Posts Tagged catholicism
Catholicism can and must change, Francis forcefully tells Italian church gathering / National Catholic Reporter
Pope Francis has strongly outlined a new, comprehensive vision for the future of the Catholic church, forcefully telling an emblematic meeting of the entire Italian church community here that our times require a deeply merciful Catholicism that is unafraid of change.
In a 49-minute speech to a decennial national conference of the Italian church — which is bringing together some 2,200 people from 220 dioceses to this historic renaissance city for five days — Francis said Catholics must realize: ‘We are not living an era of change but a change of era.’
“‘Christian doctrine is not a closed system incapable of generating questions, doubts, interrogatives — but is alive, knows being unsettled, enlivened,’ said the pope. ‘It has a face that is not rigid, it has a body that moves and grows, it has a soft flesh: it is called Jesus Christ.'”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
At Pope Francis’s closed-door meeting in Rome this month, top clergy are intensely debating whether the church should bend more to the messy realities of modern families. On the ground, however, it already has.
“Questions on the agenda at the rare, high-level meeting that ends this weekend include whether those who divorce and remarry outside the church can receive Communion, and whether there is a place in Catholic life for same-sex couples. Changing Catholicism’s stance towards such things could begin to unravel the unity of the world’s largest church, say opponents who see the debate in Rome as directly tied to the future of Catholicism. But in many parts of the world – the West in particular – the church has for years quietly been making changes to engage with Catholic families who are transforming in ways that mirror the rest of the society.”
By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post — Click here to read the rest of this story.
A high-ranking US Jesuit says he wouldn’t be surprised if Pope Francis ushers in an era of married priests in the Roman Catholic Church, and says the move would be healthy for the Church.
“‘I used to say, ‘Well, it will change but probably not in my lifetime.’ And then Pope Francis came along, and what I see him doing is opening the avenues for discussion,’ the Rev. Michael Garanzini, chancellor of Loyola University Chicago and the secretary for higher education for the worldwide Jesuits, told Crain’s Chicago Business on Monday (Aug. 18).
“He told the paper that the clergy abuse scandal spurred discussion of married priests and led to an ‘openness to a priest’s physical and psychological health.’
“Garanzini noted that the Catholic Church already has some married priests, most notably when married Anglican priests convert to Catholicism.”
By Michael O’Loughlin, Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
I already hear concerns that the reformist church of 76-year-old Pope Francis might not survive his pontificate. I hear talk that the anti-reformists who took back the Second Vatican Council will likely do it again once Francis is gone from the scene.
“We ask: Will a church groomed by compassion and mercy, as Francis would have it, be the church of our future? Will our church be guided, as if with a compass, by the lives and needs of marginalized people? Can a pastoral Catholicism, embedded in the Beatitudes, be the Catholicism we offer the world?
“Viewed solely as a moment in church history, the Francis moment might not last. Post-Vatican II history teaches us that entrenched forces have ways of enduring. In this view, Francis could be a passing fancy. However, from the long view of history, the Francis pontificate could well be the exclamation point on Vatican II — change and reform is the default mode of operation, not a one-time activity.” By Thomas C. Fox, National Catholic Reporter
Read the rest of Fox’s column by clicking here.
The reform of the Curia and the attribution of more incisive role to the laity were among the principal themes considered yesterday afternoon and this morning in the meeting of the Council of Cardinals, instituted by the Pope to assist him in the governance of the Church, said the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., in a briefing with journalists.” By Vatican Information Service
Read the rest of this story by clicking here.
The Positive reception to Pope Francis from all quarters is itself almost as astounding as the man himself. A kind of global sigh of relief has greeted his humane and kindly manner, a signal that the human family, even in a secular age, longs for a rescue of transcendent value. The Catholic Church, for all of its problems, and if only because of its history as a pillar of Western culture, remains a universal object of fascination …
“… The pope aims to start “a long-run, historical process” on behalf of the poor. No one denies his seriousness on this issue — from the choice of his name, to the place where he lives, to his witness in Brazil. But the pope knows as well as anyone that the single most powerful engine drawing people out of poverty is improvement in the economic status of women, which can only occur within a larger cultural transformation. Education. Participation. Power. Reproductive freedom. Yes, women’s liberation. There can be no other strategy for ending poverty.” By James Carroll, The Boston Globe
Read the rest of Carroll’s commentary by clicking here.
Pope Francis’ comments this week on everything from gays to abortion (less talk, more mercy), the hierarchy (be pastors, not bureaucrats) and religious faith (doubt is part of belief) continue to reverberate through the church and the media.
“Here are five broader insights that this wide-ranging interview revealed about Francis — and why they will be keys to reading his pontificate, and perhaps the future of Catholicism.” By David Gibson, Religion News Service
Read the rest of David Gibson’s article on Pope Francis’ interview by clicking here.