The pope of experience
It seems to me that this simple idea, taken directly from Evangelii Gaudium, is the key to understanding Pope Francis’ entire pontificate. He has lots of different things dancing around in his head – Modernism, Catholicism, Liberation Theology, Lutheranism, etc. – but the common thread that makes all of these contradictory notions seem consistent is the doctrine of experience. Pope Francis is the pope of experience. The “experience of God’s love” – however nebulously defined – trumps everything. Without the right kind of experience or feelings, truth is irrelevant and morality is pointless. Do I overstate the case? I don’t want to be unfair. But it is only in light of this principle that Pope Francis’ many baffling utterances begin to make sense.