Tag Archive: Pope Francis


As the slaughter continues in Gaza, as bodies rain from the sky over Ukraine, as barbaric jihadists conquer swathes of Syria and Iraq, butchering their enemies and erasing the history of the Bible and of humankind, it seems empathy, sympathy, diplomacy and prayer are utterly unable to meet the demands of common humanity.

At such times, even those who are not especially religious might be moved to ask, in all seriousness, or perhaps in bitter irony, “What would Jesus do?” And as Pope Francis spoke to the multitude on Sunday in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, he came as close to answering that question as he or anyone else is likely to come. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-jS – Michael’s Blog

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On Friday, an American archbishop all but confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia, Pennsylvania next year, leaving Catholics and Americans at large buzzing about what the pontiff’s first visit to the United States could entail.

Speaking at a Catholic conference in Fargo, North Dakota, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said that the pope plans to attend the last three days of the Eighth World Meeting of Families, a Catholic meeting set to take place in Philadelphia September 22-27, 2015. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-ir – Michael’s Blog

It’s hard to tell if the near-constant stream of millennial-centric political think-pieces are perpetuating or reflecting growing curmudgeonly fears about the future of the country. Maybe it’s a little of both, and Fox is probably observing within its competency when it pegs more than a handful of us as “deluded narcissists” –  but it appears there’s room for some political optimism among all the moral panic and the reign of the religious right. With millennial religious and political attitudes in flux compared to our predecessors, the upcoming years could be the Christian left’s big moment.

Which isn’t to say the United States has no Christian left history — with Civil Rights and the heyday of Catholic labor in our past, there is healthy precedent — but for the millennial growing up in the age of Jesus Camp and ‘Teach the Controversy’, Christian political activity has almost always veered rightward. Yet if the Culture Wars are losing momentum in light of issues like unemployment — which 76% of millennials identified as a critical issue in a 2012 Public Religion Research Institute survey, compared with 22% who found abortion or same sex marriage critical — how will Christian millennials fall out politically? [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-go – Michael’s Blog

THE IMAGE OF Pope Francis is that he is a breath of fresh air, more progressive on social issues than his predecessor and a kinder, gentler pope.  But when the facts are examined, you see that he is none of these things. There is an enormous disconnect between who the pope really is in terms of his policies and his public relations image, as crafted by the Vatican’s PR man, previously with Fox News. The current PR mission is all about reversing the incredible decline in fundraising under the last pope from the U.S. Catholic Church in particular. Pope Francis has made any number of statements that seem to indicate change and progress that are not reflected in policy.  In fact, in the wake of such comments from Pope Francis, the Vatican often makes a point to explicitly state that no church policy has changed.

While the pope transmits a populist vibe—particularly about the economy— he is an old-school conservative who, despite his great PR, maintains nearly all of the socialpolicies of his predecessors and keeps up a hardline Vatican “cabinet.” He has done virtually nothing to change the policies of the church to match his more compassionate rhetoric.  People excuse the pope, claiming that he doesn’t have much power to make changes, but this simply isn’t true. Further, it is ludicrous to suggest that a man who denies comprehensive reproductive health care (including all forms of birth control including condoms and abortion) and comprehensive family planning is a man who cares about the poor of this world.  The bigotry of homophobia and sexism cloaked in religion are still bigotry and sexism. By giving to the church, American Catholics aren’t supporting “progress,” they are supporting oppression and in this way are complicit in the bigotry, sexism, and oppression of the church. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-8Z – Michael’s Blog

Amidst the imagined attacks on Christmas, Rush Limbaugh and some Fox News characters accused Pope Francis of being Marxist after he said some critical words about our economic system.  Never mind that Pope Benedict had similar complaints.  Everything has been coming up Pope Francis lately, who was picked as Time’s “Person of the Year” and was featured on the cover of the New Yorker.  Having been raised Catholic and having done plenty of cartoons about the scandals in the Catholic Church, I’m happy that we’re talking again about things like helping the poor, imagine that. [Watch the video]

 

Pope Francis met with media

 

Last week Rudolf Voderholzer, 54, the bishop of the Bavarian city of Regensburg and one of Germany’s younger church leaders, was taken to task at the Vatican by the pope himself. In an admonishment to the German bishop and others attending a seminar for new bishops in Rome, Francis said: “Be close to the people and live as you preach. Always be with your flock, do not succumb to careerism and ask yourselves whether you are truly living as you preach.”

This is a new message for German princes of the church. Many of them have long cultivated a lifestyle oriented toward strict dogmas, prestige and a career within the church, much like former Pope Benedict XVI. But now that his successor arrives at meetings in an old car, there has been a fundamental shift. Loyalty to the pope is being completely redefined, and not just in Regensburg, where Voderholzer’s predecessor Gerhard Ludwig Müller, a fervent devotee of former Pope Benedict, alienated many Roman Catholics. [Read the full article]

 

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Fr...

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Français : emblème pontifical Italiano: emblema del Papato Português: Emblema papal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The new pope hasn’t been afraid to challenge the entrenched interests that have sullied his church’s perception. His style of reaching out is just what might save the Republican Party.

On the heels of Pope Francis’s triumphant visit to Brazil for World Youth Day, the humble pontiff is reinvigorating the Catholic Church after a time of scandal by reaching out, advancing reforms that threaten powerful special interests and leading by example. [Read the full article]

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