kicking up a fuss also include the women religious of the U.S, the LGBT?, and finally, once again, would kicking up a fuss endorse women like myself who have been critiquing the institutional church and clericalism for a very, very, long time?

  2. Eddie Finnegan

    One of his friends asked Mahatma Gandhi: “Babaji, have you any clue what it costs us to keep you in poverty?” I think, in the film, Dickie Attenborough gave the line to Pandit Nehru.
    There must be a few honest Vatican folk, both inside and outside the Santa Marta guesthouse, who feel like asking: “Papaji, have you no p(a)lace of your own to go to? Or have you no idea of the price we pay to keep you in this poverty you’ve suddenly become accustomed to?”
    Now with the latest rumble in the amazonian jungle, or “lio en Rio”, there’ll be a few episcopal heads snuggling less cosily into their feather pillows, a few raymond burkes clinging tightly to their signatura cappae magnae, a few charlie browns wondering if a couple of Reek Sunday scrambles will save them from the wrath to come (“Croke Patrick, fall upon us!”)
    But, like Pádraig above, I like the man’s sure touch and his wordplay. I look forward to his standing in the sanctuary of Seán&Eamon’s Cathedral in Armagh, calling on Ardmachian Youth to bring a touch of Armageddon down on the hills and vallelys 🙂 🙁 of the Primatial City.
    And Darlene@1, would you ever try to hitch your hobbyhorse to the Franciscan bandwagon by being a little less self-referential/reverential? Give over your “critiquing” and get out and kick up a real racket, a fuss, a noise, a lio en Rio, en Edmonton, en Tattyreagh Glebe or wherever.

  3. Darlene Starrs

    Actually, Eddie, I have been enjoying the marvellous sunshine and and contemplating the spectacular scenery in and around Ardara. I’m really not much ‘self’ anything…Let me rephrase, if that will be clearer….I am just one of the many voices of critique for a very long time….that have “kicked up a fuss”, but, I’m fairly certain that such a fuss making has not been appreciated or heard and I’m thinking/wondering, if Pope Francis would or would have endorsed this “kicking up a fuss” now, or when I was a very young woman!

  4. Paddy Ferry

    Darlene, you must make your way down from Ardara to Dungloe this week for the “Mary from Dungloe” International Festival. It really is the place to be this week in Donegal. There will be Marys arriving in Dungloe from many parts including the USA. I am coming home to the Rosses myself on Thursday. It would be great to meet for a chat. You have made such a great contribution to our ACP site.

  5. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    So the Pope’s advice to the youth of the world is to resist anything that is of material value or ordinary life. To take a societal stance against the equilibrium that prevents change from taking place. Stand up against the power of the clergy when it is excessively strong. The Church can not become an NGO. She should represent all its parishioners. Is that what he means? Looks like the PI and the ACP and AUSCP have all taken his advice long before he made it publicly aware. Congratulations gentlemen. A sermon like this is certainly another notch in your belts if you respond to what it is His Holiness is saying.

  6. Wanderer

    After reading some of his speeches I see this man likes to ‘kick ass’. In a good way of course. 🙂 Good for you Francis !!! Those on the margins, the streets and who don’t go to Church are ‘the VIPs at the table of the Lord’.

    Can’t help liking this man.

  7. pew view

    I wonder if people are over-interpreting the statements of Francis in Rio ? He said the faithful need to kick up a fuss in parishes and dioceses (rightly so): he did not advoate a storming of the Vatican or Papal office or Curia. Where doctrine is concerned it is plus ca change (and rightly so). Kicking up a fuss to kick our clergy into even first gear should keep everyone busy.

  8. Joe O'Leary

    “Would kicking up a fuss also include the women religious of the U.S, the LGBT?”

    No, he has restated the definitive exclusion of women from the priesthood, and his remarks on gays, though pastoral in tone, deplore gays organizing to lobby for their rights and reassert the unacceptability of homosexual acts.

    The pope is using a typical conservative ploy — forget about bourgeois concerns with women’s and lgbt rights and go out and worry about the real problems.

  9. Eddie Finnegan

    You know what I’m going to tell you, I believe this new pope is a Catholic after all.

  10. Wanderer

    I don’t get the impression from reading here that the ‘gay lobby’ in the Vatican is about LGBT rights. Rather their own.

    And more confusion. Was he speaking about gay priests or gay people generally ? The last Pope said people with deep seated homosexual orientation should not be admitted to holy orders, priesthood/religious life (?) – attempting to scapegoat for the abuse crisis.

    Is Francis speaking about a gay person sincerely seeking the Lord – as someone considering priesthood, religious life or gay people generally ?


  11. Wanderer

    If he is speaking about gay clergy only. I take back what I said earlier. Actually it’s just heaping BS on the hill load of BS already there.

    Let the whore-mongers in the Vatican live as they please – as long as they are not wearing badges to say they are living double lives.

    God forbid sincere and good people try and live good and sincere lives.

    Like I said – BS.

    Way to go yet, Francis.

    Long way.

    Won’t be waiting. 🙂

  12. roy donovan

    Yes, as the late John O’Donoghue wondered – “why so much unconscious fear of women and the feminine in the Church”? It’s like thunder in the air so tangible is this fear. There has been a lot of conditioning and brain washing over so many centuries that makes it impossible for most of us to give equal validity to women’s experiences of life and of the divine to that of men.

    On the subject of change, and at the risk of offending everybody over 40!; it seems to me that you need to be in your 20s or 30s to have the energies to bring about big changes in systems; were not most of the women and men who founded religious orders in their 20s & 30s. I think many of the leaders of Buddhist groups in Ireland are mostly in their late 20s/ 30s. Jesus of Nazareth was 30 when he started and were not a lot of his companions in their 20s?! Do we not need some inspired person in their late 20s/30s to lead the Catholic Church!! Choosing ‘aged’ leaders in the Church is dubious. Why not become Pope at a young age for about 7 to 10 years. Let’s face it, the present Pope as fresh as he is, has not the energies to face into the women question and it’s massive repercussions! I am being the Devil’s advocate but a Church that is not attracting young people in their late 20’s/30’s into active participation and leadership is not going to set the world on fire!

  13. Mary O Vallely

    I have to admit that I agree with J O’Leary@8. I cannot understand why the Pope can tell us that the door is firmly shut on women’s hopes for ordination. With God surely there are no doors shut?
    The Pope’s attitude to gays is softening, thank God. To anyone still harbouring the view that to be gay is unnatural, what could be more unnatural than the sight of hundreds of bishops in billowing white robes on Copacabana beach or that long line of white chasubled men circling Armagh cathedral at our coadjutor bishop’s recent ordination and filing in to fill the wide (and very beautiful) altar space and not a woman to be seen! Perhaps many of you will disagree with me but a more unnatural sight I never saw. It disturbs me deeply and yet I hang on in the hope -no, the knowledge – that some day this will change. Keep the hearts up sisters and brothers. 🙂

  14. Martin Mallon

    Joe, do not dismiss the intentions of Pope Francis so quickly. He highlighted, in the same article that he mentions the definitive exclusion of women from the priesthood, that “we don’t yet have a truly deep theology of women in the church.” He has also stated “Let us not reduce the involvement of women in the Church, but instead promote their active role in the ecclesial community.”

    A theology based on this last statement would be an interesting development, especially as a “definitive” statement is not an infallible statement.

  15. Nuala O'Driscoll

    roy donovan @12..’why so much unconscious fear of women and the feminine in the Church?’..please never stop asking this question.

  16. Soline Humbert

    ” We don’t yet have a truly deep theology of women in the church”
    I totally agree: The present official church structures and teachings on women are based on faulty, flimsy arguments, including the teaching on the exclusion of women from ordination. Can a truly deep theology emerge from setting aside new findings, closing doors, refusing dialogue, silencing, marginalising and threatening with excommunication? Where is the respectful and deep listening to what the Holy Spirit has been doing in the lives of women? Where is the deep communal discernment process? And let us be clear: If we don’t have a truly deep theology of women in the church, we don’t have a truly deep theology of human beings, women and men and their relationships. You cannot separate the two. And since women are in the image of God,what about our theology of god, of the Trinity? Anything missing there? In a kyriarchal, patriarchal system, as we presently have, both women and men are being failed. Badly. We urgently need a Christian theology (as opposed to the present sexist one )….no doubt that will “create a fuss” (or “screw up things” as I read in a not-so-polite translation…). But then the Good News always does….

  17. Con Devree

    Based on the evidence to date, Pope Francis has been sent “to cast fire upon the earth; and wishes it were already kindled!” His whole objective seems to be to get all who claim to be Catholic to pray, to frequent communion and confession and to serve the Church and the poor.

    He continues to elude all efforts to classify him. On the one hand he has made it clear that he is building on the legacy of Pope Benedict. (“I love Benedict XVI. He’s a humble man of God and a man of prayer.”) But he brings a certain challenge to those who fully accept the teachings of the Church and seek to be faithful to them (“those who seem closer to us, more receptive, more welcoming”). To the dissenting side he has firmly said that to know Jesus is to be in full communion with the Church and Magisterium.

    He is not a culture warrior. He is not interested in the squabbles. He challenges any blindness of superiority that may afflict individuals on either side. All must consider the extent to which they are in need of a shake-up. He has been sent not to abolish the law but to fulfil it.

    Pope Francis’s style of delivery provides plenty of sound bites. But it is a mistake to seek to generalise on the basis of one paragraph of a particular homily or speech.

  18. Pádraig McCarthy

    Keep in mind what Séamus Ahearne wrote: in his contribution on this website: “In Pope Francis, the smile of God is back.”

    “The ‘smile’ is back. The poetry is here. The artist allows us to breathe. We have fresh air. Francis emphasises simplicity. We know he is right. We know he is sincere. Will he get everything right? He won’t . Will he tidy up everything? He won’t …Some suggest that he comes across as so good because he realises his own weakness and mistakes and sins – but if that leads to humility and ‘lack of infallibility’ – how much better it is?

    Did some of us like what he had to say about homosexuality (even in the priesthood) in the chat on the plane? We did. It was refreshing. Did we like what he had to say about women and priesthood? Some of us didn’t. But that too is fine. Many of us feel that the spirit of John XXIII is among us again or more truly – the Spirit of Jesus Christ has resurfaced and we are delighted. We know the wonder of God. We know the miracle of faith. We know the marvel of God in all the people around us.”

    Yes, I would like some things to be different. I would like some things to move a lot faster. As Jesus said, “These things you should have done, without neglecting the others (Mt 23:23).” But the Pope, any Pope, is not a superman. Rome was not built in a day. So far, it seems to me, we have a lot more to give thanks for than to be impatient with.

  19. Soline Humbert

    The Bishop of Rome,Francis, when speaking to leaders in Brazilian society on 27 July 2013 said this:

    “When leaders in various fields ask me for advice, my response is always the same: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. It is the only way for individuals, families and societies to grow, the only way for the life of peoples to progress, along with the culture of encounter, a culture in which all have something good to give and all can receive something good in return. Others always have something to give me, if we know how to approach them in a spirit of openness and without prejudice. I call this attitude of openness and availability without prejudice, social humility, and it is this that favours dialogue. Only in this way can understanding grow between cultures and religions, mutual esteem without needless preconceptions, respectful of the rights of everyone. Today, either we stand together with the culture of dialogue and encounter, or we all loose, we all loose; from here we can take the right road that makes the journey fruitful and secure.
    Is Francis also recommending dialogue in the Church….? Or is the church to continue as an exception, ruled by the definitely-closed-door-for-ever policy?

  20. Soline Humbert

    There are some very interesting details about Francis’comments, especially concerning women in

  21. Darlene Starrs

    Thank you Soline…The obvious double standard is heartbreaking…

  22. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    Soline, I think the answer to your important question is “yes”. This dialogue must exist. No one has ever denied this. I really don’t think the ACP or the AUSCP or the PI have learned how to properly engage in this type of communication. What tough questions do they have which need to be addressed? My first question is:
    “How does Canon 212 § 3 get played out in real life under Francis’s papacy?”
    If there is growth that is awaiting the Roman Catholic Church, it is certainly in this clause that we find the most potential. The ACP has quoted from it before but I don’t think anyone has realized the strength that this rule has. It could force the world into a poll like the one conducted by the ACP in their infancy. We must not make it easy for the Church to keep its doors closed to evolution or a revolution for that matter.

Scroll Up