Posts Tagged Francis effect
When Pope Francis ascended to the chair of St. Peter in March 2013, the world looked on in wonder. Here at last was a pope in line with the times, a man who preferred spontaneous gestures to ritual forms. Francis paid his own hotel bill and eschewed the red shoes. Rather than move into the grand papal apartments, he settled in the cozy guesthouse for visitors to the Vatican. He also set a new nondogmatic tone with statements like ‘Who am I to judge?’
“Observers predicted that the new pope’s warmth, humility and charisma would prompt a ‘Francis effect’ — bringing disaffected Catholics back to a church that would no longer seem so forbidding and cold. Three years into his papacy, the predictions continue. Last winter, Austen Ivereigh, the author of an excellent biography of Pope Francis, wrote that the pope’s softer stance on communion for the divorced and remarried ‘could trigger a return to parishes on a large scale.’ In its early days, Francis’ Jesuit order labored to bring Protestants back into the fold of the church. Could Francis do the same for Catholics tired of headlines about child abuse and culture wars?
“In a certain sense, things have changed …”
By Matthew Schmitz, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.
The nation’s Catholic bishops on Tuesday (Nov. 17) passed an updated guide for Catholic voters ahead of next year’s elections, but only after airing unusually sharp disagreements on how much they can, and should, adjust their priorities to match those of Pope Francis.
“More than any other item on the agenda of the bishops’ annual meeting here, the debate over the lengthy voter guide, called ‘Faithful Citizenship,’ revealed deep divides among the bishops and provided a snapshot of the extent of the ‘Francis effect’ on the U.S. hierarchy.”
By David Gibson, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Just days now from Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States, the media is filled with analyses of what his papacy has meant inside and outside the Church.
“Some secular liberals are still gushing. Feminist Catholics and sex abuse survivors? Not so much. Conservatives don’t like his de-emphasizing abortion. Conservative Catholics in Congress won’t welcome blunt talk on climate change or putdowns of unfettered, winner-take-all capitalism. Everyone says his words of openness and mercy have not translated into a single doctrinal change. And they are right.
“But the so called ‘Francis Effect’ lives on for those of us dissenting Catholics who feel welcomed by a pope for the first time in half a century. It’s pathetic, I suppose, that so little – an all-talk, no-action gesture of acceptance — can mean so much. But consider the contrast.”
By Margery Egan, Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this column.
In some ways, the ‘Pope Francis effect’ doesn’t seem very effective at all. Despite the immense popularity the aged Argentine has won since his election last year, not a jot of doctrine has changed, nor has the Catholic Church swelled with American converts. But there’s more than one way to measure a pontiff’s influence on his far-flung flock …
“‘He’s sent us an invitation,’ says Mark Mullaney, president of Voice of the Faithful, a Boston-based reform group born in the wake of the sex abuse scandal. And now many of us are deciding whether to come to the party.'”
By Daniel Burke, CNN — Click here to read the rest of this story.