Archive for January 14th, 2014

Voice of the Faithful® Sees Its Reform Language Echoed in Pope Francis’ Rhetoric — Transparency, Accountability, Clericalism as Evil

For 12 years, Voice of the Faithful® has touted structural reform of the Church as a starting point for healing and renewal. The language we’ve used during this time sounds very much like rhetoric that reform-minded Pope Francis has employed since being elected. Read this from today’s National Catholic Reporter editorial “Francis’ Advice Is Good for the Church”:

From the moment he walked onto the world stage as pope less than a year ago, Francis set the world spinning with speculation over what exactly he was doing and where he was leading the church … From the start, the pope has been slowly dismantling that portion of the clerical culture that has led to destructive secrecy, corruption and lack of accountability … While the exchange (with leaders of men’s religious orders) was clearly directed at religious leaders and bishops, Francis is certainly savvy enough to know that his plainspoken and sometimes blunt assessments are balm to those in the pews who have held such thoughts themselves but never expected to have them represented at the top levels of church leadership … He emphasized the need for dialogue in several spots in his conversation and he issued a stern condemnation of the kind of hypocrisy — thinking one thing but saying another to get ahead – ‘that is the result of clericalism, which is one of the worst evils.’”

Click here to read the rest of the editorial and click here to read Antonio Spadaro’s La Civilta Cattolica interview to which the editorial refers, “Wake Up the World: Conversation with Pope Francis about the Religious Life.”

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Pope with the Humble Touch Is Firm in Reshaping the Vatican / The New York Times

Though lengthy, this article appears comprehensive regarding changes Pope Francis has made in the Roman curia to re-direct the Church. The article also shows that, while humble, he is neither soft, nor naive concerning curial politics.

Less than a year into his papacy, Pope Francis has raised expectations among the world’s one billion Roman Catholics that change is coming. He has already transformed the tone of the papacy, confessing himself a sinner, declaring “Who am I to judge?” when asked about gays, and kneeling to wash the feet of inmates, including Muslims. Less apparent, if equally significant for the future of the church, is how Francis has taken on a Vatican bureaucracy so plagued by intrigue and inertia that it contributed, numerous church officials now believe, to the historic resignation of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, last February.” By Jason Horowitz and Jim Yardley, The New York Times — Click here to read this entire article.

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