I think what Pope Francis is up to is trying to project, re-project, is an image of the Church as compassionate. He is trying to help people remember (or learn for the first time) that she is actually all about compassion, charity in its truest form.
Fr. Z's message, today, is Thank you, Pope Francis! - In two weeks Pope Francis has done more to promote Summorum Pontificum than Pope Benedict did since the day he promulgated it. (Essentially driving catholics to the TLM).
Meanwhile, George Weigel, one of hte leading authorities on the Catholic Church in the world, puts forward:
Evangelical Catholicism is the form of Catholicism that is being born from a process of deep Catholic reform that began with Pope Leo XIII, that continued in the great Catholic renewal movements of the mid-20th century, and that reached a high point of ecclesiastical drama at Vatican II, which has now been given an authoritative interpretation by John Paul II and Benedict XVIthe Church is to understand itself as a communion (communio) of disciples in mission, formed by friendship with the Lord Jesus Christ and by an ongoing immersion in both Word and Sacrament.
Interestingly enough, Weigel believes that, at this juncture in preparing catechumens, "Every Catholic parish in America should junk its RCIA and adult education programs for a year and adopt [Fr. Robert Barron's] Catholicism instead.
One final comment to digest comes from an article I have not posted to the forum.
Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has told reporters that he sees a possibility for reunion between the Orthodox and Roman churches, even if it will probably not happen during my life.
Speaking in Turkey after his return, the Orthodox leader said that he saw a new attitude at the Vatican, which heightened his optimism about the prospects for restoring Christian unity. He said that there is a possibility for the next generations to see the churches of the East and West.
Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople foresees reunion of Christian East and West
There have been many theories put forward as to why, at this moment in Catholic Church history, Pope Benedict XVI chose to step down. Prior to the conclave, he extended his fidelity to his successor. It seems to me that if we truly believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in this process, then our fidelity also follows. At the very minimum, we owe Pope Francis the opportunity to define his papacy.
Would appreciate your thoughts. BTW - from what I can see, this blog is far from traditionalist.
A Blessed Easter to all of you!
None of these things in themselves bother me (honestly, I don’t care if the pope is seen eating or drinking regular food and drink in public!). What I worry about is that this pope will be so meek, so humble, so non-traditional in his treatment of the office that he might delight people with his everyday commonness but will actually weaken respect to the office he holds.
We’ll just have to wait and see.
I’m sorry so many people, who are probably perfectly nice people, are in such a fuss. It hardly makes for a happy Easter.
I can also see that he is going to be giving the Swiss guards fits as well. They take the job of protecting him very seriously.
Thank you for such a careful list.
I’d like to respectfully suggest my viewpoint...
I do not know if I am correct in this or not, but...
1. I prefer to focus on the MESSAGE Pope Francis is trying to give us, as I believe many of the items you listed may have been intentional to communicate a message to us....
(I believe that some of the other items may have been unintentional, after all he is brand new in the office!!!!)
2. I believe the message has to do with compassion (or, better perhaps, sharing genuine love with our fellow human beings).
3. I believe this is a very important message, central to the Judeo-Christian faith tradition....
4. Along these lines, Jesus (who was an observant Jew his entire earthly life) did level some rather pointed criticisms of those “religious” people (particularly some of those in high ecclesiastical posts) who appeared to emphasize and perhaps measure their righteousness more in terms of their adherence (and display) of proper traditional observances ... to, as I read scripture, the possible detriment of the central message of God’s teaching to the Jewish (and now Christian) people: once again, that of “agape” or compassion or love of our fellow human beings.
5. To the extent that Pope Francis is upsetting the “established order” of received observances or rituals, I would dare venture that this may be intentional .. and that he may consider himself in the tradition of the great Jewish prophets and Jesus himself ... who questioned or reinterpreted several received ritual observances or interpretations of God’s law....as part of his teaching ministry. (Indeed, he did these things at some risk to his person...)
6. At this very early stage in his pontificate, I wish to give Pope Francis the “benefit of the doubt” as he appears to be taking his role as a teacher of the flock, seriously. I respect tradition and also very much respect those that are concerned it be maintained. Tradition definitely has its place (and it itself can teach us, too, if we are open to seeing its messages). At the same time, what Pope Francis is doing appears (to me, so far) to also be quite positive ... so far... let’s give the man a few months anyway to see how he does, ok? At the very least, I would just suggest he hasn’t done anything so extremely grievous yet that anybody has cause to lose much sleep.
Just my thoughts. A prophet is seldom honored much in his own house or land... we know this. The reason is also quite clear, it is because he often feels he has to rock the established boat, tradition, ritual, or power structure a bit... to at least get attention to his message.
So far, this one writer is quite willing to give Pope Francis the benefit of the doubt... and I am looking forward to seeing, hearing more of what he has to share with us. He might be doing something very, very good, and Christian.
We will see.
This list is from praytell for goodness sake. It’s like asking the democrat party chairman what the republicans are concerned about.
I’m likin’ this guy more every day! :o)