Hmmmm. Did Francis get special revelation from God to say this? Is this in accord with what we know God has said in His Word? Or is this Francis' own perspective and he is presuming God agrees with him? Who knows? Who cares?
My point is not to dig on Francis. Lord knows, there is enough to dig on and enough diggers. What is my point is how freely some presume to speak for God -- even on subjects where God has, presumably, already spoken in His Word. That is the bane of Christianity in general and its undoing. To speak where God is silent or to be silent where God speaks is bad enough but to posit your own viewpoint and words as God's is even more dangerous.
Progressive Christianity has been particularly fond of speaking for God when God has already spoken. It is the framework that holds up the liberal acceptance of a sexuality, gender, and marriage debate which has literally consumed the churches for a generation or more. The passages of Scripture that would apply are either conveniently overlooked and creatively recast so that they do not say what we do not want them to say. The pro-choice, climate change, diversity, critical race, and social justice issues that have become the gospel for so many, replacing the cross and empty tomb, have turned the focus solely upon this life and its improvement -- according to the presumed goals and ethical norms of Jesus. They would protest that they are holding to the heart of Scripture if not to its actual words. But progressives are not alone.
When a Christian not Lutheran approached me one Sunday morning to ask to receive Holy Communion, I asked what they believed. We believe everything in the Bible, they said. And I asked a bit more. No, it turns out, they did not believe that God was doing anything in baptism or that there was anything more than a symbolic presence to the Lord in the Eucharist. They did not believe that any man can forgive sins in God's name or bind them against the unrepentant or that the pastoral office is an order given to the church (as opposed to a job for which he is hired by people who could do whatever the pastor did). They did not believe that the Word of God was itself the actor doing what it said and therefore was not efficacious [but that the believer had to agree, consent, and believe the Word before anything happened]. They kept on talking about what they did not believe until it became clear that they did not believe everything in the Bible as they had said.
The radical confession of Sola Scriptura is not really about a naked or lonely Word but it is about the Word that informs, defines, and norms what it is that the Church believes, confesses, and teaches. It is about the radical view that Scripture does what it says and deliver what it promises as a living Word and not a restatement of facts or history or even the proposal of philosophical truths to be believed. We Lutherans are not anti-tradition. We do not disdain the teaching magisterium of the Church. But we do place at the center of both the living voice of Scripture as that which informs, defines, and gives boundaries to our faith. Therefore, we Lutherans should not be people who put words in God's mouth or paper over our disagreements with His Word with creative interpretations nor should we be silent about what God has said.
One more thing. The Scriptures are a liturgical book. They are owned by the Church for whom they were written and delivered. They are not the possession of the individual who decides to believe them or of the exegete who unpacks what they really say or the Gnostic who can delve under the words to discern hidden truth. They are Christ's voice and they speak Christ's redemptive love and through that speaking faith is created and disciples are formed. Their fruit lies not simply in an intellectual assent to what they say -- as if we had the power to make them true or render them false. No, their fruit lies in the assembly of those who hear that Word, who recognize it as the living voice of the Good Shepherd, and who know that God is at work in that Word that we might be His own and live under Him in His kingdom forever.