July 5, 2013 |
Pope Francis is proving himself to be a genuinely holy man, a brilliant politician and a leader who knows that reform requires a keen understanding of how creating a better future demands sophisticated invocations of the past. Nothing demonstrated all three traits better than Francis' announcement that he would make both Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII saints. The obvious political analysis here is correct: On the whole, conservative Catholics will cheer swift sainthood for John Paul while progressive Catholics will welcome the news that...
July 25, 2013 |
By now you've heard the story: Simple living, highly educated Jesuit priest-turned-archbishop-turned-pope rocks the Vatican with a modest lifestyle and frank tone seen as a radical departure from the practices of previous pontiffs. He's the pope who church watchers say hasn't mentioned abortion or gay marriage in his first 120 days . The pope who named himself after the radical mystic St. Francis of Assisi in order to remember the poor. The pope who said nice things about atheists . The pope whom...
October 1, 2013 |
Pope Francis cranked up his charm offensive on the world outside the Vatican on Tuesday, saying in the second widely shared media interview in two weeks that each person "must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them" and calling efforts to convert people to Christianity "solemn nonsense. " The Vatican's head seemed intent on distancing himself from its power, saying church leaders "have often been narcissists" and "clericalism should not have...
March 15, 2013 |
I was obviously not at Pentecost. I was, however, standing in St. Peter's Square when a man behind me yelped, "Habemus!" And then it was that moment. That moment where, ever so briefly, I was frozen, head half-turned, hair fanned like a disk, eyelids tucked back in tight anticipation. One gasp, uttered by 100,000-plus mouths, rippled across a sea of umbrellas, curved along the arms of the basilica, and rose into the sky where the seagulls were swirling. One at a time, windows began to light up the...
March 18, 2013 |
The installation of a new pope always brings to mind things both ancient and new. There is much that is refreshingly "new" about Pope Francis . He is the first pope from the New World; the first from outside Europe since the 8th century (when there was a Syrian); the first Jesuit; the first to assume the name of the man from Assisi. We Catholics, and even non-Catholics, can't help admiring a prince of the church who cooks his own meals, rides the buses, and lives in a small apartment rather than the episcopal palace.
October 1, 2013 |