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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Comiskey

Open Letter to Pope Francis: A Father Ignites

Dear Pope Francis,

I appreciate how your papacy is Gospel-centric. You have sought to reveal this Jesus who shatters stinginess. He expands our horizon, invites us into generous love and so glorifies His Father. Why stay conformed to worldly identities when Jesus gives us full rights as sons or daughters of His Father (Gal. 4:3-7)?

A real father blazes with that truth for his kids. He knows the Source of holy fire, stokes it best he can, and invites all who will into His warmth and light.

We fathers don’t embody holy love perfectly. But we know who does. In the gap between our flickering witness and His, we point to Jesus, unfailing and ever-shining. That was always my mantra to growing children: ‘Come on kids, let’s know Him more!’ I meant that truth and lived it.

I couldn’t save my kids, but I could father as one reliant on the Father through Jesus to parent them.

Fathers can know offspring’s diverse vulnerabilities. The enemy tempts one differently from another, and a good father can love in truth both the dutiful ‘elder’ child and erratic prodigal. But good fathers refuse to confirm any self-identification based on the father of lies. Real life and creativity result from surrender to the Father of Lights, not the sexual dead-end of any LGBTQ+ identification. That may make the rainbow child angry. So be it. A real father stays true to his own by patiently and firmly upholding the Father’s best for him or her.

All of this would be in vain if not for the fire of the Gospel. That is the real choice; good fathers stoke its flames. No matter how long the child has been baptized and confirmed, waters must be stirred and Spirit reignited if the child is to know him or herself rightly and exercise authority over misidentifications.

Why then, good Father Francis, does the report on the synod seem devoid of the Gospel? Much talk surrounds how inclusive will be the Church for the LGBTQ+ community. One cannot answer that question until the kerygma--Jesus’ life, Jesus’ death, Jesus’ resurrection--is blazing for all contributors.

We can only begin to see and discern clearly in the light of Christ. ‘But now in Christ Jesus we who were far away have been brought near though the blood of Christ’ (Eph. 2:13).

Calling all fathers, headed by you, good pope, to ignite Jesus in His Church so all may be set free by His blazing love!

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