June 12, 2013 |
Is Pope Francis, who has been almost universally welcomed as a kinder, gentler shepherd of the Roman Catholic Church, a homophobe? That possibility explains the consternation produced by reports that the pontiff acknowledged that there was a “gay lobby” at work in the Vatican. But it's premature to conclude that the pope bears any animus toward gay clerics (assuming that they abide by their vows and abstain from sex) or gays and lesbians in general. The English phrase “gay lobby” appears in a “synthesis” -- otherwise written in Spanish -- of the pope's comments to a delegation of representatives of Latin American and Caribbean religious orders.
July 8, 2013 |
E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post has congratulated Pope Francis for what in a political context might be called a balanced ticket. By deciding to confer sainthood simultaneously on Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII, Dionne writes, Francis has pleased two constituencies in the church. “On the whole,” Dionne says, “conservative Catholics will cheer swift sainthood for John Paul, while progressive Catholics will welcome the news that an overly long process of elevating John to the same status had reached its culmination.
March 14, 2013 |
Much has been made about Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's dedication to the poor. Almost immediately after becoming the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church and renaming himself Pope Francis , the commentary began, some of it predicting his legacy before his first day on the job. “In the end, it is Pope Francis's standing as a Latin American and as an advocate of the poor that may well define him,” wrote the Washington Post's E.J....
March 14, 2013 |
His predecessor was the first pope to retire due to deteriorating health -- a condition no doubt exacerbated by frequent world travel and a demanding schedule. Yet at age 76, Pope Francis arrives at the Vatican with his own medical history. Specifically, the new leader of the Catholic Church had one of his lungs removed as a teen, likely due to an infection. We asked two medical experts whether such a condition was likely to hamper the new pope's ability to manage one of the world's largest nonprofit organizations.
April 15, 2014
Re "Pope apologizes over abuse," April 12 It is great for Pope Francis to say he's sorry to those who suffered sexual abuse and to acknowledge the wrongdoing, but it is time for action. No more words, please. Children are being abused now by priests, and in many instances their bishops stand by and do nothing. When the pope defrocks a pedophile priest or castigates publicly at least one bishop failing in his duties to protect children, then I will cheer him. Until then, I remain skeptical of words without action.
March 15, 2013 |
ROME -- Pope Francis urged cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church never to give in to pessimism, telling them Friday that they had crucial wisdom to pass on to the young, which he compared to “good wine” that gets better with time. In his first audience with the Vatican's College of Cardinals since his election Wednesday, Francis looked relaxed and smiled as he spoke, gesticulating as he drifted from his written speech, in contrast to the reserved manner of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. “Let us never give in to the pessimism, to that bitterness, that the devil offers us every day,” Francis said.