elaborate clothing as his predecessor Benedict XVI.
- Pope Francis has been making waves both inside and outside the Catholic Church. First, he declared that his church would "be poor and for the poor." Then, in his first homily following the example of St. Francis of Assisi, the Pope called for humanity to be protectors of the environment, animals and the vulnerable among us:
The vocation of being a "protector", however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God's creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about.
- Pope Francis is also taking a no-nonsense approach to abusive pedophile priests:
During his 14 years as archbishop, Bergoglio ordered church officials to report all allegations to the police rather than simply moving them to avoid damaging the church.Methinks the Holy Father has plenty of clergy to expel right now. Clean them out and send them to law enforcement for prosecution. That is the first step in restoring the Church's credibility with Catholics and non-Catholics.
“That solution was proposed once in the United States ... switching the priests to a different parish. It is a stupid idea,” Bergoglio said. “That way, the priest just takes the problem with him wherever he goes.”
- The Vatican, from the Curia on down, stinks with the stench of Benedict XVI and the neglect of John Paul II. Something akin to a massacre needs to take place. Heads have to roll. There are early signals that this may be happening.
- Pope Francis isn't going to turn the Church into a thoroughly modern institution. He is a traditionalist. The Church will remain against marriage equality, contraception and abortion. However, it can confine those issues to theology seminars rather than using its political power. The emphasis of what the Church chooses to use its great organization and wealth for is due for swift change. That involves turning toward income inequality and raising the issue of poverty directly to political leaders. It involves a focus on the victims of sexual abuse rather than what's best for the church hierarchy. It involves an honest house-cleaning of corrupt officials in the Vatican. It means speaking out for the environment and animal rights. Finally it involves a focus on the people of color around the world, where the church is growing, rather than Europe and North America, where it is shrinking. Especially in the appointment of cardinals.
We will have to see where he's going with his Papacy. But so far, he's off to a good start. With the right message, especially on the issues of the environment, animal rights, and income inequality, Pope Francis could be a key ally to progressives in furthering the cause of a better world.
- Looking forward to your links and discussion. Have a great weekend!