Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis: So Far

Francis 2.0 Emerges in America

He's talked to Congress, he's talked to the bishops, he's even swung by the Little Sisters of the Poor. Pope Francis is in the U.S. and he's not shy about saying what he thinks. John Allen at Crux has an interesting overview of the visit so far. Here's a bit.
To some extent, the category-blending nature of the pope’s message is simply a reflection of the nature of Catholic social teaching, which utterly defies the left v. right nature of American politics.

As John Carr, a longtime policy advisor for the US bishops and now the head of a Georgetown initiative, once memorably put it, anyone who takes the full range of Catholic teaching seriously is destined to end up “politically homeless” in the United States.

Yet one has the sense that there’s something else going on, a deliberate effort by Francis to correct impressions that he’s a one-man band rather than the representative of a long tradition.

“The heart of the Pope expands to include everyone,” Francis told the bishops, adding that “I do not speak to you with my voice alone, but in continuity with the words of my predecessors.”
I was taught that "politically homeless" point in RCIA and have never forgotten it. Though Pope Francis seems to often swing to the right or left, it has always looked to me like the category-defying nature of the Catholic Church. Read it all.

What the Pope's Been Saying ... and His Surprise Visit

Before the news chews it up and spits it out in pieces, you can read the full text of the Pope's talks thus far at Whispers in the Loggia. He's also got feed links.
  • Pope Francis's Address to U.S. Bishops: "I am also conscious of the courage with which you have faced difficult moments in the recent history of the Church in this country without fear of self-criticism and at the cost of mortification and great sacrifice."
  • Homily from the Canonization Mass for Junipero Serra: the first canonization mass held on U.S. soil, by the way
  • "Mister Speaker, The Pope": Pope Francis addresses Congress citing Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton as exemplary Americans. (Read about Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton here.)
  • Pope Francis Visits Little Sisters of Poor: Not a talk but about his surprise stop. "Fr. Frederico Lombardi, spokesman for the Holy See, told reporters at a Washington, D.C. press conference that Francis met with the nuns as “a sign of his support” for them in their lawsuit against the Obama administration."

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